What a field day for the heat

I’m going to ask everyone to indulge my age and possible senility today. I’m starting with a story that I don’t think I told here and building on that. If I’ve already told the story or if you were maybe there and know the story, skip over it, it’s just the set up.

The Pleasant Hill Wine Merchants have different wineries in every couple of weeks. I got to introduce my pals up there to Keenan a couple of months ago. That gave me street cred with the gals up there. About a month before that, Rombauer was up there. Rombauer does some things very right but their style is really high end wine with training wheels. I used to love the Joan’s Vineyard Zinfandel when it had a peppery side to it. Now it’s all jam, jam and more jam. The reserve cabs lay down nicely and after a few years are really decent cabs. They’re close to priced to obsolescence right now in my opinion. So when they had an event and brought in Rombauer, it brought in all the folks who like the big fruity jammy Zins and of course the Danville Crack Chardonnay crowd. The room was packed and we decided to get the hell out of there. One of the gals lives nearby and had some wine left over from a fundraiser the night before. We headed over there. There were three of us. Our hostess pulled out nine glasses and gave us each pours of the three whites that were open. She kind of has a bar in the kitchen and the other two of us were sitting at the bar. (Imagine that) Suddenly, the other gal pitches forward. Keep in mind we’re about 20 minutes into the evening. I say “Hey are you ok?” Crickets. She gives me a blank look and collapses. Luckily our hostess was now standing behind her and caught her. We lay her on the kitchen floor and only now do I find out she’s 78 years old. WTF? I figure she’s stroking out and call 911. I am the youngest person at this gathering at 50 years old. This is important later. The paramedics arrive and start taking her vitals. Her heart rate is elevated and they’re calling a bus. I am so vindicated. When it was all said and done, she spent a few hours at the hospital getting her vitals checked and she had probably not eaten enough that day and that’s why she passed out. So dieting is bad for you. Got it. I turned to our hostess and remarked “You know it’s been 30 years since the paramedics came to a party I was at.”

So last Friday night was the first time I ran into those two since the “incident”. I knew she was mad at the time that I called the paramedics so I was really ok not running into them until long after the bill arrived. To my surprise she thanked me for looking after her. I felt a lot better. You see the Old Woman is a retired RN, actually having spent the last portion of her career in geriatric care. So blowing it and letting a senior stroke out would have been the kiss of death for me. I had no choice. This particular Friday night the two of them had been sitting by the pool running through a series of white wines and sparkling wines since 1pm that afternoon. It was 6pm. They didn’t like a single wine that was offered. Oh, did I mention that Grgich Hills was up there pouring? Grgich brought the line with them. These two hated every one up to the Old Vine. They had their current release of Fumé Blanc, Chardonnay, the select Chardonnay (retails at $85) the Zin, the old vine Zin, the Merlot, the Cab select and the Violetta. I started to work through the line with one of our pals, who missed the paramedics and was not present at the pool party. (Goddamn those old girls know how to party) We determined that they’d been drinking wine for too long that day and their palates were dead. Anywho, we liked the 2007 Fumé Blanc. I think it was $24 for the wine club and I would have spent that on that wine, if I’d been drinking by the time I got to the cashier. Really the pricing was at critical mass even for that. It was a lot more complex than most with a real nice finish, I figured it was probably very food friendly. Citrus and minerals without the tightness. The Estate Chard was an interesting wine. No malolactic fermentation for their wines so none of that creaminess that comes with it. It was a little more citrusy than most Chards (the ML does that) well balanced with a breath of honey on the mid palate. A very interesting wine, but really priced at obsolescence at $34 for wine club members. The 2005 Select Chard was stupid. It was priced at $65 for wine club members, retail is $75. It was nowhere near a $65 wine. I’d pay no more than $30 for it. No ML, that’s cool, good fruit, citrus, honey, typical of Grgich wines, but for that kind of wine dollars I want to be blown away. Blow me away with fruit. Blow me away with elegance. Blow me away with balance. Not nearly enough of any one of those present to make it that expensive. Is it because they are farming Biodynamically and organically? Frog’s Leap, Chappellet and Keenan have all been doing that and their wines aren’t priced out of this world. The rest of the line continued on that vein. The Miljenko’s Old Vine Zin was ok, but at $85 it better be a lot more than ok. (Miljenko is Mike Grgich’s given name) The only one that was close after that was the Yountville Selection 2004 Cabernet at $135. It was a very good Cab, well balanced, licorice, spice and big ripe blackberries. Nice finish with gentle tannins. I wanted a steak immediately after tasting that wine. It was the only one that seemed priced anywhere near appropriately. I would have definitely gone for this wine at $80 or $90. If I were flush I’d got $110, but I sure as hell didn’t have $135 worth of love for it. I don’t know if their costs are so high that they have to pass it on or if they’re capitalizing on the recent interest in the Judgement of Paris. Or Bottleshock. Either way, you can’t price your product out of the world like that. Yeah, people are going to buy it, but people who know better won’t. And the trendiness will disappear and then what do you have left? Sorry Mike, you need to talk to your marketing guys. They’re blowing it.

