Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Terror Reigns In California

California's budget woes continue.

Last week, the Democrats sent a budget to the governor that was filled with more tax increases.
The governor, who finally bought himself a spine, vetoed the thing, with a statement along the lines of "Go to hell." Finally, he and I are seeing eye to eye.

As mentioned before, California requires a 2/3 vote of both houses to pass any tax increase, and unable to get the 3 or 4 GOP votes needed to go along, they tried something illegal:
First, they wrote a repeal of some taxes, and replaced them with other taxes in what was viewed as a revenue neutral adjustment to the tax code. This is legal according to the state constitution...
Then, they reinserted the repealed taxes, this time calling them 'fees', claiming this was legal since they didn't actually vote to raise new taxes.

They tried this move last winter and were challenged in court. Before the court could hear the case, the Governor, who was expected to sign the deal, vetoed it under threat of recall from the voters.

The games never stop here. Starting tomorrow, the state will have to issue IOUs in order to keep operating because, basically, we are out of cash, and nobody will buy the state's bonds anymore, or extend credit.

Recalls have already been started against a select few GOPers who provided the necessary votes to pass last winter's tax hikes, and a recall has already been started against the Governor for the same reason.

Ratcheting up the language, the Speaker of Assembly,Karen Bass has already issued a statement saying that those who sign recall petitions are 'terrorists' who are holding the entire state under threat of anarchic-style violence.
We'll see if she has the brass pair to back that kinda talk. I was among the first to sign the recall against the Governor last month, the first day the petition was approved.
They now have my name, address and intent. If they want me, they know where to find me.

In the mean time, it's gonna get even more interesting in California before it gets any better

Friday, June 26, 2009

Privacy, cont'd

I published the previous post too soon.

Last year, when I was informed of the trickiness and potential severity of my situation, I was given a choice of the two medical centers who were equipped to handle my case. UCLA, or UC Irvine.
UCLA, plainly speaking, is 'The Shit' when it comes to medical centers in southern California. UC Irvine, in Orange County, is just as good, but lacks the imprimatur of Hollywood stardom.

I chose Irvine, saying to the referring physician "UCLA? Isn't that where celebrities go to die? Their medical records sold to TMZ? No thanks. I'm going Irvine."

Lead in aside:
Floating around, and seen on TV, is the *'last photo' of Michael Jackson.

It shows Michael strapped to a gurney with a respirator over his face as he was loaded into the ambulance outside his home.
Obviously a cell-phone capture. Also released: a photo of the life support monitor inside the ambulance.

I don't know for what price the EMT sold out his patient to the media, but any media outlet who displayed these photos should be ashamed of themselves.
And the EMT should be dragged off, disemboweled and gibbeted.

It's a shame that in a man's last dying moment, some pathetic, 15-minute, small dick mutherfuker in a position of trust finds it necessary to betray that trust.

But, such is the culture of UCLA Medical Center, where the celebrities go to heal and die.

They got some issues with their professionalism at that place. Seriously, the admin of that hospital needs to do some real sterilization of their own. What is happening there in regards to patient confidentiality is uncalled for, and inexcusable.

But I also place the blame on the media outlets and tabloid vultures, whose combined actions all too often blur the distinctions between what is 'news' and what is just trashy sensationalism.

(* If you are curious about the image in question, that image that nobody has a 'right' to see, I won't post it for you. Instead, go here. )

Thursday, June 25, 2009

No Privacy Anymore

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Just after South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admitted to a yearlong extramarital affair, his state's largest newspaper posted online romantic, suggestive e-mails that it says were exchanged between the chief executive and his Argentinian lover.

I'm not feeling sorry for Mark Sanford getting caught with his affairs. Anybody who lives a public life should have known better than to think he would get away with it.

But what bugs the shit out of me is somebody thinking private emails need to be published.
How did the paper get these?
And why did they even seek them in the first place?
This is not journalism. And the public does not have the right to know everything about a person, even a public person such as this.

