Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7th


A job posting showed up at Yahoo Hot Jobs in my field, so I sent in my resume. I should have remembered that every other job I've found at YHJ has been a scam, but I didn't. A week or so later I got a call from a man who told me that the jobs all required a credit score of 620 or above, and would I qualify. Sure! So, he scheduled a phone interview for last Thursday at noon.

Noon came, noon went, no phone call. Finally at 12:30 a woman called, (who sounded like she wasn't very smart) said that they were running late and could she call in 45 minutes. No problem. FOUR HOURS LATER she finally called back and we had a little chat. She said that the reason they needed to verify credit was that they were offering salaries of $200,000 (for a loan processor? $50,000 is more in line with reality!). She kept rambling on about how they were going to be approved to be a bank in all 50 states, how they were buying distressed properties to boost the assets, and a bunch of other irrelevant nonsense. Nothing about the job, about when it would start, just a lot of useless blather, IMO. Then she said that wanted to fly me to Las Vegas for "training". Uh, what? You want to bring me in for training without an interview? Backtrack. It's for an interview and to give me more information about the company. She said she would call Friday morning to set something up.

Again, morning came and went. She finally called at 5:30 and left a message that she wanted to schedule me to come to Las Vegas on Tuesday, and she would call "tomorrow morning" to set it up.

I didn't answer the phone on Friday, because in the meantime I had tried to find some information on this company and I wasn't ready to talk with her. A google search couldn't find a current website. The only internet presence was a gazillion ads posted looking for loan officers all over the country (including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico). There was ONE yellow pages type listing for this company in Las Vegas. So, I looked further. The phone number of the guy who called at first is the business number for an answering service in Tacoma WA. The number the woman called me from is an unlisted land line in Los Angeles. The address and suite number shown for the company is the same as the address and suite number for PAGES of other companies. The phone number shows as belonging to a janitorial company. The company is not licensed as a mortgage lender in Nevada. There is a company with that name that was terminated as an FHA approved lender, but I don't know if that's the same company or not.

To continue the same pattern of not doing what she said she would, the woman didn't call Saturday. She finally called this morning-which is Monday. I started asking questions. She did give me an internet site (which has very little actual content, basically the company name and a couple of addresses), but she ignored my questions about why they were calling me from different locations. She claimed that their Nevada license is under a different name, but didn't give it to me. I then told her I wasn't feeling comfortable and would not be giving her any personal information. This is when she completely lost it and began screaming. "I haven't asked you for any personal information!" "You keep stressing that you need to check my credit, how would you do that then?" Silence. Then more screaming. I was "slandering" the company name, let me give you more information..." She just kept yelling and wouldn't shut up. I finally managed to yell over her that I was done, and good-bye. "You can't be done, you're slandering us. You need to listen to me."

I would think that if this WAS a legitimate company and a not some sort of scam she would have been a bit more reasonable. My experience with scammers is when you start to question them they react with indignation, as if they are going to change your mind with anger and threats. I finally hung up on her. She called back and resumed screaming. I hung up again. She called again but this time I let the machine answer. She left the name of "her" lawyer. "Hers", not the company's? That's odd. She told me to call them, that they held the license. So, I checked. Nothing under that name either. (Although a google search revealed that this is a huge firm, that doesn't have a stellar reuptation.)

I don't think I would want to accept employment with someone who screams at people, or who never once followed through with a phone call when she said she would, even if the company is legitimate. I don't think they are though, I think that it's two scammers looking to steal some identities.

Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13th


Sometimes I'm convinced that people have to pass a Rude Moron test before being issued a Costco membership. There are always the ones who are so frantic to get a free sample of something that they park their butts and their carts right in the way of anyone who doesn't want a little bite of some random food item and just wants to shop. Yesterday's winner of the Rude Moron of the Day Award was a completely clueless woman who looked like she escaped from an East County trailer park without bringing her hairbrush. The vitamin aisle at Costco is usually the worst. People block the aisle standing next to their carts while trying to decide which bottle of Vitamin C to buy. Yesterday was business as usual, with the added thrill of this moron who was standing next to a cart yakking on a cell phone. Someone said "excuse me" trying to get through, and she didn't think that actually moving out of the way was a good idea, she just flattened herself against the shelf, and then stepped right back out as soon as that one person went by, despite the fact that there were at least three other people wanting to get through the aisle. I made a comment that she obviously thought that talking on the phone was more important than paying attention and getting out of the way. Well, Miss Trailer Trash didn't think that SHE was the problem. She started yelling "This isn't my cart!" Uh, so what? You're standing next to it blocking the aisle. "I'm not in anyone's way!" she yelled. So, I headed my cart right where she was standing and she finally decided that perhaps she WAS in the way and that moving was the prudent course of action. Well, she did keep yelling at me that I was rude. Okay, I'm rude. I did manage to escape the vitamin aisle though.