Ooh with a figure that belonged on a magazine

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Because it’s Bastille Day. I think I’ll drink some Bordeux tonight and toast those French bastards, they’re so French.

Here’s some other viewpoints of the weekend.

Judy

Fatty himself

Ryan, who is an animal on a machine.

And the Kathleen “centric” version, she’s awesome. 🙂

And a quick story, then I have to get back to work. Cramps are a big problem for me. I got through Sunday with minimal cramping. There was a gentleman I passed and passed me back and forth around the middle of the race. He was in front of me after I did my walk of shame up Metcalfe Road. I caught him on the back side walking. I asked him if he was ok, (cyclists know this is what you’re supposed to do, unless you’re an asshole) He said he was cramping bad. I had Endurolytes in my pouch. I pulled out two and told him to take one and split the other and put it on his tongue but don’t be mad at me ‘cuz they taste like ass. He did. I saw him later at a Powerstop. He said I saved his race. The cramps went right away and the next time I saw him was the finish line. Victory.

And I got such a long way to go

Congratulations, Team Fatty-San Jose! from Fat Cyclist on Vimeo.

I’m sorry. I know what I just did to every one. They did that to me Saturday night. And about 300 other people. And now you know what inspired me to join Team Fatty. We had 80 members, probably 30-40 ish rode. It was an amazing experience. Because we won the team fundraising challenge, we led the pack. Carly Fiorina was back this morning, sans the wig. fiorina

It was a really brave thing to do. This time I recognized her, we were also much closer to the stage since we were first out. She blew the air horn and off we went. And we rode like Lance. We had police escorts and empty streets. It was freaking awesome! I rode it like I stole it for the first mile and that’s all I had in me. The cops were driving at 20 mph. As the day progressed I ended up riding in a very loose pack of about 10 people who kept passing each other back and forth depending on which discipline was highlighted in that portion of the ride. Trust me, the Clydesdale took out everyone on the downhills. My climbing/descending clinic also helped. Age, treachery and a little skill goes a long way, further on a downhill.

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I wasn’t five miles into the ride and I felt that familiar feeling. I looked down just as a guy pulled up next to me and said “Do you have a pump?” I ride with a pump shoved in my jersey pocket so I had one. I pumped it up and rode another two miles and had to stop again. This time a SAG wagon was right there so I had him pump it up. I lost about 20 minutes at the first Power Stop having a bicycle mechanic change my tire. Hyland Family Bicycles provided the mechanics AND the tube. He found the offending shard of metal, removed it, changed the tube, mounted everything up and off I went. So a big thumbs up to the handsome young guy from Hyland who made it all better. I had to pit at the second Power Stop because the bathroom lines were off the hook at the first one. That was about 10 more miles down the road. I skipped the next two. I knew we were coming up on Metcalfe Road so I took a pit where I thought we were at the bottom. We kind of were.

You know the rules, click the elevation button while I draw your attention to miles 32-35. That is a thinly sliced piece of Hell. Over half of the riders had to walk up most of it. I kept trying to get back on but it was just too much. I had heard that Lance himself complained about part of the route. This was the part. It was soul crushing. But it was only about 3 miles total. Once we got up that hill and right before the downhill there was Satan by the side of the road. No shit. A guy dressed in a devil suit. I recognized him. His name is Alex Arato. He raised over $33k. He’s a New Yorker still living there who came out for this. His father passed away from pancreatic cancer at 43. Alex is 46 now. When I recognized him he thanked me for riding. I congratulated him on doing such an amazing job raising funds. And because he was Satan, he offered all of the riders ice water. I love that guy.

