Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I walk in the valley of the blue screen of death.

My Alienware machine died yesterday. I've never actually had the blue screen of death result in a complete hardware failure. Usually you reboot and move on with your life. But then - my alien machine has been the biggest piece of shit ever. I will link my previous posts. Just not now. I'm frustrated and working on a laptop.

What this means for you? Well, it probably means I loose my mind this week. It means posts will be sporadic and rage filled I'm sure.

I've already spent last night and today looking for machines. The biggest factor in my purchase? Where do I get it repaired. Machines are meant to break down in 1-3 years. And when it does - do I have to mail it in to get it repaired?

What a sorry state of the computing world when this is a bigger factor when trying to find a desktop that will replace a high end gaming system. I mean my desktop is my work machine - and it super pisses me off to have to ship my machine back and be without it for 1-? weeks.

This attitude is all thanks to Alienware. It started breaking down at about a year. I had to ship it back once. I've only owned it four years. I am not going through that again.

My new machine won't even arrive till the end of the week. Which sucks. I'm on a tiny laptop when I'm used to running dual monitors.

So there you have it.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

In the battle of words - words matter.

I was up in SF today for the Union Solidarity Protest for Wisconsin. It has really been bothering me that the union folk have been comparing themselves to the Arab Revolution. There is absolutely no comparison. I mean unions really align themselves more with our tyrant overlords, don't they? They make it so everyone has to work harder to feed their insatiable needs.

Since there was a union protest - and - a Libyan protest virtually in the same place. I had to go. I had to get some shots of of labor trying to emulate the protests in the middle east. Trying to act like something they are totally not.

We got there about 12 and figured we had enough time to go grab some ramen. The Libyan protest hadn't even set up yet. We were gone for about an hour. By the time we got back the labor protest had completely closed down. Everyone was pretty much gone, and it was only 1:45.

Honestly - it was the shortest protest on record. All the other protests I've been to lasted at least three hours. And I've been to a lot of them. Which I honestly found ironic.

There is something about this shot that bothers me. So many socialist groups there, and a homeless guy sleeping right in front of them.

At this point the labor protesters started to mingle with the Libyan protest. Who pretty much ignored them. To me, this was nice to see.

No rent-a mobs here.

The other interesting thing was as we were coming back from lunch - buses were leaving the protest area. I didn't see the protesters enter the buses, but it made me very suspicious.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Eye roll.

You know - my friend set was ground zero for the housing collapse. Upwardly mobile. Two income. Bought houses in the last 15 years.

From construction to office work. The middle class. Or people reaching into the middle class.

Now there is nothing but wreckage. Everywhere. Marriages lost. Houses lost. Jobs lost. Everything - lost. Even friendships lost. Because everyone is in completely difference socioeconomic level now. Not because you don't like them anymore. But because there is so much shame. When you've lost everything - it's hard to relate to people who haven't.

So when I see the union folks being so completely dramatic - frankly it irritates me.

As much as I can't believe it's true - my friend set has nothing to offer. They don't have any money. My friend set isn't paying anywhere near what they used to - to the government. In some cases they are taking from the government.

Some of you union folk have to go. This is simple economics.
Am I the only one who doesn't respond to those ads that fill up the whole page of a web site?

I go to start reading - then, the ad consumes the entire page. I let out a string of expletives, and by the time I'm done I don't even know what the ad was.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Big effing deal.

"Here's a sad and revealing chronology about a U.S. president named Obama, a California company named Solyndra and, now, a congressional investigation into the administration's loan guarantee of $535 million in a failed green energy project that was supposed to create jobs.

But it didn't.

At enormous taxpayer cost."

Read more:

How do you react to an article like this? Because you know - our hopey changey leader keeps proclaiming with glee that we are "investing" in America. The government always does well with "investing". Right?

It's frustrating. Anyone who has actually read anything about Solyndra would treat this as only the most speculative of investments.

I've been bitching about the company forever. Here in November. And here then in the last few paragraphs in June2010. Which I think is the more interesting article because the Valley was filled with open real estate when Solyndra just had to build a shiny new plant. They couldn't have converted any other space.

To be fair - it is an attractive building. I drive by it somewhat regularly. Yet it makes me mad every time.

There was absolutely zero financial information about this company that was good. Zero. Still President Money Bags flew in on his checkbook to save the day.

So - great. They are launching an investigation. BFD. We aren't getting our money back. We also aren't getting any of the money back they vomited on school solar panels that will take 30 years to pay off. But they had to pay for up front with bonds. Which will be infinitely less expensive in 10 years. Yet it was so important they had to get them all up with no bid contracts.

Updated: Oh yes. I'm spun up.

