Monday, January 30, 2006

New 10mbps Internet Connection

"And I only put my name in"

It feels like the day in 2000 where I got cable for the first time! This thing is gonna be sweet! Here comes video and audio to my blog!!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Boy, I'll tell you...

...there is nothing like coming home from Southern California. That whole place sucks! Dodger fans... Traffic... Foreigners... and well, a huge population of urban sprawl sucking the life out of our environment.

I went down for a training meeting so I can learn to be a better, more skilled person. We'll see how that shapes out.

It looks as if we've made it out of the first trimester. The toilets should be happy!

Monday, January 23, 2006

A Homeless Man and My Garbage Can

This is getting viewer ship on the other blog I am contributing to so I thought I'd post it back here.

I live in a nice neighborhood but it is close to the downtown area of Sacramento. Sacramento has plenty of transients walking around and pushing shopping carts. I feel bad about them but what really can you do. You donate clothes, give money to the shelter or hand them a buck once in a while. They don’t go away. The problem doesn’t get solved. I personally won’t give money to someone on the street that asks out of fear that they would use it for drugs. You really get the point when they beg in front or near a liquor store. Our Starbucks on Broadway is notorious for beggars and if you have the caffiene habit I have, you begin to recognize them. One always bugs me in the summer about my Porsche. It’s a neat car to him. He always asks questions about it, then asks for money that I know he’s going down the street and spending on a bottle of MD 20/20.

So I am sitting here right now, looking out the window. I just got finished writing a post on my other blog about my HP printer/scanner installation process on the different PC’s and Apple computers I have. It was a frustrating process that still has no end in sight. It’s a beautiful day today. Clear skies and the sun’s out. The air is cool and crisp for California standards at 55 degrees. I am sitting watching a man with a shopping cart pulling cans and bottles out of my recycling can. The instinct I have is to run and chase him out. Why? First off it’s illegal to steal recycling out of cans. I didn’t create the law but we got to enforce them. We cannot let law breakers just slide right? And really, do we need that element running around our neighborhood? My cars have been vandalized. Every weekend when you walk the dog you see a car get broken into, or hear an alarm going off because no one was home. Three years ago we were victims of a home burgarly. Stole my early Nolan Ryan baseball cards, hundreds of cd’s, our guitar collection and our silverware. It’s scary shit. We saw a transient get picked up by the police outside our house last night because he was just walking around aimlessly sitting on peoples staircases or gawking at every car or lady. Today is different though. I was going to mess with the man. Set the alarm off on my truck. Do random shit, like turn up the stereo or videotape him. Anyone of us would do something to get them off your property. Maybe walk outside with a bat. It’s only human to want him to just go away. The dog didn’t like it as she stood barking through the glass.

And then he pulls the Mission tortillas we had just thrown away because they were stale. They were still good but just stale. I watched him pull his own bag out and place the tortillas in there. He pushed the cans back. Cleaned up his mess and headed toward the recycling plant with his cart. He was a very clean man. I have seen him many times before pushing his cart through our neighborhood. He never says a word. Smiles when you make eye contact. Just a completely harmless man who wants to not be bothered. I’m sure he knows more of what’s going on than I.

I got pretty bummed out just now, watching him walk away. Is it really our fault people our homeless. It scares me to even want to believe that. I choose not to though. It’s not that I am a heartless bastard, it’s because I really can’t. It’s instinct. I didn’t cause that directly. I don’t put people on the street, evict them by jacking the rent or even am responsible for firing people. People sometimes do it to themselves, with drug problems, having a load of kids, imperfect morality or bad life decisions. We don’t make people stupid. But what of the man who visited? Who was he and why does he live on the street? We’ll never really know even if we asked.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

HP PhotoSmart 2575: Apple Vs. PC

We bought the scanner the other day to scan photos through the home network to our vast supply of different computers. We decided on the HP PhotoSmart 2575 so we can scan photos and post them on the blogs. (Note: The wife has a blog and won't let me see it :()

Anyhow we have two types of computers, an Apple and PC.

