But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky

I’ve been heading out to the vegetable garden every evening around 4pm and pulling weeds.  The reason is two-pronged.  One, I get the weeds out of the garden and the real plants can get some sun and start to grow and two, Bubba will run non-stop while I’m outside.  Mr. OCD needs to burn off some of that energy so it works.  If he had opposable thumbs I would teach him how to vacuum.  Instead he runs a path in the yard.

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He does the same thing in the morning when I go out to pick up dog crap.  He pretty much cries with glee that I’m going out into the yard with him.  Then he runs laps while I pick up his crap.  To be a dog and to find ectasy is such simple things.  Anywho, for the last couple of weeks I’ve been hearing bees when I was out there.  My property is pretty wooded so birds, trees, bees, it all made sense.  In this one area I noticed they divebombed me a little.  But it was always at sunrise and who really cares that much around sunrise?

About a month ago, amazingly before the 14 days and 10 inches of rain began I went out and trimmed one of the trees that was touching the roof of the house.  New roof, tree scraping off asphalt=bad.  My contractor was supposed to have built me a new gate back when I was in Laughlin, but he’s kind of a trainwreck so he finished it a couple of weeks ago.  The DAY the rain started.  During that period of time I couldn’t get from the front yard to the back without going through the house.  So the tree trimmings sat in a big stack.

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(Yes that’s Bubba running in the background)  Yesterday it was dry enough to get the green bin from the front and start clipping up the branches.  I did the first stack no problem and then headed over to the major stack.  The previous owner’s brother built bird houses all over the property.  Birds may have used them at one time but I’ve never seen a bird in them in the last two years.  As a matter of fact, I was planning on pulling them all down to keep the rodents out of them.  As I approached the stack, Rita was under the tree watching something.  Then I looked up and noticed the bird house.  Something was inside it.  Not what I expected.

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I think they are some sort of real bees, as opposed to wasps which means there are rules as to what I can do to get them out of there.  I assume once it gets hot honey will run out of the box and all over the ground and attract ants and I’ll have the freaking Circle of Life going on in my back yard.  I  just hope they aren’t Africanized.

Dance in flames for the final quest

This week I watched the State of the Union address.  I haven’t seen one in several years because, well because Bush was a moron and I couldn’t listen to the guy.  I hope Obama can work his way through this economic shit sandwich that Bush & Co handed the country.  We all know one of the moments in California politics that sent me to the moon was during the Gubernatorial debate when Tom McClintock pointed to FNF and their exit to Florida because they didn’t want to pay California taxes.  I was enraged with McClintock and of course I hate Bill Foley and the Evil Empire.  I still secretly wish a hurricane would come and demolish only Bill Foley’s offices, nothing else in Jacksonville.  Come to find out, I’m not alone.

Last night while I was working my way through my email I found a slew of new reasons to hate Bill Foley and FNF and some comraderie at that.  Facebook for the most part is kind of a happy place.  You have to use your own name, no room for anonymous trolls and it just chugs along.  Unless you’re Bill Foley.  Then there is a dedicated group called “I dislike Bill Foley with a passion“.  Apparently, the folks of Whitefish, Montana don’t like what he’s doing out there.  Yep.  I told all you wine people he was Satan.  This is what the people who live in the same community as he does think of him.  I’m telling you, he is the Devil.  Boycott his damned wine!  And we’ll call it “the mountain” not whitefish mountain resort.  (didn’t capitalize it for y’all).  The New West did a long and telling article on him.   The comments section is equally telling.

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January 15th, the Evil Empire laid off 70 Californians, only to call many of them back as “temporary” workers with no benefits at a deeply discounted pay rate.  This is the Fidelity way.  They will report their Q4 earnings on February 3.  I promise, you will see a wicked EPS.  They are off-shoring more work and putting more Americans either out of work or in distress.  I’m rooting for Obama.  Tax that asshole and every other corporate winged monkey who has taken an American job and sent it overseas.  The problem ain’t illegals coming into our country taking our jobs, those guys don’t have even green cards.  The problem is assholes like Bill Foley laying off American workers in a recession from decent jobs so he can pull more money out of his company and buy more shit for himself and sending their jobs to freaking India.  That’s the problem.  Business didn’t used to run that way, but in the 80’s under, you guessed it, Reagan, the business schools started professing a different way of doing business.  It used to be that companies held back cash for the lean times because business is cyclical.  No more.  They pull everything out of the business that they possibly can and then balance the books on the backs of the employees.  They found ways to exploit every accounting rule on the books and now just send our jobs overseas so that the good old boys can give each other obscene bonuses and suck the American people dry.  If they were paying taxes on those off-shored operations they would come right back to our shores where they belong.  Period.