This poor guy has separation anxiety. He's okay in a crate as long as I'm here, but he freaks out when the front door opens. The other day I came home to find that he had escaped the crate and had pushed down the baby gate and had managed to get it wedged against the front door so that it wouldn't open. My key won't work in the outside of the side door. Fortunately I was able to get in through the back door. I got some melatonin to try with him. I'll give him one today and see if I can get him to stop freaking out when I open the front door. Poor guy even gets anxious when I get dressed.

Monday, November 2, 2009

November 2nd


Six years ago today I brought my sweet girly-girl home to foster. She never left. She had been in a shelter and adopted, but was dumped back there four months later. Skin and bones, covered with fleas and with the staples from her spay surgery still there. They guessed at the time that she was 4 1/2. so that means she's at least 10 1/2 now. I can't find her old pictures, moved to a hard drive. New ones? I'm bad about taking photos of my own dogs. The cobbler's children have no shoes.


Church Bells taken to court

Okay, I'm all for freedom of religion. But, your freedom to express your particular religious belief stops at my eardrums. (Or at my front door, I am in no way obligated to open my door to allow you to save my soul. My soul is fine, thank you very much.) The church wasn't there first, so they can't argue that people moved to the neighborhood knowing that the bells would ring starting at 6 fucking am EVERY day. The priest, rector, whatever he calls himself came off as such an arrogant bastard in the news report (I have the right to annoy you because that's how I want to express my religious fanaticism) that I wanted to take his bells and shove them up his self-righteous butt. I'm glad that the court ruled for the neighbors. The priest, rector, whatever he calls himself probably was so annoying in court that the judge was more than happy to slap him with a conviction for disturbing the peace. There's nothing wrong with tasteful ringing of bells, but apparently this was recorded bell music that was so loud that people were being woken up by it with doors and windows closed, and that clearly interferes with people's right to quiet enjoyment of their homes.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October 3rd


At least partly anyway. First, do not ever, ever, ever try to get a rational response by calling them on the phone. Their phone people seem to have all passed a Bad Customer Service Test: Are you below average in intelligence? Do you have a bad attitude? Are you incapable of listening? Yes? You're hired! Add to that their completely horrible phone tree which will put YOU in a bad mood by the time you're finally able to reach one of the people who passed the Bad Customer Service Test, and the result will not be pretty. Second, write a blog post about why you are aggravated with Cox Communications. Third, send an email to them with a link to the blog post. It will take you a few emails to get someone to actually READ what you wrote and to grasp that this is on a very public blog and to actually use their brain to figure out what they should do, but email is much less frustrating than calling them. You will eventually get a response from the one rational human on their payroll.

I'm still not entirely pleased with CC, because that one human implied that they are doing me a HUGE favor by not charging me their "usual" $75 fee to come out and fix their screw up (how absolutely magnanimous of you!), but at least they're going to come and get their stupid box that they assured me they wouldn't send in the first place.

I may still call AT&T though.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 16th


I haven't blogged lately. My bad. After Durango died I fostered a young dog named Kirby. Sweet little thing, but I did the happy dance when he was adopted. He was still in the chewing phase, and I'm out one remote control and a couple of shoes. Now Apollo (handsome fellow pictured above) is hanging out here. Nice guy, much calmer than the Kirby-Monster. I hurt my back and didn't feel like doing anything but mope around for two weeks. Better now, need to get back out and take some pictures this week. Maybe tomorrow. The Tweeker-House has been completely untweeked, and is up for sale. I'll get around to posting a recap of the History of Tweeker House one of these days.


Cox Communications SUCKS! I have more than one story to tell about them, and they have put me into a really pissy mood, so I'm telling.

My old TV had a broken internal tuner (wouldn't go above channel 10) so I had a cable box. When I moved here I was told to just bring my box with me and continue to use it. No problem. But, when the service guys came to hook up the cable they brought another box. I told them I didn't need it, but they said "Oh well, now you have two" and refused to take it back. No problem for a few years until Cox Communications (who suck, BTW) started billing me for two boxes. I called them, endured the most annoying phone tree system in existence, and finally was able to get to a real person. I told them the story, and they told me that in order to no longer be charged for a box that I wasn't using, hadn't asked for and their employees insisted on leaving at my house I had to go out of my way and bring it back to their office. Uh, no. I finally convinced them (although it wasn't pleasant or easy) that the proper and polite thing for them to do would be to come get it since it was their mistake that I had it. They did, but it took two more months, and two more phone calls and two more encounters with the most annoying phone tree system in existence for them to acknowledge that they had it and to stop billing me for it.

