Monday, March 29, 2010

More of the same.

It's been a busy couple of days. So, I'm going to spit out a couple more of these car pics to keep you entertained.

Yes. Cars are going to keep you entertained. Because really, I only feed you the most interesting stuff. I mean... who's seen this before?

Lambo door fail. I guess they don't work as well when you put them on a four door. They bump into each other.

This bike thing seems to be a new trend.

If flat wasn't awesome enough for you?! Flat textured! Oh yes. It's the first time I've seen it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How to tell if your contractor is overcharging you.

He rolls up in this beast. Note - I'm not doing an upshoot. I am fully standing taking this shot.

The first thing. If he modest enough to call this thing "kinda big" - what does he call his peen?

Second thing - look at the size of the backup camera. It is that box sitting above the handle. Just think of all the money he saves in ladders though.

There is just something heartwarming that someone in California has the balls to make a machine that most likely burns a gallon of gas - just starting the thing up. And seriously - you would shit your pants if you saw this thing rolling up on you. I'm not even playing around with the camera angles. This truck had to be 10 feet tall.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I told you I could make you like it - if I just found the right color.

Flat purple! I had to get a tight shot, because of course - this one was right next to the porto potties.

For everyone just tuning into this post - pretty much everyone one of my readers hates the flat paint on these cars. I like it because it's unusual.

It's sort of funny how this flat paint trend has been slowly bubbling up. It seems like you can almost get any color in flat now.

Previous flat paint job pictures I've taken. White. Red. Bad ass Mercedes in Black.

What is a pirate doing there? Who cares. It's a pirate!

I have a lens flare in the middle of my shot. Which sucks.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Did your unicorns just run into a wood chipper?

Maybe it is just a blip - but if I had adjustable rate interest, I would start feeling a little nervous.

Interest rates surge after weaker Treasury auction

Even more fantastic - California has a big Build America bond sale today. Kind of inconvenient for people all of a sudden to want higher interest rates for treasuries.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Does Atlas have to shrug for the world to get better?

I have to admit, I spend more of my time these days trying to find ways to limit my productivity, than trying to make extra money. If I don't get to keep it - why bother. People are kind of funny that way. This is usually the reason tax increases are not very successful.

I think most people work under a fairness doctrine. When they feel things aren't fair - they just change their behaviour.

The reason I bring this up is because a couple of epic things are going on right now. Remember a few days ago I talked about how L.A. wanted to raise their electricity rates 28% for residential, and 21% for businesses? Well, apparently (they claim) if the city doesn't get those increases - it will go bankrupt.

Well, maybe things went a little more like "don't tell people we are going bankrupt - you are scaring them. And anyway - running out of cash doesn't equal bankruptcy".

Oh yes, that last part they actually said. You should watch the video at the bottom.

I don't know if the bonds for all those "green projects" are coming due or what. The whole thing is really perplexing for a city the size of L.A. to be 73 million away from going bust. At any rate - I doubt businesses are going to put up with that kind of increase. They will disappear. They will do what I'm doing. Putting in only enough effort to not get penalised. Where ever they raise taxes - I avoid. For the moment, I think I can hold out longer than they can.

Mr S. pointed out last night that what is happening is exactly like what happened in the book Atlas Shrugged. He doesn't see any way to get past this mess without bankruptcy. I was always sure we could fix it without that. Now I think I am finally starting to accept the idea - that is really what needs to happen.

All I know is that it's a really awkward time for President Money Bags's agenda when so many cities are that close to the edge. It's perplexing how he thinks he can keep this up.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In my second unofficial poll of the day.

Update: Content added in the middle.

Oh yes. I will ask everyone I know who owns a business about this health care thing.

The second business - the guy, I have known a pretty long time. 6-7-8 years. Something along those lines. I try to phrase my questions in a way not to influence the person. I walk into see him and say:

Me - Okay. The health care bill. For it - or against it?

Now, I'm of the mind that the initial reaction is the more honest reaction.

Him - Oh, I think it will be good for businesses.

Me - Really!?

I go onto tell him that I pay cash for medical stuff a lot of the time. The doctors always slash their prices in half. It is a benefit to them because they don't have to do any paperwork. I go on to say that when I had my breast reduction - despite being able to prove severe back problems my whole adult life - I couldn't get the doctor and the insurance company on the same page to have it approved.

I might never have gotten it approved. I was afraid that when I got old, my back problems might cripple me. Your spine doesn't get stronger when you get old. It only gets weaker. When I found out how much it cost - I paid for it out of pocket. In that same situation people can hold bake sales, or do anything to gather the funds.

Under the new system it forces everyone into the insurance system. Who might not even approve the operation.

A side note. This was not said in this conversation. The doctor that I was going to use through insurance wanted me to spend the day in the hospital and insert a pain machine for the surgery. It turned out - I didn't need any of that stuff. While the first day home I was pretty frightened - I was completely fine without a hospital stay. Vicone worked just fine for the pain. Still when a doctor tells you that you need to stay in the hospital for a surgery, it makes you freaked out if you don't do it. I actually wasn't doing it to be cheap. I just didn't want to stay in the hospital. I have issues. Update: Every place where I say day - should read night. I didn't want to spend the night in a hospital. I also should clarify that my second surgeon said her patients never experienced much pain. And she was right. After the first couple of hours you'd be surprised at how manageable a surgery like that is.

