Monday, October 31, 2011

Made from the tears of baby seals.

I forgot to get candy this weekend, so I ran out this morning. Sifting through the dregs I spotted a whole shelf of this.

The name, of course, caught my attention - but the price made me laugh. It is more than 2x's what all the other candy costs. I loves me some dark chocolate - but shit. For the price, this should be infused with white rhino horns.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

There were not many great houses this year. Maybe because Halloween falls on a Monday. I didn't even get any pumpkins out this year. I couldn't come up with any good ideas after Zombie pumkins. Mr S's south park pumpkins. Evil pumpkin snowman has been a hit. Seems like everone is hitting this link.

The angry birds house was at least a little interesting.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I would have had better content for you... but -

A couple of weeks ago when Mr S. and I decided we wanted to replace Paisley with another velveteen lop, we didn't know how much of hassle this would be. We see them from time to time. We didn't think it would be a big deal. However breeders are actually quite fashionable when it comes to breeds. And this breed is not in fashion right now.

It's actually a little worse than that. A velveteen rabbit is a rabbit crossed from and English Lop and a Rex. You get something that looks like an English Lop without the ridiculous ears. It is a recognised breed, but not a registered breed. And with no prizes, no real traction in the breed. As I've found out, if you enter a breed and you fail, you have to wait three years to re-enter. If you happen to get accepted, you have to have two successive litters to make sure the breed stays true to the form.

So, what I'm saying is... it takes a shitload of time.

As we've found out, there might possibly be only a handful of breeders in California. And, it seems that the breed has really small litters. Making them even harder to find.

It took us all week, but we finally found a doe an hour north of L.A. We arrange to hook up. I was going to do L.A. in a day. Drive down and back.

Last night as we were getting in bed at 9, because it was going to be along day - the breeder texts us. The litter mate was sneezing and had discharge.

Now, the thing about rabbits is they have all sorts of bacteria inside them. Most can live very healthy lives with it. However, most of these bacteria and protozoa are ticking time bombs. Just waiting for the right trigger. And you never know what the trigger is going to be.

L.A. breeder knew her sneezing litter mate probably had pasteurella. Which is one of the more frustrating bacteria. It usually attacks the inner ear. Giving them head tilt. Or sometimes they will completely loose control and roll over and over and over. You can't do anything but put them down. Sometimes it can be managed with antibiotics - if you catch it really early. Still we haven't found those with it don't live extraordinarily long lives. If that is what the litter mate has, the other one is also quite likely infected.

So, now we are back on the hunt.

Why even bother with this breed you ask? It's one of the few breeds that have only one set of hairs. Most rabbits have regular hair, and guard hairs. These breeds shed like crazy. Since these are indoor bunnies, the reduced shedding is a huge deal. They also have a lot of funny quirks I'll probably explain later.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Why your OWS protestors are shitting on sidewalks.

Early in my career I worked at a company that sits where Google sits now. It is right next to the Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheater.

A few times a year the Grateful Dead would come en mass with their posse of smelly hippies with drum circles and tie die clothing. The only thing interesting about this story is they used to bathe in the company fountains. Oh, there was a park right next to the amphitheater. But I guess the fountains were cleaner.

At any rate - Jerry Garcia died, and the deadheads became fractured. They morphed into this group called the Rainbow Family. I hadn't actually heard about them in a great many years. I probably stopped paying attention.

About a week ago though I started seeing some of the #OWS protesters and it really reminded my of the rainbow family. It was probably when the protesters started looking more like campers and less like anarchists.

So this morning I plugged OWS and rainbow family into google, and what should pop up? A confirmation that a lot of these protesters are basically the children of dead heads. Ie, the rainbow family. RF FB page. And Here.

These are probably the people shitting on the sidewalk. They actually have quite a history with the forest service - where they hold gatherings on public forest lands. Refuse to get permits, clean up after themselves, and generally cause destruction. These gatherings are like small cities.

So, we've got socialists, dead heads, and anarchists. The rainbow family will be hardest to get rid of. They have a deep seated network of people who will funnel giving cash to them. And they will never leave if you feed them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pictures I should have posted.

Almost Miz Minka....almost.

When I was inland this weekend, I got to meet one of my long time readers. She came bearing jam, I came bearing burgers you should only eat if you are into heart bypass. It's the kind of girl I am.

I was so excited about her present, I completely disregarded the name grapefruit on the label. Right next to the word marmalade.

