Sunday, October 31, 2010

Zombie-ish pumpkins.





This years build didn't turn out as good as the previous years. Here and here. And, it turns out there is a reason people don't use candy corn for teeth.

Candy corn is candy. And pumpkins are moist. Candy melts in moist. Which is a bummer. I thought I was absolutely brilliant coming up with that idea. Turns out - I'm just so-so.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

House at the end of the street.

When death comes to town.


Done with IR.

Typical Silicon Valley.



Today I started out thinking I was going to go to the John Stuart Rally in San Francisco. That is - until I watched some of the DC one on TV. Where I about lost my mind with boredom.

I don't know what the point of that whole thing was. They sure showed the Tea Party who was edgy! I mean, what were they trying to do? Prove they were less interesting than old people? In case no one has informed them - or none of them have blogs. Sane is boring. There is nothing entertaining about sane. That is why things are always a shock on election day. All those sane people stay home biding their time.

Anyway.

Instead I went for cheese steaks at Amatos in Campbell. On the drive down we saw this Ferrari 458 Italia just sitting in a Fry's parking lot. This years model. Which was infinitely more awesome then the Restore Sanity tour. But, who takes a Ferrari to Fry's? And what were they buying? A cable tie?



Thursday, October 28, 2010

The new Spam zone. In the clouds.



I know 80% of you will not watch the video. So, you have to put up with my crappy picture where my lens is all full of crap.

Hey, life is about spontaneity. This whole event was over in 30 seconds max.

I really love these types of moments. If feels like if you blink - you will just miss the whole thing. And if you didn't document it, you might think you dreamt it.

I don't know why these people were over my house. They are based in Las Vegas. Northern California doesn't show up on any of their stops. I haven't seen any footage from the Giants game where they showed either.

At any rate. I kind of enjoyed the whole thing. For now. Until they start putting up penis enlargement ads, and giving you groupons from Applebees.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I don't care about lasers.



This weekend I found myself with some time to kill. So, we wound up going into on of those Halloween super stores. Have you ever been in one? They have everything you can ever imagine for the holiday.

Back in the day, when I was still prone to dressing up - we used every day items. Which is probably a good spot to tell you about the time Mr S. had me glue a conjoined twin on his face for Halloween. With rubber cement. And, wound up with chemical burns. Lesson learned!

This was a couple of years ago. I think these stores were just starting to get popular. It would have been helpful to realize massive stores sold everything you could ever need. Including probably some kind of non toxic glue.

Anyway. I immediately had my eye on this laser diffuser. If any of you need to ask why, you haven't been reading this blog long enough.

The running floor model was the only one they had left. Much to my enjoyment these people were ready to sell things. They would have sold me the wallpaper off the walls if I had expressed an interest. Which is refreshing.

They cut me a deal because the thing no longer rotated. Which didn't matter. I wanted to take it home and play stupid pet tricks on Paisley.

Paisley is super aware of her surroundings. You can't leave a shirt on the sofa over night without her freaking out. I'm sure it goes a little like - hey, is that a bear? It's a bear. Right? For sure that is a bear. Wake everyone up! Then she starts stamping. Without exception.

She freaks out over all sorts of things. One of the most entertaining was a test swatch I'd painted on the wall. From time to time she can be quite amusing.

Lasers though.. nothing. Completely fine.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mary doesn't live here anymore.

This weekend Mr S. was talking to his mom and the conversation drifted to a girl he had grown up with. His mom, and her mom, are life long friends.

She made some vague comment about how hard it was on the other family's parents. Because "of the voices".

Wait.. what?! He said.

The story she had recounted gave news that this girl had joined a cult about mind control, gone a little crazy and lost her job and house.

At first my response was - wow, that really sucks. None of these things actually seemed very alarming to me. There are many scenarios where I can see people have a little psychotic break. Or mental breakdown. When pushed the brain reacts in very unexpected ways. It is a sad truth of life.

Then Mr S. googled her. She has a blog - he reported dreadfully.

