Tuesday, June 30, 2009

All signs point to yes.

This is a bit more personal information than I typically give out - but, I don't know these people and the whole thing is the most ridiculous turn of events on the planet. It reads like a seedy novel.

Hopefully you read yesterdays post where I wondered if my mom was a home wrecker. My Aunt assured me she wasn't. Though I still had my misgivings.

In my last interaction with "alleged blood relation" - I asked her how her family felt that she actually managed to track me down. Because remember, my birth comes before the last child was born in her family. I still have a sneaky suspicion my mom broke up their family. I also asked if she'd had a relationship with her dad before he died.

This is roughly the reply she gave me. She said she didn't really have a relationship with him. They were living in another state when her mom said they were moving back to the state where her dad lived and that they were going to go visit him. When they got to that state, they went to the state penitentiary where he was at. She didn't know why he was there.

I let this news settle in a bit and tell Mr S. "now the only thing I can think about is trying to find out why he was in the pen". I'd learned from court documents that the alleged blood relation is learning disabled. I told you, you can find a lot of crazy stuff about people on the net. Though she has never come outright and said so, it's somewhat obvious in her writing. Otherwise I might have just said "well, ask your mom why he was in the pen". And her mom doesn't seem to want to talk about it anyway.

Mr S. and I placed our bets on why he might have gone to the pen. And I paid for a background check. He's dead anyway.

Listed under criminal background were the words - NV Child Sex.

Remember yesterday I told you that my mom was a teenage mother? Yeah, well now I think my mom sent him to the pen! I'm not positive, but there is nothing else listed under criminal offenses. There is that whole saying 15 will get you 20. The offense is even listed in the county in which I was told I'd have to file to get copies of child support judgements. So this has to be him. Though he never admitted I was his, he did agree to child support.

Now, the odd thing is - the story in my family is that my mom set out to get pregnant. There was never any doubt that even though underage, the whole thing was completely consensual. Some may argue that anything done under the age of 18 can not be consensual, and that is how the law sees it.

It's also odd that when I talked to my Aunt she did mention the law getting involved. But said "I don't remember if he went to jail or not". Okay fine. It's been a while, but not that long! You'd think that's the kind of thing people would remember. She's not even retirement age - her memory can't be that bad.

And now! The new alleged blood relation seems to have been left in the dark as to the circumstances of my birth. She's older than I am. How do I even deal with that?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Today's uncomfortable questions.

Did my mom wreck your moms marriage?

Yeah, you heard me right.

After some starts and stops - the sister thing continues. Mainly due to persistence on her part. Not annoying persistence mind you. Yet, the whole thing might have fallen apart without it. I still don't understand her need to dredge up the past, but neither of us are willing to walk away. Apparently.

Mr S. claimed I wasn't being nice, and asked me to consider not having such a wall up. I scoffed and asserted that I wasn't even completely sure we are even related. But, in the end I took his advice and calmed my decidedly defensive tone down. I have to admit, I might have calmed down earlier if she'd confirmed if the small bits of information I'd given her fit with what she knew from her family.

As it turns out - I may never get the information I want. Including complete confirmation of blood relation. Yet the information she has given me so far- reasonably matches some of what I know. Her mom holds all the keys to the safe, and she doesn't want to talk. Which of course piques my interest.

I have to admit, after becoming an adult - this stuff just wasn't important to me. Now that I've got this puzzle game going on, I needed to call my Aunt and find out what she remembered. My Aunt assures me, my mom didn't break their family up. Though I do find it odd that one of the siblings is younger than me. Two older. It makes it hard for me to believe that maybe my mom didn't have something to do with it.

I guess also depending on your view, there is a problem with my mom being a teenage mother. I've mentioned it before on the blog about just how young my mom was. Maybe her mom doesn't want her to know. I don't know. We are all adults now, I can't imagine why her mom won't talk to her about it.

