Monday, January 30, 2006

Bring back spanking

You take your spouse to a fine restaurant, where you eat the most expensive meal you'll eat this year. The kids are at home with your brother and after a rough week at work, you finally can relax with that special someone. You're having a romantic time, until it happens.

The kid at the next table throws a tantrum. Maybe he doesn't like the food. Maybe he doesn't like being away from the t.v. Maybe he doesn't like how the tablecloth clashes with the drapes. Whatever the case, you hope the parents have some decency and either take the kid outside or give him a spanking.

They don't. Instead, they try to reason with him and he just gets louder and louder, resorting to throwing food all over the place, all over the table, all over his parents, and some hits one of the other diners.

See, this is what happens when the anti-spanking Nazis get their way. Kids rule now and parents are helpless. It happens in restaurants, movie theatres, airplanes, everywhere. It even happened to me in a sports bar.

Last year, my investment partner and I were at a sports bar in Southern California. The Packers were losing and some brat kept running through the bar part of the restaurant and bumping into the back of my chair. Of course, I'm not going to get mad at a kid, so I faced the kid's owner and yelled that they better watch their !@#$%^& kids.

Luckily for the guy, he grabbed his brats without making any eye contact and moved out of the bar to the restaurant, where he should have been in the first place. People go to bars to get away from other peoples' kids. That's the real reason a lot of us drink.

The anti-spanking Nazis have created an atmosphere where kids can yell "child abuse!" for anything. It may not have reached your area yet, but it's reached Kalifornia.

These kids grow up to be complete spoiled brats. They do it everywhere. I've heard people complain about tantrums in the supermarket, but I don't mind it there because I'm not paying to go shopping. I am paying for theatre tickets and for sushi, so I get real upset when it happens there and the parents are too inconsiderate to either take their children outside or spank them.

When I grew up, kids were considerably better behaved. It's because they were spanked. And no, spanking is not child abuse. Child abuse is punching or neglect, not a quick spank to the butt when a kid's throwing his food at another diner or screaming at the top of his lungs in a museum.

So I say bring back spanking. It would make the world a more pleasant place.

NOTE: One of the big arguments against spanking is it destroys a person's ambition. I say that's hog wash. Every financially successful person I know was spanked as a child.

I know a lot of slackers, including some with wickedly high I.Q.s who had hippie parents who never spanked them. I know that's not scientific, but that's my personal experience. And all of us came from that same filthy refinery town. I think the main difference though was not the spanking or not spanking, but the parents who pushed their kids to become successful became successful. I'm just saying spanking or not spanking had no role in our eventual success.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Cannibals, annoying parents, lost maps, and more!

Cannibal jokes

I haven't heard a good cannibal joke in too long. Luckily, The Fifth Circle of Cubic Hell ended my draught. Click here and laugh. Bsoholic, Thom, and now DaMasta, you three are hilarious.

Speaking of cannibals, two cannibals are eating a clown and one turns to the other and says "does this taste funny to you?"

Upcoming events

For those of you who think I've mellowed out, think that no longer. Next week is parent's week, where I'm going to go all out unpolitically correct, just like in my early days of blogging. It will be fun. We'll make fun of parents that shouldn't be parents, have some laughs at their expense, and offend someone who takes life too seriously. Fun, huh? Well, at least I think so.

Also, I want to give props more often. I used to do that more awhile back, but then again, I had more time back then to really keep up with your blogs. If only we could have more hours in the day. So, with inspiration from Miladysa's Tiaras, I will be linking "must see posts" hopefully at least once a week. So once again folks, if you haven't done this already, please do the following:
1) Go to the Settings tab.
2) Go to Archiving.
3) Set Enable Post Pages to Yes.

I can't link "must see posts" if you don't have this option set.

The map is not in the fridge

Do you have a habit of opening the fridge door and looking inside of it for no reason? Well, I do. So does my real estate agent. Funny thing is, he topped any dumb thing I ever did with a fridge door.

He was roaming around the house looking for the Thomas Guide and guess what he did? Yup. He walked right up to the refridgerator and opened the door, looking for the Thomas Guide before realizing how stupid that was.

Have a good weekend

I'm outta here. Will be in Chico all weekend, and the last thing I'll be doing is sitting in front of a computer. See ya all Monday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Life needs a soundtrack

I got tagged by Mel. I really like this tag, because you know me, I love the whole music thing.