I hope there is an investigation, and that somebody pays a price, a steep one, for this.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Last attempted pizza three weeks ago.
Tonight, I gave it another shot, and was able, with some care, to mostly make it work.
Baby steps...

*For Squeaky: I got this at Costco's take out.

Here We Go Again...

Earlier in the week, with the reports of Gov. Mark Sanford (Cad-South Carolina) being 'missing', out of contact with his office, out of town, out of the state, hiking the mountains ... or wherever they said they weren't sure he was, I kinda liked the idea.

Think about it: the primary political power of the land doesn't think it's all that important to stick around wielding power. What's not to like? I was hoping the idea would catch on with other office holders nationwide, maybe even start a trend that hopefully will spread to the entire government of California.
A change even I can believe in.

Nope.
Instead, Sanford was in Argentina, banging some broad dear, dear friend he met online. Before this, he was seen, by some, as a potential 2012 contender for the GOP. Now it appears his expertise in foreign affairs isn't quite what they were looking for.

Hopefully, for the sake of his four children, Sanford and his wife can work out their differences, as he claims they are attempting to do. Maybe even repair their marriage and live happily ever after?
My advice to Mrs. Sanford: learning how to scream "Si,Pa-piii!" at the right marital moment just might help.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Trying to stay healthy and eat my veggies. Tempura helps them go down.
Shrimp and Broccoli never had it so good.

Besides, there's gotta be more to life than dried ramen, cheese enchiladas and rice cakes.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Of Geese And Ganders

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -The state's litter prevention program got an unusual ally last year: A neo-Nazi group adopted a half-mile section of highway in Springfield and picked up the trash.
Lawmakers responded with an amendment to a large transportation bill that would rename that section of road after Abraham Joshua Heschel, a rabbi who narrowly escaped the Nazis in World War II and later marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
But the move is being criticized by Heschel's daughter, who objects to naming the neo-Nazi's patch of highway after her father and calls the plan "highly inappropriate and vulgar."...
Along with the adopt-a-highway program, the National Socialist Movement also gets it name posted along the same stretch of road they've adopted.
"For the National Socialist Movement to be in the Adopt-a-Highway program is well within their rights," said Rabbi Alan L. Cohen of the Jewish Community Relations Board of Kansas City.
"But obviously there were people raising the concern that this is the wrong message for people to see driving down a Missouri highway, that there are National Socialists out here," Cohen said Sunday.
I don't have a problem with any group of citizens who want to pick up trash and make their neighborhood presentable. Who would? If they want to tidy up, let them, or cancel the program for all.
I don't see a problem here. Where I see a problem is with The Program itself.

'The Program', of course means the cleaning crew also receives free road-side advertising for themselves. Hey, if it's good and righteous for a local baptist church, synagogue, or NAACP chapter, all of whom have political interests of their own, to used this government supported venue of self-promotion, then the same goes for the National Socialist Movement as well.

As for the upset poo-bahs of highway do-goodism, I have a better solution. Rename that stretch of highway "Obama Road". It would send the intended message to the neo-Nazis while at the same time providing the public with a more-accurate-than-not statement that Obama's brand of socialism is indeed moving forward nationally.

And since Obama is such the rock star, with street names already being proposed in his honor, who, besides these idiots, could object to his name being on this one?

(Ya know, I can understand why some segments of the population might feel offended, scared or put-off by this group. But to me, they just look silly.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Blogjacking

I'm stealing this from Brian.
More than that, I'm stealing his words as well.
I don't know if Iran's election was stolen or not. I don't know if "regime change" there will be a net gain for the freedom of Iranians.

But I do know that seeing riot police turn tail and run from a mass of very pissed off citizens make me feel terribly warm and fuzzy inside.

(Is it really stealing if full credit is given?)
Whatever. I want you all to see it anyway.
Check it out.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Spark For Liberty

With all the horseshit being being planned in D.C., it's nice to see that there is a small shred of common sense still to be found on rare occasion.
This time it is H.R. 2835, sponsored by the usually buffoonish Barney Frank, and co-sponsored by a bipartisan assortment of others.

