The rabbits running in the ditch

Today, I’m opening with a public service announcement.  I know we have a lot of visitors from Colorado, so here we go.

I’m still looking for Jago my five year old male Dobermann natural
ears and long tail. Last seen west of Aurora Reservoir in the Denver
Colorado metro area on August 25th. Someone may be keeping him on
purpose, or may not realize he is being searched for? There is a
SUBSTANTIAL reward for his safe return or for information leading to
his location, NO questions asked. He is tattooed and microchipped.
He is probably still in Colorado, BUT he could possibly be in another
state by now
Call Tom at 719 232-4659 with any info

Click me!

Jago is natural earred and tailed.  If someone saw a dog like this show up in August or September, it may be Jago, call Tom.

Here’s a call I’d like to be on

Subject: FW: Fidelity National Financial -Commonwealth/Lawyers Title Conference Call Scheduled for 1/13/09 @ 3:00PM ET
Importance: High
Please make your customer base aware of this opportunity.

When: January, 13, 2009 – 3 pm ET

FNF Participants: Al Stinson – CEO, Tony Park ˆ CFO, Dan Murphy – Treasurer, Donald Cole, Chief Underwriting Counsel

Dial in #: 800-762-7308

As you can see from the email below, Fidelity has scheduled a conference call for customers who are still reluctant to accept CLTIC, LTIC and UCTIC policies. This is another valuable tool to use with customers who still don‚t understand that the insurance companies and their subsidiaries are stronger now than they were before.

FNF will be holding a conference call for any customers that would like information on or are confused about FNF‚s purchase of Commonwealth Land Title and Lawyers Title.  FNF will discuss the transaction, the financial condition of the underwriters, ratings and answer any questions that customers may have.

**Please see that this information gets widely disseminated to those necessary throughout all of our operations, including the Commonwealth and Lawyers Title side.**

When: January, 13, 2009 – 3 pm ET

FNF Participants: Al Stinson – CEO, Tony Park ˆ CFO, Dan Murphy – Treasurer, Donald Cole, Chief Underwriting Counsel

Dial in #: 800-762-7308

I think I’ll call in.

Creditor’s Rights

Kind of a bullshit exclusion to the policy that we all know we routinely removed.  I must say, I didn’t truly understand creditor’s rights until this last tour with the Bloodless Empire.  The predecessor to the Amateur Now Demoted Manager was a brilliant man and the National Underwriter.   Once I realized that I didn’t understand it like I thought I did, I brought every creditor’s rights issue to him so I could learn more and take advantage of just being in the same office as him.  I doubt this would have happened to me.

Witches

It’s been colder than a witches tit here.  I didn’t go ride yesterday because the air was damp and it never hit 50 degrees.  Then I read about judi running in the snow and I felt like a big baby, so I compromised and went to spin class last night.  I think I’m harder on myself when I do things like that.  I will ride tomorrow unless it’s actually raining.  I got my copy of the Buchberger 12 yesterday and will start my Scapular strengthening program probably tomorrow.

If the Government trust you with an M-16

You should be trusted with a dog.  The new private housing rules from the Army outlaw Dobermans.  Wrong Wrong Wrong.  Write your Congressperson.  Wrong Wrong Wrong.

All the strings and strokes in the ocean

I don’t know who I’m more ticked off at, Bill Gates or me.  One of us is stupid and the other is an ass and it rotates.  The new camera is super cool, but I misread the settings.  I thought “L” was lowest, which is what it was on the Canon Bubba dragged through the house on Sunday.  It means LARGE.  The pictures came out 3 mgs each.  I didn’t notice it because they dropped so nicely into the BPO and I sent it out.  The doc was 83 mgs.  All I can say is thank God I caught it and it didn’t go out.  My broker would have skinned me alive for that move. And I would have helped him.  The pictures I put up here are generally 450 pixels wide.  The pictures I attempted to send him were 3888 pixels wide and over 3 mgs each.  He would have NEVER gotten his machine running again, saying hypothetically that the message actually went through.  Must read the manual today.

The original of this is amazing.  Rita wouldn’t sit still so all of hers came out crap.  Oh, and last night was the first night of dog school for the boy.  He did really well, except the part where he wanted to break up the two shelties playing.  Bad boy.

