You ask me for a contribution

I have the greatest clients. I hope my whole career goes like this. Today I buttoned down the world’s longest escrow. The first lender was an absolute assclown. This dumbass would go 10 days and all we’d hear was crickets. I’d call and say “Excuse Mr. AssKlown, how are we doing?” And he’s say the same thing he said 10 days earlier. This went on for 70 days until he finally quit/left/might have been fired and someone else in the office took over the file. In two days they told us the loan was declined, not because of my stellar client but because of their ignorant underwriting practices. So here we are 108 days into a 30 day escrow and today he finally signed the loan docs provided by my loan guy who stepped in and saved the day. Suffice it to say, I’ve spent a lot of time with this particular client.

He’s a Doctor. Like a physician. He teaches at a teaching hospital I believe. Wicked smart man. He understands escrow and loan documents. And he likes me. We were having a cuppa today after the signing and he asks me what I think about the health care system. I had only ordered a grande, we were in trouble. I’ve had numerous discussions on the subject, some of the most interesting with the Brother. As an attorney he said that we needed to remove the health care system from the tort system, or something very similar. Personally, I’ve thought that the problem is the insurance companies. As exhausted as I was, once a real Doctor asked me that question, I was awash in clarity. We need to remove the tort system and the insurance companies from the equation before we are going to see any real reform in the health care system in this country. <—who said that? He laughed and said I was dreaming of Utopia. Then he asked “Fair enough, what do you do with bad Doctors?” I was worn out. Burn them at the stake was not the correct answer. It was just something I’d heard on the radio this morning in reference to the Salem witch trials. I probably would have mulled this over for a few weeks and really come up with not much of anything. But a funny thing happened on the way home. I’m going on a very tough ride tomorrow (map below) and before I do a really tough ride I like to have the same thing for breakfast. A whole wheat waffle made with egg whites and fat free cottage cheese (double your protein pleasure) with blackstrap molasses on it. Don’t ask. It just makes me happy. I was out of molasses so I stopped at Whole Wallet Foods in San Ramon on the way home. At the corner of Bollinger Canyon and Camino Whateverthatlittlestreetisnexttowholefoods there was a gaggle of protestors waving signs complaining about Obama’s perceived socialism and the proposed health care reforms. And of course American flags. Ass monkeys. Now I had a good Friday night traffic jam to sit in and stew about health care reform. Because no one in San Ramon has lost their health care because they lost their jobs. No one in San Ramon pays $1300 a month to insure their husband and small child because they’re the only family member working. No one in San Ramon is forced to pick between their medicine and food. San Ramon is full of insurance company employees and attorneys and folks that suck the current health care systems teet. Why would they give a damn about any one else on the planet? They carried signs that said we should call McInerney to complain. Unfortunately not one of them is smart enough to know that McInerney might be the smartest man in Congress. He’s a total geek. How would you like to be the smartest man in the room and the room is the Congress of the United States? Probably also the loneliest. And I’m thrilled that an intelligent man upset that grifter Pombo. Just a bunch of shit asses with signs.

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So you want real health care reform? Remove insurance companies from the equation. It’s that simple. Doctors no longer have to fill out forms. Patients no longer have to figure out if it’s covered or not. It’s not. Either you can afford it or you have to go see a government Doctor. It’s like anything else. Set your priorities. If you’re stone broke, not a problem, the State will provide you health care. If you can afford a private Doctor, great. Go hire one. If you want to join an HMO, great. If a Doctor commits malpractice a complaint is filed and they go before the Doctor Tribunal. Remove the wrong kidney? You’re voted off of the Doctor island. Your lantern is snuffed out and you leave your license with the concierge on your way outta there. Minor stuff equals revoked privileges for shorter periods of time. The board consists of intermittently either four or five attorneys and either four or five Doctors, for fairness. There’s a review panel that gets you to the infraction board. If you make it to the board, not good. All this is reported and available on a website. Doctor Feelgood gave the King of Pop too much happy juice. License revoked. It’s that simple.

