Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Mambo Number 5

And here’s the link. Because that’ll show the elevation chart, which will explain why I’m sitting here trying to form sentences. So in lieu of sentences, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. This is beautiful:

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Yeah, that’s stuck on stooopid.

This is epically stupid. Whatever happened to “first do no harm?” Pull his license. Period. People like this keep the Brother employed.

Speaking of which, if you haven’t read this, he was on fire on Friday.

What is it with old people and guns?

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Some 73 year old guy walks into his realtor’s office and caps the guy. Are you kidding me? You live 73 years and that’s your decision making process? Check out the article…the last shooting in that little town was an old guy shooting another old guy. What is the matter with people? Like it’s this guy’s fault the market tumbled? He didn’t shoot the guy that caused the market to tumble. He shot some young guy with a young family who now doesn’t have a Daddy. Where ever that guy’s cell ends up being they should post a picture of the guy and his family so every waking moment he has to look at what he did. And throw him in solitary for defacing it.

I should probably have a category for ass clown, but until then, a definition.

I’ll take those long nights, impossible odds, keeping my back to the wall

Google key words of the weak week.

  • pictures depicting protection against sin (not here Sparky)
  • how do you cancel the evil pink bunny’s rocket launch. (you can’t.  you can only hope to contain it)
  • ass clowns 1 (we are the #1 ass clowns)
  • Loki Doberman
  • patty hauptman mercury denver (I like her on the Budweiser hot seat)
  • london broil as a dog training treat (I see we’re acquiring an upscale following.  I eat the London Broil around here)
  • munchenhausen (this has been going on for a while, but it’s funny how Reisner used this as part of his justification for choking the life out of his ex-wife, burying her and lying about it for over a year)
  • state of california vs. alliance title  (I need some new info on this one)

The emperor is naked today-o!

It’s all fun and games until the FDIC comes in and shuts your ass down. Now this is going to leave a mark. I’m sure that’s just more signs of the mental depression. What’s more interesting is that Phil Gramm remains co-chair over at the Short Bus Express. Or that McSame said back in April that he didn’t know that much about the economy and then brought on Phil Gramm, who doesn’t seem to know much about the economy either. Today brings either a case of bad memory or pandering. In his book (and the tv movie) he says he named the Green Bay Packers offensive line when asked who his squadron mates were. Today in Pittsburgh he says he named the Pittsburgh defensive line, which may be indefensible. The Iron Curtain didn’t come together until after McSame was home from Viet Nam. So either he’s lying or has a really bad memory. Both traits I look for in a POTUS. We had a very interesting discussion going on at work. Basically, we know here in the Bay Area things are better than the entire rest of the country. And it ain’t that great here either. At what point do these asshats wake up and realize they have driven the country into a depression, ran up a bunch of debt for a war in a country that has asked us to leave, ransacked the Treasury and pretty much bankrupted the damned thing? The people can’t afford gas or food which is also skyrocketing, or insurance which is off the hook or their adjusting mortgages. Wages are down, not up and we have to wonder, does this thing adjust or come to a screeching halt? The only business we’re going to have left here is sales, lawyering and service. No GNP. Is that any way to run a country?

I may be the smartest guy in the room. I started growing my own food before the cost of everything really went through the roof. If the critters will just leave it alone and let me harvest life will be grand. Here’s a spaghetti squash…I’m pretty sure at least.


A pretty cool zuchinni


And I suspect this is a watermelon.


I also have a yellow crook neck but the picture didn’t come out.

This tropical depression is going to blow me away

That’s going to leave a mark. If you recall, the good Senator told us that our indigestion was not high gas prices, it was psychological. Now his chief economic advisor is telling us it’s all in our heads. I suppose it’s our own faults, those of us who were swindled by unscrupulous loan officers. I’m sure World Savings’ half assed underwriting had nothing to do with that, nor did Countrywide’s or IndyMac’s or any of the the folks over on the Implode-o-meter. The part where you lost everything? It’s just in your head. This isn’t really happening. Are you kidding me?

