You can’t afford to waste good liquor, George

This is Pretty Girl.

This is Snoop.

That picture best describes Snoop.  6 months of never ending energy.

Occasionally he quit moving long enough to get a photo.

And that’s why my floors always look like crap.

And this will be why I file suit against the City of Concord and Jackie Seeno if this ever gets to my house.  That’s our neighborhood fence line back there.  It’s down from the high that day.  I was reading on our local news website about how the creek was rising around mid day.  I got home around 6pm and the guys in the neighborhood were up on the bridge watching the creek.  They showed me where it rose to.  It breeched at the Seeno property and they had two inches of water on that property before it receded.  Guess who will be torching the City Council on Tuesday night?  I’ve got three minutes.

This was sent to me.  It’s really cool.  You can pan in on any part of the picture.  George Bush looks like he has gas.  Or maybe he’s just uncomfortable sitting next to Dr. Evil.

A few important women checked out this week.  Geraldine Ferraro the first woman candidate from a major political part be nominated for Vice President.  She spent a lot of her life serving her country.  And boldly marched to her own drummer.

And last but certainly not least, after 40 years of speculation Elizabeth Taylor finally checked out.

I’ll skip the story of the Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf drinking game…suffice it to say you drink when Martha drinks.  The litany of that Elizabeth Taylor’s life is unparalleled, but one of the most important things to her was her advocacy efforts involving HIV and AIDS.  She lent her celebrity and helped raise over $100 million to fight the pandemic and expand public awareness.  She co-founded amfAR.

I don’t know how I skipped over her when I did my December Project, but today I’m righting a wrong.  Today I ride for Elizabeth Taylor (because she hated being called Liz).

Tell me what will I find

I don’t really have time for more than a drive-by but some things just need to be said.

Last night I went to the wake of a son of a friend of mine.  I don’t recall ever meeting him as an adult, I believe I met him when he was a kid.  I spoke to him on the phone when he worked in an escrow office.  Very smart young man.  After attending his wake last night, set to coincide with the occasion of his 30th birthday, had he made it, I found out that he was one of those young men that burned very bright.  His mother had told me he was an old soul.  It was apparent from his friend’s recollections.

I realize that I am now an adult and while I still have the brain of a 16 year old in an old woman’s body, sometimes the wisdom of my years bubbles up to the top.  His friends were all 30 somethings, 20 somethings.  Today’s up and comers.  There’s a lot of complaining out there of this next generation.  I didn’t feel that way last night.  I saw a parade of thoughtful young people who all spoke glowingly about their friend in front of a crowd of several hundred.  Young people shouldn’t have to do that, but they did it and they did it honorably.  His younger sister did an amazing job in spite of the horrific pain she is enduring.

A couple of months before his death his mother told me that he was lost and he needed to find his own way.  I said the appropriate things.  In January he lost his way forever, ending his life in a dive off of our famous and glorious bridge.

I’m glad I personally don’t know what depression really is.  I’ve had friends who battle it describe it to me as a dark, sucking abyss that pulls you downward.  There’s a part of me that always wishes I had a shot to try and make a difference.  My logical mind knows that I won’t make a difference, they need a professional.  The part of me that’s always digging through the pile of horse shit looking for a pony always wants to try.

I’m sad for my friend.  It’s a horrific loss for a mother.  One of my friends who was sitting at the table with me last night said “I cried for weeks when my dog died, I can’t imagine what she’s going through.”   I can’t either.  I’m just sad that she has to.

If it’s the last thing that we ever do.

Not a big fan of linking back to myself, but here’s the back story…and then some.  And here’s where it showed up in the news.  I should have known the Concord Police weren’t smart enough to actually catch a criminal.  They weren’t.  Luckily the Clayton guy was on the job.  I’m sure the Concord Police were sitting around drinking coffee or making bogus busts.  That’s all these ass clowns seem to do.

They pulled me over again last week with one of their speed traps.  Now the street I live off of has people racing down it all of the time.  It’s essentially an old two lane rural road that’s been built up over the years.  There’s a stop sign they blow through to the point that it’s impossible to get across the street to make a left turn.  We’ll come back to this in a minute.  I turned off of that street onto the main street and some how in less than 100 yards this asshat says I get my car up to 49 mph.  He shows me his radar gun to prove his point.  What he doesn’t know is that I saw him pull his radar gun out.  NOT put it away.   Shouldn’t a motorcycle cop be putting the radar gun AWAY before he gets on his motorcycle if he got me on his radar?  I don’t think he got me at all.  I think he got someone at 49mph and didn’t reset his gun and just pulled me over because I had a BMW.  And yeah, that means I saw him.  He shows it to me and I say “Bullshit”.  He says in all earnest “I caught you going 49mph”.

