And I could let your message ring loud and clear, but tomorrow I’d be gone

I would like to sit here and say I don’t like to be smug, but, I get tired of being right and unheard. Here is the link to the Rand Corporation’s report on terrorism. They are the arch conservative think tank. Apparently, somebody was actually thinking there. In the report, there are some highlights. On the subject of how terrorist organizations ended:

  • Of the 648 groups that were active at some point between 1968 and 2006, a total of 268 ended during that period. Another 136 groups splintered, and 244 remained active. As depicted in the figure, the authors found that most ended for one of two reasons: They were penetrated and eliminated by local police and intelligence agencies (40 percent), or they reached a peaceful political accommodation with their government (43 percent). Most terrorist groups that ended because of politics sought narrow policy goals. The narrower the goals, the more likely the group was to achieve them through political accommodation — and thus the more likely the government and terrorists were to reach a negotiated settlement.
  • Al Qa’ida’s resilience should trigger a fundamental rethinking of U.S. strategy. Its goal of a pan-Islamic caliphate leaves little room for a negotiated political settlement with governments in the Middle East. A more effective U.S. approach would involve a two-front strategy:
    • Religiously motivated terrorist groups took longer to eliminate than other groups but rarely achieved their objectives; no religiously motivated group achieved victory during the period studied.
    • Minimize the use of U.S. military force. In most operations against al Qa’ida, local military forces frequently have more legitimacy to operate and a better understanding of the operating environment than U.S. forces have. This means a light U.S. military footprint or none at all.

Damn that John Kerry and his police action approach.

Run, Forest, Run

This morning I worked Water Station #1 for the San Francisco Marathon. Originally, I was thinking about running it as part of the AIDS Marathon fundraiser they do. At the time I was out of the house 11 hours a day getting to and working at the Bloodless Empire. I decided there just wasn’t enough hours in the day. I remained on their mailing list and when the call for volunteers went out I thought “hmmm, that I can do”. So I said yes. Which didn’t seem like a ridiculously stupid idea until I found out that I was working Water Station #1, call time 4:40 a.m. Ouch mon. I set the alarm for 3:21. I got out of bed at 3:25, let both dogs out. Mr. Blue Boy was thrilled to have spent the night in the crate. I suspect it was the first night in his life that he ever slept inside, or at least remembers sleeping inside. Possibly his breeder let him sleep inside. He was equally thrilled to see me this morning. He even went back in the crate at 4am with little protest. Our water station was located at the very end of Van Ness. It was gorgeous being out there as the sun came up. The SF Marathon system was pretty decent. They didn’t get the supplies unlocked but we managed to guess the combo. We found the rules, set it up, served everyone we could. My right arm is stiff from holding it out for two hours. It was like handing off a relay baton in high school…give it to them gentle, follow their movement. I was actually the least wet of any one on our team. My voice is a little scratchy from yelling “water”. The Marathon didn’t get us our orange t-shirts that identified us as volunteers until it was too late so we had to draw attention to ourselves by hollering. About 7:15 the motorcycle cops came through and we broke the whole thing down, swept up all of the trash, divided out the recycling to match San Francisco’s strict program, loaded the containers back up and you couldn’t tell that we had ever been there. I was home and watching tv with my eyes closed by 8:30. It was nice so I just opened up the back of the house and let the dogs run. They played the whole time. They’ve been playing most of the day with the exception of one phone call I was trying to have where they mixed it up a couple of times. Bubba got the worst of it and has a scrape on his head. He’ll learn not to piss of the bitch in the future.

PHOTOJOURNALISM

If it’s Sunday, it’s Photojournalism. The little ones playing.

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Rita explains the facts of life to Bubba.

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And I don’t know what this next gourd is. It should be either 1) spaghetti squash 2) zucchini 3) yellow zucchini 4) crook necked squash. It appears to be 5) none of the above

8-3-mystery-gourd.JPG

How do you like me now, now that I’m on my way

How do you think Wachovia feels about that 15% premium today? Back in 2006 they were calling the deal questionable. I don’t think there’s any question today. Wachovia would like a mulligan.

