Saturday, December 30, 2006

The First President Bush

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."[George H.W. Bush, President of the United States in response to a reporters question]

I don't have a link for this but I've seen this floating around cyberspace. Isn't it nice to know what my President thinks of people like me. At least Clinton held him to one term.

Riled Up

This writer is riled up about religion. The post is two years old. Don't click on it if you're sensitive.

Why I Love Florida

And I want to winter there for what reason?

Friday, December 29, 2006

Digging Out

And you wonder why I won't live in the snow?

Barry Zito

Zito signed with the Giants today. $126 million. For a pitcher who in my opinion has seen his best days come and go. The Shitheads paid 50 MILLION DOLLARS more than anyone else was interested in paying him. They bid agains themselves, what a bunch of iditos.
Zito talked about playing for a team that will get to the World Series multiple times. The Mets would have been a better bet for that. In Zito's seven years he'll spend with the Shitheads, he will pitch in exactly ZERO playoff games. This isn't about the WS and winning, it is about money. Which isn't a problem, just say that you're going to the highest bidder, winning be damned. Actually, he should have told the Yankees that he was ready to deal with them. I'm surprised the Yanks didn't make a bigger play than they did for Zito.
The Shitheads could have used that money into replenishing the farm system and taken the risk that they would have gotten more than one good player out of the deal. With an average of $18 million a year being paid to Zito, that's a lot of money to sign entire farm teams of players. Of course you need to have an eye for talent, and face it the Giants don't have that eye. They have maybe three decent prospects and that's about it.
It wouldn't kill me to see Zito's arm explode and leave the Shitheads on the hook for the rest of his contract.

Fundy Sickness

This winner pleaded no contest to multiple counts of raping one of his daughters.

Photo Enforcement

Over Christmas dinner my dad mentioned that he got a photo red light ticket in San Leandro. I think that this kind of enforcement is unconstitutional. They sent him two pics of his car going through the intersection. It was a right turn on red. And some of you wondered why I kept plates off my Beetle for so long.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Funny Web Site

I got this from

So once again I made my yearly visit this afternoon to the parking lot of the mall near my home. With me were fifteen prettily wrapped boxes (dollar store shiny paper and bows) containing numerous droppings from my dogs nestled within folds of tissue paper. All were quite fresh and ripe. I parked my car and took out one of the boxes from my trunk. I then proceeded to walk up to the mall’s doors, stood for a moment or two at the doors to let anyone who had witnessed me walking either get to their car or into the store, walked back down to my car and acted as if I was trying to find my keys in my pocket. I next hurriedly dropped the box on the trunk of my car and rushed back to the mall’s doors in a mock panic as if I had forgotten something inside.I stood just inside the doors and watched through the glass to see what happened next. Sure enough, within two minutes someone would walk by the box, look around quickly to see if anyone was around who might own it, then snatch up the box and run to their car.All fifteen boxes were gone within forty-five minutes. Not one soul attempted to take the box into the mall to leave with security or an information booth. Had anyone tried to do that, I would have run back out of the mall and thanked them for finding my lost gift.My wife says I am pure evil. I say the thieves got what they deserved. In any case, I had fun.

I think this is a hell of an idea. With Joe Joe and Kyleigh, I've got plenty of dog poop and poopy diapers to wrap up. Maybe next year.

More Steroids is a Giants based blog that I cruise by on occasion. They have a 12/28 blog about the vendetta against Bonds that says in greater detail what I was saying a blog ago. It is worth a visit.

Steroids and Baseball

The supposedly anonymous steroid testing done to MLB players a couple of years ago is about to be made public. The players agreed to be tested as long as nothing was done with the results. That's how they got the players to cooperate.
A Federal Judge has now ruled that the tests can be matched up to the players and made public. The government is going after Barry Bonds with a passion. If he's one of the ones who failed, the charges of lying under oath will finally catch up with him.
All of this is silly grandstanding by our government. Don't they have more important things to worry about?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Holiday Season