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Insurance company profits topped $60 BILLION dollars in 2008. There are over 307 million people living in the U.S. That means that the insurance companies PROFITED $195 per person in 2008. So every American paid $195 more than they needed to for Auto, Life, Health Liability, Liability and Casualty insurance. More than they would have if they just paid for whatever went wrong. But take all the operating costs of the insurance industry and add that number into the figure. Roughly 13 cents of every insurance company dollar spent goes to operating costs. In my case $365 per year goes from my pocket to the insurance company’s cost of doing business. That’s $560 a year out of my pocket right into theirs. Add into that all the costs that aren’t covered, like in my case the first $2700 worth of bills and it’s a freaking racket. Seriously, do you really think that the government could make it any more FUBAR that it already is? Expand Medicare, outlaw the insurance companies, statutorily and be done with it.

Next week: The drug companies.

There’s someone in my head but it’s not me

I’m on day three of a headache.  The list of things that haven’t helped include balm on my traps (believed to be the culprit) copious amounts of Vitamin (A)dvil, exclusion of God forbid, wine and a trip to the acupuncturist.  And it’s actually worse this morning.  Bad enough that I can’t even get too pissed off at anything.  I think it’s the result of a crappy pillow up in Sonoma, but I’m not ruling out anything. It could also be withdrawal from great cheese.  We got a lot of wonderful cheese last weekend in the Wine Country.  I love cheese.  I’m going to try and track down my Chiro today.  I think she’s the key now.

I don’t have much today, so here’s a story about a firefighter who saw a man riding his bike and towing his child along a busy road and decided to stop and let him know that it was a dangerous road.  It was dangerous alright.  What is the matter with our society?

Two random thoughts.  I wish I had more title stuff, but I just don’t get info like I used to.  I do love the comments section when I do.  Thought two: BMW cost me $4600 this week.  It’s been in the shop since Monday.  It should piss me off, but I miss it.  Kind of like the Lone Ranger misses Silver.

Save the complaints for a party conversation

FNF earnings soar in 2Q

The Burgermeister must be thrilled. They shed a lot of blood but they got the Evil Empire back into the black. Ethics be damned! The Evil Empire earned 40 cents per diluted share up from 3 cents per share q2 2008. Orders increased 61 percent. Of those 61 percent, I wonder how many people actually chose to do business with them as opposed to the thousands who were illegally strong-armed into doing business with them because of pre-existing back room deals cut with unscrupulous banks. To me that’s the same mentality as a spurned spouse who continues to force themselves into somebody’s life after the relationship ends. If they don’t want to be with you, leave. If we don’t want to do business with you why do you force us to? One day someone is going to file a class action against Fidelity and First American for these business practices. I hope their attorney forces which ever company they sue to shut down for a month Nationwide as part of the settlement. These guys deserve it. It’s not like it’s a one time offense, it’s their business practice and it’s wrong. I’m sick and tired of business that thinks that the rules don’t apply to them. Banks and insurance companies are at the top of the list in my book and I pray we don’t bail out another one of these companies, we let them fail.

I don’t know this guy but I bet he’s banned from the First American servers too. Because it’s much wiser to ban the dissenting opinion than to have meaningful discussion. I like his take on AB 957 too. I suspect this blog is banned from their servers too. You see, I’m not alone. The voices are starting to rise up and we will be heard. Enough is enough. Pretty soon you won’t be able to google “First American+Respa” from their servers. Good to see they’re getting into another business sector. Not. And Citigroup is apparently in the luxury hotel business now.

I could go on this tangent for quite a while today, but yesterday a simple ball joint repair job has turned into replacing the brain in the brake and traction system of the BMW. I have to go sell a house. It devoured the bulk of the commission I made last Friday. I guess stopping and ABS and panic braking are important, but damn! I think I can buy a new KIA for what I just handed the mechanic.

Remember, Boycott Foley Wine Group! Don’t let this guy do to wine what he did to title insurance.