H.R. 2835 makes two important changes to federal law:
First, it eliminates federal authority to interfere with patients, caregivers, and collectives operating in accordance with state medical marijuana laws.

Second, it moves marijuana from Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act into Schedule II. Schedule II drugs have recognized medical benefits and can be prescribed by doctors to patients in need (for example, morphine is a Schedule II drug).

We in California were the first to pass medical marijuana legislation years ago, in 1996. But our suppliers and users, even while strictly following the law, are routinely harassed by federal assholes and tried and convicted in federal courts. The Bush administration was particularly brutal in this regard.
Funny, if not sad, how Bush would fight a war to bring democracy and freedom to Arabs who don't understand them, and then wage war at home against sick people who do.

From my chair: the worst enemies of medical weed, and the sick who benefit, happen to be the Republicans. You know, those guys who are always bitching about state's rights and nanny government?

And if it takes a fruitcake socialist like Barney Frank, and the Obama administration, to take a stand for state's rights, and the rights of sick people to medicate, maybe the Neocons will learn a lesson in all this.

H.R. 2835 won't make medical weed the law of the land, but it does force the federal jackbooters to recognise those laws approving of it in the states that have done so.
It's not the final fix, but it is good move in the right direction.

Now, let's get it passed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

At Least I'm Enjoying The Ride

It was national news last February when California instituted the largest tax increase in the history of any state, attempting to close a $42 billion budget shortfall.

It still wasn't enough, and we are now faced with an additional $24 billion shortfall.
The Democrats in Sacramento are vowing to raise taxes yet again, come hell or high water.

This was after the voters rejected a round of tax increases at the ballot box just a month ago.

It's unlikely that enough Republicans will go along this time in order to satisfy the 2/3 requirement for tax increases, but, we believed that last time. See what good it did us?

Gov. Schwartzenegger has vowed, in no uncertain terms, to veto any tax increase that comes before him. We believed that last time, as well.

The sooner this whole state goes to hell the better off we'll all be.

On a positive note:
Tonight, I blew past a highway cop at 85mph. It's about the only thing I like about living in California, and Riverside County, especially.

Suffering Fool

Went to one of those mom & pop Mexican restaurants just up the road from me. You know, the kind of place where they serve food just like a Mexican mother does at home? (I happen to know what I'm talking about since 90% of all my friends had Mexican mothers.)
Great stuff here.
Two cheese enchiladas...
<<<

... and a chile relleno (mostly consumed). I love chile relleno. >>>




Although this time I got hit with a case of heartburn that could kill a horse.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I think we should mind our own damn business and just ignore the goings on in Iran and mind our own damn business.

(Grammar corrected per Brian's suggestion.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Hangover

The Hangover is about three buddies who take a fourth to Las Vegas for a weekend bachelor party prior to his wedding.
It takes the "What happens in Vegas..." theme to whole new heights, but falls flat in many places, and in most places isn't even all that funny.

The predictable stuff takes place, and the morning after all the fellas wake up to vicious hangovers, no memories of the night before, and discover they have lost the groom.
And so the film goes, as the remaining three attempt to retrace their steps, following various clues, in a crusade to recover the groom in time for his wedding.
This part is actually kinda fun.

Starring: Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha (all of whom I've never heard of before) as the four friends; Rachael Harris as the girlfriend who justifies the art of bitch slapping; Boxer Mike Tyson as himself; and Heather Graham as a stripper/whore who provides one of the better characters that I would consider among the few bright spots.

Overall, so-so.
If you want to see a comedy, and aren't too picky, this will fill the bill. It was worth the admission price, but then again, I wasn't doing much else to kill the time, anyway.

And it is a break from the vast array of comic book/superhero based movies that seem to be polluting the screens the last year.
Two cheese enchiladas, rice and beans, and a chile relleno (barely captured,my bad, upper left).

