Friday, October 27, 2006

The Baby

Nicole and Chuck brought the baby by tonight. I got to hold her for about 10 minutes before I left late for work. We never remember how much people adored us when we were babies, which is a damn shame.
It is also curious how we can instantly love a baby. We know nothing about how they're going to turn out, but we are instantly in love with the baby the first time we get to hold him/her.
My mom commented the other day that we don't recognize how adored we are as children either, becasue we're too busy being kids. I can't disagree with this either.
The next time the baby is by the house I'll get another picture or three up.

Union Vote

The vote to alter the contract was 32-29 "no". For as much as I don't like the changes, I was hoping for a "yes" vote. From what the guys who went to the meeting told me, the old timers were crying about losing the 5 weeks of accrued vacation than losing the much more important dock jurisdiction.
I think the no vote is a mistake that will turn around and bite us in the ass.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Union Vote

The new owners of the Merc want to change part of our contract. The vote on this issue is Friday at 11:00am. Like I'm going to get up in the middle of my night, drive 2 hours to downtown SJ, not get called on to speak, hear the usual bullshit, drive 2 hours home, then get a short nap and come back to work. Yea, rrrright.
Currently, we earn vacation that we use in the next year. This means that if I were to quit today, I would be owed 5 weeks of earned vacation that I would have taken in 2007. ANG wants to change that to a "earn as you go" idea. I would still get 5 weeks of vacation next year, I would have to earn it in 2007 instead of 2006. If this were to take effect, it would cost each of us up to 5 weeks of vacation when we quit. Multiply that by a hundred employees and that's a pretty penny.
The loading docks are Teamster jurisdiction. That means that only Teamsters can load and unload product on the loading dock at the plant and at the branch offices (where the carriers go to pick up the papers). ANG wants us to give up that jurisdiction. They want anyone to be able to move product on and off our docks, including at the branches. We had this right reaffirmed in an arbitration victory a couple of years ago. To give it up without getting anything in return would be a bitter pill to swallow.
However, ANG can just get rid of us all. It does behoove us to work with the new owners to save as many Teamster jobs as possible, mine included.
Times are tough here at the Merc and in the newspaper business. 7 years and two months left to go.

The Baby

Nicole and Chuck dropped the baby off Tuesday evening before I went to work. Mallory went to Amy's and Sandra hadn't gotten home yet. I had 15 minutes of uninterrupted time with Kyleigh. I got to hold the baby and talk to the baby and stroke the baby's head. I was in heaven. Then, baby hog Sandra came home and I had to go to work. Sandra got the baby for 2.5 hours and she was also in heaven.
Kyleigh has colic, but she wasn't fussy for me.

Monday, October 23, 2006

They won!

The worst team in the history of the NFL is not the Raiders of 2006. I am stunned. So, we go 1-15 instead, big whoop. I'd have rather seen us lose all the games instead of one feeble win over Arizona. What surprises me is that the game sold out and was on tv, though I had to work Sunday night and didn't get up for the game.

Tax the Church has a good post on why churches should be taxed. I think they should have to at least pay property taxes. After all, I think it says in the Bible to render to Caesar what is Caesar's. Or something like that

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Baby

The baby came by twice this week. Wednesday and Friday. I got to hold her for about 10 minutes on Wednesday. Mallory stepped in and was the baby hog. She fed and changed the baby and wouldn't let Sandra hold the baby at all until Sandra had to put her foot down.
Friday I got to hold the baby for another 10-15 minutes. Mallory was staying the night at one of her friend's houses, so Sandra got the baby to herself. We're all quite smitten with the baby.