Them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye

Wine Blogger’s Conference 2009

Last weekend, as in ending yesterday was the Wine Blogger’s Conference. It was held at the Flamingo Hotel, Spa and Resort in Santa Rosa, California. For the most part, the Flamingo did a pretty decent job, with the exception of the FUBAR internet connections. I had to leave two hours sooner than I would have because I couldn’t pull MLS listings in the morning on Sunday. If you’re going to invite bloggers, have internet. Simple stuff. Or not so much. Anyway, beyond that snafu, the facility was nice enough and the staff was helpful.

Friday night had some events that I missed because LSI is a bunch of asshats. I did arrive in time for the end of speed tasting, a reception, the grand tasting and dinner. I should have taken better notes. I did finally get some Murphy-Goode, those are the folks that brought us the “Really Goode Job” campaign.

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Hardy Wallace, the winner was at the conference.

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Inside Sonoma launched “A Fairly Decent Jobbe” campaign on Friday night.

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Actually the showing of that video might have been the highlight of Friday night. And now I know where Tim Bell went after leaving Freemark Abbey. I haven’t liked Kunde wines for like ever, but now that Tim’s there, I’m hopeful.

Saturday they loaded us all up and took us from Sonoma to Napa in short buses. It was appropriate. Unfortunately to get to Napa from Sonoma they had to take us over Mark West Springs Road. That’s right, a mountain road in a bus with 30 winos. At 9am. I was not the only one who was white as a sheet when we arrived. Our first stop was the Culinary Institute of America. They had laid out CIA tasty treats of which I had none because my stomach was churning. I just wanted 7-up. About an hour and a half into the presentation my stomach finally calmed down. By then the speaker was Barry Shuler, former CEO of AOL and lots of other projects. He’s also a premium wine producer. He tore it up. He was informative, up to date, and presented with humor. I pity the poor schmuck that followed his act.

Afterward, they loaded us up into the buses and took us to lunch. I got bumped from my original bus which turned out to be a boon. I spent the day hanging with Felicia from Sort This Out Cellars. Our first stop was Peju. I am always suspect of wineries located on Highway 29. Plenty of people have told me to stop at Peju, I never had. They laid out a beautiful picnic lunch and Mrs. Peju was our very involved hostess. What a delightful woman. After lunch, and some obligatory information about the wine, she offered to take some of us on a walking tour of the property. We visited the grapes, she showed us their solar equipment, they’ve very proud of reducing their carbon footprint, then she took us onto the grounds of their personal home. She picked mulberries from the tree, pointed up to the peaches to pick, took us back into another vineyard, mused about a machine that she didn’t know why it was where it was and showed us their original tasting room. As we walked she put her arm around my shoulder and pointed out things on the property that she thought I might find interesting. You just don’t get that sort of treatment in Napa normally. It was an awesome lunch stop.

Our next stop was Spring Mountain. There the Gods of the Valley were assembled to answer some questions on a panel. Jac Cole from Spring Mountain, Ted Edwards from Freemark Abbey, Jeffrey Stambor from Beaulieu Vineyards and Paula Kornell from Oakville Ranch.

godsofwine

It was a dichotomy.  I was sad that we were late and they didn’t have more time to speak, but I wouldn’t have given up a moment of walking around the property with Mrs. Peju.  Each of them had two glasses of their best Cabernet Sauvignon laid out for us.  I’m not going to get all of the vintages right but there was roughly a 10 year difference in each glass.  So Spring Mountain had a 1995 and a 2004.  Freemark Abbey had a 1994 and a 2004 Bosché.  Beaulieu had a 1995 George LaTour and a pull from the 2008 barrel.  Oakville brought a 1995 and a 2005.  Jeffrey Stambor spoke of how Beaulieu had a recipe for the George LaTour when he arrived.  It was made like this, every single year.  Ted Edwards has been at Freemark Abbey for 30 years so he’s seen a lot of change in the valley.  I got an opportunity to tell him that I felt his Bosché was the Cabernet by which I measured all others.  I hope he understood that it was a compliment to the quality and consistency of the wine, coupled with spot on pricing.  Oakville Ranch’s wines were a little too new style for me.  I prefer an elegant cab, but if you like a big bold cab, they make a very good one.  Paula Cornell grew up in Napa, so her perspective of changes in the valley was very interesting.  She said the big difference was money.  Isn’t it always?  I also felt that all of these folks understood that great wine was not made in the cellar, it was made in the vineyard.  Great wines are a result of great farming practices.  Caymus was a farming family long before they started producing wine.  Great wines start in the field.

