Tuesday, January 30, 2007
That makes *me* stupid.
Besides, I'm busy these days.
I'm back to studying the putong hua again, and spending any other "free" time doing a structured exploration of what the heck I want to do with my life.
I know I do not want to do this any more.
I really just want to work with intelligent, nice people, in a place where I'm challenged and constantly learning, and problem-solving with visible results of my hard work and brainpower.
There, that was easy.
Oh, yeah, boatloads of money and a company car (which I'll promptly crash since I don't know how to drive) would be nifty too. And a free pen with the company logo.
Maybe he didn't want to speed up until he was on land near a dealership, lest one of his parts fall off?
Monday, January 22, 2007
The Epiphany party was great. The next day Charles came over and we made baby blankets. All was spectacular.
Monday night, I was awoken by my noisy neighbors around 1am.
Not a big deal, but then the rustling in the kitchen. Yes, I do indeed have a roommate.
I knew it a few weeks before. Around 5am one morning, too much rustling of plastic bags or something... too much to be just the wind or something I stacked poorly.
I told myself maybe there was a mouse. I imagined my mouse was cute, shiny, full-coated, with long eyelashes and a charming smile.
But at 1am, with the kitchen trash roughly 5 feet from my head, I couldn't ignore it.
My thought was that if I turned the light on, threw some crap into the kitchen, waited a few minutes, my roommate would go away, not wanting to come face-to-face.
Then I went and wahsed a few dishes. Washing dishes calms me, and I decided that after I finished, I'd go back to sleep. And I was calmed, and as I put the last pot onto the dish dryer rack, my roomate scurried from the refrigerator across to the other corner, just where I could see him. I even yelped a little bit, but quietly, so as not to wake the (paying) neighbors. Now I was wide awake. And if that wasn't bad enough, my rommate whacked into the wall (clutz!) and then proceeded to rustle around rahter loudly for a minute or two. Sheesh! Just shut the hell up already, noisy little bastard!
I called Paul and was at his house within a half an hour, around 2am-something.
Long story short is that the roomate is not a problem, at least not in my apartment, anymore. We locked it out. Apparently, the building and block are infested, and my apartment managers have been fighting them valiently. They'll be gone soon. But at least it's not my problem any more.
I mean, it's not that I have anything against Rats, I just don't want them in my house.
I didn't need to see that, but I do recognize that it's nobody's fault but mine.
Should I start calling them by their porn names?
Friday, January 05, 2007
I would see him daily sweeping in the hallway and foyer.
I always thought he was a little weird, but it wasn't until the fire on the floor above me that I found out how weird he was, more importantly, WHO he was...
what's not mentioned in this article is that the whole Bush St. apartment thing came to light when one night in the wee hours, the fire alarm went off, which, in a large building like mine, happens more often than it should, and frequently just because of bored teenagers. Expecting to be greeted once again by a lot of people coming out in their PJ's to a non-event followed by a return to bed, I threw on some clothes, opened my door, and was greeted by smoke. But not a lot of heat, or flames, or anything of that nature. So I investigated. Went up one floor and there, on the floor in front of the apartment one floor up and on the opposite side of the hallway (this doorway would face me if I were on the 3rd floor instead of the 2nd) was a bottle, like a wine bottle, with smoke coming out. The door it sat in front of was charred black (burned, not smoked) but not on fire. Most importantly, the sprinkler system was going off. WHOA! and DAMN! Because a.) someone set this fire, and b.) the sprinklers were destroying the building.
I ran down and scurried to remove anything that was in that area of my apartment. the water was gushing in from the ceiling. In the hallway, the rectangle slats of the ceiling were disintegrating and bursting out. Firemen finally rushed in to do whatever they do when there isn't really a fire anymore. The water gushed through even to the floor below me. In the end, they had to rip out the bathroom and redo it, and the hallway carpets, and do this thing where they drilled a bunch of holes in the walls and used some machines to dry them out on all three floors.
a day or so later, the fire department or police department ( I can't remember now) called me to find out what I had seen. I told them, and asked if they found anyone. they told me they were investigating to find out what caused the fire. I was like, "um, maybe the firebomb someone planted in front of that door?!?"
The following Thursday I came home from visiting a friend at SFMC to find a big white van double parked in front of my building. The white van had a wide black stripe on it, with big white block letters
As I walked up the stairs, I could see men carrying out assloads of stuff and some computers.
I turned around and went back to SFMC for a bit.
The next day I asked my apartment manager what was going on, as this was starting to make me feel uneasy at home. He told me that there was an investigation to see how the fire started. I told him I saw what started it. I asked him why the bomb squad was there last night. He told me the bomb squad had not been there, but there were detectives. I felt like I was being lied to. Maybe the DETECTIVE car was out of gas, so they borrowed the BOMB SQUAD van? The funny thing was, my apartment manager (who was always kind of a dick) started going on this tirade about "this is what happens when people let people into the building." He was stuck on the idea that non-residents were getting let in all the time. Ironically, HE was the one that rented to this guy.