All the rumors were right, we’re getting hammered and it’s only the 7th of January.   I joke that my job is to throw nice people out of their homes, but so far, it’s been 100% nice people who I’ve met.  (The ones I haven’t met have been bona-fide pigs)  Yesterday I met a very nice woman who had lost everything when a client didn’t pay on a large contract.  She was stressed out about getting the rest out because the bank had taken over.  I said “Honey, I represent the bank, relax”.  She didn’t have but a day’s work and her husband was out of town so she was doing it on her own, with some Home Depot assistance.  She was leaving town herself in another day or so.  I said “Relax, here’s my card, I just appreciate you getting it all out of here.  Call me when you’re done.”  She calmed down and in the end she walked me through the whole house, told me everything about it.  I know things about that house that we never know about our listings.  It was a short sale and the mitigation department typically dragged their feet to the point that the foreclosure department took it back.  The banks are their own worst enemies sometimes.

But for the grace of God I’ve only had two title company employee homes so far.  I’d like to keep it that way but I don’t think that’s going to be the case.  As I predicted, the Burgermeister is leaving a trail of dead bodies throughout the country in this Commonwealth/Lawyers takeover.  Heads are rolling in Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara counties.  Good heads too.  This, my friends, is why I call them the Evil Empire.  BECAUSE THEY’RE EVIL.  HELLO!?!  My favorite story is my old rep, who upon finding out the new County Manager wanted to talk to her said “If you’re going to fire me I’m not coming down.  Just mail me my check”.   Back in the 80’s I used to work in a big dance bar in the City at nights.  The ownership noticed booze was missing.  They thought that someone was stealing booze and put cameras in the storage room.  They weren’t stealing booze per se.  One of the guys was a junkie and he was ringing “No sale” on cash transactions, making change and at the end of the night pulling the difference.  Well, they didn’t catch him because the booze stealing was going on in the front of the house, not the back.  They did catch a bunch of the other employees doing drugs in the storage room one night.  As these people came back to work over the next day or so, they were systematically firing them.  Finally they got to my buddy Lu who only worked Friday nights.  They called her and asked her to come down.  By then, the news had gotten up to Lu’s place and she wasn’t having any of it.  “Are you going to fire me?” she asked.  “Yes”.  “Then no, I’m not coming down, I might need that $1 bus fare, mail me my check”.  I found out that Alliance was laying me off before it happened.  I ran.  I said “You can find me at Patrick David’s at 4pm.  Bring my check.  That’s right, I’m going to make you lay me off in a bar.”  Then I went to BofA and put a $100k line of credit on the house just in case things got sideways, took the $25k draft and put in in my Wells Fargo account so they couldn’t call it back.

OK, I’ve got too much to do today to really be ranting about what today’s subjects were, so here’s a link dump.  Talk amongst yourselves.

A little reflection in Richmond.

What is wrong with this world that a casino ends up in foreclosure?

And a text fail.

And Richmond’s jobless rate is off the hook after Landamerica and Circuit City fail.

Finally, I’ve put Donna Rock and Annie up here before.  Here’s a new video of them at the Eukanuba.

[youtube 6xVrMYFXrbQ]

Sweet confusion under the moonlight

I love Bubba, don’t get me wrong. He’s a goofy soul that needs an owner like me. No question about it. Right now I would like to kill him. I think I mentioned that he got under my desk yesterday and got tangled up in the wires. What I didn’t know was that my digital camera was attached to one of the USB wires that he was tangled up in. When I said “Bubba! Get out of there!” he did, with the USB cable and my digital camera attached. It followed him down the hallway and when he turned into the kitchen it smashed into the wall and snapped off of it’s cable. For the record, digital cameras don’t take too well to sleigh rides. The door to the flash card had come open but it wasn’t jammed, it shut just fine. I threw a charge on it and took it to a job this afternoon. I took my front and two street shots and then looked at the viewer. It looked like this. Optimistically I went ahead and took the pictures of the rest of the house anyway. I didn’t have a choice. It was my camera, taking them on the iphone would have been ridiculous because…my mac is still screwed up and I still can’t find the disk to straighten it out so iTunes doesn’t work and I can’t sync my iphone right now. That’s why. It didn’t work out too well for me. They all ended up looking like I guess this, but I wouldn’t know since they wouldn’t download at all.

So I went to Costco’s website and they had the camera I wanted. Whew! I’ll just run down and pick one up. Not so fast Wine Dog. If you recall last month was Christmas and well, we sold out of those and haven’t reordered because we’re fixin’ to do inventory. Of course you are. So over to Fry’s around the corner. Same answer. So over the Best Buy and voila! My mission is complete. I am now the proud owner of one of these. I never wanted a Rebel. It’s a Andre Agassi thing, but I got over it tonight. The price was right and I need to work tomorrow morning. Oh yeah and an 8 gig card. Wheee!