Do you think this is what Saturday night looked like at the Hauptman mountain home?

[youtube nInE5TITzE8]

There’s no basement in the Alamo!

Yesterday’s bike ride’s stats:

  • Time 3:35:14
  • Distance 44.14
  • Average mph 12.2
  • Calories burned 1945

Better than the bike ride was The Sighting. Generally I don’t think too much on rides since I have to spend so much time making sure some soccer mom in a SUV doesn’t try to kill me. Or if she does, she fails. As I rode by the old Alliance Title office in Blackhawk I started thinking about the people up there (even Miss You-Ain’t-A-Playa). Then I thought about one of our favorite people here on PBE. Then the light changed and I had to gear down, clip out and stop. No more than a block down the road, there was Donna going for her morning run. She looks happy and relaxed (like all people who are out of the business) and it was good to stop and chatter. I used to stop by her office and chatter when we were both in Walnut Creek, strangely she still talks to me.

And the Lord said he shall be named Bubba

The Lord didn’t say that, I just made that up. The boy did very well last night. Slept all night in his crate, no howling, no acting up, no tearing up his blanket. Just a good boy. He should have his name down in another day or so. I’m going to work him out on a leash today. He will meet Mr. Prongcollar. That’s kind of like seeing Jesus in dog world. He should be walking nicely by sunset.

I’m standing in the middle of the desert waiting for my ship to come in

In the interim, behold my latest bad idea.

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I’m fostering/training this guy.  He hasn’t a name. So I’m tossing it out to the gentle readers to help name him.  The shelter was calling him “Grayden” but he doesn’t answer to it.  My list includes:

  • Buford
  • Arnold
  • Baxter
  • Jackson
  • Ruger
  • Webster
  • Roscoe

I’m leaning towards Buford. Somebody stop me before I name this poor dog Buford T. Justice. His personality is goofball.

You say smile I say cheese, Cartier I say please

[youtube 8I653Q7I0x8]

Now I hate Critical Mass. I think their usefulness expired years ago. The original rides in San Francisco had a point. Be careful and don’t run over cyclists. Now they’re just full of thugs spoiling for a fight. Now, I think Critical Mass makes the public perception of cyclists such that it’s more dangerous for the legitimate folks like moi to ride. HOWEVER, NYPD are you kidding me? The original shot it could be argued that maybe he didn’t see the guy and was just protecting himself. Slow motion makes it very obvious that the cop saw the cyclist long before he blocked him to the ground. I use the term “blocked” because that cop was a lineman in college. He’s now on desk duty, but he’d only been on the job for a month. Me thinks he lacks the judgment to be in law enforcement.

Speaking of bicycles, here’s today’s route.

The Google

I’m sure glad I’m self hosting. Google’s blogspot has been spotty at best over the last couple of days. Bad Google. No donut. That does not stop us from having the Google’s key words of the weak week.

  1. patty hauptman
  2. walter fitzsimmons mercury
  3. jerry hauptman
  4. mercury companies hauptman
  5. will radical bunny investors recover (Hey Radical! We have investors?)
  6. mercury companies out of denver (just wishful thinking)
  7. doberman tatttoos
  8. jerry hauptman
  9. financial title pink bunny
  10. pinkbunny real estate
  11. mercury companies closing offices
  12. pink bunny blog (you found us)

Usually we get more funny googles, but at least no one came here when they should have been taking their dog to the vet or looking for porn involving pink bunnies.

Leave your body and soul at the door . . .

This was not discussed in the investor call yesterday. I know, I listened to the whole molar grinding event. Here’s what’s going to happen. Mercury is going to file bankruptcy and First American is going to take over the Colorado operations. FATCO currently has no direct operations in Colorado and they’ve been champing at the bit to get some for a long time. The agreement with Mercury kept them at bay. The counter-suit will bury Mercury Companies. For some reason Colorado is the new battle ground. Ted’s Excellent Title Adventure is busy trying out their new business model in Colorado and FATCO wants in before it takes hold. Mark my words.

