I’m not going to spend ten weeks and have everyone think I’m on the mend

I am so glad to be home.  Yeah, I saw the church and the second largest lighthouse in the world and the old market.  I actually probably saw a lot that other people don’t see because I walked.  I walked an average of two hours each day.  I grew and blew a blister on my foot during the Wednesday walk.  I probably covered five miles each day.  And I got asked about 35 million times to breakfast to hear a presentation about timeshares and I got stopped 52 million times on the street and asked the same damned thing.  Truth is, every freaking person that talked to me that wasn’t a tourist was looking to pitch me some timeshare presentation.  I don’t want a goddamned timeshare.  I’ll be thrilled to make the March payment on the Farm.  And not one of those guys qualified me.  No, actually one did.  She said “Lady do you own a big house?”  No, I don’t.  And she left me alone.  I wanted to know where the locals went and no one told me.  They just pitched me freaking timeshares.  Yeah, I’m a little pissed about that.  I wasn’t particularly hip on the timeshare I was staying in.  I blew it by dragging my feet.  My client gave me his for a week for doing a good job for him.  He was going to send me to the El Cid Marina.  I didn’t want to leave my business for a week so I dragged my feet and ended up at the Lunatic Luna Palace.  Nice beach, nice pool and that’s about it.  Check out the vanity in the room.

1-30-vanity-mexico That’s a match stick up there and I don’t know what the dark thing on the left is and there’s a bunch of water in there that drips down in the middle of the night…and when someone upstairs runs water or flushes a toilet.  Thankfully there were two bathrooms and two vanities.  The other one only had some weird little flying bugs in it.  I used that one.

The Pacific was the Pacific.  I love that ocean and I love it’s power and can sit and watch it for hours, which is what I did because watching the ocean from the pool deck of the Lunatic Luna Palace was one of three places where I wasn’t pitched for timeshares.  They did bring you Pacificos there at around 25 pesos each, so that was a good thing.  The hotel was across the street from the Purple Onion.  The second place where I wasn’t pitched.  Or at least not at the bar.  So I ate there three times just for the peace and quiet.  OK, the Purple Onion wasn’t peaceful or quiet but they didn’t give me food poisoning and they didn’t pitch me timeshares so that was a good thing.  Rico’s coffee was the third place I didn’t get pitched.  They were also the only place that made coffee that didn’t taste like ass.  And they had coconut creme muffins and those were Godlike.  Every other restaurant pitched me time shares.

Some of the translations were pretty funny.  I can’t speak Spanish.  I know some and I took two years in high school and I live in California fergodsakes, but my brain never wanted to retain any Spanish.  I finally had to ask someone on Tuesday how to say “please” the phrase had completely left my head.  I could say “Bitte” but that wasn’t going to fly in Mazatlan.  Strangely, I could read it but not form a sentence.  Even after four days.  So while we complain about our stuff being written in English and Spanish, we ought to just shut the hell up because it was helpful in getting my brain to at least comprehendo what the hell was going on, although the translations were pretty funny.  I ended up going to the Spanish version to figure out what they were trying to say.  I even figured out that Barry Bonds is going to court in March over his perjury charges from the running ticker on ESPN Espanol.   Apparently he took “la clara” and “la crema” and they were …I so can’t spell the word in Spanish for “steroids”.

Anywho, it’s good to be back home.  Not my choice for a return trip but I’m glad I went.  Read a couple of books and did some much needed forward planning for my business.  Re-read Body for Life which I would highly recommend for anyone doing the program.  Bill Phillips had one of those moments when he wrote that book.  In an hour I can go pick up the Hellhoundz and I can’t wait.  Here’s a little something I took before I left.  That’s my oak tree.


And since I’ve been away, I think it’s only fair to screw up your browsers with a youtube.

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Down in the west Texas town of El Paso

Hola!  I thought you were supposed to use an upsidedown exclamation mark with that.  Guess not.  Today I played in the ocean, spent too much time in the sun and learned what the big friggin deal with the time shares was.  These guys get paid $135 for every referral that converts.  That is a lot of pesos.  They get one conversion out of about ten referrals.  Kind of like the cold call rate.  You knew I would know those numbers. 