This is from Mel's rules:
1. Tell us of some songs in your life that remind you of a person, place or a specific event in your life. The kind of song that everytime you hear it, it will always, no matter what, make that person, place or "thing" pop into your head instantly. You can write as few or as many "songs" as you want. And it can be a song or two songs or a whole album.

2. Give a brief description of the person, place or thing it reminds you of.

3. You can choose to tag people or not. Whatever you want to do. And you can tag as few or as many people as you want.

4. You don't have to link the songs or the lyrics unless you want to.

U2's New Year's Day. I hate Bono and think U2 is the most overrated band ever, but this song reminds me of a moment. It was New Years at the Goth Club in Houston and I had a huge crush on "Venice." She was there that night, which was a huge surprise because I had no idea she went to that club. When that song came on, I knew the New Years bell struck and I went desperately through the club looking for her.

I found her and we did the New Years kiss. It was one of those kisses that I'll never forget. No, Venice is not my wife. I married another girl. Venice and I lost touch, but I'll always have that moment.

For the record, my wife has several things Venice doesn't have. Nothing perverted, but I'd rather not say because I don't like to talk badly about someone I once cared deeply about.

Mel did eight songs, but I'm only going to do one, because besides HIM, Cradle of Filth, Nightwish, and Beautiful Creatures, I've been listening to the same music I listened to in high school, so I have multiple good memories of every other song.

I'll tag the following:
1) Dawner because you and I like some of the same music

2) Lime just because you love chocolate as much as I do.

3) Notta Wallflower because you didn't post your music in your profile.

4) Mr. Althouse because you didn't post your music in your profile either.

Bhakti, I didn't tag you because I'm about to find out what you listen to.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Lights! Camera! Wake up and get to work!

Last night, I had the coolest dream I had in months. No, I wasn't alone on a Caribbean beach with a topless Tyra Banks.

I was playing my black Ibanez guitar in a sick heavy metal band fronted by a cute brunette in a wild party. I was wearing a huge fluffy hat worthy of Captain Jack Sparrow, black leather pants, and a white Mozart shirt.

The music was absolutely awesome and the crowd rocked back and forth. Unfortunately, the dream ended and I had to go to work.

Our buddy KP

The other night when we went out for Sushi, my real estate agent was telling us about our buddy KP. One night, his father came over to visit KP's house, turned on all the lights, turned on the stereo, and turned on the TV then left. So KP called his father and asked him why he did that. KP's father responded that that's what KP used to do back when he lived at home and he was showing him what it's like.

I don't know about you, but I thought it was funny. Kids, keep this in mind. Your parents aren't as dumb as they look.

What's with CNBC?

I'm not a big stock investor any more. Sold almost all my stock and have my money elsewhere. That said, when I wake up in the morning, my real estate agent has CNBC going on. He noticed that they no longer show the Volume in the ticker. Instead, they show the whole name of the company.

So CNBC has dumbed down to the lowest common denominator as well. If anyone from CNBC is reading this, you're idiots! You're contributing to the dumbing down of the American public by trying to dumb down stock investors.

One request

People, can you please do this? There are several posts of yours that I want to link that don't have your blog setup correctly so I can't link your posts. Do this:
1) Go to the Settings tab.
2) Go to Archiving.
3) Set Enable Post Pages to Yes.

This will set up individual links for each post, meaning not only can one set up a link to your website, they can also link each individual post. That way if there's a specific post of yours I want to tell someone about, I can send them the link to that post instead of telling them to go to your site and search for it.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Biodiesel Part II

I'm now running biodiesel

There's a place in Martinez, California that sells biodiesel called Golden Gate Petroleum. It's on the Shell refinery land (not the Tosco refinery), so there's a Shell sign above it even though they're independent. I talked to the dude inside and they said they're independent, they're just renting the land from Shell.

I filled it up and am driving it around. The car now smells like a fast food joint instead of smelling like a regular diesel vehicle.

The biodiesel pump had a sign above it that says "Safe, biodegradable, and non-toxic." I don't know how honest the non-toxic label is, but I'd imagine a biodiesel spill would do much less damage to the environment than a gasoline spill.

On the plus side, I'm not depending on foreign oil by running biodiesel. My fuel is either vegetable oil converted into biodiesel or the used grease from restaurants that has been refined into biodiesel.