Here's the install process for the Apple:

Plug in printer.
Connect printer via network cable to router

Insert disk.
Load program.
Apple Air Port finds HP 2575
(Poof!) Printer prints test page.
I scan ultrasound photo and the results are on the blog post below titled "Coming in August" within minutes.

Install Process for PC:

Plug in Printer
Conncet printer via network cable to router.

Insert disk to PC
Load Program
Everthing looks good, restart PC: Nothing.

Go into Control Panel to see if new printer is installed. It's not.
Click add Printer. Cannot load printer into PC.

Insert Disk and reload printer.
Now I have 2 2575 HP Printers load.
First one does not work, second one does. Print test page. Nothing.

Go back to printer and print network page conveniently located in Printer's program.
Check address on PC. Address is not found.

Swearing ensues! I keep swearing, give up and go play Tiger Woods 2006 on XBOX 360

Three days later after wife's bitching...

Attempt installation again with success after second time.

Successfully print test page over wireless network.
Attempt scan, nothing.

Go to Printer. No computer found.
Open HP help page.

Discover you need to tell computer to allow scanning.

Attempt scan of "Conrete Blond" CD cover laying nearby.
Scan immediately goes to Apple computer instead of PC
Turn off Apple and start scan again.
Restart scan and select PC, double checking access

Swearing ensues! Hand jumpdrive to wife and say "You are gonna have to use this to scan your photos."

Go back, and play Tiger Woods 2006 on XBOX 360.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Minimum Wage Increase Cross Post

This story is cross posted at Bring It On in the Red Diary. Bring It On and I have a love-hate relationship that started last spring. Some there really hate my opinion. Others have grown to understand me and embrace me. Bring It On has changed recently to become a small political chatter box where the left, the blue people, and the right, the red people, can shout it out, form an opinion and discuss the real issues at hand. Some people dislike politcal blogs, (s'up lawryde) and others love them. Personally my blog isn't intended to be political but about issues I face everyday. If you like discussion and love to argue a point, visit BIO and sign in. Special thanks again to the Bastard and pia. The Bastard even inadvertently linked me to the Daily Kos, getting me 300 or so hits so far.

Here's the minimum wage post (Kurt, I am gonna love your thoughts on this one!)

During the California state of the state address, Governor Schwarzenegger eluded to minimum wage increase. A political move? Absolutely! Straight out of Pat Brown playbook. What else is he going to do if he wants to win? State worker’s comp insurance is going down in California. A very big gift for the state’s small businesses who are safe workplaces. The effect of the minimum wage is minimal because I believe worker’s comp is off-setting it. The proposed increase over 2 years is $1 per hour. We already have a state mandated wage much higher than the national minimum wage at $6.75 instead of $5.75. No matter how you slice it though, we still are an expensive state to do business with. Real estate is insane, worker’s comp is still the nations highest and there are a lot of high wage technical jobs requiring high wage, talented people to do the job. It’s a crazy place…. anyhow back to minimum wage:

Personally, minimum wage to me sucks. It goes against supply and demand, anything you read and learn in an Economics class at the local college and is a deteriment to small business. It’s a mandate, it throws the system out of whack and it actually causes people to abuse the law, just to stay in business. I work for a large supply company and we sell one of the necessary products to aid mostly small businesses and some large corporations. Our product is an important source for both revenue and labor savings. Kind of a unique position, yes but it can become a problem. The companies I sell to are in the convenience business. They provide a service at a low cost that many of us cannot perform ourselves. It’s also a luxury versus a necessity. Many of us, use this business as much as once a week. Though a luxury the service is price sensitive and highly competitive. And if everyone in this country used this service, the enviroment would actually be cleaner! But price would scare us off if it got too high.

Things are stable in my line of work as of late. But now, the industry buzz is this pending minimum wage increase. Most of my customers are proud to say the either offer medical benefits or a wage a little bit over the current minimum wage. It’s a labor intensive business. You need quality people. Unfortunately, the market does not support a high wage or a wage a dollar an hour higher than our current minimum wage. It really is a starter job. A stepping stone. Not a life long career. Much better than unemployment.