On Sunday I couldn't wait to get to breakfast to try it. By this time I'd figured it out. No matter. And it would have worked out perfectly if grapefruit wasn't such a nag.

The first half of your brain says - Oh! this tastes really close to marmalade. Then the grapefruit kicks you and says - No! I'm GRAPEFRUIT. If it weren't for that grapefruit kick at the end, it would have all worked for me.

So....this is my proposal. Blood orange marmalade. Not as sweet as orange marmalade, and my neighbor has a tree full of them she is always trying to pawn off on me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Behind on everything.

On Sunday I visited my saved bunny even though he wasn't ready yet. I was trying to find out what his affection level was going to be. As I was trying to coax kisses out of him I noticed he had a slight under bite.

Under bites are a huge problem. It means there is a very good chance it will grow up with a malocclusion. His teeth wont wear on their own. I will have to trim them.

Everyone will tell you that isn't that big of a deal. It's totally a huge deal. Once you get past the lips and tongue, and get ready to cut - up will pop a skin fold. On both sides which move independently. It's like playing mouth twister. If you had to do this a couple of times you could work through it. Over the lifetime of a rabbit it's a pain in the ass. Especially in the advanced years.

We never fell in love with any of the bunnies there. Which is why I was back on Sunday.

Yesterday, Mr S. and I decided what we really wanted was another velveteen without knowing the other had. He'd apparently been searching for a breeders all day. As had I. When we met up, we were both like - I really want a velveteen!

Apparently, this is a pretty hard breed to find here right now.

I didn't think it was a common breed, but I didn't think we would need to scrub the whole California breeder list to find any.

Right now it looks like we could be going on some very long road trips. Near LA, or inland near Yosemite.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dear Banks.....

It is none of your business what I do with my effing money. Quit asking me.

In the past month I have had two really intrusive experiences with banks. Since I got one of those famous letters from my bank I wound up in a branch today. She pulls up my account and immediately asks what I'm going to do with the money. Are you going to invest it, or take a vacation - she asks.

This was surprising since I don't have that much money in there. Bill paying money.

I was already raw about having this experience a month ago when I was trying to take money out of another bank. Your reluctance to answer only made them probe harder.

Mr S. got kinda shitty with the representative. I was listening to him on the phone when he popped up with - yes, I do mind you asking. I mean, that is how hard they were probing. It really pissed both of us off. I don't need to tell you why I am taking money out of my account. It wasn't even that much money. Which is why it was so odd.

My thought was - when did they start grilling you to take money out of your account?

So today when the representative asked the same question my mouth dropped, and I was trying to gauge my response. Because I really felt the same way. It's my money - I don't need to give you a reason for anything. I wasn't even taking money out. Yet I'm polite, so I'm not going to say it's none of your fucking business. This woman stopped just shy of that. She probably tried eight ways to get me to tell her what I was going to do with it.

It isn't that they ask. Banks are built to get more business. It's just that if you don't want to answer they double down and probe harder. That is irritating.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I've been wondering how all the bums in my burb wound up with bikes this year. Just passed a foreclosure with it's contents on the lawn. Homeless hovering like flies.

Please sir, I want some 3D.

You know, when I grew up poor - we were just happy with food. Now parents can't even afford 3D. Oh the injustice! I can just imagine her shock and horror at this poor disadvantaged child. We should definitly have the government step in and povide free 3D for all. Or get Sally Struthers involved or something!

This of course is an #OWS suporter. In the comments here.

My picture is a little long, if you just click on it you can see what is cut off the right hand side. I thought it was more important for this douche's name to be visible than the whole text.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blame Chinada.

"Factories in China have been churning out solar panels so fast that prices have plunged. Just ask the folks at Solyndra, the bankrupt photovoltaic-cell maker that has gotten the Obama Administration into hot water over loan guarantees. Those Chinese manufacturers are now disrupting another corner of the solar industry: so-called solar thermal installations, which make electricity by bouncing sunlight off mirrors to boil water, creating steam that drives turbines.

At least four companies have abandoned plans for solar thermal plants in the U.S. in favor of electricity-producing solar cells, which have fallen in price by nearly half this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance."
Read More here.

Yes.... China is the problem. Or it could be that these types of installations have proven to be insanely costly.