My buddy I'll be buying the fuel from gets his oil from a restaurant. They actually pay him to get rid of it. I'll be paying $2/gallon. You know how much you're paying for gas, so I'm getting one heck of a deal. (Maybe gas is cheaper elsewhere but here in California, we're paying an arm and a leg for gas).

An honest review of biodiesel

That said, biodiesel isn't the perfect fuel. Biodiesel omits more nitrogen than your gasoline engine. It also smokes something terrible when it's cold. I have to warm up the car for five minutes in the winter morning before I could drive it. If I lived in Minnesota, I'd have to run 50% biodiesel/50% kerosene.

I also noticed I'm getting about four or five less miles per gallon than regular diesel, which I ran when I first bought this car. It's sluggish too until the car really gets warmed up. It ran more smoothly with regular diesel.

Now a 50/50 blend of biodiesel and regular diesel is better, still not as good as regular diesel, but runs much more smoothly in a California winter than the 90/10 blend I was running.

So, if you really don't want to use foreign oil, biodiesel is an alternative. I just wouldn't use it in a newer car and you need to keep in mind you won't get the same performance as regular diesel. If you can make it yourself, it's actually quite cheap because if you're licensed, fast food places will actually pay you to get rid of their waste oils, which you'll be converting into fuel for your vehicle. Keep in mind that this is waste to them and you're recycling it into fuel. How cool is that?

The other thing is gasoline isn't getting any cheaper nowadays. Imagine making your own fuel. If you're willing to do the work, you could save a lot of money. Or if you have a good hookup, it should still be cheaper than gasoline.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Love Doctor is In

Bummer of a birthmark, Hal

You know what really sucks? It sucks when a woman is wearing a t-shirt with what could be a cool saying on it. You get the urge to actually read what the !@#$%^& t-shirt says, but you're afraid that if you try to read it, she'll think you're checking out her hoo hoos.

So you have to wait until her eyes wander elsewhere so you can quickly read the t-shirt. Then you read it and you have a laugh. Cool tee, right?

Well, you didn't notice that a few other people saw you trying to read the t-shirt and from their angle, they didn't see that she had a cool saying on it. All they saw was some perv checking out her hoo hoos while she looked at something else. It is at that moment when you realize that life is not fair.

They call me Dr. Love

I'll tell you everything you've always wanted to know about love right here right now. Guess what? It's not that complex. Find someone who doesn't try to change you, who likes you as is, and who you can get along with and grow old with. That's it.

Instead, we try to make it out to be some complex thingie and try to read into every single little thing so some dumb scam artist on t.v. could get rich. It's not that complex.

Conservative Men with Liberal Women

And speaking of love, why is it that there are so many people I know where the husband's a conservative and the wife's a liberal, and they get along great? My marriage is a perfect case. She calls herself a "liberal Green." Every election, we cancel out each other's vote. I vote third party right-wing, she votes third-party left-wing. Neither of our candidates ever win of course. Bummer.

We never argue about politics. We just accept the other's position. That's it, end of story.

Has me wondering though why liberal women often like conservative men. Here are some hypotheses. Let me know which one you think has the most validity. In other words, vote. Yes, your big chance to vote on The Zombieslayer blog.

1) Liberal women prefer conservative men because they know liberal men if they even have a job make crap salaries and they don't exactly want to support his lazy *ss because she already has herself to support,
2) Liberal men are too sensitive. Women all say they want a guy who's sensitive but when it comes down to it, sensitive guys only hear the evil words. I think we all know what the evil words are, so I'm not going to pollute my fine website with them.
3) Opposites attract. End of story.
4) Conservative men tend to be more manly men than liberal men, i.e., conservative men can change a tire, skin a buck, and catch a fish. Liberal men stop the car and cry when they see a dead cat on the side of the road. Or...
5) Women tend to be more liberal and men tend to be more conservative so it's a complete coincidence and the Zombieslayer's being a retard for seeing something that isn't there.

So, no zombie slayin' tips this weekend. It's all about the love, baby. What do you need to know? You got questions, I got answers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Stupid drivers, the '08 race, and more fun

I can drive to work 70 mph most of the way, unless some jackass starts a pile up. It happened again this morning and I'm getting tired of these dumb drivers. So I thought of a solution.

Remember how your piano teacher whapped you on the hands with a ruler when your hands got lazy? Well, for the guy who starts the pile up, and causes a huge inconvenience for everyone else for the next few hours, we take a random person stuck in traffic behind him and that person gets to whack him on the hands with a ruler, just like your old piano teacher. Sure, it might not be effective in preventing accidents, but it would make being stuck in traffic more fun when you know you have a random shot at whacking the idiot who caused the accident's hands with a ruler.