So what does a minimum wage do to this industry I supply. Suppose they provide a service for $10. And labor rate and taxes, before they pay utilities or building costs is $4. So the net to pay other costs and to pay himself is $6. He pays the building costs, taxes and utilities and now he has $1 left for those services. As I said earlier the industry is price sensitive and can only command $10 for the service. The minimum wage goes up a buck and now costs him $5 instead of $4 for labor. He now has $5 to pay utilities, taxes, buliding costs and well, what’s left for the small businessman? $0.

This scenario happens everytime you raise minimum wage. Minimum wage increases hurt the local mom and pop grocery store on the corner, your dry cleaner, your local car wash or local sandwich shop. Big chains who are gobbling everyone up and over building like Walmart or Taco Bell can eat it. They got big bucks and low profit margins and no one notices when they raise their price. The little guy takes it in the shorts and simply goes out of business. This whole scenario all points to minimum wage and a cost of labor. What did the small businessman do wrong? He followed an economic model that didn’t make sense.

Now imagine what happens when you force Health Care costs on all businesses. That triple Venti Vanilla Latte will be 7 bucks instead of 4.20.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Coming in August

Well, here is the second ultrasound photo. Kind of a weird experience seeing an ultrasound. We watched it take a flying jump today. It was pretty cool!

Not much else to write. The photo says it all.

I feel like going out and plunking down a hundred grrr on my own ultrasound machine.

But then, you all might think I was crazy.

Gonna go jump on some couches now.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

We Have Conservative Nut Jobs in California After All

Search Evolution on Yahoo! and you find this.

Look up theory in Webster's and you get this:

the·o·ry Pronunciation: 'thE-&-rE, 'thi(-&)r-E Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -ries
Etymology: Late Latin theoria, from Greek theOria, from theOrein
1 : the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another
2 : abstract thought : SPECULATION
3 : the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art theory>
4 a : a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action theory that all children want to learn> b : an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances -- often used in the phrase in theory theory, we have always advocated freedom for all>
5 : a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena theory of light>
6 a : a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation b : an unproved assumption : CONJECTURE c : a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject <theory of equations>
synonym see HYPOTHESIS

Yes people, the Theory of Evolution is going to court in California. There is a school down in Fresno that has decided to have a class dedicated to refuting the Theory of Evolution by using science, biology and Biblical ideas to show students that the Theory of Evolution is wrong. The class is being disguised as a philosophy class instead of a true science. I personally think it's great and would have taken the class if I was in high school.

And what is it about evolution that drives us all nuts. If you believe the scientists, you need to understand that the Theory of Evolution is just that: A theory. Look at the word theory as it appears in the Webster's entry again. What if we called it the Speculation of Evolution or the Conjecture of Evolution? We'd all call Mr. Darwin a quack. But since it's a "Theory". Whoa! It's believable. It's something to have faith in. Something to sort of defend, perhaps even worship. You know, kinda like a religion?

Why is it that kids NEED to learn Evolution so bad in our schools, yet denied an alternate view? You have to have the proper belief system in order for a theory to be true. The SCOTUS has already ruled in Torasco vs Watkins, that atheism, or "secular humanism" is a religion. No matter what an atheist puts forward, they are still fronting a belief system regardless if there is no ultimate deity or after life, which is what many of the world's religions support. Atheism by definition fits a description of what Webster's defines as religion. (Look at 3 and 4)

So if evolution is a secular humanist's idea, then it technically is a religious argument. Isn't it? So if it is an idea why are we teaching it in our schools but not along side an alternative view. Our public schools are technically preaching "religion" to our kids by teaching evolution. It's kinda like sex education if you think about it. You teach the kids the facts, and the parts, and how they all go together. Then you have to make them believe in a system so they won't get a disease if they abstain or use protection, or that you'll not get pregnant and they don't. You are imposing a belief system on them by punishing them with consequences.

Makes you think, don't it?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ted Kennedy's new book!


The dog's name is "Splash"!

Get it? Splash!

I am so rolling on this one!

