When Moses went to Cameron’s house, let my people go

It’s been five days since I hurt my back.  Today it was considerably better when I got out of bed.  I’d say it’s 30-40 percent better than it was Sunday morning when I had to force myself out of bed to feed the dogs.  It took four hours, four Advil, four Tylenol and a bag of ice on Sunday for it to loosen up enough that I could move, two and a half on Monday, about an hour yesterday and today I’m moving okay and I’ve only been up about 45 minutes.  Not great and not without pain,  but okay.  I had to stand through half of class last night, I just couldn’t sit still.  I’ve brought an ice pack to work and have been shoving that down my pants for 20 minutes each hour.  It certainly helps me forget that my hip hurts from that freaking chair they won’t fix.  It’s clear I’m not going to be playing golf on Saturday which makes me sad.  I really like playing with this group, I really like the course too, but there’s no way I’m going to be able to swing a club a hundred or so times on Saturday.  I’ve followed Doctor’s orders and haven’t lifted in two days.  I’m hoping to go to the gym tomorrow morning and just move around a little, hopefully do an isolation bench or some light cardio.   I’m also obviously not competing in San Jose on the 17th.  There’s a meet in Concord on June 14th but the big AAU meet is the next weekend, so I think I’ll try and use the ticket left over from when the flight never left.  Yeah, the big Vegas meet that I paid for and couldn’t have a day off since it was the “end of the month” yet since then everyone in their Uncle has had time off at the end of the month…because the rules only apply to me…and then the plane never left.  That plane ticket.

All the celebration and the stress

I’m on serious waivers right now, in just about every aspect of my life. I’ve been told not to lift for two days even if I feel better. Currently, I do not feel that better. Although I have a Chateau de Brandey Bordeaux, which is not the Holy Grail of Bordeaux. It’s not Plonk of the Month either. It needs some time, that’s for sure. Thankfully I bought two bottles of it at $16.99 for the first a nickel for the second. Deep ruby color is deceptive. There is some sour cherry, dark chocolate going on with this one. It’s got a bunch of 90’s which I think is too high right now. I can see it settling down in the next few years to being a great table red. I had to use the aerator. It improved it 100%.

I went to Integro this afternoon. Dr. Elkind is a gifted practitioner. She very rarely makes normal chiropractic adjustments. It works for me because the cracking type adjustments rarely hold. My muscles just push them back to the jacked up way they want it to be. She makes adjustments to the tissue and the bones follow. It’s really amazing. And goddamn painful. Actually, it doesn’t usually hurt…in a bad way, but today was an exception. Today I was crying “Mama, Mama, Mama!” Considering I could barely get out of bed this morning and it took two hours to loosen up enough to get dressed to go to work, the fact that it hurt was really no big deal. She had her assistant come in and move my leg while she did her Active Release Torture Technique. She’s doing something horrendous to my hip flexor and deep inside my joint you could hear a “thunk”. Not a “snap” or a “crack” or a “pop”, a “thunk”. It moved. Yeah, I know. I think I need a cigarette. So I’m hoping that if I continue with my foam roller and yoga stretches and Vitamin A(dvil) and Bordeaux that it will start to come around for me. I see her again on Thursday for what I hope is just a touch up. I didn’t mention that I’m playing 18 on Saturday.

Coconut Telegraph

Oh Honey! We are burning up the wires the last few days. Where to start? There’s been a bunch of folks whispering in the Wine Dog’s ear. If you’ll watch carefully, you’ll see that the Wine Dog has that look in her eye, the kind that dogs get when they hear a sound far away and can’t quite tell what it is. Which Mercury owned subsidiary in Walnut Creek had a visit from Jerry Hauptman last week to “crunch” numbers? Oh, to be a crane fly on that wall. The same Mercury subsidiary that we’ve been drumming the Death March for since January. Who lays off the top money producer and the top order producer on the same day? Someone who doesn’t have a commitment to making any money, the future, that’s who. They run one of the two remaining title plants in the Bay Area. From that perspective, I’d hate to see them go. Could the Concord Title Group be the last man standing? I know that PBE is blocked from FTC servers so unless they log on at home they can’t enjoy my daily prattle. Speaking of prattle, which Denver based company decided that they didn’t need an internet security team any more and shit canned the whole department.? I guess if you all gather ’round and sing Kumbaya nothin’ bad’ll happen. Right? Maybe they contracted to have that done in India. Maybe they’d be better off whistling this.