A few months ago that TV finally died completely. I wasn't going to complain about being billed for a box that I wasn't using, I figured that I should unhook it and take it back but hadn't gotten the enthusiasm worked up to do it. A couple of weeks ago I got a letter from Cox Communications (have I said that they suck?) saying that that old box would be disabled and that they were going to send me a new one, but to call if I didn't need it. I called immediately, and of course once again endured the most annoying phone tree system in existence. As is usual when calling Cox Communications (the cable company that sucks!) the reason that they told me to call wasn't one of their choices, and it takes five steps to get to talk to a person. Come on you morons! If I'm not calling to order new service the first two times I'm presented with a menu of irrelevant choices, what are the chances that I'm going to be calling to order new service when I get to the third, fourth or fifth list of irrelevant choices? Did I just forget the first four times, or are you hoping that if you keep asking I'll change my mind? So, once again I was finally able to talk to a human, and told her not to send the new box. According to her there wasn't even an order on my account to do that, and she was surprised that I had received the letter, but she assured me that the new box would not be sent. Of course, they wanted me to bring back the old one, but she did finally agree to send a return label for it because the letter said that they would do that.

Guess what's sitting on my doorstep? BINGO! The new box, that I don't want, don't need and was assured that they wouldn't send. Back to the phone, and the most annoying phone tree system in existence, and I finally get a person. I won't call this one human, she was a snooty bitch and when I told her so she hung up on me. Okay, now I'm really pissed at Cox Communications (who suck) because I have to endure their phone tree AGAIN. And, their "solution" for their screw up is for ME to take care of fixing it.

Uh, no. Your stupid box is sitting on my doorstep. You sent it after you promised you wouldn't, getting it back is YOUR problem. Hope the neighborhood hooligans don't make off with it before you pull your heads out and take care of your screw up.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20th


My affectionate, goofy and always entertaining foster dog Durango passed away suddenly yesterday. He was less than two years old, and I miss Mr. Trouble very much.

Let me tell you his story from the beginning. We got a plea from the local shelter to take a young dog. He had been turned in by his owners because he had chronic diarrhea, and "the pills weren't working." The medical staff at the shelter put him on the kill list because they didn't have the resources to fix the poor guy, so I went down to evaluate him.

There was no way I was going to let this handsome GSD die alone on a cold table in the shelter. He was very skinny, but I knew that I needed to help him. It turns out that he had a condition where he wasn't able to digest or absorb nutrients from his food, but the addition of enzymes to his meals would manage it and allow him to live a normal life. I broke my "no kibble crosses my threshold" rule for Mr. Rango-Bango. For him to eat raw I would have had to either buy very expensive ground stuff, or buy a strong grinder because the enzymes have to touch every bit of the food and sit for a while to work. Sprinkling them on a chicken leg quarter doesn't cut it. Didn't matter to him though, Durango loved to eat. Even some things he shouldn't, which may have been the cause of his demise.

He was a complete cuddle bug, and took it upon himself to chase all birds and flies out of the yard. One day a sparrow flew in my back door, and he caught it. He took it to his crate and let it go and it flew away. No sparrow dinner for you!

From what he went through in his final moments I think that he either had an intestinal blockage or his intestines twisted. My house is too quiet without him.

Hope there are sparrows for you to catch in doggie heaven Pudda Head.

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 22nd


Apparently it's big news that Kodak is discontinuing production of a film that has been made for 74 years. (Note to news people-please stop playing the Paul Simon song over and over and over. Momma done took the Kodachrome away already!) The thing that they aren't mentioning is that Kodak recently introduced a better color film using newer technology-Ektar. Kodachrome is just taking its place in history and going the way of the Brownie camera and 8 mm home movies. Yes, sales of film have declined drastically due to the rise of digital, but there are people who still shoot film. I'm not one of them, but my Uncle Ed tried a digital SLR a few years ago and didn't like it at all, went back to film. There are at least two people that I know of in the photo group who shoot film, although one prefers B&W. Film isn't dead, it's just finding a different group of users.

I had a good outing with the meet-up group at the Glider Port yesterday. I'm still viewing and editing photos, I'll put them up in my Flickr Galleries when I'm done. It takes a while to go through 385 pictures!

