Friday, October 31, 2008

Head like a pumpkin.

Normally I'm all into the Halloween thing. It just hasn't been working for me this year. We didn't manage to carve pumpkins.

We just bought candy this morning. Well, Mr S. did - because I woke up sick as a dog. I was pretty surprised to be sick. Usually this doesn't happen unless I'm traveling, or I'm going to a trade show.

I've gotten sick so many times from trade show techies, that I am actually bummed my sickness arrived two weeks before I go to one. Ya know.. so I can give back the love. At this point I think it is a fun game techies like to play with each other. I'm sure it involves the words "screw you - there's no way I'm missing this show".

At any rate, I think I'm pretty fine with just hanging out with some take home Thai food, and roaring fire. It rained! Just knowing that I might be able to breath outside once my cold clears, makes me ridiculously happy. I've accepted that my presidential candidate will probably loose - but, I just feel some relief that the noise level might tick down.

Yeah - I'm that beaten down. I just don't care at this point.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The second greatest depression EVER.

I'm a bit of a weather nut. I don't talk about it often. I don't really have anything interesting to say. The the past few months however, it occurs to me that the stock markets and the economy really do have a lot in common with weather. I'm not going to make the standard cliche of "it's like a tornado". Duh! What I am talking about people is how people react to these events.

All summer long I was on hurricane watch. I felt this was something that would affect the economy greatly. So, a well known hurricane blog was a daily read for me. Towards the end of summer, I started to become struck by a pattern. No matter what the event... a small center of circulation, or a large hurricane that filled the gulf of Mexico - the reaction was always the same. "The world is ending - this storm is exactly like this other storm that caused a lot of damage". It didn't matter how not similar the impending event was - it was always compared to a devastating CAT5 hurricane. Now, we did have hurricane that ruined a lot of lives (hopefully temporarily), but I've come to understand that no event is ever the same as...anything.

Which brings me to today. When I see people starting to behave like what I saw on the hurricane forums - I have to start calling bullshit. For example, the phrase "This is the biggest crisis since the great depression".

Honestly people - normally I have a big crush on economists. But, cut the bullshit already. We are being told this is one of the greatest depressions ever. But, oh could be over by the first couple of months 2009. Seriously? What pussies we've become. Growing up, depressions lasted years. Not months. Unemployment is expected to rise to 10%. Which isn't great. But, that would make it the worst depression since.... the 1980's.

It also trikes me as odd that in the last market pullback - economists loved to pull out the misery index. I haven't seen anyone point to the beloved index this time. It's okay. I'll give you the link. Last month the index was at 11.04. In 1980 - the index was upwards of almost 22.00. Which honestly is striking considering our whole banking system completely melted. Also striking? Outside of construction, banking, and cars - the layoffs have been less severe than I ever anticipated. Will we get there? Sure, maybe. I guess that is as good of a guess as most economists. But, considering what our nation has been through - we have proved way more resilient than I ever imagined.

I only point this out, because I myself have been gripped by incredible fear. I was in a panic many days of the last month. I'm surprised I have any stomach lining left. Life in Silicon Valley depends on consumers. Without consumers, there would be no Silicon Valley. Yes, we are the center of the universe. So when consumers get sick, we want to run in with tissues. But honestly I will never look at a recession the same way. Ever. Things will probably get worse - for a while. But, it would have to get a 100% worse to even reach the horrible 1980's. Hair bands not withstanding.

All things considered, we have held up pretty well. This is something I think deserves to be said, because no one else is.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One bad ass car + one WTF.

Update: Mr S. tells me this is a Lamborghini. But, I'm leaving the post as is. I am a chick after all. And I don't drive one of these cars, so I can be apeshit stupid about them. They still look neat.

Ferrari sightings are way down. Aston Martin sightings way up. Today I even saw a Maserati. But those are much harder to get pictures of. The stylings are way understated, and by the time you figure out what it is - well... it's too late to take a picture. I'm not sure what that says about the economy. Take it for what it is worth.

This isn't to say I haven't seen any. Just less. The Ferrari's have odd paint this year. This was sort of opalescent with a brownish undertone.

