Sunday, December 24, 2006

Signed, sealed, delivered...

It's yours Sal...

Escrow in motion. Now let's enjoy the season, 'cus when it's over it's Miller time!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Closing time...

Word is Jan 5... Baited breath now, but certainly not holding it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Holy Space dust Batman!

I always wanted to be an astronaut, but now I have an even stronger reason for wanting such...

Smart, talented and beautiful and all in outer space. Fly me to the moon!

Ok I'm being ridiculously male, but well that's me sometimes. And besides who can resist such a nice smile?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Waiting for Godot, or someone like him.

Hmmm, so the appraiser came by today, things will get interesting now. Can he make the numbers stick/jibe with current trends or am I just foolish enough to feel this whole thing will close escrow soon and we all can get on with our lives and I can buy a motorcycle.

First he has to send his report to the lender, they pass it on to the underwriter, it then goes to someone else and then the escrow company. Oh yeah the appraiser says about 48 hrs to complete his appraisal. I think I'll think about other things for the next week or so.

We shall see, shant we then...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Yes baby, show me the money!

"Sold? Ah jus' a sec, hold yer horses boy. Doan be a countin' them thar eggs b'for they's hatched..."

"But dam it Ah like a doin' that, let's me know if'n Ah will need to git a 6'er or 12'er of Schlitz..."

Signed more papers today, just waiting to open escrow. Yee haw, hell yes!

Ah but wait... Wait!

Dr. Doom has a lot to say about Peak oil (PO) and all that it may, or may not entail. He doesn't deny that it's an inevitable possibility from our demands on the earth's petroleum geology, but he does question the PO dogma and it's proponents and he gives no quarter for he feels that our technological abilities can work to overcome our gluttonous ways. I guess we shall see... or not.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Apocalypse Now?

Right now I'm feeling like a character in a 50's sci-fi/horror flick when the aliens have landed and I must save the ones I love, but kinda like (in essence...) Sophie in Sophie's Choice I'm torn between the ones I love and some greater good.

Peak oil.

Economic breakdown.

Global warming (note first mention of greenhouse effect is 1897!).

Collapse of civilization (as we know it).

Now I'm hep to the jive of worrying too much over things you can't control and just taking a chill pill, but let's face it some things hang in the balance right now and I don't think we're all much too concerned save a few brave, prescient souls who are spearheading the downsizing revolution (well the talking and planning parts, I imagine some actual hard work is being done by some who want to head off well in advance any discomfort by already getting used to discomfort...).

And of course many will scoff, and granted I admit I'm a bit credulous at times and led astray, but I think the reality lies somewhere between heaven and hell and I think John Michael Greer has found that spot. He presents his case in a reasonable manner without too great an alarm and in a lucid and readable form. All I can say is that I hope he is more right than wrong then some of the other gloom and doomers.

Something that does bother me is the amount of plastic(s) we as a society consume/require/put in use etc. Everything has some bit of plastic in it and most if not all of it comes from petroleum. And my god at the plastic crap we bestow upon our children in the form of playtoys, bullshit and otherwise and for what exactly? So they can play and have fun, can't they do this with metal, wood, paper or their minds? Oh no, plastics offer so much more in terms of longevity and stability, so let's just have a polymer orgy shant we?

It's all like sex, how long can this last until you're spent and have nothing left in you? And yes it was fun while it lasted.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Real Estate analogy

Or rather this piece quite simply, puts in plain english with regards to unlimited growth, expectations and our survival in the face of loss of our perceived notions of what is and isn't society. It's been a fool's game with regards to the Real Estate market here in So Cal and elsewhere. But it seems the sun has affected our mental constitution here to such a degree that we or at least some (many?) of you thought things could continue unabated. Ha, and a big fat one you dopes.

Any way on to the punchline, things all over are in the same mess. And this guy very adroitly spells out in long form (but worth the read) what is and what may just lie ahead.