These two items would have added several thousand dollars to the cost of my surgery.

Back to the conversation with my business friend.

Him - Well, we don't know if it will become illegal to take cash payments. If that happens we are out of business.

He is actually in the medical field. What he does would be considered "elective". A lot of customers do not use insurance. When I use the term cash payment I mean it as not "through insurance". Not "off the books".

He eventually said he didn't know how it would affect them. And that they wouldn't know until they started experiencing it.

Me - Then, the damage is already done. Right?

Him - Yeah.

With my unofficial polling though, I'm guessing most businesses are giddy that this will help them.

Why pay for something yourself, when you can get your neighbor to do it?

I'm telling you - no one could have predicted this at all. No one!

Today I'm out at subway. I go to this one fairly regularly. So I feel comfortable probing them about the new health care bill. The place is dead empty for 12:00. Once the one customer in front of me leaves I say:

Me - Kinda slow today, right?

Them - Yeah, maybe they will come later.

Me - So, is the new health care bill going to affect you?

Them - He laughs. I don't know. I'm going to cancel my health insurance right away.

I am actually shocked at this response. No, seriously.

Me - You are going to go on the government plan?

Him - yeah.

Me - Well, isn't that going to cost you more? Someone has to pay for it.

Him - Yeah, but everyone is paying for it.

Me - Yeah, but won't you have to pay more as a business owner? Isn't it going to make things more expensive for everyone to pay for it?

Him - Well, it is suppose to bring premiums down. The government pays.

Me - Well, that money comes from you. A business person. Right?

Now, I am flat out irritated that no one - anywhere - seems to understand that "the government" doesn't have money. The people give them money. Additionally, this program to "help the poor needy people"? Is really helping the decidedly wealthy.

This is the same business I was praising in this post about how the American dream was so great. The one where I was marveling that a subway owner could own a 93 thousand dollar Mercedes.

This isn't your average Mercedes. It is the equivalent of a Saleen Mustang. It's a Mercedes that someone put a sports package in and tarded it up.

Those people are going on the government plan.

Now class, what do you suppose happens when everyone does that? Maybe they can tax the wealthy more. It has shown to be so sucessful. Oh right. Not so successful. No matter.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Google it.

I really wasn't going to post today. What can really be said on a day that national heath care passes? Not one single state can control their budgets, and yet this heath care bill is suppose to save us money. It is truly, unbelievable.

I just wanted to document this moment. In the future - I will want to look back and remember the exact day I stopped caring about people loosing their jobs. The precise moment that I stopped caring about people complaining how they couldn't make ends meet because things are so expensive. I wanted to remember why I stopped feeling compassion and only felt indifference. This is what they chose - I will say.

Then, those useful idiots over on wall street. Don't get me wrong - I love a good day on WS. I knew the market would be up today. They love a good socialist agenda. Each and every time it looked as though health care would pass the market spiked. Still, you can only vacuum up money from the economy so long, before there isn't anything there to replace it. I hope it will be worth it for them.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Marketing from Toyota almost no one will notice.

I was going to go to San Fransisco today. When I woke up I realised I turned the heat off in the house because it was so warm yesterday, and had forgotten to turn it back on. So, it took me an hour to get out of bed. No San Fransisco.

We decided to go to lunch and do some stuff around the house. On the way to lunch - I spotted this in San Jose.

I wouldn't have noticed it at all, but I used to work in the building directly to the left of this picture. It has nice architecture - so when I drive by it, it always catches my eye. And, I'd read about Toyota doing this adopt a highway thing last week. Though, I thought they were doing them in Marin. Not down here in San Jose.

When I drove by I knew immediately what is was and tried to find a good vantage point to take a picture. From the freeway, you really don't notice what it is.

Now I'm of two minds about this. I'm super happy the city is finally letting people clean up the freeway. Remember last year when I was bitching about how much trash was on the freeway?

If I were a shareholder, I might not be so happy. These people obviously do not know the California climate. This stuff will be dead in a month flat. So if anyone notices it at all, it will be a very short term marketing benefit.

This is the tiny sign they let them put up for adopting the highway. So that really isn't going to be a help either.

Bad ass cars are back out.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I can already feel the influence.

Today I might have officially become a "blogger".

Normally when I go to tech events - I pay my own way. I want to be free to say what ever I want to. Sometimes I don't think the event is worth commenting on at all. I like the freedom of doing that as well.

Yet, there is an emerging technology called Augmented Reality that I'm sort of hot on. I've talked about it a couple of times on the blog.

While they have been working on it for a long time, it's still in infancy. It's hard to tell which form might take on. I think there are at least 3 directions it could take. One might be augmented reality business cards.

Anyway. The event is really pretty spendy. So I applied for a blogger pass. And, they granted it. Luckily, in the beginning of an emerging technology everything is new and fantastic. Later on down the years, I start getting surly it hasn't moved past where I expected it to be.

