Wednesday, August 29, 2007

August 29, 2007

I found out what you can build with that nasty arundo grass.....

I have no idea what this is. I went to Old Town the other day just because I was in the area evaluating a dog at the shelter. This edifice was sitting in a little fenced in dirt area all by itself. No explanation, just there. It looks kind of neat. Not very weather proof, but makes nice shade.

Old Town just ain't what it used to be. Ever since Diane Powers lost the lease to run the commercial side of the park and some out-of-state corporation took over it's changed, and not for the better in my opinion. It's dirty, dismal, and a lot of the plants are dead or dying. It's just sad. Maybe it's more authentic (life back then was dirty and hard I guess), but it's a lot less fun. Most people just go to Old Town for the Margaritas anyway.

Of course, if you go there to spend money, there are still lots of things to buy.

And now for something completely different: Find the Pit Bull

I got it wrong.


Speaking about New Orleans: "Some former residents of the city are still living there..."

You MORON! If they are still living there they are current residents. Former means used to be. Another good one that I heard on Channel 10 news was "Former San Diego native". Can you be a former native? How would you go about changing your birthplace?

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I finally managed to watch all of Napoleon Dynamite. Maybe I'm too old or something, but I didn't really get this movie. A friend told me that to truly appreciate it you need to be really stoned. Bummer. I don't even have a clue where to score some pot these days.

Season one of Ugly Betty is out on DVD. If you didn't watch this on television you should rent it. One of my favorite shows.


From one of the ads at the bottom of my blog page: "Save $15 off." So wrong! You either save $15 or get $15 off. You can't save something off. You can shave something off though.

From the description of a sweepstakes prize I saw today: "Number #1." Okay, did you really mean "number number 1"? That's what you said.


First line in a story in the newspaper today about the weather: "Don't wash your car today." The Weather Guessers were predicting rain. I guess everyone in this whole area took their advice, because it didn't rain. I hate washing my car (and I'm lamenting the fact that I really can't afford the $25 car wash from the mobile detailing people these days), but it may become necessary soon. Will my car be the sacrificial "make it rain" lamb? Probably not.

Clothed Sheep

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I apologize to my loyal reader. (Yes, I meant that to be singular.) I've been lagging. You would think that since I'm unemployed I would have more time to ramble on about my life, not less. But, doing nothing seems to take so much time! Okay, I did things. Went to someones house to evaluate a dog that they wanted to surrender to the rescue. What a sweet dog this was! Kind of timid, but he was left outside all the time, so I knew we had to find him a better home.


Then there was a "Big Dogs Rock" adoption event on Fiesta Island. A bunch of different groups, all with big dogs looking for homes.

Big Dogs

Then I spent a couple of days helping a friend straighten out her mother's financial stuff. I feel so badly for her. Her mother had a stroke five years ago and is paralyzed and needs constant care. Her sister is insane. The hired help are high maintenance. And now the money is pretty much gone. She has taken care of all of this for five years and all she's gotten is grief from her siblings and the people who work taking care of her mother. I sure wish I had a magic wand to make it all better for her.

Today, back to dog stuff. Went to do a home visit for a potential adopter. This lady has a really neat house. Not a huge mansion, just a nice house in a nice place with a nice yard.


There is a commercial that they show about 1000 times a day with this whacked out dog turning in circles. The audio is this dog panting. Loudly. Bentley is convinced that this nut case dog is HERE every time the commercial comes on, and he goes running through the house barking. He also barks if a doorbell rings on the TV. I can't convince him that our doorbell is broken so he doesn't need to go on Alien Intruder Alert when he hears that noise. He doesn't listen to me.


I received what would have been my first check if something, somewhere wasn't all jacked up. It said "no benefits are payable at this time". Went on to say that if I had requested a re-computation or was waiting for military, federal or out-of-state wages to be included in my claim I should continue to file for the weeks I wish to claim. Well, my situation is "none of the above", but I had been told by the rude asshole at EDD that there was a 14 day period to file my continuing claim form or I would become ineligible and would have to reopen my claim. The problem-there wasn't a new claim form to file for the upcoming weeks. I started trying to call on Monday to see what I should do. Repeatedly, after playing the stupid phone tree game, was told that there were too many people waiting to talk to them, so goodbye. I finally got through today. I found the secret to getting someone to actually LISTEN to you there. And, actually HELP you. Pretend that you're crying. Not hysterically. Like you are really trying NOT to cry, but you feel so helpless that you can't help it.

