Geaux Saints!

It’s Super Bowl Sunday. A friend sent me an email with the bet between Indy and New Orleans. Apparently if Indy wins they get Mayor Nagin. If New Orleans wins, Indy takes Mayor Nagin. For the first time in a couple of years I actually care about the game. I’m not much of a Raider fan, but I did keep one eye open in 2003. The last one that mattered to me was 1995. I had a big party that day. And ran a $2000 pool that someone who showed up at my house actually won. I did enjoy the 1990 shellacking of Denver, but the thing that sticks out about 1989 was Tim Krumrie’s broken ankle. My all time favorite was the 1985 meeting of the Miami Dolphins and the 49ers. I became a Miami fan that day. And the Fish haven’t been back. In 25 years. They really suck. Hopefully the new ownership and new baby boy quarterback will make a difference. But I’ve got a soft spot for the Saints. I cold called Archie Manning when I was a broker at Morgan Stanley. His real broker called me back and kicked my ass. Poor schmuck, my response was “Dude, I have to have 200 dials a day. I’m doing my job, why don’t you call my manager and let her know”. I knew she’d be proud. The 1967 expansion Saints went 20 years before they had their first winning season in 1987. Bobby Joe Hebert was at the helm. A-bear. I love teams that lose 10 in a row and the Saints found a way into my heart. So Laissez bon temp roulez, the Saints are marching on. Who dat?

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And since it’s Sunday morning…a dog story.  One of the founders of Pilots and Paws worked with me at SND.  We never met, but in speaking with her on the phone I thought she was a really great lady with a calm sense of good and right.  Little did I know what an amazing project she was working on.  Makes me wish I owned a plane.  These guys are doing amazing things.  They just finished the video.  The song was written by the woman who now owns Kodiak, the last dog you see in the video.   Some supporters out in LA recorded the music and put together the video.  Grab your hankies, I’m going to run your mascara first thing in the morning.

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Forget the hearst ’cause I never die

It’s probably not a great idea to taunt hackers, but really?  My programming skills are rudimentary.  If I can find the offending code in my header in 15 minutes, you suck.  You’re not even a good hacker.  You’re just a prepubescent twit who should turn off the computer and go take your bath so you’re not late to school tomorrow.

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There’s four minutes of your life you’ll never get back.  You’re welcome.  I was actually looking for the mailbag bit, but after the eskimo midgets and the chinese trapeze uh, artists, well, I had no choice but to go with Dobermans and Saran Wrap.

Actually, maybe the Burgermeister had me hacked.  Or some guy from their tech department.  It really was a low quality hack and if you’ve ever used Simon, you’ll know why I think it could be their IT department.  Earnings came out on Wednesday and as I suspected they reported a $69.3 million dollar profit.  Translation 30 cents per share beating the street by 8 cents per share.  Trailing EPS of .61 cents. Then they announced a 15 cent per share dividend for Q4.  Hopefully some of those employees who were laid off in January own some stock.  It rose 6 cents per share in late trading.  I don’t know what the ex date is.  Now why are you drinking this guy’s juice?

Old Repulsive brought in revenue of $3.8 billion, up 2%.  Total Q4 loss of $.15 per share.  They paid a dividend of $.17 per share.  Beating the street by $.10 per share.  And they still have employees that have been with the company for over 20 years.

The Bloodless Empire doesn’t report until February 25th.  I’ve got to wonder, what are they hiding?  Oh what the hell?

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Dinty Moore reports on February 18th and I know what they are hiding.  Their balance sheet looks like Mr. White, Mr. Brown, Mr. Orange, Mr. Pink and Mr. Blonde stopped by.

I think the Little Engine That Could is printing money at night up at the Sierra Lodge.  I don’t know how else they’re doing it.

I’ve got to do a security upgrade over the weekend so if my usual drivel is missing, don’t depair, I’ll be back as soon as I figure out what I did with the content files.

DEATH TO YOU BASTARD HACKERS.

I’ve been hacked, you’ll soon go to a chinese porn site. Or maybe a site called Beyond the down.  Close your brower window.  When I find the hacker bastards I will hurt them.  Badly.