Make no mistake sports fans, things are not as they seem. Fool yourself into believing 'the same old same' old will prevail but I for one have been changing the trim of my sails. Things are a blowin' in the wind and I'll be goddamned if I know what they are per se, but they will not be 'the same old, same old'...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Wither thou goest

I'm pretty sure we all had in our childhood a friend, a pal, a tag-a-long companion made of fabric and poly fill. I vaguely (oh so vaguely..) recall a floppy hound tan with long, brown ears but this has been 40 years hence so I can't verify the accuracy of this memory. Anyhoo Doodles has a poly fill stuffed companion in the form of a penguin. He goes everywhere, and I mean everywhere, and he is loved. To death practically... But I digress.

Penguin Baby as he is known to us all has made his way to the Georgia, Yosemite, Fisherman's Wharf, Bodie and countless other locales far and wide. And of course he has made a few unscheduled layovers as well. Once in the backpack of the child above us for several days, and was almost returned (by mistake) by his mother to the child's daycare. Whew, close call Penguin Baby. Then there was that junket in the movie theater, fortunately for us we didn't have to resort to our substitution doctrine... Yes thank god for eBay. Since Penguin Baby was a commercial entity, finding a clone was reasonably easy on fleaBay. Doppleganger in hand the wife and I were prepared for any situation, of course now we had to work on our substitution speech but this was a small price and easily reconciled to the larger problem of not having 'the' Penguin Baby.

I did say that he is loved, right and to death? And that it shows? Well a penguin is normally black and white and possibly a touch or 2 of some other colors but the dominant ones being black and white. And penguins love the water right? Not this one. He started out predominantly white and black but as time goes forward he begins to take on a gray and black appearance. Unless of course you wash him, or at a minimum scrub the outside with soap and a sponge.

So this is what I found myself doing this Sunday night. Good god was that guy dingy, so I gave him the once over and sat him in front of a fan to dry. Doodles is always happy to see that Penguin gets a bath, but he never wants to participate or take the initiative to do it hisself it seems. I guess he's content to leave it up to us like so much else about life, why stop at Penguin Baby...

Not again..

Oh well 1st offer fell through, as did another more recent one. Just can't get above the bar on this one it seems. Refi looking high on the board again, but damn it I'd rather cash out and have some funds to work with instead of being in the same place but only less broke at the end of the month... hmm could be worse, could be rainin'. Wait a minute it's threatening to...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hot again...

So taking less or rather advertising a lower range and offering the bloody moon has gotten the fearful into the place and ready to make offers. We countered one lowball offer today with an equal response, so next week maybe we'll see how the flop plays out with the turn and river cards and where we stand in the deal. Escrow was said to close on the 20th of next month, hmmm 10 days to pack up 4 years of life and find a place after the 17 day backout (or whatever it's called in real estate jargon) period has ended. Can you say 'Rent back'?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The lure of the Italian Opera

Or, I want a Ducati mommy...

The local Ducatistas had their monthly meet up in Little Italy tonight and I felt the urge to go and see all the Italian beauties up close and personal. Ah the sound of the twin and the dry clutch that is a Ducati, truly a symphony for the ears. You can read about it all you want, but to hear it is yet another thing all together. Wonderous indeed.

Grazie Bolonga!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bring out yer dead!

My home is beginning to become a repository for loved one's ashes... I say beginning because I have only 2 remains at the moment. I wonder when it will increase in number and other loved ones cremains begin to play musical chairs and I'll have to play host to dead people/animals.

My wife's cat's ashes were the first to take up resting here for what seems to be enternity. I thought ashes were either to be placed into some cemetary/resting area for dead loved ones or (preferred...) scattered in some place that the 'loved one' loved to go and such.

'Pepper' was cremated a few years back and has been sitting in a nice white cardboard box waiting for well ah Godot for all I know back behind some books on the bookshelf. We had thought of scattering her back in Georgia, her home state but that is yet (as you know) to happen.

Sooooo.... today my wife informs me that the neighbor's relation has dropped off her (the neighbor) husband's (common law) ashes because he was not able to access her place. But now get this, half of them. His mother wanted them as well, so I guess they decided to do a 50/50 split. And she feels that they need to be placed into her hands without her daughter's knowledge. The thought being that she might be curious and open up the bag containing them. And by the way my neighbor and her mother in law are like this: @#*$^%&!!!