All slid right down the hatch, 'cept for the rice and beans, which required a projectile cleansing maneuver.

At Super Mex, a SoCal family owned chain, and one of the very best in it's class.


(clickie biggie to truly appreciate)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Food Blogging

Another trip to the therapist just had to result in another stop in Little Saigon.

Today's adventures:

Xôi Lạp Xưởng: sweet sausage with sticky rice. I've had this several times in the past. Best served warm, it's composed of sweet rice, a sweet flavored Chinese-style sausage, mushrooms and shrimp.
A slightly nutty, mildly sweet, and just a little bit salty taste, all mixed together.
Not as chewy as I'd prefer, but I did manage to choke it all down.


As you could see, I had already gotten started on it while it was still fresh.

This a new one, never even seen before. Haven't a clue what the hell they call it.
Real simply, it's a french baguette, split in half, dipped in a tempera-style shrimp based batter,... and deep fried. Got chopped green onions and shrimp on top.
Greasy is good, and this is good and greasy. Slightly crispy, nice and chewy, with the batter really permeating the crevices of the bread.
It has all the elements of what presently constitutes good eating for this man, and the flavor is addictive.
Too much of these and I'll getting that 45lbs back in a hurry.

It's not my intention to turn this into a food blog, but there ain't no crime in blogging about food, is there?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dude Vs Food

The trip back home from therapy takes me through Orange County's Little Saigon, and it's a favorite chomping ground for me..
I stopped in a Vietnamese bakery for something I've been craving for several months: xôi la dua, a type of sweet rice cake.

Basically, its a layer of mung bean paste sandwiched 'tween two layers of sweet rice, sweeted with sugar and coconut milk, sprinkled with sesame.
Hearty and filling for a snack item, they're damn good.

Chewey and semi-sticky, I thought I could handle it.
I wasn't disappointed.
It went down like a champ, and I am a happy dude.

I'll be going back tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

You Count Your Blessings While They're There

So it's been about two months since I first began to get my swallow back, and the last month has provided me with considerably steady, if slow, improvement. Especially the last couple of weeks.

Since the trip to Minnesota, where I had my first cuppa joe in seven months, that blessed beverage has played a daily role in my life. Still, there are those dreadful capacity limitations, but that just makes the cup last an hour or so if I'm really working at it. Much longer, normally.

As it goes, I've been branching out. Testing my limits. Exploring new frontiers. And discovering places I now know I should not have gone.
Seems I have to stick to chewy or spongy foods. Anything that breaks down into particles will stick to the pipe, and the muscles are not Strong enough to push it down.
This means: No potatoes in any form. No course breads (bagels are OK). No chips. No crackers. No cookies or cakes. No fresh fruit.

Ground meat, and all it's forms (like sausage or burgers) is out.
Hot dogs are OK. Actually, they work quite well.
Beef must be medium rare, or rarer.
Dark meat fried chicken will work, but not the white meat (too dry, and breaks down too much).
Baked/grilled chicken skin (the best part) rocks.

Ice cream, pudding, and things of that nature are a big no no. They just coat the pipe like spackle on wall, and I can't swallow enough water to wash it down.
Any solid that melts in your mouth, like chocolate or cheese, is devastating in it's effects.
Same goes for things like heavy sugars, frostings, or glaze on a doughnut. I can do doughnuts with small nibbles and two to three sips of liquid in between, provided they are totally-naked plain.

Pasta is tricky in small bites, but the sauce builds up inside the throat. So, that's a no go, as well.
Asian noodles work great. Generally, just one or two noodles at a time, depending on the size. A bowl of udon lasts me over an hour. But it's a good,happy-time hour.
Nothing too salty. The salt dries me out, and I choke uncontrollably. That means no salamis (this sucks hard), and most canned/processed soups.

Fried and greasy is awesome. But it still won't salvage a potato. And the coating will make or break the whole dish. Breading: bad. Tempura: good.

