You don’t wanna catch a body

We’ve got a bad dog toy in our midst.  Of course with a name like Pimple Ball, I can’t see giving it to a dog.  But hey, I can’t give the bully sticks either.  Here’s a guy with one of the worst possible scenarios.

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You know, I let my dogs play with torn up towels and fallen over trees and we never have a problem.  I mean bull pizzle?  Are you kidding me?  They had them at Costco last night and I couldn’t do it.
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Yeah, I had to go there.

Morning Ride

I’m heading out to the wine country in just a little bit, so it was important to get my ride out of the way early.  I did a quick little 32ish mile out and back.  Averaged 13.4 mph.  Did the whole thing in 2:26:50.  Got up Ygnacio in 9:07.  I’ve only broken 9 once.  It’s my goal to break it every time.

So you can wipe off the grin, I know where you’ve been

There must be something in the air. I’m waiting for some things to happen which should give me some direction, but in the interim, I’m cooling my heels waiting on the State of California. They’ve been moving decidedly slower since Arnie’s proclamation. Thanks for nothing Arnie. The Barbarians are at my Gate. Directv wanted a bunch of money. I didn’t have it. They wouldn’t budge. I chose dog food over Law & Order reruns. And the Olympics. Good news, Countdown with Keith Olbermann is now webcast. So long Directv. Thanks Arnie. I’m not the sort of personality to love limbo. I need a plan. A date. A goal. A deadline. Otherwise, I’m really pissy and wish I were in a grass shack in Kona with a surf board and my dogs.

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Red Dog Blue Dog

So with some of this time on my hands I’ve been able to be retrospective. I’m good with dates too. Especially after a glass of wine. A year ago today, the Amateur Manager began his campaign to get rid of me. A year ago, I hadn’t moved into the Farm yet. I was renting a place a few miles from here looking for some direction. Bob Whitfield found me the Farm. Bob’s a great guy and I am glad I had an opportunity to do business with him. He needs to update his website…he’s with Sotheby now. I can always use him as an example as to why you want to use a professional in your real estate dealings. He saved me probably $30k on the Farm. The sellers agent really wasn’t worth much and Bob got in front of the seller. He’s not a pressure guy but he owned her at the end of the meeting.

A year ago, me and Beau were packing up to move in here. I’d been remodeling for three months. After work I’d come home, change, pick him up and come over here and start work. I’d work until 10pm at night and then go home and get up and start all over the next day. I slept on BART both ways while I was remodeling this place. It’s a year later and Beau’s gone. I still can’t believe that one. That big beautiful black and tan boy that used to sit on my foot in the office while I wrote this page is gone. He would press himself up against me as much as he could. It was like he just couldn’t get close enough.

Now Rita is here. She’s about 80% trained. For the most part she does what I ask her to. She even comes when she’s been a bad dog. Most dogs won’t do that. Beau wouldn’t. Beau was trained to the nines. He was a prince too. So he wouldn’t smack me in the face with his big ol’ paw. He might accidently hit me in the head with his, but he was aware of how his body went. Now I have two young dogs with dubious backgrounds. I am bruised all over. Two days ago we had a series of accidents in the house. Me and the spotbot were working overtime. Bubba actually lifted his leg on one of the bedroom doors. If I had a mousetrap at the moment…well, he wouldn’t ever do that again. Ever. Beau slept on the floor at the foot of that bed sometimes and I’m sure that room smells like him. His old bed was in there too. I finally washed his bed yesterday. Now it shouldn’t smell as much like another male dog. Rita whizzed in the dining room while I was out. It had been a couple of weeks since she committed that transgression. We’ve had two days now of better behavior. Bubba is learning to “come”. He’s very hinky with that one. I have to trick him into the house when I’m getting ready to leave and then close the door before he catches on. They’re both learning that fighting in the house in not allowed. Reindeer games belong outside. And Bubba has found my bed.

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As regal as Beauregard was, these guys are hillbillies. I know they’ll get there, but sometimes I wonder.

Biker down

This story is just tragic. A kid learning to drive, something goes terribly wrong and a guy is dead. My gut tells me this was just a tragic accident, but it just spotlights how fragile everything is. I had a very good friend who was involved in this sort of accident when she was 18. A 4 year old ran into the street from between two cars. It wasn’t her fault. She was one of those people who never broke a law, never did anything any way other than the way it was supposed to be done. The police did their investigation, but of course the parent blamed her and sued her. That event is with her today and she’s in her 40’s. It never goes away. Just a tragic accident. Last month I wrecked my neighbor’s travel trailer because my foot slipped off of the clutch. Sometimes accidents just happen. I’m thankful no one was standing there when it happened. For the rest of the time, we need to be eternally vigilant so that at least we remove our own stupid mistakes.

