When there’s no one left to blame

I wasn’t exactly scooped since I had the information last week. But Radical has the case number and all. Nice job! I think one of our gentle readers is going to hook me up with the actual petition. Y’all will be the second to know, unless Radical posts it first. 😉

This just in from one of member of our three hour cruise:

Gilligan: Professor! Professor! I got some news on the cocoanut line!

Professor: Really Gilligan?

Skipper: Don’t listen to him… He’s been smokin’ too many “fatties”

Gilligan: No REALLY

Professor: Go ahead, Gilligan

Gilligan: Well, I just got a call from a guy from the State of California Labor Board!

Professor: And….?

Gilligan: He told me the San Francisco office HQ got my letter in the bottle and added us to the law suit. They are going after Alliance Title no matter if they are de-funked or not! They owe not only us 7 castaways on the island, but a whole bunch of other people too! Don’t give up!

Professor: Did you tell them anything else?

Gilligan: Yup, I told him the parent company has the money

… Here on Alliance Island…

Thanks little buddy! That’s going to leave a mark.

I want to ride my bicycle

But for now I have to wait. Apparently the razz ma tazz wheels that are on that thing take a special wrench to true them, so even though it was supposed to come home today, it won’t be back until tomorrow. My good buddy The Broker came to visit me this morning. That was an awesome way to kill 45 minutes at Starbucks. He’s a riot. I told him that we were in dutch for our little adventure up Mt. Diablo. He says

  • “you did the ranger station?”
  • Yeah, I think so.
  • “Awesome, after this weekend when I do my century we’ll go up to the summit!”
  • You know we got in trouble for that…right?

It’s a little too late to do the right thing now

From the Special Comments Section

From an email sent by JH to a local mgr, “…Alliance filed a bankruptcy petition today.” And here’s the rich part, “The filing will not impact Financial Title or the rest of the Mercury affiliates…”

The death watch continues…

Comment by escrowdude —

Thanks escrowdude. Now everybody merrily fire up your Pacer accounts. Special prize to the first person who emails me the petition.

Blood on the tracks

handcuffs.jpg

As a title officer, or in my case Title Operations Manager, you know when shit’s sideways. You just KNOW. You get heavy duty pressure from above when you try to rein things in. You’re told that you’re the unreasonable one. It might even bother you late at night, but there’s nothing substantial you can put your finger on. Every title officer worth a crap has been there. I knew. Never saw an escrow file. Glad I didn’t, because if I did, I would have seen this:

Escrow Officer Charged with Taking Homeowner Cash

By Barbara E. Hernandez
Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 5:28 pm in Mortgage Mania, The Market.

Jocelyn Saenz Carrillo, 53, a former branch manager and escrow officer with Alliance Title Co. in Fremont, was arraigned on 31 counts of real estate felonies in Alameda County Superior Court. She’s charged with diverting home loan money from 10 Bay Area homeowners, mostly elderly and Spanish-speaking, to two unlicensed loan salesman Altaf Shaikh (aka Zak Khan) and Kaseem Mohammadi, both reportedly convicted felons.

Total losses are alleged to be more than $200,000 and occurred around or in December 2003, according to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

Saenz Carrillo is accused of preparing false and misleading documents which concealed theft. Alliance Title closed its doors in 2007. Information on this case can be forwarded to the Alameda County District Attorney, Real Estate Fraud Unit, 800-287-9862.

Care of the Contra Costa Times. I doubt it started at Alliance.  This is from last year, but since we’re working on a theme

I’ve caught several thieves during my career and have been responsible for several people going to jail. Alliance had a case where the guy should have gone but they chose to eat it. I know when something’s wrong and if I can find the angle, I stop it. What I’m seeing now is the way that title companies are structuring their businesses they will never catch hucksters. I sat in a meeting yesterday with a guy from corporate. Great guy. Smart guy. A Guy Who Gets It. Unfortunately, this website has gotten me in a lot of trouble at the Bloodless Empire. I’ve been labeled a malcontent with a bad attitude. You got to love redundancy. So the one question I wanted to ask him, I was afraid to ask. I wanted to say “What are you going to do when I retire? You have no one coming up behind me that knows how to write title. The nearest title plant is nearly 50 miles away. What is the end game here?” But, I have a mortgage and the corporation has made it very clear to me that they don’t enjoy PBE. If you can’t stand the heat maybe you need to look in a mirror. Did you want your mixed metaphor dirty or on the rocks?