So, now I feel I have to walk this line between being true to my blog, and not making it so I'm not invited to anything else.

People trying to be splats.

This morning I was driving in the downtown area. I was driving in traffic with about 20 cars. I was towards the back of the pack. There were probably three or four cars behind me. The rest in front.

I see this girl standing on the curb to my left. I'm about 30 feet from her and she starts to walk into the road. I start to slow down. She stops. I'm still rolling but I maneuver to make sure I give her extra space, because she is now in the street.

She starts to walk again. At this point I verbally and demonstratively say - really!

I'm close enough now that I can hear her say "pedestrians have the right of way!".

I look behind me. See the cars still behind me and think "that bitch".

Pedestrians now think they can just walk into moving traffic and force a line of cars to stop. She wasn't even in a crosswalk anyway.

I honestly couldn't effing believe it. Though it does make sense now why peds refuse to speed up at all when they cross the street. They behave as if cars don't even exist.

Darwin is really going to have to start working overtime on these people.

It is all about - job creation people!

When you read about stuff like this - you can only shake your head, and know things are going to get very, very painful. Can you imagine what a 21% increase for a business would look like?

That kind of increase would send my bill up about 150 bucks. At my residence. While I do use a lot of power, I'm not running the kind of power a business would be.

And people wonder why, still - no one is hiring.

Daily News Wire Services
Updated: 03/19/2010 09:20:58 AM PDT

Los Angeles residents may be paying more for their power. The board of the Department of Water and Power voted Thursday to raise the cost of electricity by 0.8 of a cent per kilowatt hour.

The hike takes effect April 1 unless the City Council intervenes.

It's the first of four increases planned through the next year that could hike residential rates up to 28 percent, adding about $2.50 a month to the average customer's bill.

Businesses would see hikes of about 21 percent.

The nation's largest city utility says it needs to shore up finances to prevent Wall Street from lowering its bond rating.

The hikes include a carbon reduction surcharge to help pay for renewable energy such as solar and wind power.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oooooh. Someone's gonna get in trouble.

Long time readers may remember that every once in a while I talk about a post that the gbrmnt keeps sniffing around on. I'm not going to mention the name of it as to not draw searches away from it. But, you will be able to figure out what it is, by search criteria in the images I'm going to post.

Every few days I get a hit that makes me think "huh - those people are looking at that post! Interesting". Well the past couple of days the hits have taken a decided turn.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How giving money to contractors is the least efficient way to get the economy going.

A few nights ago my neighbor came over and told Mr S. that he was going to have a guy out trimming his hedges. This is the neighbor who had the dog that was jumping our fence. Also the one who wanted us to commit insurance fraud so he didn't have to pay for replacing the screwed up fence the dog was jumping.

We have actually had fantastic relations since we put the new taller fence up. No pop overs. Yet it was really odd he alerted us, because he is the only neighbor that doesn't have trees hanging into our yard.

I don't know, maybe he got the idea that it was polite to inform your neighbors if you are over the fence line and can peek into their house. Which I love!

Anyway. The hedges he was having trimmed were those tight labyrinth type hedges. They are about 20 feet long and slightly over a mans height. Maybe 8 feet tall roughly.

When I saw the guy trimming them yesterday around lunch time I had to laugh. He was out with those old timey human powered scissor type hedge trimmers. The kind you had before electric hedge timmers were dirt cheap. Still, I thought maybe that guy is fast, and can whip through them in a couple of hours. An electric hedge trimmer would make it an hour job at best. With clean up - two hours, tops.

By the end of the day, he had only gotten maybe half the job done. Then left for the day. I don't know what time he left, but I know he was there around 4:00. So he spent a half a day to get the job half done.

This morning, when I woke up - he was there again. But, had gained the bright idea that he should get an electric hedge trimmer.

The guy is still out there, and still isn't done. Which would flip me out if he was working for me. I don't know if all the good workers have left the state, because the ones I see lately are just homesteading on projects. Used to be there was more money to be made by being quick. Unless they were just trying to pad the bill.

All I know is - I'm glad I don't need anyone to work for me right now. The contractors have gotten really skeeby lately. It is a good lesson though. These people need to be told they will get the same money if it takes them 1 hour or three days. No camping at my place.

The sad thing is, the only reason my neighbor hired anyone is because he had shoulder surgery. If I'd known he was going to hire such a tard I would have whipped over there and chopped it down within an hour.

I don't know, maybe he is giving that guy charity. My neighbor is kinda churchy.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

When the next best thing to a BFF is an alpaca.

This is all Australia's fault.

I'd embed the video - but Reuters is an asshole and they disable the ability. Which I have to say is a much more tolerant view than LanceMartini in the comments.

No, on second thought. I agree with Lance. And while I'm at it... Fuck the Sacramento Bee. I will never subscribe to your site. Quit asking.
Tweetfeed came back online today. I think it might be the first time Ive ever wanted to hug my monitor.

If you were ever curious.

When I was down in Fremont this weekend I was shocked about how much retail space was open. So, I took some flip video.

It's pretty boring and doesn't show it that well. But if you wanted to hear what I sound like you can listen to it here.