This was the first time in 5 years that I've had Christmas off. I've only had Christmas off three times in the 19 years I've worked at the Merc. The first time I had the day off I went to Monterey with my second wife and the last time George and I went to Vegas.
Vegas was pretty cool. The couple of days prior was really quiet, then on Christmas Eve this mass of people came into town.
I haven't been all that thrilled about Christmas and the holiday season. My first Christmas married to my first wife was really good. Josh was 2 and a half and we had the tree and the whole bit. Being a dad and all of that was really cool.
Sadly the next Christmas I was begging on my knees for my wife to not leave me for Josh's bio dad. This is the only time in my life that I begged for anything and you know what happened.
As Josh grew up we did manage to spend most Christmas' together, at least for a while. When I moved out to Stockton with my second wife that pretty much negated Christmas. Her family wouldn't invite me over for the holidays, showing me that Christan spirit. And, my second wife worked shift work and never had the day off anyway.
Sandra really likes Christmas and the Holiday Season. She asked me to give it a chance with her, that she would show me that the holidays could be a good time. This is our 4th Christmas together and it was a good one. She's upheld her end of things. We had three calm dinners with family without any stupid drama.
I did get a phone call to work OT on both Christmas Eve and Day. There was no chance in hell that I was going to tell Sandra I was going into work on the only Christmas I'll have off for the next 6 years. I do want to stay married.

Christmas Day

We ate with my parents and brother on Christmas Day. That's my brother Randy at the end of the table and my dad's head to the right. I've got a ton more gray hair than he does.

Chuck and Nicole

Santa brought PJ's for all of us, here's Nicole and Chuck wearing theirs.

Nicole and Sandra

Mother and daughter tattooed.

Nicole's Tattoo

Nicole has been to the tattoo shop recently. This is on her back between the shoulder blades. Chuck has "Nicole" over his heart. He's got a bunch of tattoos, I need to take a couple of pics of them.

The Three of Us

Sandra and Mallory ride me like a mule for not smiling for the camera. To me, this is a smile.

Grandpa and Baby

Here I am holding the baby. She's starting to smile and giggle when I ask her to show me a smile.

Dinner Time

Here's Grandma feeding the baby.

Mallory and Kyleigh

Here's Auntie and the sleepy baby.

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve at Susan and Trish's. This is the first holiday season without Diane, and it has been hard on both Susan and Sandra. This is also the first holiday season with the precious baby Kyleigh, so it wasn't all bad. Here's Susan holding Kyleigh, who is dressed in her Christmas red jumper that says "Baby's First Christmas" on it.

The Cookie Monster

This is Joe Joe. He ate what was left of the cookies that Cheri made for Sandra and I. He also ate all of Mallory's cookies. On top of that, he ate Mallory's Advent calendar, which had chocolate in it. None of it has killed him, he has an iron clad stomach. He's a crazy dog.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

More Than A Feeling

Yep, another song that takes me into the Wayback Machine. This song by Boston came on my Yahoo streaming music and I remember being 15 when this album came out. Nobody had the sound that Boston did. I bought the album and played it to death. I've since purchased the CD and it too is in the Beetle. Sometimes a song, or a line from a song instantly takes you back decades in time.


My late brother Kurt liked camels. After he passed we found pictures of him riding camels in the Middle East. He sure didn't like the traditional vacation, that's for sure.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sandra with the Artist

Here's a pic of Sandra and Corey.


Here's the finished product.

Taking the Needle

Here's a pic of Sandra taking the needle.

Black Shading

Here's the tattoo in progress. At this point Corey has done the black shading. He works the colors from darkest to lightest.

The Outline

Here's the outline on Sandra's back

Applying the Flash

Here's Corey putting the flash onto Sandra's back. Notice how Corey is already wearing gloves. He doesn't kid around about safety. Once he peels back the flash, it will leave the outline on Sandra's skin.


Here's Corey working on the flash, or template for the tattoo.

Sandra's Tattoo

This is the Lucky 7 Tattoo Parlor in Kings Beach (Tahoe). Corey Boobar has done all 5 of my tattoos and he is an artist. Sandra and I had talked about matching tattoos for a while, and if you click back to the October 2006 link on the right you can see the one I had put on my back. Here's a link to a good article from the Nevada Appeal. Here's another link to a Sierra Sun article. (I like the "kiss of death" comment when you get a name (yes, or picture) put on you.)

I had made an appointment for Corey to tattoo Sandra. We arrived on time and went in the shop. First, Corey looked at his handiwork on my back and was satisfied with the results. I've never had to have Corey touch up his work.