Cause we belong in a world that must be strong

There is an East Bay Vintners Association. Who knew? Actually, I knew there were several tasting rooms in Oakland and Rosenblum in Alameda. Turns out they’re in Berkeley and Emeryville as well. We started on Sunday at Lost Canyon. We didn’t get a long ways past there. Really, if you’re a red wine drinker, you don’t need to. I originally met these guys at the Pinot Festival in Santa Rosa a couple of years ago. They belonged there. I remembered the Saralee’s Vineyard from two years ago. No fall off since then. I just wish that I had been able to taste the array back then. They were tasting seven wines on Sunday. Sonofabun thought it was 2005 all over again and bought two of each. I couldn’t blame him, there wasn’t a bad wine in the bunch. They were so good, you couldn’t decide which to bring home. The theme, if you will, for their style is good fruit forward with an elegant finish. They don’t do the fruit bomb thing that the Parkerized American palette expects, but you get decent fruit in every sip of every wine, but it’s so well balanced that it’s hard to put one of their glasses down. The Viognier was excellent. Apples forward, subtle dry finish. Nothing hits you over the head, it just says “more”, because you want more. Unique well balanced wine, very unusual for a Viognier. Of the Pinots, the Saralee’s, Morelli Lane, Los Carneros they are all very food friendly wines. Each are single vineyard with the difference being the fruit itself. The style is true to the winemakers. Subtle fruit forward, elegant finish. The Saralee has the sweetest of the fruit, if sweet is the right word at all, there’s a little hint of strawberry in that one. Every one of them would have been excellent with lamb chops or a pork loin roast for dinner. I liked the Morelli Lane the best, I thought it was the most developed with a polished mouthfeel. It’s one of those Pinots that’s got some of that earthiness to it. Just a beautiful wine. The last three were Syrahs. Stage Gulch, Trenton Station and Alegria. Every one of these was dark, rich and full of the things you like to see in a Syrah. (not a Shiraz) Leather, smoke, spice, blackberries. Of the three, I liked the Alegria the best. It was the best balanced of three beautifully balanced wines. The thing about Lost Canyon wines is that they are all so food friendly. We were able to taste each wine and name what we’d serve it with. That’s food friendly. If every in Oaktown, don’t pass these guys by. They’re at the 23rd St. offramp about 1/2 a mile on the right.

After all that we only had time for one more stop so we went to JC Cellars. We went there because Dashe Cellars shared the space. I originally met Michael and Anne Dashe at ZAP, prior to my nap in the roll up doorway. He’s been trained at Davis, she was trained in the Bordeaux. Yeah, THAT Bordeaux, she’s French. Delightful lady and rocket smart about wine. Somehow she tolerated me long enough to discuss winemaking at ZAP. So she’s a patient woman too. They make a Riesling that is pure European style. As a rule, in Europe, you drink German whites and French reds. Life’s just better that way. This Frenchwoman makes a rockin’ Riesling. It doesn’t hit you over the head, just beautiful crisp fruit with a velvety finish. Ripe apples and pears up front on this one without too much sweetness, followed by a gentle finish. Can’t say enough about this one. Although I’ve been on a Riesling kick. Don’t ask me what that’s about. Next up was their Zinfandels. They make three. The Tod Brothers, the Louvou and the one I can’t remember. The woman in the tasting room made comparisons with jazz singers and now I’m fixated on Ella Fitzgerald and Cole Porter. No matter, my favorite was the Louvou. The Tod brothers is good, but it’s old vine and I’m not necessarily always dancing in the streets for old vine. That’s a personal preference. It’s a very good wine with raspberry, spice and a touch of licorice. I would just go for the Louvou instead. Probably because of it’s pepper on the back end because it’s an old vine too. Also full of raspberries, very well balanced. Another great wine.

JC Cellars. The Caldwell. That’s it, there’s nothing more that need be said about this place. OK, there’s plenty more to say. They do a very good job too. Quite honestly of the three wineries, there wasn’t a bad one in there. You can’t hit three random wineries in Napa and bat 1000. The Caldwell is a Syrah. Deep coffee, smokiness, a very sexy wine. This one will sit with you late at night in a leather chair after the day is done and remind you how great it is to be alive. It will stand up to a roast nicely, hints of rosemary in there. Possibly priced a little high, but maybe not. I’m still trying to figure if I’ve got $45 worth of love for this one.

