Thibodeaux, fontaineaux, the place is buzzin’

Jack Assery, party of one, your table is ready.

OK, I know.  blahblahblah.

Thieves.  These thieves are lucky.  I don’t know that I would have been able to restrain my desire to fire off rounds at them if I’d been home.

These little d-bags stole my catalytic converter.  They unbolted it at the back but then used a pipe cutter to cut my goddamned header because the front bolts were seized.  I want to shoot them all.  I was out of town at The Cult of Red’s Family Reunion (an amazing event that makes me proud to be affiliated with them) when this happened and my dogs were in their kennels while my dog sitter slept.  If my dogs had been in the bedroom with me, I doubt these asshats would have gotten away with it.  I truly believe Ike would have woken up and at the very least given a bark.  I could have gotten off a round or two before they got away.  But finally I have to say something nice about Concord PD.  They caught them.  And they got my cat back.  And they talked Concord Toyota into reinstalling it.  So instead of having to buy a new one at $1200, I bought a new header at $300.  Add another $300 in labor and it’s back out there for these little turds to try and steal it again.  Yes, we’re going for restitution.  There are four of them.  I want every one of them to pay $600 and I want the extra to go to charity because I couldn’t use my truck to rescue any dogs or go to any AIDS Lifecycle training rides because of them.  There are consequences goddammit.

On a lighter note.

Duke is a very sensitive young man.  He’s a bit of a serial little dog mauler.  He went after a Boston yesterday.  Twice.  The little girl was just trying to say “Hi!”.  Duke was trying to do a Sylvester/Tweety bird on her.  We had a very serious discussion about his behavior.  When we got back to the condo Duke put himself on a time out.  I’ve never seen a dog who punishes himself before.  I’m down to the three who belong here and that’s kind of nice.

Prescott is living merrily up in Rossmoor with another old lady.  I thought I might have made a mistake with him.  He was a little younger and stronger than I expected.  I suggested that maybe he wasn’t the right dog for her.  Two days later everything is solved and there are no more issues.  Because Prescott is a perfect dog.

The third time he jumped on me he got a knee in the chest.

Little Sister is doing awesome in Oakland at her new home.  She had a little adjustment period too.  Crates.  That’s all I have to say.  Use crates.

Last I heard, Hannibal had everybody wrapped around his paw in Michigan.

Tomorrow I’m rolling out my new project.  It’s pretty simple and self explanatory.  Oh yeah, and if it catches on like it should it will save our nation $2 billion annually.  Really.  The Wine Dog will save this nation $2 billion annually.  Starting tomorrow.

And you’ll be pleased to know I’ve got a few rants in me.  But today in the interest of time, I’ll boil them down to a paragraph.

Somalian pirates.  The solution is simple.  Hook all 15 of those little rat bastards to the back of the US Navy destroyer and use them for chum on the way back to port.  Then stack up their ransom demand, whatever it was, set it afire and burn whatever the sharks didn’t eat for all to see.  These guys are savages and this is what they understand.  I don’t understand why we have been such pansies about this crap.  We go blow up a bunch of mud huts after 9/11 after waiting 32 days to do anything, and now we let these maggots continue to operate.  They are criminals acting in international waters.  Game over.

Gaddafi.  Or Khaddafi.  Or whatever.  He’s the best argument against what Bush did in Iraq.  We don’t have the man power to get involved in another skirmmish and over throw another crazy guy in the Middle East.  Even though this is the one that really deserves it.   Although every time I think of him I remember that we had a toy ball, I don’t remember where we got it, that my rugby team used to play with before practice.  It was the head of a terrorist.  This was back in the 90’s.  We called it the Khaddafi ball.  Or Gaddafi.  Or.

Wisconsin.  Cheese.  Remember when Reagan broke the air traffic controllers union?  Think we’re better off because he did that?  Nope.  Not a fan of union breaking.  I know the UAW is out of control, but from my experience, the unions allow people to do their jobs without worrying about a lot of other crap that people worry about in their jobs.  Union workers have superior benefits.  Wouldn’t you like to have better benefits?  Work conditions are generally better.  And they don’t find themselves involved in class actions suits for wages not paid.  I’m on my fourth now.  I got the call the other day.