A few days later, one of my coworkers mentioned she saw an article about a fire, and showed it to me. I still have it somewhere. Yes, that's my building! Holy SHIT, that's the weird creepy guy I see in the hallway all the time. OMFG, that's the guy who burnt his son! Even *I* remember that, and I was like 6 years old when that was news. If it weren't for Jamie catching that in the paper, I would never know what happened in my building.
So, what's not mentioned in the article below, about the Bush St building, is that he (or, someone else, I guess they never proved it?) set a little firebomb in front of the door of a couple of girls he had been stalking. He was also charged with, as I recall, some sort of breaking and entering and stealing debit and credit cards from some of the apartments. I guess none of that ever went anywhere, but they did find a gun and a bunch of ammo on my nutjob psychotic creepyman neighbor. And that during his time at Bush St, he had been working at an IHOP in (I think) North Beach or Marina or somewhere, and carrying a picture of his son (pre-burn, I assume) and telling coworkers that his son died of leukemia.
And so here's to Charley Charles...
A man who tried to burn his 6-year-old son to death in 1983 is eligible for a life sentence under the three-strikes law for two weapons convictions in San Francisco, a state appeals court ruled Thursday.
Charley Charles will get one more chance to persuade a San Francisco Superior Court judge to set aside one of his past convictions and sentence him to less than the three-strikes term of 25 years to life. But the First District Court of Appeal agreed with prosecutors Thursday that the judge was wrong when she ruled last year that she had no authority to sentence Charles as a third-striker.
Charles, now 66, was known as Charles Rothenberg when, after a custody dispute with his wife, he took his son to an Orange County motel, gave him at least one sleeping pill, doused him with kerosene and set him on fire. The boy survived but was badly disfigured and had part of his fingers amputated. The father was convicted of attempted murder and arson and sentenced to 13 years in prison.
He was released in 1990 after serving half his sentence, was paroled to Oakland and later moved to San Francisco. After another arrest and a final jailhouse meeting with his son -- who, according to a statement he released, told Rothenberg he was an impostor and not the youth's father -- Rothenberg changed his name to Charley Charles in 1998. He also bought a handgun, which he said he needed for protection after someone shot at him on Market Street in 1995.
Charles was arrested in June 2001 and charged with being a felon in possession of the handgun as well as 44 rounds of ammunition, which police found in a fanny-pack in his Bush Street apartment. He was convicted of both charges, and has also been charged with credit card fraud and with making telephone threats from jail in 2005 to the prosecutor in the weapons case.
Under the 1994 three-strikes law, Charles faced a potential life sentence for the weapons convictions because of his two 1983 convictions. But Superior Court Judge Cynthia Lee ruled in April 2005 that Charles' arson and attempted murder convictions had to be considered only one strike because they arose from the same act.
Saying the three-strikes law was made for someone like Charles, Lee nevertheless sentenced him as a second-striker to seven years and four months in prison.
In Thursday's ruling, however, the appeals court said Charles' 1983 convictions were both strikes because they involved multiple acts -- taking his son to the motel, giving him a sleeping pill, attempting to murder him and setting fire to the motel -- and multiple victims: his son and the motel owner.
Rather than imposing a 25-years-to-life sentence, the court ordered another sentencing hearing to let Lee decide whether to dismiss one of the strikes.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Well, it was true.
I didn't want to pay for the most common mods, like carbon fiber widgets and expensive exhaust crap.
So, after Christmas, which brought me a few more doohickeys for the SV, I am now astounded at how my bike got so bloated with aftermarket bling.
1.) lowered seat (came with the bike from previous owner. Nice, but my knees are a bit cramped. But with the stock seat I *may* have tip-toe issues.)
2.) Some front springs I already forgot about (came with the bike from previous owner)
3.) Tank bra. I don't know why. It seemed like a good idea at the time?
4.) Suzuki windscreen (replacing the cute but not-good-for-distance aftermarkt flyscreen that came with the bike from the previous owner)
5.) Heated vest plug. Well, duh. I'm not a sucker, are you a sucker?
6.) Used gixxer shock. This is nice. Phil from Aftershocks does good stuff. He also serviced the front, but no *bling* added there.
7.) Renthal bars. Wait, they are renthal, right? This is because I actually bent two other pairs of bars: the stock ones, and the ones Paul gave me since I bent the stock ones.
8.) Barkbusters. Silly, but cute.
9.) Loud horn. this rocks, except when it doesn't. When it works, it's loud and great. But often iot doesn't work at all. feh. And they're mounted up front where they look like big red earrings. Or else, maybe I'm crazy.
10.) Scottoiler. I am teh lazy. And having no garage or center stand, chain maintanence was getting sorely neglected.
11.) Headlight modulator. Yay!