I’ll leave you the song of the day

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Say I’m the only bee in your bonnet

OldTitleGuy likes to get me wound up first thing. This story is has been replicated throughout the State in varying degrees. I know one who’s about to get her comeuppance. I couldn’t be happier. If, with all that’s going on we can’t get the dirty EO’s, real estate agents and loan officers out of the business than what good are we to the consumer?

I mentioned the other night to some wine folks that Foley Wine Group needed to be boycotted. I love people who don’t take my word for it and go out and do their own research. I’m not kidding. I really respect the tenacity. Generally, those folks come back with more facts that I either didn’t know or back up something I was saying. So when I said that The Burgermeister was Satan, I received this and this back. So yeah, while y’all were getting shitcanned last year the Burgermeister was reigning at #4 in the country in CEO compensation. Number 1 in the Insurance sector. More than the guy at Safeco, Liberty Mutual, AAA, Geico, AIG. More than Parker Kennedy, Al Zuccaro and Malcom and Stewart Morris put together. How’s the NYE lay off feeling knowing that? It’s bad enough to lose your job, but to be one of the thousands he’s put out of work in the last two years and then to know he’s number one in CEO compensation in the Insurance sector number 4 in the country…it makes me want to open my next escrow with Old Repulsive. Remember that wingnut that ran for Governor when Gray Davis was recalled? Here’s the transcript from the gubernatorial debate and here’s the part that matters.

MCCLINTOCK: We’ve had the first net-out migration of domestic population in our state’s history. And a lot of that is going to Arizona and Nevada. Now, that’s a pretty profound development in the history of the state, when families looking for a better future, a better place to raise their kids look at our beautiful state with all of the blessings that God could bestow upon a land, and find a better future out in the middle of a Nevada and Arizona deserts than they found here in California.

When Fidelity National announced they were leaving for Jacksonville, Florida, their CEO had taken 400 jobs with him. Their CEO was quoted on local TV, he said, this wasn’t a complicated decision. In Florida, there is no income tax. The sales tax is 6 percent. It costs $40 to register your car. Why is anybody surprised we’re leaving?

I wasn’t surprised. And looking back we’re pretty lucky that McClintock didn’t become Governor of this State. I knew he was in bed with the Burgermeister the minute he uttered those words. To this day the Burgermeister is hosting fundraisers for this guy at his Hope Ranch home. Now, I’m well aware that he is the Chairman of the Board and has retired as CEO, but it’s business as usual over there and I’m sure if Al strays a little too far he’ll be reined back in. I love how all the marketing pieces talk about Carol’s philanthropy and brings the Burgermeister in on that. If they gave a crap about people they’d run their company so their staff wouldn’t end up fighting to save their homes, feed their families and get medical attention. Remember the Evil Empire’s MO is to “lay off” the staff and bring them back as temps with no benefits. This is the guy we’re talking about. This is why we boycott Foley Wine Group. That man’s business practices are reprehensible and it’s time to stop him.

Dateline Toms River, NJ. Yeah click here Ma. God bless America. OK, why is this even a story?

Bubba just ran under my desk and tore out about half of my computer equipment. He and Rita are now hiding from me in their crates. Rita’s teeth are chattering so I figure that’s punishment enough. He doesn’t understand what he did wrong beyond playing in the house, which is enough in my book. Dogs play outside. Period. If you want to play outside scratch the door and I’ll let you out but do not play in the house and really really don’t play in my office. The only casualties appear to be the connector on the USB line for my camera and the splitter I use to hook up all the USB toys I have here. I sure hope I don’t have to order a replacement from Canon. I take pictures for work nearly every single day of my life. That would be a bad thing. It sure is quiet in here right now.

And finally, in the middle sidebar you’ll find my “Fight Cancer Now” button. That will now take you directly to my LiveStrong page. Whew! That was a long tough slog. I’ve got 30 miles planned on the bike today but it was 21 degrees when I got up. It’s now warmed up to a balmy 38. I might ride this morning anyway, it’s just the Dolphins are in the playoffs after many years wandering the desert.

It’s been a while since I first saw you

This time last year I had just gotten home from driving to Red Bluff to pick up a little Red Hot Rod Dog. She’s not the same dog that hopped in the truck that day. Back then she was so insecure that she’d look at me and pee. She hasn’t done that in over six months. Even when I raise my voice. We had two accidents (one each) in the house last week after I got home from Reno but those were the first in several months. She listens like a good girl. She comes when I call her. She walks perfectly at heel, does an automatic sit and she’ll be taking her Novice class again once Bubba finishes his.  She adores me and has turned into a great little dog. I don’t know what I would have done without her when I lost Beauregard last June. She’s my dog and I’m a lot better for it.

It’s nobody’s business but the Turks

I’ve got nothing.  So it must be time for the Google keywords of the weak week.

