Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Random Santa Cruz, CA

Just came back from a long weekend in Santa Cruz, CA. And as always, not many pictures taken with my camera. I was actually surprised there were some taken. Most of the pictures we actually 'took' were taken on my wife's blackberry phone. These shown here are a few we snapped with a dying handheld camera. I do not feel like bothering her for the pictures at the moment... She's sleeping.

Nevertheless, was out there mainly for the UCSC campus orientation with my son for this upcoming fall. Lovely campus, my kind of weather, had a blast! I wish I took pictures of the 99 Bottles of Beer On The Wall Restaurant/Pub, the food was amazing and the brew selection awesome! So much to say but no time... We're going bodyboarding this morning @Newport Beach, then we have Palm Springs Wednesday...

Here are some truly random shots taken in Santa Cruz:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sign Of Our Times

My blood is boiling and I am furious right now with this damn GOP of today. I was always a huge Reagan fan back in the day and had views on both the conservative side and liberal side. I do believe in the financial markets strongly (recently working in the investment industry for 8 1/2 years), but not at the cost of destroying our country, elderly, middle and working class people. The disastrous and continuing destruction from George W. Bush's policies made me finally switch to Independent 2 years ago. To believe someone would continue to vote for anyone Republican these days sickens me. Even if being a Republican yourself, they do not care about you. Period. I have NEVER voted for party, but only for the best candidate.

And just because you'd like to be a super millionaire someday, that doesn't mean keep voting against every interest against you to make sure you never get there.

Let's not let these Evil Corporate Country Destroyers (Not JOB CREATORS as they like to call the mega-rich and corporate moneyhoarders) get their way, which they are, as we fret about who's on The Voice tonight on TV. They call them JOB CREATORS because there is a possibility that they 'could' create jobs if they really wanted to, but believe me, they will NOT. There are 29 companies right now sitting on more cash than the whole US Treaury. They keep making sure they don't allow Obama to help you with their votes against him in Congress, so that you will blame Obama for the continuing bad economic times.

DO yourself and our country a favor, DO NOT VOTE for these goons in November, no matter how the media spins it.

And now, here's more of our crazy GOP world in headlines:

BACHMANN: I hope higher unemployment helps my career.

McConnell Debt Ceiling Strategy: I Refuse To Help Obama Reelection.

Oversight Chairman Issa ‘Very Concerned’ Elizabeth Warren And Consumer Bureau Will ‘Bully Banks’.

GOP Congressman: Government Needs To ‘Sacrifice’ And Lay Off More Workers.. Really, we need MORE laid off workers, yeah, that's it!

The Economy Explained: Either Way, You’re Screwed.

Pro-Voucher Tea Party Group Admits It Wants To Shut Down Public Schools And Have Private Schools Only Because we all know the free market does it better!

REPUBLICAN WORLD taken from Daily Kos:

* Blowing up the U.S. economy is preferable to raising taxes a little bit on the richest Americans to help stabilize the U.S. economy.

* Spending taxpayer money to help the poor and elderly is bad, but spending taxpayer money on subsidies for mega-profitable industries that don’t need them is good.

* "All men are created equal" means all men. Except the gay ones.

* "Our #1 priority is jobs jobs jobs" means "Our #1 priority is anything but jobs jobs jobs."

* The fact that voter fraud is not a problem means voter fraud is a huge problem.

* The fact that climate change and oil dependence are huge problems means climate change and oil dependence are not problems.

* George Bush wasn't president for eight years---we went straight from America-destroyer Bill Clinton to America-destroyer Barack Obama.

* If Republicans in the House and Senate vote to end Medicare in favor of health care by coupons, and it turns out to be a blunder of epic proportions, it never happened.

* Rupert Murdoch is the de facto Minister of Information.

* Talk of secession is taken seriously.

* Everything you need to know about science is in the Bible.

* Suffering builds character, which is why we need more of it.

* The prime directive is the destruction of one citizen---the guy in the White House---even if it comes at the expense of the other 311,747,129 citizens.

And if there's still some coffee left in that cup, this is a MUST READ from Senator Bernie Sanders which I read this morning.

And now, back to... funny baseball fan dance, Denise Richads unveils new adopted kid, Mystery Mansion, Aniston rocks leather dress, US soccer girls in fancy dresses, Tiger Woods cuts ties with someone, High School cheerleader mom gets scolded, to name a few ACTUAL headlines I just saw everywhere in the media.