In the middle of the road you see the darndest things

Life has been a bit of an adventure as of late. Work has been a certain flavor of hell. Every day is a full on food fight. Upper management abounds, Captain Queeg strutting around with his jacket and his eagle pin on. It’s exhausting. With every clown in the universe riding BARF in the morning I finally have to get my shit together and get out the door on time or 1) I won’t find parking and 2) I’ll stand all the way to San Francisco. Nothing has gotten me out the door on time until now. This morning I was running a little behind. It was 90 in my bedroom when I went to bed. It cooled down to 86 over night. I have very few functioning brain cells remaining. So this morning I put the orange juice in the pantry and the oatmeal in the refrigerator. Luckily I had to return to the fridge for something and realized the swap before something bad happened…in the pantry. I also picked a bunch of romaine lettuce for dinner tonight and left it outside on the picket fence. I realized that screw up about 8:15 this morning when I was making coffee at the office, in San Francisco. It was compost when I got home. Anywho, I’m flying out the door and I’ve been leaving Rita in the main dining area so she has access to a lot of water, which she wouldn’t in the crate. The difference was I forgot to close the french doors. I came home to a very warm house (since the door was open all day) and this:


I have no recollection of seeing a happier dog either. She spent the entire day running the yard according to HER schedule. She managed to poop in my garden. She even still had water left. I don’t believe in leaving dogs out during the day, but a screw up worked out today.

Building a body for life

I’ve been perfect on my food for a couple of days now and it’s paying off. It is possible to eat properly and eat well at the same time. Here we have ahi seared with a jerk rub, some gnocchi and sauteed asparagus. Totally works.


For some ridiculous reason I didn’t ride yesterday. It was only 103 when I got home 30 minutes late yesterday. Today I got here on time to enjoy 107. So I waited 45 minutes until it cooled down to a tepid 105 and took off on my bike. I melted.

  • Time: 1:10:42
  • Ygnacio 10:04

I got my ass handed to me. Oh yeah the air quality is orange or red or nightmarish. You can’t even see Mt. Diablo unless you’re on top of the thing. This is the only ride this week. I’ve got 68 miles this weekend. I’ve got to decide if it’s Saturday morning or Sunday morning.

I can feel the magic floating in the air

But forget about breathing around here.  We’re on our sixth Spare the Air day.  The smoke is so thick you can’t see the top of Mt. Diablo unless you’re right on top of it.  I’m just happy that BARF isn’t free today.  BARF has been some form of Kentucky Fried Hell for about a month now.  Trust me, ridership is up at least 20%.  Trust me.  If you aren’t first in line or catching the ghost train, you’re standing.  It’s full of people who aren’t used to taking BARF and apparently don’t know how to behave on a train.  They’re the self absorbed bastards that waited until gas tickled $5 a gallon before they decided to get out of their cars.  I guess I shouldn’t expect this self-important type to know how to behave in a civilized manner.  Still, here’s some hints:

  • Cross your legs at the ankle or not at all.  It’s not your living room, there are other people on the train.  Be considerate.
  • Keep your legs in your “personal space”.  Gentlemen: your balls really aren’t that big, you’re fooling no one, stop it.
  • Fold the paper over in half.   Once again, it’s not your living room.
  • Farting.  Never ok.
  • Ipods=good.  Singing along=not good
  • Gentlemen: always give up your seat unless you yourself are disabled or elderly.  Period.
  • Backpacks: Always remove them and place them on the floor at your feet.
  • Never, I mean NEVER stop at the top or bottom of the stairs or escalators to decide where you’re going or retrieve the handle of your roller bag.  Get out of the way.  Get the HELL out of the way.
  • Speaking of escalators, stand right, walk left.  EVEN IF THE TRAIN IN THE STATION ISN’T YOURS.
  • And thank you for riding BARF