Hounds of Hell

I don’t know what was going on around here but the hacking has stopped. Beau seems to be out of his funk. Rita quit sneezing but she clearly has a sting or a bite on her nose. Who knows what she stuck her nose into, but at least it’s done with. She was a riot coiling up, bringing her butt curled around to her nose, closing her left eye and exploding with a series of dog sneezes. I was afraid it was a foxtail but it was a bite. The sneezing is done. I took them with me when I voted yesterday. Then I tricked them into the dog baths. Everybody is silky and clean this morning.

Coconut Telegraph

Is on fire this week. Mercury is in retrograde. (Not that Mercury, the one that makes everyone’s life a living hell…no not that Mercury…) I got my facts a little horse in front of the cart yesterday. This is like that section in the Chronicle that’s now nearly a page long where they correct all their screw ups. Do keep your eye on Pacer, but yesterday wasn’t the filing day. It’s coming, in the Northern District of California court…San Jose.

BARF and Budget

I ran into an old lifting buddy on BARF yesterday. He’s been riding the SOB for 16 years. He said everytime a budget fight comes up they drop a car or two off of every train and can’t get the trains to run on time to save their lives. What a bunch of ass clowns. I went to the Dr. yesterday afternoon so I took the 3:56 home. I stood ALL THE WAY HOME. Ridership is up, run more trains. It’s not rocket science. If the experience is horrible, which it teeters on daily anyway, no one will ride it when the cost of gas goes back down or when the economy catches up to the price of gas. Instead of every 20 minutes, make it 15, instead of 15, make it 10. For the most part every single person on those trains is spending between $6-10 bucks a day to ride it. How are you not making stupid money? Get your act together.

I hope someday they can see past what you have become

I just saw premium gas at $4.64 a gallon. Now like Bill Maher said, if Col. Sanders were President and chicken was $22 a pound, I’d think there was something going on. I’ll tell you what’s going on, everyone is getting out of their cars finally and getting on public transportation. Ridership is up 14% just on the trains. That makes my life a regular yuckfest. I stood up all the way to work today and all the way home. Does not make for Happytime. I’m glad people are finally figuring it out, but Hey! BARF! How ’bout y’all figurin’ it out too. Not only have they NOT added trains but they can’t get the ones they have to run on time. Even Mussolini….well you know. Today the 5:08 came at 5:13. “So what?” you may think. You would be wrong. You see, for every minute a train is late, more people can accumulate in the previous station. So five minutes of accumulating at 5:00 is hellacious. I leave from Embarcadero, the last San Francisco stop. It is a certain kind of Kentucky Fried Hell. Add some asshats who don’t know to take off the freaking back packs and set them between their feet and it’s some kind of fun.

Hack

Big Beau has a hack. He’s fixin’ to get himself a trip to the vet. Ding Dong Rita started sneezing like a fiend in the back yard. I think something stung her, but I haven’t cleared every single last itty bitty remnant of the foxtails out there. Potentially she could of snorted one up. I really think a bug bit her, but she’s under observation with Mr. Doberman. I really hope I don’t have a late night run to Monument. Not a happy place in the middle of the night. We’ll be reassessing dog snouts in the morning.

I replaced the tires on my bike tonight. So far no tubes exploding. Hopefully nothing is pinched. My legs feel surprisingly good considering the Hell I put them through yesterday. I put Continental Grand Prix 4000s on it. I got grey because even though the bike is Look At Me Red, adding Look At Me Red tires was a little much…and it didn’t really match the Fatcyclist jersey. I’ve tried adjusting the gears, I had some gearing problems too yesterday and ran in the two smaller sprockets. I hate using the little one, but I just had to. Manchild bailed me out twice when it wouldn’t shift all the way down. I’d like to just adjust it properly and stop worrying about it.

Coconut Telegraph

The Coconut Telegraph is doing the rumba. The little birds have been tweeting in my ears. I’d recommend jumping on your Pacer accounts and running Alliance Title Company…any minute now…if not already…that’s what the Wine Dog heard. Now I just have that faraway look, that a dog gets when he hears a sound in the distance that he just can’t quite identify. Listen…

Is the hedge fund trying to put the founder’s grandson out to pasture? That’s all over town. I hope that one’s rubbish. Who do you think led the masses to the 21st century promised land? Eh? Yeah, and the Grandson and his team. It’s the market you jackholes. Yo, Beantown, if that’s your best move….better hit the showers, you’re just like Trevor Hoffman the other night. Meat.