“No you didn’t.  I only traveled 100 yards, I would have had to put my foot in it to get up to 49mph in that short distance.”

“This is a BMW”

“I am aware of that.  And gas is $4 per gallon and I don’t waste gas at that price by jackrabbiting out of a stop”

“This car will do that”

“This car is not low end, it’s high end speed.  It’s a straight six.  A 2.5liter engine.  You are full of crap.”

“I’m not going to argue with you.”

“That’s fine, argue with my attorney because you’re lying.”

And with that I got another ticket.  But I didn’t stop there.

“So how come you guys can’t seem to find your way over to Olive and Ayers where people cut through a residential area, drive way too fast and run stop signs every single morning?”

“We don’t have a complaint about that.”

“Oh bullshit.  It’s all over claycord.com.”

“I don’t read that website.”

“Well you should, you guys look pretty foolish over there.”

“Did you report it?”

“No.”

“Then we don’t know about it.”

By then I was incensed.  I signed his bullshit liar liar pants on fire ticket, but as I drove away I called the Concord Police and got the head of traffic on the line.  She told a little different story.  The funny thing is, 10 days later I haven’t seen a single goddamned cop at Olive and Ayers.

But this story gets better.  Wednesday night the Walnut Creek Police arrest a carload of morons for stealing catalytic convertors and guess what?  Same freaking guy.  If the Contra Costa County District Attorney can’t do their job either, just drop this asshole off at my house and I’ll take care of it.  Then send Concord Disposal by in an hour to take out the trash.  If this is how these guys do their jobs we might as well disband them all and let anarchy be the order of the day.

We all know crap is King

Buckle your seat belts kittens.  The Wine Dog is raging this morning.

All the BULLSHIT about radiation reaching this country and the fact that we have bought up all the potassium iodide or whatever the hell it is, is pissing me off beyond words.  I don’t have cable so I’m missing some of it, but I do see the news in the morning at the gym.  For the record, my personal sources for news are the freshly defunded NPR, Reuters and the Daily Show.  Depending on the story is the order.  Politics I start with the Daily show and work backwards.  NPR and Reuters I start with them and work forwards.  The jackasses in our Congress and on the internet and on Fox who have been touting the defunding of NPR can’t possibly listen to it.  Trust me, they piss off my bleeding liberal heart pretty regularly.  They should if they are reporting the news.  They wouldn’t if they were advancing propaganda.  Hopefully that travesty will be halted in the Senate or vetoed completely.

Yesterday NPR reported that it was now impossible to buy potassium iodide in the United States.  We’ve bought it all up.  Now if things do get out of hand in Japan, we can’t ship any over there to help the Japanese.  What a bunch of assholes.  Dollars to donuts the asshats that are doing this eat at McDonalds and smoke cigarettes.  I don’t have the exact numbers but I bet they are a billion times more likely to succumb to health conditions caused by fast food and cigarettes than they are to some sort of radiation from Fukushima.  It’s just goddamned embarrassing.

Jonathan Links, director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, says not only do the pills offer limited protection, but the nuclear plant hasn’t released enough radiation to cause health problems in most of Japan, let alone in the U.S. He says the people he’s worried about are the workers still trying to gain control of the overheating nuclear reactors at Dai-ichi.

Idiots.  Not one of those selfish oafs would stay back like those Japanese workers have done and fight those reactors like they have.  Human waste.

Now I’m not a big fan of nuclear power, nuclear submarines, nuclear anything.  I think we should be using either the sun or wind.  And building cars with a minimum of 50mpg.  We should subsidize the purchase of these vehicles with a tax credit to purchasers that is substantial enough to push people towards that technology and push manufacturers towards that technology.  That’s not to say that I don’t love muscle, I do, it’s just not where this country, the number one oil consuming nation in the world, should be heading. I think my argument is well supported in Japan right now.

Back to the bubbleheaded blonde who comes on at 6.  Each of the “news” outlets has their own graphic that they play before their “report” to get the public to watch.  They want people to watch not so they can tell them the news or have the best show.  They want people to watch so they can sell more toothpaste and deodorant.   “Disaster in the Pacific” complete with blood splatches and a reactor in the graphics will keep us scared and on the edge of our seat.  This morning Fox is blaring that the Radioactive Fallout Reportedly Reaches California.  Down below the headlines it says

A diplomat with access to U.N tracking of Japan’s radioactive fallout says it has reached Southern California but first readings are “about a billion times beneath levels that would be health threatening.”