Oh shit. No way - I replied. This is where we learned that she had lost all grasp of reality. People were trying to kill her. Anal probes. Government control. And then there was the voices and her trying to build a Faraday cage to keep them out. Posts over and over with the same repetitive delusions. Her insanity on display for all to see.

I don't understand why this particular illness manifests itself with "radio waves". It must be a particular short circuit of the brain. But it was pretty clear this girl probably will not be coming back.

This whole thing was particularly unnerving. For both of us. Mr S. for obvious reasons. He grew up with the girl. Though he hadn't seen her in a couple of years.

Unnerving for me because - I've met this girl a couple of times. I've met her brother. I've met her family. All smart, technically educated professionals. There was nothing about her that made me think - well... yeah. You couldn't see that coming a mile away?

And - crazy lives in my neighborhood. Crazy attracts crazy. We even had a family friend who would check herself in the psyc ward for "holidays". I fear crazy, like some people fear heart disease.

I thought I knew a lot about crazy.

Although to be sure - describing it is a little like describing back pain. One persons muscle twinge is anther's completely debilitating suffering. No two crazy is the same.

Sometimes when I feel a little out of control I wonder if I'm getting it too. Like a cold that can be caught. Then I look at other peoples behaviour and think - no.. I am totally okay. I'm okay.

Even the schizophrenics who popped up with crazy in their 20's, I'd always felt had the signs much earlier. If distance would allow you to see them. This girl was having a very late onset. In her mid 40's. That is a long time to be masking symptoms.

Anyway. I always felt crazy had a predictable (if you can call it that) path. You expect people to get cancer. You don't just expect people to pop up with crazy out of the blue unless they are under severe distress.

You know, when you get to my age I kinda had a feeling I would be out of the woods. But, maybe I'm not. Maybe no one is. And, that is what is troubling.

When hope fades.



It is irony People! Original here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Why can I never spell the word lose right? It is idiotic. I'm bumping my IQ down to the low 70s. And, that might be too generous.

Down the drain.

Don't worry. We will nationalize you last.

Tenet Healthcare has decided to pull out supporting a money losing medical clinic in Yosemite.

Does anyone really have any idea of how many medical facilities in the US are loosing money? I would wager - most of them. What does that matter though? President Money Bags will come in and save the day. The government has never met a money losing venture they didn't like.

Feds step in to keep Yosemite medical clinic open. Via Sfgate.

"The federal government will take over the health care needs of the thousands of tourists, rangers, rock climbers, hikers and residents of Yosemite Valley who get injured and sick.

The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps will become the new head honcho at the Yosemite Clinic starting Jan. 1, Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher announced."


The larger comedy of all this is the clinic tried to find qualified applicable buyers. Who could ya know....be financially capable of running the place. To no avail. They couldn't find anyone to run it without needing a subsidy from the government. So they government stepped in to say - no big woop. We don't care how much money you lose. We have a printing press. We will just fund you entirely.

From TwinCities.com.

"The bidders, whom Altman declined to name, had to meet park terms and conditions and demonstrate managerial and financial capabilities to operate the clinic. None of the bidders met all three of the criteria, she said.

Yosemite wanted the clinic to continue as a concession, Medema said, but without a viable concession proposal, another option open to Yosemite was to find someone willing to enter into a procurement contract.

Under a procurement contract, the park could pay a contractor an amount not collected from patients or insurance companies to cover the costs of running the clinic, Medema said.

A procurement contract for a medical clinic inside a park is not unheard of, he said. The Grand Canyon clinic operates under such an agreement, he said.

But that means the park could be in the "position of the National Park Service having to subsidize the operation," he said.

Yosemite's goal is to find a contractor who will operate the clinic without a subsidy from the federal government, Medema said."


On some level they have worn me down. I'm tired of fighting it. This will be a grand tax on people who can't do math. Producers will get more and more tired of funding inefficiency. Because, when the government comes in to save the day over and over - no one learns how to do things better with less money.

Then who will fund this? The people who pay very little taxes now? I don't know why I even bother asking.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

All fall down.