Like The Brother says, if y’all would act right, but you won’t.  So here we sit.

Just for the record, I hear all this bullshit about bad teachers who just go on and on with tenure.  Name one.  Name one goddamned teacher that is so shitty that they need to be fired but can’t be because of tenure.  Name one.  I dare you to.  Can’t?  That’s what I thought.  That teacher is a right wing bug-a-boo and doesn’t exist any more than the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus.

OK, not that Santa.

Nothing can stop The Duke of Earl

Today’s kind of a Friday fish fry.

I got an owner turn in a couple of weeks ago.  I don’t know why someone would not find a way to keep a 7 year old dog.  I really don’t.  And I never will.

People’s perception of what rescue is and what rescue does in reality are two different things.  If you adopt a dog from the local shelter, you did not rescue a dog.  You adopted the dog from the local shelter.  If you adopted a dog from a rescue, the dog is a rescue.  You did not rescue the dog.  If a breeder took a dog back and you adopted that dog, you have a breeder rehome.  Beauregard was a breeder rehome.  His original owner was an Air Force Captain who was shipped overseas and couldn’t take him.  The breeder took him back and called me.  His original name was Max.  If you can’t keep your dog and you give it to a rescue, you are doing a slightly better thing than dumping him at a shelter or just letting him loose to find his own way.  In this country 10,000 pets are destroyed every single day at shelters throughout this country.  If you take your dog to a shelter, there is a slim chance of your dog getting adopted and finding a good home.  If your dog is lucky and gets pulled by a rescue, he might have a chance at a good life.  If your dog is a jerk, because you’re a shitty dog owner, which really if you’re taking your dog to the shelter you have a pretty good chance of being in that category, your dog is going to be destroyed.  You just killed that dog.  Don’t be thinking you did a good thing.  Good reasons that a dog ended up in rescue.  You died and don’t have any family.  Although you should provide for your dogs.  The Brother probably thanks the good Lord for every morning I wake up on the sunny side of the earth, that he doesn’t have to deal with the Hellhoundz.  Another decent reason is that you are dying.  Another decent reason is that you’ve had a child and, wait for it, not what you think, but that child has developed an allergy to the pet.  It happens.  It sucks.

A rescue is an organization that more often than not operates on a shoestring saving the poor souls that dumbasses dump in this country.  They take on the dogs that are bred by backyard breeders who don’t know dick about animal husbandry.  Those people breed dogs with shitty temperaments, bad joints, health issues and they don’t understand that a good breeder always takes back their dogs if they can’t stay with their original owners.   Rescues don’t make money, they lose money.  Some have angels who provide services or facilities, most just make due.

Meet Duke.  He’s my latest bad idea.  He was an owner turn in.  I never really got the full story.  That’s the other thing, people lie to rescues and figuring out the dog’s real story is always an adventure.  He’s seven years old.  His “breeder” is some d-bag out in the valley who wouldn’t take him back.  His owners, well, who knows, they lied to me.  But Duke is very busy right now making my mother happy.  They hang out.  He turned out to be a little more spry than I thought he was, so on my way home every night I stop and take Duke for his evening constitutional.    Sometimes that’s the best 20 minutes of my day.  Duke looks forward to my visits.  Or maybe he’s just looking forward to taking a crap.

Sippin’ on gin and juice, laid back with my mind on my money and my money on my mind

Part of me says “Why can’t you be a kinder gentler Wine Dog?”  The other part says RAGE ON!

Just in case you missed my rage on Chase.  Read this for background.

OK, now that you’re up to date, it’s time for a follow up post.  I’m sure there will be more on this one.  On October 4th, I sent a HAFA package to Chase.  On FEBRUARY 7th I received the following email:

Good morning,

I’m the negotiator for this file and the investor is countering this offer to 120K.  If you all accept this counter offer, I will need a signed addendum by all parties no later than Wednesday.  If I do not here from you or receive the addendum then the file will be close and foreclosure will begin.