I smart, read book, go far

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Eva Longoria VS. Bowling for Columbine

It was insomnia Saturday Night and there wasn't much on last night. I ended up not falling asleep until 3 AM or so. But at 11pm, while flipping through DirecTV channel surfing last night I discovered a conflict at 11:30. On NBC you had a re-run of Saturday Night Live with Eva Longoria or you had Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine. What a tough choice! Korn was even the musical act on Saturday Night Live. What's a Republican to do? (See if you are a Republican you can still watch cool stuff, it's not a suicide pact!)

I chose Bowling for Columbine over Eva. What a shame! But something happened. Moore wrote a good documentary there. It was very well done. Even though I disagreed with Moore's conclusions and think he is a total ass, but there were some interesting points.

I disagreed with a lot of the documentary because it seemed Moore was driven to point out America's drive to violence as the ultimate cause of the Columbine tragedy and the killing of the 6 year old girl in Flynt, Michigan by another 6 year old boy. We have violent tv shows, movies and video games. We have a violent country. Clinton dropped bombs on Kosovo the day the Columbine attack occurred. Our murder rate with guns is astronomically higher than the rest of the free world. I think the blame was a bit misguided because he blamed gun ownership as the major cause and he wanted to point out how Canada has 7 million guns in 10 million households and how low their violent crime rate with guns is significantly lower than ours. Moore glorified Canada to the point that I think he should just move there. Canada is a great place but America isn't Canada. Guns aren't our problem in this country, people are.

It's scary to say but back in high school, I had a lot in common with kids like Harris and Klebold who committed these crimes. I had that "outcast" feeling. It suprised me to learn that Harris and Klebold's parents were not divorced. They had not come from a broken home and neither did I. My parents have been married 40 years. Those kids had a lot of pressure and a lot of build up around high school, as the place to make it. You see the pressure in high school movies like Friday Night Lights, where football players were treated like gods. Or shows like MTV's Sweet Sixteen where these bratty girls through parties for their 16th birthdays and pick and choose who comes like Schindler's List. What about those who aren't part of the social popularity? I have seen it in high school, the rejection, the mean kids who abuse others, and school administrations not identifying the problem. I saw it first hand at my school but then saw it again as a substitute teacher. I went to my 5 year high school reunion and got more apologies than I ever got in high school. Some kids are flat out mean to those that can't take it. Who causes that? Is it guns? I don't think so. Is it violent tv and movies? I don't think so either. I think it's our current social plan. We don't talk about it enough! Yet, I wonder who's to blame for it. It's not the second Amendment as Moore points out. Some people just shouldn't be having kids. I think that's the real problem.

I like what Moore did with the K-Mart and the bullets though. Even though I am a capitalist and they were turning K-Mart into an advisary and turning them into the "cause", which is a thought process I am totally against, they did expose something. A 17 year old was working a gun department and sold them ALL the ammunition. That had to have been hundreds of dollars worth of ammo. The second Amendment says you can own again a gun or "bear arms". It doesn't say you can go into a store and buy a shitload of ammo. You can't go into a drugstore and cases of Sudafed, yet it is your right to own some legally. We regulate so many petty things like cigarette smoking, alcohol and spray paint at a hardware stores, so I see no reason to have some sort of restriction on ammo. Yet still, it's idiots that cause us to regulate this stuff not the actual items themselves.

I couldn't watch the end of Bowling for Columbine because I think Moore is a sick person. I listened but I didn't want to watch. He goes to Charlton Heston's house with a camera as a "card carrying member of the NRA" to discuss the NRA with Heston. Charlton Heston is NOT the cause of the Columbine, the Flynt Michigan murder or any other imbecile that wants to take someone's life with a gun. Yet Moore just out for his own vindication. Let's go attack a feeble old man, some legendary icon in film who probably wants to be remembered for his younger days as a film star. It was a sick attack. Heston is one man. He doesn't put the guns in the hands of those who want to kill others. Heston had no choice but to get up and leave... IN HIS OWN HOME!!! How jacked up is that? Damn you Michael Moore, Damn you all to Hell!

For that, I think you should take your camera over to Clint Eastwood's house! Your documentary provided no solution or plan, only your misguided agenda which over shadowed your cause as a humanitarian.

I wanna see the other film now.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Day of the Steve Part 2: Because my wife is better than yours!


Yeah, I stole the image off of, so sue me. It's free advertising for them. They make a good product. Go buy one!