At any rate - I don't know what will come of this. It is just weird. The whole thing.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's the Judgement, Stupid

So this week we got a new member of the Politician-caught-having-an-affair club, South Carolina Governer Mark Sanford. And as happens each time this happens, I hear the same issues being rehashed, e.g.
  • It's about the morality
  • No, it's about the ethics
  • No, it's about being a good role model
  • No, it's about character
I'm not going to argue that none of the above matters. But that's not aspect that most bothers me. What bothers me about Gov Sanford (and Rep John Ensign, and NY Gov Spitzer, and President Clinton, etc...) is that this shows incredibly poor judgement and impulse control.

Put aside the above issues for a moment, and look at as a pro vs con decision making. Let's say Person X lives in a publicity fish-bowl, and person X wants to do some clandestine action Y.

Pro: If person X is not caught, it will make person X feel good.
Con: if person X is caught, it will:
  • humiliate person X
  • humiliate person X's family
  • damage person X's career
  • damage person X's cause, and all the allies, coworkers, and supporters of that cause.
  • empower person X's opponents and rivals
Anyone who is faced with the above decision, and chooses to go ahead and do it anyway, should not be in any kind of executive or leadership position.

"Good Judgement" is the main qualification I'm looking for anyone in an Executive position, whether it's Mayor, Governor, President, Ceo, (or were I religious, Pastor) etc. That's pretty much the job description -- make good decisions for the people you represent. Anyone who decides that "I don't care how many people it might hurt, I'm doing it anyway" shouldn't be in the position to make such decisions.

I think the chattering classes miss the point when they frame the issue as being about morality ("It's about the sin!" "No it's not, sex is private!". Repeat ad nauseum) Even if you 100% believe that the sex lives are private, it's still a mind-bogglingly stupid decision.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Still here.

Long time readers of the blog know that every once in a while I get into a funky mood and take a couple of days off. Sometimes I tell you before, sometimes after. Usually it only happens a couple of times a year, but this year it's ticked up a bit.

Mainly because normally I would go out and buy things I don't need, or rip something up that doesn't really need fixing. Yes, I buy my way out of a funk. Sue me. You used to love the jobs I made by buying crap I didn't need. And apparently, everyone else has a say in what I do and do not need now.

This year, this mindset presents a bit of a problem. First because, from day to day I'm not sure what the administration is going to make me pay for next. Health care, banks and car bailouts, pollution tax, welfare, sales taxes, income tax, capital gains tax, water increase (just because we are saving so much water) amazon tax, energy tax, gas tax.

So, you can see why most people are not spending any money. Every single day they propose a new tax. I wouldn't be surprised if most people needed the jaws of life to get people loosen up the wallets. They aren't just shaking you down in an alley. They are pushing you to the ground, and stealing even the clothes you wear.

Oh, and my State is only going to run out of money next week. I wonder what other taxes they will make up, to pay for that.

Second, there is no second. Look back at the first reason. But, Mr S. always makes a big deal about people who list a first issue without a corresponding set of issues. So I'm placating him.

Anyway... I think I'm almost through it. The funk that is. Just bear with me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Let's Talk Healthcare!

While I'm in the mood to fix all the world's problems, let's have a go at the US Health Care system.

Practially noone likes our current system, but that doesn't mean that any change will be an improvement. It can definitely be made worse (and probably will be). If we really want to improve our health care system, it's first necessary to understand why it is the way it is now.

Business and The Free Market

In a free market, businesses have to constantly adjust to try to please the customers. It's not that they love us customers, it's that they have no choice. If they don't, we'll take our business elsewhere. Customers vote with their dollars. If a restaurant serves you bad food, or the waitress gives you poor service, you probably won't go back. Businesses that don't adapt lose customers, and go out of business. This forces them to constantly make trade-offs to keep the customer's happy, i.e. they have to try to minimize cost, while at the same time maximizing customer satisfaction. Customers withholding their dollars and shopping elsewhere is the feedback that makes the system work.

