Saturday, February 28, 2009

Makes my eyes bug out.

You know, this past summer - there was some show that Mr S. forced me to watch. It was about these four douche bag kids driving around the country in a french fry van. A van run on bio-whatever. I was barely paying attention - because I knew the whole thing was bullshit. Sometimes they'd put a "rooftop garden" on the van. Which is another subject that drives me crazy, but I'm already getting off track. I don't even remember the name of the show. That is how much I cared.

Yet every single time it was on - I wanted to take a sledge hammer to my temples. It was obvious, that for spoiled little rich kids - bio-fuel, or a rooftop garden on a van would be a feasible option. Because, they can rely on the kindness of strangers. For when their shit pile of a van broke down. They'd inevitably guilt people into helping them. For Mother Earth!

However - I understand how quickly technology changes. Everything changes. But, now our president is going full hog on solar. And it makes me crazy.

I love the idea of solar. If it payed for itself, in less then 10-20 years. I would kick PG&E to the curb so quickly it would make their head spin. It doesn't. But, with mass production - prices come down. Eventually I'll be wrong. Eventually. Just not now. You know how I know? Reading stories like this!

It's a story about a guy who looses his whole existence because he's a crazy nut bag who doesn't have a grasp on reality. But, don't read the details. It is sure to make your feel good factor go way down.

Read more here.

"From stem to stern across the continent, skirting blacktop and blue highway in his oddball little electric car, Marcelo da Luz has devoted the last eight months of his life to following the sun.

It keeps him going. It powers the silicon cells covering his three-wheeled roadster like a rattlesnake skin, bringing his record-breaking quest this week to Palo Alto, where he's taking a break. And it fuels his solar evangelism, sharing with a fossil-fueled world his passion for sun power.

After three seasons on a drive to set the world's distance record for a solar-powered vehicle, this addiction to sunlight has turned da Luz into a daydreamy vagabond — over his head in debt, at the mercy of strangers, dependent on the 26 lithium-ion batteries pushing him through a world governed by serendipity."


This is the interesting part. Buried in a two page story

"He's like a magnet," said John Schaefer, 71, a renewable energy consultant who met da Luz in Arcata three weeks ago and volunteered to follow him to the Bay Area in the support van. "Everywhere he goes, people come together around him and his car. "

See? Solar power is real, and it's here, and it's ready for you right now. You can run your car on Solar, and stop raping Mother Earth. As long as you too can get a support van to follow you around wherever you go.

I know you weep for me. Part 2. It's okay.

Yeah, I don't have another funny story like the Mark Hamill one. But, you try making new subject lines!

I guess I have more content than I thought. Annoying battery problems aside. But, I'm going to draw it out - so you people realize I have good stuff on the weekend to see.



What? You think I wouldn't love this to death! It is what this blog is all about.



This has got to be my absolute favorite shot of the day. I can't imagine what it must have been like for this guy being so short. Mr S. is tall, and I literally lost him a half a dozen times. And, I wasn't even doing my normal thing of walking in some random direction. In a straight line - I'd look back. He here was there. 2 seconds later. GONE.



MST3k. Yeah. Retro.



At some point I figured out that if I just start taking pictures of the chicks - I would probably get more traffic on the blog. So.. chicks man.



If you don't know how much I love pirates. Well - I guess you don't know me that well.

I know you weep for me. Part I. It's okay.

Do you know know to revive the economy? Comic book shows. Apparently.

I'm not so much into the comic book thing. But, I love to take pictures. And Mr S. can be. Into the comic book thing, I mean. I would have preferred FanimeCon. But, that is much later in the year. Wondercon did sound like a fantastic picture taking opportunity. And, if the place wouldn't have been so packed it could have been really enjoyable.





It started out pretty good. Soon however, I started suffering from battery problems. So instead of taking multiple shots I was reduced to one offs. Which sucked. The people were packed so tightly I'm suprised I was even able to see Adam Baldwin.





At one point I ran into this massive line. I heard "whisper whisper whisper - Carry Fisher".

Me - Mr S! Is Carry Fisher here?

Him - I don't know.

I made my way to the front of the line, and sure enough. Carry fisher was there.



I didn't get a great shot, so I had to make my way up again. But, this time Mr S. had taken up a position in the back. The line was ridiculous. After braving the line again and making my way back to him I said "Mr S.! Who's this guy"?



I know readers. It's okay. I'm not so bright. I'm pretty sure at that very moment Mr S. died inside. Yes. I didn't recognise Mark Hamill.

Like sunshine on my skin.

You know - recently I'd decided that I was never going to look at crowds the same way. I generally find them pretty annoying. Okay.. maybe I wouldn't look at the same way for a while. I'm not going to be a phony about it.

Anyway.

Being an independent, self reliant sort. I didn't understand how deeply I needed these people. I'm a disaster baby. So I always have backup plan after backup plan. So - if things go sideways I can make it through. Yet, all those doors seemed to be getting more and more blocked. Which is why maybe the tone of this blog has changed a bit recently. It was like being buried in dirt.

Most of the time I'd go out, and things seemed pretty average. But there were days I'd go out and it wasn't normal. It was like someone added a foot of dirt to my chest. Restricting my breathing.

Just two weeks ago I was in San Fransisco and the place was pretty empty. Add a foot of dirt. The whole thing frankly made me feel pretty panicky. I couldn't breath, yet I was hyperventilating. All at the same time.