101 jobs

The Merc announced today that they would cut 101 jobs by Christmas. I expect the vast majority of jobs to be lost in Editorial and in the Guild. We're already cutting outside, mostly individual casual shifts, though I expect a couple of FTE's to go as well. The inside cuts are not going to be by senority. I don't know quite how the Guild bought into that one.
I buy the Contra Costa Times most every day. They're a sister paper to the Merc, and now the other papers at ANG/MediaNews. When I'm at work, I read the paper, or at least skim through it. ( we call it "proofing") I've noticed more and more articles are the same in both papers, especially the sports coverage. The stories on the A's and Raiders, et al, are the same. It is that kind of duplication that can warrant some of the job cuts.
We do cut jobs in senority and I'm in the high 30's out of about 110 people. I'm also in a job that is not senority driven, meaning that someone with more senority than me cannot bump me off of my job. However, the company can take me off my job for any reason, or no reason at all. I wouldn't be fired, I would just go to the Casual work pool or bump someone off their job.
Still, times are tough in the paper industry.

Friday, October 20, 2006

16 days

until Sandra and I head to Phoenix for a week of the Fall League. We didn't go last year but we went two years ago. If you recall, I blogged about Huston Street who won the Rookie of the Year last year. This is the best baseball to watch. I'm sure looking forward to watching 11 games in a week and Monday night's trip to the dog track. Woo Hoo!


Another sorry outing against the Broncos. At least the D allowed only 13 points. Still, the worst team in the history of the league. Our best chance for a win may be this week against the Cards at home. The Cards have given up 14 point 1st quarter leads two weeks in a row, which has not happened in the NFL before. This is our only chance to deny my claim of being the worst team in the history of the league. 0-16 here we come.


It didn't take long for the A's to fire Ken Macha as their manager. I can't stand Macha and am glad he's gone, though he is the fall guy for the A's lying down like dogs to the Tigers in the ALCS. Getting swept 4-0 tends to put a damper on the season, especially after we swept the Twins 3-0.
Dave Newhouse of ANG (who is an idiot) suggested the A's hire Dusty Baker. I think Newhouse had a stroke and needs medical help after such a comment. I'm hoping Ron Washington gets the job. He's been the A's third base coach for a while and would be a good fit for the current team.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Something from Tahoe

This is tattoo #5. Its still healing. This one hurt more than any of the other ones. There's a lot of color and shading. This is on the left side of my back. I'll have to take pics of the other ones.

Mallory, Amy and Kyleigh

Here's Auntie Mallory feeding the baby with Amy's help.


Here I am feeding the baby.

Kyleigh awake

Aunt Barbara got to hold the baby for a long while, here's a shot with Kyleigh awake and looking at Auntie.

Sleepy Baby

Here's a pic of the sleepy baby Kyleigh.


Here's Grandpa holding the baby.

Kyleigh came to visit

Kyleigh came to visit on Sunday. Here's Grandma holding the precious bundle with Kyleigh's cousin in the background.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Worst in History

I ate a bunch of shit at the tournament when we got off the course and watched the Raiders lie down like dogs to the Niners. Winless for the season, I saw a poll that one half of the respondants predicted the Raiders would not win a game. I've been saying this for at least three weeks, in fact when the Raiders were 0-2 I said they wouldn't win a game. 0-16, worst team in the history of the league. That's my prediction.


I thought the A's would make a better showing against the Tigers for the ACLS. What a time to slump. Two losses at home, then getting shutout in Detroit. I think they're done. I thought this after they lost the two games in Oakland. At least they got past the first round of the playoffs, but I really expected the A's to get to the World Series this year.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I woke up Tuesday morning to this. An unexpected snow had fallen at the southern part of the lake. SH-88 had chain controls but US-50 didn't. You can't chain up the Beetle and I was wondering what I was going to do to get home and to work. Everything worked out for the best. There was snow down to about 5500 feet on US-50 but the road was clear and the weather held.

Storey County Courthouse

This building is one block up the hill from the main drag of Virginia City. It is hard to get a good picture of the entire building, you can't get far enough away to get the good shot. It is hard to see, but the statue of Justice is not blindfolded. This is the only statue like it, normally Justice is blindfolded.

6 Mile Canyon

This is 6 Mile Canyon. Gold prospectors came up this canyon from outside of Dayton and discoved the Comstock Lode. 6 Mile Canyon Road is a back way from Dayton to Virginia City.