It is a sad day in the wine world.  I just could never imagine getting to the point that there was only one solution.  Of course I spend a tremendous amount of time digging through piles of horse shit looking for ponies.

I have one thing to say to those 244 Representatives.  OK two.  One 2010.  The other?  Quit being a bunch of freaking babies.  Your way didn´t work.  Quit being a bunch of pouty babies.  Get on board.  And one more thing.  2010.  Seriously, we´re all paying over $4k each for the last stimulus plan that paid untold amounts to unnamed executives and you assholes are voting against this?  You are a bunch of freaking babies.

For some reason I´ve been thinking a lot about Beauregard on this trip.  It´s so weird.  He was the youngest animal I have lost.  The last two years have been such a whirlwind/nightmare and now I have a couple of days to reflect and my dog´s dead.  How the hell did that happen?  I mean I know how it happened.  He had cancer.  He woke me up at 3am and he couldn´t breathe.  The cancer was drowning him, but how did that happen? 

When I get home I have a USDA Prime rant ready to go on lenders.  I know you can´t wait for that one.

South of the Border

Hola Gatitos!  I really do not have much.  I cannot figure out how to work the apostrophe on this Mexican keyboard so all the words will be spelled out.  Not much to do down here and that does not bode well for my type A personality.  I may chew my arm off by Friday.  Some bon mots and cheap shots.

  1. Do not name your pizza place Rin Tin Tin pizza
  2. Why are all the man hole covers missing?
  3. Why does everyone want to sell me a time share?
  4. Coconut creme muffins are worth the plane ride
  5. Turbulance =Bad, very bad.  Very shaken not stirred Wine Dog
  6. Rita tore a hole in her side about 20 minutes before she was due at the kennel.  I can only hope she is healing ok.  I cleaned it up and the lady at the kennel is cleaning it too.  I think she should have had stitches but there was no time.
  7. Whatever it is that makes a crispy tortilla and then some Mexican ham and then two eggs on top for breakfast with that rancheria sauce?  Must figure out how to make that. 
  8. You can not put up a sign that says GOLF and then not have a golf course.  ¿HELLO?
  9. If you must try and sell me a time share at least qualify your buyer.  I got no money, I am not qualified. 

Back here at home there’s nothin’ to do

Imagine that!  I’m on US Airways both directions, all planes.  Sully is that you?

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If I get too many margueritas and end up in an Internets cafe, I’ll get a travelog up, but if not…

here’s a little something that’s guaranteed to make judi crack a molar.

I really need a category for jackassery.

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I’ll drag you down to my hell

This is criminal.  How about this quote:

LandAmerica was such a large and complex company deciphering its cash-management system was “like untangling a bowl of spaghetti,“ according to Jonathon Mitchell of Zolfo Cooper.

I’ve heard that phrase used before in a similar context.  I have a friend who is an accountant geek.  Total geek.  No social skills whatsoever but he can look at a page full of numbers and point right to the part that matters.  He was called in maybe ten years ago to assess the situation at Enron for the bank he worked for.  His job was to determine if their financials were cool and the bank could make a large commercial loan to them.  After two weeks with them he came back to the bank and told them he couldn’t tell how they made money.  It was the squirrelliest system he’d ever seen.  He was actually questioning his ability at the time.  He shouldn’t have.  They went bankrupt about six months after he told me that.  And we all know what happened next.   I would sure like to see the 1031 contract for these asshats.  (If you have one feel free to send it to winedog at astound dot net)  I can’t imagine it says “Invest my money in questionable investment vehicles while a search for another property to invest it in”.  And I have to ask the IRS are  you really going to whack these people for not getting the money back into the market when it was essentially stolen?  That can’t be right.  I think it’s time that they looked at NASCAR Teddy for a little of what Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skillings got.  I think it’s the least we can do.  A bunch of attorneys chasing another bunch of attorneys around in a bankruptcy is only going to blow a bunch of attorney’s fees.  Criminal charges has a way of saying “rise and shine” to those who would normally go play golf and ignore the shitstorm. (NASCAR Teddy).  If the cash management system is a bowl of spaghetti, then there’s a reason.  (Bernie Madoff)  They’re hiding something.  Untangle the spaghetti and you know who to charge.  Is there anything better than SEC charges?  I don’t think so.  I wonder how NASCAR Teddy looks in orange.