Life is like a box of chocolates

And today PBE is a box of chocolates. I’ve just got a ton of bits and pieces and not a complete thought in the whole mess…a lot like a box of chocolates. First off, I know youtube doesn’t show up right here, but today I have something from Blutube. The take down by the dog is awesome. And don’t run when they bring in the chopper, they can see you in the dark.

NOLA revisited

This gal is one of the best real estate bloggers on the internet. She’s based in San Diego and really does an excellent job. I think her blog even has awards from people that matter. I just enjoy reading her. She’s been in New Orleans with her daughter. Anyone that’s been here for any period of time knows how much this matters to me. She spells it out beautifully. Another nice job by the Bush Administration.

Down on The Farm

The dogs are now all healthy. I don’t know what went on two weeks ago, but I’m glad it’s over. Beauregard is gaining some weight. I’ve been weighing him, he’s up three pounds the other day, I’ll weigh him later on today. Never pick up a Doberman first thing in the morning to weigh them. Even if they’re down to 70 pounds it’s not so sporty on the back. This week I spent two evenings chasing around the boxes (there were two) that were lost/misplaced/mishandled/misdelivered by the asshats at UPS. Thursday night I had to replace a faucet at my parents house and last night I actually went out to dinner with Sonofabun. So I haven’t been home much and the dogs have taken exception to this. At three o’clock in the morning. For the last three nights. Last night I got them to lay down again, but at 4:30 they were at it again, so I got up, let them out, fed them, left the back of the house open and went back to bed. I woke up at 7:00 a.m. to find them both curled back up and in bed with me. The little stinkers miss me. They’ll be over that after their baths today.

rita-the-mighty-huntress.JPG

I’m not sure what she heard under that piece of wood, my guess is a lizard, but she was on full alert.

Better than the Coconut Telegraph

New guy, escrowdude, got me the link to the Mercury/FATCO lawsuit. So here it is for your enjoyment.

mercury_v_first_american.pdf

I don’t know what Patty and her attorneys are smoking. The First American attorneys ought to be sniffing the blood in the water and it’s not going to be pretty. The only way she prevails on any level is if there is a corporate decision to not crush her. This is soooo last ditch, we all know the Mercury bankruptcy paperwork is all but filed. We also got a tip in the comments this week about the WARN act. That’s Federal. You know the rule, don’t mess with the Feds.

Speaking of dinner

We went to Moresi’s, a local chophouse last night. They do a really good job. They could do something about the acoustics in the place, but the food is good and the service was excellent. I know the lines get out the door in the summer, but we didn’t have a problem. We were seated in the very back, which was fine, but it was so noisy it was hard to hear without shouting at each other. Even the waiter couldn’t hear us order. The place is very quaint, we had mojito’s to open. I had a peach one and it was a beautiful cocktail. The appetizers were good but nothing special. The steaks were very good. I had a petite filet done “Black and Blue” (charred on the outside rare on the inside) with scalloped potatoes, creamed corn and a side of Lipitor. I brought a 1998 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon with me. It needs to breathe for a while. You just can’t keep that much love confined in the bottle for that many years and not give it a moment or two before inviting it to dinner.  Subtle ripe cherry and plums with some floral undertones. A little spice on the finish. Beautiful mouthfeel (one of my favorite wine words) full of elegance and a dark ruby color. This is what Wine Spectator said about this wine in 2001:

Medium-weight, with herb, dill, cedar and earthy cherry and plum flavors that are elegant and well-proportioned. Turns complex on the finish.
The Wine Spectator 10/31/01

It got better. Much better over those last seven years. It was perfect with a steak dinner.

Beating my head against the wall because it feels so good when I stop

I know I talk a lot about cyclists and downed bikers etc. But I got this link off of drunkcyclist the other day. It just brings home the importance of watching for cyclists, and riding safely. This AssKlown drove drunk, didn’t watch for Eric and Ace is living the aftermath. The judge should require that he to read Ace’s journal every day for the rest of his miserable live, much of which should be spent in prison.

Needle and the damage done

UPS Today’s Worst Persons in the World!!!!!