I came home from work today and my wife suprised me with one of these. See I went to the casino the other day and won like I did when I got the iPods back in August. It was raining so much on Friday a friend of mine came up with the idea of going to the Indian Native American Casino for lunch. (I keep thinking of South Park when they rubbed the Chinese people with SARS in the Indian blankets to give to the people in the town)

Well I sat in on a three card poker game and he went and played video poker. He hits 4 Ace's and wins $1200. He then taps me on the shoulder and says, "Look!" A split second later I got my cards and hit a straight flush and picked up $500. It was like the stars lined up for 5 seconds. So we did what smart people do. We left! It again felt like the August story I linked here and I had to bring the money home to do something sane like put it in the bank, by groceries, remodel the bathroom, etc. Besides, no one had an XBOX 360 last week in Sacramento.

She went to Target to get us a Sonicare toothbrush and while in the electronics section, she saw one.

So now, I have a new toy to suck my life away! PGR3 is where it's at baby!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

5 Random Facts

I think I was tagged by The Bastard over at Bring It On via email this evening so I will expand this over to the some other regular readers of my blog. 5 fun facts about The Bastard can be found here. I can see those guys over at Bring It On laughing out loud about this stuff.

So here are 5 Random facts about me:

Fact #1: I have a Bachelor of Music Degree. You might find it odd but I grew up as a band geek. I started out playing the trumpet, switched in 8th grade to the Baritone Horn and thus went to college. I was a member of the State Honor band my senior year in High School and sat 3rd chair. I got a scholarship to go to an actual music conservatory. I studied Music Business along with various performing activities which included solo performances, concert, choir and small group stuff. I picked up guitar in college, I was in a band for a short time and can pretty much play along to the radio. I am not perfect pitch though I have a pretty decent relative pitch which allows me to pick chords out of thin air. It's not a talent, I see it as a curse because I haven't been able to do much more with it. I listen to music pretty much all day.

Fact#2: I have a lot of weird jobs. I still have a pretty weird job now and I have been at it for 8.5 years. To maintain some bit of anonymity I won't say what I do now. (Quiet Kurt :)). But I have worked the following jobs:

Car Washer: I worked for years as the annoying person who tried to talk you out of your money at the car wash by offering you wax jobs and details. I also pumped gas for a number of years. So if I ever get that music career going I have something to write about.

Arcade Manager: For the 4 years I was in college, I managed the Campus Arcade and Vending Machines. I was pretty evil at it too. Back in the early 90's you started to get games that you can change the difficulty on. Mortal Combat was new and at it's peak so I decided to make the game harder making us more money. Kids would come in and would never get passed the 3rd or 4th guy so they'd through more money in. We were making like $500 a week on that game. I also managed some billiard tables.

Professional Band Geek: Playing for the school's pep band for collegiate sports games was a paying job. I honked on a Tuba and Trombone as needed for football, basketball and volleyball. I was once on ESPN.

Temp Employee: I worked at the following entertainment companies anywhere from a day to 6 weeks at a time. Universal Studios Amusment Park Development, Hanna Barbera, 4M, RCA, Priority Records (A rap label as the only white guy there!), Disney Channel, MCA Records.

Substitute Teacher: I got in a fight with a 8th grader the 2nd period of the first day! No Joke, I was breaking up a fight between 2 kids in a PE class and third twirp popped me in the nose for "not letting them fight". I was the "cool" sub. I let kids do anything except break the rules. If there was a lesson plan I followed it. I let the kids call me by my first name. We listened to Jimi Hendrix, it was cool!

Macy's Christmas Time Employee: Santa Monica Mall on the 3rd Street Promenade. I worked in the men's department for a month. That job SUCKED!!! Nothing like parking your truck at the beach, wearing a suit, seeing Santa Claus on the beach next to two surfers and seeing joggers run by. I made 6 bucks an hour and my half the apartment's rent at $475 a month, DO THE MATH!!!