Speaking of Dogs

Rita has been doing awesome on her training walks. Lots of them with no gym time. I’ve separated them so that I don’t have to wrastle two of them with my back the way it is. It’s helpful in that they are getting some individual training. I can’t believe how good Rita is on a leash. I spent a lot of time taking Beauregard to Mt. Diablo Dog Training Club. He does all the moves from the Obedience Trials with absolute precision…when he’s not being a jackass. Rita only went through the first six weeks. I just couldn’t continue it with these 11 hour days I have. So I work her out when I can. She was precision on the leash tonight. She sometimes sits too far back, not tonight, right at heel. Beau started his walk being very good, had a brief stint of jackassery and returned to precision by the end. When I watered my mud garden tonight (because I might be dealing with crop failure) there’s a hole in the hose. Rita was biting and snapping at the water spraying from the hose. It did my heart well. Another Doberman I used to know snapped at the hose. Kris.

kris-all-wet.JPG

Check out those gorgeous ears. My Dad bred her. She was something else. And she loved to play with the hose. And my Granddad.

grandad-and-kris.JPG

This was a game my Dad made up. They chased a rag on a rope in the back yard. This was probably taken in 1967 or 1968. That dog was something. Granddad was pretty cool too.

And last but certainly not least

Remember Jax. Here’s the link to tell the NOLA lawmakers that shooting the family dog eight times is not okay.

Sign the Petition

Now I got mortgages on homes, I got stiffness in my bones

I’m pretty sure it’s the S/I joint I blew in my back. The pain is excruciating. I did this once before back in the mid 90’s. It was also a period of extreme stress in my life. I’m sure it’s exacerbated by the fact that my chair at work isn’t right. I’ve asked them to do something about it several times. I finally gave up back in September. By Thursday my hips are in a constant dull pain, but I’m the only one that seems to care. I discovered yesterday that it will loosen up over a period of hours. It’s impossible when I get out of bed. I can’t even bend over to put the dog food bowls down. I didn’t go to the gym today, which might seem obvious to some of you, but less obvious to me. Hell, there might have been some things I could have done this morning dammit. Instead I chose to walk…the original plan was just Rita, but Beauregard wasn’t havin’ it. So I begged him to behave and not pull and they were good dogs. It’s slowing loosening up this morning. It loosened up enough that I did take the new bike out. Not a smart move, but I couldn’t let it sit there unridden. I took a slow flat course. It rides like a dream. I can’t wait to feel better and ride it. I took it very slow because I was afraid that my back would catch if I had to make a quick maneuver. It was also very scary, I probably shouldn’t have tried it, but dammit, it was my new bike.

You just don’t like seeing this sort of stuff

The house at the end of the block is now bank owned. I knew it was coming. The clowns that bought it paid more than I did for this place and it was a mess. And they went 100% financing in 2006. The seller carried back $100k. And he lost almost all of it. These ass clowns walked away from it about six months ago and moved to Washington. They didn’t even bother to put it on the market, they just rolled up their carpets and left. Now, they’re hurting our neighborhood with this piece of crap sitting there empty. It’s the first thing you see when you roll into our neighborhood, a big red bank owned sign. I just hope that in the future people who lost homes are properly restricted from screwing up the neighborhoods for the rest of us. If you let a home go to foreclosure, now you have to bring in 20% down. You can’t get in for five years (so you get to pay more taxes than those of us who are getting hosed) and you can’t get designer liar loans, only FHA fixed rate old skool. We’re hearing about people getting into contract on a new home with a smaller mortgage fully expecting to walk away from the one they are in. I say bullshit. Punish them financially. They’re punishing me right now.