Oh the joy of familial relations.

So now his ashes (or ah half of them...) are sitting not far from Pepper's waiting for delivery, which I hope and will see to it, is tomorrow... God willing of course and I don't find myself in a position to end up on the shelf in a box during the night.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Deja Vu all over again...

Well wouldn't ya know it, but when I was posting my last entry Laurie was talking to the realtor about basically what I was on about! Weird, very weird we never connect in such a fashion, hmmm what does this portend? OK the title of the post doesn't really work properly, but it sounds good...

Should we stay or should we go now...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What's that popping sound?

Ah yes that be the housing market... having had the condo up for sale almost a year now (over a year, but a water leak prevented us from making a solid go of it last year starting in May), few call, fewer come to look and no one is making any offers even though the unit is priced below current average (or so we think...). I had comtemplated on having the carpet pulled and wood flooring done and even installing a big screen TV, but it was pointed to me that regardless of what one is offering, no one seems to really be looking.

It's summer for christ's sake, where is everyone? Hiding out in a safe place from theimpending explosion, that's where. What a bust, we had hoped to have been moved out by this time last year, pocketed our tidy profit set up retirement funds, paid off debts etc, etc but as mentioned a small disaster prevented the unit from being put on the market. Oh well, so it goes and here we are going out of the prime season for sales and back into the doldrums.

Foo... now I gotta consider either taking far less or worse, refinancing and staying put or if the cashflow would work renting it out and breaking even or taking a small loss. Laurie is tired of living here, and I am too to some degree but if push comes to shove it may come to that if it can't be rented. Hmmm not good...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Places of note to get away...

I love to travel, to see new places and revisit old haunts. One funny habit is to find places I think would be good for a rendezvous, I think it goes back to an old girlfriend who had a thing for the Caravan Motel in Gorman, Ca up on the Grapevine. Somewhat run down and lacking 2 star accomdations, it was a sweet little place to run away to, to forget and enjoy each other without distraction. We never stayed there (or consummated anything for that matter...) but the thought of a remote and/or somewhat mundane architechture for a place to meet up and tryst excited me. So on my recent trip up the coast I ran across a number of places I thought would be worthy (and then some) of possible sites for future reference.

1> Outside of Solvang/Buellton on the 101 is a real cool place on top of a hill called the Skyview Motel

2> In Cambria, I came across the BlueBird Inn, a quant old motor inn of the grand design right off the 1 not far from San Simeon. Wonderfully 50's in a Hitchcock fashion...

3> On the 1 before Big Sur is a small place that is basically on the side of the cliff (on your left if headed north), I'm not sure if it's Gorda or Lucia that it's near (I could be wrong at that it may be before Carmel). At any rate it's damn cool and worth a getaway, provided you like to drive the 1... I'm not sure I'll make it to this one.

4>Also in Cambria is the San Simeon Pines, it may not fall too much under the prerequisite of being rundown, but it looked like a neat place nonetheless, I'd go in a heartbeat.

5>There were several places in and around the eastern Sierras I think would have been perfect. Bridgeport had one or two, We stayed June Lake and there was plenty to chose from there, but it wasn't all the remote, though were we stayed was somewhat 'rundown' albeit comfortable and not grungey it was a bit cozy with the other cabins, but in the off season who cares... right?

On the road again, but never soon enough...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sea of plastic...

To hell with the new economy, it's all about some plastic/metal/wood/paper bullshit and how much can you consume or rather collect and store in whatever space you might or might not possess. Happy meals, birthday parties, Christmases, Bar Mitzvahs, Anniversaries and on and on and on and on. Where does it all end anyhow? Oh yeah at the end.

And where does this all lead us anyway, this capitalism gone awry? Bueller, Bueller....?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Sinking, sinking again...

...vat are you sinking about? Damn I had an idea for a fun and worthy post none of this instrospective, emo shit of late, but I forgot to not only remember it but to write down the basic idea. Oh well so it goes...

Friday, June 30, 2006

Back on track... hopefully

"For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself..."