This is Why I Don't Speed

Sandra and Mallory accuse me of driving like an old lady. Tickets cost way too much money. It isn't just the cost of the ticket, its the added fees by the court and then your insurance goes up. Sandra and I have two cars, a RV and a scooter. 4 policies spiking in cost over a ticket, well, it just isn't worth a couple of minutes of time gained.
Now, I'll grant that when I had the Sabre I used to go to Nevada on my days off and speed like a mother. Nevada is where I hit 143 mph with plenty of throttle left. I've also driven my old Monte Carlo and my Beetle over 100 while in Nevada. Hell, there didn't used to be a speed limit in the open desert. I remember going to Wyoming when I was a kid and we were cruising at 90mph towing a boat and some people were passing us like we weren't even there.
While in Reno this time, we were getting on I-80. The on ramp was also the off ramp for the next exit. Traffic was starting to slow so I changed lanes to the left. I noticed one person not paying attention and as traffic stopped he dived to the shoulder. Just then we heard the "whump" of metal hitting metal twice. I glanced in my mirror and saw the dust and debris of people running into each other in a part of traffic that we just were. While I turned my attention to the road ahead, Sandra said she saw one of the hit cars turn sideways.
A long while ago, I was driving my DeVille (a car that I absolutely loved) on SH-238 in San Leandro. This is one of the most dangerous parts of freeway around. I was daydreaming about going on vacation the next day and traffic suddenly stopped in front of me. Oh Shit! I went to dive to the left into the median and the idiot behind me (who also wasn't paying attention) was already there to the side of me. Uh oh.
So, I stomped the brakes to the floor and hoped for the best. For as good of a car as the DeVille was, it had the worst brakes of any car I've ever owned. I screeched to a stop just inches behind the car in front of me, leaving dark dark skid marks on the roadway. That would have been a vacation ruiner that's for sure.

Ice Rink

As many other places do (San Jose for one) there's a holiday ice rink set up for public skating. This one is in downtown Reno on the north side of the Truckee River, which is in the background.

Sandra Downtown

Here's Sandra on Virginia St. in Reno. The famous Arch is about two blocks behind her.

"What's Your Sign?"

Here I am scoring points with an underwear model at Macy's.

A Qucik Getaway

After dinner in Truckee, Sandra and I snuck off to Reno. Here I am in front of Black Bear Diner in Sparks.

Generations 1 and 4

This is right before Kyleigh was heading home, and Great Grandpa Ernie finally got to hold the baby. Though it looks like Kyleigh was about finished with all of us and needed her nap. By this time of the day, Sandra and I needed our naps too. Chuck, Nicole and Kyleigh had gone to Truckee a few days early so Ernie and Cheri got to baby hog without the rest of us baby hogs around.

Sleepy Baby

All that holiday tired out the precious baby. Here she is asleep. The teddy that is next to her makes heartbeat sounds like she heard in the womb. I guess it helps her sleep but it sounded like a jackhammer to me.

Another Pic of Kyleigh

Here's another pic of the happy baby.

Grandpa and Baby

After a while it appeared that Kyleigh was tired of being passed around like a sack of potatoes. So we put her down on her cuddle blankie and I got down to talk to her about camping.


Here's a good shot of the happy baby.

Auntie and Baby

Here's Mallory and Kyleigh.

Susan and Kyleigh

Susan (Sandra's sister) commented that she had yet to make the blog with the baby. So, Susan, here you go.

Happy Baby

Here's a much happier Kyleigh.

Mommy and Baby

Here's Nicole and Kyleigh. Ernie pulled out a picture of his dad, Nicole's great grand dad holding her at about the same age and mommy and baby look a lot alike. I've yet to see any of Chuck's baby pictures, but I'm told Kyleigh looks like Chuck as well.

Sandra and Kyleigh

Here's the calm baby getting a bottle from Grandma.

Holiday Toast

Here's Ernie giving the Christmas Toast. That's Nicole on the left and Chuck on the right. Cheri is at the sink in the background.


Here's the table for dinner. Cheri made Stuffed Game Hens and we each got an individual one. Cheri really knows how to cook. Every time I've gone to Truckee I've eaten very well. Sandra and I ate almost all the cookies Cheri made us before we made it home, and we got to work on the fudge as well.

Grandpa and Fussy Baby

Here's Kyleigh pitching a fit. She's got two teeth starting to grow. This is not a flattering picture of your humble blogger. Look at the chins! Jeez Louise!

