The meeting that wasn’t

I was at a meeting last night, well… it was supposed to be a meeting but the main speaker called and explained he was unable to get to the meeting due to traffic.

I’m not sure that I buy his excuse, he was only over in Santa Clarita and there are multiple ways to get here from there.

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On the other hand I can understand that he might not have wanted to speak at this particular meeting, it’s possible that traffic was really bad and presented a convenient excuse for him to bail on the meeting. As I said, I understand.

I think the poor guy was being sent as a sacrificial lamb and folks in town were prowling like a pack of hungry wolves.

Why were we prowling around like hungry wolves?

There’s a Congressional Representative named Judy Chu. I don’t know what she’s done for the constituents in her district during her tenure.

Frankly, I couldn’t have cared less.  However, NOW, she is trying to do an end run around her colleagues in congress to get the San Gabriel Mountains declared a national monument, by presidential order instead through congressional approval.

You see this meeting was to discuss what I think of as a slimy underhanded potential land grab.

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One problem is that Rep. Chu seems to have forgotten is that her plan crosses county, city, and congressional district, boundaries.

A second problem is that she has completely failed to include the people her proposed designation would affect in any discussions about her proposal. It is apparently by accident that anyone in town heard about the plan.

Third, and this one really burns me up if it’s true; It’s been reported that Rep Chu has gained President Obama’s attention through Michelle Obama.

President Obama is reportedly considering making the area a National Monument without Congress by Presidential order under a provision of the Antiquities Act.

This is not how our legal system works.  This is NOT an Imperium, one does not curry favor with the emperor by approaching a member of court, or the first wife of the emperor. For this blatant disregard of the law alone, I believe Judy Chu should be removed from her congressional seat. 

Again, I’ve been unable to 100% confirm Rep Chu went through the First Lady to get this measure on the President’s desk. I’m still trying to track the source of that report down.


Rep Chu claims that a national monument designation will provide more funding to the forestry service which in turn will pay for the clean up of trash. TRASH!?!?!?!

Let me tell you about trash. I took my dog to a favorite creek last year. I’ve taken my dogs to this creek for years, and have a few photos of the creek over the last decade.

This last time, I was at the creek, I didn’t hear a word of English, there was grafitti, trash, gang signs, and just about anything else you could imagine strewn all over the area. 

Representative Chu says the money will be used to make trails more accessible and increase the number of visitors to the area. 

If just 3 Million visitors to the area are doing the kind of damage I’ve seen, I think we might need to build a 20 ft high razor wire topped fence to keep people out! Oh wait… We don’t build fences to protect anything.

Time for show & tell.

The first couple of photos to the right are what the creek looked like in 2002

The remaining photos are what the creek looked like last summer.

People had actually climbed the trees and then using their weight, they’d torn them out of the ground so that the dying trees formed a bridge across the creek.

REALLY???

Gang signs on the rocks, trash all over the place. Human feces unburied, this is what Judy Chu seeks to fix. Her desire is perhaps a noble one, her implementation is where we have a problem.


My concern is this:

If successful, This designation sets the stage for potential land grabs. There are approximately 3500 residents in the town I live in, There are also scattered clusters of people throughout the mountains. If I recall correctly, there’s a priory in the designated area. 

If the mountains are designated a National Monument, what happens to all the people that live here?

Do we get forced out when an EPA representative discovers the four legged bat winged whooping snipe?

It’s happened before. There are many examples of people who purchased land or homes in good faith, or who lived for years in a particular place and then one day are told that they have to leave because either the National Parks System claims imminent domain.

Or folks are prevented from building on their land because an endangered hopping stick was discovered, and their property was now part of a National Monument.

We all know that fighting the Federal Government in court over land is a pointless exercise, you’re pretty much doomed to lose. Even if you win, the government will pass a law with a pork inclusion, that changes the rules so that you lose.


Solving the problems Rep Chu cites, isn’t about cleaning up the mess. The solution is in preventing the mess in the first place. What’s changed?  I have one word, respect.

Back in the ‘70s there were a series of PSAs which featured a  Native American shedding a single tear when he looked at the trash accumulating all over this country.

Those PSAs helped to change our perception of what it meant to respect our environment. We as Americans generally took the message to heart and decided as a people that it was important to clean up our messes. 

Remember “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute”?

Even poor neighborhoods would band together to pick up trash from their streets if there were bins to put it in. I can remember telling my father on family trips he shouldn’t toss paper out the car window. After only a couple times, Dad decided that putting the trash in a bag and disposing of it properly was better than having to send me to my room for telling him what he should do. 