Sometimes it hurts, so badly I must cry out loud

I did a ton of deadlifts today. A set of 4, two sets of 3 at 70 percent, six sets of three at 80 percent. The sixth set of three, last rep didn’t go so good. I’m pretty sure I blew my S/I joint. I’ve done it before and it hurts like this. It will be over a week before they can touch it to fix it. It’s that bad. I’ve been icing it all day. I’m hoping I can ride my new bike tomorrow, but I realize this might be a pipe dream. Last time I did it, I couldn’t even tie my shoes. I’m hoping that it’s not that bad this time. In the interim:

road-bike.JPG

My new bike. I put SPD/SL’s on it, which required new shoes because my cleats weren’t configured correctly, but they were two years old anyway, so what the hey. And because you asked these are the wheels. The rear end is an Ultegra.

And because I can barely move, I spent a lot of time sitting around with the dogs. Here’s a very pretty girl, watching the world go by.

rita-watching.JPG

OK, this is just stupid

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

Well, I totally jacked my back this morning.  The last set of deadlifts resulted in I don’t even know what, but I’ve got a bag of frozen peas shoved down my pants now.  And the rant will have to wait.  In the interim, I present this week’s favorite google searches.

  • ass clown haiku (had to be looking for PBE)
  • exempt employees escrow officers (that can’t be good considering the next one was…)
  • Stephen R. Cornwell
  • rizla pon the sweet dep line
  • fnf fundamental precepts
  • coco county peckerwood (blink blink)
  • Atlee Hammaker
  • Little bloody pink bunny poem
  • Alliance Title gets sued
  • and last but not least “John Harrit”

A smile on my lips and a hole in my head

I have a friend who tells an antidote about children. They have a room. In the room they put the child from each family who is the oldest. In the middle of the room is a piece of paper with some instructions on it. The oldest children will pick it up, delegate and execute the instructions. Then they put all the middle children in the room. They pick up the paper and talk about who would like to do what and be sure that every one is happy. The youngest will leave the piece of paper on the floor, never even picking it up. I’m an oldest child. I see what can be and wonder why not? I went to MacWorld in 1995 and saw how that technology could be applied to the title business. They still haven’t caught up to my thinking thirteen years ago. I’ve called myself an expediter in the past. My thinking is such that I want tasks executed in the most judicious fashion. Systems for the sake of systems aggravate me. To me, “That’s the way we’ve always done it”… that’s fightin’ words. When I see a wrong, I want to make it right. I will not go quietly.

History shows us what happens when people do nothing. The Germans knew what Hitler was doing was wrong, they’re not amoral. Yet they became so when they said nothing. They followed like sheep. Now forevermore, their hands remain bloodstained by their inaction. In Guyana, it was apparent that Jim Jones had lost his mind. The people blindly followed. They drank the Kool-aid. Game over. I’m not the drink the Kool-aid sort. Sorry. I’m the hold your feet to the fire sort. I want to right wrongs. I want be better every single time. Mediocre is not in my vocabulary. That’s why I hold 23 State and World Records. Thats how I got to the Rugby Nationals, and that’s why I win. That’s what makes me good. I cannot drink the Kool-aid. Through out history people have followed, blindly lock-stepped with corrupt leadership.  I cannot.