Sandra HS Pic

Here's Sandra's HS Graduation picture up on the wall at Ernie and Cheri's in Truckee, where we had Holiday Dinner on Sunday. (Sandra's dad and step mom) The big hair was in style, wasn't it?

Starbucks Logo

I had read before that Starbucks had changed their logo. Here's the original one with the gal topless. Now here long hair covers her chest.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Going Topless

The Internet is a wonderful thing. I had no idea that there was a group of women that are for the right of women to go topless in public like men do. is their site, I got this from a link at (and I'll warn you Republicans that read my blog that this is a left wing site so don't get your panties in a bunch if you click on it)

One of the articles is about a picture in a Swedish HS yearbook that got removed. (above) In the preivous year's yearbook, the boys posed topless like this. Here's the girls parody. The Swedes are far ahead of the puritan USA in how they look at the human body, nudity, et al. So it is surprising that this picture creates some controversy.

Bad Boys

Over at, Charlie has blogged about a shooting in his department and someone he worked with in Dodge City going to prison for having a sexual relationship with his 12 year old step daughter.

My boy Benny

I've been looking for this link, or something like it

This scam was mentioned on one or two of the atheist sites I go to. If there is a god, or God, (and I've asked this before) why does he choose his representives on Earth so poorly? Preying on weak people like Hinn does is no better than holding a gun to thier heads.
And as I've also asked before, don't the teachings of Jesus say to give your money to the poor and follow him? Then why do so many preachers (both on tv and in person) wear nice suits?

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Post

We've had the New York Post for the last 10 days. I'm surprised as to how many of us read it every day. The Post is so trashy and we all love it! I make sure to get a reading copy every day.

They did have an article today about the New York Daily News. Their drivers and mailers are in the same union, but not the Teamsters. (At the Merc the mailers and drivers are Teamsters, just not in the same local) They're in store for some tough contract talks. The paper wants to cut the number of jobs and put more product in the trucks. Also, they want to use independent contractors for the out of borough area. Nothing we haven't faced in our last couple of contracts, though we don't have any language about how much product we can put in the trucks. I fill them full as a matter of practice.
The good quote is "The negotiations are tied to the new realities of the paper's shrinking advertisement base and stagnant circulation..." That's a theme I've touched on a few times in my time blogging.
The article also said that the Guild hans't had a contract since 1993 and the Pressmen are working under a restraining order. I've said this before, times are tough in the newspaper business.

The Vote

We accepted the changes 38-21. Cubby said to me that the MediaNews reps could "sell ice to an Eskimo." The sticking point wasn't the loss of jurisdiction, but the loss of accrued vacation. Instead of earning it in one year and using it the next, now we earn and use in the same year. In 2008 we're not going to earn vacation at all, using what we earned in 2007. Then, in 2009 we'll earn and use in the same year.
We're going to start printing the Fremont Argus, the Hayward Daily Review and the San Mateo Times. I was a paperboy for the Daily Review for three years and went to work for them the weekend I turned 18. I stayed until MediaNews canned us in 1985. No, wait. They offered me the chance to reapply for my old job with 2/3rds the pay and no benefits. Unlike one of my regular blog readers (and you know who you are), I had a bit more pride than that and moved on.
I was told today that we have more press capaticy and a larger fleet than the ANG Hayward operation and Contra Costa combined. We also have newer presses that have a better print quality. The mailroom (inserting) operations will not come to our plant, they'll stay at the Hayward site. I'm not sure about the San Mateo mailroom, it is my understanding that the Times building is going to be sold.
Check back in the comments to see what Todd has added. OK Todd, the pressure is on.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wayne's Estate

Here's a link to the auction for Wayne's estate. He had a lot of interesting stuff. That pack rat stuff really runs in my mom's family.

Riff Raff

The other day driving into work, this song came on the radio. Played by AC/DC and sung by Bon Scott, this is a song that isn't played on the radio too often. Back in the stone age I first saw AC/DC at a Day on the Green with Aerosmith, Van Halen, Forginer and another band that I can't remember.
I hadn't really heard of AC/DC until then, and they blew everyone else away. I was awestruck and bought their two American albums. After their third studio album came out in America, they put out a live album, If You Want Blood, You Got It. I was probably 18 or 19 years old.
I couldn't wait for this to come out. I drove to the original Rasputins in Berkeley and bought my precious copy. I rushed home and put it on the turntable. (My dad has always had higher end stereo stuff and as a kid we had a really LOUD system)
The first song on the album is Riff Raff. There's a long music piece before the vocals kick in. And, there's a good guitar solo. Listening to this song really takes me back to being 18 or 19 again. The CD is currently in the Beetle's CD changer. I never tire of hearing it. Its much better on the live album, but the studio version kicks almost as much ass.
A couple of years ago I saw an all female AC/DC cover band called Hells Bells. They cover all the Bon Scott stuff. They played Riff Raff and it was raw and loud!
I remember coming home from Chabot one day with Mark and George when the news broke about Bon Scott's death. Almost 30 years later his legacy lives on.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