Also seen? This viper. Which I'm kind of over. I don't like the new style at all. The curious things is..... who has enough money to fuck up a newer viper? I'm not sure I ever want to get to the point where I say "meh - 80 grand car, let me drive it like an old skanky hooker) It wasn't just that this guy got into an accident. But, his rims were all ground down (on both sides) like he'd been hitting the curb every chance he got. All four rims. It was the oddest thing.

I put in his licence plate. It would be my wet dream for him to come across this post and tell me to eff off. Because, who fucks up a newer viper? Who?

Today's "I want to punch someone in the neck" story.

I've talked many times about how I think the fall of the real estate market started with the complete incompetence of banks on handling "short sales" of houses. You can read about my comments here from March 08, or here.

Today I was talking to grey area friend. (someone whom I'm not super tight with, but share a lot of personal stuff) Anyway - I knew he'd gone through a short sale on his house. He caught his wife cheating, and went through a divorce. That meant he used to have a two income household. I didn't really want to ask him too many questions. It sucks to loose your house. And your wife. Obviously, I don't want to make him feel vulnerable. Today he shared what happened.

He owed 320,000. on the house. When he put it on the market under a short sale, he listed it for 290,000.

That is 30,000. less than what he owed. He got an offer for 50,000. under what he owed. The bank denied him the sale. He got another offer for 250,000. The bank again denied him. He said this kept happening until all he could get for the house was 100,000. One third of his asking price.

Now, I hear people screaming all the time that dead beats are the ones who caused the housing meltdown. Some of that is true. But, what the banks did is really the more important part of the story. For the last year, they systematically all but guaranteed the housing collapse. Sure, some people got into trouble - but the banks made it impossible for these people to salvage anything of their lives. And it pisses me off so hard I have to contribute to helping the banks out. They did everything in their power to not be helpful, yet here they are with a hand outstretched. Pisses me off.

Monday, October 27, 2008

All things status.

I have a love hate relationship with large crowds of people. Mostly, I hate them. Having said that - I think there is something uniquely interesting about them. Each one is just different enough to inspire fascination.

Take this weekend for example. Mr S. and I needed to engage in high escapism. Something to make my urge to punch people in the neck slightly less intense. So, we decided we were going to a craft fair. We aren't really crafty people. But, you saw where I wanted to punch people in the neck. Right?

Plus... I thought I might find something interesting for my crafty girl, and make it worth having gummy bears sent from Germany. You know who you are. Anyway.. I digress.

The craft fair was in a snooty rich district. Sort of a "new" money place. I don't really know much about this area, other than everyone I know in the housing arena says the houses are built cheaply. Which has always struck me as odd because nothing there lists for under a mil.

At any rate, we just wanted to get away from the news cycle, and the fair was boasting a glass pumpkin patch. The prospect of interesting glass will make me go crazy places. It's an illness.

We were at the fair about 3 minutes when I asked Mr S. "what is with all these poodles"? But, I figure rich people probably love poodles. As we walked deeper into the fair - a trend started popping out at me. This town looked to be the most dog friendly place on the planet. I would have guessed there was one dog per 20/30 people. Big dogs, small dogs. And People - all these dogs were perfectly quaffed. Clean. Newly brushed. Not a hair out of place. It was like the Westminster dog show. Not to mention, a bunch of them were dressed up in Halloween costumes. Which was pretty cute.

Now, California is pretty dog friendly - so having dogs at these things isn't unusual. But, the amount of perfectly groomed dogs certainly stood out. It was so unusual to me - that later in the day, I had to ask Mr S. if he thought the dogs were a form of status symbol for those people. I guess it takes a lot of money to maintain a perfect dog.

At least it seemed like people cared about them. Even if they did seem like an accessory. I did find the whole thing fascinating though.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tender moments.

I have lots of pictures to unpack. But, I think this might be my favorite shot of the day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Help Wanted?

I don't know why some things catch my eye. But, this definitely did. It also left me with a bunch of questions. Namely, but not limited to:

Who requires a 4 year degree to be a server - Yet, doesn't want any experience?

I think it might be one of the oddest want ads I've ever seen. I can't figure out who their clientele is.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I've never been so excited about a yeast infection in my life.