Now it seemed I needed these people way more than I ever felt comfortable. These people I didn't even know. And I was starting to succumb to the downward spiral theory. There were more and more days where everything wasn't normal. Traffic, buying, people. The weight on my chest was starting to get to me. I fully had started to believe I was wrong and everyone else was right. Maybe we as a people, weren't strong enough to make it through this. Maybe I'd misplaced my faith in people.

Today however - San Fransisco was busier than I'd seen it in a long time. So much busier that I had to tell myself "suck it up wussie. These people are buying stuff. It doesn't matter how crowded things are". And - it was my mantra for the whole day.

Honestly, I haven't seen things so busy since probably spring of last year. It completely shocked me. I'd expected a gradual return. Not that I'm deluded enough to think everything is just fine now. But, it definitely was change from average. It was so busy - it felt like taking 3 feet of dirt off the pile.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Why is Mr S. doing this to me?

I'm sitting here trying to catch up on stuff. Trying my best to ignore him. Yet he keeps playing this:



He knows how easily I'm memed. Somehow I think he's trying to tell me something.

They are joking. Right?

This weekend I will have some light hearted stuff for those of you irritated with the political turn of this blog. You know this is a cyclic blog. Right? Next month I'll probably have a completely different set of things I'm all hot about. Right now this is what I have for you to read.

Anyway.

There are some things right now that bother me so much - I want to jab my eyes out. So shocking to me, that when I hear such stories it makes my mouth drop. Like the report I heard last night on the news about a tent city cropping up in Sacramento. That isn't the news. The irritating part to me was this:

"Sacramento homeless who illicitly camp along the American River Parkway and on city sidewalks may soon be able to live in tent communities sanctioned by government and police.

“Police, city and county leaders and homeless advocates are seriously considering several potential locations for communities that would allow campers to live free from police interference and offer basic services such as running water and portable toilets."


More here.

First let me get this out of the way. There are places like this. They are called camp grounds.

Secondly, what caught my attention was - the report said they were considering taking food, running water and Porto potties out to the homeless encampment. Which I'm pretty sure almost made a vein pop in my neck. I think I still feel it throbbing.

Seriously. These people can't even leave camp to get necessities? Our government is just going to bring up a catering truck and that will be the end of that?

Now I'm not uncaring about the homeless. Well.. maybe that is a bit disingenuous. I too spent a little time in my youth being "a free spirit". How often do you hear the word youth hostile anymore? Not often. But, when I was growing up - that was a really popular thing. So I'm not immune to understanding what that lifestyle is about.

It also makes me aware that a great many of the homeless are more "urban campers" than true homeless. The only difference now that urban campers aren't hanging out in a hostile. They are hanging out on the city streets. It was easy to survive on the kindness of others. Now, it is becoming increasingly difficult for that group of people to survive, and they are being forced to idle tracks of land.

Never fear though! The city will just come in and provide running water. How much would that cost honestly? To provide running water to a field?

Well - you might ask Lowe's. Remember when California passed an ordinance the home improvement stores needed to supply toilets, running water, and a place for day workers to hang out? Here.

Despite having never seen day workers at a Home Depot or Lowe's in my area, these facilities started cropping up. People who used such workers found these guys in Oakland. If I were to know about such things. Which I don't.



Now I admit, I'm too lazy to sift through the Lowe's quarterly report to find out how much this cost them. But, I know those Porto potties cost about 3 grand. Mainly because someone keeps burning them to the ground in San Fransisco. But, the point is - it was probably a huge cost to the Lowe's bottom line - which amounted to nothing.

How often do you hear about day laborers now? They've all scattered to the wind. And so will the homeless when they find a place more favorable. Unless of course we cater to their every need.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

In Defense of Robin Hood

The media are all atwitter about Obama's new tax proposals to soak the rich, and I've heard more than one of the media talking heads allude to Robin Hood, which happens to poke me in one of my pet peeves.

Robin Hood did NOT "rob from the rich and give to the poor".  

Robin Hood robbed from the tax collectors (the Sherrif of Noddingham and his henchman) and the government (the local nobles), and gave the money back to the tax payers (the peasants).  He did this because taxes were oppressively high.  

To describe increasing the tax rates as being akin to Robin Hood is to miss the entire point of the story.   Robin Hood was anti-tax (duh!)

There is a little bit of hate for everyone.

I swear to you - if I spend any amount of time around people at all. They will begin to talk to me. I'm like some people magnet. Often I get so much information I feel overloaded. I expect small talk, and walk away with so much more.

Take the two things that happened just going to the grocery store. I'm actually not in the mood to talk. So, I'm taken a little out of my element immediately. But, I'm going to start from end to start. Because the story is easier that way.

The first thing was at check out. Well, maybe I have to start with the back story.

For years I've been going to the same store in another town for meat products. The place is actually not convenient for me. So my routine has always been to drive out there and shop for the month. Then I pick up all the little crap locally.

I've always stood out. The butchers would recognize me because I'd walk in and say "I have a big order". Then I buy meat for about 15 days. Not out of some survival type thing. Or because I love to cook. The place is just not convenient to drive to once a week. I get too busy.