I’m building a Body for Life

I’ve been lackadaisical about the eating aspect of the BFL program.  Not terrible, but not great.  I have lost seven pounds this year, but I realized over the weekend that my goal, the fiftieth birthday is quickly approaching with the original goal probably unattainable.  So since it’s 12 weeks away, I’m bucking up and getting on this.  I’m just not so sure if I’m going to ride tonight considering the air quality.  I lifted well yesterday morning.  If I don’t ride tonight, I’ll workout inside.  It’s currently 86 degrees in my bedroom, at 5:03 a.m.  It hit 103 here yesterday and 105 is predicted today, which probably really means 107ish.  Not a happy time trying to sleep without air.  Air-conditioning is with out a doubt the next big expenditure here at the Farm, unless something I need breaks.

Coconut Telegraph 

Mike Mueller over at Lenderama is reporting that Indymac is done, kaput.  Mike is usually spot on and he backs it up.  I would hope not for the sake of all of those Diablo guys who ended up over there, but they did assign out my mortgage this month and Mike’s got emails…

Today’s Worst Person in the World

Not only did this guy kill his wife, but he put the County of Alameda through a ridiculously expensive investigation and trial that dragged on for months and included bringing his children back from Russia to be on the stand.  Then at the last minute after the jury convicted him and the judge is about to sentence him, this little shit stain decides to show the police where his murdered wife was buried.   He easily has already cost the County millions.  You pathetic piece of crap.  Thanks for wasting all of those tax dollars.  Now do us all a favor and hang yourself in your cell.

My hours are slumberless

I can say that thankfully, I have a job right now. I know there are a ton of you out there that don’t. If you’re in the State of California and you were in the real estate or title industry the most you could hope to receive in benefits is $1800 a month. And you’ll be taxed on that at the end of the year. Because you have been able to live so fat on that. Unless you’re ultra conservative in your finances and have lived in the same place for 20 years without refinancing, that $1800 won’t even cover your house payment here in California. As a matter of fact, that $1800 will barely get you a one bedroom apartment in some parts of this State. God forbid you need to put gas in your car. I spent $79.52 for a tank yesterday at $4.53 per gallon. Eight years ago (because I keep these sorts of figures) I paid $27.77 for a tank of gas, but I made $400 more per month. Eight years ago my house payment was $1237.00, today it’s around $2400 because they’re still screwing around with the impounds…and they still don’t have it right. And I made $400 more a month back then. Granted I’ve stepped up mightily from a one bedroom condo in Oakland, but the market nearly tripled, and has now crashed back to 2000 numbers. All on Bush’s watch. One of the largest components of the US economy is the real estate market. For all intents in purposes, it has driven the economy for the last 15 years. Yet the Bush administration ignored the problems that unscrupulous individuals and companies were creating. I guess you could argue that thieves are good for the economy as they move money through the economy, keeping it healthy, but on the other hand, separating old people from their retirement income will only put a burden on the government. The economy is a delicate balancing act. When something gets out of kilter, it can throw the whole thing off. In California we have always paid through the nose for housing. We do not pay exorbitant energy bills. Prior to Enron, our energy costs were actually pretty low out here. Back East they’d be paying $300-400 a month while we were paying $50-200 depending on use and size of the house. Then Enron came in and screwed the State of California with a phony energy crisis. Anyone who was here then knows how it threw your budgets off and changed things here. All so some Bush cronies could steal from us AND joke about it. And now we are to believe that there is good reason for the energy crisis with gasoline prices? I don’t buy it. I think it’s more Bush cronies trying to steal the last little bit they can from the California economy before it’s over and they have to go home. They’re stealing it now in crude oil futures, the same exact way they stole it with Enron.