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1st


This would be for the uber-rude, conceited arrogant butt head that I was supposed to have an interview with today. Another man who was almost peeing all over himself over my resume. My experience, my qualifications, I sound so perfect! He asked me to come for an interview at noon.

I got there on time. He was busy according to the receptionist (who was at least as old as me). I noticed as he ran back and forth between two offices that he looked at me and his lip curled up in disgust. Must be the grey hair-nothing else could be that noticeable from 20 feet away. I bathed, I put on make up, I was dressed better than any other person I saw walking around the office.

After leaving me sitting for a half an hour he came out and said that he had a sore throat and needed to go to the doctor, but he would call me later.

Of course, he didn't. He's an asshole. I hope he ends up hiring a mindless bimbo with dyed hair and fake boobs who will screw up all of the loan files. It would be even better if she embezzled money and offended all of his clients. I hope his karma bites him in his arrogant behind.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 21st


The doomsayers (AKA the governor and the legislature) are crying poverty, and telling us that if we don't agree to pay more taxes they will cut services. But, here's a little example of what might be the REAL problem in California. According to their website, 76,000 Californians were potentially eligible to receive the latest federal unemployment benefits extension. Now, while the feds are paying the benefits, I'm pretty sure that the state is paying the postage, printing, paper, and for the employees at the EDD. So, they sent out notices to all 76,000 people with a claim form. Let's pretend that 90% of those people are still unemployed and filled out the form and sent it back. The state sent out checks, but WITHOUT the continuing claim form for the next two weeks. So, they had to send out the forms separately. If they had to send this to 68,400 people, at 44¢ postage each, the postage alone was $30,094! Not to mention the paper, the man hours (I'll bet that at least half of those people called to find out why they had no new form-because they couldn't take 5 minutes to post an announcement on the website), ETC! Yeah, I'll be thrilled to pay more taxes to continue to fund government incompetence.

Friday, May 15, 2009

May 15th


I wonder why I find so many of my winners (or, should I say losers?) at Costco. This week's stand out:
A society type, with those ridiculous striped highlights in her hair and a designer purse, talking on the phone and wandering back and forth in the aisles. Completely ignoring people who were trying to actually shop. Just so, so self absorbed and getting in everyone's way. If I were the slapping type, she would have had a good palm print on the perfectly made up face.


Today I picked up a new dog from the vet and took him to the boarding kennel. I did the usual, hooked a leash to his collar and tethered the leash to something in the back of the car. I have this cool leash with a bunch of rings and hooks on both ends so it can be used in different ways.

Suddenly Silver (the dog) was in the front seat. Collar on, no leash. Somehow he unhooked it! Then he proceeded to climb in my lap, nearly crash the car, turn off the radio and roll down a window. I had to stop, get a slip lead on him, and put him in the crate for the rest of the ride.

Just a side note: For some reason the photo for this entry loaded in like two seconds. It usually takes a very long time. I wonder what the difference is. I know I didn't suddenly get high speed internet, unless the computer elves did it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May 6th


Sign up for Twitter. I'm sure that nobody cares what I'm "doing right now". Okay, I signed up so I could follow Jen Lancaster, because she cracks me up. But, don't expect me to do a lot of tweeting. I also used my full, real name to sign up. Which means that I'll need to be very nice, polite and completely PC when I do tweet-especially since I'm still job hunting. I can just imagine a potential employer googling my name and finding me twittering on about picking my nose or calling a lying asshole a lying asshole.


Up at the top. It's a painted cow. I joined a group for photography. They go places and take pictures. The first meet-up I went to was to take pictures of painted cows. I have mixed feelings about photographing works of art. If doing documentary photos then that's fine. Otherwise, all you have is a photo of someone else's artwork, and there's no real creativity there. So I try to create my own thing in the photograph, if that makes any sense.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 2nd


Another mortgage company. Not really interesting in and of itself since it's just one of hundreds of large companies, and probably thousands of small ones, that have vanished since 2006. What makes it interesting to me is that I applied for a job there and actually had an interview a few months ago.

The phone interviewer was very impressed with my resume, and had almost signed me up for training starting that week. When I got there for the face-to-face interview I was first kept waiting in the lobby for an hour past my appointment time. Then the person I was supposed to meet was "busy", so I was interviewed by someone else. Suddenly it appeared that they had hired all the necessary people for their first ramp-up. Maybe it was because I uttered a comment that the future of any mortgage business wasn't all that secure, and that it would perhaps depend on whether or not the various government stimuli worked, among other things.

"Oh no! We have built in leads from the loans we service. We have plenty of business, we will be growing."

