There’s a whole generation with a new explanation

I love this time of year in San Francisco. The sky is such a shade a blue it’s hard to imagine another metropolitan area in the world that is this beautiful. (Paris can be) Today was one of those days, beautiful blue skies, ambivalent clouds, warm sunshine and the things that make the City, the City. Like the crazy guy doing some sort of expressionistic ballet at Front and Market. The shoe shine guy laughing at the face I made trying to duck the dude. I wonder what happened to my old shoe shine guy Randall. He would always talk about the Giants and he loved him some Barry. Barry’s gone, so is Randall. And then there’s the guy with the sax at the BARF station. He probably doesn’t play it non-stop…oh hell maybe he does, but I always catch him playing “Take Five”. It just makes my evening.

dolphyngyrl just loves getting me wound up. Today’s offering. What’s funny is I had a rant formulating regarding the internet and how people feel that they can cross all sorts of lines on the internet because it’s what? Anonymous? It ain’t. Some ass clown on another blog responded to the British safety advert with the moonwalking gorilla by saying that he (and I say he because I really think it was said by a 14 year old boy with wet diapers) “laughed when cyclists died”. I thought “you little peckerwood, I ought to come to your house and make you change your stained underwear you’ve been wearing for a week”. But I never stop thinking there. I keep on thinking. I think about what makes people think it’s ok to say something like that. Would it be okay if his brother was hit by a car? Would you laugh then? How about if he were hit, but didn’t die? Maybe if he ended up being the dude with a drool cup, would he laugh then? And why be so mean and hateful? That always gets back to the same thing. It’s Reagan’s fault. This country didn’t used to be as mean as it is now, and it’s a result of the go go go 80’s, the lax regulations, the dialing back of government and the part where everybody takes whatever they can for themselves the rest of y’all be damned. (And the firing of the air traffic controllers) But that’s not how I was raised. Anyway, at the end of the day, a lot of folks rose up and defended all the people who rode and condemned those who act like asses, and good and right prevailed.

Little drips of title news, cut backs at Dinty Moore. I can’t even give those guys a bad time when you look at their executive compensation. I feel bad for the guys out on the street right now, things are tough. I highly recommend spending this time getting your paralegal cert if your book of business has up and died, or if you never had one in the first place. My other suggestion is to look at being an asset manager for one of the lenders who are taking a bath in their own blood right now.

Speaking of baths. When Rita is done drinking water the house looks like a bird bath.

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Then she tracks it through the house, luckily, she’s heading out the door which is behind the photojournalist.

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Then her skinny butt can be found on the wrong side of the new half fence hunting for squirrels.

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But at the end of the day, no matter what a punk she is to Beauregard, he still acquiesces to her female demands…(I’m cold.)

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They’re both currently playing alligator jaw in the front room. I’ll save y’all pictures of that, it’s kind of scary for the uninitiated.

To the Lord, praises be, it’s time for dinner now let’s go eat

Rita’s new diet has been going on for a week now. She gets a cup of food in the morning with kefir on it, a cup in the evening with the special mixture my Dad made (raw chicken, raw ground chuck, raw eggs, macaroni, cheese, spinach and potatoes) and then another cup at 9pm with a satin ball mixed in. She thinks it’s peachy. Beauregard thinks she’s a little bitch because she gets a 3rd meal he doesn’t. He’s been a little attitudinal about it all. The biggest thing is that he will bare his teeth in the evening if she tries to get between him and me. In truth, she doesn’t care, she’ll just jump up on the other side and does. In his world it’s like fighting over the Suez Canal. She’s out running right now, (running off whatever I’ve fed her so far today) and he’s sleeping in my bed on my pillow. He’s not supposed to sleep on my pillow, but that’s his way of letting me know he’s number one and don’t anyone forget it. I took him on a special car ride yesterday without her. That helped, but I needed to take her on a walk without him and that didn’t help. When I take my long walk in the evening there are lots of other dogs out and he chose to jaw with a golden retriever the other night. Not cool. Then she joined in and I really don’t want to be totally perceived as the crazy bitch with the insane attack dogs in the neighborhood. A healthy respect is okay with me, but a bad reputation, not so much. So Rita and I took off for a 3 mile walk/jog/sometimes run a little yesterday. The problem with this neighborhood is traffic coupled with the lack of sidewalks. So I plotted a path on Map My Run that I thought would have sidewalks, but I got out to Ygnacio and rut roh, no sidewalks. People drive like 65 out there, so we turned and came back. Left our mileage at 2.64, close enough for government work. I’m still hacking. Not as bad as it was, but still got the quack going on. I also got about an hour on the bike yesterday. It felt good to go fast. Afterwards, I started filling in the graves in the back yard. I mixed compost in with the soil and raked and raked and raked. Pulled out the stones as they showed their little faces. The first one is about half full, my back was flirting with collapse, so I quit. It’s damned cold this morning so I’m glad I didn’t put little seeds out there to get this cold yesterday. Hopefully, I’ll have them in the ground by week’s end….especially since tomorrow is April!