This is the old schoolhouse in Wadsworth, NV. At the end of the 18oo's, Wadsworth was a booming town because the Southern Pacific had a division point and shops here. About 1900 the SP decided to move their operations closer to Reno and founded the town of Sparks. Wadsworth never recovered.

Truckee River Canyon

East of Sparks on I-80

Squaw Valley

In the foreground is one of the par three's at Squaw Creek. We've played here a couple of times during tournament time.

Tahoe City

These gates were built about 1913 or so. This is the beginning of the Truckee River, which runs along SH-89, I-80 and into Pyramid Lake.

Inspiration Point

This is from my Monday drive. After the Red Hut I headed north on SH-89 around the west side of the lake. Here's a shot of Emerald Bay from Inspiration Point. Again, it is hard to see through the trees. This is a popular picture spot.

Lake Tahoe

This is Lake Tahoe, from a viewpoint on SH-431. I noticed it is hard to get a good shot of the lake without trees in front of the view.

Geiger Grade

I drove down Monitor Pass on SH-89 and then headed north on US-395 and back into Nevada. I drove through Minden and Garderville and through the Carson Valley. I headed east on US-50 in Carson City then drove north on SH-341/342 to Virginia City.
Driving through town (and locating where the RV park in town is) I continued along the highway to the viewpoint above.
This is a pretty popular spot to take a picture, overlooking the Truckee Meadows and Reno.

Monitor Pass

This is at the top of Monitor Pass on SH-89. This pass closes in the winter.

Fall Colors

This is on SH-89 heading up towards Monitor Pass.

Markleeville Creek

This is across the street from the courthouse. You can see some of the trees changing color. You get mosty yellows in the Sierras,


This is the Alpine County courthouse.

Downtown Markleeville

I headed south on SH-88 and came back into California. I turned onto SH-89 and drove to Markleeville, which is the seat of Alpine County, the smallest county in the state. About 150 people live in town.

Squall over Carson Valley

I spent a couple of extra days in Tahoe and had time to take a couple of scenic drives. After my daily breakfast at the Red Hut, I drove up and over Kingsbury Grade (SH-207) and pulled off to take this shot of a rain squall.

Tournament Time

Over the weekend I helped host the 13th annual Daddy Longball Golf Classic. I left for Tahoe on Wednesday afternoon and stayed at Sandra's timeshare across the street from Heavenly. (not where the gondola is but up the hill where the skiing is)
I'm not a big fan of timeshares, but when Sandra told me that we can use Tahoe Seasons as one of our choices, I thought it would be worth a try. I had the smallest room there, and it was a two room suite that slept four. It had a small living room, then the bathroom/shower/spa, then the bedroom with a gas fireplace. It was nicer than a hotel room.
Friday we had a practice round at Thunder Canyon, in Wahsoe Valley. This is a private course that happened to take public play for a Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser. 20 of us came up early and paid our $60 to play.
I haven't played golf in a year, since the last Longball. Though I did par two holes, I was horrible. The course was in excellent shape and was a fair test of golf. As we were on the last hole, it started to thunder and sprinkle. We quickly finished and the hail and thunder came.
Saturday we played at Silver Oak in Carson City. My first shot went into the rocks and I three putted the first hole, pretty much finishing my day. I didn't par any holes but did play better than Friday. We had the Players Dinner at Harrah's Forest Room Buffet and they do a good job with the quality of the food.
Sunday we played at Dayton Valley in Dayton. We've been to Dayton many times in October, either in the tournament or as a practice round. I lost a ball on the first hole for a two shot penalty, but birdied the second hole and started to play like I had a clue.
The wheels came off when I put two balls into the water on three consecutive holes and three putted all of them. I was in the running until then. I ended up shooting better than either of the other days. My name is on the championship trophy, so I don't get all worked up if I don't win. I have won, which was one of the better days of my life.
We had 36 people drive up to play, and everyone had a good time. That is the measure of a sucessful tournament.