I will probably delete it in not too long and put a better one up. This is all I have for today because I'm tired.

Doesn't that bird know I have a sleeping disorder?

About two hours ago - a bluebird, I assume, started making a ton of noise. It has a nest a few feet from my bedrooom window. It won't shut up.

And anyway - when did birds start singing at night?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thank you PMB.

Long time readers will get the title of this post.

I was going to post about other stuff today, but my brain is all busy with this other crap. The first thing is - I had to fire a guy that has been with me for a long time.

The second thing is... my renter.

You know, when I bought my crap shack I fully considered a downturn in the economy. If I couldn't sell it, my backup plan was to rent it out. If I had a shitty renter, I'd just kick them out and get a new better one.

Well, I never expected that so many people would be complete deadbeats. Or that the economy would suck so much with very little hope in sight.

The relationship with my renter had completely fallen off a cliff. He was starting to meet the technical terms for eviction. Yet, he does eventually pay. And, I have to follow the rental laws. He must have realized that I was close to booting him out because he called today. I'm not going to go into the whole thing.

Items of interest though? He and the renter next door have started calling the cops on each other. Oh yes. And no - there are no trailer parks involved. Since they both are sort of tards - I don't even know what to say about it.

On one hand, I'd love for the other guy to move. So one day I can sell my place without him working on his pinto in his garage and scaring people off. This is a working middle class neighborhood after all.

On the other hand. I never expected my renter to get so white trash either. I've known that guy for a long time. He lived in a house that was worth a full 25% more than my house. Not the rental.

The whole thing is really annoying. Normally I wouldn't think twice about booting him out. Yet with the economy I feel a little trapped. I could get someone better, or I could get someone worse. All I know is, it's really the wrong time to be a landlord.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Question marks all around?

Don't ask. I don't know. I just take pictures. I'm telling you - it was a weird day.

Today's weird - was weirder than usual.

I admit, I'm a little scared to post my stuff from today. You know I'm always trying to get you unusual stuff. Right?

The day started out innocently enough.

You remember a while back I was up in Sacramento at the Squeeze Inn? Remember I told you about that crazy two hour line? Well, at one point I stepped out to take photos and when I got back Mr S. had made temporary friends with this guy who told him there was an awesome place for cheese steak sandwiches in Campbell called Amatos.

We were on our second visit there, when we see these guys by the side of the road. I have Mr S. whip around so I can take shots. They were in a hard place to photo so I eventually had Mr S. park, and I got out to take them.

I had to ask why they were wearing masks, and why they were protesting. One guy said something about being harassed if the... um...."churchy folks" found out who they were. Which I found kinda funny and maybe dramatic.

I get back to the car and start telling Mr S. what they said. I look over his shoulder and start laughing. Ooooooh, this is a - Um... "churchy building". You understand why I don't say the name. I don't want them tagging my site.

Anyway. We go to take off out of another side of the building and there were these women there. I wanted to take shots of them. Because, well, it was interesting they weren't wearing masks. I hop out of the car to take them.

First thing I say to the women is "why aren't you wearing masks like the other guys".

One of the females - Oh, they already know who we are.

Then I asked if they minded their image being on the internet, and if I could get a shot of them with the "churchy place" in the background. One tells me she can't go on their property.

Which of course makes me curious! Turns out - she used to be a member for something like 29 years. For some reason she'd given them a lot of money. Like 20 grand, and for whatever reason she wanted her money back. They refused, and she threatened to sue. I guess that made them take out a "no trespass" order, and made her sign something. But, it sounded like she never got her money back.

I told you it was weird.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

This is also sort of funny.

Yesterday, Mr S. sent me a photo of a big fire that was near his building. The city and the company had issued a shelter in place. Which of course they all ignored.

Mr S. wanted to get photos, and I don't know what the stories of the other guys were.

Later, Mr S. was telling me about it. He said he was walking over with a couple of guys to take pictures. The youngest one - right out of college said "what does shelter in place mean"?

Oh yes. Fine education these kids get.

It's pick your own title day.

It is no secret I've been disjointed lately. I'm just frustrated how disconnected people in my State are from reality. Still, I have to do stuff and interact with people. As much as I don't want to right now.

I'm out running an errand.

If no one else is waiting - I will shoot the shit with "this guy" while I'm picking up some stuff. I've talked to him a bunch of times and we usually wind up talking about his kids. He isn't even my favorite person to have casual conversation with because he almost always talks about his ex-wife and how she is screwing him. Whatever.

I didn't feel like talking today, so I was going through the motions. I don't even know what triggered it. I think I might of done something simple like ask him how he was doing. He responded with - I've still got a job and a roof over my head. Not like a lot of people.

Still making small talk - I say, yeah people don't have as many opportunities now, right? He said something along the lines of - they need to suck it up. Which, on some level I agree with. Yet, I don't think 12.5% unemployment makes it so easy to be flippant about it. I'm somewhere in the middle.

For some reason I just felt like poking him because I knew he had kids. I said something like "we will see how things go when all those teachers get laid off". Knowing full well, this is a trigger conversation for almost everyone in California. I would have been better off saying god loves to eat babies.