My check is in the mail.


I'm just going to paste the whole scam email...


The Catholic Church Italy (, would like to notify you that you have been chosen by the board of trustees as one of the final recipients of a cash Grant/Donation for your own personal, educational, and business development. The Church is one of the biggest church built for God in Italy. In the year 1901, they started offering collection for the sole aim of human growth, educational and Community development. In conjunction with the ECOWAS, UNO, and the EU, We are giving out a yearly donation of US$650,000.00 each to 100 lucky recipients each year. These specific Donations/Grants will be awarded to 100 lucky international recipients worldwide; in different categories for their personal business development.The objective is to make a notable change in the standard of living of people all around the Universe (From America to Europe, Asia to Africa and all around). Kindly note that you will only be chosen to receive the donation once, which means that subsequent yearly donation will not get to you. Take time and thought in spending the donation wisely on something that will last you a long time.Based on the random selection exercise of internet websites and millions of supermarket cash invoices worldwide, you were selected among the lucky recipients to receive the award sum of US$650,000.00 as charity donations/aid from the Catholic church Italy, ECOWAS, EU and the UNO in accordance with the enabling act of Parliament. (Note that all beneficiaries email addresses were selected randomly from over 100,000 Internet websites or a shop's cash invoice around your area in which you might have purchased something from). You are required to contact the Church Executive Secretary below, for qualification documentation and processing of your claims. After contacting the secretary, you will be given your donation pin number, which you will use in collecting the funds. Please endeavour to quote your Qualification numbers +(N-2 2 2-6 6 4 7, E-9 1 0-5 6) in all discussions.Exec Sec.Rev sister Abrielle GalloEmail: chiesacattolicaitl@yahoo.itPlease note that the EU, ECOWAS, UNO, strictly administers these donations/Grants. You are by all means hereby advised to keep this whole information confidential until you have been able to collect your donation.On behalf of God, The Church, ECOWAS, UNO and the EU, accept our warmest congratulations.

May God Bless you with this donation.

M. Paccino

Oh, this must be real. It's from a CHURCH. They wouldn't lie. Would they?

Saturday, August 18, 2007



I love this movie. I love Jeff Bridges. I used to love to go bowling. As a matter of fact, I used to bowl in leagues at the same place The Dude bowled:
Hollywood Star Lanes. I bowled there before they had the automatic scoring and video screens. We used the overhead projector and grease pencil method.

And, check this out:
Lebowski Fest

Why am I thinking of this today? I went bowling! I haven't been bowling in probably 15 years, and that was just once with some friends late on a Friday night after too much to drink. I haven't bowled seriously (at least three times a week, my own ball, my own shoes, special hand/wrist stabilizer device....) in over 20 years. So, it's not at all surprising that my first six balls went straight into the gutter. I got a little better after that. Broke 100 the second game. Still pretty pitiful for someone who once came in third in a bowling tournament. Not pitiful enough for me to want to run out and start bowling seriously again.

The two buddies who got me out of the house and into the bowling alley. On the left, we'll call her Delilah. Not her name, but she wishes it was, so in my blog she will be Delilah. On the right, J-Mo. She beat all of our butts in both games today. How about a rematch, sista?


From Angels in America: - (On being a Mormon) "Can I ask you a question?. . .Everyone thinks the angel's name was Mormon. . .I know, I went to Sunday school . . .Moroni. The angel Moroni. So why don't we call ourselves Morons?"

Good question!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Local News, Again

Heard this evening: "Heat is being blamed on why three people....."

Aren't these people reading teleprompters? If so, who the heck is writing this for them?

Just some stuff.....

I planted a few vegetables in pots this summer. I got a late start, so I haven't gotten any food yet. I have ONE eggplant that's probably half done, and lots of peppers. Hot ones-jalapenos, serranos and red habaneros. The squash plants are making lots of flowers, but no squashes. Maybe it's too hot. Next year I'll plant more. Maybe I'll do some winter stuff like spinach and cilantro. Not that we have winter here, but it does get down into the 30's at night for a few days.