In this country today, our government isn’t leading anything. The country is run by corporations. They have taken the place of dictators and monarchs. So when the corporation says it’s only okay to think a certain way, you’d better get your shiny boots in line with everyone else. Critical thinking isn’t crushed by the government, it’s crushed by the corporate gods we serve. Corporations tell us every day how to think. CNN told us how to feel throughout 9/11. They even had a banner telling us it was time for closure. I’m sure that was quite helpful for the blocks and blocks of New Jersey wives who’s husbands were never coming home again. Fox bills themselves as a news station and they’re really a propaganda station. At least MSNBC doesn’t call Countdown a news show, it’s not. If a corporation gets a little too far on the edge, they get a boycott or a picket or one of those stupid online petitions that nobody that matters pays attention to. They answer only to their shareholders. Very few answer to their employees. Howard Schultz’s return to the helm assures that at Starbucks. He’s one of those CEO’s I respect. He’s true to the product, the people and the process. The oil companies, on the other hand, probably high fived each other after their Congressional appearance last month. I’m sure that was followed by guffaws and words to the effect of “I can’t believe they bought that load of shit”.  We can engineer a solution. We just have to want to. Big oil doesn’t want it, so we’re not working on it, and our youth is getting blown up in some godforsaken hellhole so some of us can enjoy our God given right as Americans to take more from this earth than we give back.

But what really pisses me off the most is that these artificial entities demanding loyalty while giving none. I got another call from one of the giants who is out of work, looking for a lead or an in.  I didn’t have one this time.  In our business they have us where they want us. Almost everyone I know has taken a 40% cut in pay in the last two years, if they’re working at all. They piss on our legs and tell us it’s raining. In a year or so when the market comes roaring back, and no one has recouped any of the 40% that was taken away, they’ll all go and cut their deals. They’ll cut those deals for their families. And the corporate gods will weep and curse the lack of loyalty. Loyalty is like respect. It cannot be demanded, it must be won. You cannot will a seed to grow and you cannot impose your desire for respect or loyalty on another. You must earn it. As I have been saying all along, business is cyclical. While it’s currently cycling downward, it will recover. Have you earned your loyalty today?

Continuing in the rant mode

How in the hell do you manage to do this? Dolphyngyrl knew this would make me see red. And neither rain, nor snow nor cyclists minding their own freaking business? Are you kidding me? On the upside, I just bought a new road bike. Tonight. Like two hours ago. It’s last year’s version of this. Mine’s red. The guy did all sorts of upgrades to the components and shit and if I had bought the right pedals tonight, I’d be riding in the morning. Next question: Return the pedals or buy shoes that fit them…

And for our stupid file

Last night I rubbed my right eye and thought I knocked the contact up into the back of my eyeball. So I spent about an hour trying to get it out of my skull before I snotted it out through my sinuses. No dice. So I went to bed, got up this morning and searched some more. Gave up, took out the left eye, put it in a contact case and carried it with me all day so if the right one rolled back down I could take off my glasses and wear my contacts. I swear to God it feels like something is in there. So tonight I get home, make some dinner, since I live alone, I take it to the living room to watch some Keith Olbermann and have dinner and there on the coffee table is the contact. Yeah, I re-hydrated it and it’s being disinfected as we speak.

Gonna get a little crazy just because I can

Here’s something you don’t see every day. What’s even stranger is the location is San Jose. Who could possibly need help finding an Escrow Officer these days? Really. At that point do you want to work for the guys that can’t find an EO in this market? Actually, a job’s a job in this market. Go for it, my San Jose sisters.

It’s raining, which is about time. There ain’t been no April showers around here. I think that might wreak havoc on May flowers, but I don’t know all the rules behind that. What’s important is that I’m wiping down dog feet that are covered in mud again. That and I have a tremendous headache brought on by the change in barometric pressure, or my job who knows which. Today’s a rest day anyway, which is good or I would have missed a workout.