All deals are contingent upon investor and/or Lender’s approval.
“We are a debt collector.”
Please allow 48-72 hrs for all emails to be answered.  Multiple emails may go unanswered.

OK, it took them five months to respond and the response says that I have 48 hours to respond or the file goes to foreclosure and oh, by the way, I won’t respond to your email for 48-72 hours.  WTF?

So our hero writes back the evil bank:

The buyer cancelled his offer last week.  The property is going back on the market.

I don’t understand why it’s taken Chase five months to respond and now I have two days and this goes to foreclosure.  Please explain.

Thank you

Her response:

This file was just assigned to me.  It has other departments to go through before it even gets to a negotiator.  It’s not assigned to a negotiator as soon as the shortsale packet is submitted.

All deals are contingent upon investor and/or Lender’s approval.
“We are a debt collector.”
Please allow 48-72 hrs for all emails to be answered.  Multiple emails may go unanswered.

Bullshit, you clowns uploaded the wrong template.  Did you think I forgot?  And then you took two months and a phone call to your executive offices to correct it, but I respond anyway:

I was going to market it to get another buyer, this is a HAFA package.  Why is it going to foreclosure so quickly?

This property has been on the market for 75 days and I’ve received the offer you have and another one at $100k with 3% CC which my seller did not accept because we felt it was too low.  After the first one fell out we came back to the second one but they’ve moved on. I’ll adjust the price to $120k but this property is across from the BART tracks and it is discouraging most buyers.  We have not been able to get an offer at $135k, $125, or $115k in 75 days.

Should I mention that I’m now pissed?  Because you can imagine how pissed I am at this point.  She writes back:

Per the BPO this property is vacant.  That would not make it eligible for HAFA.

All deals are contingent upon investor and/or Lender’s approval.
“We are a debt collector.”
Please allow 48-72 hrs for all emails to be answered.  Multiple emails may go unanswered.

Except one thing.  If I had been current on all my emails from the board and CAR I would have known that on February 1st the law changed and the property can be vacant and the borrow can move out.  In my case she moved out about a month ago, but she was there when the guy did the BPO.  She was cleaning the house when the guy showed up.  I called her.  That’s what she said.  So I write back:

That’s interesting.  There was somebody there the last time I as at the property.  I will check that out but could you answer all of my concerns please.

This is what the little bitch wrote back:

What are your other concerns, your last email just states that it is across from the BART tracks.

All deals are contingent upon investor and/or Lender’s approval.
“We are a debt collector.”
Please allow 48-72 hrs for all emails to be answered.  Multiple emails may go unanswered.

Red.  Flag.  Bull.  Toro.

Why is the foreclosure going so quickly when it took Chase over 5 months to get me a negotiator?  It’s been two months since I got that offer.  The guy took off last week after waiting two months.    Then you give me 48 hours to get a response (and your email says you may not respond for 48-72 hours) or you close the file and it goes to foreclosure.  I’d like to put it back out there and try and find another offer, but if the file is closed then I have to go through another five months of inaction from Chase???

I only got this far in five months because I called the Executive offices last month, yet every time I hear back from you guys I have 48 hours to respond, yet it takes you MONTHS to respond.   That’s a concern.

You say it’s going to foreclosure in two days.  That’s a concern.

You say it’s vacant and it’s not.  Do you have photos?  I don’t think it’s vacant.  I will check later today, but I think the BPO is wrong.  That’s a concern.

You want $120k and I’ve had it on the market for 75 days and haven’t been able to get it.  I told you why the pricing was a problem.  That’s a concern.

Those are all concerns.  Can you address them please?

And here is the money post:

1.   I have nothing to do with why you were contacted in 5 months.  I can only address what is going on with the file when it was assigned to me.
2.   If the file is countered then you have 48-72 hours to respond to accept of decline.
3.   There is no offer on the property so it doesn’t matter about the counter offer anymore
4.   Once a file is deny foreclosure is always resumed, not meaning it’s going to sale in 2 days.
5.   If this property is HAFA eligible you have a short time period to submit a valid offer which I believe is no more than 120 days.
We can go back an forth about the file all day.  Bottom line is I will not be working the file until there is an offer.