Knowing that, why are you drinking his wine?  Stop it.  Everyone.  The leopard will not change his spots.  We know he acquired Sebastiani not for the wine but for the distribution channels.  He doesn’t care about the industry.  As winos we have only one option, chase him out of the business.  How is that accomplished?  By doing business with someone else.  It looks like he as acquired Audelssa which makes me sad, (Audelssa was not acquired by Foley) but I was sad when he acquired Kuleto too.  It’s not like there aren’t hundreds of true family owned wineries making lovely juice out there.  So here’s the revised boycott list:

Altvs
Audelssa
Clifford Bay
Curtis
Firestone Vineyard
Foley Estates
Kuleto
Lincourt Vineyards
Merus
Sebastiani
Three Rivers Winery
Vavasour
Wattle Creek

The job you save, may be your own.

But you better not complain, boy, you get in trouble with the man.

The Rescue Railroad was open for business yesterday.  I snuck out in the middle of the day, got this guy in Alamo and took him up to Dunnigan to meet his next ride.  Kennels are very stressful on Dobermans.  This guy was down in Kern County.  He got a ride on Wednesday to Alamo and this morning he wakes up at the Northern California Doberman Rescue.  He’s got a touch of mange on his face that is probably from stress.  He’s a big boy and a very sweet dog.  Our connection was waylayed but the fog cutting over to the 5 and we were early so we took a snooze together.  Someone tried to name him Sweet William, but it’s not the right name for this guy.  He’s more of a Bill the Dog.

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I told him he was going to get a great new home, but that I wasn’t it.

You sing a sad song just to turn it around

A long time ago a friend of mine told me that you create your own mood.  That’s why you’ll never hear me say “I’m in a bad mood.”  I might be a little snappy but I will rarely cop to it, because it’s not a crutch to me, it’s a place to leave.  Consequently, I don’t have bad days.  Some days are more challenging than others, but for the most part, there are no bad days.  Yesterday was an exception.  If I could rate a the top 10, yesterday would be there.  For the last year, I have done my “run” on Mondays.  I send the report to the asset managers on Monday night or Tuesday morning.  Some middle management wanker has decided that they want their reports first thing Monday morning now.  This is stupid and typical mid-management decision making.  If they had any idea what they were doing they would ask for them first thing Tuesday morning.

Here’s how it works.  We get an asset and we have it until it goes on the market.  During this period we are supposed to check on it every seven days.  Over a year ago I figured out that most of the stuff that happens to these vacant REO’s happens over the weekend.  I do my inspection Monday so I can catch all of the weekend’s sin and have the week to report it, get bids, get it fixed etc.  If I have to report first thing Monday morning, the inspection will occur Friday and it will go the weekend in whatever condition I find it in.  Stupid, but that’s what they want.  After a year of doing the run on Monday, it’s apparent now that it has to happen on Friday.  Friday because Saturday and Sunday are reserved for showing property.  (See how that all went together?)  This is a new procedure for them and I spent most of yesterday getting yelled at about drive by inspections that these guys wanted their reports on.  And we all know how much I love arbitrary corporation decision making.

Let’s add just a little twist to all of that. The banks have their own inspectors who check up on us.  I promise you a house can be in perfect condition and the inspector will find something.  It’s their job to find something, so in order to justify their existence, I think they make shit up.  I haven’t run into our local inspector but my contractor has.  He calls him The Worm.  Actually he calls him some other things, The Worm is the nicest.  So a good portion of my days are battling with bullshit reports generated by The Worm.

