Wednesday, July 30, 2008

This baby shower cake was found on

Earthquake damage

This is the type of damage from the earthquake yesterday shown on the local TV news reports. Video cameras from some stores show one large jolt and then things being thrown from the shelves.

I went for a bike ride a couple of hours after the earthquake and found this cement drain cracked where it wasn't cracked before. I especially don't remember seeing that large crack shown in the bottom photo before. While the photo doesn't show it very well, the section of cement furthest from you in the photo is raised about a quarter of an inch.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

5.4 earthquake rocks So.Cal!!

Epicenter: 2 miles south/west of Chino Hills

We're rockin' and rollin' here in So. Cal. as we were hit by a moderate earthquake at about 11:42 a.m. The preliminary evaluation of the quake is 5.4, centered 2 miles south/west of Chino Hills.

I was sitting at my computer when there was a sharp jolt, brief shaking, and then another jolt, then a rolling feeling. It lasted about 10-15 seconds. I made it to my hallway to seek cover when Josh came out of his room, awakened by the shaking. Within just a couple of minutes Karen called me from work on her cell phone to check on us. She had been evacuated from her office building after pictures fell to the floor.

The news is reporting as many as 27 after shocks as high as 3.0 within minutes after the initial jolt, but I haven't felt any of them. Minor damage has been reported in the area. The earthquake has been felt as far away as San Diego and Las Vegas. We haven't had a good quake like this in quite awhile.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Justice or perv in a robe???
Thursday, June 05, 2008 at 9:18 a.m.

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (AP) -- A Los Fresnos family is going to court to prevent a Cameron County justice of the peace from ordering spankings in his courtroom.

A lawsuit filed today alleges Justice of the Peace Gustavo "Gus" Garza told a 14-year-old girl's stepfather to strike her repeatedly on the buttocks in open court.

If he didn't, the judge said the girl would be found guilty and fined $500 for truancy.

The lawsuit by Mary Vasquez and her husband, Daniel Zurita, described the paddle provided by Garza as large and heavy and fashioned from a thick piece of lumber.

In an affidavit, Zurita says that when he was through, the judge told him he had not struck the girl hard enough.

After reading this story, I had to a) confirm the story, and b) find out what happened. I found out that according to, the story was true and that the lawsuit had been settled on July 27, 2009. State District Judge Abel Limas ruled that the County justice of the Peace is protected from liability.

In his decision Judge Limas is quoted as stating, “The freedom of decision is part of the judicial system.” Any performance in his capacity as a judge is certainly protected by absolute immunity,”

I figured I could search the Internet and find a photo or cartoon of an older man spanking a teenage girl but I just didn't see what value it would add to this story.

The price of gas has dropped over $0.30 a gal. in recent weeks. In fact in looking back over my blog entries, I found that gas was as high as $4.61 a gal. at this station on June 15, 2008. So I guess the surge in gas prices was to make us comfortable with paying over $4.00 a gal. for gas. Feel manipulated at all???

"Extreme Makeover" home faces foreclosure!!!

LAKE CITY, Ga. (AP) -- More than 1,800 people showed up to help ABC's "Extreme Makeover" team demolish a family's decrepit home and replace it with a sparkling, four-bedroom mini-mansion in 2005.

Three years later, the reality TV show's most ambitious project at the time has become the latest victim of the foreclosure crisis.

After the Harper family used the two-story home as collateral for a $450,000 loan, it's set to go to auction on the steps of the Clayton County Courthouse Aug. 5. The couple did not return phone calls Monday, but told WSB-TV they received the loan for a construction business that failed.

The house was built in January 2005, after Atlanta-based Beazer Homes USA and ABC's "Extreme Makeover" demolished their old home and its faulty septic system. Within six days, construction crews and hoards of volunteers had completed work on the largest home that the television program had yet built.

The finished product was a four-bedroom house with decorative rock walls and a three-car garage that towered over ranch and split-level homes in their Clayton County neighborhood. The home's door opened into a lobby that featured four fireplaces, a solarium, a music room and a plush new office.

Some of the volunteers who helped build the home were less than thrilled about the family's financial decisions.

"It's aggravating. It just makes you mad. You do that much work, and they just squander it," “Beazer gave them $100,000 cash, paid their mortgage off and they still can't make it," said Oswalt Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt, who helped vault a massive beam into place in the Harper's living room, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Happy Birthday Sally Struthers!!

Happy Birthday wishes go out to Sally Struthers who turns 60 years old today. Sally-Ann Struthers was born in Portland, Oregon. Sally Struthers is divorced with one daughter, Samantha Struthers Rader.

Sally Struthers is probably best known for her role as Gloria Stivic in the series "All in the Family." She was apparently discovered by the creator of the series, Norman Lear, while dancing on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour." Sally played the role of Gloria for seven seasons winning two Emmy Awards.

OK, I'll admit I had the hots for Gloria back in those days. Happy Birthday Sally!!!

Obama for change

Senator Barack Obama's campaign for the office of President of the Unites States has, from the very beginning, promised change. Well it would seem that some of that promised change is already taking place.