I'm going to come right out and say that my coping mechanisms are completely broken. But, evidence suggests I'm not alone. When I get drunk dialing calls from people I'm barely even associated with - I'm guessing people are having a hard time.

The caller whom I know... was batshit drunk and threatening to loose his mind. Mr S. felt bad for the guy and wanted to call him back. I proclaimed loudly "I'm tired of being the worlds babysitter. He isn't dying, he's just fucked up. Let him figure his shit out". Of course, maybe it wasn't the nicest thing I could have ever done.

But, I present this. My land line is very close to a doctors office number. So, we get a ton of old people trying to get a hold of the doctor. As if that isn't enough - he does something that causes people to call and leave messages about their loved ones being in the emergency room. So.. of course, I need to call those people back and tell them they've dialed wrong. Which I hate. Mostly because it makes me think about grief, which I've been trying my whole life to block out. I've filled my quota. I just don't want to deal with it. But, I'd be a complete asshole if I didn't.

Next, I'm done with taking care of peoples f-ing dogs. You know what? I love dogs. But, I'm so tired of having to deal with them. I owned dogs the whole time I was growing up. And you know what? My dogs never got out. They used to have a kushy lives in the house. Our dogs were never getting hit. Our dogs were never jumping fences into the neighbors yards. OUR DOGS WERE NEVER BARKING ALL THE TIME PISSING OFF THE NEIGHBORS.

So, when one of the neighbors dogs got out the other day, I resisted helping. For 20 minutes I watched a neighbor from down the way, try to get this dog back into the back yard. Finally I gave in and went to help. What do we get? Well, Mr S. got nipped. And normally that isn't a big deal. It is a dog for f's sake. But when the guy got home and I told him his dog was out, and had nipped Mr S., the neighbor didn't even express concern. F him. And F all the dogs getting out. I'm not going out of my way for another one of them. None of them are grateful someone helped to make sure their dog didn't get run over. If they don't care. I don't care.

Lest you think my titles are back on the suckiest path ever. I was forced to take Paisley to the vet today. It was one of those things that my junky(as in drug addicted) rabbit couldn't get her meds until I had a checkup. It had been a year, and her allergies were flaring up in an annoying way. Turns out her little vagina of a neck has a secondary yeast infection. So while she is still having allergies, the yeast infection is probably making things worse. So, now I'm having to put something quite like monostat 7 on her chin. No shit.

But, at least I have a problem I can tackle. Rather than a random I'm allergic to air kind of shit.

Lastly - I suck for not replying to my commenter's. I'm sorry. Coping mechanisms and all. Feel glad you even got this update. I'll get back on track though, because I do appreciate that you even bother to stop by and take time to post your thoughts.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An oldie but goody.

Track back here.

I'm phoning it in today. I'm pretty mentally tapped out. Everyone in my circle is having big changes. Divorce, new baby arrivals, relationship problems. And the election is just pudding on the ADD cake. Not to mention the endless days of oppressive sun. Which made this revisit sort of amusing. I was bitching about the tireless sun in the evil pumpkin snowman days.

Now, if I can just unclog my thought process to come up with some creative pumpkiney thing for this year.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

They conspire against me.

I was going to do a bunch of stuff today. I just couldn't get my act together. Long time readers of the blog may remember that I'm an insomniac. Some periods are more controlled than others. Right now, I'm struggling a bit. Also not helping? My little burglar alarms. The bunnies.

Over the last month, Mr S. and I have been loosing quite a bit of sleep to them. We've even set up schedules. If they wake us up before 3 - I go down and try to figure out what is wrong. If it's after 3am, he goes down. Like children people!

It isn't that uncommon for them to alert us to something they don't like. Sometimes I've left my cell phone out, and Paisley hates the light blinking. Or, Mr. S leaves a shirt on the couch, which makes her freak out. She is the most problematic. I mean pathetic. Usually it is a simple fix that solves the problem and quiets her down. Usually.

Once at the old house we went through a period of them waking us up. It turned out a cat was living in the garage. The bunnies are very particular about their surroundings, and will alert to anything they deem abnormal. Once we kicked the cat out, things returned to normal. And, we got to sleep. Which is the most important part.