So we get stupid emails telling us to boycott gas on this day or the other. It’s not that hard to do. I don’t drive unless I absolutely have to. If I leave the house, it’s probably on the bike or foot unless I’m going to work. I used to go through a tank in about 10 days. I’m up to 21 days on a tank right now. Furthermore, I don’t spend money unless I absolutely have to. (I know some of you have no choice right now) What will stop these bastards? When we stop spending money. That’s it. When we stop buying stuff because we think we have to have it. When we whittle our budgets down to the absolute minimum of what we need, when we stop our rampant consumerism, which drives the capitalist thieves, then and only then will the price come down. We all are spoon fed such slop marketing that we think we need all this shit that we just don’t need. Who really needs a soda pop? Who has shit in their house that they have only touched once since it came into the house? Who has shit in their house that they haven’t touched in a year? Everyone, that’s who. And why? Because it was bright and shiny in a store somewhere? Because some slick salesperson talked you into it? Did you pay cash or credit? Credit? Even better, now not only did it cost the original price, (and was probably made in China) but now a financial mega corporation is going to take more of your money because it’s on a credit card. Some major stock holders, who are probably a hedge fund will profit from that and at the end of the day a few guys will make all the money on everyone that bought that cheap piece of crap. And we’ve all been separated from our hard earned money. At some point, we have the power to stop this, when will we?

Since I’m on full bore rant right now, let’s talk about taxes. Nobody seems to want to pay taxes. Reagan came into office saying he was going to cut taxes (it’s debatable if he really did at the end of the day). What he didn’t do is invest in the infrastructure of this country. The first real investment in infrastructure in the modern times was done during the alphabet agencies of the New Deal. Great projects were undertaken and great projects were built. It’s arguable if not for WWII, FDR would not have gotten the country out of the Depression with the New Deal, but we got out, so that’s really the final answer. Play “what if” all you want, it worked. The WPA built roads, schools, public buildings, schools, sewage systems and a lot of what is now the infrastructure of this country. After WWII, Eisenhower made another huge investment in the infrastructure with the Interstate system, which is why so many of our highways have that 1950’s look to them. Thirty years later Reagan SHOULD have invested again in our infrastructure, but instead, he told us we didn’t need to pay taxes. Not only did he ignore the infrastructure, he didn’t allow for any future improvements. I’ll use an HOA for an analogy. I sat on the board at my condo’s HOA. The roof of the project was a 20 year roof. We had to estimate the cost of replacement and amortize that over 15 years so that when the time came to replace the roof, the money was in the bank. Reagan didn’t bother to do that. Thirty years later a crumbling bridge falls into the river and I believe you can lay those deaths right at the doorstep of the politicians who kept their power by not doing their duty to society by preserving our infrastructure. Thirty years later, when yet another investment in the infrastructure should have occurred, we elect a guy because we think he would be a good guy to sit down and have a beer with. We elect a total moron. Worse yet the guy’s an alcoholic and doesn’t even drink! Yet that’s how the middle of this country thinks. Now we’ve got another tax cut and no investment in the infrastructure. So when buildings crumble and bridges collapse and people are killed, it will be the lawyers fault for bringing suits, when it should be the politicians fault for not doing their jobs.

I don’t mind paying taxes. I would rather give the government money to fix the potholes than pay $800 to have my axle fixed. I would rather pay some taxes and have enough cops on the streets than get a $300 rebate. (don’t even get me going on what horseshit that was) I would like our veterans to get the health care they need in a timely fashion. What I don’t want to do is have my tax dollars wasted on thieves like Blackwater and Halliburton and that stupid bitch in Oakland or these ass clowns. Don’t want to pay taxes? Good then hoof it to work on something besides our city streets and when someone robs you, don’t call a cop.


Yesterday I lifted and then came back to the gym in the afternoon and swam 30 minutes. People that don’t understand simple courtesies annoy the crap out of me. Yeah, it’s hot, but you bob around in the three unroped lanes on the right, not in the swimming lanes you jackasses. The workout called for a 90 percent lift which was 215. I got half of it, the half where it comes down. Didn’t do so well on the part where you push it back up. Luckily, I was smart enough to have a spot. I’m off for a quick ride this morning. This is a set course I do, last time I did it in 1:07. We’ll see what this morning brings. I may swim this afternoon too, it helps open up my shoulders.


I hope your restless spirit has found some peace, if not here, on the other side.
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Our house is a very, very, very fine house

Rita is just about to weight now. She is well muscled, great tone, just still kind of lithe.