Looking at '08

It will be interesting to see who the Democrats and the Republicans put up as their Presidential front runners in '08. For the Dems, I hope it's not Wesley Clark. I hate that jackass. You heard what he said about my industry? It was something along the lines of "let them have those jobs. We'll do other things here." What a jerk. How about if I sent him my student loan bill? Feel free to mail him yours as well. I didn't exactly go for a Grad degree in Computer Science to meet babes. That kind of shows how in touch with the American middle-class he is.

Hillary Clinton is taking a strong stance against illegal immigration. Read this Washington Times post for more info. Very interesting.

No, Cheney won't be the Republican. I don't even think Republicans like him. As Quayle was a life insurance policy for Bush's father, Cheney's a life insurance policy for our current Pres. No matter how much someone hates Bush, they'd definitely rather have Bush than Cheney in there.

A night on the town

Went bar hoppin' in San Francisco the other night. I love that city. It's gorgeous, it's clean, and it's gorgeous. Oh, I already said that. Babes galore in the bars too. I'm starting to feel old though because they all look like kids to me now.

Anyways, some white guy came up to me and started talking about how he hates racists. Why do white guys always come up to me and say this? This was about the fifth or sixth time in my life a white guy in a bar came up to me and started talking about how he hates racists. I'm not kidding either.

I was there to chill out and enjoy some beers on tap, not discuss racism. I hate the whole racism issue. It's been talked to death. Geez, we have the NFL playoffs going on. We have a war going on. We may have the biggest flu outbreak since 1919 going on. There. Three real things to talk about.

Or he could have talked about how beer snobs who say America doesn't make good beer are retards. I sincerely enjoyed Anchor Steam on tap. Sierra Nevada's Crystal Wheat is delicious. So is Texas's Shiner Boch. So is Samuel Adams. Now that would have been a good conversation.

Speaking of Avian Bird Flu...

China just donated $10 million to combat Avian Bird Flu. What a joke! Of anyone, China would be benefitting the most. They probably have the most cases of it. Yet, that donation is a slap in the face. Kazakhstan donated $2 million and you can't tell me Kazakhstan has a fifth of China's economy. In fact, they have $132.7 billion in GDP purchasing power parity according to the CIA. China has $8.158 trillion!

For the record, America gave $15 billion to combat AIDS in Africa. Yes, that's billion. China gave $10 million to combat a disease that affects its own people. (America has $12.37 trillion GDP in purchasing power parity so we're not exactly smoking China either). Geez, you know when the zombie plague starts, we can't exactly depend on money from China to fight it. Maybe we should be trading more with Kazakhstan. At least they're not so stingy with their money.


Congradulations to Dave and Jess Barcelona for tying the knot. In case you don't know, Dave was the one who showed me what blogger was. So if you hate my blog, blame Dave, not me. I'd be shootin' pumpkins on the weekends instead of writing zombie slayin' tips if it weren't for Dave.

May you both have long lives together. And name your first son after me too. That would be cool.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Legal vs illegal immigrants Part II

I guess I need to do this post more often because my posts on illegal immigration are being seen wrong.

Besides our American Indians, we're all children of immigrants. We get the best of the best from other cultures, and it's a melting pot where we take the best aspects of their cultures and blend them in with our own. Luckily for me, that usually includes food. I love ethnic food.

I'd like to continue getting the best of the best from other countries. I like other cultures, as long as they come here and respect ours.

With legal immigrants, we take what we need. We always welcome top scientists and engineers. We take top talent in a variety of other disciplines as well. When we needed nurses, we took nurses. When we need doctors, we'll get doctors. When we need engineers, we'll take engineers.

We get to screen legal immigrants as well. We don't take drug addicts, terrorists, America haters, criminals, etc.

With illegals, we don't get to check them out. We don't get to choose the cream. Instead, we get other nation's unwanted. Their own nation is glad they're coming here. These are the people who we should be arming to overthrow their corrupt governments. Instead, they come here illegally and the corrupt people in their government gets to enslave their people yet another day.

With illegals, we cannot weed out criminals. We cannot weed out drug addicts. We cannot weed out retards. We get the worst of the worst instead of the best of the best.