Anyway.. back to current. Many nights this month they've been stamping. And it isn't just crap you can ignore. They will stamp until you get your ass up and make them feel better. It is completely annoying. I have a hard enough time trying to stay asleep as it is. But, last night I was up again. I decided to just lay down on the floor with Saffron - who was the one doing the stamping. My back had been bothering me, so I thought I'd just sleep there a little bit. So, I pulled up a blanket and went to fall asleep. It was clear she was still not happy. She was grunting, and still stamping. Normally their pampered little asses are fine once they see one of us. When I went to ask her what the hell was up her butt, I could see a shadowy figure on the patio.

Ah.. a cat I thought. Stamping explained. Now I can go back to bed. But, it wasn't a cat. It was an opossum. And he wasn't just passing through. He lurked the backyard for about a half an hour. I'd guess this is the cause of this months bunny hysteria. Now, I have to figure out a way to get rid of it. I don't know how much more sleep I can loose.

If I trap it, I'd have to take it somewhere. But, I'd have to buy a trap. Then I'd have to store the trap. I don't know what I'm going to do about this animal, but it is annoying me right now.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Spreading the wealth.

The best way we can help poor people - is by realising they have poor impulse control. Not by spreading the wealth.

You see I have a unique perspective on this. Mr S. and I both grew up poor. Although, I was poorer. This will make Mr S. laugh when he reads this post, because we always compete about who grew up more disadvantaged.

At any rate...I clearly was more poor. Welfare poor. Slept in a dresser drawer as a baby, poor. Rich kids had cribs.

My family is still poor. It isn't because they've never gotten a leg up. They have. My Aunt and Uncle for example won the California lottery. Not once, but twice. Not a million dollars. But, a nice sum of money. A sum that could have made a difference in their future. They could have bought a house, and invested in their future. They didn't. They blew the money on things they couldn't even use. Even spending a great sum on lottery tickets. In the thought they could win again. Even though the odds are clearly against it. Choosing chance, over future investment. Do you know what that is called? Poor impulse control!

It is this sort of lack of impulse control I see over and over in poor people. They choose short term goals over long term goals. Every single time. Now I'm suppose to feel sorry for these people? Why?

It just makes me so mad. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I could give every single dime I made to my family, and they would still be poor. It is just the way it is. And... it.. sucks.. I really do want to help them.

There is a mindset in this country that you can spend as much as you want, and then claim bankruptcy. It isn't easy to admit, but my family has done it several times. They know they will get new credit cards almost immediately. They are poor after all. How else are they going to get stuff?

Take another example. When Mr S. and I bought our house. We were signing the papers and the loan officer was shocked we only had two credit cards. The only reason this came up was because they give you two full length sheets to list your credit cards. Two full pages people! I'd made a comment about them printing out too many sheets. The gal came back and said "most people fill out both sheets". I told her I was sure she was putting me on. I figured "some" people did, but not most. In a matter of a fact fashion she shot back " no- most people fill out two pages of credit card debt". Which completely shocked me and shut me up.

No one is going to tell me that people have that much credit card debt, and expect to pay it off. They know they have a trump card of being able to claim bankruptcy. These are the people "spreading the wealth" will go to. And it sucks!

This isn't to say some people don't have to work much harder than others to get to the same place. They do. Life isn't fair. Your parents should have told you this when you were five. But, do we have to make it more not fair for those who have worked past any disadvantage by handing money to people not willing to work for it?

This just isn't what America is about. It isn't why people immigrate here. They think if they work hard - no matter what their background, they too can become more wealthy. Not be forced to hand that hard work over to others who aren't willing to be as devoted.

I'm sure people have a ton of family members like I do, who are willing to be receivers of distributed wealth. Let us give the money to them if we want to. Or not.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I try to entertain you.

I haven't posted much in the last couple of days because my blog traffic fell off a cliff. Much like the stock market. Even my Canadians left me. Yeah.. I have a big Canadian following. I don't mind that ya'll don't comment, but if you aren't going to read... well. That's a problem. It makes me not as motivated to write.

Anyway.. in the hopes my traffic will return - I give you this. A story about what a tard I am.