I’m in much better shape than I thought I was going to be after the ride. Thank you all for all your support! There’s only one thing left to say.

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And now, we ride

I’m leaving in about 30 minutes. 5:15 to be exact, to be at the HP Pavilion to park, set up and be at the front of the pack by the 7:30 start time. Being a member of Team Fatty turned out to have some perks. Last night, when normally I would have stayed home and grilled salmon or sword fish, watched some Law and Orders I had Tivoed and go to bed early, I was in San Jose at the Hayes Mansion having an amazing meal (considering how may people they served) and being a representative for Team Fatty who won the award for most funds raised. Sidebar, on the way to pick up my registration packet I ran into Scott Hamilton chatting on his cell phone and going completely unnoticed by anyone but me. Anyway, the dinner was very nice, we have cancer survivors present and riding on our team. Our team is amazing. Most amazing, Team Fatty leads off the ride today. That’s right, we’re first out of the chute. Every one else follows our lead. It was one of the perks for the amount of money the team raised. So at 7:30 this morning, Team Fatty will ride like Lance for about a mile before we poop out and get passed by everyone else. I am thrilled to be part of that. There was a bonus to last night that I wasn’t even expecting (there’s lots more to tell but I have to get in the shower), there was a key note speaker. Who knew? I had no idea who it was going to be until they announced her name.

carly

Now, a breast cancer survivor, Carly Fiorina. She’s certainly taken her share of crap from the Wine Dog over the years. In 2000 I cold called her at home. I never sold HP stock because I thought she was over rated. But you know what? She was a great speaker last night. I was impressed. She was interesting and engaging. And y’all know the credit where credit is due rule here at PBE. I was impressed and she had her last chemo treatment on Tuesday.

So now we ride. I want to thank each and every one of you that contributed to my ride.  It means a ton to me and the Lance Armstrong Foundation is really doing some great things.  I’m proud to support them.  And grateful for your support.  There’s only one thing left to say. Win Susan.

Can we see beyond the scars

Yesterday was one of the worst days I’ve had in real estate so far. And it had nothing to do with selling real estate.

I’m sure many of you have heard me joke about throwing nice people out of their homes. Like most of what I come up with, there’s a truth muddled in an absurdity. In most cases the people have already left or know that they need to leave because they haven’t been paying their mortgage for nearly a year now. Some push it out to the point where I show up with the Sheriff and then leave the weekend before. Only twice now have I shown up with the Sheriff and the people are still living there. Wednesday, they were still at the house. With their little dogs. And the children. Trust me, nothing sucks like putting a family out on the street without their shit, watching them run around trying to find someone to take their little dogs, children clinging to them, nothing. Or watching a couple in their 50’s collect the last of their things from a home that was their pride and joy until the husband lost his job. That man has lost weight since I delivered the original notice back in May. He painstakingly showed me all the manuals for all the appliances and gave me all the keys for the garage cabinets, and showed me how he had installed surround sound in the garage because he like to work out there. And the sadness in their eyes. A friend of mine sent me this Dorothea Lange image yesterday.

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It’s just like that. Only in person. With an accent. These people were tenants and had enlisted the help of some HUD non-profit organization that did a shitty job for them. The woman called me on Wednesday (Lock out day) and yelled at me. She wouldn’t let me say anything. If she had she would have heard me say “I’m not a decision maker, I’m the schmuck who happens to be standing here. Call the attorney’s office.” She was yelling at me that they were tenants and they had more time under law. Lady, they’ve already had five months, that exceeds the allowable time under the law that was in effect when the procedure started, but it’s not my place to argue law so I kept that to myself. She was incredulous like “You’re going to put these people out?” Uh yeah. I’m here with the Sheriff and it ain’t for donuts. Now get off my phone and call someone who matters if you want to help these people. She didn’t.