This guy is almost all the way under the trailer. And he's on the shoulder. Way to go!

Another Mercury Prospect

If you look closely, you can see if this driver had taken the right hand lane, he wouldn't have had to drive under the overhang at all. Prime candidate for working at the Mercury.

Barry Bonds

I haven't blogged much about sports in a couple of weeks. The Shitheads are ready to sign Bonds for between 16 and 20 million dollars for one season. Bonds is 43 years old (I think) and two years ago only played in about 15 games due to three knee surgeries in the same year. He did play in a few more games last year, but there were numerous reports of him not wanting to play that day, not wanting to pinch hit in close games, getting out of uniform while the game was still going on, sleeping in the clubhouse when not playing, et al.
With or without Bonds, the Shitheads are going to be pressed to win 75 games next season. If I were running the Shitheads I would take that 16 million dollars and invest in my farm system, which is barren.
I would also have been more active in the Rule 5 draft to get some younger players. The Shithead leadership was quoted in the papers as saying they were going to go younger and healthier, but they sign old farts like Bonds and Durham.
One other thing is that no other team in baseball really wants Bonds. So, the Shitheads are bidding against themselves and are terribly overpaying for his services.
It must be really sad to be a fan. Almost like rooting for those shitty Raiders. No present, no future, no nothing.

Anoter Vote

Thursday is the vote on the contract changes. This morning, the Home Delivery and Single Copy managers were in a meeting being told about the changes to "clear the air" so to speak. Tonight my bosses came into Transportation and talked to some of us. Mercury management is really under pressure for us to vote yes on the changes, and our Teamster Business Agent is also under pressure to get this done.
The only change from the last time is that now we can honor other Teamster picket lines at the Merc, currently we cannot honor anyone else's picket line in exchange for the Company agreeing to not lock us out.
I'm still of the belief that we need to hold our noses and take the screwing.
After I find out what happened at the meeting I'll blog about it and we'll see if Todd E has anything to add.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Christmas Tree

A couple of blogs ago, Charlie answered with some mish mash about me and the Mercury tree. What the hell, I'll write a fresh blog about it.
This is a couple of years ago. I'm in Single Copy and I'm the Shop Steward. I've got a hard on for the company and have defended my brother and sister Teamsters a number of times, never losing. Let's just say I'm not well liked by Mercury management.
The big push is about harassment in the workplace. Sexual, gender, religious, whatever. I hate going to company meetings, they're always a waste of time. We're told that we can't put up inapropriate picures on the walls of our workspace becuase that's harassment. OK, this goes on for a while.
It just so happens that in the morning Merc was an article on bikini season and pictures of models in bikinis. Of course I can't keep my mouth shut and ask why it is inappropriate to have a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader calendar ripped down by a supervisor and the Rigid Tool calendar taken down as well, but in my workplace it is perfectly acceptable, on the front page of the paper over the nameplate nevertheless, as well as inside, we can print sexually harassing material that we cannot put up on the wall. Nevermind what's in the Macy's underwear tab! What's the difference? Uh, er, ah, well, uh. Finally one of the sups says that its a First Amendment issue. No, I answer, it is a hypocrite issue.
Time passes and it is now Christmas time. We're yet again drug into some bullshit meeting and I point out that the tree is against Mercury News policy, it is religously harassing and I want the tree gone. Whew were people pissed! And not just management. I had a fellow Teamster tell me that taking the tree down would ruin his Christmas. Jesus, if you need a tree so bad put one up at home. I'll add here that of course I had a tree up at home.
Now, am I really upset about the tree? Of course not! The freshly cut tree makes me sick, and I wish they would have put up a fake one, but the chance to call out supervison on bullshit that they make me sit through was too much to resist.
I get my victory and for the next couple of years there is no tree. Ha ha, tough shit.
Jobs change and I move out to Transportation. Sure as hell, they put up a tree. The tree was on a rolling table so one day I unplug the tree and move it into the locker room. This pisses off supervision and they move the tree back.
The next day I wait until nobody is looking and I move the tree and table into the back of a step van that we're not using. I'll fix them.
What I don't know is that one of the branch offices takes the step van with the tree in the back out to Sunnyvale. The Teamsters at Sunnyvale are all happy that they got a free tree. And, I'm happy that the goddamn tree is gone and I made my point. I'll add that this is the first time that I've actually admitted to being responsible for the tree's disappearance from Transportation. And this was 10 years ago, at least.
My supervisor, Robert Melendez (who I still can't stand and he's an asshole. I was glad he was asked to leave due to changing employee timecards. Lying cheating bastard!) was on a mission to fire me for the tree. He asked every other Teamster on the nightside if they saw me "steal" the tree. Of course nobody saw me steal the tree because I didn't steal it. He never did ask me if I stole the tree. Coward!
But I will tell you that he had a hard on for me the rest of the time he was here. He knew I had something to do with the tree and couldn't pin it on me.
The next year they drug a 9 foot tree through the door and chained it down. That tree wasn't going anywhere. I just laughed about it.