"What's more, Solyandra, a five-year-old company, has faced dire financial straights and had just recently undergone an audit, according to BNet.

As Solyndra's own CEO points out in an open letter response to the audit, Solyndra's future does depend on finding more financing, either through an IPO or privately. If it doesn't, the leading question about what happens to revolutionary companies that fail, at the top of this post, will get an answer. When big expectations lead to big disappointments, entire industries can be affected.

The White House blog, by contrast, proudly trumpets the fact that Solyndra's closure was averted by a $535 million dollar loan from the Department of Energy last year."

Read more:

How many Solyndras are there? I mean, you can imagine if one company got half a billion how that could be enormous financially.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I wonder how Californians drive in the snow.

I guess we will find out soon enough. At least most people are probably under 500 feet elevation. Still, they are holding with snow at sea level.

OMG. I'm too excited to sleep.

"The polar express is definitely coming, so anybody commuting Friday morning who lives in the North Bay above 1,000 feet had better either stay home or make other plans," said National Weather Service forecaster Steve Anderson. "There's going to be quite a bit of snow."

Read more:
Are any of you watching An Idiot Abroad?

It is my favorite show right now. Seriously. I love that show.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Man - great week for Malta. They got two fighter jets. Two helicopters and a warship.

X's 2.

Maybe this is temporary. The world is too chaotic to predict. Still - did you hear California was going to get snow down to sea level by Friday?

A front is coming from Alaska. It's path is straight down from Alaska to Baja.

Expect to see more of these signs.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What a difference a day makes.

Extra points if you can name these cars in the row.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Teachers in Wisconsin commit suicide. Oblivious they are dead.

While watching the coverage of the teachers protest - I had to keep reminding myself unions are only 13% of the population. Maybe less now. I'd wager - much less in the future. It's fascinating that none of them seem to see the cliff they are all running towards. A cliff that can't come soon enough.

I think there are really hard working union folk. I also think those people could probably get better wages without a union. This is my disclaimer for the other stuff I am going to say.

Unions are quickly becoming the most hated segment of the population. And we don't care if you lose your job. We would fire you twice if we could. We don't even care if the kids are unedumacated. We will put up with it to get rid of you.

This is the simple reason why.

I have to pay for all of my retirement. Plus a lot toward my own health care. I have to pay for all of these things for you. For life. I'm resentful about it. So is everyone else. Deeply resentful.

The galling thing is firefighters and police threw everyone else under the bus. They are exempt from the ruling. Yet because they are union members - no one seems to care. I guess that whole - assault to one is an assault to all thing, is bullshit.

The same thing happened here in San Jose. All the old guys refused to give up any money to save the jobs of the young guys. I mean - they are all going to retire soon with hundreds of hours of vacation time.

And anyway - how (mathematically) do people run up 854 days of vacation in 10 years? I'm serious. How?

Look at how much we are paying these people in unused vacation. In some cases it looks like a full years salary. Well - I guess it is actually. Most of the top vacation payouts are for days that equal more than a year. Even if you work there for 30 years - how is that possible?

I've been in the market and overheard people gasping about the extravagant salaries teachers and faculty are getting paid in my town. It's a really good salary. And you can't pay for your own retirement?! Eff you! You suck.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Still alive. Just too beat to post. Please be patient.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's trying to beat me.

The past couple of weeks I've been working on my back yard. Which is not interesting. This is why I haven't been posting as much.

I took out 12 cubic yards of dirt. Twice what I expected. Surprising considering this isn't the first time I've had large earth moving machines at my place. I took out as least 12 cubic yards of gravel. I had people in to level most of the trees. Which were oppressive.

This post best describes the transformation of my house. It was dark and overgrown. The place was filled with dozens and dozens of rose bushes. I'm finally down to six.

I love roses. The bunnies love roses. But, they are kind of the muggers of the plant world. Right? They are great if you just want to look. If you get anywhere near them they will put a shank in you.

There was nothing delicate in this place. A 10 foot holly bush. Seriously. Who plants that?

So you can imagine. I didn't realise how big my back yard was. I mean all that crap had been ripped out a long time ago. But now that the yard is all level - it really looks like a mini park.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

It is just sweet.

This morning I was up really early to rent the bobcat again. As I'm driving through town - I notice one of the houses has some of the street blocked off from parking. The military is there - and the house has a big welcome home banner on the front.

By the time I got the bobcat loaded and drove back through town - a bigger crowd had formed. So, I pulled off one of the side streets and took a few cell phone shots.

Over the loud speaker they were telling everyone the soldier would be there soon. I didn't have time to wait. Which bummed me out. I wish I had time to hang out and watch that moment of joy.