This is where the conversation spins on a dime. Oh yes.

He starts - "I don't know why the government is letting that happen. They should do something about it"

Which of course, sets off my evil internal dialog. Externally I say - if we don't have the money shouldn't they be laid off?

Him - Well, they should do something else. Education is the most important thing.

Me - They could always cut the pensions of some of these people.

Not shockingly, he doesn't like this either. Then he went onto complain about there being a 150 kids in a classroom. Which could be the case eventually, but for now is complete bullshit.

So I asked him - is that how many kids are in your children's classes?

No, but I only had 20 kids in my class - he says.

My evil internal dialog is screaming at me to keep poking him.

I say - really? How old are you man? When he tells me - I reply with "you are only about 10 years older than I am. You really only had 20 kids in your class? Because I had 35. We all turned out fine.

He starts stepping back his figure. Well, maybe it was 25. But it wasn't 35 - he says. Which made me ask if the kids were getting better jobs because of the small class sizes.

Then he started telling me how his kid was already thinking about college. Which was good in his opinion.

You know it is the most important thing. Sarcasm mine.

He goes on - I've been trying to get him to go into sports or sports casting.

My internal dialog keeps saying, poke him. Poke him! Because, I don't know what bullshit degree you need for sports or sports casting.

Me - Soooo. No math or science?

Some of you may have become completely bored by now. I'm telling you. This is the good part. This is what the man says to me. I shit you not.

Him - Yeeeeaaah. But, sports will always be there.

At this point I had to stifle my reaction. It was somewhere between shock and laughter.

I'm not going to tell you that I was a good student. I wasn't. My family had exactly the same attitude. Though not with sports. You can see from my poor use of the English language, I suck. But I know the importance of math and science! When I became an adult I had to work really hard to work in a world of people intensely into math and science. You see all those people still employed?! They probably know a little math and science. Just sayin'.

Anyway. I went on to say that if everyone went into sports and sports casting there wouldn't be any jobs there. Good looks and athleticism won't keep you forever. He went on to say that that area was the only way to get a good paying job. But.. he added - his daughter was going to be a teacher.

I'm guessing that guy is going to avoid me the next time I'm in there.

I got into my car. Turned the radio up to the highest point without blowing out my speakers. Took a couple of deep breaths, and drove away.

This is after all... California.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You can understand why I'm confused.

Oh yes. It is still Wednesday. I'm getting another frustration in before the day closes.

So, this afternoon I read that the GM CEO said the US will make money on the government bailout they got. Which I know is a bald face lie. Yet - it's this part of the CEO's statement that really bothers me.

From Reuters.

"For the first time in over a decade, General Motors has a healthy, clean balance sheet. We are not being crushed under mountains of debt. We have a cost structure that works."

Pretty much I rolled my eyes at the whole thing. Until tonight, when this press release came out.

From washingtonexamintor.

"The Treasury Department sank billions into auto finance giant GMAC Inc. without an exit strategy or proof the company was viable — a decision that could cost taxpayers $6.3 billion, a new watchdog report says."

They realize that we know GMAC was an arm of GM. Right?

It's so great to hear about about their relief of not being crushed under a mountain of debt. Because we are now the ones - being crushed under a mountain of debt. Thanks you fuckers. You didn't really need to brag about it.

OH! It -is- Wednesday.

Today I was running it around in my head that I'd been talking about politics too much lately. Hey, I'd love to rip something out of my house and bitch about whatever comes with that. But, it seems like "some people" can't figure out how an economy works.

Since we are all dependant on feeling like we can reasonably easily make money, I'm still not spending the money I have. See how that works? I mean.. why not spend a whole lot of money when California has one of the highest unemployment rates. The Nummi car plant is closing down at the end of the month creating a ripple effect through the economy. 29 states are now borrowing from the government to keep paying unemployment benefits.

How many states do we have again? It must be something like 56. And, California makes up about 25% of the 33 billion the states have borrowed. Tax revenue everywhere is still plunging by double digits. 39 mil are on food stamps. Okay. Don't kill yourselves.

I'm just saying - it doesn't make people want to spend money. So you get politics for now. And, the item that is making me.. well, I want to say agitated. Which will probably get me on some watch list. So I'm not going to say agitated. But it would be something like that.

Which brings me to Meg Whitman. She is making me crazy. In a completely rhetorical way. Cripes.

Remember a couple of days ago I was complaining about how she wanted to turn the Nummi plant into "an incubator for clean technology". Feels good right? Yeah.

Now let us turn our attention to Spain. Isn't this the model we are suppose to be following? I thought President Money Bags said they had some perfect model we should duplicate. Here. I mean, If you want 19.5% unemployment. Almost 45% for those under 25. Here.

Which also seems to be the model Whitman is following. I mean, she just opened a "green" shopping hub that promises to "help shoppers identify products that are green by virtue of being vintage or used; made of sustainable materials or designed to save energy." And "For the first 250,000 people who pledge to reuse on eBay through its “Green Team Challenge” the company will protect an acre of rain forest in their name."