With sword in hand I face demands, delivered with the best intentions

We all know that PBE is all about accountability.  I have no problem calling out whoever on their bullshit.  Today is a Mea Culpa.  I got called out on my bullshit.  And I was wrong.  I made a mistake.  I checked my facts as best I could at 5:30 in the morning, but sometimes I’m not at my best.  Lucky for y’all Gloria Schaefer was nearby with a newspaper to smack me on the nose.  I should have known better.  I knew I was sad to see Audelessa on the list of Foley wines, but I couldn’t remember why besides that I liked their juice.  The reason was that I know Gloria through several social media sites.  I should have just asked her but I spaced it out.  She didn’t.

Who is Gloria Schaefer you ask?  She’s one of the founders and owners of Audelssa.  Yeah, still.  It wasn’t sold to Foley Family Wines, they are independent.  That’s good news.  They have a distribution deal, which I knew about, but that’s it.  Foley has no ownership.  My mistake.  And I’m making it right, here and now.  I was wrong and I apologize to all the ownership and employees of Audelssa.

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For all of you out there who think I am a disgruntled former employee, you’d be wrong.  I worked for him about 15 minutes back in 1982 or 1983.  He bought St. Paul Title in Santa Barbara.  He actually came into our offices after the acquisition, because he wasn’t that big back then.  He made his original money with Carl’s Jr. franchises.  That’s why I call him the Burgermeister.  He has treated every business since then as if they were flipping burgers.  I left Fidelity Title of Santa Barbara because I was moving back to Northern California.  I wasn’t asked to leave and I had no axe to grind back then.  I never worked for him again.  I did watch him raid our offices, steal our employees, offer them ridiculous salaries and then shitcan them 3 months later.  Their most recent MO has been to lure people in with big salaries, secure their book of business and can them.  I watched a lot of people I knew being sold a bill of goods.  I watched them build flashy new offices and then not do a single upgrade for 10 years.  I watched people not get a single raise for years after coming over for a big splashy salary.  I watched him change the title insurance industry not for the better over a 25 year period.  It is now a risk assumption business.  It used to be risk aversion.  It’s now risk assumption because they don’t do the job that the customer thinks they’re doing.  I watched him follow Parker Kennedy’s lead and off-shore our jobs.  I watched him raid Parker Kennedy’s First India Corp and offer his Bangalore employees larger salaries.  And I watched the see-saw move against both companies in India.  It is no longer as profitable as it once was to off-shore our jobs, but they still don’t have to pay taxes so they keep doing it.  I hope I get to watch Obama change that. And I’ve watched them deliver obscene earnings to Wall Street while laying off California workers.   I know over 50 years experience lost their jobs in the form of only two employees last week.  They canned someone who had been with the company for 26 years.  That is reprehensible.  They should have showed even to Wall Street and let that employee continue to make his mortgage and feed his family.  They will call him back at a deeply discounted rate with no benefits through a temp agency.  That’s what they do.  It’s a disgusting, slimy business practice and it’s wrong.

How these business practices will translate to the wine industry is anybody’s guess.  The two things that are most concerning to me is the total disregard for talent.  Title companies no longer have or respect the years of knowledge that goes into making a talented title officer or a gifted escrow officer.  Will the same thing translate to the winemakers?  The vineyard manager?  Will the Burgermeister decide that biodynamic sustainable practices are not cost effective?  Will that change the juice?  Will they source their grapes from another country?  Another region?  Will they bring in inferior grapes and put just enough Stag’s Leap juice in it to call it a Stag’s Leap appellation?  Who knows right now what he’ll think of to increase profit, but he will.  And he’ll do it on the backs of the employees while marketing something completely different to the customers.

My money says he’s gunning for Jess Jackson.  That’s his way.  He’s been trying to clip the Eagle for years.  No reason to think he’s not after Jess Jackson in the same manner.  The wine industry got a taste of that last week.  That was totally corked.  If these rich men aren’t already scrapping, it’s coming.

Here is the revised list:

Altvs
Clifford Bay
Curtis
Firestone Vineyard
Foley Estates
Kuleto
Lincourt Vineyards
Merus
Sebastiani
Three Rivers Winery
Vavasour
Wattle Creek