The previous years, this had labeled me as a bit of a freak. And no - I'm not being dramatic. I would never leave that store without people asking me essentially "what the fuck is up with you buying so much meat". I've even had customers ask "why are you buying so much meat". Exact words. Like it was any of their business. I've always thought it was a little creepy myself. Usually with the checkout people I began to expect it and had a canned answer. Because, every single time they would ask. But when customers start asking - it is just weird. It isn't even like I was loading the cart up to the rim. Just really meals for two weeks since we still eat out quite a bit.

Today however I was met with a much different response. Oh - I see you are loading up. But, this time with acceptance rather than WTF. Which was interesting. My routine was the same, and I wouldn't have even noticed that things were different except for the change in the checker. If she'd had said nothing about it at all - I'd have completely forgotten about how many times I wanted to blog about peoples inquiry's into my meat buying habits. I haven't been to that store in a few months. So it fell off my radar.

Last year or last summer it always seemed so odd people didn't shop for more than a few days. I just hate to shop. So it seemed logical to buy for a couple of weeks.

The other thing that happened is with the butcher. He actually lives in my city and over the years we've made small talk. Again - I stand out. "The meat buying chick". How ridiculous. Right? He's a nice guy. But, today I was completely distracted. I'd not even seen in 6 months or more. I didn't think he worked there anymore. So when he walked up and pointed to the shirt he was wearing which had our town name on it - it made me laugh.

The place was empty and the conversation quickly turned to what the hell was happening with our town. Businesses were shutting left and right. Which quickly turned to how the hell was this or that restaurant being charged 20 grand a month in rent. This is a bedroom town. Even in the boom, that is a ridiculous sum. I would imagine even in San Fransisco that would be a ridiculous sum. NO wonder places are closing left and right.

This also turned into talk about the housing market. He actually doesn't live that far from me. So I asked him how his neighborhood was doing. And he commented about how crazy the price escalations had gotten. I agreed. But, not to the degree that he probably wanted. He told me how much he'd payed for his house 10 years ago. Which made me ask the question "well, there has been wage inflation too right". This is where he confided that he made exactly the same today as he did 10 years ago. Which completely floored me.

You see I come from welfare poor. Which is always why I'd change jobs to increase my wages. Work more hours. Work more days. Work more - work more - work more. So the concept of someones wages not going up in 10 years stopped me in my tracks.

He then went on to complaining about contractors. And how they'd all bought these Alpha contractors trucks. He had quite the disdain. Now, all of us have someone we love to hate right now. But it was the first time I'd heard anyone hating on the contractors. I mean they are just working guys too. They aren't fat cats. And truth be told some of the honest ones work their asses off. They would cry to be inside cutting meat all day. But, that just doesn't make any money.

In that moment it hit me why there is so much class warfare right now. I get it. They've been working the same jobs for a decade and not making any more. While everyone around them was making so much more. It didn't matter that they could work a second job like the rest of us had - or find other ways to make money. They were just mad. This is the second such story I've gotten like this in as many days. FYI.

Yet, I still don't understand how they think their lives are going to be better if all those contractor guys loose everything they have. Likely the lives of all the butchers will be worse. Unless of course - he is in a union. It isn't a large chain. On the contrary it is a one or two off store. So, I'd guess he is unionized - but it isn't a guarantee.

Yeah - class warfare. It's an odd thing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dow game swag.



Brought to you by Hitachi. It is a stress squeezy. And it talks! It says "Relax calm down now. Take it easy."

Odd trade show swag. I got it today, but hey - I find it funny. I actually picked up three. But, you get one.

Place bets now. Mr S. down 50 points. Me - down 250. No betting after the market opens.

If you are new to the snakolepsy blog - read back story here.

Crazy perks.

Some people say my blog is lacking in personality lately. Many bloggers struggle with how much personal information they are willing to give out. I am no exception. The answer probably still is - not much. But some things happen that are so weird - today I will attempt to walk a fine line.

Let me see if I can articulate this story while giving very little detail. Mainly because I could probably be sued. No - I'm not shitting you.

A "little while ago" it came to Mr S.'s attention that since he'd worked at "a company" for a "certain length of time" he was being granted a service award. You like this already. Right? (So much detail and all) However, this was a limited time thing. Everyone is cutting back these days, and his place is no exception. He would be one of the last to get this award. I actually didn't even know companies did this anymore. In our world people get compensated with stock.

I've always felt really nervous about the grant. Mr S. and I have debated for weeks on what we should do. I said we shouldn't take it. He said the company might feel slighted over this. On and on it went. The main issue was - it was an odd extravagant gift that really neither of us would really use. There are so many other things we would find useful. You know, like money. Laser surgery. Stock. I don't know. We aren't poor, but the economy scares the shit out of me - and nothing is better than cash.

Today though, we finally broke down and went to the high end shopping mall to pick up the award. A watch. Not your average watch. One that costs as much as a high end gaming laptop. I swear to you. It is the weirdest thing to walk into a store. Pay 56 bucks and walk out with a freaking expensive watch. Of which neither of us will use. Our cell phones tell us the time. And we just aren't really watch people. I was going to take pictures of it on the bunnies. But, showing the watch type might give too much away.

The other thing that is odd is - why a watch? I'm sure it must have some meaning. I found the whole thing really uncomfortable. I carry around a camera that costs almost as much as a small car - yet Mr S. and I clearly were acting like two hillbillies in this high end watch store. We completely stood out. Yet, here this watch sits on my wrist. It is one of those self windy watches. So I guess I'm winding it.