Our next stop was Quintessa for a grand tasting in their caves.  How grand?  Spottswoode, hello!  Ehlers, hello!  Stag’s Leap Cellars, hello!  (I mixed those guys up with Stag’s Leap…who knew?)  We did a ton of spitting there.  I would say there were at least 50 wineries in the cellars, way too many to list.  By this point, I was getting a little wined out and was picking my wines carefully.  They also had these awesome cheese plates laid out.  I was on to cheese by then.  I need to learn more about cheese so that I can remember it more than “it’s a stinky cheese and it’s pretty cool how they cut it”.

Our last stop was dinner at Conn Creek.  Conn Creek served us in their new AVA room.  In that room they have barrels from all of the different Napa Valley AVA’s and you can draw from them and make your own blend.  There was a lot of that going on.  There is 14 barrels from each of the AVA’s, all Cabernet Sauvignon.  They also have all five of the components to a Bordeaux blend on the other wall where you can pull you’re own Bordeaux.  Fascinating concept and I would love to go there when acid wasn’t starting to burn out my esophagus from two days straight of wine drinking.

Now, if we’re done in Napa, that can only mean it’s time to take our buses back over that crappy mountain.  I had been taking it easy, as had Thea of Luscious Lush since we’d both been murdered by the hill on the way to CIA.  At the last minute Thea was able to hitch a ride in a car over the hill.  It was me and a bunch of rowdy drunks in a bus.  Suck it up dog, you can do it.  Luckily, the sun was going down and it was dusk out.  I chose to close my eyes, put my dark glasses on over that and zone out over the hill.  My bus mates chose singing and absinthe.  Those guys know all and I do mean all the words to American Pie.  I was shocked.  They’re mostly the thirty something bracket.  I was impressed.  Hotel California didn’t fair as well.  Jeremiah was a bullfrog.  Several others that are just a haze and we were over the hill and my stomach was intact.  Joy to you and me.

Pollution manifested in perpetual sound

Miss me? Just got back from the Wine Bloggers Conference, 2009. Tomorrow there will be a full report of wine drinking and food and cheese and all things good and Sonoma and Napa. Today, I’m pissed off, and I know y’all love me when there’s a burr up my butt. This is why we must support AB 957.

lsi

LSI. You pathetic bunch of losers. You are not qualified to be in the title business. LSI is what is wrong with the industry. Don’t know who they are? They’re another moronic division of the Evil Empire. Their website says they’re “Reliable, Innovative, Comprehensive, Accurate and Now”. Whatever the hell now means. I know it doesn’t mean they will apply any sort of urgency to your situation. It doesn’t mean you’ll get any kind of service now or any other day unless you are a lender with whom they have a contract. If you represent the buyer, the consumer of the ultimate product, you can go piss up a rope. One hour ago (that’s right at 4:20 on a Sunday afternoon) I received confirmation for my closing from Friday. It was an insured transaction. It was a cash transaction. A trained monkey could find his way to recorders office and record that deed faster than those inept clowns did. My transaction actually recorded at 2:40 on Friday. When my local escrow person called down at 4:55 for confirmation the title person told her “Oh well, I guess they don’t get to move”. You know what you little shit stain? I ought to snap your neck. Do not mess with an old Title Officer. Especially one with a well read blog. I moved my people in on Saturday. I handed them the keys to the house and at 5pm on Friday and I told them to move in. If I were anywhere near that title plant I would walk in there and tear the Plant Managers head off and crap in the hole. How dare you treat the consumer like that? I hope they shut your stinking ass down because you don’t deserve to do business in this country. You and your ignorant staff should be shoved in a box car and sent to some godforsaken third world country and forced to work next to a donkey. The donkey would be the shift supervisor because you guys are too stupid to run anything on your own. That’s right, you’re that pathetic.