I'll add something else about the harassment meetings. I'm reading the Merc one day and they have a series on deadbeat dads. One of the headlines is "Welsher to Work." Oh My God, this is heaven sent. A headline that belittles people of Welsh ancestry. I tear it out and save it, knowing that one day it will come in handy.
Sure enough, a couple of months later I'm directly ordered to attend one of these bullshit meetings. I had avioded it for month but my time had come. There's about 15 of us from Transportation in the meeting and it is run by a Mexican man and a Viet woman, both higher up supervisors. Trust me, this matters in a minute.
They ramble on for a long while but finally ask if there's any questions. Always a big mistake when I'm around. I pull out the headline from months ago and ask, "Why is it that we don't use the work "spick" or "gook" to work, but it is acceptable to use the headling "Welsher to Work" demeaning my Welsh heritage?" (I don' think I'm Welsh, but does it really matter?)
My fellow Teamsters explode in laughter. The two supervisors are stammering without anything to say. I'm in my glory. This will teach them to have me attend stupid bullshit meetings like this.
Scott speaks up (he is of Welsh ancestry) and asks the same question, pointing out that he is in fact of Welsh ancestry and why is it ok to demean people from Wales? Then, Scott askes the Viet woman if she's related to the SJPD officer who was involved in some scandal that the Merc had covered. Why, as a matter of fact she is! Goddamn did that meeting end in a hurry.
And, I've not been to another meeting like this again.

More of the Baby

Here's Kyleigh and I eyeballing each other while I feed her. While I was snoozing on Sunday, Sandra and Mallory had time with the baby. Later in the day I had time with the baby. She was only a little fussy but managed to be calm with me. Sandra and Mallory went shopping so I got some time with just me and the baby. I put her in the stroller for her nap, she didn't want me to hold her. I think she was tired of all of us holding her.
Later, Nicole came by and got the baby to take home.
The T-shirt I'm wearing is from Shorty's Diner in Haley, ID. The diner is owned by Bruce Willis the actor.

Grandpa and Baby

Here I am feeding the baby.

Sandra and Kyleigh

The precious baby Kyleigh spent the night with us last Saturday. Here's Grandma feeding the baby.

Sandra and Mallory

A closeup of Sandra and Mallory in front of the tree.


Cubby had a good story to tell me recently. He had been playing blackjack at Harvey's off and on for a couple months. He's doing pretty good more often than not. One trip, Cubby gets hot and kills them for a lot of money. He's playing with the black chips and they're all coming his way.
His luck changes and Cubby calls it a day. Its about 2 or 3 in the morning. As he's scooping up his mountain of black chips the pit boss offers him a free room with late checkout. The catch is that they call him "Mr. Cubby." Cubby has never had a players card and never pulled out his credit card for food or anything else there. He's never stayed there during his day trips to play blackjack. How in the hell did they know his name?
Cubby told me that it sent chills down his spine when they addressed him by name. It would have spooked me as well.

Jimmy B

Jimmy B works with me at the paper. He's the Swing Dispatcher who I take over for a couple of days a week. I've got two good Jimmy B stories.