Optimism in defiance of reality. This company used to be a big sub-prime lender. According to the interviewer they no longer did sub-prime, and all the new business that was going to be so big was refinancing their current borrowers. Uh-HELLO? You think that you can refinance your sub-prime crap into prime mortgages?

Yeah, right. You'll be going, not growing. And, in all honesty I probably didn't get the job because I'm not 20 something and my mammaries are no longer perky.

If employers want experienced and intelligent they may have to get over the mammary fetish. But, if I had gotten that job I'd once again be unemployed and no better off than I was before.

RIP-Jack Kemp

I just read that Jack Kemp has died. I was a big fan of his when he was the quarterback for the Chargers when I was little. In 1972 I lived for a summer in Bethesda MD (I was a government intern, but not in the White House) and the Kemps lived right across the street. Mrs. Kemp baked us a cake (apple spice) to welcome us to the neighborhood. I never actually met him, but I did get to watch him toss a football to his son out in the street. My father called me to the window. "Look at that! He's out there in the street doing for free what we used to pay good money to see in San Diego."

Maybe he can toss around a few footballs with my father now. Or, talk politics since they would have agreed completely with each other.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 29th

Seagull Porn


Recent encounters with two different types of people made me think about this. I have decided that I have more respect for an "honest asshole" than a person who is polite to your face and will pretend to cooperate, but will bad mouth you and try to sabotage any of your efforts behind your back. I don't LIKE the honest one any better, but at least he's honest, and in-your-face with his nastiness. Of course, when the pretend polite person is putting the honest asshole up to doing her dirty work for her, that makes for an interesting dynamic. And, then mix in that the pretend polite person is known to lie about things to justify her way of doing things, so that the honest asshole is reduced to being plain old mean to people on her behalf, but lying about why so that she can continue to pretend to be polite...

Oh oh. I just gave myself a headache.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23rd


Today, it would be ME. I renewed my Zoo membership early because I wanted to beat the price increase. My new card came today, so I took that out of the envelope and threw the junk in the recycling bin.

Except it wasn't all junk. With a membership you get two guest passes and a bunch of discount coupons. I didn't even look at the papers before I tossed them. Fortunately it occurred to me later that the passes might have been in the envelope, and I was able to retrieve them. Bonus-they weren't covered in anything nasty because the recycling was picked up yesterday so the bin was clean.


I went yesterday. I like the zoo, I get some good photos and it's one place that I will walk for a few hours. I don't like walking just to walk, but I will walk around the zoo or other interesting places.

I was at the gorilla exhibit watching the momma and her baby having a snack. The big male and what I think was a younger male were sitting with their backs up against the plexiglass, facing away from the people. The sky tram goes right over the exhibit, and someone lost (or threw) a baseball cap that came down right into the gorilla space. The two males both jumped up to go for it, but the young one got it first. The old male just sat back down and stared at him. The young one did his best to not look at the big male, perhaps hoping that he would go away. The big male just sat, and stared, didn't move at all. Finally the young male stood up, threw the cap on the ground and stomped off.

The big male inspected it, decided it wasn't anything worth keeping, and left it for the young male. When I left he was still carrying his prize around. It was really interesting to watch the interaction between the two.

It was also interesting when the baby got close to the edge of the drop off. The big male went over and gently guided him back to a safer spot. It was cute.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15th


The past two days have been really windy here, gale force gusts in spots. Today I was driving back from the grocery store and saw some big pieces of palm blow off of the tree. REALLY big fronds, they would have certainly put some hurt on a person or a car if they had landed on them. So, I was hesitant to drive under the spot where the stuff had fallen until I made sure that nothing else was on the way down. Some butt head in a big black pick-up truck with huge tires and a Raiders sticker honked because I was apparently preventing him from getting to the next stop sign in 2.3 seconds. I proceeded cautiously, dodging the big pieces of dead palm in the road. He sped right through the debris, went around me, and dammit if he didn't beat me to the stop sign a block away.

I then uttered my usual comment to men who drive the biggest, baddest vehicles at the fastest possible speed and act like arrogant assholes on the road:

Dude! Sorry to hear about your penis!

Friday, April 10, 2009

April 10th


Not a real one, a stuffed dog toy. Quite a while ago I bought a pack of three toys from Costco-a duck, a skunk and a hedgehog. They were pretty sturdy, the only stuffed toys that weren't immediately eviscerated by the dogs. The duck disappeared, and I confiscated the skunk when two dogs were arguing over it. The hedgehog was Chance's favorite toy ever, and today Durango killed it.