The Wine Dog is Drinking

Rombauer 2005 Zinfandel. Life is just good. I put some of that jerk marinade on a pork chop and grilled it up. Yeah, like that.

And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too

I nicknamed Sonofabun the Junkman. He’s been doing REO’s and has been doing a bang up job on them. Every time a house sells, I just grit my teeth because I know what it’s doing for neighborhood values. Sometimes it’s driving them back 5-7 years. But it really shouldn’t, because what a bank owned property sells for may be the market value, but it may not reflect the rest of the neighborhood. You’ll never figure that out by looking at realtor.com or zillow.com or any of the other real estate website. And trust me, Sonofabun will put his Sunday best when he posts the listing, no matter how nasty the house really is. At some point, you still can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. I’ve been out to several of his sites. Generally, there’s piles of stuff that the people just leave. Banks want to go cash for keys. Once they get the keys they’ll throw a minimal amount of money at the situation and then let’r rip. Generally, the biggest expense is trash removal. My Dad was a real estate broker, and I’ve been in the title business pretty much, with a couple of foray’s elsewhere since 1976. That’s the year I graduated from high school. After five days of watching my 17 year old ass lay on his couch, my father came home with a cocktail napkin that said Bob Woods 786-1620. That was the phone number of the plant manager for Pacific Land Title Company in 1976. Bob had one question. Can you type? I could. The point being, I’ve been around houses my whole life. So today’s adventure with Sonofabun was not atypical at all. I’m keeping Rita in place with baby gates that someone left at one of the houses. I have my keys in a little dish that we found at another. I have nothing from today’s adventure except these amazing photographs.

The owner was probably swindled out of the house by a relative. They pulled all the equity out and took off leaving the home and the owner to be foreclosed upon. On the wall in the garage are installed medicine cabinets.

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I count eight of’em. But you really can’t have enough so it’s best that you should install some in the hallway.

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And some coffee cups, because you’ll never know when you’ll need a cup o’ joe. Not to worry, there’s a slew of medicine cabinets in here too:

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And sometimes you just don’t have the right things in place to keep your nuts and bolts and nails and screws:

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That’s a bedroom. If they get this place on the market for $199,000, and actually get it, I’ll be shocked. This neighborhood should be in the $400k range. Strangely, there doesn’t appear to be any water damage or apparent dry rot at this place. Still, this property will not reflect how the rest of the neighborhood is. There’s a beautiful well manicured home directly across the street from this fun house. The price the bank takes is no reflection on this neighborhood and that right there is your best argument for hiring a realtor. They will know about this house and they’ll know that it doesn’t drive down the value of your well maintained home.

It’s a long long road, from which there is no return


Today’s Chronicle had this little tidbit.

Thomas had a deep voice, full beard, chest hair and even signs of male pattern baldness, Dr. Margaret Weirman testified.

Oh yeah, and she was getting a shave when the tester showed up. Bad form sports fans. And she testified that she wasn’t doing steroids. Really? I love the part where she weighed 50 pounds more than she does now. Today, also in the Chronicle, Scott Oster suggested that the Giants added to their staff by subtracting 240 unwanted pounds. Pretty harsh on Mr. Bonds, but that just comes with the cloud of suspicion that hangs over him. Power lifters get tested too. Somehow they’ve never tested me, (I don’t do anything I shouldn’t) but they did test one of my 65 year old friends. That one always makes me giggle. The Colonel’s Wife would never break any rule under any circumstances, but they tested her. They also tested this woman that showed up exactly once down in Southern California. It was such a joke at the time that it still sticks out in my mind. She came in with ridiculous musculature, pimples all up her forearms, a receding hairline and a voice deeper than mine. All of us regulars looked at each other and raised our collective eyebrows. She initially won everything she entered, but that didn’t hold. They tested her butt THAT DAY. Thanks for playing our game, she was outta there. I’ll never understand why people have to cheat like that. If you aren’t good enough just go do something else or work harder, but cheating is for losers.