Jimmy had tried before I did. (That's how I met Sandra) I tried it becasue he did. He's not had quite the level of success I've had, but he has dated and had one serious relationship.
Anyway, that ends and he's bummed out. Dat also works at the paper with us. He came from Vietnam, is married and has a couple of kids. Dat's wife has sisters still in Vietnam. One of the sisters and Jimmy start to write to each other. This goes on for a few months. I'm blanking on her name right now.
She sends studio pics of herself and Jimmy shows us. She's not only beautiful, she's model beautiful. Wow.
This goes on for a while. Jimmy has a couple of weeks off last month. We're all riding him to go to Vietnam and meet this girl. He hemms and haws about it, but he ends up getting his passport and making plans for it.
Lo and behold, its time for the trip to Vietnam. What a trip, flying across the world to a country that you don't speak the native language, to meet someone for the first time, and where Americans aren't exactly the most welcome site in the world.
Jimmy takes the flight to Taiwan and lays over for a few hours before the flight to Saigon. He gets off the plane and its hot. Tropical hot. He lines up in Customs and they hassle him. The Agent speaks Engligh and they're busting his balls. "Where are you going?" "Where's that?" Who are you here to see?" At the same time they're going through all his stuff.
Finally the ball busting ends and he's free to go. He walks outside and there's hundreds of Viet waiting for other people on the plane. He sees one hand wave and a voice in English, "Honey!" Yep, she's waiting for him. And, she's every bit as beautiful in person as in the pictures. No ugly older sister here, or some such scam. She's the real deal.
Jimmy spends two weeks in Vietnam. He has the time of his life. The magic happens for them. It is love at first sight. (Hey, don't laugh at that, just look at Sandra and I) Its hard for him to come home.
He decides he's going to bring this gal to America and marry her. Boo yeah, good for him!
I asked Jim if he faced any anti-Americanism there and he said there were only a few events. One of them was while the two of them were riding along the highway on a scooter. A truck driver swerved over at them and spit at them. He missed. Hell, if that's the worst of it, he had a good trip.

I come into work tonight and Jimmy shows me a picture of him and his sister. And, another woman who turns out to be his half sister that he's meeting for the first time. Jimmy's mom gave up her baby for adoption 53 years ago. The baby is adopted and grows up knowing the truth, but it isn't a big deal. (I'll add here that Josh has always known the truth that I didn't make him and it was never an issue)
Her mom dies and one of her sisters finds the adoption papers. The hunt begins for the birth mom. Time passes and people are tracked down. Finally, the long lost daughter finds her birth mom and the reunion happens.
Jimmy and his new sister talk on the phone and they meet last weekend. What a powerful life changing event. Fortunately for everyone concerned, calmness prevailes. Wow and wow again!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Union Letter

Though I haven't opened mine yet, a letter was sent out by the Local for a meeting and vote on changing the contract. The meeting is this Thursday, which means I won't go. The vote is similar to the last vote, I've heard there's some minor language change in the dock jurisdiction.
I understand that a lawyer will be there from MediaNews as well. I know there's a lot of bitterness towards the company and the changes that have already occured, much less the changes that are being asked of us.
Todd E is a shop steward and we'll see what he says after the meeting.

It runs in the Family

My mom's cousin Wayne died a couple of weeks ago. One of the neighbors went on vacation and when he got back he noticed the mail hadn't been picked up in a while. After a day or two more, he called MCSO who came out and found Wayne had been dead for a week or two.
My mom, bless her heart, is stepping to the plate to take care of the estate. Her dad, my grandfather, had a wrecking yard in Shasta County. Grandpa was a packrat and it was a mess when my grandfather died and my mom went to clean up that mess. Being a packrat must run in the family as my mom and I have varying levels of this affliction.
Take a look at Wayne's stuff at my mom's blog, which is here. Wayne was very mechanically inclined and handy with many tools. That skill set certainly skipped a generation in your humble blogger. I am the least handy person in the world, though my dad did try.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Tree

Because I'm a soft touch, I agreed that Sandra and Mallory can have a real tree this year. I'm allergic to them and they make me sick. After the first day I'm stuffed up and my head hurts. Only a month more of this. However, Sandra and Mallory are happy.

Holiday Tree

Here's Sandra and Mallory in front of the tree.

Sandra and Mallory

Posing out in front of the Buckhorn.