How effing stupid do you have to be? My 88 year old Aunt sent two boxes via United Package Smashers to The Parental Unit. Shouldn’t be that hard…right? My dear Aunt wrote out their stupid little form, absolutely properly. The jackass with the hand sticking out of his forehead in Joplin, Mo, turned 5484 into 5456 on the shipping label. I realize typing four digits in the address must be difficult when you have a third hand growing out of your forehead because you’re some ignorant inbred piece of crap. What really chaps my hide is the local people telling me that my 88 year old Aunt should be checking this AssKlown’s work. I guess if she was a retired school teacher but really…her glasses are as thick as Coke bottles, she hasn’t been able to read the fine print without a magnifying glass in 20 years yet she’s supposed to correct this monkey scribe’s typo’s? Are you kidding me? Really? Are you? UPS, you are the worst of what’s wrong with corporate America. You have taken over 100 years of family history and left it on not only a porch, but the wrong porch, where it was stolen. It really doesn’t freaking matter what it was insured for. Our Grandmother died in 1968. Her music box probably was thrown into a dipsy dumpster by the crackhead who stole the package off of the wrong porch. Nice job jerkoffs. Somebody must be really proud of the job you do. My father’s sister has been dead for over ten years. Her silver might have made it to craigslist, or the flea market or who knows what where. I can’t tell you where we could possible start looking to find the stuff. And you are going to give us $200 because that’s what the declared value was. The declared value was priceless. How do you rectify that? You’re ignorant and you suck.

A couple of years ago they left my roommates new computer on the porch when no one was home. My old neighborhood was a transitional neighborhood. I would regularly see guys walking down the street that had their I just got out of prison suit on. And they left a $3000 computer on the doorstep. We never saw it. That driver asked me about it. I said “Are you nuts? The boxes probably said DELL all over them. Try the flea market, dumb ass.”

I’ll include the $36 million additional advance that I sent to the Santa Clara County Recorder via UPS. That was when I was at LandAmerica in 2003. To date, it hasn’t shown up, but by God supposedly someone signed for it.

We are now accepting your best of the worst of UPS.  I’m thinking Big Brown Turd haiku in the next few days.

The little engine that could

Yesterday’s post seemed to have hit a nerve. Sorry. Is that a bruise? A friend stopped by today and we chatted for a while. She mentioned Placer. You know, Placer Title is the little engine that could. They have like four people left in the plant and I think their legal department is located in a hunting lodge in Jackson. But they just keep chuggin’ along. I think I can, I think I can.

Poking fun

I went and saw an old friend today. She’s an acupuncturist. Really, she’s a natural healer. Healing is in her soul. I decided to see her about why my left shoulder, left hip and left knee and left sciatica were never completely healing. Notice, no injuries to the right side. And I’m left handed. She is still a gifted healer. I guess I’ll be switching to Stevia. I think she’s probably on to something. We hadn’t seen each other in probably four years. She was around when I got Xica…the 6.9 pound ball of Hell on four paws. She owned her place and switched apartments with me when Xica wouldn’t stop screaming due to her separation anxiety. Even though it’s been over three years, telling her that Xica had died tore me up. But I’m going to switch to Stevia and do what she tells me to, most of it. I’m just not sure if I have the right knob to dial it down.

Leave this one horse town like two rebels without a cause

Today used to be a rest day, because class was on Tuesday. Class finished last week and now here I am with no planned workout on Tuesday. That can’t be good. Instead of going down to the gym and doing a HIIT cardio workout, I went to the crossfit website. Today’s workout was:

Run one mile
Two minutes each of:

Rowing
Dumbbell thrusters
Medicine ball cleans
Double unders
Pull ups

I can’t really do the last two at all. So I just jumped rope and did assisted pull-ups. I don’t think I lost much. Basically if you run a 10 minute mile, which is bookin’ for me, and then do two minutes of five exercises, you’ve kicked your own ass in 20 minutes. And that’s exactly what happened. I do think it helped work out my hammies. They’ve been taken turns being tight. Yesterday it was the right leg, the day before it was the left. I got home tonight and found my Fat Cyclist pink jersey in the mail box. It rocked so much that I put it on and road a quick 10…in the blustery wind.