I’m sure their demographic will read the fine print.  The Huffington Post screams that “JAPAN RAISES NUCLEAR ALERT LEVEL”.  Next to that is an advertisement to lease the new Jeep.  CBS is calling it “Disater in Japan”, complete with seismic graphics, next to an ad for Newegg.com.
It’s a sad state of affairs in this country.  I hope we’re near the bottom of this swing of the pendulum.  I heard a guy on NPR about a month ago.  Some teabagger had said that “this country was near the brink” and went on about how we’ve never been here before and how dire it was.  The guy who responded to the quote said  essentially “We have never been where we are before.  That’s an operation of time and space.  It’s always different, but we always figure a way out, we’re Americans.  That’s what we do, it’s the fabric of this country.”  And that gives me a glimmer of hope.

The sky tumbling down

Nothing like a good earthquake to put everything into perspective.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to wake up in Japan this morning.  What’s the Japanese word for WTF?

They said you couldn’t out drive it or out run it.  It came so quickly that there was nothing you could do.  I can’t imagine.  Japan has the world’s most state of the art earthquake warning system.  It measures p-waves and sends out a computer generated alarm when a certain pattern is recognized.  P-waves are followed by s-waves.   S-waves will kick your ass.  The alarm came out 30 seconds before all hell let loose.  The bullet trains come to a stop.  The message comes out on tv, radio and cell phones.  Power plants have a fail safe they move to, some shut down.  And then all hell broke loose.

It’s always been a source of curiousity to me that every now and then the earth will rise up like a rodeo bull and try to buck us off.  She threw a lot of us off on Friday.  They are saying that 300-400 bodies washed up on shore this morning.  Here’s a country that’s used to the earth moving.  They have the most advanced seismic building techniques in the world.  And they don’t have some jackass Congressman telling them they can’t spend money on that.  That saved a lot of people in the big cities.

The next morning instead of gouging each other for batteries and flashlights, the stores were giving them away.  Evidence that we are not the best country in the world.  I know what happened in San Francisco in 1989.  We are just Rovian for saying it over and over again until most believe it to be true.   We have the capacity to be but we aren’t.

There’s something to be learned from this little tiny ancient country.  Yeah, we kicked their ass 60 years ago.  Yeah we helped them get off their knees.  Yeah, they did a really good job of putting everything back together.  And they live under some of the most stressful circumstances in the world.  Earthquakes are a daily occurrence there.  Wonder why their interior design is minimalist?  Less shit to pick up.

The earth just swallowed up half of that house.  Look at the road on the second story.  My neighborhood is a lot like what people think neighborhoods should be.  We all come out and chat with each other.  We all know each other.  It’s a nice friendly place.  We lean on our rural mailboxes and chit chat.  We help each other out.  That’s what we do.  Everybody would like a neighborhood like that.  I have one.  I was talking with one of the guys yesterday about the earthquake.  He says “Imagine, your roofline is 12-14 feet high.  We’re at about 15 feet elevation.  That wave was 27 feet”.  That wave would have sunk San Francisco and probably would have gone all the way to the Caldecott tunnel.   Yesterday’s wave went 6 miles inland in Japan.  It hit in one of the places where they weren’t finished building the seawall.  Here is yesterday’s wave arriving in Emeryville.

The other side of the freaking planet. He’s a commercial fisherman and he told me that what they do in this situation is take all the boats about a mile off shore if they have time.  His boat was at Moss Landing.  I presume he’ll go check on it later today.

OK, that was a softball.  Old girl’s still got it.

OK, I could have used this one.

Loneliness has followed me my whole life

My Pledge to Dogs is kicking the shit out of PBE in hits.  I think I’m on to something.  Lots of people have signed on, no need to fear being one of the first now.  And I’ve added a Hall of Shame.  There’s so many contenders for this one.  It won’t be my usual longer writing style.  Did you know they say a blog isn’t supposed to go past the fold?  We’re rulebreakers here at PBE.

Apparently 8-14% of the local population is sick right now with the flu.  Add me into that mix.  Really I didn’t have a chance.  I tried my best.  I was at the Cult of Red’s big event in Anaheim with 8000 other real estate people.  That was like being in a crowded subway train for 96 straight hours.  Not to mention the drive down and back.  Only to come home and find the office receptionist sick as a dog.  All the Airborne in the world wasn’t going to save me from this one.  The dry cough started Friday morning and I was napping by 2pm.  My natural temperature runs around 96.4ish.  That’s consistently what it is at the Blood Bank.  So when it hits 100, I’m sick.  Really sick.  I got up on Friday long enough to walk Duke and tell my wine tasting buddy that I was down for the count and went back to bed.  I think I was up a sum total of 5 hours on Saturday, in two hour increments.  Including Duke’s walk.  I had my mother put Duke on the patio and I stayed out of her house in hopes of not spreading the crud.  The fever broke Saturday night and I had an open house yesterday.  In the rain.  But I walked away with two good leads and a new listing.  And trust me, it’s hard to talk to people and get leads when you feel like crap.  Oh yeah, and I took a listing yesterday.  This one’s priced right and hopefully will move quickly.