I'm not much of a sewer. Or a sewer at all really. This weekend I realised it is probably because I hate being constantly poked with pins. But, I needed to get my super cool patch sewn on. So I could use my camera bag. I'd just pinned it in place. I couldn't use the bag that way. You know.. because of the poking.

I pulled out the sewing machine that I'd bought for another project that I'd never gotten around to. Of course I lost the manual. Or misplaced it. Whatever.

Mr S. found the manual online, and walked me through making a bobbin, and threading the machine. Then came the spot where the thread from the needle was suppose to grab the thread from the bobbin. Which is where things went all sideways.

The diagrams made it seem like magic. Yes people diagrams! I know, who could be this dumb? It's child abuse that I don't know how to do this. I remember as a kid doing it, and - it was sort of magic. You just lowered the needle, and up came the bobbin thread. Nothing to it!

It wasn't working that way though. Lower the needle, no thread. For a half an hour I tried! We'd spent the morning taking apart our washing machine - yet this stupid bobbin was turning me into a complete idiot. I consider calling my aunt - but she's a crocheter. I'm not sure I know anyone who sews anymore. Half of them are men anyway.

Finally Mr S. goes over to Youtube and finds a how to video. Youtube is my new BFF. On the first try - up comes my thread. Like magic.

I now have my patch sewn on. And, it doesn't look bad. Now maybe I will get back to those curtains I've been putting off.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I overachieve - because I can.

To tell you the truth, I thought it was pretty much impossible these days to cut yourself badly with a razor. They have all those blades tightly spaced together. I figured even someone trying to commit suicide would eventually give up in frustration. You'd have to try pretty hard to do much damage. You almost need to make a sawing motion.

As a matter of a fact, other than a minor nick - the only real injury I've had with razors is once in my younger days while I was still a beach bum. I decided to shave when it was cold. Which resulted in shaving off of all my goosebumps. Then in my youthful stupidity I decided to wash my legs in the ocean. Good fun times people. Good fun times.

Anyway...the other day, I cut myself (on the back of my calf no less - not even a boney spot). I didn't think much about it. Until the blood came. It was a gusher. I'm not even sure exactly how I did it. But, I managed to cut a one inch gash in my leg. Yeah.. it takes talent people. After I figure out I'm not going to need stiches after all - I find myself slapping on a three inch bandaid.

Now, I don't really think of myself as an accident prone person. But, as I was searching my two (count them - two) shopping bags of band aids, I started to think there might be something seriously wrong with this house. I mean.... who has two shopping bags of band aids? It isn't right.

Today's irony.

Isn't that the point of socialism? From the Socialist Workers Party.

I will work on getting a better photo. I didn't want to use the AP photo - because they are assholes.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I can't get my 911 on.

I've been trying to provide you with stories that distract you from what is going on in the world. This is sheer restraint on my part. Mostly I want to organise a congo line of people to punch politicians in the throat. So... I give you this:

I have called 911 exactly two times in my life. Once when I hit that dog, and once last night. Yes.. I know 911 is not for dog hitting. I know this now. I was panicked. I'd never hit anything before.

But - car vs. bike! Now we are talking.

I happen upon this scene, and was amazed I didn't see any police. The accident was still in the middle of the street. There weren't any bodies laying on the ground. I debate calling 911. Don't get all bent. If I would have seen blood I there wouldn't have been a second thought. Since there wasn't, and everyone on the planet has cell phones, it took me a minute to decide on whether I needed to call. But, I do call.

The problem is.. I apparently can't get to 911 on my cell phone. The service is blocked or something. But, as this was happening - I flashed back to my dog hitting day and realised the same thing happened that day too. I couldn't get my phone to connect to 911. After the emergency - it is one of those things that slips out of your mind. I'm never going to have to call 911 again. So I'd completely forgotten about it.

I was able to call my husband and get him to call the police.

Later that day I was laughing with him about it. Man, I hope I'm able to get a hold of you every time I have an emergency that needs 911 - I say.

The thing that really sucks is, you can't just test out calling 911 to see why your phone isn't able to connect. When you finally get it to work, what do you say to the 911 operator? "Um.. I'm just testing my phone to see if I can reach 911"? Lame.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Who am I to judge?