This CEO culture in this country makes me so mad I could chew nails and spit tacks.  These guys are so busy answering to the wankers on Wall Street that they neglected to do their jobs.  They spent so much time showing Wall Street why they mattered that they let the company fail.  How much money does Wall Street make when a company fails?  Simple.  Less than zero.  So not only did the Jerry Hauptman’s, John Harrit’s and Ted Chandler’s of our world fail the customers, the employees and the communities, they failed their investors as well.  They are failures.  They need to roll up their shirtsleeves and do a real job for a change.  But the CEO culture of this country will give these clowns another chance to go out and screw up another company.  I always thought that Carly Fiorina did a shitty job at HP.  Look at her now.  John Scully screwed up Apple beyond words.  He’s doing just fine.  Jim Donald was driving Starbucks into the ground when Howard Schultz returned to bail out the coffee shop.  He’s now on the board at Rite-Aid.  How about Stanley O’Neil who ran Merrill into the ground?  Comfortably retired.  Or my favorite Phil Purcell.  He turned a grand old house into a Sears & Roebuck.  And then got ousted.  He walked away with $43.9 million and $250k a year for life.    Comfortably retired.  How about Robert Nardelli from Home Depot?  $210 million to go away.  Makes you feel pretty good about paying $8 bucks for a faucet stem eh?  We’re paying for this shit and it’s got to stop.  Worse yet, these guys are running companies into the ground demolishing the market and our 401(k) plans and pension plans and then living happily ever after while the people who worked for these guys fight to pay the electrical bill.  Enough.  Enough.

Dream about the days to come

Must be the season of the witch

ORTC announced yesterday.  And then they ducked.  The shoes thrown from the audience went sailing over their heads.  Ouch.  That’s a lot of scratch.  Still A to Z has the balls to hang on to his core staff and we salute him for that.  Can’t wait for the rest of the announcements.  FNF on Wednesday February 4th and FAF on February 26th.  Dinty Moore steps up to the plate on February 19th.  And NASCAR Teddy?  I guess he’s down at the Gobment office trying to get his COBRA straightened out.

The Rules of Law School

First rule of law school: Don’t sue anybody that doesn’t have any money.  These guys must have missed that day.  Speaking of missing days at Law School, The Constitution.   It’s really not the long of a document.  A lot of stuff is just spelled out in it simply.  Like this:

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

It’s one sentence.  Roberts could have fit it on the back of a business card or written it on his palm or clipped it to whatever the hell he was holding.  Am I not surprised a Bush appointee couldn’t get the Constitution right?  Are any of us?  And finally, the Second Rule of Law School:  If you can’t tell who the asshole in class is after the first 15 minutes, it’s probably you.  This actually applies to any structured learning situation.  Real Estate classes in particular.


I’m actually heading out on a vacation next week.  I have no idea where I’m going to be, how I’m getting there or what’s going to happen when I get there.  I’m not much of a control freak, but I do like to have a skeletal structure in place.  I don’t have this going on for this trip and it’s a little nerve wracking.  And I haven’t been out of the country since 1979.  Granted they didn’t like us much then either, and I don’t think it matters that much in Mazatlan, it’s just that I think about that sort of thing.  And Sully isn’t flying my plane.  And I’m concerned about getting some parasite or bacteria or weird bug.  And I should probably just calm down and take my golf clubs with me, but I don’t want to lug them.  Jury’s still out on that one.  I did have a dog psychic talk to the Hellhoundz and let them know that even though they’re going to a kennel not to worry, I will be back in six nights.  Yeah, I’m a little tweaked about this trip.  She said Bubba already knew about the trip but that Rita was concerned about being cold at night.  I’ll be sure she has a warm bed.