Customer dollars are the only feedback system that consistently works. e.g. if a company regularly makes it's customers mad, and those customers complain, but keep shopping there, spending the same amount of money, the business isn't likely to change. (Think Comcast)

But if business makes it's customers mad, the customers don't complain, they just go elsewhere, the business will realize it right away, and take action.

But if this is the case, why aren't market-forces working on the Health Care industry to make things better?

The Patient is Not the Customer

The 'customer' that businesses have to please is not the person who receives the service, it's the person who signs the check. From your Doctor's Office point-of-view, you are not the customer, your insurance company is. Market forces work on health care providers to adapt to satisfy the Insurance companies, b/c that's who pays them. And adapt they do.

This by itself wouldn't be so bad, except that from your Health Care Insurance Companies point-of-view, you're still not the customer, your Employer is. Since your Employer is the entity that pays the lion's share of the Insurance company bill, that is the customer that they have to please.

In our attempt to get someone else to pay our medical bills for us, we've eliminated our vote in the process.

Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance is the problem. Single-Payer Health Insurance will be much worse.

But if you think it's bad now, wait until there is no choice at all.

Your Employer does not really want to be your Insurance Provider.

Ask yourself -- why does your Employer buy your health insurance for you in the first place?
e.g. say I'm your employer, and let's say I pay you $1000/month in salary, and I spend an extra $500 a month on your health insurance. Why can't I just give you the full $1500 directly instead, and let you get your own insurance (or not)? After all, it costs me $1500 either way. If all other things were equal, it would be simpler and cheaper for me to give you the money directly, b/c I wouldn't have to also negotiate with the Insurance Company every year, I wouldn't have to pay someone in Human Resources to manage all the forms, and help people fill out their paperwork. From your Employer's point of view, being your insurance supplier is a big hassle.

So why does almost every employer do it that way?

The reason is the tax code. The way the tax code is currently written, it's cheaper for your employer to buy your insurance for you, than it is for your employer to give you the same amount of money to buy it yourself.

So How Do We Fix It?

Change the tax code. Remove the current tax incentive for employers to buy your insurance, and replace it with an equivalent incentive for employers and invididuals to buy their own insurance.

Could it really work?

Absolutely. Look at car insurance. Individuals buy their own, employers don't buy it for you. Auto-insurers compete hard for your business. No matter how crappy your driving record, there is some auto-insurance company who will cover you. It may cost you more, but they'll cover you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Some of the things I found interesting and or weird today.



Pirates! Arrrrrh. Obviously interesting. And, if you don't think so - I'll have to wonder about our relationship. Yeah... I said it.

People are pretty serious about dressing up as stuff. Especially pirates.



Inflation. Holy shit. Do you see the prices? I mean, fair food is ridiculous - but, when you start charging 5 bucks for peanut butter and jelly I know the world has gone crazy. Although, PBandJ did sound really good compared to some of the other stuff, and if it hadn't cost 5 bucks I might have had one.



Apparently we've become a civilized country. Today was the first time I'd seen hand washing stations with the Porto potties. Of course I'd rather die with some sort of septic bladder infection than use one. I immediately scout out the landscape to see how soon we'd have to leave just in case they don't have real restrooms. Yet, I found it really interesting. They even had hand sanitation thingies. I call them thingies because I didn't get close enough, and I felt a little awkward taking pictures of this area.



Um. This chick was wearing a bustier that obviously was meant for a girl with much larger boobs. What is up with that?



This girl? Well, she is carrying a cat around. Which would usually only be minimally amusing. Until you look at the cats feet!



Now, that is interesting.



I don't know what kind of pirate this is.



Looks like a drink umbrella.



Child molester van with tiny wheels.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

If I were China...

I know what you've all been thinking... "Hey Mr Snarkoplepsy, if you were China, what you do about the US bond situation?". Funny you should ask...