I want the best of the best. I want the best for my country. I want the ones who will be creating jobs in the future, not taking the low end ones, undercutting our working classes and contributing to the destruction of the American family farm. I don't care if they're from Afghanistan or Zanzibar. I don't care what continent they're from. I want the best of the best, regardless of their ethnic background, religion, etc.

With legal immigration, we also get a chance to teach American civics. Children of legal immigrants vote. Children of illegal immigrants don't. Do we want a nation of patriotic citizens with ambition, who create jobs, who invent cool things, and who care about their nation? Or do we want to continually undercut the working classes and American family farmers?

It's very simple. Enforce the laws. They're in place. We just need to enforce them. And yes, that includes both punishing heavily corporations who hire illegals and deporting people who come here illegally.

One major reason the public schools are failing

When I was a kid, I was in a special program for Gifted students. To cut costs, they cut the program. I loved the program because it was fun. I learned Greek mythology and the Latin language. Well, Greek mythology didn't help my day to day existence (it did make Clash of the Titans more enjoyable, especially when I got a chance to explain everything they got wrong), but knowing some Latin definitely did.

After they cut the program, I had nothing to look forward to in school besides sports and recess. My grades dropped and I didn't get A's again until college. It's because I was bored out of my mind.

It's not just me. A lot of Gifted students went through the same thing. But Gifted programs everywhere are getting cut so we can deal with the lowest common denominator and teach illegals English.

These illegals don't even take school seriously. Their parents don't care about education and when the grades come home, at least I got yelled at when they were subpar. You and I both know this, it's just everyone's afraid to say it because they're afraid of offending people.

Californians are funny like that. Awhile back, some concerned parents got the politicians to design a bill to deny children of illegals public education in this state. They were sick of the costs associated with ESL (English as a Second Language), which require cuts in other departments. You'll hear Californians behind closed doors talk about the damage illegal immigration is doing to the public education system, but when there are other people around, they're afraid to bring it up.

We have our priorities screwed up. Instead of putting all the resources into teaching the lowest common denominator, we need to make American kids excel in math and science again. We're falling behind because our priorities are all out of whack.

Everyone's also afraid to tie illegals with gangs too and will be quick to point out there are American born kids in gangs as well. Well, no crap. But let's look at percentages for a second and we all know that the per capita percentages of American born kids in gangs isn't even close to the per capita percentages of kids of illegals in gangs. Not even close.

We all know about gangs and schools and all the wonderful benefits gang bangers bring to public education, so I don't even think I need to discuss this.

Why am I singling out poor, defenseless illegals? Because I'm tired of my property taxes going to waste. I'm tired of hearing people complain about how bad American public schools have become. And I'm tired of people dodging the root cause entirely because they're afraid of being unpolitically correct.

Let's be honest, let's drop all the p.c. crap, and only then can we decide how to set up an honest policy on fixing the schools. You tighten up border security (and yes, this includes illegals from Asia, Europe, and Africa as well), and I guarantee you test scores will go up again.

With legal immigration, we get what we need from other countries. With illegal immigration, we get other countries' trash. And people wonder why our test scores keep falling behind other industrialized nations.

NOTE: Schools with higher percentages of illegal aliens often have to cut or drop entirely art, music, gifted, shop, and other programs in favor of ESL programs. I strongly believe these programs are all an integral part of a truly balanced education.

Also note I'm not singling out illegals from Mexico. From Asia, we're getting a trade in sex slaves. Yes, sex slaves here in America. From Europe, we're getting mob elements, and also scores of Eastern European prostitutes. Do we want all this stuff or do you think it's about time we took our borders seriously?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Jumpstart my one-eyed Ford, I'm headin' for the Pow Wow

I'm not an American Indian, I just play one on T.V. However, since I've always had a fascination with history, including American history, I spent some quality time studying Native Americans and their cultures.

TNT in the 90s produced a string of Native American movies that were actually quite good. Robbie Robertson produced the musical end of it, contributing several songs himself and using Indian bands and musicians for the other songs.

Mine and Mrs. Z's song is called "Golden Feather" from the album Music for the Native Americans by Robbie Robertson and the Red Road Ensemble. You might want to pick it up on Amazon or where ever you buy your music from.

Some of the lyrics aren't too kind to us Americans. As pro-America as I am, I'd readily admit that our dealings with the Indians have been considerably less than ideal. I'm hoping our relations in the 21st century will be much better.

