We’re living in our eloquence, another old lang syne

It’s a blue moon and the Wine Dog will be holed up in the bunker with the Hellhoundz tonight.  For the most part I think New Year’s eve is amateur night.  I’d say “take a cab” but I remember one night years ago in the City where in fact we did take a cab.  Several cabs.  And I got myself a little stupid.  And the last cab ride home it was like 2:30 in the morning and the guy was driving like a complete asshole.  Now, I know a little about driving like an asshole.  So I said to the cabbie “Dude.  Stop the cab.  Right now.”  He did.  I continued “Look buddy, I’m hammered and I could be driving like an asshole and trying to get us killed.  But instead I’m paying you to drive like an asshole, trying to get us killed.  We can get out now or you can stop driving like an asshole and take us home safely .” He settled down.

Ten years ago today was my last day at First American Title Guaranty Company.  I worked in Commercial Services in Pleasanton.g.  FATCO didn’t allow anyone time off from November 1 until December 31 every year.  Somehow the management always got time off.  My manager when home to the Midwest.  She asked me to cover her big closings and I did.  With aplumb.  Because I’m that good.  We had some monster deals go down in that unit.  Still I did bigger deals at LandAmerica NCS.  That’s where I got a piece of the KSL resorts deal.  1 billion dollars.  5 properties, four States.  The deal was put on hold because of a hurricane in Florida.  I think it was Ivan. Or the financial restructuring of 73 Kelly Moore stores in nearly every county in the State of California.  Talk about moving pieces.  Anyway, it was my first last day at FATCO.  January 3, 2000 after the Y2K bug did not bring the world to an end, I reported to Morgan Stanley Dean Witter at 101 California in San Francisco.  That was an amazing ride.  I will never forget standing in the window of the 62nd floor of the WTC looking out at the little planes flying by and then looking down at the ants on the sidewalk.  Or the room sized elevators, I’d never seen anything like that before.  I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to be in one of those when the flaming jet fuel started pouring down the shaft.  Even though September 11, 2001 put a fork in that portion of my career, I can say in retrospect that what I learned at Morgan Stanley allowed me to be where I am now.  That was worth every moment.

OK, enough bullshit.  Here we go.  Last year’s goals:

Wine Dog Goals for 2009

  1. Continue polishing Rita’s training  –on track
  2. Get Bubba’s training to the next level –on track
  3. Lose that damned 50 pounds -fail
  4. Set two new powerlifting records -set three
  5. Finish a
    1. Bicycle race -done
    2. Metric Century  -done
    3. Century -done
  6. Raise $5000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation through Team Fatty (see new button in the sidebar) –fell short but raised $1200 in this economy I can’t complain
  7. Organize real estate business to optimal efficiency -fail
  8. Finish getting the title service business running -fail
  9. Close a deal every three weeks –I did this for August, September and the first part of October.  Consistency this year.
  10. Get a solid marketing campaign going and stay on target with it -fail
  11. Finish at least one of the writing projects -fail
  12. Get this damned house painted -done
  13. Landscape both yards -getting there, can’t call that one done or a fail
  14. Remodel main bath (the only thing inside the house I didn’t do. -fail

Not bad.  When I look back on this the key is organization and I failed badly with being organized.  The REO business we do is based a lot of a CYA mentality.  The bank Asset Manager is covering their ass with their manager, the servicer’s AM is covering their ass with the bank AM who is covering their ass with their manager and that of course just rolls up the food chain.  Our team wants us to cover our ass with the servicer’s AM who is covering their ass with the bank AM who is covering their ass with their manager and that of course just rolls up the food chain.  And at the end of the day, I’m the schmuck who has to run around and cover all these asses.   Trust me, one has always dropped the ball and it’s always my job to fix it.  It took me several months to figure out how to manage these peoples’ emergencies.  In the beginning I spent a lot of time chasing my tail.  My broker is too busy to teach me much of anything so I have to figure it out on my own.  I got knocked around pretty bad in the last year, but I would say I was smart enough to learn what to do and what not to do.  And take my beatings in stride.  I had it rolling for a couple of months but didn’t have the systems in place to keep it rolling.  One of my unwritten goals was to get the mortgage paid on time every month last year.  I did.  After 32 years of working for The Man, the concept of a free fall has finally penetrated my understanding.  Don’t want to ever be there again.  In addition to last year’s goals I mentioned the BMW parked in front of the garage.  This morning it is parked in the garage.


I have pretty much built the deck I was talking about last year.  And the front of the house has new double panes.  I was able to pay for the dog’s large vet bills as they came up but I’d like to stop having Pet Emergencies next year  Bubba’s diagnosis is chronic IBD.  I think I’ve mentioned the woman I know who owns the Top Twenty Doberman.  I saw her last week.  She suggested soaking their food before I gave it to them and giving Bubba Japanese rice.  He’s been getting Japanese rice, so that was good.  His regimen is 2 cups Taste of the Wild wetlands formula for breakfast, soaked in warm water, two cups of rice about 3 hours later, with Grizzley salmon oil on it, 2 cups of rice with lean beef 3 hours later and 2 cups of Taste of the Wild 3 hours later.  I noticed Tuesday when I was walking him that his coat is shining and thick where it’s come back.  It’s also not the light grey that it was, it’s a charcoal grey.  He’s on prednisone and I think he’s in less pain.  It’s been a month like this and I want to do this for a total of 3 months with no change before I reassess his situation.  I think we’re finally getting there.  And thrilled that he doesn’t have cancer.

1-17 bubba

I drank some amazing wine last year and went to some amazing places.  Met people that I would have never guessed would spend time with the Wine Dog.  Even more shocking, they remember me the next time they see me  It’s really quite a blessed existence I lead.  So without further ado….

Wine Dog Goals for 2010

  1. Lose that damned 50 pounds
  2. Organize real estate business to optimal efficiency and STAY ORGANIZED
  3. Get marketing plan running and keep it running
  4. Close a deal a minimum of every 3 weeks consistently
  5. Finish landscaping the yards
  6. Remodel main bath
  7. Bench 215 in competition, deadlift 300
  8. Ride faster (15mpg average) and complete
    1. At least one metric event
    2. At least two Century event
  9. Raise $2500 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation through Team Fatty (new button to be there soon)
    1. pie-in-the-sky-goal -Ride for the Roses in Austin.
  10. Attain goals #1, #2, #3 and #4 by June 1 so that I can justify a new S-Works frame and all the accouterments
  11. Finish a writing project
  12. Get broker’s license
  13. Buy a new vehicle for business

That’s enough  Yes, another year with no wine goals, but that’s been working for me, so why change?  Naturally there are other things that I’m not going to put out there right now, but if I get at least half of those it will have been a great year.  Of course shining God’s flashlight down on cockroaches will always be a goal of PBE and I will not let up on Bill Foley or the Hauptmans  I will continue to point out Foley’s business practices whenever his name comes up in the wine industry and do what I can to stop him from ruining another business that I love.  And the Hauptmans, well, they’re just cockroaches.  At least Mr. Balter got everyone but the Alliance folks dialed in and he’s working on them now.  I think there will be a lot more justice than we thought, I just hope that it isn’t too late for those folks who have been trying to save their homes while the Hauptmans play legal games.  Cockroaches.

One Reply to “We’re living in our eloquence, another old lang syne”

  1. Thanks for consistently injecting a bright note into a symphony of a bad year.

    From all the PBE groupies, happy new year.

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