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This gal is standing out in front of Arapahoe practicing her scales. (I have an endless supply of singing fat ladies)

I would love to see the corporate veil ravaged pierced. I don’t know if that will happen or not. At this point it would have to be a rupture to get to the house in Montecito. (Which they still own…you can’t hide assets from Title Officers) Or the Mountain House (the deed is posted in here last December somewhere) Or the condo in Denver. Does anybody know of any property I missed?

A voice from our friends in the desert:

On Tuesday afternoon everyone got an email saying urgent conference call at 4:30. REDACTED I got the email too late and when I finally got a hold of a girl I worked with she said that they had a meeting and not to come in tomorrow and we would not be getting paid our final check or any money for our vacation time! I went in that evening to get my stuff and drop off my key.

Danny Sullivan (State president,) Susan Lockhart (President of operations/escrow)and Kaaren Summers (VP of escrow) are all still working- there are rumors that they are working under first american trying to move the files over and get things closed…. I know a lot of employees are upset that Danny, Susan and Kaaren may still be working and getting paid. Why didn’t they just quit? It was evil what Mercury did to us and now that are on their side???

When we try to call HCI- who supposedly managed us, they can’t talk… they give us this bogus Mercury number with a message- 303-571-9090.

See, when we merged (Arizona Title, Title Guaranty and American Heritage), Mercury put Ginny Johnson in charge of us— but legally they did not own us, so they can’t talk to us. I heard that it was said that HCI “washed their hands of us.”

There is also dirt about Ginny- when we merged, she made us fire all of our sales reps to save money or just a twisted experiment. Consequently she has over 2 sales people per office. Once the sales people were fired, our sales went down.

Arizona title employees were told after the last lay offs that Jerry was just keeping the best of the best and laying off to minimize costs until this financial storm was over – I believe the exact words were “weathering the storm.” They also said ” there is always a market in Arizona” and that was why Jerry did not want to pull out….

I can’t even file a wage claim because I am owed more than $2500 (they owe me about $5000.) So I have to talk to legal aid, I was on hold 30 minutes and then they hung up on me!!! What a freakin mess!

Word is that someone is getting a lawyer and we are going to file a class action suit. I am going to go down to the legal aid office today and probably wait hours to speak with someone when I should be looking for a job. (I had to pull my 401k to survive)

FWIW, people stayed on with Alliance too. In their positions, it was the right thing to do for the customers. I know emotions are high right now, but it is the right thing for them to do. And it’s very hard for them to do it, believe it. My advice, go with whatever the State of Arizona has that’s comparable to the Department of Industrial Relations here. I think at this point there is nothing to recover from unless the corporate veil is pierced all the way to the Hauptman personal fortune.

Today’s Contest:

Guess the country where the Hauptman’s hid all the money in a numbered account. Bonus points if the country doesn’t extradite for financial crimes.

Finally, for cheap entertainment…put “Patty Hauptman” in the Google. Holla!
[youtube _UbGtjnluyY]

Mercury press release

————————————————————————
From: pressrelease@stgco.com
To: Real Estate Broker .com
Sent: 7/31/2008 XXXXX P.M. Mountain Daylight Time
Subj: Security Title Press Release

Mercury Companies Statement – July 30, 2008

Mercury Companies’ Colorado companies – including Security Title, United Title, First American Heritage, Title America and Guardian Mortgage Documents, Inc. – are completely unaffected by the July 29, 2008 decision to cease funding operations in Arizona, California and Texas and will continue business as usual. Despite the difficult market, these Colorado-based companies have remained profitable and, in fact, are market leaders sharing approximately 30 percent of the Colorado market. Security Title, United Title, First American Heritage and Title America continue to process transactions and will continue to do so on a normal basis, just as they have for 60 successful years.
In discussions with Mercury Companies, our valued partner Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Company has stated that there will be no disruption in the day-to-day working relationship between Mercury Companies including Security Title, United Title, First American Heritage and Title America.

For more information please contact Lambros Gianos at 303-220-9999 or Tina Lemieux at 303-889-8464.
This message was sent from Security Title Press Release to XXXXX.com.

It was sent from: Security Title Guaranty Co., 4643 South Ulster Street, Denver, CO 80237. You can modify/update your subscription via the link below.