Sunday night I woke up in the middle of the night wide awake for about two hours starting at 2am.  Of course when that happens, the next step is to fall back asleep 30 mintues before I should get up and sleep through the alarm for two hours.  So that’s how the day started, with a headache to boot.  No worries, I just adjust right?  I get a late start out the door but that’s ok because an old friend is retiring from the title business and her party is in Castro Valley Monday night, I’ll work out the run to be over there last.  I go by the first three houses and get on the highway heading out to Antioch.  I stop at one of our properties and jump back on at Port Chicago.  It’s raining lightly and I look down at the gauges to be sure I turned the lights on and there’s a little red diagram of a battery.  WTF?!?!?!?  Well, sometimes random lights come on the dashboard of the BMW.  The solution is to essentially reboot the car.  I move to the right lane so I can pull off at the next exit, which is Pittsburg.  Then I look in the rear view mirror and there is a trail of smoke behind me and cars are pulling up next to me and pointing.  I’m not a little scared at this point, I’m very very scared.  The exit is just over the crest and on a down hill so I take the exit.  Smoke is coming out of the hood and I’m leaving a giant cloud in my wake.  Come baby, get me to the shoulder!  As I am for the most part coasting down the ramp I notice the car is feeling really heavy.  I’ve lost power steering.  Most cars are heavy when they lose power steering.  4200 pounds of German steel is extremely heavy.  I make the turn and coast to a stop on the side of the road.  I manage to even get past the red painted curb and the bus stop.  I look at the gauges the temp gauge has spiked, and the rest of the dash is lit up like the 4th of July.  And smoke is pouring out of the hood.  I grab my phone and my brief case and run behind the car and call 911.  It’s a highway patrol call from where I am so I get the CHP.  I don’t know what moron they had answering the phone but I had to explain to her like five times where I was.   Five times after I told her which highway, which exit and what City, and I always give proper direction, like in South of the 4 on San Marcos just past the exit.  Not hard to find.  The first time I didn’t give all the information.  I said I was in Pittsburg off of the San Marcos exit.  In truth, if you know Pittsburg, you know there is only one highway so I had to be off of the 4.  I forgot the mention the 4 the first time.  Still, the Highway Patrol should have known that.  It took her four minutes to figure out where I was.  That’s a long time when smoke is billowing out from under your hood.  I asked for the fire department.  They knew where I was.  While I was explaining to this woman five times where I was, I figured that if the engine was in fact on fire, it would be a full fledged car-b-que by the time I got a fireman out there.

I’m always surprised when I’m quick on my feet.  Yesterday I was. I was afraid a full blown engine fire would be raging before this dispatcher actually dispatched anyone. So there I am at the side of the road pulling everything of value out of my trunk and stacking it up on the side of the road.  Calloway golf clubs.  Check.  100 pounds of lock boxes.  Check.  Ecco golf shoes.  Check.  Tool box.  Check.  Brief case.  Check.  Gym bag.  Check.  The thing was, I didn’t know if it really was a fire or not and I wasn’t going to be the asshole that opened the hood, let it get the oxygen it needed and blow up my own car.  Once I got the idiot dispatcher off the phone it was a matter of moments before the officer arrived.  She wasted all of the time.

CHP

The officer tested the hood and chose to open it.  As it turned out it was coolant blown all over the engine and I felt kind of stupid for calling them.  He was cool though.  I didn’t know him which translates that he must be new because he hasn’t written me a ticket yet.  He said I was smart in calling it in, a lot of people don’t and the car is in flames by the time they get there.  I told him I felt like a dumb ass with all of my shit stacked up by the side of the road.  He said that most people don’t think of that until it’s too late so I was actually correct in pulling everything out of the car.

When I got off of the phone with 911 I called Sonofabun who naturally had just left Pittsburg and was almost to Concord.  He dutifully came back over the hill and picked up my dumb stranded ass and drove me back to civilization.  And that $19 upgrade to my CSAA paid off in spades.  It’s a long way from Pittsburg to Walnut Creek on the back of a tow truck.  The CHP asked me if I wanted to try and start it, I said “no” I wanted it towed out of there.  He called me a tow because they have to come in 30 minutes for the CHP.  Cool dude.  Hopefully he’s that cool when he catches me doing 80 in the same BMW on that same stretch of road.  Because he will.  They all do.

After I got home I switched to the truck to finish my run.  I went by the shop because I left a garage door opener to one of our properties in the BMW.  They had just gotten the car but he walked out and popped the hood.  There was coolant all over the engine.  He looks down and says “Your fan belt is missing”.  Battery charge light comes on, temp spikes, yep that makes sense.  I just hope that I shut down quick enough that there is no other damage.

So when I say I had a bad day, you know the criteria is at least the appearance of the Highway Patrol, the Fire Department and a tow truck with the promise of a large repair bill that you have no idea how I’m going to cover it.  That’s what bad days are all about.