For my hot Indian babes, you'll have to wait. I saw a string of Indian movies in the 90s, but I don't remember that far back very well. I remember several cute actresses and if I only remembered the names of the movies, I could imdb the actresses.

Indian names

One day, a young boy asked his mother how Indians get their names.

"Well, you see Running Deer? She got her name when she was born. Her mother looked out the window and saw a running deer and thus, she got her name."

The boy's mother continued. "And Soaring Eagle? His aunt told his parents that she saw an eagle soar when he was born."

"And as for you, Dog Taking A Dump..."

Why it's so important to be interesting

And while we've degraded to toilet humor, this is why it's imperative that you're an interesting person. See, another reason I don't want anyone I work with to know I have this blog is if anyone knew, I couldn't rip on my co-workers.

We have one hot babe at work and that's it. In fact, it's so bad that my standards have lowered to the point that there are two women that are quasi-cute that I had to bump up to cute status.

One of the "cute" girls the other day farted. We had a group of us talking about something work related and she tried to squeeze out a silent one. Well, it turned out that the fart came out with enough force to make a noise against the seat. She gave that look like she hoped nobody noticed, but I noticed, I just didn't say anything. I don't know if anyone else noticed.

If she were interesting, I'd have something else to remember her by, like a funny joke, a cute story, anything. Now, the only thing I think of when I see her is that fart. So much for her honorary cute status.

You're in my thoughts and prayers

This one goes out to Bhakti who's undergoing some nerve repair in her back. Bhakti - Thanks for all the laughs and your good spirits. Your strength is inspiring. I'm sure you'll be fine. Will miss you while you're recovering.

Have a good weekend all. I'll be away from computers all weekend so see you all Monday.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Legalize marijuana

This is one area I break with fellow conservatives. I believe in the complete legalization of marijuana, with the same laws and restrictions of cigarettes, except for one. I really think it should only be smoked in a private residence, not in public at all except for wilderness areas.

The Zombieslayer family does not smoke pot. I'm highly against it for myself as is my wife because we're anti-drug. Yeah, I know, you're thinking I drink alcohol, but I'll explain in a later post why alcohol is good for you if you're not an alcoholic. In fact, I'm so anti-drug that when I had my wisdom teeth pulled, I didn't let them put me out and I took one single Vicadin. I hated the feeling of not feeling, so I disposed of the rest of the bottle. I'd rather have the pain than not feel anything. Not feeling anything freaked me out.

That said, if you're an adult and you smoke it, that's your business. It doesn't affect me. Meth freaks affect me. They're annoying, they're dangerous, and they're ugly. They're also bad for the environment. Potheads don't affect me other than they might answer my question a little slower than normal and they might laugh at my weaker jokes, giving me a false read of their humor level.

As you know, I strongly believe in the American principles. I love our Constitution and I also believe in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Pot may be your choice for Pursuit of Happiness and it's not my place to interfere with it.

Pot doesn't kill people like other drugs. Stoners know they can't drive, so in the rare cases they do drive, they slow down. I still think they should get DUIs, and they should be treated like drunk drivers though.

Over seventy million Americans each year smoke pot. It goes untaxed. This bothers me. It should be taxed and regulated. That would also take the criminal aspect out of pot. Also with pot legal, that would free up police resources to go after murderers, rapists, and meth dealers. I have a thousand things in my mind we could do with that tax money too, and I'm sure you have your ideas.

There are two common arguments against marijuana and I'll refute them both. The first is marijuana is a gateway drug. Every time I've talked to someone who has done coke, they were drunk before they decided to say yes to their first line of coke, not stoned. It's alcohol which is the gateway drug, but once again, I'm very pro-alcohol (unless you're an alcoholic or have religious issues with alcohol obviously). So the gateway drug argument holds no water with me.

The second is that if marijuana would be legal, more people, especially kids, would try it. Well, several studies have shown that kids have an easier time accessing illegal drugs than either cigarettes or alcohol. That's because cigarettes and alcohol are legal, regulated, and controlled. That said, whether legal or illegal, parents need to communicate with their kids about what they should and shouldn't be doing with their bodies.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My hometown

A recent post by Tshsmom called "SME's friends" brought something back to me about my hometown.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a little refinery town called Martinez. This town is right on the Carquinez Strait and is known for being the birthplace of the martini, John Muir (the father of the American environmental preservation movement and a huge influence on the life of Teddy Roosevelt), and Joe DiMaggio.