I’ve been following this guy’s story since it happened. This was a crime. Drunk on a Saturday night, Safeway wouldn’t sell the driver beer at 2:30a.m. So the jackhole decides to steal it, runs out of the store, jumps into his car (remember he’s drunk) and runs Eric over trying to escape with a 12-pack. We’re at day 102 right now and I’ve been reading his wife’s blog daily as they struggle with his injuries. He owned a mortgage company that she’s had to shut down. Yeah, it hits a little closer to home when he could have been any guy I ran into at a networking meeting. Every day I thank God that I’m not the one that got run over and every time I go out and pray that I don’t end up like Eric, fighting to regain my life again.

Another tragic event has put another young man’s life hanging in the balance. This guy is the 25 year old son of one of the Brother’s friends. I know his Dad but never met the son. On a Saturday night, three guys jumped him. Apparently they’re moving him to Columbia Presbyterian today. That’s where our Mother went to school and worked at the turn of the century in the late 1940’s, early 1950’s. It should be the best place for this kid. They’re still one of the best in the country. I wish him a speedy and as complete as possible recovery. The human body is an amazing machine, let his be particularly amazing for this kid.

Eastbound and down, loaded up and truckin’

Today I feel like shining God’s flashlight down on a little something. Here’s the direct quote from the RESPA website:

Section 9: Seller required title insurance

Section 9 of RESPA prohibits a seller from requiring the home buyer to use a particular title insurance company, either directly or indirectly, as a condition of sale. Buyers may sue a seller who violates this provision for an amount equal to three times all charges made for the title insurance.

It’s a violation. Period. So why does this practice continue?

Oh, well, we only look at offers that have XYZ Title Company written in the contract. So if you want us to look at your contract, write in XYZ Title.

Really?  directly or indirectly.  How is that not a violation?  Let me explain, an order in Vallejo, California ends up being handled in Temecula, while an Escrow Officer in Vallejo loses her job because the local business is being shipped out to east San Diego County in sweetheart deals that violate RESPA. Somebody please explain to me why this is an acceptable business practice? Someone explain to me why the sellers, and we all know who I’m talking about, are still forcing, yes, forcing deals to certain title companies. Occasionally I’ve seen the seller pay and on some level that justifies it, but when the buyer is paying, uh, hello, the buyer gets to choose the provider. What in God’s green earth are we thinking? Why is this practice allowed, tolerated? The guys who caused this mess are still being bullies. Game over boys. It’s time to play like everyone else.

I was talking to a rep earlier today who was complaining that they can’t even give out a closing gift in excess of $10 which ain’t much in GW’s new world order. It’s not even a decent bottle of wine. Yet a much larger transgression occurs every single freaking day and nothing is done about it. Hello! The elephant! It’s over here! Yeah, in the living room!

You can set my truck on fire, and roll it down a hill, But I still wouldn’t trade it for a Coupe DeVille

I’m funny about my vehicles. I don’t like the little lights on the dash to be on. So when BMW did the oil service and forgot to reset the little green balls, it pissed me off. I took it to the SF BMW because I had something to do in San Francisco that night. So it spent the day at the shop and then went and parked wherever it was that I was supposed to be that night and then went home later. They forgot to turn off the little yellow and red balls and turn on the green ones. From my house, it costs $15 in gas and $4 in bridge toll to drive in to the City. So I call Concord BMW and ask them to turn off the little red balls and they say “No.” WTF? You’re BMW, you do what the customer needs. So when I needed tires, brakes and alignment, I went to Wheel Works. Well, the goddamn little brake light is still on. I went back yesterday and they had it on the rack for an hour when they tell me they think the sensor is bad and they’re going to order one and it should be here in an hour. How nice. I have to be in Walnut Creek in 30 minutes. Throw the thing back together and I’ll come back tomorrow. So I came back today. Unfortunately, last night after several Marguerita’s, the bartender thought it was a good idea to mix us a Washington Apple I guess for the road? Bad idea. I felt like crap today. So here I am sleeping in the waiting room of Wheel Works waiting for my car to be fixed. Yeah, the light’s still on. It’s supposed to reset in 20-60 miles. I hope it does. I’m damned annoyed at this point. The pick up needs a new radiator and I just don’t have the stomach for that job. I also need to clean the truck, but that means vacuuming out Beau’s hair and while I know I need to do it, I’m not really there. So I’m driving the BMW with a dashboard that looks like a freaking pin ball machine.