Yesterday, I was about 10 minutes late in getting to the property to meet them so they could get their personal belongings. Keep in mind I stayed there for an hour with them on Wednesday and spent the time instructing them to get themselves a change of clothes, toiletries that they would need for a few days, medication, dog food etc. They were obviously under a tremendous amount of stress and I wanted to be sure that they had what they needed. It’s a lot of stress for me too, but not like it is for them. As I was turning the corner on to their street the lady from the non-profit called again. She wasn’t as agitated as the day before but she started to plead the case. I told her I wasn’t a decision maker and that she needed to call the law firm. Then I said “I’m just doing my job”. She launched into an attack on me. Apparently the family slept in their car the previous night. She went on about how she could never do that job and I don’t know how you do your job and how do you sleep…Oh yeah, I interrupted her. I instructed her to do something anatomically impossible in the foulest of terms and hung up on her.

I love cell phones because they give you the number that just called you. I googled the number, because you can do that on an iPhone and found out that indeed it was a HUD approved non-profit. They specialize in predatory lending, foreclosure counseling and home preservation. They also do housing crisis assistance and services for the homeless. There’s a WTF moment for you. The lady that provides assistance in housing crisis and homelessness services is blaming me because they spent the night in the car. Now for our aha! moment.

The family in this situation are very nice people. They just don’t understand the process. Two speak English. I sat and read while they loaded for about an hour and then I checked on them. I asked the one woman if they had spent the night in their car the night before. She said they had. They had easily another hour’s worth of work and it was 4:30. I got back in my car and drove down to the Mt. Diablo Housing Opportunity Center. It was in a space off of Monument with a bunch of tables and two desks up against the wall. Two women were sitting there eating. One said “Can I help you”. Why yes you can. I need a place for an Hispanic family to spend the night tonight. She gets up and flies into action. Within about 5 minutes she has someone on the phone who is going to give her a voucher for a hotel room. She turns to me and asks what their name is. I don’t know. I know the one girls name but I think she’s 15 or 16. Do I have an address for this family. Yes I do. It’s the family over on Main Street. She knows who they are (because she’s the bitch that’s been harassing me) but she doesn’t put it together, yet. After a couple of phone calls, including one to the family Matriarch, she tells me that she’s going to go meet them and take them to the room. She hangs up and walks across the room to thank me and then asks my name. I smile wryly, as she’s shaking my hand and tell her. Then I add “And I’m not who you think I am”. The look on her face was priceless. With that I said nothing more, turned and walked out the door.

Our firm does not practice any of the predatory practices you hear about in the news. We are very compassionate, but we have to follow the law and the directives of our client. Our practice is to drop off an introductory letter informing the occupant to call our office. If they call and agree to vacate within about 30 days, we can get them cash for keys from the bank. If they wait, the period to allow cash for keys passes and the eviction process starts. Once it moves on to the next step, it’s over. It’s statutory. I don’t make the rules and anyone who knows me knows that if I could bend them, circumvent them or dress them in a clown suit and pretend they were the third person in a car pool, that’s exactly what I would do. But I can’t. So everything is done by the book with us. We don’t harass people, I don’t even knock on the door or interact with them at all after I drop off the letter. That’s our front office’s job. No one is ever harassed by our firm. I know that’s who this woman was inferring that we were, but I know better. And more importantly, I do my job right, it’s really too bad she didn’t. Maybe that family will have somewhere to sleep tonight.

So thanks for making me a fighter

We’re on the home stretch for the LiveStrong San Jose. My last training ride is today. Sixty minutes of flat, which has to include some hill some how or I can’t get back to the house, but an easy sixty. The ride is on Sunday in San Jose. I have through tomorrow to fund raise. I want to thank every single person who has contributed. I know it’s tough out there right now and it means a lot that you chose to sponsor my ride.

As most of you know, I’m riding for Team Fatty, Fighting for Susan. Here’s why. I ride for all of those that I know or will know or have known that have fought this terrible disease. Today is the last day I’m going to ask because fundraising is over tomorrow. Every five dollars helps. Please consider supporting me in my ride to fight cancer. As always, thank you for your support.

Contribute here.

All I ask of living is to have no chains on me.

Where to start?  I have so much to do today I ought to throw up a dog picture and a video and call it a day.  But I don’t have any new pictures of the dogs.  I got a good video.  No, it’s not part II of Sarah Palin’s resignation.  I couldn’t make it all the way through part one.  Talk about stream of consciousness.  Holy cowboys.  That speech was so ADHD.  Is that a squirrel?  Dead fish?  Really?  Bring out your dead.