I've tried buying these guys tougher toys. Kongs? No interest. A toy made from fire hose? No fun, can't kill it. I tried one of those 'Cuz things, finally sent it off with a foster dog that loved it because my animals wouldn't touch it. If they can't rip the stuffing out of it and spread it over as large an area as possible it isn't touched by canines here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

April 6th


I'm trying to get out at least once a week and take photographs. Some places are better than others. The zoo is good, but I think I've got shots of everything worthwhile-including 3,000 different photos of meerkats because they're just so darn cute. Balboa Park is always fruitful, but I keep ending up in the Botanical Building, and have more photos of orchids than meerkats. Old Town is good too. Seaport Village is a waste of time and money (parking fee). I tried Presidio Park and didn't even get out of the car.

I need some more local photo ops. This week I think I'll go to a cemetery that has some nice older sections. And, a day trip to the mountains might be called for soon.


My latest shelter pull. He's just too cute! Well, maybe cute isn't the right word. He's BIG! Most likely a GSD/Malamute mix. He looks wolfish. He was in danger of being put to death in the shelter because he had diarrhea. Yeah, that's a good reason to kill a dog. One day out of the shelter and his poop is just fine, thank you very much.


Durango does have EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency). :-( this means that he'll need enzymes mixed with his food for the rest of his life. The ones the vet sells are $150 for 12 oz, which at Durango's dose is about $3.40 per day. I joined an email list for owners of EPI dogs (I am the queen of the email lists I think-I belong to over 20 of them) and found a substitute enzyme which is reported to work just as well that will cost less than $1 a day! This will be a big help in getting Mr. Rango-Bango a good home I think.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1st


The feds have authorized funds to extend unemployment benefits for another 20 weeks. Of course, there are people out there who think that those of us who have been unemployed for this long are slackers who just love getting less than half of our previous earnings to sit on our butts and eat bon-bons. Well, maybe that would be true, if we could afford bon-bons. Most of us are lucky to still have a roof over our heads and Top Ramen in the cupboard. Not to mention that those of us with the stigma of having worked in the mortgage business can't even get hired to clean toilets, our resumes go directly into the trash.

This is from the EDD website about who qualifies:

"Federal and State law does not allow payments to be made on a FED-ED extension once you are qualified to file a new regular claim in any state, regardless of the benefit amount on the new regular claim. So if you’ve earned wages that qualify you for a new regular claim in any state, all payments on your FED-ED extension must stop. This means that, if you qualify for a new regular claim, you cannot continue to collect benefits on your FED-ED extension."

What does this mean? Someone who had been receiving the maximum benefit amount and thought that they were doing a good thing by taking a temp job, or took a job that didn't last through no fault of their own (another lay off) and didn't earn at least $11,674.01 during a quarter (not just any three months, it had to be during the period of Jan-Mar, Apr-May, June-Aug, or Sept-Dec) is now basically screwed. Let's say they earned $1500 doing a temp job. Instead of $475 a week they would now get $60. That's a $415 per week penalty for working. Sweet!

Another new thing. Back in the old days you weren't required to accept a job that paid less than your old one. Now, you will be disqualified if you refuse a job that pays at least what you're getting from UE. Since the maximum amount is $450 a week (they aren't counting the extra $25 Obama dollars in this requirement) it's possible that someone who used to make $100,000 a year would be obligated to put in 40 hours a week earning $11.25 an hour, and have the privilege of being treated like a peon on top of that. Anyone who has ever worked for low wages knows that you get very little respect from the people who earn more. Sad fact, but it's true. Frankly, if I'm going to have to continue to live on considerably less than half of my previous income, the prospect of working 40 hours a week and to still have to use borrowed money to pay the mortgage and buy food and to have to really agonize over whether to buy a new pair of jeans (much less fix the leak in my roof or the leak under the sink or replace the TV that quit working) isn't very appealing. But, the gummit wants me to believe that they're being oh-so-compassionate about the plight of the unemployed. I'd like to see whoever made up these new rules work for $11.25 an hour and see how compassionate that feels.


The former best contributors to my English mangling posts seem to have disappeared. The two worst offenders at Channel 10 are gone. The on-line paper has a new system for comments that requires at least half a brain to sign up for, so the comments haven't provided much material. I do have a few gems saved up though:

These are all from reporters and anchors at Channel 10:

"...was the destination of a helicopter crash.”

“...he was home at work.” Okey dokey.

“...the driver refused to pull over for speeding.” This would only make sense if the CHP officer was named Speeding.

“...the driver of a hit and run crash.” Is that an American made vehicle?

“What they saw when the wind started to burn.” Wow. Wind can catch fire?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

March 28th


The goldfish.