Recently I took a job in the San Francisco area and I'm renting a room during the week not too far from Martinez. My buddy I'm renting from is also from Martinez as are some other friends I went to high school with.

This Sunday, I went out to eat with him and one of my best friends from high school who now lives close enough to the refineries that their last accident last year got crap on his car. We went to an authentic Mexican restaurant which had wonderful food served by a gorgeous Mexican waitress. I forgot what the food was called, but it was a breakfast soup that started with "ch." It was hot and cleared my sinuses for the next twenty-four hours. Very nice.

Before we entered the restaurant, we got to see two tweekers standing outside doing nothing. When we left, they had gone and we joked about tweekers being like cockroaches, you turn on the lights and they scatter.

The other day I had to pick up some supplies for my Giada marinara sauce and since there was only one cashier, we had to wait for some stupid tweekers to pay with a bad check for ten minutes. The manager should have just kicked them out of the store, but he was probably scared of tweekers because they're unpredictable and sometimes dangerous.

My real estate agent the other day made an offer on a fixer-upper in that town. He drove by it and there was a tweeker doing nothing standing outside the house. I asked him if the house came with the tweeker. He said he hoped not. Someone offered higher and won the house, which is too bad because he would have given me some construction work on the side to help him fix it up.

In Chico, a friend from high school and I got together and watched the Packers game with my wife at my favorite sports club. We talked about old high school acquintances and one of our mutual acquintances became a cop and got shot and killed by some stupid drug addict. He left behind a pregnant wife.

This town has become tweeker central. It sucks, because I hate tweekers. Of all the drug addicts, meth addicts are the worst. They're at best extremely annoying and at worst dangerous. When a meth lab moves, it costs a million in yours and my taxpayer money to clean up the environmental hazard.

For me, it's sad because this was my hometown. I used to miss it and now I'm glad I left.

Yeah, I know this had little to do with Tshsmom's article about her daughter's high school friends, but thinking of high school friends reminded me of my hometown. Well, I'll just be sure to visit Martinez less so the tweekers don't overwrite my fond memories of the town. It's sad though. I'd much rather prefer my memories of my hometown to be fond.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Celebrities and their double standards with guns

I loved the movie Thelma and Louise. Some folks saw it as a male bashing movie, some saw it as a feminist movie, I just saw it as a movie about two people in bad situations turned outlaw that happened to be women. Finally, an "outlaw with a heart of gold" movie starring a woman (or in this case two).

Guns were an integral part of the movie. If you took guns out of the movie, there would be no movie. There would be nothing, just two women in their 30s complaining about their miserable lives. So let's not kid ourselves and say the movie didn't need guns.

Well, a few years ago, I saw an interview with Callie Khouri, the lady who wrote the screenplay, and listened as she proceeded to bash guns. Needless to say, I lost all respect for her as a person. I'm so sick of Hollywood's hypocrisy, of that arrogant attitude that they can do things but we normal people can't.

George Clooney's the same way. I loved From Dusk 'Till Dawn. Clooney did an amazing job as the Gecko brother with his head on straight, well, compared to his sociopathic brother. He used guns like a pro and looked so cool in every scene, gunning down the vampires and keeping his cool while H*ll literally came to Earth. In person, he's a rabid anti-gun nut. So it's okay for him to glamorize guns, but it's not okay for us to own them. Wonderful.

It gets worse. There's Rosie O'Donnell. You may remember her as pretending to be nice until the truth came out that she was anything but. Well, Ms. O'Donnell was one of the leading Hollywood figures railing against private gun ownership. What she failed to mention is that she had armed bodyguards. Yes, her bodyguards had guns. Her armed bodyguards not only protected her lazy *ss, she had armed bodyguards picking up her kids from school. Yes, armed bodyguards going into school zones with guns. Let me say that again. People with guns going into her childrens' schools to drop them off and pick them up.

I'm sick of celebrity double standards. But it's not just celebrities that have double standards with guns.

Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is a California Senator. She's one of the most powerful people in the nation. Unfortunately, she's one of the biggest hypocrites. Every election year, Gunowners of America publishes grades for Congresspeople and Senators. Every time, Feinstein gets an F-. She's completely against private gun ownership, yet, she has a California Concealed Weapons Permit.

Yes, she is one of the few who have those things. She keeps a gun on her person at all times when it public because she specifically said that if someone where to take her out, that bastard is going to die too. That's the same attitude I have, yet I'm not trying to ban other people from having guns. She is.