If you're at all paying attention to the US financial situation, you know that the countries who buy our debt (i.e. lend us money) are very worried that the Fed may inflate the currency (print money), which is great if your the debtor, but sucks if you're the lender.

Of course, the US govt says "Who, us? Why we would never do that! How could you even think such a thing?." All the while implementing financial policies that have *always* led to massive inflation.

If I were China, I would very publicly offer to refinance the existing US debt at a much lower rate, but in Yuan (the Chinese currency), rather than US dollars. If the US govt really believes that the dollar isn't going to inflate, then this is a spectacular deal, which would save us billions or trillions of dollars in interest payments.

If the US won't take such a deal, it's a tacit admission to China and all other countries that the US does indeed intend to inflate it's currency.

You're not so special.





Last year when I ran across one of these, I never thought I'd see another one in my life. They are suppose to be really rare.

Circumhorizontal arc I believe is what I am seeing. You can see other pictures of them here. Although, damn! I need to invest in better filters. Some of those pictures are really doctored. More than heavily tweaking the fstops like I had to do. After all, your eye can see much greater detail than your camera can.

Anyway, I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked outside and looked up and saw it again. So, maybe this happens every year. Roughly at the same time of the year, and time. I came in to switch lens's once, and looked at the clock. It was 3:04. The time stamp on last years post is within minutes of that time.

Last year, the arc was definitely more vivid. I didn't even have my camera in the right mode to capture it well it happens so quickly. For me to see it randomly two years in a row I'm guessing it is more common than people think.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A hawk goes soft.

Last night Mr S. and I were talking about Iran, and how all the blogs were on fire about the current administration saying nothing about the election there. Everyone seemed to be outraged.

Outraged I say!

I let Mr S. finish, and I blew a gasket.

Mr S. I say - do you know what I see from those people? (meaning Iranians) Those people are doing pretty well. Those people all have cell phones and sat dishes. Do you see the designer glasses they all have on? I've been looking through the riot photos and videos. They all are clean, fat, and well fed. They all have computers, and nice stuff. Look at this guy - it looks like he goes to the gym all the time! They all have modern clothes.

Mr S. I say - I remember the 70's. Though I was very young. It was a good day if you just got beaten. Let them handle this. They are on twitter for shits sakes, and they can't handle this?

It was at that point that Mr S. realized he'd opened something he didn't expect.

Even though, I continued. You know why I'm so heartless Mr S.? Iraq! I read all the stuff that came out of that country before we went in. I thought those people wanted to be free. They didn't. People in Iraq were really suffering. Yet people in Iran obviously have so much control over their lives, until they don't get what they want. I'm out.

Sort of funny.

When Mr S. got home last night he looked at me and said "I read your post today".

Me - Oh?

Him - I was wondering how you were feeling about it today.

Me - (mumble) Which is some form of - I don't know.

Me again - Hey, why do you looked bummed about this?

Him - I have questions, and now I'm not sure I'm going to get them answered.

You see.. Mr S. sort of finds the whole family thing really interesting. He thinks I was raised by wolves. But, he can gauge me pretty well and knows I'm not hugely motivated to get involved in this whole thing.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Just like a cheesy made for TV movie.

I think it was on the 13th, when my newly found extended family was logged into her myspace page. So - I sent email there. I got a reply back almost immediately. My pressing issues were:

1. How do you know about me.

2. Why are you looking for me.

Mr S. expressed that maybe I was being... oh hell, I don't remember the phrase he used. Off putting.

But you have to understand - I really hadn't given my father really any thought since I was a kid. Other than the random thought of "I wonder if he ever thought about me". I'd never imagined what it might be like to have a father or what his kids might be like.

I know that seems unlikely, but I'm not even fronting. It actually seemed odd to me I didn't have those feelings. I can only attribute it to the fact I grew up after the time of hippies. My mother grew up when women's rights were just starting, so it was fashionable to have a broken family. Also, that is sort of what poor people had. Lots and lots of wreckage and broken families.