I don't know.. it is just odd. They even had a snooty watch engineer who completely snarked at our hillbilly podunkness. I think it was when Mr S. asked about some such hand on the watch. He called it a stop watch. She corrected him with "chronograph". Which is just a snooty way to say stop watch. Whatever.

When I pointed out to Mr S. that she'd just snarked at him - she rolled her eyes. I'm sure she was thinking we were going to be trouble. I like snarky people and once she figured that out I won her over, and she actually liked us in the end. I think. At least she was less uptight.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oh! Ironic.



Hells yes I watch Bloomberg. It's my ringside seat to the end of the world. I've only been doing it since October. Every night before I go to bed I see how close we are to the collapse of the world and the universe as we know it.

Mr S. and I also bet on the stock market. No - not stocks. How 2005! We bet on what we think the Dow is going to end for the next day. Mr S. bets flat for tomorrow. I'm betting down 100. The over under is 50 points. But - this is not why I'm posting. Just a tangent.

Anyway. When the news alert on tom tom came over the wire - it was pretty funny. Considering Tom tom is a GPS device. But, you all knew that. I mean, you are my readers. Just sayin'. Not being able to give guidance is a career limiting move for a company like tom tom. Again. Just sayin'.

Coincidence?



Or suggestive marketing? You be the judge.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

You knew this would happen sooner or later. Right?

For how nice yesterday was - today started out rough. Now, if there is anything you should know about me. It is that I don't eat breakfast.

So, if I don't get food in me by 1:00pm I have a complete and total meltdown. Not a temper tantrum. A steady decline in being able to conduct myself in a social manner. After 1:00 - the world becomes a very dark place. And I can barely even utter words. I just stare and grunt. Swear to god. Yes. I am a very annoying person! I've been telling you that forever.

Most of the time I don't let it get that far - but sometimes shit happens. We were running late for the car show at the Cow Palace. Which by the name you might have guessed is where they used to auction cows. The place has had nary an improvement since the cattle rustling days. And I resolve to never go to another car show there. The lighting is horrible. They rope all the cars off so you can't get a clean shot. There are seats in almost every shot. It sucks! And they don't even have corn dogs.

Mr S. and I did manage to share some garlic fries. And that managed to get you these shots.

















Additionally it was pretty much the saddest car show I'd ever gone to. It was all camouflage and ZZtop with biker bar thrown in for good measure. The tooth ratio was waaaay down. It was the weirdest thing. These days I barely run into anyone with missing teeth, but they'd all descended there. Whatever.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Back to building the bomb shelter.

Remember a few days ago when I was making jokes about the government trying to bankrupt us all? I guess it isn't even a tightly held secret anymore. At least one local Democratic congressman thinks it's a grand idea to make the top tax rate 90%.

Now, I am nowhere near the top tax rate. But, I do understand that no one would ever work if they thought 90% of your money would be taken from you. Or you would just go underground and pay virtually no taxes. And, surely this rule would not apply to anyone in the government. Now would it?

Is it any wonder those voices are starting to become louder about the US becoming a socialist country? A year ago I would have fallen on the floor laughing if someone would have told me anyone wanted to raise the top tax bracket that high.

Read the whole story here.

Haps.

Today was sort of an interesting day for me. It started out at the vet. I had to pick up some crap for Paisley. The allergy queen. Which is also where I ran into a 200 pound Great Dane.

If you don't know how much I love dogs - you should. I know I bitch about them a lot. But, I really do love dogs. Always have. Except those yippy kicking dogs. Mr S. is allergic ironically. Which is why we don't have a dog. And I most especially love Great Danes. This one was one of the biggest I'd ever seen. He was an older dog. 10 years the owner had told me. I loved on him, and perhaps it shaped the day.

Earlier in the week I'd been knee deep in building the bomb shelter. I'd thought we were going to get out of this whole economy thing by summer. Lately I'd grown pessimistic. We figured it was time to dig in deeper. So our premium cable was on the list of items to save money on. You can download everything now anyway. Plus those comcast guys had so frayed my last nerve for many many years I was done with them. So I called to downgrade.

Now, let me preface this by saying - I'm sure you guys think I'm some bitchy old hag that bitches all the time. Which may or may not be true. I feel bitchy a lot of the time. This however doesn't translate to anyone I come into contact with. As a matter of a fact, I'd love for someone someday to tell me what it is in my personality that makes people feel so comfortable - they spill their entire life stories to me. I never tire of marveling at the disconnect I feel between how I think I'm perceived, and how people must actually perceive me.

Anyway.. back on the phone with the comcast guy. What I thought would be a 5 minute call, turned into a 35 minute call. And I'm not even complaining about it. Normally I hate to take up so much time on a support line. Other people have problems too. But this guy was so completely friendly and helpful. So totally unlike anything I'd ever experienced with Comcast. (Except for the on site techs) Previous rants here.

He starting talking about the shows he watched. Which made me laugh at him, and call him hilarious. I didn't want to engage him too much because I'm never talking to that guy again. But he was pretty funny. He also watched pretty much all the same shows we did. Except for Red Eye. Which I insisted he must watch. He talked to me about his family. I was still trying to be mindful of not taking up too much time. He got into a political rant. Again. Odd. Considering he was a California local boy, and he quite obviously was not a liberal. We non liberals like to hide under rocks. We are outnumbered you know. It was the oddest thing ever. Yet not bothersome.