Now, I don't hate the environment. I just like jobs more. I also don't like when people who want to run our state are more focused on the rain forest than the crushing debt that will stifle our economy for years to come. You know, because companies are starting to get hit with massive hikes in payroll taxes to make up for them borrowing money from the government. I don't know. Maybe someone could think about ways to stop crushing people so they feel comfortable spending money. Just an idea. Or, there is always the Spain model.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

What is up with that?

One thing I've been noticing about the democrats lately is - they are all starting to become really gesticular. It's weird. I know politicians always talk with their hands, but cripes - these people could land planes with their hand gestures. I never remember them being this demonstrative before. Not an occasional hand gesture, but a constant thing.

I started noticing it with Nancy Pelosi a week or two ago. Here is an example. You don't even have to listen to it with sound, because it makes no difference what they are saying.

Then I noticed it with Gavin Newsom last night.

Tiny tears of pain.

When Mr S. got home last night I walked up to him and said the following.

Me - Uuuuum. I might have done something un-wise.

He sort of gave me that panicked look that all of you would get, if someone walked up to you and said those words. The look that says - am I going to have to bail you out of jail?

Mr S. - Ooookay. What is it?

Me - You know how I wanted to get those chili seeds and the shipping was really high? Well, I just picked something randomly so I could even out the cost.

The good news is that they are the size of a pea. (The seeds I was looking for are like the pandas of chili seeds. They don't reproduce well. So I wasn't able to buy them anywhere last year)

Him - What's the bad news? How hot are they?

Me - I told you what the good news was! Look - jalapenos are in the 7-9000 scoville range.

Him - So, what is their rating.

Me - I don't know. I don't want to tell you. Okay. They might be in the 100,000 scoville range. But, they are the size of a pea. Really small.

This is where I give him a reassuring smile.

Him - What, they didn't just sell poison?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Just watch.

These are our choices?

Some days, I honestly want to move from California. We have such horrible choices for politicians - I almost find myself wanting to move to Jersey. Yikes. I can't believe I just said that. At least their new Governor "gets it".

When Meg Whitman first announced, I thought I'd go for her. At least she'd run a business. Thought not very successfully lately. But, there was some green douchebaggery I'd vaguely remembered about her. I think she gave a bunch of money to green causes. So, she was immediately out.

Even if that weren't a problem though - she puts out a presser with this shit:

"As governor, I will create a jobs ombudsman who will be at the front door of employers day and night to encourage them to hire. That person will sell California as a business-friendly state with a highly trained workforce that is driven to succeed."

Sooooo. She's telling me she is going to hire a nag, that pokes companies to hire. Which proves to me she's just another of the long line of ftards who try to run this state. Companies will hire when they think it is profitable and beneficial to them. Not by proxy of nagging. Why not just call it a jobs nag czar?

And Governor moonbeam Jerry Brown? Oh shit. You have to be joking. Maybe he can just sue companies into hiring.

I shit you not. Right at the height of the market falling off a cliff - on or around June 2009. He sued one of the burbs next me, to build more houses. The city has a cap on how many houses can be built for their town.

It didn't matter that the suburb right next to it - has an excess of housing. They did some seriously dense build-up. I'm pretty sure some of them are still sitting empty. But, he said it was a right for people to live and work in the same city. Plus said some other shit about greenhouse gasses and commuting. Which I honestly tuned out.

Back to Meg. Our Toyota plant is closing at the end of the month. You know what Meg wants to do with it?

"In the case of Nummi, we have an opportunity to take a 20th century plant and retool it as an incubator for clean technology. As governor, I will personally hunt down the best and brightest and recruit those who are not already here to join our green technology revolution."

In other words - take a manufacturing plant that was once profitable, and turn it into something that has never turned a profit anywhere.

Good job Meg!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

They say, 90% of life is just showing up.

You know a while back I tried to get some people out to trim some stuff in my yard.

Well... technically - it isn't my yard. But, it all hangs in my yard. Frankly most of my issue is having a defensible space for fire season. The 20 foot privet's in my neighbors yard had grown within a couple of feet of my roof.

Half the neighbors around me still have shake roofs. Which makes me all kinds of nervous. You have to see fire season in California to understand. These things hop from house to house. And, will pretty much take out a whole neighborhood.

One guy came out and refused to trim them because they weren't in my yard. Despite telling him that he could go over and talk to the neighbors. One guy said he was going to come out and never did. And honestly, I'm just not game lately to put up with the bullshit games contractors play right now. If they act like they don't need the money. Well, I'm not going to force them.

So, I put the whole thing off for a while and debated calling out a whole new set. I eventually said screw that, and decided to rent a chainsaw on a stick. You know you can become a youexpert on anything. Youtube can teach you anything. After seeing girls run these things there, I figured I'd done a ton of things much harder than that.

As it turns out I was right. They are about on the end of the range a girl can operate them easily. Heavy, but not too bad. Mr S. and I switched off. He got the higher areas I got the lower. Which resulted in my thinking that the tree trimming guys in my town are pussies. Honestly, this job should have taken a guy that does this all the time - an hour, hour and a half. He would have made an easy 200 bucks. Which is what I was quoted.