Free to good home

I just got this from one of my Doberman pals.

Must Rehome Children Immediately!

Please help! After two long years of being on a waiting list, we have been notified by breed rescue that, at long last, our number has come up and…WE ARE HAVING A PUPPY!

We must get rid of our children IMMEDIATELY because we just know how time-consuming our new little puppy will be and it just wouldn’t be fair to the children. Since our little puppy will be arriving on Monday, we MUST place the children for adoption this weekend or we will be forced to drop them off at the orphanage.

One male, his name is Tommy. Caucasian (English/Irish mix), light blond hair, blue eyes, four years old. Excellent disposition. Temperament tested. Has had chicken pox and is current on all shots. Tonsils have already been removed. Tommy eats everything, is very clean, house trained and gets along well with others. Does not run with scissors and with a little training, he should be able to read soon.

One female– her name is Lexie. Caucasian (English/Irish mix), strawberry blond hair, green eyes, quite freckled. On year old. Can be surly at times. Non-biter, thumb sucker. Has been temperament tested but needs a little attitude adjusting occasionally.

She is current on all shots, tonsils out, and is very healthy and can be affectionate. Gets along well with other little girls and boys. Does not like to share her toys and therefore would do best in a one-child household. She is a very quick learner and is currently working on her house training. Shouldn’t take long at all.

We really do LOVE our children so much and want to do what’s right for them. That is why we contacted a rescue group. But we simply can longer keep them. Also, we are afraid they may hurt our new puppy. I hope you understand that ours is a UNIQUE situation and we have a real emergency here! They MUST be placed into your rescue by Sunday night at the latest or we will be forced to drop them off at the orphanage or along some dark country road. Our priority has to be our new puppy.

My Dad could have placed that ad. I am sure that if I hadn’t gotten along with Kurt, I would have been the one to go.  Daddy, can I stay?

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Poor Bubba isn’t a very good fighter. Neither was Beau. He was forever getting his ass kicked by other dogs. Bubba seems to have torn a page from Beau’s guide book. Rita tagged him on Sunday. It wasn’t a deep cut at all. It was just on his ear. And it bled like a sonofabitch. I put cold compresses on it to stop the bleeding. Ten minutes later he would shake his head and blood would be splattered all over. Basically by Sunday night my house looked like a crime scene. Finally, around 8pm I took some styptic and sealed it, gave him a rawhide and put him in his crate for the night. It healed over and so far, it’s been fine. Beau used to hold one paw up like that too.

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File this under “What are they thinking?”

OldTitleGuy likes to keep my head spinning around like Linda Blair. Today’s offering has some interesting implications. I’m going to assume that Countrywide’s next move is to ban all FNF companies from handling their orders. Should be an interesting food fight. Especially of BofA decides to follow in the blackballing. It could be fatal for FNF so when this mess escalates, I see a speedy withdrawal. I sure hope Jacksonville knew about this before it was filed. St. Valentine’s Day’s got nothing on what’s going to happen if they didn’t. It is an excellent example of slip shod work on everyone’s part. Of course, maybe it’s not once Dennis Gilmore is done re-inventing the title business.

NASCAR Teddy’s excellent Title Adventure has chosen to seize the moment. That moment being Mercury’s collapse and the ensuing oil wrestling match between Park and Jerry. Not that Jerry’s naturally oily… I’m sure that didn’t contribute to his slippery escape. Anyway, check out Teddy’s new marketing piece. Speaking from a place of financial strength…heh.

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And the Radical’s dialed in again.  Don’t know where she gets this stuff, but she’s on it.  Page back a few too.  I really believe it’s just a matter of time before Mercury has to file BK.  Someone will break the corporate veil and then it’s on.

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You’re just like crosstown traffic, So hard to get through to you

You know I never mention North American Title. They’re owned by Lennar and they have their own share of issues. Today’s another day, and I’m thinking that this is going to leave a mark… These corporate raiding suits are going to reach critical mass soon and it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

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Which brings me to my next curiosity. NASCAR Teddy’s Excellent Title Adventure.

