Friday, September 21, 2007


We are going to Lodi Cycle Bowl this weekend to watch Clay race.

You want to go to Cycle Bowl?

You have always wanted to go to Cycle Bowl, but never got around to it?

Me too!

Let's all go to Cycle Bowl!!!!!


(srsly, interested in going? give me a holler. It's an Saturday afternoon/evening thing)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bernanke, you have failed!

"It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve -- nor would it be appropriate -- to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions,"
That was what Bernanke said on August 31st of this year.

Today is the day the Fed sent a notice to specuvestors that it's OK to abuse credit and housing bubbles.

A jubilant Wall Street barreled higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate a larger-than-expected half a percentage point. The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 200 points shortly after the Fed announced its move.

Although some investors hoped for a large rate cut, most were betting on a smaller quarter percentage cut in the federal funds rate. The Fed responded to the spreading impact of credit market problems on the rest of the economy, saying, "the tightening of credit conditions has the potential to intensify the housing (market) correction and to restrain economic growth more generally."

The Fed cut the benchmark rate to 4.75 percent after keeping it unchanged for more than a year.

Of course, even Greenspan is admitting that the problem was caused by keeping rates too low, too long. so why drop now? Easy!

"Privatize Profits, Socialize Losses"

On the upside, were all these speculators offering to share their funny money with me? I don't remember it. Now? they want government bailouts, they want the FHA to insure worse loans (and by "FHA" they mean me) they want lower interest rates (which? historically are already way low), they want HELP! Help with their foreclosures. Why? Propping up inflated asset prices is only hurting the economy and American families.

Is it good for America that young families can no longer afford to live somewhere without working several jobs? Is it good for America that our workforce is completely tied down by overpriced houses, unable to relocate to respond to changes in the workforce or their lives, too busy working to improve their skills, too worried about their mortgages to take on new careers or entrepreneurship? Is it so great that people in the Bay Area can't have children because they can't afford the home they are in, let alone a larger one? WHY does everyone think that housing prices going up is such a great thing? a 20% increase in your house price? HOLY CRAP! 20% inflation ought to be alarming, not pleasing!

So? If I lose $1000 in Las Vegas, will you bail me out too?
Because, really? If you do? I'm just going to keep going back to Vegas.

Moral hazard in finance

Financial bail-outs of lending institutions by governments, central banks or other institutions can encourage risky lending in the future, if those that take the risks come to believe that they will not have to carry the full burden of losses. Lending institutions need to take risks by making loans, and usually the most risky loans have the potential for making the highest return. A moral hazard arises if lending institutions believe that they can make risky loans that will pay handsomely if the investment turns out well but they will not have to fully pay for losses if the investment turns out badly. Taxpayers, depositors, other creditors have often had to shoulder at least part of the burden of risky financial decisions made by lending institutions.

If I win, I keep the money! If I lose, ummmm, someone else softens the financial blow, so I sort of win. I like those odds!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bartender? I'll have a Googletini!

well, gentle readers, now it is official: I work for Google.


There is NO WAY that I could have gotten a job at Google. We've all heard the stories about the hoops you have to jump through, and the creative criteria.

Six months ago, I was at a job I hated in a dead-end industry. I made a choice to jump ship, take a completely new direction, and, AND?????

more importantly?

found a friend who believed in me and helped me make the jump. A few friends, actually.

found a boss who was willing to take a gamble

somehow, found a company I love, with coworkers I'm totally inspired by.

Today, we are being eaten by Google. Here's a new chapter in the adventure. I hope to hang on as long as I can, and convince these people that I can be trained, despite my lack of experience with the matter at hand, and that I will be worth it.

Six months ago, to now, is a complete 360. I have so much to be thankful for. Today it's Clay, who helped me immensely with a small effort and gamble.
From now on, I DEMAND that all software upgrades be launched with a campaign like this. Even *I* want to upgrade to DOS 5 after watching this! It has a graphical shell!!!!! ZOMG!!!!!
And dancing elephants.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I've added buttons on the right that I think will let you add this blog to a feed reader. Why? Because I don't read things that don't go into a reader any more. I read a lot of feeds. I use google, but mostly because it's convenient. I have no idea if it is better. It works for me, and I do really like the gears bit, where I can download my feeds and read them offline (thought they are usually missing pictures and videos, etc)

I do not know if I did these buttons correctly, though, so let me know if they are borked.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Last night I was reminded of why I will never own a Windows machine. I could forgive bad design if it was just aesthetic; it would be hard to compete with Apple on that front. But bad functional design as well? Nearly catastrophic? No thanks!