Staring at the goldfish bowl, poppin’ phenobarbitol

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I know we need rain, but this is ridiculous.  At least I don’t live in an area that was ravaged by wild fires last summer.  I know folks out in places like Fallbrook and Santa Cruz.  That’s got to suck for them.  Here on The Farm, which is now known as the Everglades, it’s just a big pool of muck out there.  I keep them in as long as I can stand them and then just send them out to make a mess.  At 5:30 I get out the hose and give them a good hosing off and they come in for the night.  They’ve been very good with this routine and I appreciate it.

I see plenty of articles floating through about animal control coming and taking dogs away because they’re thin.  It’s kind of scary to me.  I can currently see all of Rita’s ribs.  Every freaking one of them.  According to the labeling on her kibble she’s suppose to get 3 cups a day.  She gets 4 cups a day and usually a midday snack with Bubba and she’s still rail thin.  There’s nothing wrong with her besides she runs it off.  Bubba gets 4 cups per day plus 4 cups of rice and either a chicken thigh or a hunk of ground beef.  He’s under 70 right now.  WITH the prednisone.  His gut is much better, but he isn’t gaining any weight and I’m out of funds on this project for a month or two.  I don’t know that more visits to the vet would make much difference.  I kind of think that this project just needs time now.

Tufts just finished a study on OCD in dogs.  Not good news to the Wine Dog household. (that is NOT Beauregard, he was perfect in every way)

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Separated at birth?  It’s called flank sucking and it’s an OCD behavior in Dobermans that they have been studying.  I guess the good news is that they found a gene.  The bad news is that Bubba has it.  If you read on in the article it talks about fence running, spinning in circles and just about every other activity that occurs around here.  Apparently I am the new Atascadero for dogs.

aints

And finally, I spent yesterday watching football.  I used to get the full NFL package and work around the house on Sunday’s watching the best games in the country each week.  But times have changed in the Wine Dog bank accounts and I haven’t had the package in two years.  More importantly, I haven’t had time to watch football in the last two years, but I made an exception yesterday.  I turned off the cell, didn’t even fire up the work machine and had a seat.  If ever there was a day to take off and lay on the couch watching football, it was yesterday.  It’s really sad that any team had to lose either of those games.  That young New York Jets team looked unbelievable and they have some fine years ahead of them.  I know a lot of people hate Peyton Manning, but I’m not one of them.  I think the man works hard and has talent and makes the most of what he’s got.  I’m glad to see his team advance again.  And the Vikings?  That’s the stuff movies are made of, they pull the old man out of retirement, he’s hobbled in the 2nd half, has to go to overtime.  Kirk Gibson would be proud.  But it was the Saints day.  Laissez les bon temps rouler. GEAUX SAINTS!

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A million workers workin’ for nothin’

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I know, how did I manage to pull that one out of my ass?  Well, it’s where my brain went after reading about the Supreme Court decision regarding campaign contributions from corporations.  This is a country of the people and by the people.  Not of Nabisco and by Nabisco.  Not of Exxon and by Exxon.  Of the people and by the people.  This decision cuts the people completely out of the process because the people don’t control the same amount of money that the huge corporations control.  Currently the insurance companies control Congress and that is exactly why we do not have a meaningful health care reform bill under consideration.  Think it’s going to get any better after this decision?  Not no, Hell no.  Imagine if insurance companies and their whopping profits were cut out of the health care equation.  Let’s see their profit margin, after taxes, after political contributions, after “administrative costs” after after after after is around 5%.  For the most part nearly a third of the money we pay to insurance companies is skimmed off for something else.  Now consider how much money is added to your hospital bill for administrating all the bullshit that they have to do for the insurance companies.  We can easily take off another 10-20% of the bill for that.  Then add to that the fact that many hospitals are held by large medical conglomerates who have to report profits to their shareholders.  And then there’s big Pharma.  Then add to that the insurance for and costs of administering malpractice claims.  Is it a wonder that this bill which should be helping the people isn’t getting through?  What’s this $80 on my bill?  It’s a box of Kleenex.  Makes that $90 hammer look like a good deal for the Navy.  And now the Supreme Court has just given these assklowns and every other large corporation out there carte blanche.