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The spike is obviously the lack of earnings announcement, but look how they’ve been climbing out of that. Every day I get an alert about how they’ve recovered X% since the announcement. Bizarre.

Back over at Jerry and Patty’s debacle, this came in over the weekend:

Mercury is giving out paystubs so that people can file their work force payday claims for unpaid wages. BEWARE some of them are coming out saying you were paid through a date that is incorrect. Can you spell FRAUD? Make Mercury revise them to show the correct day you were screwed but keep your copy of the fictitious one as evidence as an ongoing investigation may prove frutal for all of us!

Let’s follow that up with a little history lesson:

In the 1970’s Jerry Hauptman and Jack Brockman (Sr Legal Counsel) got in bed with a developer who orchestrated some fraudulent Installment Land Contracts and Stewart denied coverage under the fraud provisions of the underwriting agreement. In addition United was in the arrears on their remittance for underwriting fees. First American stepped in and offered to cover the claims and past due remittance in return for a 10 year underwriting agreement in which Jerry and Jack required that the fraud provision be excluded. First American in their zeal agreed to the exclusion of the fraud provision which became known amongst the Title Insurers as the “Hauptman Underwriting Agreement” which is one of the reasons why United and Mercury never secured an underwriting agreement with another insurer as they were never willing to exclude the fraud provision. The Underwriting Agreement was effective July 31, 1997 and was concurrent with the sale of the First American direct operation. In December of 1977 Steve Brockman (son of Jack Brockman) was brought in as the President of First American Title of Denver as Jerry and Jack grew tired of Harry Paulson who remained under the payroll of First American TItle while running the United Title owned company, while simultaneously owning other title companies in rural areas of Colorado.

The name First American Heritage was not adopted until some time in the late part of 1980 – maybe 1986 –

Jerry bought (or took over) Title America in 1982 as the owner Ted McSherry could not pay his bills or meet payroll. It wasn’t until Steve Brockman and Doug Peters had a falling out in 1983 that Jerry moved Doug Peters over to Title America.

Jerry and Patty bought out some of the Hauptman Family Members in 2005 but not the Hauptman Family Trust which owned the bulk of the company. It is believed that Jerry and Patty owned 15%, Mary ??? owned 10%, First American 20% and the Family Trust held the remaining 55%. Jerry, Mary and Ron hold interests within the Family Trust.

And one final chart. This one’s interesting when you consider the screwing they took from Jerry. You can actually see that day in the chart.

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OK, I lied.  Just like you can see Bill’s earnings announcement in this chart.

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And how do we spend our lives knowing nobody gives us a damn

Sometimes things show up in the comments section that bear repeating. In case you missed my post of August 11…

I just want to advise all the PBE readers and their ex-coworkers who were or still ARE classified as Title Officers. You will be compensated for UNPAID OVERTIME even if you are still a First American Employee. The first of the claims letters in connection with FATCO LAND law suit have been sent. I received my first letter last week. There will be a total of 3 envelopes labeled “important legal materials enclosed” or something similar. The 1st two letters are informational please open and read the letters no matter what you do or your feelings on the suit. The 3rd envelope I understand will be YOUR CHECK paid to you by First American. The money is being disbursed by a 3rd party Administrator and First American will receive NO INFORMATION on who cashed their check and who did not. SO PLEASE OPEN ALL THE ENVELOPES COMING YOUR WAY. I understand that the check will be sent latter November or December.

Comment by Tammy — August 16, 2008

I dare say the Wine Dog will be dancing in the street if this check shows up this year. It was almost two months pay for me and I only worked there 17 months…and this $1800 a month ain’t cuttin’ it.

Probably 15 years ago, I was doing production at Old Republic. We were screaming busy (we had a local title plant back then) and as title officers, we had quit answering the phones so we could get the work out the door. We had gotten everything into the typing department and now the pressure was on them to get it out the door. I went in there and gave one of those Patton talks, how we needed to be better than everyone else and show why we’re the best blah blah blah. One of the word processors pipes up and asks “what are you going to do for us if we get this all out”. I flippantly responded that I would dance in the street. They took me up on it. Sadly it was raining and around 2pm that day I was doing a soft shoe in the rain in the middle of Atlantic Avenue in Alameda. The industry is not a better place with a personality like me gone. It is not a better place when shit stains like the Amateur Manager can have careers and people like a lot of PBE’s gentle readers sit at home and collect unemployment.