Every once in a while I take the "next blog" tour. I hit that little "next blog" link up at the top to see what I run across. Usually I find blogs in languages I can't understand. Sometimes I find a teenager blogging who can't spell or formulate a correct sentence, and I'm tempted to make nasty comments, but I don't. (You'd better practice saying "Would you like fries with that", because if you don't learn proper English soon that's going to be your best career choice!) I run across blogs that are nothing but porn videos-those never have a "next blog" link to get me out of there. How are they sneaking in? And then, every once in a while, I find a blog that is fun to read and I'd like to go back to. For instance, this one proves that being a liberal isn't so terrible if you're smart and humorous.
Curmudgeon's Blog He takes nice photos too.

Tree Roots

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Let's do a Movie Day!

I like movies, but I dislike movie theatres. I get very uncomfortable, and just want to leave. So, I watch movies on my couch. Here are a few that I've seen lately:

Pan's Labyrinth-I really liked this. In Spanish with subtitles, so don't watch it if you can't keep your eyes on the screen. Well, unless you understand Spanish. Despite taking seven years of Spanish classes I need those subtitles.

Fur-There is something completely sexy about Robert Downey Jr., even if he's covered in fur.

The Last Mimzy-A "children's" fantasy, but you don't need to borrow a kid to enjoy it.

To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything. Julie Newmar-Patrick Swayze in drag. A fun movie!

Failure to Launch- Chick flick. Not the best I've seen, not the worst. Worth the price of the rental if you're in the mood for this kind of movie.

The Station Agent-Excellent movie. Nice story about damaged people creating their own type of acceptance. Definitely worth watching.

Crash-This was a very good movie also. Some people were outraged that it beat Brokeback Mountain for Best Picture. In my opinion Brokeback Mountain was a mediocre film that only got all the raves it did because of the subject matter. If you want to see a good film about gay issues rent Angels in America. It was an HBO mini-series, you need to get both discs. This is worth the time to watch it, and I will buy it for the permanent collection. Anyway, I think that Crash was a much better movie than BBM, and the award went to the right film.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hysterical Journalism

I get so mad at the local news stations sometimes that I want to spit nails. One time they did a story that there was an "increase" of parvo cases in the county, and that everyone needed to run out and vaccinate their dogs for parvo, no matter how long it had been since the last vaccination. No mention of how many actual cases there were, or how old the affected dogs were (parvo, unless a dog is severely immune compromised is a PUPPY disease). Not only that, the majority of parvo cases occur in puppies that HAVE been vaccinated. And, the majority of deaths are in the vaccinated pups that contract parvo. Unvaccinated, healthy puppies who get parvo are much more likely to recover. But, the story made no mention of any of this. Just hysteria:


And then there was the story about heartworm. Somewhere in Southern CA a dog was infected with heartworm. In the story they said it was a dog that came from LA after Katrina. No mention in the story if ANY dog that had never been out of Southern CA had ever gotten heartworm. But, again, the hysteria:


Today it was a story about Lyme disease. One of the reporters (and I use the term loosely, it's a woman who wears skimpy clothes and talks about traffic) apparently had Lyme. Why am I not surprised that she got in from a tick bite in LYME, CT? Anyway, she told people that if they "suspected" that they had been bit by a tick to get antibiotics. WTF? "I MIGHT have been bitten by a tick, but I have no idea if it's a deer tick (which are the ones that carry Lyme), and I am in a part of the country that has NEVER had a case of Lyme that was contracted locally, but I should go assault my immune system with antibiotics, just in case?" Yeah. Right. I'll do that.

A more responsible story would have been to tell people to look for the indicative bulls-eye rash after being bitten by a tick, and THEN to consult a drug peddler, er, I mean doctor. But I guess hysteria creates bigger ratings.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More things that BUG me....

It's about bugs! Ticks mostly. Living where I live (Southern CA suburbia) I only had to worry about ticks during the few summer vacations we took to Missouri. Oh, and there was that Barn Party in Meridian MS, but we won't go there right now. But, in the true tradition of "no good deed goes unpunished", I have ticks in my house. A living legacy from my first foster dog I suppose. Poor sweet little girl. She had been owned by a drug dealer who apparently got arrested and neglected to tell anyone that there was a dog in his back yard. By the time she was discovered and picked up by AC she was so thin it's a wonder she was still alive. I don't know where she picked up the ticks, probably at the shelter. The San Bernardino animal shelter is not the best. We get dogs out of there with ticks, fleas, parvo, name it. I must have picked 20 fully engorged ticks off of her, but apparently I missed some because ever since then I've had ticks. And, since I won't put poison on my dogs or anywhere that my dogs and I reside, I have to resort to other means of tickicide.