Flash forward 30 years and we have a very large number of people from other countries living here. These people never saw those PSAs. Let’s face it, what is considered perfectly acceptable in their countries, is very different from what we in the US consider acceptable.

There is no guarantee that designation of the San Gabriel Mountains will bring additional funding to the forestry service.  Even if additional funding is forthcoming you’re still reducing the forestry service to the role of maids.

Money might be better spent and have a more far reaching impact if a PSA campaign were mounted across the nation in several languages including English.

We need to educate people. 

Perhaps we could be a little more direct about it. Something like, “You came to this country because it is beautiful, don’t destroy one of the reasons you came here.


Whatever Rep. Chu’s intentions, she’s going about this the wrong way. Thus far she’s been exclusionary. She’s forgotten that what she’s doing affects more than the folks who use Azuza Canyon.

I’d bet that Rep Chu isn’t even aware that people live in these mountains, I’m sure that she’s never taken Hwy 2 from Glendale to Big Bear. 

Living here as long as I have, I know without a doubt that folks from LA think it’s too far to come up to the mountains for a visit. Unless there’s snow or they’re camping out in their motor homes. 

I think that we as citizens who are being affected by Ms. Chu deserve the opportunity to speak directly with her. I think that she should be compelled to tour all the areas that her National Monument designation will encompass.

Representative Chu should have to look everyone in the eye and answer their questions.

I’m offended that she abdicated her responsibility to speak for herself.  Instead she unfairly delegated her responsibility to face the public to a forestry service representative.  

I’m offended that yet another faceless government official is making decisions without regard for all the people that their decision will effect.

Just last year we put up with months of noise, dust, and outright nuisance from the flood control district, again without much in the way of notice, or more importantly choice, because a select group of individuals decided what was best for us. In reality they were deciding what was best for themselves and the people affected by their desires be damned. By the time we found out about the project it was too late to register our dissent.

I can’t help but wonder if Representative Chu isn’t doing the same thing. She’s up for re-election, is this grandiose plan nothing more than her bid to look like she’s taking care of her electorate in hopes of retaining her seat in Congress?


As of last night, I learned that the Board of Supervisors in my country has voted “NO” and will be fighting Rep Chu’s plan.

From a call to our Congressional Representative’s office, we’ve learned Rep. Chu hasn’t bothered to discuss this National Monument designation with the Representative of our district.

Perhaps it’s time for Representative Chu, to read the law, and accept that she, like The President, is supposed to be bound by it. 

Just like every other citizen of this country…

I really shouldn’t get so spun up… BUT DAMN!

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My Nike+ Fuel band is broken and needs repair. I look up the warranty and find the receipt then discover that I only have to take the fuel band down to the local Nike store and they’ll repair or replace it.

Great! I print out the receipt, and the warranty page which clearly states “To obtain in-person warranty support bring the defective product and sales receipt to a Nike retail store

Yesterday Morning, I sync the last data out of the fuel band, locking up my computer in the process.

Really?

You choose NOW to lock up? I swear I’ve done exactly this same procedure 100 times in the past 8 months and had no trouble at all.

But this time WHEN I need to get out the door, It’s a hard lockup.

Great! I sit down, disconnect all the cabling from the laptop open it, press and hold the power button then restart the system. I reconnect all the cables and boom I’m out the door.

I saddle up and drive the 45 minutes to the Nike Store.

I’m in the parking lot and heading for a parking space when a crazed bitch pops through the parking lanes does a U-turn in front of me and whips into the parking space I was pulling into then she gives ME Shit for being close to her POS car WHILE she’s talking to her phone in speaker phone mode and I’m the one who’s in the wrong…

Riiiight! I called her a bad name, I actually called her a fat assed one…

I backed up a little and went to the furthest parking spot in the freakin parking lot.

I don’t want no trouble, I just want to get into this shopping center, do my shit and get the hell out of here and home BEFORE it gets completely insane!

I hoof it to the store, wait in line and get to the cash register.

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I hand the clerk the broken fuel band and the receipt plus a printout of the warranty… then ask him “who should I talk to about this?”

He looks at the warranty paper then goes to get someone else. OK Fine…

The new guy looks at the warranty paper and the receipt and says “you bought this in December from Nike”

I’m starting to get a bad feeling but I figure nope, I’ll be nice.

“Yep direct from Nike. The button is broken I just need to exchange it. Under warranty which is 1 year and we’re not there yet.”

He says, “We’re supposed to get them in tomorrow.”

Which begs the questions I think to myself “You’ve never had them in the first place?” or “Is this just a way to get me out of the store”

He continues, “To do the exchange we need to have all the parts that came with it.”