I have a bunch of other stuff in the mail bag I have to sort through either later on today or tomorrow.

Fore!

I played an abominable round yesterday. It’s been 105 degrees here every day for a week. So I put on shorts and a sleeveless golf shirt to go play yesterday at Tilden Park. Stupid, stupid, stupid. By the 14th hole, the fog was BELOW the tree line and I couldn’t stand the cold any more. The BMW was in the shop because I couldn’t go any farther without replacing the brakes and tires. I was out of options. For the first time, I didn’t take it to BMW for the work. Last fall a battery and rear brakes cost me $1500 at the dealership. I just wasn’t going down that road again. So I had the local Wheel Works do the work. I needed tires, an alignment, brakes and a boot replaced. Unfortunately, my golf pullover was in the trunk of the BMW and I was driving the truck which stays pretty empty as it sits in front of the house alot. So I gave up on the golf game. I figured trying to tough out the last five holes in that cold would not do my back well and the damage would be more than the benefit. As usual, I had flashes of brilliance yesterday, followed by long dreary stretches of complete athletic incompetence. I kissed the lip of the cup on a 40 foot putt only to four putt the next hole. I put my drives pretty consistently in the trees on the right, only to bail myself out beautifully with my rescue. All four of us managed to lose a ball in the middle of the fairway yesterday. That was exasperating. We would all be standing there saying “I know this hit in this area…where could it roll?” I’ve got to practice more. I’m getting tired of my year of playing double bogey golf.

To get to Tilden Park you have to drive up Grizzly Peak Blvd. It’s a favorite of local cyclists. It’s hilly, narrow and winds around. It can be pretty dangerous for cars, motorcyclists and bicyclists. Many have died going off the side in all three. I don’t ride Grizzly Peak. Yesterday, I saw numerous cyclists without helmets up there. I’m sorry, I have a hard time with that one. An accident that would otherwise be survivable becomes fatal with the simple subtraction of a helmet. Even Lance wears a helmet. I just don’t get that. This guy was killed last week in a probably survivable accident. It was the driver’s fault, but he’s just as dead. In reading the article it sounds like he was a really good guy. I wish he’d worn a helmet. The SUV driver was looking for an address, not paying attention and pulled into him.

Now it’s time for my bicyclist’s pet peeves.

  1. The law is that you stop behind the white line. Stop behind the freaking white line dammit!
  2. Do not tap your horn. I hear your engine and the sound of steel moving through space. Tapping the horn just makes me jump unnecessarily.
  3. Do not ease over towards the right if I’m in the bike lane. Ease towards the left. It’s a psychological thing and you don’t know you’re doing it but it’s scary to us. It’s the same as not standing behind a disabled vehicle because people gravitate towards it. Watch the line, not me.
  4. Don’t throw shit out your windows. What kind of ignoramus does it take to do this? Who the hell do they think is going to clean up after their stupid ass in the first place? All they’re doing is making the landscape look like crap by throwing bottles out the window and it just cost me $50 on a new tire. If I caught one, I’d pull their ass out of their car and beat them by the side of the road.
  5. Yes, I know there are bad bicyclists. They’re really just bad drivers that own a bike rather than drive a car. That’s no excuse for picking on the rest of us. Besides, if the driver screws up the cyclist dies, if the cyclist screws up, the cyclist dies. That ain’t fair, but it’s the way it is. I follow the rules, like many of my fellow cyclists. Instead of being an angry self absorbed asshat, how about being the better person? I thank every driver who yields properly. I return every good deed with a thank you, a good morning or a wave. The world would be a better place if we all did that.

The man who only lives for making money, lives a life that isn’t necessarily sunny

I had a little down time today, so I started cleaning up my office. It is still not set up so that it works, but it’s getting there. Things I found, $45 claims settlement from a suit against Microsoft. Another claim involving someone named Doral, which quite honestly, I don’t know what that’s about, so I shredded it. I lost out on the Enron one because Morgan Stanley couldn’t pull their collective heads out of their collective asses long enough to look up the information for me, despite repeated phone calls. Thanks for nothing boys. Can’t wait for the next one of your boiler room boys to give me a ring a ding. It’s going to go just like this.