Let’s back up. My client is a nice family who paid down the loan on their original home so much that there was little owed on it. They wanted to move to a better neighborhood and entrusted me to find them their next home. One day I sent them a listing to look at like I had several times before. I had barely pushed the “SEND” button when my phone was ringing. It was the husband. Write it up, we want it, we’re buying it. Uh, I think we need to look at it. I don’t care what it looks like, we’re buying it. Please? So they went and looked at it with me. Then I heard the story. When they were first starting out and the wife was pregnant with their first son, she used to walk by the new subdivision. This home was a model. She would wander through this model and dream about someday owning a house like this one. Well, naturally when it came up they were ecstatic. When we walked through it we found it in beautiful shape. We wrote a full price cash offer that was accepted. We then proceeded to put together a 5 day escrow. I was thrilled to hear that the escrow was local. I had hoped that the Concord Title Group would be doing the title work. I would not be that lucky. It was opened at LSI’s REO center in Irvine. As usual with Southern California prelims written for Northern California, they were wrong. I immediately got two exceptions removed but they insisted that we go subject to any stripped assessments. No, wasn’t going to happen. Do your job. Call the City. There either is or isn’t stripped assessments. If there are, pay them and take it out. If not take it out. Two days and an underwriter later I got it removed. The water rights exception I didn’t have as good of luck. They were going to throw down the gauntlet on that one. It does not belong in a dry parcel in a numbered, recent subdivision within the City limits. Doesn’t. No. Don’t freaking put it there you morons. But it wasn’t a hill we were going to die on last week so I talked to my buyer and it remained. His response was essentially, I’m an NRA member, go ahead and try and come on my property. Okie dokey. We let that one lie.

On Friday, all LSI had to do is record one grant deed. One. No money, no releases, nothing. One deed. They managed to do that but they couldn’t manage to tell the consumer that it had been accomplished. That in itself was bad enough, but compounded by the lackadaisical attitude of the title officer in Irvine is reprehensible. These are people who do not deserve to have a job in this economy. I suspect if we went to their house we would find they don’t deserve to live indoors either. LSI, you are an embarrassment to the title insurance business. Get your act together. Last week when I went to the WFB presentation to local real estate professionals, the speaker said “When you bail these homeowners out of this situation, they will remember you for life. The REO banks won’t remember you tomorrow. Choose your clients wisely”. Fidelity National Title Company, you need to choose your clients wisely. We aren’t going to forget this bullshit.

Banjos playing through the broken glass

Some one, who will remain nameless, loves to taunt the Wine Dog.  I get emails all the time entitled “Toro, toro!”.  They’re always subjects guaranteed to enrage me.  She missed this one.

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Apparently the Alabama ABC decided that the Cycles Gladiators Wine’s logo was pornography and banned the sale of their wines in Alabama.  Actually, their logo is an art poster from 1895, created by the French artist G. Massias.  It says so on their website.  I thought when Bush & Co. left it was ok to like the French again.   I mean, really, they are so French.  So someone in Alabama complained.  I have to wonder what repressed backwoods inbred did that.  Was it one of those wingnuts that thinks that Hawaii is not a State and therefore our President isn’t a citizen?  Was it the people who elected that pinched little nutsack Jeff Sessions repeatedly?  Was it the people who rallied over the 10 Commandments being removed from the courthouse steps?  And once this Rainman complained, you listened why?

I’m a fan of Cycles Gladiator Wines.  They make good juice.  Damn good juice.  The State of Alabama doesn’t actually deserve a quality product like that.  They can go back to their moonshine and prison wine and STFU. 

Cycles Gladiator was at the LiveStrong dinner I went to.  The wine flowed, and flowed and flowed  that night.  I personally appreciated their support of the cause.  They are a stand up organization.  The State of Alabama…not so much.