I pull into my neighborhood Lowe's, and quickly find a parking spot. As I go to unlatch my seat belt I see this rather tame graffiti. Which makes Mr S. and I laugh. After all... it was this weekend. Three weeks before Halloween.

Seemed like an odd thing to write in the parking lot of a home improvement warehouse. The other thing that was funny - I rubbed my hand over it and found out it wasn't written in chalk like I'd thought. It was some kind of permanent marker.


Also this weekend - I found it a little peculiar that my neighbors were carving pumpkins. But, I thought.. what the hell! That night I noticed they'd lit candles in them. Again.. who am I to judge?

But, it is rather odd. It was close to 90 degrees here today.

I would have gotten a better picture, but I felt odd creeping up to my next door neighbors porch snapping pictures.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Let me interest you in a career with the IRS.

A few days ago I was asking Mr S. where he thought the laid off car sales people would get jobs. "They are sales people" - he said. They will get jobs selling other stuff. "What is there to sell" - I said? They don't have that many transferable skills.. right?

After thinking about it quite a bit, and being the crafty individual I am - I think I've come up with a solution.

They should start training as auditors. With all this money being withdrawn/changing hands, or even countries - I'm betting the IRS is going to be a pretty interesting place for a while. Just say'in.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I'm your puppet!

I'm behind on everything. I don't know how I can have less time than when I'm was busy ripping out a wall or two. But, it certainly feels like it now. Lest you think I'm doing nothing.....this geeky girl is trying to run with the crafty pack.

My favorite blogger in the whole wide world, MDG, and possibly a sibling I didn't know about - created this patch for me. She meticulously embroidered it from one of the pictures on my site.

F-ing amazing isn't it?

Anyway.. my original plan was to iron it on my camera bag. But received strict instructions to not melt the bag. Which was really insightful. I'm not really sure what the bag is made of. I thought it was canvass, but knowing it is generically made in China - it could be some form of Rayon. Or possibly just melamine. The point is... I just don't know.

Without the heads up, I would have been standing there with a hot iron about it place it on the bag, and then realised... ya know what? Maybe this isn't a good idea. Yeah.. I'm a sewing newb!

So, I switched to plan B and just decided to sew it on. My camera bag isn't going to last forever. So, this gives me the option of removing the patch and sewing it on a new bag.

At any rate..I still have all my fingers. For now. The bag is so thick I was sure one of my needles was going to snap in half and jab right into a digit.

Since I once had a sewing needle stuck halfway into my leg - I don't really want that. It's possibly the reason I didn't take a keen liking to sewing when I was younger. But, I can try new stuff!

Now I have to figure out if my machine has the right needles to sew a bag this tough.

Friday, October 03, 2008

I wasn't the only one.

I spent the day getting ready for the storm. Oh yes! You heard me.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The rich people got us here! No, the poor people got us here!

Good job politicians! Let us give them a round of applause.

I'm pretty frustrated about what read on why "we got here". You see... I was in the housing marketplace, and think I have a rational perspective. I'm a consumer. And, as someone who was also trying to sell a property this year, I had a keen eye to what the consumer market was doing. This isn't to say I was able to get of the way of the speeding train. Most people base their decisions on history. I was raised to believe what is happening now - could never happen. We had safeguards in place.

So while I expected a slowdown, and possibly even a recession - I could have never predicted runs on banks to the degree of which occurred. And let me point out..while there may have been many problems at Fannie and Freddie Mac - a run on those institutions caused by Chuck Schumers antics sealed their fate.

Most people who now say they "called it" are bullshitters. They have the pleasure of hindsight. Good for them.

We all agree that sub prime loans started this mess. At this point though, we are so far from where that began. Most people like to claim that the housing market "just collapsed". This is far from the truth. Up until two months ago there were still buyers in the market. 3 months ago there were tons of buyers in the market. Foreclosed houses had multiple offers on them. Not just one or two, but 18 and 19 offers on them.

Some fundamental problems started cropping up. The banks were changing the rules on lending on a weekly basis, throwing the market into stagnation. Most people like to believe this just started happening. It's been happening for 10 months. I even talked about it here.