What you can’t tell from the internet is that she is small, undersized for a Doberman. She’s more the height of a border collie. But her ribs and hips don’t show and she’s got massive haunch muscles from chasing critters all day. She did awesome yesterday with the Fourth of July. They blew up more shit here than they did in the old neighborhood. The old neighborhood was pretty much a hood. Those clowns shot off guns. These guys had the real shit. The stuff you have to go out of state to get. They were blowing up crap until around 11pm last night. Having lived in the pseudo hood for the last seven years and then Oakland before that and then San Francisco before that, the loud bangs make me nervous. I know they aren’t guns up here, but after twenty years of it BEING guns, it still makes you a little uneasy…after three hours of it. Rita on the other hand, slept like a baby. The air smells like sulphur this morning.


Things are coming along nicely in my little garden. The squash are growing beautifully, and I have green tomatoes that will hopefully make it all the way to being edible tomatoes. The lettuce patch has been feeding me for two weeks now. Two weeks of walking PAST the lettuce at the store. That so totally rocks. There’s romaine in the middle and butter on the outsides.

Ride report

Yesterday was a stupid ride. Stupid for a plethora of reasons. The original ride looked like this:
That didn’t happen. I got to Acalanes and after about a 1/4 mile I saw Glorietta on the left, but it said “No Outlet”. So I thought maybe it came into Acalanes again and started up Acalanes. It was really steep and I wasn’t sure that it was going to go through either. I should have printed the map. I was on the right path. But it looked desolate, so I went back down and started up Glorietta and it was stupid steep and may have had no outlet. I decided to cut bait for this ride and headed back down to Danville Blvd. Stupid stupid stupid. Yesterday was still the Fourth of July and Danville has one of those only in America Fourth of July parades with the horses and the old cars and the high school band, and yeah, it goes right down Danville Blvd. I knew about it but forgot when I made that turn. I would have been better off lost in the Orinda hills. I tried to get over to the Iron Horse Trail but hordes of people were walking seven across on the trail. It was dangerous and counterproductive to my ride. I got out of there as quick as I could without tipping over from stupid people. It was nerve-wracking. I didn’t get my typical toe cramp until I was back by the golf course and I decided to work it out at the base of Ygnacio and not try it with my toes on fire. I had finished my HEED and taken another gel but nothing was relieving it. (I even added salt to the HEED yesterday in hopes of staving off the toe cramps) I hit Ygnacio full of piss and vinegar and got up it in 8:42. Shaved about 30 seconds off of the climb. Ride stats:

  • Time 3:46:13
  • Distance 45.93
  • Speed 12.1

I didn’t break any land speed records but that wasn’t the point yesterday. If I had done the ride I had planned it had some vicious climbs in it. The back side of Papa Bear is not for the weak hearted. And there was a terrible head wind for the first half of the ride. I came back to Walnut Creek at a clip of around 21mph, so with the average, that’ll tell you how bad the wind was.

Well word gets around in a small, small town

Last month, while I was sleeping had a birthday. FWIW it was June 8th. Yesterday, passed the 100,000 hit mark. I couldn’t be more pleased. This blog spun in a different direction than I was expecting it to with the collapse of Alliance Title and the “mortgage meltdown” and everything else tied to that mess. It was supposed to be a Body for Life blog…with an occasional rant, and the adventures of Beauregard. A year later, Beau is gone and I have a new dog I wasn’t expecting. I still basically stick to Body for Life but I’ve only lost 7 pounds. (OK, I know I have too many “free” moments.) I’ve bought, remodeled and moved into a new house…that I still need to paint. And most importantly, I’ve gotten up some corporate asses and pushed them into doing the right thing. That makes me happy. Oh yeah, and they got up my ass and I’m standing up for what’s right and that makes me VERY HAPPY.

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So, thank you to everyone who drops by here. A special thank you to the Usual Suspects who stop in and make this such a fun blog to run. I know I can’t wait for our next ice cream flavor.