I’ve been laying off the Sontamayer hearings, but only because of time restraints, not because it didn’t piss me off.  First, these hearings are bullshit.  It’s just a way for the Senators to bluster and pontificate.  It really has nothing to do with her abilities.  It’s a product of television that the Senators have used to bolster their standing.  Jeff Sessions should never be allowed to speak in public again.  Thank God in 1986 when that very same Senate had an opportunity to confirm him as a judge they didn’t.  He could not pour piss from a boot with the instructions on the heel.  Moron.  Nothing and I do mean NOTHING pisses me off more than a bunch of privilidged white guys calling a Latina woman a racist.  You assholes have no idea what it’s like not being a white man in this country.  You can hail a cab anywhere you want in any City in America.  You don’t get pulled over for Driving While Black.  Or Hispanic.  The schools in your neighborhood are consistantly better than the schools in the other neighborhoods.  So to The Limburger and Jeff Sessions and whatever Cheney idiot spawn is currently running on at the mouth, do us all a favor and shut up.  Shut up.  Back in the 90’s Dave Stewart, the pitcher for the A’s spoke of another pitcher in an off the cuff remark.  He got in a lot of grief for it, the other pitcher was Roger Clemens.  Stewart was 9-1 lifetime against Clemens.  Stewart remarked “He can’t carry my jock”.  That applies to Jeff Sessions and The Limburger when it comes to Sontamayer.  They are not qualified to comment on her legal background.  Her personal beliefs don’t jibe with her decisions because SHE FOLLOWS THE LAW.  If the State of Alabama followed the law there would never have been any discussion over the 10 commandments at the courthouse.  Separation of church and State, they don’t belong there.  Thank you for playing our game. 

Justice Potter Stewart in the famous 1964 case failed to define pornography any more than to say “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material but I know it when I see it.”  Well, Judge, I know it when I see it, and it’s not an 1895 art poster that’s used on a wine bottle.  The repression of the American psyche by a bunch of Bible thumping hypocrites is obscene.

Don’t you wanna hear him call your name

Anybody who tells you that real estate isn’t busy right now is a lazy bastard. It’s screaming busy if you chose to make it happen. So I have been a little remiss, but I also have to be in the correct headspace if it’s going to be a rant. And some asshats earned themselves a rant on Sunday morning.

I met some gals at the LunaChix clinic a couple of weeks ago and we decided to go on loosely organized rides together. We all rode alone normally and every now and then it’s nice to ride with some people. Sunday we went on what was billed a ClimbFest.


You know the drill. Click the elevation button. All of our computers said we went around 27.6 miles. Change in elevation 1736. That’s a climb fest. Here’s the pisser. On this particular Sunday, the NorCal Minis was having a “Backroads Rally” on some of the same route. Interestingly enough, the vehicle code applies to Mini Coopers as well as other vehicles. These little asshats kept buzzing us on the way by.

Now whenever you have climbing, you have descending too. I am a lousy climber, mostly because I have so much ass to drag up the hill. I am a skilled descender. Never bet against a Clydesdale on a downhill. Descending is actually harder than climbing because technically there’s more to do. Or you die. I typically get into the 40’s on the downhill. If you come around a corner on a bike and there’s sand or gravel, you’re going to meet St. Peter. If you’re descending and an ascending vehicle chooses to unsafely pass an ascending bicycle and comes well into your lane, well, angels will be singing. If the front tire blows, it could be very bad. So descending can be very dangerous and technically requires a bit of skill. I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Having the bike fitted helped a lot. Me and the bike are one on the downhill.

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California Vehicle Code says only one vehicle can occupy a lane at any one time. Generally cyclists stay way to the right when it’s safe and allow vehicles to pass. There are idiot cyclists to be sure, but for the most part, if it’s safe they stay to the right. It’s not safe to do it that way on the downhill. In the back country these downhills usually have 25-30mph speed limits because of the turnbacks and hairpins. Bicyclists can easily travel at that speed so there is no real reason to pass a skilled cyclist. And it’s safer to take the entire lane at that speed. Hang back and enjoy the ride. Unless you’re an asshat in a Mini Cooper. Then you ride my ass all the way down the hill even though I’m traveling over 35mph, in EXCESS of the speed limit. I knew he was back there. I didn’t know how close he was.