Can we now let Michael Jackson rest in peace?  Please?  OMG that’s all that was on the television last night.  Every channel.  Absolutely amazing.  The last time something like that was on every channel was when Princess Diana was buried.  I will say that after watching some of the people who actually were close to him, I’m not so positive about my earlier comments.  We’ll never know for sure, but I will back off my earlier OJ comparison.  I’m still amazed at all the attention.  When Marlon said “Maybe now Michael, they’ll leave you alone”, that might have been the most poignant quote of the day.  I doubt they will Marlon, but it was a nice thought.

I’ve never really gotten funerals.  Celebrating the life, sure, but I’ve been to some pretty sad ones.  The two worst so far were the 36 year old father of two and the Marin County middle school science teacher.  Both great guys gone way too soon.  I know some day they’re going to have to plant my dead ass.  I get that part.  I’ll probably ended up sprinkled over something.  Something besides a DQ I mean.  And I would hope that a couple of folks would still be available to throw a party and act inappropriately.  And hire go-go girls in cages.  And Mr. Lifto.  OK, I might not outlive that guy.  And have a Dixieland band play a dirge.  Hire these guys.

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Locking in, uniforming, book burning, blood letting

There’s two parts to this. Really my point is made in about two minutes.

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This babbling lunatic was the Republican selection to reside one heartbeat away from the Presidency. Nice article on the NY Times about it. If Arnold Schwarzenegger can run a State with all the outside attention that he gets…say what? I saw Willie Brown interviewed the other morning. Even he said the Democrats have to give up some stuff in this one, there’s just no money. Taxes in this State are at critical mass. Focus Wine Dog. This woman thinks she’s going to resign a Governorship so that she can focus on a run at the Presidency? Insanity. Besides, we were all expecting Sanford’s resignation. Another news cycle gets distracted and Sanford gets another day or two of free passes. I don’t know how she got picked for the second slot, I really don’t. In my view it was the most catastrophic mistake of the 2008 Republican campaign. It’s starting to leak out that they knew it. And couldn’t take it back.

Keith Olbermann suggested a few weeks ago that the Republican Party was on the edge of collapse. My initial reaction was that he had gone too far, which he does sometimes, and missed the mark. Then Sanford’s picadillo surfaced, then the Vanity Fair article came out and the leaked Steve Schmidt emails. There’s something rotten in Denmark. Actually Schmidt is a smart guy. His response to the AIP debacle “Ignore it, He was a member of the aip? My understanding is yes. That is part of their platform. Do not engage the protestors. If a reporter asks say it is ridiculous. Todd loves america.” That response should have made James Carville proud. Correct answer Mr. Schmidt, at least from a spin/campaign point of view. There’s nothing else you can do with a turd in the punchbowl like Todd Palin. I think Schmidt is a really smart guy tasked with working with morons. And with all this mess going on, the Republican Party thought this was their “A” game? Fail. Olbermann may be right for different reasons than he initially pointed out.

  • Main Entry: hyp·o·crite
  • Pronunciation: \ˈhi-pÉ™-ËŒkrit\
  • Function: noun
  • Etymology: Middle English ypocrite, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin hypocrita, from Greek hypokritÄ“s actor, hypocrite, from hypokrinesthai
  • Date: 13th century

1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

The Republican Party may very well collapse because of their allegiance with the Christian Right. And a little thing we like to call Hypocrisy. I’ve had staunch Conservatives tell me that I’m the only Liberal that they can have a meaningful conversation with. I laugh to myself and think “I really am not that attached to any real party or theocracy.” I think any form of government and any form of economics can work if not for the fact that humanity is added into the equation. I think in theory Communism works just fine.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs)”, Karl Marx.

That makes perfect sense to me. Except once you add humanity to the equation, you have some taking more than their fair share and other’s skating on the system, and it doesn’t work. Socialism isn’t really meant to last, if you read Marx. It’s part of the transition from Capitalism to Communism, essentially destined to melt away as the utopian state of communism is achieved. So calling Obama a socialist is really bullshit because he cares too much about personal autonomy to embrace it. This country is so large that I don’t think any one form of economic organization can run it. That’s where we keep getting into trouble. Finding that fair to midland is a tough job and we keep electing imbeciles because they are pretty and run slick campaigns.