The only problem with being sick and not having cable is that you run out of Netflix to watch.  And I did.  So I headed to my personal collection which is really a good reason why I am a menace to society.  I’m not one of those people who goes out and buys a lot of movies.   I probably own 10 total.  Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Taxi Driver, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Young Frankenstein, Scarface, Raising Arizona and a Fish Called Wanda.  I think that just about tells you everything you need to know about me.  I went with Taxi Driver.  But before I watched the movie I looked over at the features and in 1999 they did a Making of Taxi Driver.  That was the most interesting thing I’ve watched in a while.  Scorcese discussing the art, the author discussing the theme of loneliness, Jodi Foster discussing Hinkley, the FBI coming to Schraeder after Reagan was shot.   How they set up a lot of the shots and the story of the prostitutute who was prototype for Iris.  Here’s a hint, she’s in the film too.  It’s always been one of my favorite movies, but it was pretty interesting to hear how they put it together.  And Bernard Hermann who wrote the music died of heart failure the night after he finished recording the score.   Tom Scott was the saxophonist.  I love that guy.  I think this is one of the most brilliant pieces of music of modern times.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wcyp3jBR1Q

I know I’ve talked about Carole Rodoni before.  Really smart lady.  She is the only analyst I listen to on the subject of Bay Area real estate.  She’s smart and she’s tough and she’s 5’1″.  And my office had her come in and speak to us on Friday.  She’s on CNBC and writes for the Wall Street Journal, but Friday she was at the Cult of Red giving us her predicitions.  She’s been pretty right on.  The one she missed was she thought the interest rates were going to tick up at the end of last year.  Bernacke had other ideas so that didn’t happen.  She doesn’t believe in the double dip and she doesn’t believe the shadow inventory conspiracy theories.  She does think that we are in trouble if oil hits $120 a barrel.  I agree.  We don’t have a right to other country’s oil and we really need to stop being dependant on it.  And Obama had a swing and a miss in Egypt, hopefully he got Libya right.  I just don’t know if letting a country that only knows dictatorship run themselves is a great idea.  I think it needs to be a lot more gradual than that.  Anyway, Carole has the distinction of repeating one of my favorite lines about Pelosi who has had so many facelifts that she has a permanent smile handing to gavel over to Boehner who is crying.  She says that these people are number three to take over the Presidency and this is what the world saw.  She’s right, it’s embarrassing.

Speaking of facelifts, I was in Peet’s the other day and the lady behind me started talking to me about my shirt.  Yeah, my shirt.  I wear Thomas Pink shirts and have quite a collection.  They are all Egyptian cotton (is that now an endangered species?) and I have them professionally cleaned and I use collar stays and they always look pretty decent.  She had such a tight facelift that her face wasn’t moving when she was talking to me.  It was like a plastic doll was talking to me.  It freaked me out so bad that I couldn’t respond.  I just stood there like a cigar store Indian.

My dogs have been really good since I’ve been sick.  Saturday it was warm enough to leave the back door open yet they all came in and spent the day sleeping with me, instead of barking at things both seen and unseen, which is the normal MO around here.  Not on Saturday.  Ike guarded the back door, Rita guarded the bedroom door and Bubba guarded me.  Speaking of which, it’s been 9 months since Ike came here.  He was a trainwreck and I didn’t think he’d live 10 days.  We’re on track to hit 10 months now.  He runs now.  And he’s a really good boy and thanks to every one who helped me get him started on the road to a better life.

Get curious, and that’s marvelous

Beyond trying to run a business and saving dogs and riding my bike to LA, and working out, I have some other projects going on.  This next one will change some as time goes on.  In the next month I will add a blog function to it, although it will have several authors and probably not much content actually written by me.  It’s pretty self explanatory.  Grab a cuppa, sit down and check out My Pledge to Dogs.  Then take the pledge.  And live the pledge.  And when some clown in your office says “We’ve got this chihuahua who is the greatest dog on the planet and we’re going to breed her to a weenie dog…”  You send them to the My Pledge for Dogs and tell them that is what responsible breeder behavior is and are they ready for that?  When your friend is looking on craigslist for a boxer because the ABC breeders want to much for a puppy, send them to My Pledge for Dogs. 

No longer do we have to stand there and explain to morons why they are morons.  Tell them when they are able to honestly take the pledge, they can own a dog.

I’m real proud of this project.  It’s about changing the way America thinks.  Take the pledge and forward it to all the dog lovers you know.  It’s time.  Take the pledge.

In honor of George.