At any rate - he managed to talk me down from the ledge, and transfer me to an introductory plan. Which is quite a savings. Maybe that guy is the best sales person on earth. Mr S. and I joked about the guy later. Something along the lines of comcast being able to look at our viewing habits and personalise his sales pitch. Perhaps the next call the sales guy got was a sports fanatic. And then the sales guy was too. I don't know. I only know that I'd never once had the support line at comcast ever seem to care if they had a customer or not. Clearly today it seemed like they were making an effort.

Pictures I should have posted.

I will have stuff for you to read later.

Friday, February 20, 2009

You mean we aren't going to die after all?

They aren't saying global warming is bullshit. Are they? It would be like saying the government isn't trying to talk down the economy to bankrupt us all. I mean - I'm pretty sure I watched all the news people hyper ventilate all summer long at the rapid decline of the ice shelf.

Thank goodness I still have my corn cup! I paid extra for that ya know.

"By Alex Morales via Drudge.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- A glitch in satellite sensors caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), a California- size area, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said.

The error, due to a problem called “sensor drift,” began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February. That’s when “puzzled readers” alerted the NSIDC about data showing ice-covered areas as stretches of open ocean, the Boulder, Colorado-based group said on its Web site.

“Sensor drift, although infrequent, does occasionally occur and it is one of the things that we account for during quality- control measures prior to archiving the data,” the center said. “Although we believe that data prior to early January are reliable, we will conduct a full quality check.’’

My New Favorite Blog

This site combines all the stuff I love into one mad-scientist project!
  • Lasers
  • Superconductors
  • Fabs (3D printers)
  • CAD
  • Fusion
I don't know who this guy is, but I've got a man-crush on him.

Wow - I'm a sucker.

If the politicians have enough power to force banks to lend to dead beats - how do they now not have enough power to get the banks to lend to worthy borrowers?

I seriously don't get it. I personally don't think the banks should be forced to lend to anyone BTW. The free market should work it out. If the free market had been allowed to work this out, the banks would have started adjusting their business practice more than a year ago. Perhaps two years ago.

You know.. I've been hearing this phrase more and more "I'm not a conspiracy theorist but....".

I've even got my own. I'm not a conspiracy theorist but - why don't they just change the uptick rule."? That would have saved many banks from a stock collapse, which then turned into a run on the banks. For those of you who don't get it - selling stock is how companies raise capitol for their businesses.

I've been completely amazed at how the banks have so successfully deflected all the blame onto the American public. Sure, there are dead beats. But there are also normal hardworking people who aren't - and now can't renew their credit lines to continue business. These people make up most of the American economy. Love it or hate it - that is how an economy runs. How do you think things get from one country to the next? Or one state to the next? They just wait for a check in the mail? No. CREDIT!

You know - I didn't vote for Obama. But, I really didn't think it would be that bad. I laughed at the people who said he wanted to make us all poor, so we would be beholden to the government. That was too extreme for my imagination. Now, I'm not so sure.

All I hear is rage about the fat cats. How about most of the country who's put hard working money into 401ks to save for retirement? For every bank CEO there are 50 who have just been saving for retirement. So we aren't beholden to the government. For that day when social security doesn't exist. Like this guy. Those fat cats? These are the people who aren't spending money now because they see their retirements going down the drain.

For the record - the repubs have their own ass whooping to content with. They did nothing the whole election year. Which could have prevented some of this ridiculousness.

All I know as each day passes - those voices who say "the US is going to be like Detroit" get stronger in my head. I want so badly for them to be wrong. But, honestly...I've lost all confidence they aren't right.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Guess I better learn to shut my effin mouth.

I have to admit. I'm guilty of this. Perhaps I was even guilty of it this weekend. Mr S. and I held the door open for three seperate people this weekend. Not one said "thank you". By the last, I walked away muttering "I guess no one says thank you anymore". That will now get you a punch in the nuts - if you are lucky.

From the AP.


Teed off man uses golf club in clash over manners


"FALMOUTH, Mass. – A man faces assault charges after allegedly striking another man with a golf club in an argument over manners. Police told the Cape Cod Times that a 50-year-old man leaving a gas station in town on Monday morning held the door open for a 38-year-old man.

Police said the 38-year-old man did not thank the other man, who responded by uttering a sarcastic "thank you."

The two men got into an argument before the 38-year-old went to his car to get a golf club, which he allegedly used to strike the victim several times in the stomach and legs. Police said the victim suffered minor injuries.

The 38-year-old man pleaded not guilty to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Falmouth District Court on Tuesday and was ordered to stay away from the other man."

The slow boil.

You know - Mr S. reads a bunch of scifi. Always has.

Me on the other hand - I don't feel the need. I see the future almost everyday. We live in one of the richest environments for innovation in the world. I see things all the time I never would have thought possible 10 years ago. Amazing stuff.

Lately, (and I'm not going to sugar coat it) there has been some things that are happening that are giving me this feeling in the pit of my stomach. A feeling that makes me hope I'm just being hyper. After all. I'm a solid moderate. Some would say naively a perma bull. I'm not prone to paranoid thinking. I think hard work and innovation can get us out of anything. But lately, I'm starting to feel this troublesome undercurrent. A feeling that we might be closer to a tipping point than I ever imagined. On a normal day I can ignore most of the nut bags.

But, I have to wonder if the anarchists are trying to seize on something more. Waiting for the tipping point. After all they have been blending for years. The international answer people at every protest. Then today I run across this.