Now I’m sure this is a delay tactic. But I think to myself I’ve still got the original box, and the parts and accessories I can pack ’em all up and come back tomorrow.

I point out that the band is the failure point and that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just have a big box of the bands without their clasps in the back room and simply do a replacement from that stock. Just swap the customers clasp right there in the store it would take 2 minutes tops and would prevent the bands in the back from being pilfered since they’d fall off without the clasp mechanism.

But THAT would of course be too freakin intelligent. 

Ok, I’m annoyed… but not ticked off. 

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I head out to my car and sure as shit, there’s a rusted out POS parked crooked and so close that I can’t open my drivers door.

Fine! I crawl into the passengers side and squirm my way into the drivers seat. It’s 97F outside. Inside the car it’s well beyond that.

I fire the beast up and hit MAX on the A/C then pull out of the parking lot.

I have one more stop to make. I need to deposit a couple of checks at the credit union. I head toward them, make a right, make another right, then make a left into a shady parking spot. SCORE!!!

Go inside, stand in line… and stand…. and stand… and stand. WTH?

Only Two tellers and both of them occupied with two crazy women. One demanding that the money be recounted (6th time) “‘cause she be knoin she gave dat teller another $40” at one teller window and at the other window the woman is explaining her boyfriends access to the various accounts and that she thinks he’s cheating on her and she needs to get herself some money that aint his money… 

At which point my eyes and ears are starting to bleed.

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I’m wondering if the ATM would be a better option when miracle of miracles a third teller appears at the counter and waves the guy in front of me over. Progress! My eyes and ears are still bleeding. But I might make it out of the credit union before 9PM this evening.

Finally my turn, I hand the teller my endorsed checks, I swipe my ATM card and enter my PIN (Might as well have done the ATM thing) and tell him I want to deposit these checks and get $100 in cash. And that’s when it all fell down…

He looks at the checks, and then logs out of his computer. “Please wait, I’ll be right back…” 

ZIP he’s over conversing with a woman that looks like she put the whole lemon forest in her mouth. After 5 minutes the young guy comes back.

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I ask him what the problem was… He couldn’t read the first word of the spelled out amount… Sigh…

I remind him about wanting the hundred back. Then I’m done… Out the door and across the parking lot I see… a POS parked too close to my passenger door and an orange cone near my drivers door. WTF?

Oh the orange cone is from the mobile car wash guy who’s working on a Mercedes and has gotten my car with the water as he rinsed the Mercedes. He’s looking at me with fear in his eyes.

I guess by rights I could demand a free car wash but the poor guy looks so sorry, hot, & tired, I don’t have the heart. Besides my car is filthy the most he did was add to the water spots already in the dust on my hood. Big Deal!

It’s 99F when I get in the car. I’m on the road again heading North. 18 Wheelers are taking up 3 of the 3 lanes and not giving anyone a break as we inch along toward the freeway.

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Eventually the 18 wheelers manage to take up only 2/3 of the available lanes, me along with everyone else squirts through the opening and ahead into open lanes. Shortly though several cars are playing Indy 500 pace cars and we’re all crawling along catching every light.

Grrrr….

Finally the Freeway! Zip… I’m on cruising and all is well. I come up on Day Creek there’s enough room for 2 cars between me and the guy in front of me. The two cars merge perfectly and get on the freeway without problem. I’m watching the traffic as we approach the I-15 Northbound it bunches up in this area and it’s not uncommon for someone to realize they need to get on the i-15 and they’re not in the correct lane. This results in someone sailing across 6 lanes of traffic and further increase in the backup around the transition.

Out of the corner of my eye I see a white infinity SUV ON MY RIGHT! There’s either no lane or they’re about to run out of lane but they’re accelerating! There’s no room ahead of me, what the hell are they doing?

I’ve been moving at the same speed neither faster or slower there’s 1/4 mile of open road behind me and this dumbass has accelerated and is trying to force herself in to a space that is too small for her bloated ass and why is she doing this anyway?

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I’ve got nowhere to go, I can’t change lanes, and I figure the minute I touch my brakes so will she and we’ll still have a deadlock.

I keep moving at the same speed and hope she figures out that her best choice is to drop behind me like a good little BITCH and stop trying to cause an accident.

I momentarily think of the relative values of our vehicles and her probable impact point on my car, Yep! It would be her fault and I’d sue the fucking hell out of her. But nah… I just want to go home.

So I accelerate a bit to get out of her way because I still have nowhere to go… and the dumb bitch accelerates too!