It was a weird weekend for driving around. Thankfully this guy laid it down 100 feet from the police station.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What would you have done?



Would you have called this guy in? He wasn't so much swerving as he was just not driving in the lines.

If it would have been at night - I probably would have called him in right away. Since it was at 11:30 in the morning and he wasn't coming even close to any other cars I was hesitant to think he was drunk. Also he would go for long stretches where he seemed just fine.

It was a very borderline event to me. Since he was getting off the freeway anyway - I wasn't going to stalk him.

It's easy to tell someone they should have called him in, but would have you called him in? And why.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

You don't hear that every day.

From the Daily Telegraph.

Aircraft crashes after crocodile on board escapes and sparks panic.

"It has now emerged that the crash was caused by the concealed reptile escaping and causing a stampede in the cabin, throwing the aircraft off-balance."

Oh come on! You know you want to make Samuel Jackson jokes.

I didn't even know you could tip a plane from it's orbit that way. I will make sure to be extra nervous next time I fly and there is a huge line for the bathroom.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Do you like movies about gladiators?



I don't know what it is about people and statues. Wait - none of you have statues. Right?

Seriously though... I can not drive by this house without blurting out the phrase from Airplane. Which honestly has to be one of the best movies of all time. Google it!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

That was a quick expiration date.

Excuse me for asking an illiterate-y question. But doesn't debase mean make weaker? And yes. Illiterate-y is a word. Google it.

I knew I should have gone to that Timmay Geithner thing yesterday in Palo Alto where he said he wasn't going to debase the dollar. I just wanted to see him lie right to my face. Though I couldn't bring myself to chuck out any money for the pleasure. Even if it was only 50 bucks or less.

Today this "For U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, a weaker dollar may now be in the national interest."!? Link.

For shits sakes. I don't know why I never learn that when President Money Bags says "let be be clear" it means he is going to do exactly what he says he isn't going to do. I guess with Timmay it means he will change his mind the very next day.

No wonder investors are on strike. Let me be clear - this administration just wants to build confidence.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rain or shine. Mostly rain though.



I don't really have much to say. But I'm still trying to entertain you. Unlike some other slacker bloggers.

I might not be very successful. I'm still trying.

So, I give you - bed races in the small town of Sunol. Population 20. In the rain. It was cute and small. There isn't really anything in the town, and if I would have had more time I would have poked around.

Some guy did have this dog with a mohawk though. I would upload video, but you guys never watch my videos. Don't think I don't notice! Truth is, I know I don't narrate well. I'm trying to work on it.

Finally........rain.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Treehuggers.



Some one's daddy is going to be angry. The drivers didn't seem old enough to own this car.

Must have happened just minutes before I took these. Noticed it out of the side of my eye. Whipped around and they were sitting on the sidewalk.

I asked them if anyone was hurt. One made a joke about his feelings being hurt. I nodded in agreement.. well, yeah - it's a BMW.

I suppose they didn't find it helpful that I left with a sarcastic "good job guys".

I mean, it was pretty impressive. I was standing at street level. They must have gone slightly airborne to get up the property.

Art - is not a crime.



Today I went to light art installation at the San Jose Museum from the artist Leo Villareal.

Mr S. started recording one of he installations on his Palm Pre. We were immediately informed we couldn't take pictures past that point. These days I am generally mixed about this request. I paid admission. I'm not using flash and disturbing other visitors.

To be honest - I get so used to being told I can't take pictures, I almost take it as a challenge. I sort of hate feeling that way. But I do. It seems like anyone with a cell phone can whip in all the shots they want. Because I take out a camera with a lens, people get their panties in a bunch.

Anyway. Taking pictures of bright objects in dimly lit rooms is at the higher end of challenging. I was trying to get a few shots on the down low. Until I saw a guy with a higher end camera just walking around. So I felt more bold.