There is even a website. A concerted effort to form a run on the banks. On a normal day I'd think "oh those wacky Ron Paulers". But, now I'm not so sure. Mr S. always tells me in the scifi novels that the tipping point is usually something very simple. And - the world collides into chaos.

That won't happen. Right?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bankruptcy Bingo

I'm feeling particularly gloomy today. So - I put together some doomsday bingo. Click on the links. Not responsible for any sudden loss of hopefulness. I'm not!

I haven't completely worked out what doomsday entails. But, these links will make you think we are one step closer. I've left open some spots for additions. And, I'll find links for the others. It is a work in progress People.

Oh yeah. My picks are B1, G1, and I5. You pick now.

(posted by snarkolepsy - even though I used Mr S's login. He was mashing the html)



B



I



N



G



O



Guadeloupe





Britian



Manila



Turkey







Greece




Antigua



Brazil








Poland



Zimbabwe




Dubai



Free


(Iceland)



Japan



USA



Ireland







China







Somalia



Russia



Mexico







Venezuela






Monday, February 16, 2009

The hand of god.

If there was a god. And, he had a hand.



Realising that Mr. S did in fact have the day off - we set up to see some snow on the devil mountain.We drove through the windy roads with precipitous drop-offs and after getting close to the top - we started regretting it.



We'd stopped on this overlook. On one side was a rainbow. Suddenly it began to rain ice. Not much. But, just enough to realize that I'm overly impulsive. And, that the Chrysler is built more for speed than traction. Hoping to get down the hill before the rain and ice really began falling - we left without seeing any snow. We'd have needed to hike to see it. Which wasn't a big deal if we could have found parking. But, I really didn't want to be driving down the hill in pouring rain. Mental note for next time.





We also managed to hit a fairly deep pocket of rain. Which I'm so in love with right now.

It also made me happy that the roads were pretty busy by that time. To be honest, I'd become a little panicky at the desolation of the cities over the weekend. But, it looks like people may have gone out of town for the long holiday. Which is good news for everyone.

Who's dumb idea was this?



Oh yeah. People are going to be super happy giving you the last 99 bucks they have to their names - to destroy a doll. Insanity.

(I would have linked to this article, but the site I was at wouldn't let me cut and paste - so I just took a screen shot. Sue me)

No means NO!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

That didn't turn out how I expected.



Today, Mr S. and I were going to run a work errand. Pick up some lunch. And then drive up to "the devil mountain" to see the snow. Very straight forward.

Since I'm on a bit of a Dim Sum bender - we chose that for lunch. After getting some recommendations from the guys at work, we plotted two places. (And no - I'm not poking you MDG. The SF thing was rushed, so I didn't get my Dim Sum itch scratched as much as I'd have liked)

So, off we go. The closest place to our errand was a place in the Vallco Mall in Cupertino. Which seemed odd to me.

Mr S! Is this place in the mall? Yes, he told me. But, it was going to be okay because the Vallco Mall was dead. I remember this place from when I was a kid, and it has been slowly dying for at least 10 years. Truth be told, when I was 12, I was a mall rat. Vallco was one of the places I hung out. It being dead seemed good to me. We had a full day of stuff to get to.

We walk in the mall (after getting through Macy's) we spot a ton of people just loitering around. When he starts walking in their direction I ask him. "Is that the place"? He shook his head yes. Holy crap the place is packed! All these people were waiting to get in.



I think there were more people in line, than in the whole mall. We immediately start talking about the second place. Joy Luck also in Cupertino. Mr S. suggests we walk around the mall really quickly to see if anyone is shopping. We go up the escalator, and see the mall is pretty empty.

Mr S. starts making jokes about this mall being a great place for a Zhombie walk. At that very moment I turn to my right to look at him and see this store called Armor-Geddon. Which was really funny. And seemed to fit with the times and the conversation.



After walking though - it seemed some places were just opening. At 1:30. This place was opened by the time we came back. It wasn't the only store to just seem to be opening. It was really strange.

Though obviously if you have the right kind of store - people are still shopping. As I've said before - malls were pretty much a dead before the recession. Now, they might as well bulldoze them.

The rest of the stuff got scrapped for the day. It was actually raining pretty hard.

Bad ass cars - rain edition.



Who drives a Bentley in the rain? And yes.. this is the best picture I got.

I couldn't figure out if this guy was super wealthy or had stolen the car. He managed to wedge himself in the middle between two cars about 30 feet part at freeway speeds. Twice. In the pouring rain. I'm putting bubble wrap around my Bentley. And a laser field.

Well.. okay. I'd never have the balls to drive a Bentley. You can't believe the angina I had with just our Solstice. Which is a really cheap car relatively. But, there aren't many on the road. I still make Mr S. park way in the out-field so people don't ding the doors.

More Bad Ass cars here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Even here?



Mr S. and I went out to breakfast this morning. You guys should all know my routine by now. Right? Breakfast means less people get mentally punched in the neck.

Anyway. The whole thing was completely uneventful. Until I went to the restroom right as we were leaving. Mr S. went to pay the check. I went to the ladies room. I'm sitting there doing my business, when I occurs to me that it was an odd place to stick a blood cancer PSA.

So I run out to get my cell phone. Because yeah - I don't take my cell phone in the bathroom. That's gross. Mr S. is still in line waiting to pay. I grab my cell phone from him and bail.