This is what I use:
Diatomaceous Earth It must be food grade, not the stuff they sell for pool filters. The only problem I have is that I get complacent when I haven't seen any fleas or ticks for six months and I forget to use it.

This is poor little Dolce when I first brought her home. Everything that isn't pure white on her in this picture is dirt. I was so afraid that she would croak on me. But, a week of good (raw!) food, a couple of baths with Dr. Bronner's castile soap, and....

She lived! And ended up being adopted by a very neat family who adores her.

My next foster dog gave everyone sarcoptic mange.
It's a wonder I still do this.
And then there's the flies. Another foster dog pushed the patio screen door off its rails. I can't fix it. I've tried numerous times. (I really need to have a brief affair with a handy man who can also do plumbing.) So I have flies. Again, I won't use poison in my house, so I have good old fly paper hanging all over. In the kitchen, in the bathroom, by the patio door, in the bedroom. It works pretty well, except that it's a bit disturbing when a fly is stuck but not quite dead yet. The pitiful buzzing almost makes me feel badly for the pain and suffering my fly paper is causing.

Then I snap out of it. It's a FLY! Nasty flying disease carrier, mother of maggots. Die, die, die!

Monday, August 13, 2007

More This and That

I met a very neat person Saturday at our adoption event. She stopped by with her GSD that she trained to be her service dog. Turns out that she is an artist. And a Leonard Cohen fan. Check out her website:
Heart Dog Studios

Rant for the day: Gummit employees! It was time to mail in my claim form for unemployment for the past two weeks, but I haven't heard whether or not they've figured out that I am me yet. So, I called to ask whether I should mail in the form or wait. I got the RUDEST asshole possible on the phone. He blurted out something very snippy before I was even able to ask my question, then kept talking to me like I was stupid. Just because I'm unemployed, butt-head, doesn't mean I'm a moron! I finally had enough, told him that I did not appreciate his condescending attitude and that he was very rude and asked to speak to his supervisor. He hung up on me! I suppose I could call back, and go through the stupid phone tree and take my chances that I won't get the "Due to the number of people waiting on the phone we are unable to help you at this time. Please try again later. Goodbye." message, and be allowed to stay on hold for 10 minutes and try to reach a supervisor. But, I'd probably just get even more aggravated, and nothing will happen to the guy anyway. It's unpleasant enough being unemployed, it's even worse being treated like scum by people you need to help you.

Heard on the local newscast today: About a prisoner. "He was released on accident." Didn't these people go to school? Another good one from the other day. An investigative reporter was doing a story about finding the recalled Chinese toothpaste in a store. She was a total screaming maniac, and I would have done just what the store owner did which was to tell her to "get the f**k out of the store". Anyway, in the lead up she showed two boxes of toothpaste and called them "toothpaste-es." Oh yeah, you sound very intelligent!

Why would someone make drinking glasses that are "top rack" dishwasher safe that are too tall for the top rack?

A little garden in Balboa Park. They just replanted this to attract butterflies.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

August 7, 2007

I had a major scare with my unemployment claim. I got my award letter, and everything was zero. Amount of award, weekly benefits, wages earned in past quarters. Zero, zero, zero! Turns out that there is some question about my identity. Hey, it's me. Really. I think that the issue is that I forgot that in 2006 I was technically employed by Administaff. Easy to forget-I went to the same building, sat at the same desk, did the same work, but the company tried to be fancy and use Administaff. After a year they figured out that it wasn't cost effective, and got rid of them. So, I guess that when the People's Republic of CA looked up my records my employment history didn't match what I told them. I mailed off copies of the things they asked for today, I hope it gets straightened out.