Fact #3: I voted for Clinton in 1992. (Ducking!) It's true, I was just out of high school and misguided. I still voted for Republican everywhere else that election but for some reason I felt like being apart of the winning team. I also wore Birkenstocks and Doc Martens and flannel shirts. I listened to grunge. Kurt Cobain was my hero. I'd go days without shaving. I don't know what the hell I was doing. I did it and I am not sorry. I did not inhale either! Note: This blog is a member of the associated Anti Hillary sites. As Rush said on Tuesday, "Real men won't vote for Hillary!" If you cannot see the humor of Rush saying that, you are a liberal!

Fact #4: I wrote about it once before a while back but my wife and I were engaged in Liverpool, England after touring the city on the Magical Mystery Tour. If you are a Beatles fan or any type of music fan, you must go there and take this tour. It finishes at the Cavern Club where the Beatles were main stays during the early 60's. We got engaged at the bar across the street under the window where their instruments are located. We went to Ireland a couple of days later. Dublin is also another must especially if you are a Guinness and U2 fan like me.

Fact #5: I was verbally and physically assaulted by Gwen Stefani. A sort of true story but what I described is what happened. I was in Modesto seeing this punk/emo band that was big underground during the early 90's. The band is called Samiam. I thought they were the next big thing. Their music still puts most bands to shame. They were opening for a little known band called No Doubt who was just hitting radio with, "I'm Just a Girl" in late 1995. There were like 500 people at this little concert. After Samiam's set I saw an opening backstage so I marched right in. The band came out and autographed my Samiam shirt. I repeatedly asked their manager for a job. The band was in the middle of a bidding war between Capital, Geffen and some others. They held out for the highest bidder and released the now out of print album "Clumsy". The album received rave reviews and if it were released today, it'd still be ahead of its time. The band still tours and is recording a new album. I can't wait. Anyhow back to the story... While getting autographes and what not from the band, apparently I was blocking the stage entrance. The stage was elevated and had a stairway up to the top. I backed into this blonde chick who at the time looked like a Madonna wannabe with cones for a bra. I had no idea who she was. She pushed me back and said, "Get the F--- out of my way!" It was an interesting celebrity encounter.

Other stars I have met:

Shaquille O'Neal came into a car wash I worked at in LA quite frequently. He gave me a bear hug, learned my first name and tipped my like $100 a few times for not locking his keys in his Tahoe.

Nicholas Cage was a frequent washer. I drove his Ferrari down the street once. It was bad!

Gary Coleman, Bill Cosby, Dennis Franz, Frank Stallone, Jr., Jimmy Smits, Tony Curtis... were frequent car washers.

The band Verve Pipe at an RCA Records party.

Adam Duritz and the Counting Crows

Chino Moreno of the Deftones... True Story, I was golfing at a local nine hole one evening and I was put up with this group of guys. Right around the 6th hole these dudes fire up a huge joint. We were in a public park. I was wondering what the hell was going on. There are kids nearby but we were all alone. So I distanced myself. On the way to the 8th hole, the par 5 they started talking about a recording. I asked the guy which band he was in and he said the Deftones. No freaking way, I didn't believe him. I proceeded to Eagle the next hole! I went home, looked him up on the internet and boom, there he was. Holy Crap!!

So I am official tagging these blogs for 5 Random Facts: Lawryde, Lingo Slinger, The Kevin Show, The Donegal Express and KatieKat's blog.

And thanks to those at Bring it on for the tolerance!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Who'll Stop The Rain?


Front page picture on the Sacramento Bee today.

It just doesn't want to stop. The rain is coming in hard and fast, breaking levees, flooding streets and mowing down trees everywhere. So much so we called off our New Years poker game. Who the hell wants to drive in rain like this? I really want to find more info on this lady pictured here. It is a sad picture but you really have to hand it to the Sacramento Bee for bringing it to our attention. The Sloughhouse Inn is also under water. There is a photo of a guy getting pizza delivered by boat out side that place. A levee broke south of our house this evening on Hwy 160.

And we're all sick here so it's like we didn't even notice. There was a bit of sun over us for a couple of hours yesterday, sort of a calm between the storms. Enough time to catch a couple of pints of Guinness for British New Year at 4pm.

Rain is supposed to stop after tomorrow. So much for a peaceful holiday week and weekend.