One of the installations was a room that was completely dark with a light installation on the ceiling. They had lounge chairs. I was trying to get some long exposures, and get my fstops set right. I debated getting out my remote trigger so my pictures all didn't wind up like the one above. Of course a tripod was out of the question. I'm glad I'd abandoned that idea before I even went in.

Right about this time some guy in black walks in and says "I want to make sure you aren't taking any pictures in here". Then walks out. I start to put my camera away and then figure I'll try to get one more shot in. But, I was too nervous.

We went to look around the rest of the works. This is the point it gets a little funny - because the minders followed me around like I was a shop lifter. They stalked me the whole time. Because in their mind - I am a shoplifter.

I kind of have to roll my eyes at the whole thing. Artists are always complaining that art needs to be given to the world. Yet the minute you try to share it with the world they become hypocrites. Especially funny in this case since this guy was a burning man artist. Counter culture supreme.

Mr S. says that if people take pictures of their crap - no one will want to come see it. Which I completely disagree with. I never would have paid 16 bucks to see this stuff today, which was only mildly interesting - if I hadn't seen pictures from his work in New York.

If you are interested you can see vids here and here. But honestly - its not that great.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

One giant step for mankind.

I, like everyone else in the world, have been captivated with the Chilean miners. The whole thing is an engineering marvel. I can't help but think how these men will be studied for years.

Sure it was a mission to save these men's lives. Much like the Apollo 13 mission.

It is a marvel to see how well these men handled extreme isolation. It will be a hallmark for how we can handle space.

In space there only exists extreme isolation and darkness. You can't pay for this kind of research. 12 million bucks is a bargain. NASA could never do it that cheaply.

And sure.. I can say this because everyone survived. Now we get to see how their mental state plays out over the years. We need to know. So people don't go crazy.

In space.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Already home.



There is something about Santa Cruz I just love. Deeply love. I can't describe it. It is about as polar opposite as my little conforming yuppie suburb. Which is fast paced and bumless. Mostly. Here, our hippie count is low - and I like it that way.

I haven't lived in that area in so long - I forget about how "out" the counter culture is. They are amusing and annoying all rolled up in a bow.

At any rate - I was walking down the street this weekend and glanced over at this house.

Hey Mr S! Is pot just legal here now? Which is kinda funny, because it's never been that illegal there. I'd say it falls under the category of tolerated. Unless you get all shitty. Then they will toss you in jail. If they have to.

Still, just walking down a city street, you wouldn't see a grow. Even a small one. They were reserved to houses more in the woods. They were pretty much the worst kept secret ever.

Of course I didn't get that close of a picture. Because, that is just creepy. The lighter plant is a reflection from the hedge. The plants in the sill clearly looked like pot.

With the vote just three weeks off though - it made me wonder.. who will set up shops first? Oakland is trying to set the land speed record. Finally something they will excel at. Yeah. I said it. Their MJ superstore after all is talking about going IPO. Too bad all the great ticker symbols are taken. I guess HEMP is open.

Still, Santa Cruz seems like a natural.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Durable goods spiking.



This weekend I went into Orchard Supply. Which is one of California's largest chain hardware stores. OSH as it's commonly called - is owned by Sears. It seems like twice a month now they hold a sales tax free weekend and I needed a fan.

When we walked in, I was surprised they were pulling out their "tool coral", and relocating it. Mr S. was curious enough to ask what they were putting in to replace the tool area.

Appliances - the guy said.

This struck me as very odd, as this seems like a very crowded space right now. Remember this summer when I was a little taken back that Best Buy had started selling appliances? Here.

We already have a Lowes, HomeDepo, Sears, Best Buy and many small appliance shops. Last year, Lowes ripped out most of their kitchen design space to load it up with more appliances before the whole cash for appliances thing.

Appliances must have a very high margin, because that is a lot of real estate in a store to just be sitting around.

Interestingly enough, we wound up stopping by Best Buy as well to look at the product cycle of something else. So, I had to go see what was happening with the appliance area. I was a little surprised to see that everything was marked down 10-15%. It has only been 4 months since they put all that crap in there.