1-22-bubba Mom, you’re an idiot.  Love, Bubba.

What you don’t know you can feel it somehow

Yesterday was a pretty amazing day. I feel like a gentleman has returned to the White House. You know, a guy who appreciates classical music and poetry and good wine. A guy who could possible get through an entire cabinet meeting without scratching his balls. A guy who calls people by their rightful names rather than a bunch of nicknames suitable for my dog.

I could write a commentary today, but for some reason, I’m more interested in being an idiot. So, without further ado.

Separated at birth


Yeah, I can’t tell the difference either.

I could act right today and write something really thoughtful and brilliant, but I really don’t have it in me. So instead of discussing the call to service from yesterday, let’s talk about Di’s hair. I truly believe that it is a hair helmut comprised of Kevlar and tin foil so that her brain is not penetrable by bullets or alien brain manipulation.

Case in point. DiFi’s hair in the 1970’s


Not that different from the 1980’s

dianne-feinstein OK, she’s little scary with the automatic weapon but this wasn’t long after the Moscone and Milk murders. Nah, this is just scary. She probably hates her hair in that picture.

difi Here we can see DiFi as she ages but her hair does not.

dianefeinsteindemo This would be the beginning of her “red” period. Her jowls drop but the hair remains dark and in place.

feinstein7 More red. I am woman hear me roar.

feinstein-vandenberg I would say this is from her “Hepburn” period.

feinstein The CNN version of the hair helmet.

dianne_feinstein Halloween at Feinstein’s Senate Office. (You know she hates that picture)

inaugural And yesterday’s version, which I’m sure everyone noticed the same thing I did. In that brutal Northern wind, it did not move.

No Kevlars were injured in the preparing of this blog post. More jackassery later. I may have to add a category for jackassery.

The fog was lifting a voice come chanting

I’m just amazed at what’s unfolding today.  I feel like a bit of a curmudgeon.  I just want to whisper in his ear “It’s yours, now don’t screw it up”.   Today is his day.

I remember back in 1968, I was in the fifth grade.  I was in this program where they pulled us out of the normal classes and sent us over to this other school.  We were the brightest of the bright in the district.  I can’t remember all the kids in that class but I know that one of them is now the President of a division of Tyco and another one really went on to be a Nuclear Physicist.  He’s now retired and writing poetry.  The only difference is that these two guys are now cool.  Not so much back then.  Another one is a paranoid schizophrenic who works in television.  That didn’t really surprise me.  And then there’s me.  I didn’t fit in then and I don’t fit into that now.  At any rate, we had a big assignment back then.  It gave me agida.   We were supposed to write what we thought Nixon was going to say in his inauguration speech.  I remember thinking “How the hell should I know?”  It was 1968.  Johnson had chosen not to run for re-election.  Eventually he would drink himself to death over his inability to get our troops out of that quagmire.  Nixon was hawkish but had said that he was going to bring home our troops.  No one had heard of a hotel named Watergate and the Presidency still maintained a gleam of honor to a fifth grader.  I remember penciling out what I thought Nixon might say in his inaugural address.  I used Lincoln and Kennedy as reference.  Possibly Roosevelt, I don’t remember.  (It’s funny that I was probably looking at Lincoln’s second inaugural address)  Then on Inauguration Day we all watched Nixon being sworn in.  I remember looking at my draft and thinking “He didn’t say anything like what I wrote”.  And then the black and white television with him speaking.  I can’t remember what kind of grade I got on that project.  We also had all these squirrelly grading systems.  Numbers and phrases and shit that wasn’t an A, B, C, D or F like the other kids.

Now I watch all the talking heads discuss what he might say in about an hour and 15 minutes from now.  He’s a great speaker, so I know it’ll be good.  I just hope he can keep this thing going and not screw it up.