Still going…

From the peanut gallery, one of the best television news articles I’ve seen on the subject.

http://www.azfamily.com/video/localnews-index.html?nvid=268839

A big PBE welcome to our brethren in the Copper State.  Oregon…anybody in da house?  I know the Lone Star State has checked in…

Because we’re animals – with golden rules

We like a clean house around here at PBE, so today I’m going to start with some housekeeping.

First, I would like to welcome all of the former Financial Title Company, United Title, Lender’s First Choice and Arizona Title employees to PBE’s special brand of freak show. I know the folks over at Financial Title have been blocked from viewing PBE since December 2007. Later on, either in this post or another, I will voice quite succinctly my opinion on companies that don’t have the balls to allow their staff to read the news of the industry without the ALTA’s bullshit sugar coating. Pretty absurd behavior for an information business to censor information. The founders of Websense might be first in line to tend the fires of Hell. At the very least, the flying corporate monkeys who think censorship is their entitlement carry the Devil’s kindling. If they think someone is spending too much time on the internet, write them up. That’s what the Bloodless Empire did to me. I can’t get into that one at this juncture, but that’s what you do. You don’t censor. That’s wrong. Wrong, Ivy. Wrong! Wrong Parker Kennedy. Wrong! And yeah, I know that the Bloodless Empire started censoring PBE at 8am yesterday morning. While I point to the CEO’s I suspect this is the work of some corporate brown-noser trying to advance their hapless career, kind of like the Amateur Manager. Those people are what’s wrong with business today.

My goodness, I almost tripped and fell into a rant there. And that wasn’t the post on censorship. That’ll be later. Anywho, those of you who lost their jobs in California, here are some important steps:

  • Sign up with the EDD. The quicker you get this rolling the better off you’ll be.
  • Do file a claim with the DIR. They are suing on behalf of Alliance Title employees and they’re going to roll your case into this case against Mercury.
  • If this puts your family in the category, call PGE. They’ll change your rate while you’re out of work.

And the Wine Dog has some important steps for keeping your head screwed on properly.

  • Get up the same time you used to in the morning and continue your routine.
  • Make finding a job, your job.
    • Title people cross train quite easily into the legal profession. Paralegal certs can be obtained from almost all of the local colleges. Attorneys value what we know.
    • As I said a couple of days ago, look at the large corporations. They all have real estate departments.
    • All of the lenders with those crappy loans out there have asset management departments. They are all overburdened.
  • Do something you’ve been meaning to do and haven’t had the time. Get in shape, train the dog, paint the kitchen, dig out that ivy. Last time I started riding my bike like a fiend. Cheap entertainment, and I lost weight. Most importantly don’t get caught watching The View every day. We all know that’s the beginning of the end. OK, the Wine Dog watching a Tori and Dean marathon might have been a sign of the apocalypse.

The jury’s out

Things I don’t have conformation on right now include whether or not Patty Hauptman resigned, and if so, exactly what did she resign from. Anybody in Denver have the real scoop, let me know. winedog at astound dot net

Things that matter now

Yesterday Gov. Schwarzenegger signed an Executive Order basically freezing out a ton of California services until the budget is signed. It’s nothing more than political hardball. The problem is a lot of us are going to be needing the State of California in the weeks to come. Guess who processes your Unemployment claim? Yeah, State workers. Dolphyngyrl wrote a long but very good diatribe on the subject last night.

The death of Zuckzilla

I wasn’t going to let Rita get the best of me on that one. I cut off the part that she gnawed on, washed him down and sauteed his ass in some olive oil with some garlic.

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As I was chopping up Zuckzilla last night I remembered how much Beauregard loved zucchini. I thought I had a picture of him begging for zucchini somewhere but I can’t find it. Those of you who are new to the site missed the adventures of Beauregard. I lost him in June. The Beauregard Bon Temp Zydeco Tribute Band Memorial page will size that boy up for you. And the good thing about being censored by the Bloodless Empire is that I no longer have to worry about their prying, judgmental, filthy little minions perusing the story of my beloved and departed Doberman.