The human factor to any of these equations must be guided by morals and ethics. Currently, the Christian Right is acting like they have a corner on that market and the rest of us are all heathens. They even inspired the New York Atheists to take out advertising.

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No, you don’t. But you have to be moral and ethical or it just doesn’t work. I firmly believe that the Bible, the new Testament at the very least, is a series of writings that were put together because society at the time was collapsing and they needed something to pull them back from the brink of destruction. Whether God was speaking through the writers or not could and will be argued until the end of time. Are the writings correct? That could seriously be debated as well. The Bible does speak to what we’re seeing right now. It talks about hypocrisy, a lot.

Luke 11:39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.

JUD 1:12 These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you
without the slightest qualm–shepherds who feed only themselves. They are
clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit
and uprooted–twice dead.

2 Corinthians 5:12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.

Matthew 23:27-28 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

I could cherry pick this stuff all day long. Actually it was kind of fun and I still didn’t find the one I was looking for. At the end of the day, Sanford is a hypocrite. Palin is a hypocrite. Gingrich? Hypocrite. We’ve seen more than our share of liars, and now we have hypocrites. Clinton was a liar. I’m still mad at him for not saying “Yeah, I did her, so what?” That sentence would have changed the direction of this country. There would have been no impeachment. You can’t impeach a guy for cheating on his wife. We’re back to the Martha Stewart case, there was no crime but you can impeach him for lying about his actions. I don’t know that it would have avoided 9/11, although I’d like to think that Gore’s National Security Advisor would have read a report entitled “bin Laden determined to attack US”, but it certainly would have avoided Iraq. One of Clinton’s staunchest critics was Mark Sanford. Another was Newt Gingrich who was having an extramarital affair while he was leading the Congressional investigation against Clinton. This is the same guy who took a legal pad to the bedside of his cancer afflicted first wife and asked her to sign off on a divorce post surgery. He phoned his second wife on Mother’s Day to ask for a divorce. He’s such a good Baptist that he converted to Catholicism, the faith of his third wife last March. Palin and her “faith” are fascinating to me. I really don’t think Trip is her child, I think he’s another one of Bristol’s follies. Yet that’s what she told the State of Alaska. She has a pathological relationship with the truth. And these are the guys who are thumping Bibles in the Republican Party. This is why they’re going to fail.

This country needs balance. Obama is bringing the Democrats back from the depths of destruction, now the Republicans need someone to do the same. The Limburger ain’t the guy. He’s got a curious relationship with the truth as well. He is really just a guy that just needs to shut the hell up. As I’ve said in the past, I don’t have a problem with true Conservatism, because I think it works too. Unfortunately when you have guys like Trent Lott and Ted Stevens porkbarreling and grafting the populous can’t believe in it. When you have a Senator toe tapping in the mens room and then voting against gay rights issues, you have a problem. When you have companies putting cars on the road that they know are dangerous because defending the litigation is cheaper than fixing the problem, capitalism doesn’t work. When you have companies who put thousands of Americans out of work so that they can off-shore production and bring more profits to their Wall Street gods, capitalism doesn’t work. When you have companies that add poisons to the food sources to save money, capitalism doesn’t work. Regulation is required. With morals and ethics, true Conservatism works just fine. We just don’t seem to have any of those any more.

You’ll leave a better world than you found

I hate it somebody else nails something that I should have put together.  I mean seriously, it’s not like I haven’t been receiving emails about crap I can’t get any more.  Kudos to the Queen of Kludge.  In some ways SB133 is just way too much.  On the other hand, if the title companies hadn’t been providing computers and furniture and car leases and everything else over the last 40 years, maybe it wouldn’t have been necessary.  Remember FATCOLA was shut down (for I think a week does anyone else remember?) for violations?  Guys like that who refused to do the right thing are why we have this crap legislation. Or any crap legislation for that matter.  Act right and we don’t need regulation.  Simple stuff.  It goes two ways, the real estate community (both agents and lenders) accepted, even required the violations and the title companies fell all over themselves to provide them.  That’s how we got here.  Now a targeted farm is an impossibility, even though all it really provides is a clerk manipulating existing information and sending an email.  If the customer service rep is any good, it’s a 3 minute process.  Property profiles are necessary to our jobs.  We need to know that we’ve listed the property with the OWNER.  We need to know that what they owe on it in fact reflects the recorded loans.  I can read a legal and I put together a screaming deal for a client because no one except me figured out that the lot was nearly 1/2 acre.  We over bid knowing it would appraise.  Did that ultimately help my client?  My client who was also the customer for the title company?  Sure did.  So shutting me off to that information hurts the consumer.  I don’t believe hurting the consumer was the original intent of the legislation but I think it needs some tweeking for sure.  Whenever those asshats finally set a budget.