Renting a chainsaw on a stick? 37 bucks for 24 hours. No seriously. I think I more or less will get it all done. But if I don't? I can hack away at it another 3 weekends before it costs what the trimmers wanted.

I say more or less because running this thing is a little fun. Not in a manly way. In a way that I just want to chop a ton of crap down. I got sidetracked by the tree in my front yard. Which looks fabulous now. And I didn't have to consult with any of my neighbors to cut down crap in my own yard.

Seriously Californians are neurotic about their trees. They act like you are killing babies if you trim them. It might take a little while, but they grow back. Thankfully my neighbors have been co-operative. Not that it would have mattered to me. Fire season is a real issue in my area.

Anyway.. turns out I might not really hire any of these guys in the foreseeable future. 37 bucks for 24 hours Yo!

Friday, March 05, 2010

If this had whirling blades of death - you'd get the idea.

I'm not sure what I will have for you this weekend. Right now the only thing I have planned is renting a chainsaw on a stick. Yeah. You heard me. Chainsaw on a stick. What is so weird about that?

Oh, and the picture? When I was sitting on the sidewalk in Oakland - I looked behind me and it was sitting right in front of a house. I didn't have my shade screen on me, and the sun was menacing my attempt to get a good shot. Maybe the next time I'm up there I will update the picture.

Today - you get a story.

One of the quirky things about Mr S's and my relationship, is that our brains are wired completely differently when it comes to getting around in the world. I am actually pretty good at not getting lost. And if I do, I'm pretty good at getting my way out of it.

If I've been somewhere once, there is a 95% chance I can find my way out. My brain is geared in a way, that landmarks really imprint on me. It's kind of spooky sometimes because I never look at the road names.

Mr S. however - not so much. You could take him to the same place 5 times, spin him 180 degrees and he wouldn't know where he was. I often tell him he couldn't find his way out of a paper bag. Well... unless he had a map. I guess. He is more geared towards maps. Which I have okay-ish skills. To make matters funnier, Mr S. used to work on flight sims. So spatially he is really good. But still, every place looks new to him.

This often creates a bit of frustration with us. Our communication completely breaks down. Like yesterday when I was walking around Oakland. About 63rd Street I sent a text to Mr S. telling him where I was, and asked him where the nearest BART station was. He replies: You are getting really close to MLK jr. Way.

Now, there is a back story to this. I almost universally will not go onto Martin Luther King Jr Way. It hasn't been that way in a while, but when ever you'd hear about a shooting it would be on the MLK. And now I still just refuse to drive down any street labeled MLK. So walking down the MLK.. really unlikely.


So, I accept his warning for what it is, but he wasn't being helpful. And it was making me crazy. He goes on then to tell me there were stations I think north of me and somewhere else. Which always result in my saying "baby, you know I don't know which way North is!" Which is sort of assholish of me, probably. It isn't that hard, but getting around the other way has always worked for me.

At this point, I don't even care about getting killed on the MLK. I just want the nearest station. I will take my chances.

Finally I'm able to pry out the nearest station excluding the one on MKL, which turned out to be Rockridge. But the whole thing was comical in how typical our conversations go when it comes to getting around places. It is like we have to completely different agendas.

Plus... what the eff is up with cell phone coverage in Berkeley!? OMG it is like a third world up there. Half the time I couldn't get any coverage. Sometimes I could only get text. I finally had to call Mr S. because I just couldn't get any service.
Why can't people figure out what their friends want to order before they get in line? Instead they translate everything via cellphone.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


There are some things for which there is no explanation. I hated all my protester photos from today. Yet, this small image on the back of a road sign made me happy.

Of course, I had to get lost in Oakland to run across it. Thankfully I got lost on the good side of town.

The small things amuse me.

I was up at Berkeley today at one of the protests. I thought it would be a campus thing. But, they started moving towards Oakland. I was right about Ashby Street when I started growing tired of these people. They weren't interesting, and they weren't causing trouble. So...meh.

I didn't know where they were actually going, so I asked one of the bike cops if they knew.

Bike cop says - I think they are going to something something something.

I don't pay attention well sometimes. Just so you know.

Me - How far is that?

Bike cops - I think it is like three or four miles.

Me - Serious!

Bike cops - Yeah, you better put on your boots.

Me - Na... I'm out. I'm just here to mock these people anyway.

Which is where I think this conversation ends. But, oh no.

Bike cops - What do you have a blog or something?

This actually caught me off guard, and I wasn't sure what to say for a second. Internally I think, mother effer. Yeah, I've got a blog. I'm a loser.

I confirm I have a blog. The cop then says. Well, what is your blog name?

I look and him sideways for a second and say - naaa. It wouldn't be your thing.

Bike cop - You don't know what my thing is. You don't know what I do in my off time.

Me - You wouldn't remember it anyway.

Him - No... tell me what it is.

Me - Honestly, it wouldn't be your thing.

He relents. I just thought it was funny that somehow the idea I was mocking people automatically means I must have a blog.