Okay, you need a bit of background.

Twice now I have turned on the water to top off the water in my pond, and forgotten about it. Too much water into the pond. The first time I found one dead goldfish floating the next morning. The next time there were TWO floating. I didn't look too closely at them, assumed I'd killed them. A little later I went out and two more were floating. Okay, I've killed them all, I am a fish killer. When I went back out to start recovering the bodies, two of them had recovered and were swimming happily around the pond, and the other two weren't quite dead yet. They were floating on their sides, but their gills were working. They were trying not to die. I took those two out and put them in a bucket with water that had been standing for a few days-hopefully the nasty fish killing chemicals had dissipated. (The authorities keep telling us that it's safe to drink this water, but it kills fish!) One of them died soon after. This was my last fish from the original six goldfish put in the pond in June of 2000. I'm surprised he lasted this long, he had a big nasty tumor growing on his head. He survived both assaults on the pond by a Great Blue Heron, but succumbed to my forgetfulness. The other fish didn't die, so I decided to put it back in the pond since the other fish had recovered and perhaps the toxic threat was over.

That fish floated on its side or on its back for two days. Little gills flapping, mouth gasping, not dying. I considered fish euthanasia, but couldn't quite bring myself to kill the fish, and decided to let it die on its own schedule. Of course, if the PETA and HSUS wackos hear of this I will be condemned and picketed for causing the poor gold fish to endure horrific suffering because I didn't have enough courage to kill it, and how dare I even keep those poor little creatures in captivity when they should be swimming free somewhere to be eaten by bigger fish.

This morning the fish turned itself right side up, and rejoined the other fish swimming around the pond.

So, PETA-suck my carp!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 10th


Today the clueless (and rude!) person was found working a check stand at Food4Less. I usually buy something called white squash instead of zucchini. It cooks and tastes pretty much the same, but costs a lot less. So, today when I saw the idiot checking me out looking for the code, and nowhere close to the right thing I tried to be helpful.

"It's white squash."

"No, it's listed as Italian squash", said the moron and entered that code.

"No, it's white squash. Italian squash is zucchini, and it's skinnier and darker green."

So, the moron looked at the list again, and said "Oh, white ACORN squash."

"No. WHITE, just plain white squash." I did not yell, but I will admit that I was talking a bit more loudly than my normal inside voice.

"You don't have to get loud", whined the moron.

"Well, apparently I did have to because you weren't listening to me despite the fact that I told you three times what the correct name was."

And then of course the moron couldn't figure out how to void out the incorrect item. Which she wouldn't have had to do if she had listened instead of being an argumentative, bitchy know-it-all.

Friday, February 27, 2009

February 27th


And, I did it all by myself.

A bit of background. I was at the vet's office three days this week. First with Durango, then Chester, then Durango again. Now, vet offices aren't exactly the most secretive of places. The receptionist answers the phone within earshot of clients waiting in the lobby. There is a sign in sheet on the counter with the name of everyone who's come in before. Conversations can be overheard. So, on day one I happened to catch a couple of keywords that made me curious, and I wanted to find out what had happened. On day two in a casual, grown up type of conversation I asked if the dog's name was XXX, and was told that it was YYY. Dog YYY was one that I had done the adoption for (with a rescue that I don't really work with anymore, although I'm still fostering one of their dogs). I related that bit of information, and was told a bit more of the story but no real details, just a quick, simple personal observation from a staff member who is always polite and friendly. In no way was anyone meaning to gossip, spread stories, talk out of school or be at all irresponsible.

Well, since I asked someone involved with the rescue who I thought was still in the inner circle if they knew anything more (I do think I had a legitimate reason to be concerned since I had been directly involved with the dog) somehow another person either was told or deduced that the people at the vet's office were gossiping about their business. So, some poor person at the office got yelled at without deserving the tongue lashing.

I don't think that it would do any good to try to explain it either, but I do wish that someone would apologize to whoever got yelled at. It really wasn't their fault. I was curious and concerned, I asked questions. Did anyone die? Well, anyone besides the dog I mean. Honestly, if I had thought I was doing anything wrong I wouldn't have been so open about asking questions, but I guess I misjudged some one's level of animosity.

My bad.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February 25th


I was doing so well at choosing shelter dogs that appeared to need expensive medical care and ended up not costing us anything. Willow-a young girl that the shelter thought had a torn ACL turned out to have Pano; basically "growing pains" that go away on their own. Missy-another young girl thought to have severe hip dysplasia turned out to have had a broken pelvis that is healing correctly.