Now it’s insane! She finally drops behind me as she should have done in the fucking first place and gets on the freeway.

As she takes the faster lane next to me another little bitch…

(I’m thnking a much worse word that is prefaced with Rancid, Diseased, Dried up, and ends with the bad word)

…in the passenger seat flips me off with her $90 manicured nails and enough diamonds on her fingers to make Xerxes I of Persia jealous.

I can’t stop myself, I safely signal and change lanes, I pull my phone out of it’s holster and snap a picture of them from behind.

NOW is when they get concerned that maybe, just maybe, they’ve pulled the wrong fucking guys chain. They speed off and I change lanes back to the slow lane to make the transition home.

You know, I just want to go about my life, It shouldn’t be an ordeal every fucking time I leave my driveway.

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This is one of the reasons that I’ve wanted to leave California for the last 5 years. I’ve actually wanted to leave this state for about the last 20 years but you make sacrifices for your significant other. The last 5 years however have made me want to be somewhere else I’m almost to the point of ANYWHERE else.

When do I get to go someplace that’s civilized?

I couldn’t help but think as I was finally heading home about that old saying “an armed society is a polite society” and that California is mostly disarmed now days.

Then there was the usual bullshit going up the I-15.

I’m going to get a sign to post in the back window of my vehicles, it’s going to read;

HEY DUMBASS!

It’s a simple rule…

SLOWER TRAFFIC TO THE RIGHT!

I finally get home. I’m hungry, spun-up and what should have been an hour errand at most, turned into a 3 hour tour. I think that’s going to be a new saying for me. “example, Then I was on a Gilligan – Something that should have been over far sooner than it actually was.

I’m pissed off and storming so I sit down at my computer.

Logic, rationality, and calmness are what I’m craving.

I click on my browser, I want to look at some settings on the blog and maybe read the news.

The computer locks up… again… I have absolutely no control…

REALLY??????

AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!

I need a drink!

Welcome Komrade to Kalifornia

I’m really disturbed by the California legislators.

Recently, they’ve approved several measures regarding guns and ammunition. Individually these measures are innocuous but when you pull back and look at these measures as a tapestry, Then the picture is chilling.

First I think many of us would agree that the California legislators absolutely want to deprive Californians of their 2nd amendment rights.

However, they know that an outright assault on the 2nd amendment of the United States Constitution would fail.

Regardless of how stupid you might think the legislators are, they’re not stupid at all. (Always respect your enemy. Never underestimate their ability, doing so will cause you to make mistakes.)

They’re very cleverly creating a situation where you can own a gun. But you can’t afford to shoot it.

With the microstamping law, you can’t even buy a gun in California unless manufacturers decide to incorporate the microstamping technology.

Then there’s this lovely set of laws they’re OKing;

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Ladies & Gentlemen, this is how it ends. Our rights stripped from us in the legal wrangling of politicians.

These politicians are using State Law to circumvent the constitutional protection that the 2nd amendment confers upon US Citizens.

If these Bills and others like them are signed into law, California will become a gun free zone just like Chicago and Washington DC. Which means we can reasonably expect to see increasing crime until it reaches the same levels as Chicago and DC.

Is this what you want?

There have been at least two research firms that confirmed Crime Rates drop as Gun Ownership rises.  National Institute of Justice statistics show that over at least the past decade gun crimes are generally dropping not increasing.

One very interesting statistic is that 40% of the inmates who’d committed a crime with a gun stated they’d gotten their gun from an illegal source.

Why then is the Federal government and California State government continuing to pursue laws aimed at restricting the 2nd Amendment?

That’s the question to ask.

Read the statistics for yourself. I realize if you’re a reader of this blog I’m probably preaching to the choir. But if you can direct  other people to this blog then maybe we can educate them before bills like those above become laws.

Remember, other states look at what California does before writing their own laws.

Just Sayin.

Interesting article about California

I have no idea how I stumbled upon this web site. I was probably reading something in a news piece and clicked on a random link. Thank goodness my Virus protection is up to date or I’d be watching German cartoon porn or something.

Anyhoo, 

I liked what the author had to say and thought I’d share it. I’m going to put the links to the website and also a PDF of the article here in this post. One of them should work.

I’m not sure that I totally agree with all of Mr. Hansons points but I did enjoy the article very much.  There were some parts of the piece that resonated with me enough that I’ve gone on to read some of his other articles. 

If I find others of equal interest, I’ll post them here too.

It’s long, but worth the read.

The 30 year  time frame Mr. Hanson cites is almost an exact match for the time that I’ve been in California. I’ve been here 35 years.