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My work life started the day in two Corovan boxes. That’s it. 32 years, two Corovan boxes. Inside were such jewels as the framed Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass albums that hung on the wall…because everyone new who came into the office discussed them. Several triangles, the nice one got broken in transit. Several architect and engineer’s rules. Yeah, you title guys know what I’m talking about. My OWN colored pencils and Stabilo Boss set. Yeah, I got’m. The Costco sized bottle of Advil AND Tylenol. A cork screw. A Handbook for Title Men -1971. The teletubbie and matching photo. Some dog pictures, the framed thank you card from Hank…you know this one.

Thanks for all your help with the XYZ Holdings, Ltd. transaction. Your professionalism, calm demeanor and good humor were much appreciated. (They are in short supply in many organizations these days) I hope we can work on another closing in the future.

Hank.

Several rate books and a nail file from Exchange Resources. And last, but not least, my Service Star paper weight with my name inscribed on it. You had to do something really spectacular to get one and I did, and I have one. I promise you the Amateur Manager doesn’t have one of those.

Coconut Telegraph

I’m hearing a big National division in Santa Ana was closed down and the accounts were moved to Florida. I don’t understand exactly how it all goes together, but it’s the division that negotiates the big contracts for big companies with loads of sites. What a bunch of maroons! Y’all keep playing this account shuffling game with the clientele and they’re going to shuffle over to the Evil Empire or NASCAR Teddy’s Excellent Title Adventure which should prove to be a much friendlier environment. I’m also hearing that not only are they moving their DataTrace unit, but they are reducing staff as well. The showed the door to a dear lady and one of my favorite characters. Not cool.

Let’s try the new math here. Your net income was $42 million. I guess you’ll write off that $37.3 million, since Bill plucked the Eagle one more time. Net income is now $4.7 million. Around $.04 per share. Nice going. And your legal beagles got their asses handed to them in court. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

I’m ridin’ shotgun like a shih tzu hound.

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Bubba had his first adventure to the vet yesterday. I have never removed stitches from a dog’s balls and yesterday was not the day that I was going to start. That’s a job for professionals in my book. I remember when Xica was fixed. I brought her out to the home of one of my Mother’s friends. I can’t remember why exactly. Margaret was a tough, smart old military nurse, that my Mother worked with. Like Mother, she went to Columbia University for her BS. Margaret was slightly out of her mind. She drove a 1967 Porsche 911, bred Maine Coon cats, drove motor home up the Alaska highway with her son and took no crap from anyone. I had Xica with me and we were talking about how it was probably time to get her stitches out. Margaret, then retired, said “Bring me my glasses”. Next thing you know, Xica was on her back and Margaret and my Mother were removing the stitches.

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Bubba’s having a tough time with the concept of leaping into the truck so I decided to just walk. It’s probably a mile from the house. Unfortunately, I didn’t think the whole thing out very well. A mile in 102 weather is a pretty surmountable adventure. We were far enough away that turning around wasn’t an option when I wondered how hot the sidewalk was on his pads. We picked up the pace. He doesn’t seem any worse for the wear. Bubba has been a little hinky around men and my vet is a man. Bubba had no problem at all with Dr. Virk. One of the techs talked with me while she was taking his stats. She remembered Beauregard,. He was very memorable, but with someone who sees so many animals every day, I think that’s amazing. She thought that Bubba knew I needed him, so that’s why he made it so apparent that he couldn’t move on. Dr. Virk thought Bubba was a year old. He suggested a VonWilldebrand’s disease test, which I concur, but I told him it would have to wait until I was working. Bubba had some scabbing around his neck. I thought it was where Rita grabs him when they played, but I wanted to be sure it wasn’t something funky he got from the kennel. One of the cuts from wrestling with Rita got infected and that caused the mess, so Bubba’s got some antibiotics to clear it up. Rita has a big cut on the side of her face where Bubba evened the score. I caught that and cleaned that cut. It appears to be doing well.

I remember taking Toby the Gypsy Doberman to an acupuncturist in Oakland for her incontinence. That’s one of the strange things that acupuncturists can cure completely in dogs. Not all dogs, but some dogs. I already had Xica and Beauregard when I got Toby. She was a 10 year old rescue who’s owner had died. She didn’t get one on one time like she was used to. I remember laying on the floor with Toby full of needles that day. She looked at me as if to say “Mom, this is the best day ever”. Bubba thought that even with Dr. Virk pulling stitches out of his balls, it made for the best dog adventure. He’s strange that way.