I got back to the house. Mr S. went out to get food. I asked him to watch out for the house and asked if he could get some shots. I guess by the time he came through - the fire department had arrived.

It made me feel glad I live in a town that does that.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Egyptians are Westernising at an alarming rate.

Day one protests: very few cellphones in the crowds. By day five - started to see cellphones and cameras. Now everyone has a cellphone pretty much.

This morning I saw they'd found themselves a giant spotlight that you'd normally see at a store opening. Now they have clown wigs and fireworks.

It's like the South Park - Simpsons Did It episode.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It would have been clever if the protesters had arranged their shacks in Tahrir square to look like a peace symbol.
At least Egypt is creating a suspenseful ending.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Pictures I should have posted.

I don't know if this is an interesting story - but I'm going to tell it.

This weekend, we were sticking in some sod - when I hear the doorbell ring. It's a neighbor I talk to sometimes while she is walking her dog past my house.

I have to get my dog on, any chance I get. I love dogs grew up with them. Mr S. however is allergic. I can't even hold his hand after I pet a dog or he will get welts where I touched him. Which is a bummer because he loves dogs too.

Having said this - I bitch about dogs a lot. I moved from my last house because the neighbors would never control their dog from barking. Oh yes. I will move. This neighbor taught us - you can never talk to people rationally about their misbehaving dogs. People flip out.

Then we went through that spate where our current neighbors dog kept jumping the fence to get into our yard. We eventually had to get bitchy about it. Because, we are the assholes for not wanting some else's dog in our yard.

I generally think a lot of people should not own dogs.

Anyway. We'd had a package delivered the day before, and the neighbor wanted to know who the carrier was. Apparently the carrier had hit her dog in the head with his handheld signature device. The dog needed a staple. And I guess she claims the driver threatened her dog. Which I am completely sympathetic about. People are really edgy over the constant pit bull attacks.

Now, I've had cameras on my house since someone in the neighborhood vandalised my car. So, I went back through the camera history. And it wasn't favorable for her. The guy had to kick her dog away twice before he hit it.

I'm not afraid of dogs at all, and I probably would have hit the dog the way it was acting. Except dogs love me and that would have never happened.

I hope everyone stays reasonable. Because I'm going to have to side with the driver.

Monday, February 07, 2011

More pictures I should have posted.

I was busy today. So, I'm basically phoning it in. This means stuff that is not new.

Which is good, because the past 2-3 months - I've been in a photo drought. I can't believe how many days can go by where I don't see anything I find interesting or remarkable. I hope this changes.

Pictures I should have posted.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

It's unusual. But, not right.

You guys know I'm the queen of flat paint jobs. Right? I've been loving flat paint jobs forever. Here. I probably have enough I should just make a tag for them.

Still. I've been seeing this flat black Jaguar around town for a while. I guess they are trying to sell it now. It does get a lot of attention.

Flat black just isn't right on a Jag. I can't quite place my finger on the reason why. Maybe too many ripples in the frame. Although, admittedly - it does have one good angle. The top one - where it doesn't look too bad. Otherwise...

Friday, February 04, 2011

I'm not cynical - I'm just observant.

Some of the stuff you find on youtube is hilarious.

Expecially from Russia.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Funniest thing today. Watching #KennethColeTweets.

People have their panties in a bunch about this. Sarcasm ensues.
Anyone else crisis fatigued?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The pot Economy.

I've been trying to figure out how to talk about this topic because it isn't my typical content. Still, it's a big part of the California economy now. And - it is interesting. Especially for someone who grew up in the 70's and 80's and remember the war on drugs.

Everything is all different now. The paranoid days are over. Pot shops are sprouting up everywhere. Even in nice technology business parks. Not skeeby ones. You will be driving to get to a mega fortune 500 business. You'll pass a semiconductor company. Light manufacturing. Then bam - a collective.

And, you'd never know it was there unless you had a keen eye on the armed security guards standing out front. Which is not normal in a technology park.

Even this weekend when I took the train to SF, you go through this dead zone area of Oakland. Which is normally shuttered on the weekends. Up sprouts a brightly green colored hydro shop bustling with business. From what I could see from the time it took for the train to pass through.

So I've taken to going to the conventions. I was at hempcon this weekend, and I saw some notable things. A booth for the city of San Jose right in the convention. Extremely limited police patrolling. Especially since they were making sales right at the conference this time. (With medical verification) And people smoke right outside.

Most people think potheads are watching porn and eating Cheetos on the sofa all day long. Most enjoyable is the entrepreneurial side of whats going on. Specially made vending machines. Other stuff I just don't want to talk about. Still, it makes me smile how crafty these people are becoming now that threat of being pinched is minimised.