It’s comforting to me to know that I’m not the only one who has seen changes for the worse in the Golden State.

Here is the link to the original article

Here is the PDF of the article.

Works and Days » California at Twilight » Print.pdf

Here we go again

It’s that wonderful time of year… The time when the Gas prices shoot through the roof.

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This year they’re starting earlier than usual. I guess the Oil executives have to pay for their Christmas yachts somehow…

Of course the local California media is asking Why? They’re also promising a full investigation.

Investigate? How about just looking at the facts.

The problem is as simple as this. California only sells gas that is refined in California.

So if there’s the slightest glitch at any of the refineries, the oil companies get to put a hot poker up all our asses.

This isn’t a smart way to do things. Anyone in manufacturing knows that sole sourcing isn’t smart.

California isn’t the only state that has regulations forcing fuel being sold in the state to have been refined in the state.

I pick on California because it’s the state that I know the most about being one of the people raped at least twice a year by the oil companies. Although in recent years it’s looking more and more like 3 times a year.

As I’ve said before, it’s stuff like the refinery is being maintained, or the refinery needs a bit of paint. Opps, one of executives passed nasty farts. In short, any little excuse to simulate an emergency and thereby jack the prices up.

I’m not driving un-necessarily. I suspect that no-one else is either. Here in my household we’re planning all our trips very carefully and we don’t go anywhere we don’t have to.

This means, no movies, no dining out, no shopping, no bar hopping, in short no luxuries.

If a lot of people in California are adopting similar strategies then pretty soon the California economy will dip.

This means that any layoffs in retail, or food services can be laid squarely at the feet of the oil companies. And they should be!

Crude Oil prices are lower than last year. Brent Crude is about the same. So why the run up?

Can you say Greed???

Good! I knew you could…

Sandy Hook was a tragedy but lets think shall we?

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Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner has proposed that California impose a waiting period on bullet sales.

Her sound bite on TV last night was so insane I thought my head would explode.

Most gun owners always keep a supply of ammunition around. Oh and for your information… 200, 250, 500, even 2000 rounds of ammunition isn’t that much, despite the mock breathless shocked reporting of the talking heads on CNN.

At a shooting match, you go through 250 rounds. On the shooting range you can easily fire 300 rounds. Why? because you’re practicing!

How many golf balls do you hit at the driving range? How many baseballs do you hit in a batting cage?

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If you’re practicing to hit a target, you use a lot of bullets, just like any other situation where practice improves skill.

This “Lawmaker” obviously doesn’t know what the term “Pre-Meditated” means.

NO, It doesn’t mean that you meditate seeking karmic balance before you get your gun and go shoot up a school. 

It means that you plan well in advance your actions. 

That being said a waiting or cool down period before you can purchase ammunition is pointless.

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Do you think that James Holmes wasn’t planning?

Lets see, allegedly he had guns and ammunition in his car along with body armor. He didn’t stop at the army surplus store and buy that stuff on the way to the theater.

Holmes also took the time to boobytrap his apartment and was probably not intending to come back but was trying to take out additional fire and law enforcement officers that he knew would come to investigate his residence.

So Ms. Skinner what kind of waiting period do you think you’d like to impose? A month? 6 months? A year? 

No it’s pretty obvious that you’re trying to impose and eternal ban on bullets followed by an eternal ban on guns.

The last time a bullet ban was proposed environmental protection was the vehicle. After all we don’t want lead in the environment do we?

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Adam Lanza didn’t stop at “bullets r us” on the way to the Sandy Hook school. He had all the ammo he needed because it was in the gun cabinet.

The problem is that people are trying to assign meaning and rationality to the insane actions of people that are… pardon my technical terms here, crazy as fucking hell.

There is no logic, no sense, no reason behind these events. These individuals were / are out of their minds.

I for one am sick and tired of everything being tied back to the Sandy Hook tragedy and the way that tragedy is being used to forward the agenda of the gun control lobby.

I personally find it obscene that the gun control lobby, our liberal politicians, and the media are using the murders of children to push their agenda forward.

Let’s stop engaging in knee jerk reactions. Let’s look at these tragedies in the harsh light of reality.

Crazy people, do crazy shit. There’s nothing more complicated about it than that. If we want to live in a free society we accept that there will be a certain element of risk.

A question I’d like to see answered is this.

Why is it that when I was growing up no-one would even have thought about shooting up a theater or even more unthinkable a school. What has changed in the fundamental fabric of our society that allows what was once unthinkable, to be manifested in reality?

That’s what we need to identify and fix.