Don’t tell me the people are informed enough to know the difference.  If they get their news on the television, which I believe most people do, I have a two word answer for that.  Scott Brown.  He’ll be a one trick pony and out of there by the next election but in the meantime how did the State of Massachusetts elect this guy?  And they’re one of the more educated States in the union.  I’d love to be proven wrong but:

ScottBrown

Seriously.  Do you think that a woman could have done a centerfold like that and gotten into the Senate?  OK, in Venezuela and Brazil probably, but what was the Commonwealth thinking?  Just because he looks like a Kennedy doesn’t mean he is.  Although I am amused that he is Pro-Choice, even if it’s convoluted pro-choice in his case.  And then on CNN Rick Sanchez says “Kennedy lost the seat that the Democrats had held for 46 years.”  Rick, he’s dead.  He didn’t lose anything except his battle with cancer.  And then the little chippy sitting next to him burbles “Obama was 11 when he took office”.  Obama was born in 1961.  Kennedy was elected to the Senate in 1962.  The thing is there are people out there who don’t hear that sort of thing and take what these morons say to be fact.  How do you lose a Senate seat when you’re dead?  For the love of God someone explain that to me!  1961 was a long year but it didn’t go on for 11 years.

We already have a shining example of what happens when a corporation decides to push their own agenda in Faux News.  Last night every single station carried the Hope for Haiti Now telethon, except one.  They were interviewing Karl Rove.  Seriously.  Every other station felt it was important to air a concert/telethon that brought them no revenue and only helped a Nation that was demolished by an earthquake except one who felt that interviewing their own Karl Rove was more important.  I call bullshit.

A ruling that is opposed by nearly everyone except Newt Gingrich should make you wonder.  Some companies have taken the high road.

Link here

They are right.  “…candidates will not be consigned to a system in which constant fundraising creates conflicts of interest and leaves Members little time to do the job they were elected to do”.   Some of corporate America thinks you clowns need to get to work.  For the record, that’s what most of America thinks.

Oh what the Hell.

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I have spoke with the tongue of angels

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These are the guys that brought us this one back a few years ago.

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In that vein I will have to confess to almost killing myself last weekend. Because I didn’t “see” something I wasn’t looking for. At Heather Farms there is a spot where cyclists have to come out from the bicycle lane on the right and essentially cross a right hand turn lane to get to the bicycle lane that crosses Ygnacio Valley. It’s a simple move. Check and go.
bike-lane-aheadI’ve unfortunately gotten into the habit of listening for cars and didn’t glance back on Saturday. And almost got tattooed by a Prius. The dude was cool, he was also a cyclist. He pulls up to me and says “Hey, you might have wanted to signal what you were doing back there”. I’m like, dude were you there? Oh yeah, he was there. I should have signaled and I’m happy he didn’t run me over. I didn’t check because I didn’t hear a car. I didn’t hear a car because the Prius was running on it’s electric battery. I didn’t see what I wasn’t looking for and almost got tatered. Lesson learned.

In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus

My Dad used to make bread.  I think his whole family made bread.  His Mother did.  I remember his sister Rosa making bread.  They grew up on a farm in Missouri during the Depression.  I doubt they had a choice.  I’m sure I’ll hear about this, but I don’t really know why my Mother didn’t make bread, but she didn’t.  My Father is kind of an essentric character.  I remember him baking at night when he got home from work, (he was a real estate broker).  It was generally basic stuff.  White bread, oatmeal cookies, peanut butter cookies.  And he always played music loud.  One of his favorites was Arthur Rubinstein playing Chopins waltzes.  And then there was the Clancy Brothers.  And the German beer drinking music.

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I think some of this memory might have to do with the fact that my Mother was the night nurse at General Motors in Fremont.  Knowing what I know today about that General Motors plant in Fremont, I’m amazed she stayed there as long as she did.  She has never suffered fools lightly and GM Fremont was rife with fools.  Many years later when The Brother was shipped off to Detroit by EDS in his first real job after college he was told that the plant in Fremont was shut down because they could never get the drug problem under control.  I had certainly heard stories of guys using roach clips in the construction of new vehicles so it didn’t surprise me.  There’s a reason I don’t own a GM car.