Speaking of power lifting, I finally got back into the gym for a decent workout this morning. I can’t tell you how great that felt after hacking my way through every day since the first week in March. I’ve been taking the dogs on a three mile walk every other day, but I don’t see that turning into a partial jog for at least another week. I’ve been told that one day the hack just disappears. I cannot wait for that day.

It just doesn’t seem to make sense


I use Search Engine Optimizers and counters and all sorts of bells and whistles on this site. I know roughly how many visitors I average, blah blah blah. That’s how more and more people find PBE. And more gentle readers equals more dialog and more fun all around. One of the reports I get is google keywords. So for the sake of David Letterman, here’s my top ten.

  1. get a life, unemployed, self absorbed bitch
  2. Doberman Pinschers
  3. Bunny Ear template
  4. Bunny ears for dogs
  5. Loki’s world Doberman
  6. come on somebody why don’t you run
  7. should have been dead on a sunday morning
  8. pinkbunnyears
  9. ajicito pepper
  10. munchenhausen by proxy

What’s not to love with a list like that. Google those items and you’ll get here! Actually, YESTERDAY get a life, unemployed, self absorbed bitch took you here first. And that’s a lot more clever than I am. Today I’ve got less google juice on that boolean search.

Doncha just wonder who bought the donuts for the Intero office meetings yesterday? Me too.

Rita’s new diet looks better than what I had for dinner. She seems very happy with it. Beauregard’s none too happy that she’s getting a third meal and he’s not.

One of my friends sent me this link. Every day he puts up new super cute pictures of his boxers playing. Not that kind of boxer.

Yesterday I went down to the San Francisco Courthouse to pull some old MacInerney’s on a deal I’ve been working on for seemingly forever. Life was good when I arrived, but soon thereafter, a protest about the Olympic torch and China and something about a bloody torch from China and a shrill woman with a bullhorn after two hours made me want to Kill Kill Kill, with blood and guts and veins in my teeth, I wanna kill. And I really needed a handful of Advil. I don’t really think protest in the street has any value any more. It’s noisy, often shrill and makes the voice in my head scream back “Shut the Hell up!” I can’t be the only one. I also don’t think our policymakers give a crap about some shrill woman leading 40 miscreants in a chant about bloody torches in front of San Francisco City Hall. It’s more like what Mark Felt said in his Deep Throat days, follow the money. Stop the money, you change the policy, it’s that simple in today’s America. Nobody was screaming in the street about RESPA, but we have a new modest proposal.

Anybody besides me read the proposed new RESPA regs? (…The Wine Dog asked knowing full well that the Radical has read it all.) If the “script” had existed three years ago and was required, I doubt there would be a mortgage meltdown. There would have been a lot of three day cancellation notices being sent in and a lot of notaries sitting in front of a stack of unsigned documents in empty rooms. And I didn’t have to listen to any shrill voices on a bullhorn.

Well she lit up the sky that fourth of July

I need to announce the winner of the Easter Contest.  Sonofabun is out because he didn’t actually take that picture.  It’s kind of like he waited until some guy called in sick and finished some pig sitting on his desk and took all the credit.  While we appreciate the kiss ass spirit, no cigar.  The winner is the sword swallowing Monkey Bunnies.  Because we always give credit to someone else at PBE for your work, I’m going to take credit, because there’s nothing better than the manager taking all the credit for something you did.  Congratulations,  dolphyngyrl you’ve just greased my next promotion!

Sighting

PBE and the Wine Dog are everywhere.  The Hauptmans were spotting in the Golden State last week.  Patty, I’m so sorry we missed you.  How ’bout stopping by Campisi and signing that shitpile of checks that aren’t any good because you raided the Alliance Title Company coffers?  Yeah, the Pilatus can set down in San Jose.  That’s ok, we’ll see you at the Insurance Commissioner’s hearing.  We all now know what your business practices are, we will be asking the Commissioner why they’re allowing you to conduct any business in the State of California after your performance with Alliance Title Company.  The part about taking care of our customers and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out will always be my favorite.  You never thanked those Alliance Title Company people for the sacrifices they made for you.  Shame on you.