Seems that the fool in me had overpowered the rational idiot side of late, aside from any recent, breaking events, and I've let this malignant force control the horizontal and the vertical within the id willingly. But I think I've conquered this effront and beat it back into it's corner with a few upper cuts and a left jab (Ok so I threw in a rabbit punch or two but it worked...).

This has always been my complaint about the innerself. "It's Ok, I'm a guy this is what we do sometimes" I hear myself rationalizing back in the corners of my mind, and/or "I'm reaching middle age it's expected" Oh yeah? Tell that to those who might care/ are impacted/ may give a crap or have something to say.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Lost, one Dave...

I would like him back, do you have him and if so can you give him back please? You don't have him, well where the hell is he then?! Don't know, hmmm what to do, what to do then because I'm losing my mind here, oh please give him back...pretty please with sugar on top. Do I need to quote a James Brown song or something... Hmmm maybe he wondered off on his own, probably and it figures, just when you think he's keeping up on the trail he goes off on his own and gets attacked by lions. Damn him...

(photo previously used, now used a second time to an even lesser effect...)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

1 in 5

I became a father out of exuberance. Our friends, Mark and Teri had just a baby girl and I could see that look in my love's eyes. So I made good on that look, sent the boys for a swim and made the girl honest. 9 months later Weston was born and it's been 5 years since. We always sort of felt, at least more recently, that the man-child needed some competition. Initially I shrank from the thought, of course the rest of me didn't. Nothing became of any of it, and for a while there thankfully as a mortgage and a small family was more than I could sustain without the help of creative financing, a bit of luck and eBay. Things gradually improved and I was back on my feet and ready to rule the roost again.

So with some trepidation we began thinking about the 'competition', well words lead to action and action to reaction and eventually... nothing happened. Hmmm worked before, what's up now? Well we're all a bit older maybe those swimmers have lost their stamina... maybe the targets aren't dropping into their position or have begun to run out. Step in medicine and the wonders of science. As it was the fault lay in the recieving end, high FSH levels were at fault apparently. We trudged on hoping for the best (I guess) until one day I was informed of the '2 stripes'...More hmmmm, so off to the lab for confirmation. And it's confirmed, so joy wonderous joy, ah but wait been there and had hopes dashed, so take 'er easy and wait and see.

7 weeks go by...

One gets one's hopes up by obvious signs of wonderment, I must say even I, Mr. Dubious had more than a twinge of joy. But life obscures life as much as life begets life, (at least in my case) so things get rearranged by the daily vicisitudes... Life is like that I guess, unless it's in your face you have the option to engage or disengage. So I was going to wait for the tipping point I guess.

That wasn't in the cards.

I get a call at work on my cell and see it's from Laurie. Intuition tells me something is wrong, as I knew she was at the doctor's this morning for a prenatal visit, and the poor reception and garbled voice give me more to run with. When I get to a place that I can get proper reception, my intuition is validated. During a normal office visit it was determined that viability was not ocurring, no fetal heartbeat. A second ultrasound with better gear is required and I need to get Weston from school.

The ultrasound tech did a good job handling the situation of parents not to be and sent us on our way up to the Doc who would be handling things from that point. The D Call (?) doctor is what we're told to ask for, I know immediately who this person is and I suspect Laurie does as well. We go up to the 4th floor to meet this person. Now on the way to this office we pass by: Decedant's Records, Birth Certificate office, Labor and Delivery and what the hell else that seemed oddly ironic/significant. I made no comment, no need to make the situation worse. Sure it's a hospital and this stuff might in them, but it had a ring of irony nonetheless, so we trudge on for the ultimate word. And we both know what that is to be. The doctor we saw has a tough job, I couldn't find fault in him or any of his staff and he gives us the low down and ghe options. Laurie opts to let nature take it's course, and I can see her feelings on this. The guy in me might say "go ahead, do what you need to do", but this is not my decision and I make no comment on this matter.

I had hoped to fill this space with some happier news today but the cards were not responding to my dictates and I need to post my thoughts of the day, which in contrast to yesterday's silliness runs the gamut I guess. Any Merlot left???

Monday, June 26, 2006

It's trash I smell and other observations/rants of the day

The breath of the morning
I keep forgetting.
The smell of the warm summer air.