"Solar thermal startup BrightSource recently finished building a solar-to-steam farm for oil giant Chevron, which will enable Chevron to use steam from the solar farm for enhanced oil recovery. But according to BrightSource’s latest amendments to its S-1 (the filing that indicates it will go public), that project, called Coalinga, ended up costing significantly more than BrightSource expected.

BrightSource says that when the project was first established back in December 2008, the company thought it would take a loss on the project, because it was the company’s first and was intended to be a proving ground. BrightSource says it had estimated contract losses of $10.5 million at that time.
However, as of this summer, June 30, 2011, BrightSource says its loss since inception of the project was $58.6 million, “or $48.1 million greater than the initial loss estimate as recognized in December 2008." Read more here.

The article goes on to say:

"These cost overruns are worrisome, because Coalinga was a smaller 29 MW project for Chevron, and BrightSource is currently knee-deep in building a far larger 392 MW farm in the desert near Las Vegas. BrightSource and the owners of Ivanpah say they have committed to funding up to “$66.5 million of overrun contingency reserves, known as the funded overrun equity,” for Ivanpah"

So.....Chevron *a public company* got a five fold increase in costs on this type of installation. The Ivanpah installation is the one that just got a 1.6 billion dollar loan from the government. I can only imagine what we the taxpayer will experience in cost over runs. I mean, they have the government checkbook. But this is all China's fault.

What would make you axe a purchase faster? Paying 5 times what you expected for something, or getting something much cheaper than you expected?

The reason for the death of big box stores.

When I woke up this morning and saw that Lowe's was starting to close stores and lay off people, I thought - what took them so long? With their isles of stale merchandise, and barely proficient checkers.

To be fair, Lowe's has the nicest barely proficient workers out there. I even got a hug with my last experience. Which was nice. Still it took two days and five checkers to get out the door. With a call the next day to get the order placed. It seemed no one knew how to get sod delivered to my door. I think the girl put it best when she called me the next day. She said "sometimes the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing".

This is after buying sod at Home Depot all summer. I had to do my back yard in stages. I eventually tired of going to Home Depot because I could never get someone with the forklift to put it into my truck. It would always take me an hour to get my sod and be out the door. I'd have to load it - sometimes with another girl. The forklift was never to be seen. It burns half your energy.

Both of these stores seem fairly ambivalent to selling you anything.

Contrast that to my experience this weekend with an old timey lumber store. I had to find some quarter inch double sided melamine. The big box stores didn't carry it. They only carried one sided melamine.

After I found my sheets, I needed to have them cut down so I could transport them. Normally at Home Depot you would have to track someone down, who would call someone.

One of the roving workers asked if we found everything. I asked about having the sheets milled. He stopped right there whipped out a ticket, and drove us straight to the milling department. I thought I'd die. The only time this happens at the big boxes stores is if you accidentally catch someone at the machines.

And I drove 45 minutes to have this experience. Which was every minute worth it, because normally I would just be sitting in home depot waiting for someone to mill these sheets.

The other nice thing was they had things I'd never seen. All these exotic hard woods I'd never heard of like cocobolo wood. Pictured at the top. They had this wood that was cut in 2x2x12 inch pieces, and it was every bit as heavy as a similar sized piece of steel. I'd never seen anything like it.

You know what is even sadder? I don't want to give the lumber yards name because they have all those exotic hardwoods and that whole Gibson thing is going on. I'm sure they are legit - but who needs to get anyone harassed?

Saturday, October 15, 2011


If you are ever in Manteca on Lathrop Rd. and need a soda - stop in at the alienmart. Yes, that is a spaceship.

It's right off the freeway. I saw this place many years back, and at the time didn't know the inside was filled with aliens too. Since I was on my way to the central valley - I figured I might as well get some updated photos.

In search of a band aid.

The thing that took me out of posting this week was - Paisley died on Monday. And I've just been shitty about it all week. She was probably the funniest rabbit ever. She hated chap stick. She would make all these funny faces when I'd wear it. And I just don't even want to go into it now.

I got her to nine years - but you people who have cats and dogs, at least you get 15 years or so. No matter what I do, I can't stretch their time lines. And it sucks.

So I did what any rational person would do - find a bunny replacement. Well, I didn't so much find a replacement, but find a candidate. It has two different faces - so maybe he is funny. Next weekend I will find myself in Stockton at a bunny show to see if he was the best candidate. For now there will be periods of shittyness.