One week you could get a loan. They next week you couldn't. One week they wanted X amount of money down, the next it was Y. This started spooking all those buyers, and they started waiting on the sidelines. I would go to tons of open houses, and there were still a ton of people in the marketplace. Now however, the banks were in full panic mode, and just started selling properties at any price. They had slowed the lending process to such a degree, they were essentially causing a death spiral. Where it used to take a month or two to close on a house, it now took 3 or 4 months. And, no one could figure out the rules if you could buy a house anyway.

Then gas prices started creeping up to intolerable levels. I talked about it here. When gas got into the 4 dollar range in California - you could see a dramatic change in the economy. Our politicians did nothing, in favor of furthering their careers. Where Obama was still running on "The Environment" platform - it was obvious to anyone who looked - that consumers where saying "fuck the environment"! I can't afford to spend 500 bucks a month on gas getting to work.

Now the buyers sitting on the sidelines were really spooked. Even if they could afford a house, most of them were taking a "wait and see" attitude.

By the time gas prices came down, the damage was largely done. The economy was damaged, and people didn't have any expendable money.

What so bothers me is - The reason our elected officials gave for voting down the Bailout Bill was "our constituents don't want it".

So.... why didn't they do the bidding of the people when most of us wanted to drill on the coasts to relieve the intense pressure to the economy from high energy costs?

Would the economy have still been under terrible pressure? You bet! I contended it would not have touched every pocketbook on the face of the planet. What is even more bothersome is that our representatives were so out of touch with how fragile the economy was. They did their normal thing in an election year. Use the economy as a pawn, but were so out of touch they didn't realise the depth of the damage that would be caused.

And that f-ing pisses me off.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It doesn't affect me.

I have to admit.. I'm slightly perplexed to why the votes are running 95/5% against the bailout. Sure.. everyone hates it. I predict this will change in the next month. Now, news of car showrooms closing are just starting to hit the news. And when people start complaining about the loss of jobs - other people will say "people just didn't want to buy cars". Which is holy untrue. People can't buy cars.

I serve this as evidence. A few days ago.. or maybe a week, Mr S. sent me an email saying that the Chrysler dealership we'd bought our car through was going out of business. He and I had a brief conversation about it. Later that day I asked him "did you read the fine print on that email"? What - he said? Yeah.. did you see the requirements - I said. A fico score of 700. With 30% down.

Personally, even when I bought my first car way back in the day - I could have never afforded that. Or had that fico score to make it happen.

Mindless amusements.

I'm going to loose my steam if I don't get these posts out soon. So, back on my beach weekend.

I think we were up by Cloverdale Ca., on the 101. I turn to Mr S. and say "what is up with this freeway? It's the best freeway I've ever been on. You could Rollerblade on this thing it's so smooth and freshly blacktopped. At least I know my tax dollars are being spent somewhere". The road was like that for at least 10 miles.

It was soon after that Mr S. turns to me and says "hey, this segment of the freeway was adopted by the Medical Marijuana Coalition". Which made us both laugh.

You see in California, we have signs everywhere on the freeways that tell you who helped pay for repairing segments of the roads. I would have turned around and gotten a picture, but I'd already been driving a few hours.

Anyway.. I thought it was really funny the potheads had chipped in. It was a spectacular road after all.

Next. Up North there are apparently a lot more hitchhikers than I'm used to. And I lived in Santa Cruz for a while. In The Valley, no one hitch hikes anymore - but it isn't like you can't go places and still see the culture. Even more surprising was the amount of women hitch hikers. In 20 miles we saw 3 different girls hitch hiking. And they weren't with a group. Just by themselves. I'm guessing these girls were largely unaffected by horror films. Which brings me to my next topic.

I apparently am very affected by horror films. Even though its probably one of my least favorite genres. When we left Fort Bragg, we were sitting on a quarter tank of gas. Since the gas was so pricey there, we figured we'd just drive 10 or 20 miles and fill up in the next town.

We started back on The Pacific Coast Highway with the hope it wouldn't be as extravagantly twisty as the route we took to the beach. It wasn't. But, it was deeply darkly forested with few signs of civilisation. And, no cell phone coverage. Yeah! Horror film central.

We did eventually reach a town called Navarro. Which was straight out of a movie. A little store. Mini gas station, and campgrounds. With country music emanating and filling the canyon. They also had this out front.