Then there was Durango. Diarrhea? No problem, or so I thought. Poor guy, nothing is helping. We tried pancreatic enzymes, and his poop is the same. Some good poop days, some cow patty poop days. This is a good thing because the enzymes are expensive and very few people want to adopt a dog with a condition that is costly to manage, but bad because we still don't know what's wrong with him. Tomorrow he starts getting weekly B-12 shots to see if that will help him absorb nutrients and gain some weight.

And now Chester. The shelter called about a dog with a limp. (Bonus points if you figure out why I named him Chester.) Everyone thought it was either congenital (paw and lower leg are under developed) or an old injury. It's the latter-broken ulna 5-7 months ago, but he needs surgery (which might not even work) and still risks losing the leg.

Oh well. Batting .500 is not too bad.


I have an escrow account with my mortgage-I pay 1/12th of my taxes and insurance every month and then the lender makes those payments. They have to review the account every year and make adjustments to make sure you aren't overpaying and that there isn't a shortage. This year I had a surplus, so they sent me a check for $66.14, and then raised my monthly payment amount by $1 to avoid a shortage for next year. Gotta love the logic!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

February 5th


...the most exciting thing you have to report is that you found gluten-free pretzels at Windmill Farms.

I haven't tried them yet. I found the pretzels after I had already grabbed unsweetened banana chips, raw cashews and dates, so I was overwhelmed by snack choices. Not to mention the bag of regular ol' Lays potato chips that I bought yesterday. I have really missed pretzels since I discovered that I can't eat wheat though. Maybe tomorrow I'll get the mustard out and have a pretzel-fest. Or maybe the p-nut butter. Pretzels and p-nut butter are a really good combination.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

January 25th


We got an email from the county shelter last week. A family had surrendered their young male GSD because he had diarrhea and "the pills weren't working". The shelter vet staff wouldn't allow him to stay, so either he had to go to a rescue or be put to sleep. We evaluated him, and he passed his dog-to-dog and people tests, so I took him. He is a complete sweetie pie. He loves my other dogs, loves me, loves being alive.

He reportedly had a history of giardia, which is a parasite that can keep coming back, so the shelter vets put him on Flagyl. It's not even the best thing to kill the parasite but vets like to hand it out for any little case of runny poo, so I will give him the rest of the pills. I have him eating raw chicken, and am giving him probiotics and slippery elm bark powder. He's very skinny-you can see every rib and feel every bone in his spine.

After less than 48 hours with me, sweet Mr. Durango took a good, solid poop.

If anyone saw me they would think I was absolutely loony for doing a happy dance over dog shit.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

January 17th

In the jungle...

Usually my attempts to repair things don't work out. As a matter of fact, many times I make things worse. So, I was quite upset with myself for breaking one of the nose pieces off of my glasses. Having to get a new pair right now wouldn't be good for my finances. But, I thought I'd at least try. I carefully observed how the nose pieces attached, and noted that the part on the frame was still intact. I went to the store and bought some cheap sunglasses that had nose pieces attached with screws. Removed one, and attached it to my glasses. It worked! I'm quite pleased with myself. Until the next time I try to fix something and totally mess things up anyway.


Transition is a noun! You can make a transition, but you cannot transition. The new-speak nonsense where people say things like "As we transition into the new business plan..." is just plain wrong. Also, breath is a noun, not a verb. I want to strangle people who write "I couldn't breath." That's like saying "I couldn't chair."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

January 10th


Lightfoot is an almost perfect dog. Housebroken, mellow, doesn't chew things up. He is a counter surfer, and he needs some work on his leash manners. But, he's pretty much an all around good boy. He has a family coming to meet him tomorrow.

And this is Missy. I got her out of the shelter yesterday. The shelter vets thought that she had hip dysplasia. Turns out she has an injury, probably was hit by a car. Her pelvis was broken, but is all in place and is healing. So, we got a very beautiful GSD, obviously with show line breeding who we will find a wonderful home for.


I am mourning the death of the adverb. Even advertising professionals (who you would hope have a college education and a basic grasp of proper grammar) come up with things like "Change begins small." Small is an adjective, and the sentence would only be proper if it was "Change is small." Of course, that doesn't make any sense. Unless Change is a person of diminutive stature.

And, the one that truly drives me crazy in many variations: "eat healthy". Healthy is an adjective and cannot be eaten because it isn't a thing. The adverb is "healthily", but I'll admit that's awkward. So, it would be correct to say "eat healthy food", but trying to eat healthy would be like trying to eat blue. Unless you had a cow and named it Healthy, then you could eat Healthy.