So sorry about getting political today, but then again I'm not... it's my pointless blog to rant anyways. Usually I try not to get too crazy, but fuck it, it's overdue.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Homes 'Round Here Rant

No, I don't do real estate but I noticed around here in Northeast Pomona there are a few homes for sale (3 beds 1 or 2 baths is normal). They range from $185,000 to $210,000 at most. You can probably buy them from $185,000 or less. Here is my rant on the bad side of recent home sales. Of course, this isn't everyone, but it is common.

I have grown tired of these homes being bought by people who will lose them within 2 years. How they sell to these unqualified peeps is a mystery to me. I knew what they did back in the mortgage frenzy of 2003-2007, but to get away with it now I simply don't get it. The story around here goes something like this. Generally, it's the same foreclosure story, but it originates with this: The previous owner lived here for 20+ years, kept the house nice and front yard green and clean. They either pass away or move to another state/town and their children decide to sell it . Here comes the dirty astrovan with another 4 cars and moves in. Lawn and curb appeal goes to waste in a hurry (some of these people have NEVER owned a home and do not understand what curb appeal and property value mean). A dog or several dogs are now added and left in the backyard to bark away all night and day. Within 2 years, there's a sign for a foreclosure. Next buyer comes and receives it in even worse condition, and they seem to try and improve it by sticking an ugly small queen palm in the middle of a weed dirt lot. Tara! Looks even worse than before.

I do have some interesting stories where people have actually benefited by buying here. Take a recent purchase by a couple I personally know from Claremont. They lived up near the foothills and sold their home about a year ago for $650,000. Their kids are all grown and out of school, so there is no need to worry about schools. They bought a 4 bedroom house in Pomona (with a pool) on a pretty nice and quiet street for $235,000... cash. Spent another $75,000 on remodel/renovation. And they put away the other $340,000 for retirement. They also cut their annual property taxes by more than half! They are already pretty well off financially anyways, but they seem to go on vacation constantly. I say they're a frickin' brilliant and smart to do this. What's our biggest fear when we buy in not areas labeled as 'bad'? Schools... but with no kids, what's to worry? Just drive around and find a nice street (Pomona has many beautiful neighborhoods) and these people knew that, whereas the majority do not.

Also, if you are over 55 and you purchased your home a LONG time ago, chances are your property taxes are very low (under $1000 a year). Well, if you buy another home YOU CAN continue to pay the same amount in property taxes no matter how much the newer house costs!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Deadly Chino Hills

This is a sad story, a bit morbid as well. 2 women have died this past weekend on separate instances in Chino Hills. The first is a 68 year old woman who gets run over by her own car. The second was a woman hanging a bird feeder on a balcony. Prayers go out to the families involved.

Daily bulletin has more info:

Woman dies after crash in Chino Hills parking lot

Chino Hills woman dies in fall from balcony

Monday, July 11, 2011

Los Angeles 1940's: City Hall View

I do believe this might be the view from behind the 6th and 4th Street bridges, not too sure, since I haven't been down there in ages. I have also heard that the 6th Street bridge is going to be demolished, due to it slowly disintegrating.

What a view from back in the day, I do believe City Hall was the tallest building in Downtown at the time, followed by the Trans-America building later built which led to the skyscrapers eventually.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Bummer

My posting has dwindled, no doubt. It's not because I don't want to do it anymore, it's just that I have no time! My oldest son has just graduated High School and is ready for college, my middle son has just transferred to Bonita and has football practice all week, plus my oldest is doing his driver training school for his license. Not to mention my 'domestic' duties at home and all the running around I do on a daily basis. My lack of fulltime employment doesn't help, as it gives more time to do things we normally can't get done. I am also working on some weekends among other things for extra cash.

My mind is racing with so much that I don't know when to stop. The only time I stop it all is when I light up the BBQ Grill and pour myself a nice cold beer. Hmm, it's Friday, perhaps I should do that when I end my day today.

(after going to the mall to pay Macys, Sears and then going to my mechanic and paying that bill too. Then it's off to the grocery store, then post office for a certified letter, then gas fillup, then Home Depot for supplies for a project, then take son to friends house 20 miles away, blah blah blah).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011