All deals are contingent upon investor and/or Lender’s approval.
“We are a debt collector.”
Please allow 48-72 hrs for all emails to be answered.  Multiple emails may go unanswered.

I didn’t respond to this post.  I boiled over for a while, because the seller is a friend of mine.  I am outraged by the way that this stupid little bitch that they call a Short Sale Negotiator III is treating my seller.  My seller owned that home since 1993.  She’s retired now because she can’t get a job.  She burned up her retirement trying to save that house.  And this is how Chase treats her.  I closed my accounts with them last week.  This is one of the reasons.  I’m a rat’s ass hair away from burying all my money in a coffee can in the back yard. But I can’t stop being outraged at the fact that Chase cares so little about their customers that they didn’t bother to hire or train who they hired to behave in an intelligent compassionate manner.

I finally got some satisfaction on this file.  I went to facebook and inputted the little bitches name.  This is why you have to manage your content on the web.  This is who is making a decision for a great grandmother out in California who has lost everything.  Chase, you are an embarassment.

She looks like a refuge from

Rode in on the Greyhound, I’ll be walkin’ out if I go

I was going to rant today.  I’ve been on a bit of a roll.  And then I thought “Self, let’s talk about wine.”  After all I have been referred to as a “Wine Blogger” and that moniker has gotten me some amazing access, which I most certainly appreciate.  So the least I could do is to write a little about the juice.

My pals at Pleasant Hill Wine Merchants, who’ve gotten their ass handed to them by this economy but are still fighting on, came up with a good little wine a month or so ago.  This little sweetheart retails for about the same as a sixer and a bag o’ chips.  It’s a Lodi wine, which of course you cannot mention Lodi without me singing, albeit off key.  I have no idea who makes this stuff. Oops!  Hello The Google.  Delicato Family Vineyards.  Funny, they had a highly rated Merlot a number of years ago that was selling for like $6 a bottle. I thought that one was green.

I know it’s named 181 for the clone of Merlot.  It’s a nice little cheapo Merlot that didn’t go see Sideways.  (This is why I can be called a wine blogger).  The 181 is a ballsy Merlot.  Miles would have approved.

It’s got deep dark fruit, vanilla, sultry spices and a nice tannic finish.  All for around $12 a bottle.  I know what you’re thinking and you’re right.  Even your broke ass can afford this one.  And that’s why I’m drinking it.  It’s a wine my broke ass can afford of remarkable quality for the price.  And finding a great underspriced wine is so much better than not drinking.

They also make a 337 Cabernet Sauvignon.  It’s also a cheapo Lodi wine and it’s also of exceptional quality for the price.  I’m not going to lay this bad boy down for 7 or 8 years, but for $11 a bottle, I’m going to stay pleasantly numb.  This one needs a little spin through the Vinturi but after that it’s got a rich balanced attack on the palate.  It’s got a little sweetness on the finish that will trick you, a little like a Zinfandel, but really kind of typical for Lodi wines.  It’s got ripe cherries on the front palate, then it visits a little cedar and vanilla as it finishes with that surprising hint of sweetness.  At $11 a bottle I can drink this one all night every night.

And then last Saturday night I lost my mind and reached into the Wine Dog Cellar and out I came with a 2002 Rombauer Proprietor’s Selection Merlot.  Actually, I’d lost my mind when I decided to leave that or lose that in the cellar for this long.  Rombauer’s style of big fruit forward wines don’t lend themselves normally to long cellaring, not that 9 years is normally considered long.  It’s ions in Rombauer wines.  I got a pleasant surprise.  First, I hadn’t lost it.  It was still alive in spite of most recommendations that it is to be consumed prior to 2010.  I don’t think it had much more life in it, but it was still alive.  It had a lot of high heat that I know it didn’t have back when I bought it in 2004.  It still had nice plums and a hint of vanilla, but had now developed a nice finish that isn’t so typical of Rombauer wines.  I’m glad I opened it, I should have done so about 4 years ago, but it was a nice change up to my steady diet of cheap wine these days.