While I was at class last night, Rita spent her first evening out of the crate in the dining room. She peed in the house and tore up something that really meant a lot to me. (This might also be the source of my headache, getting that angry at 10pm) The dog walker is coming by halfway through today. Hopefully that little dog got over her bad behavior and will be a good dog today. She’s pretty clear that yesterday’s adventures didn’t make me happy. The worst thing I can do to that dog is ignore her. Most dogs are like, fine, I’ll go do something else. Not Rita. She wants me to love her again and will crawl on her belly over hot coals to regain that. (She doesn’t get that I don’t stop loving her, I’m just pissed at her actions) Hopefully she’ll be better today. There’s nothing left in that room except the stereo and dining room set. God help her if she starts on the cabinets or moulding.

Pour me a cold one and oh, by the way…..

What do I like more? Cindi McCain’s recipes from the Food Network or the fact that John McCain doesn’t think the middle class in this country are getting crunched? Tough call. Either way, they’re underestimating this country. Or if you ask our President we’re misunderestimating the country. I really do not understand why the Republicans are throwing this guy out there. There were better guys in the beginning. This weekend on Bill Maher he opined:

You know that since George Bush has become president, gas has basically tripled in price. Now, Bush is an oil man. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m just saying that if we had elected Colonel Sanders president and the price of chicken had tripled, I’d be a little suspicious.

Me too. So McCain aligns himself with that guy? How did the Bushes get to be so powerful in this country? Where’s Dan Quayle?

MAHER: I think if Barack Obama had just chosen his words a little better… instead of saying that people were “bitter” and they “cling” to religion and guns, if he said they were “angry” and they “embrace” their religion, I think all would have gone away

Yeah, that too. He interviewed a bunch of people in Pennsylvania and this is a non-issue to them. They understand what he meant and they are crossing party lines to vote for him. Why? Because they’ve had enough. As far as I’m concerned the best didn’t come out of that party either. I don’t get what’s wrong with this country that we can’t recognize the best and reward it. We do so in sports, but that’s about it. We’re the country the brought you Britney Spears fergodsakes. We’re so ADD we’ve forgotten that we’re supposed to be looking for a 6 foot tall Arab with a kidney dialysis machine wandering the desert, who by the way, we really don’t want to catch or we’d already have him. You see, I believe in our armed forces. It’s our government that troubles me.

Did you know the only real industry still located in this country is the debt industry? Me either. All of us title people have made a lot of money on the debt industry. Now we’re consumers of it. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the various stages of a neighborhood:

  • Integration
  • Equilibrium
  • Disintegration
  • Rejuvenation

At the time I applied that to the Bloodless Empire. I’m thinking it could equally be applied to the entire country. We’re in disintegration right now. We’re mired in a war that we should have never gotten involved in, yet we did. The middle class is being crushed financially and morally and the rich are getting richer. They’re sending our youth to get killed in a fool’s folly and seriously, all we need now is an Italian midget with a fiddle and we’re set to make history.

Speaking of the Bloodless Empire

Here at PBE, we always give credit where credit is due. Executive compensation is a big bugaboo of mine. I gave John Mack a thumbs up for passing on his bonus after the mortgage backed securities debacle. The Merrill Lynch Guy and the Citigroup guy fell on their collective swords, if for no other reason than they sucked horribly, also an acceptable solution in my book. (Golden parachutes, not so much, Stan and Ted) However, now I have to give some props for the leader of the Undead. He refused his bonus and took a monstrous pay cut. Here’s the article from LA Biz on it, the guy from Indymac stepped up to the plate as well. That’s what it means to run a company. Two thumbs up for these LA guys, the Wine Dog lifts a glass to you this evening. That was the right thing to do. Thank you. Seriously.

In the gym

Those of you who have been following this nonsense for any period of time, know that my work out is a 4 week cycle. I finished a cycle today. It was one of the better cycles I’ve done in the last year. My shoulder is strong and I’m lifting well. I added in today’s Crossfit WOD, which was five sets of three shoulder presses. I did 95 pounds. It was brutal.

In the next day or two I’ll get something up about the trip the Napa on Friday. Here’s your teaser. It did involve a nap on a park bench. And cheese.