Feeding Rita

I’m working on a new program for the little girl.  She was getting just about the best food out there and her little ribs looked like this:

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So I switched to a little bit cheaper food, at the suggestion of a lot of folks.  She’s now on Nutro Natural High Activity.  (it’s a preparation for hunting dogs)  I’m adding a satin ball at night and for her middle meal she’s getting a little recipe the old man cooked up for her.  It’s macaroni and cheese with potatoes, spinach, raw chopped up chicken, raw ground chuck, and raw eggs.  She loves it.  I’m hoping in three or four weeks to start seeing some meat on this little dog.  On one hand, I’m very worried about her inability to hold any weight, on the either hand, her coat is awesome, her eyes are bright and she plays like there’s no tomorrow.  Hopefully the new regiment will solve the problem.

The Wine Dog is drinking…

A little too much the other night.  A Sunset 2003 Barbera, a lot better than his Zinfandel, a lot more complexity.  An Imagery Malbec.  Go buy this wine now.  It’s just an amazing wine.  They did an awesome job with it.  Serve it with a roast, something heavy, it can stand up to it.  I wish I had a case of this stuff.  A Charles Mitchell something or other, a Granite Springs something red and a Smoking Loon merlot I think.  Smoking Loon is another project like Plungerhead of Don Sebastiani and Sons.  This is a Three Loose Screws project, Plungerhead is The Other Guys.  Not a bad wine in the bunch.

Occupational hazard being my occupation’s just not around

Sometimes I come up with a line that I can just work every which way.  I started with a pirate theme today.  You see, at 4:15am today, Rita decided I needed to get up.  She is no longer relegated to her crate at night and now sleeps in the bedroom.  She decided the best way to wake me up was to step on my face.  Of course, she’s a dog and I’m a person and her dog foot slipped off my face and caught on my earring.  (which REALLY woke me up)  I checked the earring as much as you can at 4:15am right after a dog steps on your face, apparently not as well as I should have.  I got out of the shower this morning and ARRRRGH!  I’m a PIRATE!  I looked around as best as I could, since by then I have literally moments to get out of the house and catch my BARF train and it’s no where to be found.  Anyway, it made me think of my favorite pirate song that had the great line in it that’s today’s title, which can mean only one thing…DANGER RANT AHEAD!

I’m taking some classes, which is one of the reasons I go missing now and again.  I have to read or study for a test.  One of the classes I’m taking was having a discussion about the life of a neighborhood.  I’ve heard this theory before, applied to investing in real estate.  Essentially, all neighborhoods go through four phases:

  1. Integration
  2. Equilibrium
  3. Disintegration
  4. Rejuvenation

Integration is when a neighborhood is built and for lack of a better word, “comes up”.  Schools are new, homes are new, roads are new, commercial centers are new and the neighborhood is integrated into the town or City.  The next phase is Equilibrium.  This is where the trees are established, the homes and businesses are established and maybe 3-7 years old, the appliances and kitchens are still in style.  The roads are in good repair but not new and the schools are in great shape and the children score well in testing.  The next phase is Disintegration.  This is where the roads get a little long in the tooth, some of the front yards start to lose their luster, maybe there’s more absentee ownership, homes need a coat of paint and the interiors show their age.  The final step, which is really the beginning of another cycle is Rejuvenation.  People like me come into the neighborhood, remodel the homes, landscape to current designs and generally do what they can to improve the state of things in the neighborhood.  This is a phase with a lot of first time buyers and sweat equity.  And then it starts all over again.