Focus, Wine Dog, focus.  Sometimes I don’t know how my thought process works but I decided that I would like to bake some bread.  I have not baked anything more than a batch or two of cookies in really close to 10 years.  I have never made a cake from scratch that didn’t have carrots in it.  I do bake pies occasionally and make a decent crust.  Occasionally I’ll make a cobbler, but at the end of the day I’m not really a baker.  I can cook and grill with the best of them, but baking isn’t really my thing.  Probably because I never perfected any of those skills because I’ve always fought with my weight and have for the most part lived alone.  No one but me to eat it, don’t make it in the first place and cause myself problems.  But I’ve been having a sandwich for lunch every day for months now and thought “Why don’t I make the bread myself?”  So last night I did.  I asked the Engineer Baker for a simple bread recipe.  Keep in mind her Father is the Professor Cousin.  He cooks like I do, only more intrinsic stuff.  The Engineer Baker learned from her Mother who is apparently an amazing baker.  She sent me a simple bread recipe from her Mother’s side of the family.  So simple that it didn’t have a measurement for flour.  When I first saw the recipe I thought it might have been my Grandmother’s recipe, but it turns out that it was her Mother’s Grandmother’s recipe.  I spent half the day looking at that recipe before I decided that as simple as it was, I didn’t have the skills to just “know” that I got the flour right.  I needed simpler.  Then I remembered that The Brother had given me a bunch of King Arthur Flour recipe books.  I went to them but simple white bread wasn’t one of the recipes in the Whole Grain Cookbook or the Cookie book.  So I went on line and found the King Arthur Flour GUARANGODAMNTEED White Sandwich Bread recipe.  It had a measurement for flour.  But it had instand mashed potato flake in it.  The Brother has taught me to look at cooking like chemistry, so I asked myself why?  Probably for density to hold it together better for sandwichs.  OK, then I can do that.  When I got home from my appointment last evening I pulled out the stand mixer, because the recipe said I could use it, pulled out the dough hooks and had at it.  It was ridiculously simple and I should not have spent all day fretting about Engineer Baker’s family recipe, I could have done it.

I’m lucky, when I pour out dough to rise, I get to put it in the family Bauer bowls.

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Those are what my Dad used and I think they just work better for bread.  I do have one of those gizmo-ridden ovens and mine has a button called “bread proof”. It’s a setting for raising bread.  Seriously.  And it works good.

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Really good.

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And the oven does a damned fine job of cooking evenly.

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Although something happened that made it list to the right I’m not sure what that was.  The house was a little cold but the oven was right so maybe pulling it out while I preheated the oven did that.

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It didn’t hurt the bread at all.  And I broke the law on the recipe and cut it hot.   Because that’s what my family always did.  And buttered it.  And ate the crust.  I may start baking bread every week.  It was that simple and I’m pretty embarrassed that I was that afraid of the process.

Y’all will be pleased to know that today is the Winter Wineland.  I’m heading North with The Somm, Sonofabun and The Contessa.  Please keep your cell phones on and your bail money handy.  Just in case.  Full report and photojournalism of this buffoonery will be provided later in the week.

But I’ll repeat myself, at the risk of being crude

There is a lot going on in my life in real time that seems to go back to the same theme.  Make a decision and stick with it.  Pick one and stick with it.  And if you are one of the many who has been up in my grill this week, trust me, you’re one of many, this ain’t personal.  It’s a theme.

I’m working on a new marketing plan with the other agent that works for my broker.  We decided to do this last year and then got ridiculously busy.  Now we’re moving forward.  My partner in crime had been telling me about a program that they used at her previous employer and how she wanted to implement it.  We couldn’t get it together last year and I decided to just move forward for the sake of my business.  The problem was there are 8 million books out there on how to sell real estate.  It’s just like diets.  It’s a whole industry selling those books.  Because I’m a cantankerous old school type, I picked an older more proven book.  I think it’s in it’s 20th printing or something.  I’ve read through it and I’m implementing it.  My Partner in Crime called a few weeks ago and said let’s sit down and implement this.  We sat down and I had an idea of what I wanted to do.  As it turns out, her old office was using the exact same program.  It cut our ramp up time in half by being accidentally on the same page.  But the point is, out of the 8 million books out there, most of them work.  If you do them.  They don’t work if you just read them and go do what you’ve always done.  We’ve got a third gal involved who has also implemented this program before but she doesn’t want to sell, she wants to project manage.  When we start rolling, she gets a taste.  That works for me.  It’s a very exciting time, but the real lesson is to pick one.  Any one.  Just pick one.