When we got to the intersection of Bear Creek and Alhambra they had a “pit stop” set up for the mini drivers. We stopped there for a minute because it was right before the 3 bears. I said to one of the guys “Hey, this isn’t a speedway. Tell these guys to back off on the cyclists. There’s a lot of us out there and your guys are making it dangerous.” Little did I know how close the one guy was to my back wheel. One of my fellow riders was enraged at his behavior and let the support guy have it. Really have it. He starts getting attitudinal and then I’m back at him. These guys have to obey the speed limit and they are not driving safely out here and someone is going to get hurt. Tell your participants to back off. After some jawing, he backed down a little. I know he didn’t get it. His retreat had more to do with my negotiating skills than his understanding of the situation. So I stopped and talked to the ladies handing out snacks to the participants and explained that even though they were Mini Coopers, they still weighed a lot more than a bicycle and really, I didn’t want to die that day. Then I took off. As I left some Minis came in and I heard them telling them to back it off that it was a public road and there were a lot of cyclists out there. I don’t know if they did that because we were there or because they got it. Once you’re on Bear Creek there’s an ample bicycle lane and no need to be on the road at all. Some jerkoff in an original got it. He buzzed me way in the bicycle lane coming up the hill. I can only hope that a semi does that same for that idiot out on a lonely road one quiet night and he figures out what an asshole he is. What am I talking about? Guys like that never get it.

I’m a lot less pissed than I was on Sunday, but not so evolved that I can’t name NorCal Minis the Worst People in the World. You people need to buy a clue before someone gets hurt. Dumbasses.

Would you still remember me

Today is the Vineman. While I know a lot of people competing today, I won’t be. Another guy won’t be. I knew him peripherally, not personally. I’ll never know him now. He was out on Camino Tassajara on a Friday evening ride, training for the Vineman. He was at a particularly dangerous curve, where drivers regularly speed in spite of botdots. The driver hit him, carried him on her hood, then swerved into oncoming traffic and smashed head on into another car with him on the hood. It was as bad as it sounds. Actually, worse, his wife worked at John Muir. You know what that means. It reverberated through the cycling community and the financial services community. I had no choice but to know about it. His obit will help explain the sort of man he was. Today must be a very tough day for those who loved him. I’ll be keeping his family in my thoughts today.

Your point of view is so medievil

Some poor kid came to my door last week asking me to support Mark DeSaulnier’s run for Congress. She will probably never knock on this door again. I opened the door and she started her schpeel. Bubba and Rita were in the kitchen behind a baby gate.

No, I will not support Mark DeSaulnier for his run for Congress, I’m supporting John Garamendi.

You know John Garamendi doesn’t even live in the district.

I don’t care if John Garamendi drove an Airstream through the District once in his life, Mark DeSaulnier will never get my vote. I’d write in the Mayor of Sunol first.

The ballsy little thing wanted to know why. See those two dogs standing there? They’re beautiful animals and they’re sweet dogs. Because of guys like Mark DeSaulnier and John Gioia, there is only one insurance company that will insure my house. I have no choice in my hazard insurance. Guys like Mark DeSaulnier allow wing nuts to try and kill my dogs. I wrote him back in 2005 when the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors was drafting their dangerous dog legislation and the little shit stain never acknowledged me. Why would I want to support a guy who wouldn’t give me the time of day when he was a lowly County Supervisor? She wasn’t giving in “I could go back and get an answer for you, you clearly have some important concerns”. I clearly do, and unless he’s willing to come back to Contra Costa County and right a wrong, I don’t have any interest in listening to spin. Because when I ran into John Garamendi at an A’s game and cornered him on title company kickbacks, he listened to me. He understood the issue and we know that the DOI did go after violations and got Fidelity, FATCO and LandAmerica. I’d like to think I was heard, but I’ll be fine thinking that he took five minutes out of his day to listen to a Title Officer. DeSaulnier did neither.

I know his policy wonks will have crawlers set to review what’s being written about him, so I know his campaign will see this. So political policy wonks, understand this: Your candidate is enabling the government to ultimately kill my dogs. Maybe not today, but as the legislation chinks away at our right to own a dog (own, not guardian, but own), you’re chipping away at my right to have canine companions. You’re legislating against these guys.

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And you know what? Screw you.