Rice won't work. But sushi does, and does it beautifully.
As does canned fruit cocktail, peaches, pears, etc.
Steamed clams are great,too, and are the perfect size bite for me. (Avoid breaded clams.)

Beer and soda are troublesome. I guess it's the carbonation. I end up choking on it every time. Now,I leave my beer open for a long while, til it goes flat. Then I can enjoy sipping it.

I'm moving right along, and God willing, I'll be far enough along to go back to work when the disability payments run out near the end of July.
Fingers are crossed.

Monday, June 8, 2009

NOW What?

This could get interesting.

Whenever gender selection plays a role in our baby making, baby girls always end up on the shorter end of the bargain.

What will the feminists do now?
After years of defining abortion as their ultimate sacaramental act, in the name of empowering and liberating women, how will they justify the snuffing of girl babies for the sole reason of their gender?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

C.H.E.A.T.E.R.S.

It's always necessary to keep a sense of humor about things when The State is running on empty, and various jurisdictions attempt nearly anything to recapture what they think belongs to them.

And when talking about California, you'll need to double down on that sense.
Here's a new one:CHP encourages residents to report out-of-state license plates.

So it goes like this: Anybody relocating to California has twenty days to re-register their vehicle and pay the applicable property tax. It's always about the money,ain't it?

The 'plan' works this way: If I see a car with an out of state plate, I am to report the vehicle to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The Law will investigate the report and attempt to bleed the offender of his money, and I get the warm fuzzies for performing my civic duty.

One problem with the idea: almost nobody from another state migrates to California anymore. And if they do, it's because of a major employment opportunity that pays big bucks.
In the by-gone era, folks came here to build a life. Not anymore.
Those who arrive today generally already have a life in bloom.
Of course, it's in the character of the state's ruling class to continually harass the achievers, while continuing to subsidize the underachievers.

They just don't get it. The best way to subsidize the lower end of the spectrum is to create an atmosphere that allows the upper end to do it for you.

Of course, I don't see the law agencies making a plea for the citizens to report all those wetbacks standing outside Home Depot who work for cash and don't pay their fair share of income and payroll taxes.

From where I sit, there is a whole lot more potential revenue to be found there, outside Home Depot, than there is in the rare professional who could just as easily be some where else.

I don't know.
Maybe I'll play along.
I'll just start reporting every foreign plate I see cruising the streets of Anaheim this tourist season. I'll concentrate near Disneyland.
And let the state agencies further drain their resources while chasing information and investigating whether these cars 'belong' to them or not.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009




Take this test and see if you need to get out more,too.

(hat tip: The Lumberjack.)







(clickie biggie)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Icons, Like It Or Not

To a more discriminating musical pallet (and I certainly do not lay claim to that), it is hard to believe that what was mainly shock rock in the seventies has been able to endure as long as it has.

Musically,Kiss just wasn't that good, but they were good enough to get done what needed getting done.

And what needed getting done was profits.
They were in it for the money, and as marketing geniuses, hyped themselves to the audience that was most likely to run out and buy shit with their tag on it.

Musically: so-so.
Business wise: state of the art.
They've set a standard for the music industry, and today, people are still buying their music. They still get airplay, and some of their big hits are still popular (Rock n Roll All Night; I Was Made For Loving You; etc.)

Personally, I've never made a single purchase. Not even as a kid who was easily impressed with the whole flashy, freakish show they made of themselves. I will admit though: they were fun to listen to, and still are.

That said, no discussion of Rock, Heavy Metal or The Seventies is complete without their inclusion.
And besides,as Brian pointed out, they did save Santa Claus.

Nostalgia Trippin'

As a kid, my folks would let me stay up late on Friday nights to watch The Midnight Special.
Most of you should remember this show, usually narrated by Wolfman Jack, and featuring live musical performances.

One of the first acts I saw was Kiss. I remember my sister and I were in awe of the whole spectacle, while my Dad was fit to be tied, muttering about "freaks", "horseshit", and other things.

Hard to believe that was over thirty years ago.
And that Kiss is still relevant.