It wasn't until I started working in Tech that I noticed those people weren't like me. Mr S. thinks I didn't have a peer group who had great relationships with their dads. So again - I didn't really miss it. It just seemed normal to not have a father. Plus, the general feeling about fathers at that time was they were bastards. Who has fantasies about that?

Oh yeah! I want to have a bastard dad too. See? Not so much.

Since this woman was now searching for me, I figured initially maybe he had thought of me. My question answered. Yeah. We can move on. This left me with my other two questions. Well, as it turns out - their family didn't learn about me until after he died in 02. Which I must imagine is sort of a mindfuck for her.

Much like a cheesy made for TV movie, you unwind this huge plot line and get ready for the grand reveal, only to find another riddle. Apparently this woman is learning disabled, so I can't really get the information I want from her. She clearly can read okay, but she is full of half sentences. Words that don't make sense.

Hell, I'm practically illiterate myself, but it totally makes my brain hurt trying to parse her sentences. I know - welcome to your world. She answers my questions - but not in the way I want her to. Mainly, "exactly how did you learn of me". It's just weird you never claim a child, but somehow keep a record of it. So how? Two names written on a paper doesn't make the words sibling jump out. It must be something more.

This of course has made me back peddle on my certainty of relation. In all probability we are related. Mr S. thinks it is highly unlikely we aren't related. She "wants to get to know me". And, I'm not sure what I want. I'm not curious about him. So I don't know what purpose it would serve. I'm pretty sure I don't want instant made for TV family. The whole thing is just sort of uncomfortable.

I apparently manipulate people.

Today, it's hard to decide which story is more interesting to tell. My new family drama or my renter. Since I just talked to the renter, I will go with that one.

Last week my renter gave me notice.

This of course made me a little scared. But, I'd promised him a year. He'd paid his rent for the month completing the year. I hadn't talked to him much in the last few months. It's been stressful. I wanted to get the point across I didn't need to talk to him every month. Overall, I was fine with him moving. I never actually thought he would last the whole year anyway.

So when I talked to him last week, we basically spent most of the time catching up. We were about 2/3's through our conversation when he said "hey, did you hear what happened with the neighbor". My basic reply was "no.. I don't keep track of what's going on over there".

Apparently he and the neighbor had become BFF's, and now they were having a falling out. Which made me laugh. Ohhhh - that's why you are moving out, I say. He denied it. Whatever.

Later on that night though, I asked Mr S. if he thought I could get our renter to not move out. It isn't so much the money. Rents have really come up in the last few months. I could get much more. But, I sort of know this guy and I feel like he isn't fing my place up.

Since I felt this fight with the neighbor was really at the root of the problem - a light went off in my head. He's sort of an emotional guy, and maybe I could push some of his ego buttons. Normally I'm not this kind of person. But, there I found myself. Truth be told, most people aren't that predictable.

So I sent him a text basically saying "renter! Don't let that dude chase you off, you chase him off so I can sell my house one day".

Obviously the neighbor isn't the reason I couldn't sell me house, but he doesn't help. He too is a renter, and pretty much a tard. I had problems with him when I was fixing up the crapshack.

At any rate, my renter was adamant he was leaving. But his roommate wanted to stay in the place. On Friday "renter" was going to come over, and maybe I was going to meet the roommate. I'm not sure. He was a no-show.

On Sat I sent the renter a text saying if the roommate and I couldn't reach a deal I was going to put an ad in the paper today.

The text came back "I'm staying longer" Since I was already busy doing other crap I replied "what? I'll call you on Monday". Mr S. and I kinda laughed. We'd planned on scouting out our rental competition the next day. Which we never wound up doing.

Anyway. I talked to the renter earlier today, and maybe I got to him - because he's now not moving. (shrug)

More interestingly, we've sort of gotten to this place where we are friends again? Question mark on purpose. It was sort of a rocky patch making a place between business and friendship, and maybe we've found a balance. Today - of course. All subject to change.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bad ass - woossh edition.