Granted, Pacific Sales has a really horrible reputation. I thought they were leasing the space from Best Buy - but it looks like Best Buy owns this company.

You just don't need to buy appliances that often. So the idea that all these stores are loading themselves up with this inventory is odd.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Irony.

It's Okay.



Found on the wall of a bar in Santa Cruz.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Sorry for the lack of posts. I just feel kind of doomish and stuck.

Bush Economic adviser Marc Sumerlin said @CNBC:

"If you look at the quarters when the [Bush] tax cuts went in, there was very substantial growth. People forget that the third quarter of 2003, we grew at 7 percent when the tax cuts—the full marginal rates—took effect. Running that in reverse causes the opposite to happen."

He also said:

"The Federal Reserve needs to pump at least $6 trillion to $7 trillion more into the U.S. economy to have any meaningful impact on sluggish growth, former Bush economic adviser Marc Sumerlin told CNBC."

If we are really lucky - we will get both. Bush tax cuts expiring, and 6-7 trillion in debt.

That should make everyone want to whip open their wallets. Full sarcasm on.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

PSA today.



I'm not over auto-tune yet. Expecially when they start doing cats. It's just funny.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Oh - you will assimilate.



A couple of odd things about San Leandro.

1. They had green team volunteers making sure you tossed your trash in the right bin.

Since they weren't costing the city money, only giving a cuba like vibe - I can't complain too much. The girl was sweet. Still, they provided pictures to help you in your utter confusion and ensuing paralysed state. I think we can all learn from pictures. Right?

2. The festival banned selling bottled water.

No one there knew why. Upon reflection later - I assumed the trash monitors and the water thing were ya know... connected. It is probably one of those cities that bans plastic bottles. Yet, it turns out - San Leandro is the city which has plastic lining their freeway walls. Here.

I don't know about you, but I've never met a plastic that hasn't broken down in the sun. I've tried and tried. People with landscaping do that. And as you might expect, the plastic lining the freeways is starting to break down it's been up so long.

That is going to break off and cause an accident. At least they will have kept the taggers from defacing the walls.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Getting lost is awesome.


Display from Antonio and Elexia Cardenas.

Mr S. and I were going up to San Leandro to the Sausage and Suds festival. Having never been to San Leandro - we wound up getting a little off track and found ourselves driving by a house that had this huge ghost rider in the front yard.

Definitely photo worthy. I had to stop. It had to be 15 - 20 feet long and took up half their front hard.

I was just going to pop out of the car and get a couple of shots. Mr S. stayed in the car reading tweets probably.

When I walked up, they were still working on it - so I asked if I could take pictures. The husband said sure, take as many shots as you want. Before I knew it he had a calendar in my hand. Apparently they do something big every year.

They were super excited about talking about it. Which was entertaining. They had done some very clever things to put this whole thing together. Baking pans made up the motor. It was just really refreshing to see how hard they'd worked on it. With some very clever solutions to putting the whole thing together. Clearly they were proud of the way it was turning out. For good reason.

By this time I must have been talking to them for 10 minutes or so. Mr S. knows me well enough to know that there must be something really interesting going on - or I need rescuing.

All of a sudden they told us they were ball room dancers and wanted to show us the dance floor they'd built in their living room. They had already revealed they were realtor's to me. They were telling us about what they'd built last year for Halloween. And, showing us their whole property. The place wasn't for sale if you were wondering. They had us sit down in their cabana area. I almost expected them to shove a glass of wine in my hand.

They were really lovely people. Ambitious. Clever. Eclectic. It was one of those random fun moments in time.

I can't figure out if I should plug them. They seemed like such nice people. But, I have a guy with his ass exposed two posts down. They don't have pictures of the previous Halloween builds. Just the real estate listings.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Don't turn the light off.

Full Moon Friday. Just because.



I got this shot last weekend. I bet this guy never thought his ass would show up on my blog.

It's hard to do with the image shrunken to fit the blog. But, at full resolution you can do a double zoom and see almost the whole fruit bowl. Just sayin'.
 
http://www.wikio.com