Pushing thru the market square, so many mothers sighing

In an interesting twist, today, the day we as a country celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth, is also the last full day of the Bush Presidency and the eve of the inauguration of our first interracial President. Because he’s only half African. He’s 100% screwed. He’s taking over this country in the worst shape it’s been since the Great Depression. Even the Post War recession can’t hold a candle to this mess. We’re mired in two endless wars. The jobless rate is kissing double digits. We’ve seen huge businesses fail. Not counting Mercury Companies and LandAmerica, there’s World Savings, Wachovia (same reason really) Washington Mutual, Lehman Brothers, Downy Savings, Circuit City, Mervyns, Mother’s Cookies and that’s just the one’s that jump out of my head this morning. And it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I saw Warren Buffet interviewed yesterday about Obama. Strangely, it made me feel better about the whole thing. Buffet essentially said that he was impressed with how smart Obama was and the fact that he understood economics. Now there’s something refreshing. Buffett’s best quote of the night was “Since 1776, you don’t want to bet against America”. Or something very close to that. I can’t find the transcript this morning. I think he gets that we have to bring American jobs home and come to a middle ground on credit. A warehouseman and his housekeeper wife should not be living in a $600k house. (I did a sign off like that) Yet, you shouldn’t need a 780 to buy a house when you have 20% down. Those of us who are already in homes should be able to do a no cash out refi to drop our interest rate regardless of whether or not the place appraises for the original loan amount. They’re already on the hook, do the refi to preserve the asset. Hello!?! And if they bring American jobs home, Americans are making money again and putting it into the economy. Pretty soon we’re back on track. Then if we quit pissing away millions of dollars every day in the Middle East and go cut off the head of Al Qaeda (which we should have done eight years ago) we’ll get this country back on track. We are enacting some think tank Neocon plan from the 80’s right now and half of this country still doesn’t understand that.

But I was going to talk about race in America this morning. I have a very good friend who through all his faults, and there are many, was one of the fairest guys out there. If he were treating people badly, he’d treat everyone equally poorly. And if he were treating everyone well, everyone was equally treated well. He went out to an area back in the 1980’s that was famous for it’s covert racism. One of the first things he did was to hire an African American gal as his assistant. Oh my God they were up in arms over that move. She walked in to the interview with the skills, she presented well and that’s what he wanted. He had hired the one who would work best for the position for years and he wasn’t going to stop then. I always liked that he was so nonchalant about it. I wasn’t working with him at the time and he called me to vent about the other people who were working for him and their bullshit. I remember saying “They’ll get over it”. They did. I remember years ago another Escrow Officer who was an immense talent. They moved her out to here to build their operation. She had a horrible time out there because of the racism of the realtors and loan agents. She moved back to Alameda County. It’s gotten better since then, but it’s still not right. If we call it when we see it, we’ll get there.  I was talking to a friend of mine about racism a couple of months ago. She grew up in a pretty homogenized area. A black family moved in and there was a daughter in her class. She came home and told her father about it, who responded “She bleeds red just like you do.” I love that. We all bleed red.

In Virginia last week a little girl went missing. Unlike Caylee Anthony, it wasn’t all over the news. This little girl was developmentally disabled and if ever there was a story that should have been all over the news it was this one. Just like Caylee Anthony, Alexis Glover was found dead. Just like Caylee Anthony, the mother has been charged. You heard this story, right? Yeah, I know the answer. Why didn’t this child receive the same amount of press? Yeah, I know the answer.

So on the eve of the inauguration of the first President actually elected in the last eight years I feel like we’re standing at the edge of an abyss. We can catch our balance and go on our way or we can lose our balance and tumble in. I say we catch our balance. The Great Uniter didn’t do his job at all. It’s time we all did our job, together and bring this country back from the abyss.

So while Dr. King’s life was cut short and he didn’t get to see an African American sworn into office, he laid the foundation for this. It’s fitting that today we celebrate his birth as a nation and tomorrow we swear in the 44th President of the United States.

Legacy tour

He kept us safe for seven years. They’ve been all over every single news outlet repeating that bullshit. They forget he was in office for eight. If someone repeats that ignorant mantra to me one more time I believe my head shall to blow completely off my shoulders. So, because Olbermann’s my guy…

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