You know how happy it makes me to see that people are still rich. Right?





More Bad Ass cars here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chalk.

Today we went up to San Rafael to a street fair centered around chalk art. Some of the stuff was really, really amazing. Can you believe this is done simply with chalk?













When I went by later she'd gotten a little more done. Really great work.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hiding in plain sight.

If you have the right bit of information - it really is amazing what you can find out about people on the net. I mean I knew this, but it never really sunk in as much as is has in the last two days.

When I saw my mothers name along with my name pop up in a search, I knew right away it was a statistical impossibility they weren't looking for me. Yes.. 0.0 chance. I think I've seen three people on the net with my mothers name. It's very unusual. For a person to get all the names involved together in one place. My mothers name, my fathers name, and my complete name with birth date.. I knew this wasn't some sort of false positive. I mean, I'm not named Jones for christ sakes.

It actually has been a pretty intense couple of days. I would have never dreamed of looking for my dads kids. Truth be told I didn't know anything about them. And, other than his full name written on a piece of paper, I don't really know much about him. I had the talk with myself a long time ago, I wouldn't have found it fair to try and interject myself into their family. Maybe they were happy. It just wasn't that important to me. Sometimes the past is better left in the past. I never knew him anyway.

Yet, here they are looking for me.

So I did what any sane person would do. I stalked them all across the Internet. Oh stop. You would too! Oddly, Mr S. already had this idea as well. It's interesting what you can come up with two independent eyes looking for something. I found her myspace page, Mr S. found a ton of other stuff.

Oddly, he doesn't look like me. At all. Neither do the kids. I suppose maybe I'm not his, but he thought I was. He thought so enough that he kept a record somewhere.

I have to admit, one of my early boyfriends - I don't remember his last name. Sometimes it bugs me. I spent a lot of time with that guy, and now I can't remember his last name. And this guy - who I'm not even sure set eyes on me, remembered my mothers name.

I guess he's dead now. Which is all the same to me. He never meant anything to me before. But now, maybe something in my brain would have tweaked if he were alive.

After viewing the pictures of him on her myspace page, the overwhelming feeling I come away with is.... I'm genuinely glad I never hated him. People make mistakes. He looks like he was a really nice guy. He sort of looks a little like Santa. I can't help but feel that if I would have hated him my whole life, that would have made me more resentful.

It seems like a really nice family. And, somehow it doesn't bother me that I wasn't a part of that.

Sure, I've sent her email. More out of curiosity. I want to know how she knew about me. That was totally unexpected. I'm not sure what the purpose is really. I don't feel the need to grasp onto the siblings I didn't have. Which apparently are quite a lot. Sometimes I don't think you can create of bond over just blood.

Plus, I'm grown. I think I came to grips with not having a dad a long time ago. Still the whole thing is really more intense than I ever expected.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Huh - I guess I'm going to go down this road.

Sometimes, you think these things only happen to other people. You google yourself and run across an old flame. Or say, you google your moms name and find out someone is looking for you. Like a half sibling.

It's quite the shock actually. I never thought I'd be here. Yeah, I knew my dad had other children. I just never thought they knew about me.

He was gone from the moment I was born. I didn't think there was anything to tell. And while I sometimes think about him - you don't miss what you don't know. I'd often talk to with friends who were tortured about their parents divorces when they were growing up. I always felt somewhat lucky because I didn't have those hurtful feelings. He just was never there, and I was an only child. It seemed normal.

So now.. one of his kids is looking for me. Part of me thinks nothing good can come of that. Yet, it is pretty interesting that he gave enough information for her to search for me.

It's all because of greed.



I have to admit - if I hear this phrase one more time - I will flip out. Why is it greed when the private sector wants to make money? Yet it isn't greed when union workers want benefits for life?