This one isn't ready for two weeks. And it's a boy. I normally name bunnies stripper names. Mr S. - food names.

There are no male stripper names!

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's gonna be hot, hot, hot.

This is an eraser.

This is a chili pepper.

Since the season has been really mild, I've finally gotten my first ripe chiltepin pepper. Bad news - my bush is filled with probably 100 non ripe ones. I think they are all going to come ripe at once. Which is a bummer. These are super hot.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Totally meaningless moments.

Sometimes when I get overwhelmed or stressed I shut down. It's like a million things are going on inside my head, I just can't get them out. Nothing seems interesting or worthwhile sharing. It actually takes quite a bit of effort to get started again. You can see this pattern repeat itself over and over the years on this blog. You just need a little patience to wait me out.

This is also why you get this non interesting story I'm going to tell you about the interactions I had with a couple of people getting my lawn in.

Yesterday morning the sod truck pulled up. I figured I would try to get as much in as I could and Mr S. would help me this weekend. Really, this wouldn't even be a story if it weren't for this little old lady.

I saw her across the street at the corner. Which is about three houses down on the other side of the street. And she was just staring at me. I'd put a roll down, and she would advance towards me smiling. Crossing the street in a diagonal fashion. Staring and smiling the whole time.

When she got close enough I said - it's so green, it doesn't look real. Right?

Her - You should have paid someone to do this for you.

Me - Girls can do things. Besides I'm half done.

Her - Oh! I can help you.

Me (placatingly)- I bet you could, because chicks rock.

For a couple of minutes we made small talk about me paying someone. Me convincing her it just wasn't a big deal. I mean the rolls at Lowe's any chick can do.

Then it became apparent she was actually serious. She started advancing towards the stack of rolls.

Her - I'll help you.

Me - You are going to ruin all your clothes.

The rolls were grown in this black dirt, and I'd already picked clothes I could just throw out. Black garden stuff just stains.

Her again - I can help you.

And she was totally serious. I actually had to get between her and the rolls of sod to stop her.

Finally she was getting to a point where she was borderline annoying. Totally sweet. But you just have to get in this zone - and she was interrupting my zone. I mean, it's hard work.

On one hand I was really impressed that she thought she could do it. She must have been pushing 70. I've never seen a young chick even attempt to lay sod. On the other, I couldn't understand why she was trying to help me. Part of me wanted to take her up on it. Not because I needed help - but because I'm curious that way. She would have probably sued me. I just wanted to she if she could.

I've learned to never completely underestimate people. She probably wouldn't have been able to. But there is always that 1% who will knock you on your ass with surprise. It's one of the most fantastic things about life.

The other story is about my sprinklers. I know. You are bored already. Do you want me to get back to posting or not?

I'd put in these spin-ey sprinklers. You can buy them everywhere. They aren't even anything special. I just got tired of watering the sky. We get lots of wind here sometimes, and they just make it so water falls to the ground.

Mr S. and I were testing them and this couple riding a bike completely flipped around and came back to investigate. The odd thing is how in awe they were about them. It was like my house was the Bellagio or something.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The world revolved around him.

It was really weird waking up to not having Steve today. I've never known a world without him. Which sounds trite.

I was about 12 years old when "computers" started popping up. Components connected with ribbon cables strewn everywhere. Not the nice clean plug and play machines you see now.

By 16, I was lying about my age to work at NEC. You were suppose to be 18.

From then, I pretty much took the graphics off ramp. The guys I dated still were under Apples control. One guy I dated even worked for NeXT. Even I wound up working at Apple for a brief time. Everyone was always trying to work there. Even though they weren't doing that well, everything in the Valley still revolved around Apple.

It's weird to have any feeling about the guy. For most of my life I've just pretty much thought he was a dick. I didn't meet him personally, but all the reports from everyone who worked with him would end in the same common theme. Man.. that guy is such a dick.

It wasn't until this recession that I really became to appreciate him to some extent. It is unbelievably hard to reinvent yourself. You have to be willing to burn your house down and lose everything. A stark contrast to today where people expect to take chances and lose nothing.

Maybe I'm just sad about losing a piece of old Silicon Valley. Flying by the seat of your pants without government intervention or help. But maybe I've been sad about that for a while. He did have A Gore on his board of Directors after all.

The whole thing still just seems really weird.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Sorry i havent replied to any of my comments. Im on a time crunch and im tired.