I live in a town
where you can't smell a thing,
you watch your feet
for cracks in the pavement.

I woke up, did my daily ritual and went out to the car to go to work. Funny thing the day smelled like trash. It did, really. Never smelled it before and not sure why now. I've smelled it other places most notably at the 805/52 interchange, there's a dump there. Smell it there most balmy mornings, never when it's cold, damp or rainy. I don't look forward to smelling it by my house tomorrow or any other day frankly.


Why do they ride your ass, and I'm not just talking in a relationship but on the freeway at 60-70-80mph. I see it all the time, occasionally I'll see some dude doing it, but mostly gals. What's up with that ladies??? Give us some room please...

Cellphones and driving. Yes we all do it to one degree or another, but I think the female side of humanity tends to gravitate more towards this behaviour than men, at least from what I can see, and we're not talkin' just a quick burst of gab it appears that major, life changing decisions are being discussed . OK, so that's ancedotal, do you want me to run some studies? While driving?


I observed today that most WalMart shoppers cannot park properly. Granted this is not just a WM phenom, but it seems that a high percentage of them have trouble getting their (usually giant assed truck/SUV) vehicle reasonable straight in the dock. I did noticed I wasn't that much better though...

Trash and more trash. The parking lot is also probably one of the dirtiest I've seen for such a new establishment. Granted their open late or even 24/7 but man talk about crap everywhere and the vehicles the average shopper drives, they drip more oil, tranny fluid, coolant and whatnot than is allowed by the EPA.

*Subterranean Homesick Alien - Radiohead

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Amazing place it is...

Yosemite meadow

Ghosts in the machinery

Bodie is an amazing collection of trash, ramshackle buildings and forgotten people. Sure there is a history, but many of the people who came and went are lost to the wind and dust that permeate the remains of a long ago day.

What was once a thriving gold mining town on the edge of the eastern Sierras, the boom/bust cycle that is life has lain waste to the best laid plans of mice and men.

Bodie, CA

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Needs, wants, desires

I just love feeling needed... I'm not sure how much of me there is to go around though. It never hurt to ask, right?

Home again

Hmmm yes home at last, nothing quite like one's own bed, bath and beyond. Oh yes and work, now there's something that never changes and is always in front of you like some damn old blue hair in a Buick with her blinker on for the last 4 and a half blocks grinding away at your patience. Could be worse though, could be rainin'...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Today's update thanks to Trout Town Joe's...

I wish I had the time, I'd fix their Linksys wireless setup for a meal...

The highlights so far-


Lots to do and not a lotta time to do it, so we made do with what we had. Went to the typical spots, Fisherman's Wharf, Palace of Fine Arts, Chinatown, Cable cars etc. Didn't do half of what we hoped but saw the town just the same. It's all recon for future getaways, vacations and whatnot. High point was Weston's observation after getting a total laff out of a joke toy butt that farted when activated by motion; "I guess they like butts in San Francisco!" Yes Weston I guess they do...

On to Yosemite:

Plans come and plans go, and well many of my plans have gone by the wayside, but that's Ok I can get by any old way. Weston came down with a cold and it was decided to spend the night in a proper room instead of a tent. Found a decent cabin at a Thousand Trails close to the gate. Ah the wonder of God/Nature/Supreme Deity that is Yosemite. It's all it's cracked up to be even with tourism bustling in and around it's magnificent shadows of huge monoliths thrusting forth from the lush meadows. I'm glad I faced my own fears to see this wonder.

And beyond:

The road that runs through YNP, the 120 is not open for long. It seems like they road crews spend 2 months clearing it only to have it filled up again in 2 months. I'd hoped it have been open in time to go through on to the 395, but no way charlie, you gotta backtrack and go to the 108 and make a 4 hour detour. Now after going back down the Old Priest grade was a bit of a pain and then heading back east up the 108 slightly monotonous, once we got into the Dardanelles things picked up quick and the wonder of the Sierras was evident once again, oh and then the Sonora Pass. At 9200 some odd feet it took a 24.5% grade to get from 7000' to the pass at 9200' all in low, all at 10-25 mph. Oh and then back down at 12-15% grades to such and such valley. Crazy stuff, Johnny Walker helped in Bridgeport to settle the old nerves...