I had the nicest time this weekend just being at home. It seems so long since I've just had the time to putter around the house doing some cleaning, sewing, stuff like that. I really missed it. Being at home is good for me; I have so many hobbies left undone. I might even finish a small project instead of leaving it half done for several years.

I cleaned out a bunch of old clothes and made a Goodwill drop-off run with Paul's help. There's some other stuff I still need to unload, but it's harder. Some things are so tied to your image of yourself, or the memory of how hard they were to make or get... I'm trying to find homes for some things, which might make getting rid of them easier.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


A few weeks back (I am totally behind) I had a birthday! And, since I had not had birthday party goodness for a few years, I demanded a little party. It was also Amy's birthday, so we combined festivities and had a get-together at the Park Chalet. Park Chalet is pretty good, and it was a nice warm day, perfect to enjoy the indoor-outdoor park setting. Park Chalet is at the end of Golden Gate Park, near the windmill.

After nearly losing our table due to lateness, the waitress finally took pity on me and seated our half-party. By this time, I was a few beers in. I then drank some more. Beer! I even had the little taster menu, which was darn cute. The food was good, the company was grand, and, oh, did I mention BEER?

Things get a little blurry in the middle, but afterwards, Jennifer and Paul and I walked out to the beach. There were a lot of bonfires, and the weather was reasonably good. Then we hiked up to the Cliff House and down to the Sutro Baths side. That area has changed quite a bit in the past few years. We woke a hobo up in the cave, and then found that some park authority had "closed" off the opening of the cave on the other side. This is where you access what I deemed my favorite spot in all of San Francisco when I was in college. An excellent judge of my own inebriation, I hopped the new fence but did not attempt the climb to my old spot. Next time.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fluffy Cat

Last night we came home to Berkeley (from the Salt Lake City trip that I will post about later)
to find Squeeky had not been taken away as planned. We walked into the yard to find Squeeky sitting in the middle of the yard mewing, and two metal food bowls on the bricks, for the two nice downstairs kitties.

This perturbed me for many reasons, including that I knew the owner of these two cats wasn't home and hadn't been for days, indeed, had moved out, telling us that the cats would be picked up last Friday to go to her dad's house.

Cat and two bowls were there, but we had a bad feeling about the little cat, since she was nowhere to be found. Last time she came back from the dad's house, she had lost three or four of the few pounds she ever had (at most ten? to start?) and came back with bones sticking out. She'd lost so much weight, she was eating birdseed to feed herself.

Paul and I are the ones most frequently at the house, and as such, we take it upon ourselves to shower the two downstairs cats with love and, when we can, extra food. But the last trip to the dad's house had taken most of Flluffy's weight away.

A telephone call confirmed our fears. Fluffy had been put to sleep. Something about dehydration and a possible urinary tract infection, and possible kidney damage from said dehydration. As much as we loved the little cat, serious neglect from the proper caretakers had hurt her, and she was either too far gone, or deemed not worth the effort.

R.I.P. little kitty. I'm sorry you landed where you did.

Fluffy cat had grown her personality tenfold since I met her. first a shy, skittish ball of fur who was frightened by the sound of her drool hitting the couch, she gradually gained self-confidence finally to the point of slapping and ambushing the other two, much larger cats in the yard. Once, after she'd spent a few days ambushing Fang repeatedly (and she was too small to hurt them, but kept trying), I pulled a cat claw out of her head while petting her in the garage. She turned into a little scrapper! I declared her a bully; Paul called it "sassy," and was charmed by it. Paul was her favorite, and she'd follow him around the yard, "ack"ing. She rarely could squeak out a real "meow," usually just choking out an "ack... gaaak" instead. She was a beautiful soft little kitty, who we will miss. I can't help but feel we failed her.