It has been Barack Obama's stance since day one for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq within 16 months. Senator McCain and President Bush have always said they would never agree to a timetable for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and that all troop movements would depend on conditions "on the ground" in Iraq.

But low and behold, Bush/McCain have now come up with a "general time horizon" for the withdrawal of troops with 16 months sounding like a good possibility.

It has been Barack Obama's stance that he had no problems talking to the nations enemies, including Iran. Bush/McCain have said that talking with your enemies was considered "appeasement." Suddenly President Bush sent an ambassador to Iran for nuclear arms talks, and recently worked out agreements with North Korea.

It's time to get behind Barack Obama, a man who has well thought out ideas for the future of our nation.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

FDIC takes over two more failed banks

Associated Press
updated 8:51 a.m. July 26, 2008

CARSON CITY, Nev. - U.S. regulators took over two banks on Friday and sold them to Mutual of Omaha Bank, the sixth and seventh bank failures this year as financial institutions struggle with a housing bust and credit crunch.

Two weeks after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp seized IndyMac Bancorp Inc., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said it closed First National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank NA of California.

The FDIC said the 28 offices of the two banks will reopen on Monday as Mutual of Omaha Bank. Over the weekend, customers can access their money by writing checks, using automatic teller machines or debit cards.
There's a fear from some corners that President Bush may issue preemptive pardons for himself and others in his staff from any and all criminal prosecution after they leave office.

Water heater update

After cranking off an eight paragraph email to Rescue Rooter's parent company, I received a phone call from their representative. She listened to my whole story and then told me she would write up my complaint for educational purposes to that their servicemen could learn from my experience. She never offered to pay for a new water heater.

So, my good friend Jack came over yesterday (Friday) and put in a new water heater with the unable assistance of Corey and me. We had a real hard time draining the old water heater which made us think the Rescue Rooter guy never drained it.

We put the new one in and found it leaked and had to take it back. So after three trips to Home Depot, an eight hour day, and just under $500, I have a new water heater. Thanks Jack for all your hard work. I really appreciate it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Today is the 9th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

“My hope is that people take a deep breath and realize that their deposits are protected by our government. We're not seeing the growth we’d like to see, but the financial system is basically sound."

President George W. Bush 08-16-08

"The economy continues to face numerous difficulties, including ongoing strains in financial markets, declining house prices, a softening labor market, and rising prices of oil, food, and some other commodities....The deteriorating performance of subprime mortgages in the United States triggered turbulence in domestic and international financial markets as investors became markedly less willing to bear credit risks of any type....Many financial markets and institutions remain under considerable stress, in part because the outlook for the economy, and thus for credit quality, remains uncertain."

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke 08-16-08

Headlines 08-24-08 MSNBC.COM

No Sign of bottom in home slide.

Ford post $8.68B loss

Jobless claims surge - 3.1 million drawing unemployment benefits.

Dow falls 250 points.

Does President Bush read the newspapers???? I don't expect him to have all the answers, but I wish he would at least come to grips with the reality of the situation.


Rescue Rooter Rip Off!!!

Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to agree to a "free inspection" of my water heater. I know, I know, a sucker is born every ... In my defense, they woke me up when they called at 9:15 AM and I wasn't in my right mind.

So with that stated, don't be a victim of the "free inspection" scam of Rescue Rooter like I was. They drained and inspected my water heater and told me it looked fine. After a look in my bathrooms and kitchen, they offered me a "home maintenance program" for $499.00. A second serviceman shows up with a scope they put down my drain pipe. It has some problems but they can clean it for $600.00. Total: $1600.00 Huh?? I declined. The serviceman called his manager who offered to do the work for $800.00. I declined.

As they left, I noticed that the water heater was now leaking from the overflow valve. I pointed it out to the servicemen who told me it will stop. It ran all night.

Next day they sent another serviceman out who tells me the overflow valve on my water heater is bad and needs to be replaced. Then they told me there was a chance that the valve could snap when they tried to remove it and damage my water heater. They told me they could replace the water heater for $1200.

Bottom line - the whole experience was stinky. Don't use Rescue Rooter!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lt. James C. Cathey returns home from war

Marine 2nd Lt. James C. Cathey returned home from war and was greeted by his wife, 23 year old Katherine Cathey. Mrs. Cathey is shown embracing her husbands coffin after it was placed in a hearse at the Reno, Nv. airport. Lt. Cathey was killed by a booby-trap explosion in Al Karman, Iraq. He was 24 years old.

Shortly before the final inspection, Katherine Cathey, pregnant with their unborn son, rubs her belly against the coffin. Of all the memories, the sense of touch seems to be the first to fade, and here is the sense of a last touch. It cuts deeply as love, birth and death merge until our heads spin.

The night before her husband's funeral, Katherine Cathey lies on an air mattress in front of the flag-draped coffin. Before he went to Iraq, they were married in a civil ceremony, and planned a church wedding when he returned. They hadn't planned on a return like this, and now she listens to music they had picked for the wedding. She insisted on spending that final night next to his body.