How can 12% of the work force take the other 88% hostage? And no one says a frickin thing? Why do I constantly worry about my job, yet union workers can constantly picket and get whatever they want? They whine and complain about a little overtime, (Here)when the rest of us are simply working 7daysx24 without compensation. We are thankful to have work. Yet these bastards shut down an air force base, car companies and who knows what else before they are done.

Instead of working harder and producing a better product - they work less and expect more. On the backs of everyone in the private sector. No one says anything.

Then, my new favorite union. SEIU is pulling this little stunt:

From the LA times.

"The state’s biggest labor union is launching a $1-million TV advertising campaign promoting new taxes on the oil, tobacco and liquor industries in hopes of dissuading lawmakers from adopting the deep social services cuts proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger."

I have to admit, I'd never paid much attention to this union until about a year ago when they tried to extort money from Mr S's company. Now they are fully on my radar.

Don't even get me started about the teachers union and what they have done to our state. You know, when I was growing up - we had 30+ kids to a class room. No one died. We all turned out pretty well.

When is enough enough? Which way to you think our president will side? Our military or our unions? Just curious.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

When Science and Superheros Meet

Being both a science nerd and a comicbook geek, it amuses me when these two worlds collide.

This is a Bussard Polywell fusion reactor:


This is comic book superhero Green Lantern's power source.


Hmmm.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

In transit.

I'm not a big fan of transit services. I did my time on buses - so if I can drive to where I want to go, I'm going to choose that. I mostly hate waiting for the bus or the train to show up. I often change plans, so I don't want to be stuck trying to figure out how to get out of some place. So, getting on public transportation is an absolute last for me.

Yet when we got into Capitola yesterday - it was pretty clear we wouldn't be able to park any closer than a few miles out of town. So we looped back to find the shuttle stop. The whole thing was pretty uneventful. Until the ride back.

On the way back to the shuttle stop - this woman got onto my radar.



The shuttle stop was right across the street from whatever was happening with her. We figured drunk and disorderly. I thought they were going to arrest her, and actually had stopped paying attention. Nothing really anything interesting about that. However about 10 minutes later I saw her again and remarked to Mr S. "hey- they let her go".

A while later the shuttle came, we got on - and the woman also got on. She sat right at the stairs. Which would have also been a non event. The shuttle took off, and the woman pretty much started acting up. She wanted to be taken to the mall. The driver would tell her "we don't go to the mall anymore, but I'll drop you off anywhere long my track". And he actually meant that.

The woman would become agitated and say "let me out here". The driver would confirm what she wanted and start to pull over, only for her to say "keep going". She did this several times. A few kids in the back yelled "make up your mind". I simply stared wide eyed - because this woman clearly didn't have all her faculties about her.

Yet, beach living is sort of like that. There are a bunch of transients, people living on the edge, campers, and those who are simply living an alternate lifestyle. Which basically means drunk or drug addicted. I'm not sure which one she was, but I have to tell you the shuttle driver was a saint. A few times she would become agitated and tell him to pull over. When he'd say this isn't a safe place she'd say "pull over, pull over, pull over". He'd find a place that was safe, and stop and she'd again tell him to keep going.

After a while, she found a place that was suitable and got off the shuttle. The driver was pretty chill. One of the other passengers was talking to him about the woman, and he remarked that he dealt with people like that all the time.

I of course fantasized about being that calm and went on with my day.



Saturday, June 06, 2009

Bad ass - primer edition.







Mercedescls500. I guess flat black is finally making it's way to mainstream. Remember when I said I thought it was a trend here. The paint has really been growing on me over the months. Mr S. - not so much.

More Bad Ass cars here.

Unentitled.



Today Mr S. and I made it over to Capitola. Normally in the summer - this is a trip that would send me into a frenzy. With the normal summer bumper to bumper traffic over highway 17 I'd expected I would be on tilt fairly quickly.

Yet today's trip did an enormous amount to lift my spirits. The weather was amazing. The traffic generally light. The crowds courteous. It doesn't really get much better than that.