By this time a chick had entered the bathroom and was putting on make-up. I go into the stall and close the door to limit the awkwardness. Take the pictures. When I exit the stall I see the make-up chick is still there, plus another gal. Which frustrated me - because now I have to wash my hands again. Even though I was just taking pictures. But, I've closed the stall door. If I didn't wash my hands those two girls would remember me for minutes as the chick who doesn't wash their hands.

I wash my hands and it occurs to me. Make-up gal was in there the whole time. I couldn't have done anything (in a bathroom sense) in the time I was in the stall. So I say "when did they start advertising in the bathroom"?

Which made her bust up laughing. "I know, she says. I noticed that last time I was in here. Can't we go anywhere without being ad targeted"?

I agree and laugh as I was leaving

End of story.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Less yapping - more zapping.

I'm going to be honest. This was a much funnier yesterday - before the stimulus bill was passed. That's why a lot of my crap doesn't get posted. One day funny. Next day not. But, since I have an over-abundance of bitchy posts - I'm going to fake it for you today.



Yesterday, Mr S. went to see about having some laser eye surgery done. He's wanted to do it forever. So long in fact - he'd checked into it more than 10 years ago with a different yet affiliated eye surgeon.

To our amazement the doctor had his original paper chart. Not microfiched and printed out. The original. Which truck us both as freaky. Now that I think about it, they must have had someone drive the chart from the other location. More than a half hour away. It wasn't a faxed copy. The other location is still open, so it is odd they had the chart on hand.

Anyway..

I always go to his eye stuff. I'm fascinated by all the eye technology. Probably because I haven't had eye problems of my own. I love all that eye crap. The doctors figuring out how to fix whatever eye problem ails you.

One time Mr S.'s eye doctor had also treated someone else we knew - who had gotten a metal splinter in his eye. And he had these amazing photos of his eye. Which he showed us. I know is it wrong People. But, it isn't my practice. I don't know why people do the things they do. It was just very, very fascinating.

So I hung around intently watching them. Until I got a little bored and started pushing buttons. Most people just wait there patiently. Not me. They have shiny buttons People! Anyway. Chair goes up - chair goes down. I practically made Mr S. sea sick. Yeah - I'm annoying that way.



He is like that straight A student that sits in the front of the class, and I'm like that F student that sits in the back throwing spit balls. I pushed one too many buttons and the chair completely reclined itself just in time for the doctor to walk in an bust me.

Last night while sleeping Mr S. wore the goofy goggles they gave him to see if he could take wearing them at night for a week.

Surprisingly the laser center wasn't empty. It wasn't packed. There were more people than I would have expected considering. Those people charge 27% interest for financing after all. Which we never considered doing. But, yow!

The other thing I found fascinating was they don't charge for a consultation. So we took up about 45 minutes of a technicians time. Never paid them a dime, and walked out with a prescription for antibiotics. If it wasn't a very reputable place, I'd get a freaky feeling. It seems like an odd business model to me.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Haters.



This post is just filler till I have time to post my other stuff. . I've been busy all day.

A few days ago I was looking for places to take interesting shots. I'd wound up on the outskirts of town. They were going to build a Walmart out there. Walmart had cleared the land. Created streets and infrastructure. Lights, city beautification. The whole nine. But, apparently our town has a freaky Walmart constituency. And - at the last minute they managed to get the whole project shut down and canceled. After Walmart had put in a considerable amount of money to develope the land. Now the place is just streets that lead nowhere and parking lots.

So, I was out there trying to get nature shots when I ran across these three oak trees that they'd placed a fence around. Oddly the fence was made of fake plastic wood. But whatever. You can see the need for the fence. Someone might stumble across them and.... hell I don't know.

Mostly I see from the circular tire tracks - the kids are out there making doughnuts.

Not my greatest work, but I'd just gotten off the freeway and I had to pee. So I couldn't concentrate on getting a great shot with the sun rays cascading down through the clouds. Which is what I wanted. But, hey - at least you get something for the moment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Really ?

You know - if my own well being wasn't so tied to spending, I would welcome the whoop ass that is descending on the economy. Which makes me sad, because a lot of good decent people are being affected. Having said that...how is it that people are just now getting mad? Today was the first day I heard real anger. Why? I just don't understand it. I would say a year past due. But surely 5 months critically past due.

I'm sure people come to this blog and think I'm just bitchy. Which depending on the day - is certain levels of true. I think companies should appreciate customers and do their level best to provide a good service. It seemed no one else cared about that. So I just went with the flow. Ranting about my frustrations in my corner of the world.

I mean - how do we get to a level in the world where good service is a rarity, and mediocre at best, is the norm? How? And why does no one care about this? Oh - because everyone should get a trophy no matter how badly you suck? That might be it.

Now, I understand everyone is busy. I'm busy too. Occasionally I forget why companies make me crazy. Like today for example. I tried to send a fax. Only to find out I couldn't. Because my f-ing fax machine will not let you send a fax when the ink cartridges are empty. Send a fax. Not receive.

Already pretty hot - I run down to the office supply store. I'm thinking earnings are way down everywhere. So hopefully printer ink will cost a little less. Even on a good day in a good economy the prices for ink were outrageous. To my surprise, the price of one black ink cartridge is still 28 bucks. The price hasn't come down at all. Guess how I know that. Because I blogged this issue here.