fat-cyclist.JPG

Coconut Telegraph

It’s been buzzing for quite some time, so I might as well mention a few things…and probably get on a rant. I’m not sure what my problem is, but I think this is three rants in a row. One of the things I keep hearing is that Stewart is leaving California. This one’s been all over for some time. I would hope that this is hogwash. It would be the stupidest move Houston could make. Quite honestly, they stayed here the last 18 months, the worst is over, pulling out now is stupid. It’s gravy moving forward. Just like the Wine Dog predicted, the market stabilized in April 2008. It didn’t run, it just quit circling the drain. It’s not going to be bread and roses going forward, but the worst is over. I thought they were going to cut and run a year ago. If they paid to stay here, I’d hope at this point they’d stay in California and reap the benefits of sticking around. I would hope the rumors are just that. After all, rumors swirled about Alliance Title Company going under for years while things were solidly in the black; long before they even got close to being in trouble. I don’t believe Stewart is in trouble in California. They aren’t exactly counting money with their tongues, but they’re not hanging by a thread. Financial Title Company on the other hand, may be a dead man walking. The rats have been diving off the ship at any opportunity and frankly, after the way the Hauptmans and Mercury handled the Alliance employees, I don’t blame them. Unfortunate for FTC is the fact that the rats that were picked up by the competition were the ones with books of business. When the books leave the business leaves. And then what? I’m hearing that their burn rate is off the hook and Mercury is just about out of money. But we thought the Fat Lady was doing her scales back in March so what does the Wine Dog know? I know that Alliance built a bunch of offices did a bunch of recruiting and expansion in 2005 when they should have been circling the wagons and battening down the hatches for a rough ride. I know who directed all that expansion and I think he’s still on the Mercury payroll if for no other reason than to keep his mouth shut. I know the attorneys for the Labor Commission were trying to track him down to no avail. I know the corporate buck stops there.

I have to wonder why title companies are consistently slow to react and slower to recover to market nuances. They are still dialing everything in but the market is telling us otherwise. Fidelity is rumored to be assimilating the Chicago Title brand. They should have done that a year ago if they were going to do it, not now. I remember having a discussion in 2005 about the market getting ready to adjust with someone way up the food chain from me. I said we weren’t in a real market and we needed to be prepared for the change. He told me the market was happening so it was a real market. Uh, not so much. Six months later he was talking about how the market was adjusting and we had to make adjustments to coincide with that correction. It was a horse, barn gone situation. Title insurance companies are always closing the barn door too late. I don’t get that. I’ve been waiting four days for an updated prelim. The reason I’ve been given is staff reductions, but the market has changed and they haven’t reacted. I’m getting calls from the competition asking me to close deals because their staff can’t handle it. They haven’t reacted to the market either. Yet I sit at my desk, moving commas around for paralegals. I no longer speak to the deaf ears. It’s like teaching a pig to sing. Takes a long time and pisses off the pig.

Rattle the bones, dreams that stick out, a medical chart on the wall

Gulf Coast Dobermans Rescue put up a Memorial page for Jax. (Don’t click without a hankie nearby) I won’t forget him, he was a gorgeous boy too. GCDR are the folks I stayed with when I went into New Orleans with after Katrina. Neat people, that I’m proud to know.

This weeks google key word top ten:

  1. Cindy McCain reptilian. (Might be an all time top ten number one)
  2. wildlife refugee answer about humans handling a baby bunny. (Somebody trying to do the right thing and they found this prattle.)
  3. bobby flay recipe encrusted halibut (sounds good but I don’t know that one)
  4. david balter attorney california alliance title co (this is the guy handling the case for ATC employee vacation/salary/commission case for the Labor Commission. It’s a 21 million dollar suit)
  5. Pink midget women pictures (sick bastard)
  6. cartoon toe
  7. munchenhausen (a personal favorite)
  8. pale with dry hacky cough (that was me from August to March)
  9. India telephone mess (tee hee)
  10. A built in remedy for Kennedy (She keeps Moet et Chandon, in a pretty cabinet)

Enough foolishness! Ah, it’s never enough. The tom-toms are warring, but I can’t figure out what the message is. Keep your bunny ears to the ground. Just for shits and giggles, has any one seen Johnny H.? Is he in the witness protection program? Hmmm.

Sure is hot out.

I started shooting doubles when you walked in

Could The Radical be double dipping here?  Scooping me two days in a row?  That’s just sauteed in wrong sauce.  Servin’ it up hot, could I get heapin’ helpin’ of class action with a side of  alleged fraud?