So, now it's time to live frugally. It's pretty easy really. No new stuff-clothes, gadgets, shoes, etc. No convenience foods-no reason to pay someone to cut up your vegetables for you. Buy in bulk, but only if it's truly a better buy, is something that you need, and you will use it all before it goes bad. Example-today at Costco they had five pounds of peaches for $6.99. That's $1.40/pound. Last week I bought some at Henry's for 77¢/pound and I didn't have to get five pounds, two and a half which would have probably ended up as worm food in the compost bin. I have a source for cheap meat ($2/pound for flank steak which is $7/pound at Costco), so I won't have to resort to rice and beans for protein.

And, I use my credit card. If I spend cautiously and pay it off every month as usual the gift certificates will do my Christmas shopping again this year. I already have $100 stored up. I only have to buy things for my mother and sister. My brother and I have agreed to get over it. Last year I bought myself a new phone and told him what he got me. He was happy. Some people might find this offensive. It's not what you get, but the giving....blah, blah, blah. It stresses my brother out to have to pick out gifts and he pretty much buys himself anything he wants, so it works for us.

Here's a picture of the most recent canine resident here, Bentley. (Named after the cute little bend at the tip of his left ear.)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

August 5, 2007

The hidden costs of unemployment. Besides the loss of a paycheck, I am finding that it costs more to be unemployed. I now have to make a pot of coffee at home every day instead of just on weekends. I'm using more of my own toilet paper, paper towels, drinking water, electricity. About the only thing I'm going to use less of is gasoline. It all kind of sucks actually, but I'll deal with it.

Movie to watch for the week: Greenfingers. For one thing, I am completely in love with Clive Owen. I would like to gaze into those amazing eyes, and suck on those luscious lips. Helen Mirren is such a wonderful actress. And, it's a good story. My favorite line: "That's why I like plants. They don't talk back."

Today's picture: Some cute garden art from the fair.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Losing Things, Part II

This time it was two brand new pairs of shorts. I bought them at the "Everything $5.99" Store. It used to be "Everything $5", but the price went up. Anyway, I remembered finding a great place to put them, where I would be able to find them when I wanted to wear them. You guessed it-I forgot where that place was. Actually, I didn't actually forget, they just weren't in the spot that I remembered putting them in. While looking for the shorts I found a completely different new pair of shorts that I had forgotten even buying!

I found the shorts. They had been shoved back into a corner, but the spot I remembered was the right spot. I need to do a major closet clean out!

We're doing another bake sale at the adoption event tomorrow, so I baked brownies and "Black Bottom Cupcakes". I cheat, I use mixes. I can't eat any of it (gluten intolerant), and I would bet that our target audience isn't concerned about chemical-free living, (these people are buying crap-in-a-bag for for their animals at PetsMart after all) I can help the rescue and save time. I buy cake mixes at Food4Less for $1 a box-I think that flour and sugar alone would cost more. Especially since I would buy unbleached flour and raw sugar. Let them eat cake mix! Or, strawberry shortcake. I liked this sign on a food stand at the fair:

And no, the missing part for the soda siphon has yet to show back up. The replacement part arrived, so I'm back to making my own seltzer water. I found that I must make it with bottled spring water, or else it tastes funny.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The last day of July.....

...was not the best day of July! Once again I have been laid off. It happens in the mortgage business. Between June of 1999 and December of 2000 I was laid off three times. At least this time I had a good six and a half year run. Oh well. This is exactly why I kept at least 100 vacation hours on the books and took out the biggest home equity line of credit I could and didn't use it. Well, except for the little bit I used to buy my car last year. I would rather not borrow money, but I don't have to worry about not being able to eat or pay the mortgage until I find a new job. The worst part of being unemployed is having time to do things, but not wanting to spend any money. Like going to the fair, which is where I took the picture of the carousel horses.

Gripe for the day: Arundo Grass. Nasty stuff, and my neighbor (who is otherwise a very nice man) planted the shit. Right next to my yard, so of course I have it too. He thinks it's bamboo. It's NOT bamboo!!!!!! I've been burning what I've cut down in my little outdoor fire pit. I read somewhere that it was used as a building material in the Philippines. What can you build out of big grass? A grass shack maybe. And, rats are living in it on his side of the fence. I can't even put up bird feeders because the rats come over and eat the bird seed. Chance has killed a rat on occasion though. Good dog!

Heard on this evening's news: In a story about a group of people who made plea bargain agreements for some crime: "They received sentences ranging from 12 months to a year in jail." Yeah, okay.

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