12.) Center stand. Paul says this will make changing the tires easier. Does that mean my mimosa will pour itself?
13.) Givi rack and ginormous topcase. I literally can't see around the thing one one side. But I can go grocery shopping! And bring home all that wine I bought last time I went drinking, er, I mean, wine tasting, with my dad!
14.) I've just been reminded that I also have frame sliders. These are a necessity, what with the SV's crashiness, and all. I bought them at MotoJava, can't remeber the brand, but I have tested them, and they help a LOT.
but god forbid it should ever fall over. I think I need to install some sort of scissor-lift lever thingie on the side(s). that would be cool.
...is now Margaret Caroline Turner
11:49 pm, January 3rd, 2007
She weighed 8 pounds, 1.7 ounces
measured 19.5 inches long
I know nothing about babies, but my mom tells me that's sort of big-ish.
Congratulations Ben & Megan! Now mom can stop hassling me for grandchildren!
I'm an Ayi!
I will now start collecting for her ribbon allowance & cedar chest.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
I baked my first pie
I saw a bald eagle in the wild
I made my first web page
I spoke at a wake
I met a friendly pigeon
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I've never been one for New Year's resolutions. I did set a financial goal, which I've done well with, and will continue.
I talked about short and long term goals with Paul. I guess those could be New Year's resolutions:
-Learn Chinese (quantitatively: I want to be conversational and understand movies)
-Sew more (quantitatively: I want to finish at least one project a month, and not be afraid to tackle a wedding dress should a friend want me to make theirs. I felt bad having to say I couldn't.)
-Travel (quantitatively: One big trip out of the country, and several short trips on the weekend)
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes. And my brother's wife is about to pop.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. My grandfather, John Pulskamp, a man the likes of which the world will never see again.
5. What countries did you visit?
I got as far as the check-in at the International Terminal.
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2008?
Still, from last year this time: a new place to live.
Also, travel, success.
7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 27th, 2006. Excitement, shock, disappointment, anger. To say nothing of the truly horrible thing that happened that day, which I didn't find out about for a week. (oh, yeah, and that fucking CHP officer with a lisp. I'm just glad someone else punched him the face already.)
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
9. What was your biggest failure?
Didn't nag enough. Failed to line up all the ducks. Failed to move on and make the best of what was left. Biggest failure: failure to get a new career.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No. I got a really good bruise crashing at the GP track on Charles' recommendation.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
A headlight modulator for Paul.
and a new Pfaff sewing machine for myself.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Paul's. He took care of me when I was trying to do everything, for everyone. He didn't get mad when I took care of things at the cost of our own sanity.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Still BushCo. I mean, how far can this thing go?
14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, motorcycle, food. Savings. I should eat out less.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Isle of Man. Looking forward to seeing James race. Looking forward to leaving my job. Baking pie. Christmas music.
16. What songs/bands will always remind you of 2006?
I dunno. I'm not a very musically-inclined person.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
ii. thinner or fatter?
iii. richer or poorer?
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Riding my motorcycle. Seeing my friends. Having adventures.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Working, feeling sorry for myself.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it with family, same as always. But no grandpa, changed everything.
22. Did you fall in love in 2005?
23. How many one night stands?
24. What were your favorite TV programs?
I almost never watch TV any more. We did Tivo, and watch, a tribute to the Yule Log. I also watched a whole lot of Arrested Development on DVD.
(what happened to 25?)
26. What was the best book you read?
Wild Swans. About 3 generations of women in China.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I'm really starting to enjoy that Wo Ai Ni song, but that's so 2005.
28. What did you want and get?
Two sewing machines: one which I needed in order to sew, and an antique, which is beautiful and serves no purpose.
29. What did you want and not get?
A lot. Isle Of Man, Cliffs of Moher, Guinness in Dublin. Learning to drive on the wrong side of the road in a Panda.
30. What was your favorite film(s) of this year?
I don't think we saw anything in the theater? So I'll have to go with any of the bad chinese movies I've been renting from netflix to practice my Mandarin. Like, Hero, or Warriors of Heaven and Earth.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I think we went to Saha or something. I turned 29. This year I want to be with friends and stuff.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A couple more months.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
Concept... I'm cold a lot at work, so it's all about scarf, gloves, sweater at my desk. Also, toe socks. I love toe socks.
34. What kept you sane?
Paul. Otherwise, I surely would have lost it around August.
35. Which celebrity/public figure(s) did you fancy the most?
How about Warren Buffet? He seems pretty cool.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Fighting the rollback of freedom in the name of security. Killing the un-American "Patriot Act." ACLU is the best, and I am a card-carrying member.
37. Who did you miss?
38. Who was the best new person you met?
New person...? I guess I don't get out much. Jesse and Amy? Quinn? Saul? Emiko?
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.
It can't always be good times, but how we get along and through in those not-good times is the stuff our character and relationships are truly made of.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
But take your time, think a lot,
Why, think of everything you've got.
For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.