I think companies go through the same thing.  Old Repulsive is an excellent example.  They’re disintegrating right now.  If you were to go back 15 years, they were flying high and virtually untouchable.  But they blinked.  The Evil Empire tried to take a run at them, but their unwavering burger flipping mentality, and lack of vision kept them from ever being as great as they could have been.  Especially considering some of the staff they recruited and then unceremoniously shitcanned when things turned southerly.  The Bloodless Empire quietly built a monster.  For years, all any one in these parts could do was hope to be Number 2, because Number 1 was locked up and had been locked up for years.  Normally being Number 2 means you’re first placed loser, but in this industry, you’re really Number 1.2, because no one could catch the Bloodless Empire.  Now the mirror has cracked.  Almost ten percent of the Bloodless Empire’s stock is owned by a hedge fund.  They say jump and the executive team asks “how high” halfway up.  And they’re now spinning off the “information services”, which means the title company.  The implementation has been half assed at best and the truth is, when you serve only your corporate masters, your soul becomes a commodity and eventually worthless.  So at the end of the day, a hedge fund that bet on the Bloodless Empire is dismantling it in the name of a “spin off”.  This is the disintegration phase.  As monkeys fly out their asses in Boston the rank and file are assured that there will be no change in your day to day functions.  Blah Blah Blah.  We’re under fire from consumer groups and politicians and we can’t seem to justify our existance our get our of our own way.  The only real unanswered question is what will become of this business? 

It is time for you to laugh instead of crying

I did a little research the other night, because that’s what us title officers like to do. Did you know that the price of a gallon of gas in 1998 was $1.07 average per gallon. On January 20, 2001 it was $1.57. Today it’s $3.65. That’s over 300% inflation in ten years. Did your salary increase 300%? Housing has tripled in the same period of time, now with the pullback at around 15% in these parts, it’s still up over 200%. Did your salary double in the last ten years? If you live in California, a kwh of electricity cost .115 cents in 2001. Then Enron came to town. Now it’s .178 cents. That’s 154% inflation. A pound of butter was $1.04 in 2001. Today at Safeway it’s $3.50. Over 300% increase. Wondering why you’re feeling the squeeze?

Back in 1998 First American Title Guaranty Company, a company that was swallowed up by the behemoth had to restructure their salary guidelines. They wanted to hire me but their guidelines were grossly outdated and they couldn’t compete in the marketplace. The market itself was just recovering from the 1991 pullback people had made back that loss and the market was fixing to run. They restructured their salary guidelines and I was one of the first the benefit from it. Even then I took a cut and pay to work for them. Today, they are paying me the exact same salary they paid me ten years ago. A friend of mine who lost his job in the Alliance Title Company debacle just got hired by another company last week. His salary is less than half of what he was making. The manager told him “It’s a different world”. It is a different world. The world we live in the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class endure constant downward pressure until they are no longer middle class. If we continue the way we are going, there will only be the wealthy landholders and the kitchen help left in this country. Companies who continue to take advantage of employees like this and then compensate their executives with millions of dollars will find when the market changes that every one of these people will go out and cut themselves a better deal for themselves and their families. Companies and mid-level managers will whine about the lack of loyalty, but to them I say “You had the chance to do the right thing and you didn’t. There’s your loyalty”.

In other news

This flu is a mutha. While the worst has been over for a week now, I still have a nagging generally dry cough. I hacked and hacked yesterday until I thought I was going to cough up my toenails. Everybody who’s had this is hacking like this. I tried scotch last night and that calmed it somewhat. Finally I ran down and bought more lemons and made several cups of tea and the quelled the cough enough to go to bed. The other by-product is the loss of my superpowers. I have gone to the gym and worked out pretty lightly, but I really don’t have enough mojo to get back into it. I’m just going through the motions in hope of getting better some day. I’ve been told that one day I will wake up and the cough will be gone. I look forward to that day.

Rita spent her first night out of her crate last night. She slept in the bedroom and only stirred once. My cousin and his wife are still here and her sister came by late and stayed even later. I went to bed and when she left at 1:05a.m Rita heard the front door open and did the right thing and alerted. I told her it was ok and she laid down and went back to sleep. She’s also spending more time out of the crate while I’m running errands. So far she’s been perfect. I’m very happy with her progress. She’s such an awesome little dog. (even though she just passed gas and the room is now a certain shade of blue) I’m going to start feeding her Mac n’ mack tomorrow to see if I can get some weight on her. The sister is a vet and she suggested even higher calorie food and a check for her pancreas, but I think her pancreas is fine, she just runs it off as fast as I feed it to her.

Contest Update

I have received some bunny pictures and I have some of my own. I think I’ll add a page with them all later on today. For now, I have to go pick up a contractor at BARF who is going to help me reset that freaking French Door.