The war on terror and the occupation of Iraq must be looked at as more than just statistics. As always, there is a human side to war. When will enough be enough??

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Clear Line in the Sand

When the Bush administration invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq, one stated intention was to topple the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and install democracy in the nation. On May 2, 2003, President Bush declared an end to hostilities in Iraq aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. From that day forward the United States military, on the orders of the Bush administration, has been involved in a violent and bloody occupation of Iraq.

In May of 2007 President Bush is quoted as saying, “If they (the Iraqi’s) were to say leave, we would leave.” It now appears that the democratic government installed in Iraq by the Bush administration has matured to the point that they are telling the U.S. military, “leave.”

Senator Barack Obama is pushing for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 16 months, which Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki seems to be pleased with. Senator John McCain has resisted any timetable for the withdrawal of troops, insisting that any withdrawal of troops must be based on conditions on the ground.

So it seems that a clear line has been drawn in the sand. Vote for Senator Ohama and vote for a systematic withdrawal of U.S. troops with a clear end in sight or vote for Senator McCain and vote for continued occupation of Iraq with no discernable end in sight.

The upcoming presidential election is not a popularity contest. Real issues are at stake. Every vote will count. Be informed and then vote.

Can you say dirty politics boys and girls!!!

AP Associated Press
updated 1:32 p.m. PT, Mon., July. 21, 2008

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Two practical jokers are behind bars for setting their passed-out drinking buddy's crotch ablaze while boozing in Grover Beach. Matthew Craig Pillers and Jack Brent Nicholas Keiffer pleaded no contest to a felony great bodily injury charge.

Prosecutors say the 22-year-old Pillers, a parolee, was sentenced to two years in prison and the 19-year-old Keiffer got 45 days in San Luis Obispo County jail.

Elliot Tuleja was passed out when the men poured cologne on the man's groin and set him on fire on Jan. 18. Tuleja had second-degree burns on his testicles.

Extermination gone bad

NEW YORK - A New Jersey man trying to exterminate insects in his apartment blew it up instead, the New York Daily News reported on Monday.

Isias Vidal Maceda was unhurt in the incident, but 80 percent of his apartment was destroyed, Eatontown, New Jersey police told the newspaper.

The accident occurred as Maceda was spraying for pests in his kitchen. Somehow the bug spray ignited a blast that blew out the apartment's front windows and triggered a fire that quickly spread, the newspaper said.

Happy Birthday Robin Williams

Happy Birthday wishes go out to Robin Williams who turns 57 today. Robin McLaurim Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois. Robin Williams is a TV, stage and film actor, and comedian who has won an Academy Award for his performance in "Good Will Hunting" as well as six golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guild Awards and three Grammy Awards. Robin Williams is divorced with three children.

Robin Williams' first success was as Mork on the "Mork and Mindy Show."

Robin Williams spends a lot of time entertaining the troops overseas. He is also an avid bike rider and fan of the Tour de France. I just saw him on TV the other day in "Good Morning Vietnam." So, Happy Birthday Robin Williams.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Why Beer is better than Christianity.

10. No one will kill you for not drinking Beer.

9. Beer doesn’t tell you how to have sex.

8. Beer has never caused a major war.

7. They don’t force Beer on minors who can’t think for themselves.

6. When you have Beer, you don’t knock on people’s doors trying to give it away.

5. Nobody’s ever been burned at the stake, hanged, or tortured over their brand of Beer.

4. You don’t have to wait more than 2,000 years for a second Beer.

3. There are laws saying that Beer labels can’t lie to you.

2. You can prove you have a Beer.

1. If you’ve devoted your life to Beer, there are groups to help you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 18) - An internal affairs report says a Daytona Beach police officer demanded free coffee and tea from a Starbucks and threatened employees with slower emergency response times if they refused.

Lt. Major Garvin, a 15-year veteran, was fired July 8. According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Chief Mike Chitwood says Garvin recently failed a polygraph test that he insisted on taking.

The coffeehouse's employees claim that since June 2007, Garvin had visited the store as many as six times a night while on duty. Besides demanding free drinks, workers complained that Garvin also cut in front of paying customers.

I won, I won!!!!

Last night I won a Texas hold em poker tournament on Full Tilt I won something like $4,000 in play money. It started out with 90 players and $1500 in chips ea. At one point I was down to under $500 in chips but worked my way back.

I think I'm ready for the world tour!!!!!!

It was a setup I tell ya!!!

My loving wife says, "say there's a Quakes baseball day game on Wednesday." I thought, hmm. A quiet afternoon at the ballpark. Take in a little baseball. Eat a couple dollar hot dogs.(weinny Wednesday!!) So I went.

Little did I know that there were going to be over 1,000 screaming children there from various day camps around the valley. My assigned seat was in the middle of the screaming mob, so I move away from the center of the hurricane to a location where the photo below was taken from. My wife denies any prior knowledge of the children attending the game. The Quakes did win by the way, 7-1.