  • annual report of alliance title company -actually they weren’t publicly traded so you can’t get that anywhere.  God knows I’d have it if you could.
  • dog food power struggles -I have no idea
  • bootleg cab -The question is do you mean gypsy cab or Freemark Abbey’s Bootleg Cabernet Sauvignon.  I’m going with the former.
  • template for bunny sake art for 3 and 4 year olds-Don’t give children Sake
  • tina lemieux denver, co -she’s the poor schmuck that had to take all of the Mercury Companies calls.
  • lydia mondavi -She makes fun wine.
  • still want a hula hoop -me too.

I’ve got to go sell a house, so in lieu of real content…

[youtube VdAt4qWvz_8]

Nothing’s going to stop me but divine intervention

Holy crap! It’s a new year. My dreams a lot of the time are like a Fun House. For the last month, Beauregard has been in nearly every one of them. Running free. After he died, Xica was in a bunch of them and she’d been gone for three years. My dreams involve falling and haunted houses and unseen evil forces. But last night Gavin Newsom vacuumed my carpets. He took off his jacket, tossed his necktie over one shoulder and vacuumed the carpets at the Farm. No shit. Now when I worked in San Francisco I’d run into him on the street now and again. (He’s really tall…oh hell everybody is tall in comparison to me) But I haven’t worked in SF since July and I probably haven’t run into him since last May. I haven’t even been watching the news or reading a paper for the last couple of weeks. So why he was vacuuming the carpets at The Farm is a mystery to me. I also had too much to drink in another portion of the dream and fell asleep in a bathroom at a little restaurant on 17th Street. I was 2 hours late to a photo shoot, which is funny because I normally don’t go to photo shoots, except I’ve been to two this year. And the Contessa was back working at Nordstrom. They now had to wear sailor’s uniforms, but the Contessa is their top salesman so he got to wear an officer’s uniform. By the way, I had to ask Mayor Newsom to quit vacuuming because I ran out of vacuum cleaner bags yesterday and there isn’t a bag in the machine right now. He stopped, asked if I had a fresh bag and opened up the machine to install it when a bunch of dust came out. He tucked his tie into his shirt.

Entitlements

I’m sorry, isn’t there a rule that says you have to give employees 60 day notice if you’re going to shut down a business? Cuesta Title shut down with 26 hours notice. It’s an entire company. At what point is the State going to hold these guys accountable for breaking this law? They were shut down by Dinty Moore who bought it from the founders and ran it into the ground. Happy Freaking New Year eh?

And over at Triple 7 it was a bloodbath. I’m sure the same thing happened down South and in Portland and everywhere else. Hey mainstream media! How about reporting that? On some levels I would imagine it’s a relief for those folks. By the way, The Burgermeister will be offering you your jobs back in two weeks at his non-branded Title Groups as temporary workers with no benefits. Mark my words. It’s how they do business. And that’s why we boycott Foley Wine Group’s products. Vintner Bill Foley? That’s what their website says. That just makes me want to scream and tear my hair out in clumps. And boycott those Sebastianti labels too. It’s ok OTG, they don’t own Ripple or T-bird…or Two Buck Chuck for that matter.

The Times-Dispatch, which is becoming one of my favorite sources has some advice for those who have been displaced in this mess. My advice, which I’ve been giving from the git go is to keep your routine. Continue to get up in the morning. Make finding new work your job. Consider re-training, especially the title folks. A paralegal cert is a pretty good route and believe me, there are a lot of lawsuits coming down the pike over the mortgage meltdown. Large corporations all have real estate departments. Go on to their websites and look for work that way. Chevron and the Gap both have local real estate divisions. PG&E has a real estate division. Get on LinkedIn, that helps, go ahead and link to me. 😉 All the local schools will be starting up in the next couple of weeks. Get into a program there, it will extend your unemployment benefits. And start doing something for yourself. Start a walking program or start showing up to that gym you’ve been paying for and haven’t seen in months. Or start walking the dog, something for yourself. Maybe it’s time to finally quit smoking. Or kick heroin. (ok I just wanted to see if you were still reading, I know junkies don’t read PBE, ex-junkies do) But do something for yourself. That will help you appear more grounded in interviews and that will help you be more successful in getting back to work. Most importantly, I wish you all success in getting back on your feet. Anyone who knows me, knows I went through this twice in the last two years myself. If it had happened three times, I’d be The Player.  Oh yeah, and read PBE daily.

That’s enough ranting for the first day of the year. (well maybe not, we’ll see out the day goes) I leave you with the following nugget that’s been running around in my head. I’ve got to go get my Mayoral houseboy some more vacuum cleaner bags.

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