Today we're in June Lake and planning to go up to Bodie to see how people lived way back and then Mono Lake and hopefully the Devil's Postpile near Mammoth. And then tomorrow it's home with a stop in Bakersfield to drop Melanie off at the train station and a tip of the old hat to Buck...

The car is a mess from the travel inside and out, I can see how my next weekend will be spent.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Travel log - Star Date 61006

What's the point of planing and purchasing stuff if you forget it? I knew I had forgotten something, but I couldn't think what it was until we got into our first night's location and had the tent setup - The latern I'd got the week before... Good thing I'd brought a small flash light...

Another thing about planning and executing is to consider the unforseen, so how do you plan for that?, it's UNFORSEEN right??? Ah no grasshopper you must see with your mind's eye and then put that into action... So where do i find my mind's eye anyway? Ah my son that's a zen thang buddy. Great, thanks...

So with that in mind I'd planned on leaving extra early, like 4am... what was I thinking? Someone had told me about getting through LA and all that and I wanted to be at San Simeon early to set up camp and see the Hearst castle by 1 or 2. Wasn't gonna happen. Ill prepared anyway, I'd had an HOA meeting the night before that drug on and wasted my precious time. Oh well so it goes... So we left around 8am.

Yes LA is a great big freeway Mr Bacharach, and I only kinda know my way to San Jose... A pit stop in Oxnard at 11 and lunch in Solvang at 1 put us in San Simeon by 5. I set up the tent (or pitched for you lovers of double entendre...), got some provisions back in Cambria and $17 later we had hot dogs and marshmellows! So then it was bedtime and a night on the cold, hard ground.

We broke camp the next day and pressed on to parts north. Weston decided he'd rather see the aquarium in Monterey than Hearst castle so we drove on without futher adieu. Of course now traveling with kids is payback from our parents when they drove us on vacation, right? His fav line was: How many more minutes? And of course he only wanted to hear his music, not daddy's.

My brother and I had driven down from Frisco once in a rusty Chevy Vega back in '78 on the PCH and I recalled it with fond memories, seen through the foggy lens of history. He drove and I rode. Well I'm afraid of heights, like blood and guts the mere mention of them gets me stirred, yeah I know it's irrational to a degree but I hate 'em nonetheless. So with white knuckles and sweaty palms I drove up, down and around Hwy 1. Thank god for the tall redwoods and lush valley of Big Sur to calm me down.

Had lunch in Big Sur at noon and pushed on to Monterey. Made it there in time to see the aquarium (Doc would be proud...) and have a look see then push on to SF.

Having brothers and sisters in various major points if interest makes for cheap lodgings, next vacation... Hawaii, Steve-o!

I'm glad someone has decided to leave an open wireless AP open as well, my sister only has dial up so hat's off to you j's house...

All for now...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go...?

Ah yes the Summer vacation, I remember them well. Jean Shepard did too in Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss, and his recollections are oddly similar, must be the Midwestern thing.

A recent family email from my father recalling a vacation to the Canadian Rockies got me thinking about doing the same with my family, so I started planning... And planning.

Though I've lived the better part of my life in California, I've never been to Yosemite or much of the Sierras. I guess a trip from SF to SLC once years back could do for having been thru them but I digress.

So let the trip begin, I'll post when I can with a pic or two for all you who care to partake via the interwebs...

I'm going up the country, baby, don't you wanna go
I'm going up the country, baby, don't you wanna go
I'm going to some place where I've never been before

I'm going, I'm going where the water tastes like wine
I'm going where the water tastes like wine
We can jump in the water, stay drunk all the time

I'm gonna leave this city, got to get away
I'm gonna leave this city, got to get away
All this fussing and fighting, man, you know I sure can't stay

Now, Baby, pack your leaving trunk, you know we got to leave today
Just exactly where we going I can not say
But we might even leave the U.S.A.
'Cause it's a brand new game, and I want to play

No use of you running or screaming and crying
'Cause you got a home as long as I've got mine