Poor Rita.  Her idiot Mother had an idea yesterday while out driving around.

ritadiaper

I knew they made doggy diapers for incontinent dogs.  I figured that way her bed wouldn’t be messed and I would do less laundry, and she could spend the night in the bedroom.  Right now, she wakes up between 1am and 3am.  Her bed is wet and she fusses around, partially trying to find a dry spot to sleep in and thinking she’s going to be in trouble.  Dogs who have this issue are also embarrassed by it, for lack of a better word.  They know what happened shouldn’t have and they know they did it.  I have had incontinent females before and I know not to punish them or let them know I’m upset or disappointed with them.  Still, it always bothers them.  She started her new herbs night before last and when I took the dog diaper off this morning, all was dry.  I really hope that’s the solution.  As far as the free catch urine sample I’m supposed to be getting, after a full day of following Rita around with a plastic cup I’ve had no success.  Yeah, it’s as funny in real time as it sounds.

As soon as the sun comes up I’ll be heading out to ride over the mountain.  It’s the last hill ride before the LiveStrong, which is a week from Sunday.  I talked to my coach yesterday and we’re both really happy with how this has gone.  I should be ready for that ride with no problem at all.  Actually my only issue is this foot of mine.  Something is definitely wrong with it.  It’s hot to the touch and is now cramping in the middle of the night.  I’ve been icing it and taking my Vitamin A(dvil) so hopefully it calms down enough to ride.  (I think I need a cortisone shot but need cash to pay for it since my insurance requires me to be run over by a bus before it kicks in.)  Anywho, back to fighting cancer, the fundraising deadline is next Thursday, July 10th.  If you can throw a few bucks at fighting cancer, that would be awesome. The Lance Armstrong Foundation really does some amazing work.  Here’s the link to my fundraising page, and thank you for your support!

Too many cooks spoil such a good thing

We’ve got something this morning for the old folks.

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San Francisco, 1975.

They were playing Bridge of Sighs at the meet on Saturday. Strange, I just went to his website and he’ll be at the Fillmore next Wednesday. Hmmm.

Be sure to check OTG’s comment on yesterday.

Rita is still leaking. Actually, not still, again. She had stopped on the crappy Science Diet CD food and then started again. So even though the Contra Costa Water District is up my ass, I’m washing dog beds nearly every day right now. Thursday, I washed one of the beds and the zipper came undone in the washer. The bed was full of this shredded thread sort of stuff and cedar. My washer was full of that stuff. I can only bend over into a washer for so long and pull out that sort of crap. It took Thursday (not home over the weekend) Monday and Tuesday to get it all out. I ended up vacuuming the inside of the washer to get the last bits out of there. I’ve been trying to start her out in her bed, next to mine, at the beginning of the night, she wakes me up between 1 and 3am to let me know that her bed is wet and she doesn’t want to sleep in it. My bed is out of the question. I let her out and then crate her, then she screams at 4:15am when the coffee maker goes off to get up until I get up and let her out. I’m tired. Really tired. The vet said that the chi in her kidneys was low and gave her herbs to tighten up her puppy sphincter. They tried to do a free catch urine sample, which was pretty riotous. Rita did not comply. I have to get one today. Not looking forward to that chore. They’re going to look for crystals again, even though she doesn’t think that’s the issue. I like combining Western and Eastern medicine to fix the dog. Just wish the dog would give us a hint so I could stop throwing money down a rabbit hole.

They’re both getting Taste of the Wild waterfowl formula for breakfast and a mixture of brown rice, ground beef, herbs and supplements for dinner. They are both looking great. Bubba’s coat, such as it is, looks shiny. Hopefully the rest comes in soon. I dream of the day that he shines like Beau used to all the time. That dog had an amazing coat. Rita has finally gained a little weight and the herbs she was on calmed her down nicely. As the vet told me yesterday “she’s a really nice dog”. Yes she is.