Note: Today’s post is named in honor of PBE’s favorite underwriter. He knows why.

I called the Witch Doctor, he told me what to do

It’s time for another separated at birth:

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As I suspected.

Fore!

A couple of weeks ago, The Brother posted this:

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I can’t get health insurance right now without getting COBRA, at $446 a month. My house payment exceeds unemployment by several hundred dollars, as I’m sure is the situation with a lot of you out there. I’ve been rejected for medical insurance because of the tachocardiomyopathy that I had last February. At the time, I knew I was going to lose my job and I didn’t want to go to the hospital because I was afraid this was going to happen and it did. I’ve had tachocardio twice in my life. The last time was in the mid 1990’s, when I was at Old Republic. It was determined to be benign and I didn’t have another event until last February. In February it was also determined to be benign, brought on by the stress of working for a complete asshat. The Dearly Departed Escrow Officer also had bouts of irregular heartbeat working for that jackhole. Now, I’m being penalized presumably for the rest of my life because my body couldn’t handle the obscene amount from stress of dealing with the incompetence of the Amateur Manager, who spent an entire year trying to get rid of me. It’s time this country was done with insurance companies.

If we are paying premiums to a company in hopes that nothing happens, they’re happy as can be when nothing happens. Their place is to assume that risk. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s really legalized gambling from the company’s perspective. They’re gambling that nothing will happen. Well, stuff happened and they had to take out their checkbooks. That’s business. Now, they only take the absolutely safest route and God forbid they actually have to assume any risk. Worse yet, they are allowed to negotiate sweetheart deals with the medical community that we can’t get on our own as consumers. Even if we choose to be self insured, we would pay substantially more than the insurance companies do for the same services. Somehow, that’s American.

We have this essentially third party intermediary that takes money from us and then tells us what medical procedures we can and can’t have and we let them, because they took our money. These companies have all sorts of staff and executives and stock holders who make lots of money on this arrangement. News flash! This is money that could be going towards the client’s health care, but it’s not, it’s going into the pockets of other people who don’t have medical degrees, or medical backgrounds and don’t give a shit if the client lives or dies. They don’t. They care that they get their paycheck or their dividend check. That check is made out of money that we pay them rather than paying health care providers. And this is a better system why?

Supposedly we have the best health care in the world. I disagree. I think that the care being afforded in Germany and France today makes our system look like the amateur hour. You get sick over there, they fix you. That’s it. They’ll fix you again if you get sick again. They don’t care who you work for, they don’t care who you are. They fix you. How is that inferior to the bullshit system we have over here? Grooks wrote in the other day, her husband has diabetes. She’s like a lot of us old timers and has been in the business since Moses was a kindergartner. She’s shit out of luck with our system. So am I. I’m wondering why I’m staying here with no health insurance, and no any hope for getting any when I can be hanging out in the South of France, fully insured and drinking French wine. I’m wondering why we, as a nation continue to merrily pay these carpet baggers money. At what point do we say “Enough is enough!”

On to our auto insurance. We pay for auto insurance so we can be safe from other people in this society who don’t behave responsibly and to cover our screw ups. Sometimes shit happens. Some of you will remember that about a month ago, my foot slipped off of the clutch in front of my house and my 4X4 lurched forward and damned near exploded the neighbor’s travel trailer. This is a no brainer. I did it. I am 100% at fault. It’s rare, but it happened. I own that. My AssKlown insurance company, Safeco not only spent a tremendous amount of time jerking the neighbor’s chain, but had the audacity to accuse him of trying to make money off of them. The issue was that the travel trailer was a 1994 and I totaled it. My neighbor wanted to be made whole. He actually went out on craigslist and found the same exact travel trailer in Manteca for $4200. My sorry ass excuse for an insurance company found the same exact travel trailer in Iowa and another one in Wyoming and decided to compensate him based on those numbers. We all know the difference between California dollars and Wyoming dollars. So he said “Fine, then bring it to me.” They said “No you go get it.” How the hell does that make that man whole? Even worse, the claims monkey accused him of trying to make money off of them. My neighbor is the kindest, most honest guy I’ve met in a long time. The former owner of the Farm was an old woman. My neighbor offered to replace the front yard for her. All she had to do was buy the supplies, he offered to do all of the work. That’s the kind of guy he is and that’s what my insurance company did to him. Safeco Insurance, you are Today’s Worst Person in the World! (with a nod to Keith Olbermann)

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