Turns out I’m not the only person pissed off about that golf comment.   Keith Olbermann tees off.  (links not embeds.  No red X’s today.  Nuttin’ but love from the Wine Dog)

It was 104 when I got home from work yesterday.  While I love the heat, I don’t love it when I don’t have central air.  I haven’t slept in three days.  Today shouldn’t be much better.  It’s a little cooler this morning so I’m hoping that having all the doors and windows open now will allow me to shut this place up and keep it a little cooler tonight.  Bugs are flying all around in this heat and then coming in the house because the doors and windows are open.  Yesterday a big ol’ horsefly flew in at around 5am.  I heard the buzz and I heard pop! pop! pop! pop!  That was Rita’s jaws trying to pop the thing off in the air.   Then pop! and silence.  Rita 1 Horsefly 0.  This morning it was a big ol’ moth.  Pop! Leap!  Pop!  Then she climbed the ladder.  She jumped so high she came down on her side.  But she touched it and everyone in the moth world knows you lose altitude when covered with dog spit.  Pop!  Pop!  Gone.

I just filled out my paperwork and wrote the check.  I’ll be competing in San Diego next month.  I haven’t had a vacation since July of last year, so I might add some days around the date and make it a road trip.  I still have that Southwest ticket from last November…don’t get me started on that one, but if I drive I can stop and see friends around the State on the way home.   I’m thinking golf in San Diego, shopping in Rancho Mirage, golf in Atascadero, wine tasting in Paso.  Might be a plan.  Now what to do with the Hellhoundz.  I’ve only got a few pounds to go to be in the lower weight class.  I think once class is over on Tuesday I’ll be able to cycle more and that shouldn’t be a problem.  I read an article in the SF Enquirer yesterday about a 50 year old guy who lost 45 pounds just by buying and then riding a bicycle.  Sounds like a plan.

So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you’ve been

In the air tonight

It’s just like a pot ready to boil over; a slow boil waiting to become a roiling boil. I read a lot of the real estate blogs. They are a world unto themselves. What I’m seeing is sales are up each consecutive month this year. Everything seems to be strengthening and stabilizing. I can’t remember how many conversations I’ve had over the last seven years about this last market. I said “It’s not real” and no one wanted to listen to me. What I heard was crap like “It’ll keep going up”. No it won’t, Stupid. It didn’t, because it wasn’t real, it has collapsed. However, sharp investors are in this market, cherry picking. And if I had some juice that’s exactly what I would be doing now. I don’t think the market is going to come roaring back, but it’s going to get going again, and that’s a good thing.

It’s all been a pack of lies

I don’t know a single Escrow Officer or Title Officer who’s happy with where the industry is going. Not one. It doesn’t have to do with resistance to change; it’s resistance to a shoddy product. A lot of good ones are looking at bailing out. The ones that love the business are looking for different angles, because we live in America. We like good salaries, good benefits, vacation pay and a good working environment, oh yeah, and the government says that’s the way it’s got to be. So Bank of America tore off the mask and revealed the reptilian creatures beneath the façade the other day. And I shined God’s flashlight on the little cockroaches. What happens next is anybody’s guess. I have an old friend who believes that the offshore marketplace will become expensive enough that they’ll end up bringing everything back over here. I pointed to an article in either Forbes or WSJ (can’t remember which) on that very subject a couple of months ago. Once the ratio gets to 3/1 it’s cheaper to bring it back here. Before you start hollering “Hallelujah!” know that the real talent will have left the industry by the time it comes back across the pond. Then what?

It’s no stranger to you and me

One of my favorite blogs is the Daily Coyote. I’ve been following Charlie’s adventures for some time. No, I don’t want a coyote and you shouldn’t either, but Shreve’s photographs of Charlie in Wyoming are awesome. I also would prefer to not see coyotes in Concord, but today, the Universe didn’t feel like appeasing me. As I drove by the park next to my house I saw what I thought was a loose dog. Of course, I slowed to help if necessary. Except it wasn’t a loose dog. It was a good sized coyote, two miles from rural property in the heart of Turtle Creek, gazing down on the dog park, probably thinking a Llasa Apso looked like breakfast on the hoof. Interestingly enough, they have a hands off policy here. If the animal isn’t sick or aggressive, it’s live and let live. So that was my morning adventure. I think I’ll not take the dogs up to that dog park at day break.

And finally, an amazing woman with two amazing dogs. Check this out. I saw her compete with the Doberman at the DPCA Nationals in Denver. They were top twenty in the country. They didn’t win, but after you see this you’ll have to say who the hell cares, they’re awesome!