Also the picture above? I just found it ironic that the protestors were doing the black power thing in front of a Chevron.
Bart is odd today. A guy just asked me how I was doing and opened his hand. Which held a bunch of necklaces. But, he didn't act like he was selling them.

Update - Bart is our public transit.
Why is it you can always tell how crazy people are from thier hair? Super crazy hair. Probably really crazy person.

Update - I was watching this guy on the train today with really crazy hair. He was doing these wierd twiches that sort of looked like when a dog tries to bite his tail. He was biting at the air.

He saw that I was watching and - I think - figured that was an invitation to engage me. Which I had to shut down. He was clearly sort of crazy.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I'm sure this is not what they expected.

You know, all the time I get people stopping by the site under the search criteria "how to solve pollution problems".

I wonder if it ever agitates them that my solution is to just throw bottles into the ocean?

Because - it really amuses me when I see what they are searching for, and they land on my site.

Huh- now that is sort of uncomfortable.

Well, the unemployment numbers come out tomorrow and I'm up to my usual agitation.

So - we all agree that California is around the 8th largest economy in the world. Right?

How would you feel if every single person in that economy was on food stamps? Not a one of them can make enough money to feed themselves. Not one.

Well, that is where we sit today. 37 million people on food stamps. The equivilant of the entire population of California. Seems like that might cost a lot of money and be a drag on the economy. Wouldn't it?

I honestly never thought in my life I would ever see something like this.

Yet it even gets better. Today I ran across a link pointing to a youtube video that claims JP Morgan makes money off the EBT(food stamp) accounts. That video is blocked, but who needs it when JPMorganChase has a link right here. Which is so totally awesome. Because you know, they have a real incentive to get people off the system.

You know, this place is looking nothing like communism. Food stamps a plenty, socialised medicine, and 10-20% unemployment. They should have me watched for even suggesting it.

Oh! And the beautiful mantra that the administration is creating jobs. Like all those rebates for "winterizing" your home. Which is really funny - because all those things were already in the tax code.

They were there through at least half of the Bush Administration. I've gotten a rebate on a bunch of them. Windows,water heater,insulation. I believe I even got one on the new roof I installed many years back.

When I first moved into this house I even put solar powered vents on my roof. You know what I got? A rebate. That was a full two years before President Money Bags. But, now everything is different. That whole program is going to create a bunch of jobs! You can bank on it. And if it doesn't. They are expanding the food stamps program. Just sayin'. We've only got one full state signed up. There is like 49 more.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What is your favorite twitter portal? You will tell me!

Man, I'm so bossy sometimes.

I mostly use twitter for news. I'm too lazy to tell you what I'm doing every single second of every single day. Hell, most of the time it's all I can do to find interesting stuff for this blog. Plus, have you seen who I subscribe too? It's enough to make anyone neurotic trying to figure out what kind of human I am. I read the commies and the conservatives.

Just to ruin your day.

At first you think - hey, she's in my court. Then you are all, wait - this can't be right.

Whatever. Figure it out people.

Anyway. I already use tweetdeck. But, I also used to use tweetfeed. Which started acting up last week, and looks dead for the past couple of days. I really liked tweetfeed.

So, I'm reaching out to my public to find a replacement. Thank you in advance.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Because I liked it.

The laws of unintended consequences.

I honestly don't know why these people never learn. When you raise taxes - people use less of whatever item they are taxing. All the states raised sales taxes the past year or two.

What happened? Sales tax revenue went down. So, they got the bright idea that they needed to raise taxes more. What happened?

Sales tax revenue went down even more.

Now, some cities in California have decided to charge a 300-400.00 fee for dialing 911. Instead of laying off their bloated emergency personel, they figure they will just charge you for it.

I'm of a mixed mind about this. Some people do abuse emergency services. However, the police force would be completely ineffectual without citizens calling in to report issues. You never really know how much neighbors are narcs until you listen to a police band radio. I bought one many years back because my power was constantly going out. The utility services would never be able to tell me what the problem was. But, on a PB you could tell if someone hit a pole, or a transformer blew. And, you could kinda get an idea when your power might be restored.

Immediately though, you start to realize that the police force wouldn't be so sucessful without the public monitoring their own neighborhoods and calling in tips. To be true - a charge like this would put a stop to parents calling in their kids because they aren't doing what they want them to. Domestics really make up a lot of calls. A 300 buck charge will put a stop to that pretty quickly.

A charge like that will put a stop to a lot of calls pretty quickly. Sure, maybe you see someone going into your neighbors back yard. But, you have to be 300 bucks worth the sure to call it in.

I'm betting in pretty quick order people will start handling things themselves, and the city will again be forced to justify their bloated services. And if history is any indicator, they will just raise taxes more.

"(NewsCore) - Beginning Monday, callers to 911 in Loma Linda, California will be charged for each call, KABC-TV in Los Angeles reported.

Residents will be charged $300 for each 911 call to the Loma Linda Fire Department and non-residents will be billed $400, the station reported. Residents also can pay a $48 annual fee and avoid any call charges.

The station reported Loma Linda city officials said they needed the fees to offset the high cost of providing emergency services.

Loma Linda was at least the third California city to recently implement fees for emergency calls."