On the subject of health and weight loss I make no bones about my preference for Body for Life.  It works.  But you have to do it.  It does work if you just read the book, you actually have to do what the book says to do and then it works.  And then you have to stick with it.  But we don’t want to.  The entire weight loss industry counts on no one having any follow through.  If we ran out and bought one book and all got healthy, what would the other 7 million authors do for a living?  Same with the real estate books.  If we all went out, bought one and became millionaires what would that do to the industry?  I picked Body for Life.

Speaking of industries relying on our lack of follow through, it’s time to tee off on my gym.  Asshats.  We all know that I have numerous Powerlifting records.  Just in case you don’t quite understand what that means, I hold over 30 records in different weight classes and age classes in different organizations.  Using a Wilkes formula, I’ve been top twenty in the country several times and top ten sometimes. I’m badass.  To be that badass you need to get your bad self to the gym.  When I moved up to The Farm I left Bally’s which was near my last house but had undergone two bankrupcies in the short seven years that I worked out there.  I tried out the gym at the end of the street.  At the time it was called Mavericks.  They guy who ran it was a train wreck in his own right.  In the year that I belonged the whirlpool never worked a single day.  The sauna occasionally worked and the steam room was largely non-functional.  About half of the toilets flushed and no one dared shower there.  But the weight room was well laid out and they played decent music.  It was also the last place where independent trainers could work.  Those guys were hard core and got their people into shape.  And there weren’t a lot of rules.  It was sort clean but not really.  You could smell the mold in the ladies locker room.  But I could lift like a big dog and that made me happy.

Last year the club was purchased by a big conglomerate.  A bunch of wankers really.  They promised us nothing but upgrades.  Well, it’s a year later and they’re almost done, but in the last year we have endured months of cement dust, drywall dust and chemical fumes.  Every morning for the last three months it has been a treasure hunt to find the equipment.  Some stuff was stored on half of the basketball court for months.  Yet, by the end of the year they pretty much finished off most of the main lifting areas and it was pretty nice.  They put in a cardio theatre upstairs and it was pretty nice too.  They built a new ladies locker room and if they’d clean it that would be nice too.  But that’s not what today’s story is about.  Of course my buddies are all the lunkheads who go heavy.  We bench big bars with big loads.  And the boys are all my pals.  One guy I found out lives around the corner and has a 5 month old Doberman puppy.  This little pointy earred devil is adorable.  How do I know where he lives?  He saw me walking by and came running out of his house to say hello.  That’s the kind of guys who lift there.

Last week, some of the ladies who are working on their New Years Resolutions, if you can’t hear the contempt in my tone, you should, it’s there, came down to the front desk and complained about one of the boys making too much noise.  He was deadlifting.  He was grunting like someone going heavy would, and it made a bunch of noise when the plates hit the ground.  Well, duh.  Lord knows I make a ton of noise deadlifting 225 for reps.  It’s noisy, but it’s a freaking gym fergodsakes.  Nope, my mistake.  It’s now a “health club”.  What this means is that the corporation doesn’t give a crap if anyone actually gets healthy or not.  What they care about is sending the newbies to “miseryville”, which is a place that their sales staff is taught to evoke for the purpose of selling memberships and nothing else.  Miseryville is a place where all your problems and lack of health are stacked up like lumber.  Then the helpful sales person offers the solution to all these problems, it’s a membership to this club.  Voila!  Just like the airlines, they oversell the space knowing that by Valentine’s Day all of the New Years Resolutioners will be gone and all that will be left is a fraction of those that they sold earlier in the year.  Their business model depends on it.  I was very clear when I re-upped.  I am a Powerlifter.  I am a world record holder.  As a matter of fact that trophy sitting over there is mine.  And I do not suffer fools lightly.  Take me to miseryville and I will cut out your heart with a dull blade and feed it to my dog.  That’s great they chirped.

It’s now a year later, and I’m hearing that the edict has come down that this is not a place to do Olympic style lifts.  I’m just wondering when the little piece of fluff comes down and tells me I can’t go heavy….what kind of medical procedure will be used to remove that 225lb barbell from her ass?

Did you really just read all of that?  Well then you deserve a dog picture.  Rita sleeps like this.  I think it’s so she can’t hear the screaming of the lambs.

1-16 Rita sleeping

At the grotto in a greasy chair

Sometimes people say things that are so obscene that even I can’t comment.

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Two people who are an embarrassment to this nation. Two people who should not be on the airwaves at all. Two people who just need to STFU.

Olbermann’s take.

Let’s go to Haiti and talk to a famous Haitian