I even found myself being the voice of calm to Mr S. who is usually laid back. I started early in the trip setting his expectations. Remember Mr S. - this is the beach. Everyone is on beach time. Even when the waitress at Margaritaville tried to harsh my mellow by almost spilling a demi cup of ketchup on me - I still felt better than I had in weeks.

I've decided that there is something about the beach that must live in me. I spent so much time there growing up being a beach bum. It's just very calming to my soul. I don't get over there often enough.

If the houses weren't so expensive, I'd buy a house there. A wonderful crapshack. But, the commute would make it not worth it. And I don't fully understand how people make money there.

Even when I lived over there I couldn't figure it out. I had 5 room-mates. The owner of the house I was staying at was a retired narcoleptic psychotherapist. Yeah, I've lived a weird life.

Yet, if I could find a way to make it work - I'd buy a house close to the beach.

He's always watching you.



I have to admit - never in my lifetime, have I seen people display life size cutouts of the president in their windows. I kind of find it creepy.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Inafunk.

When the democrats came into power this year - Mr S. and I actually had a bit of a fight. I don't even remember exactly what was said. I do however rolling my eyes and saying something like "oh Mr S. That is ridiculous. They would never do any of those things. People wouldn't let them".

I wasn't even concerned at all about the change in power. Mainly because a lot of days I actually still consider myself somewhat of a democrat. I also consider myself somewhat of a conservative. I pretty much don't care what you do - I just want to keep the money I make. Which really probably means I'm more of an independent. But, not one of those crazy Ron Paul independents.

Okay, maybe I do remember some of the things that were discussed. Welfare. It was Mr S.'s assertion that the dems wanted to get people back on welfare. I thought that was the most preposterous thing I'd ever heard.

When I was growing up - being on welfare was embarrassing. My grandmother died on welfare. My mother qualified for food stamps for along time when I was growing up - she refused to use them. Even if it meant going without food. I couldn't believe a society who had so much control over their lives would embrace welfare. Would embrace government cheese - over real cheese.

I'm not even being pithy. I remember the days of foot long blocks of government cheese. Even in my childhood I couldn't believe this stuff qualified. You'd try to cut it and it would basically fall apart. Yet it seems like I completely misjudged where society was on this whole welfare thing.

Which brings me really to the issue that is bothering me. There needs to be someone to pay for welfare. Yet the government is pretty much cock blocking the productive members of society. Every time I see a path to make money, the administration comes in and cock blocks me. Everyday they agitate the market. Or fuck with something. Or take something away. It frankly is just exhausting. And no one seems to care.

It is unbelievable to me that people are so removed from understanding how these programs are paid for. And how much suffering comes from people on the welfare roles.

Mostly I don't understand how a nation is just okay with an administration who is hell bent on making everyone equally poor. I actually never thought I would never see suffering like when I was growing up. I'm starting to think I was wrong. Sure I thought we'd have recessions, but I didn't think I would see true poverty on such a large scale ever again. It is just frustrating.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Monday, June 01, 2009

It - is an illness.

A crapshack just came on the market about 5 blocks from my house.

Oh - it doesn't look to be one of those foreclosures. It has all the hallmarks of neglect from age. Old Buick in the driveway. Pea gravel in the yard, and the telltale overgrown bushes that come with old people.

I just know it looks horrible inside. It looks horrible on the outside! I'm betting the colors brown and green envelope it's insides. Maybe orange. Yet I crave it. And, if I had money - I would buy it and turn it into something a nice family who wanted to live in a great school district would love. It's wonderfully under-priced even in this market.

Yes.. even now. Even with how scary the past year has been - I still think of buying old houses that time is trying to take back. Loving them for a brief time, and setting them free.

If only I could get them to leave.

Bad ass trifecta.



The Ferrari's are back out. Although Maserati's are starting to eat their lunch. I'm starting to see them way more often.

More Bad Ass cars here.
 
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