So today, it cost me 28 bucks to send a fax. For which, I do not even request a paper notification. Hence - no f-ing ink needed. But, the machine refuses to work until I feed it a new cartridge.

Oh yeah. I'd be happy for these companies to get a giant train car filled with telephone poles shoved up their ass.

I said I would never give a dime to the Brother Company. Yet I'm not buying a new fax machine now. So, good on them. They got me again.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

People are dumb!

Urine is what your body didn't want. That is why it flushed it out.

"LA PAZ, Bolivia – A Bolivian woman has died from an injection of urine allegedly administered by her friend as a form of health therapy, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Investigating prosecutor Oscar Flores told The Associated Press that 35-year-old Gabriela Ascarrunz died Saturday of an "infection caused by urine that was injected by fashion designer Monica Schultz."


Read more from the newly captivating AP.

Persistence freaks me out.

Readers! Do you remember this summer when some guy stopped by my house and begged me to sell him my truck? Of course you don't. Read about it here.

Today, I came home and there was a big pink piece of paper stuffed under the windshield wiper on the truck. It was placed inside of a ziplock, so if it rained the paper wouldn't get wet. Considerate to be sure.

Truth be told, I thought it was from the city because I hadn't moved it in a while. I thought they were telling me that if I didn't move it - they would tow me. But it was a note from someone offering to buy it.

Normally I might have wondered why so many people are interested in that truck. There is nothing special about it. It isn't new. It isn't beaten up. It is just average.

But the note was signed "God Bless". Which made me whip through my old blog posts. It would be a really odd co-incidence if the two people who offered to buy it - were so outwardly religious. So, I'm guessing that guy is trying to get me to sell him the truck again.

Which I completely don't get. He can probably get a beater really cheap these days. What is his fascination with my oh so average truck? It is weird.

Americas theme song for today.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Not a good time to be an animal hoarder.

"POTTSBORO, Texas – North Texas authorities seized 22 dogs found crammed inside a station wagon with their owner. The owner locked the car doors and refused to come out when a constable tried to serve her a warrant for the seizure of the dogs early Monday, said SPCA spokeswoman Maura Davies.

Two puppies and 20 dogs were taken to a shelter until a judge decides who gets custody, the SPCA said. A hearing on the custody of the animals is set for Feb. 16 in Denison.

The dogs were in the car along with a pot of water, blankets and waste."


Read more here at the AP

It's a boobdoggle.

It is a play on words People. But, I thought I'd get you reacquainted with the term. Since its going to affect us all. Just sayin.

Anyway. I'm getting off track already.

Long time readers know I bitch about this from time to time. And, this weekend gave me another opportunity. The reason? This.



I'm unaware of any other charity that is so pervasive. So unable to be escaped. My primary complaint is - why can't I go anywhere without them trying to pilfer my pockets? It really does annoy me. I know I can refuse buy items with their brand. Which I do. But, they are like little panhandlers that follow you around everywhere.

Think I'm joking?

Read here.

They come to my door. I blogged about it here.



They hit me up at my ISP.



They are on a ton of products at the supermarket.





And now hoses? Which actually makes me wonder - how much is it costing companies to change the color of their products for the charity. Do they really make that money back?

Do women realize how much money these people are raking in? They have to be making a ton of money right? The merchandising is off the chart. Shouldn't they have produced a cure a 100 times over? Or are women so fearful of their boobs rotting off, they never even give it a second thought? Or am I missing the point and it doesn't really matter?

Fear is a great business I guess.

I am not actually sure how much they make. But, I know their executives make a ton of money. Here. And it seems pretty obvious a lot of revenue goes to "program expenses".

At least it makes people feel good. Right?



If it glows like the moon - it makes me swoon.

Alright, this is the last one on the gift faire.





This was my favorite booth. Stuff that glows under black light. My pictures didn't come out as good as I would have liked. Which is a bummer. Even though I took a business card, I can't find a website for them. I even manged to convince the vendor to sell me some bracelets. Swag yeah.

She was also displaying some of her sons graphic tees. Which were really good. Website Arlyn Pillay.

If he somehow finds his way here. Leave website info for black light bracelets.

I like crooked things.

Okay, no I don't. But, I liked these. Website here.



Sunday, February 08, 2009

When people change.

I have got to get these pictures out from the gift fare out. I'm close to done, and I have other stuff to blog about. But, I wanted to give special recognition to this site.

You know a velvet jesus is going to catch my eye! So kitchy and fun.



When you turn it upside down - it has a magic eight ball at the base with the following sayings.



I talked with someone at the booth for a few minutes before I asked if I could take pictures. As I did with every booth. They were polite, but declined. Alright I said, and walked on.

I never quite understand why. If a vendor has a website, chances are their pictures are being aggregated somewhere anyway. So they might as well give in. But, I respect their privacy. I usually have a ton of stuff to blog anyway.

I was two full isles over when one of the ladies from the booth approached us to say we could take pictures. It was a few minutes after we left. So she tracked us down. Which I loved. I've never had anyone do that before. Either they are okay with me taking photos or they aren't. Not usually a lot of middle ground.

I'm glad she did - because they were selling these post cards. Which I so totally love.



From an inventory point of view - it is such an amazing idea. Takes up very little space in your warehouses. Costs very little to ship. Yet makes these.



Plus, I'm such a sucker for band aids that look like bacon.
 
http://www.wikio.com