The celebrity I do like when it comes to guns is Ted Nugent. He's brash and outspoken, but what he's saying is right on. He loves guns, and isn't afraid to say it. He also believes it's his job to protect his family, a role he shares with his gorgeous wife who also loves guns and could probably outshoot most of us gun loving men. More power to them both.

A little sidenote, my hats off to the Gunowners of America. They're the most fair gun group out there and they understand the Constitution as well. They had a wonderfully scathing piece against the PATRIOT Act, which is not only bad for the Second Amendment, but the First and Fourth as well. They explained detail by detail why. One of these days, I'll join the NRA, but I'm proud to say that I've been a GOA member for years now.

But back to guns. If there's one thing I don't like, it's a drunk telling me not to drink. Or a guy who one day asks to borrow money from me because he has cancer of the wallet, then proceeds to tell me what I need to do with my investments. Or someone who glamorizes, owns, and carries a gun, while trying to ban private gun ownership for everyone else.

Friday, January 06, 2006

James Bond, bad sushi, and hot waitresses telling jokes

Sometimes, being brave isn't a good thing

You don't want to be James Bond's friend. Bad things always happen to James Bond's friends. If James Bond comes up to you and wanted to grab a beer with you, just tell him "No James Bond, I won't grab a beer with you and I don't want to be your friend." With his track record of friendships, I'm sure he'll understand.

You also don't want to be the fat fighter pilot. The fat fighter pilot always dies. If you're fat and a fighter pilot, either lose weight or don't go up that day. This is especially true when flying a fighter spacecraft.

You don't want to be in the first line of attacking medieval warriors. They always get hit by arrows. Screw that. You don't want to be in the rear either because some monster always eats them. The safest place is to be near the rear, but not in the rear.

Now with zombies, don't be the first guy to walk into a building. You always know what happens to him. Also, don't get distracted or tell jokes when there may be zombies present. People who do that always die.

Bad sushi, hot waitresses, and dirty jokes

Before I had my job outsourced, we used to party big time in the Santa Barbara area on the weekends. Almost every Friday night, we'd hit the volleyball courts on East Beach then hit our favorite sushi restaurant for food and drinks.

The sushi there was some of the worst sushi I've ever had, but we weren't going there for the sushi. We knew just about every girl who worked there and let's just say the hiring manager seemed to prefer knock-outs.

That's what I don't understand about our celebrity media. If Paris Hilton were working there, she'd be known as the ugly waitress. Why are so many people obsesssed with her?

Anyways, some of the girls were kind of bitchy, but we avoided them. If we found out that they were waiting in our area, we'd move tables to where the cool ones were. I don't care how hot someone is, I'd take attitude over looks any day. Of course good looks is a nice bonus.

To make a long story short, we had two favorites - one that was just a kind-hearted girl with an incredibly pretty face, and the other was a girl with a body of a Penthouse Pet who stored more dirty jokes in her noggin than I did. In fact, they were so dirty that I'm only going to repeat the only clean one I remember. Here it is.

Why do girls wear make-up and perfume?

Because they're ugly and they stink

No hot babe this week, just me, the Zombieslayer family, and a few other pirates riding off into the full moon. Until next time...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Rule #1 - Men and Women are from Earth

I know a lot of people in blogland are writers. Some have a successful writing career and others struggle to get their work published.

I've seen a lot of writers out there who are really good, and who I wish I could publish myself, had I been running a publishing company. I also see some scam artists who are making a killing.

Ever since I started this blog, it has been for fun. I currently don't have ads on it. It's crossed my mind, but I've decided to keep it ad free unless the ads are for something I'm selling.

Well, I've been writing for awhile now, actually for about ten years, and I think it's about time I started getting paid for it. I initially considered doing an exposé on the Atkins diet, something that has killed people including Fatkins himself, and caused all kinds of kidney and liver problems.

But that would be a lot of work. I'm no dietician and I'd have to hire someone to fact check. Instead, I floated around a few ideas with Mrs. Z about another con artist - the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus guy.

This guy's a straight up con artist and the book would write itself. I'm also thinking of splitting the book in half and doing something on The Rules ladies. Here are two obviously miserable women giving bad advice to lonely women out there, that will only manage to keep them lonely. Although they're not con artists like the Mars guy, they make good butts for jokes.

I'll lace the whole thing with Zombieslayer style humor and keep it lighthearted. It's kind of a justice thing for me. I've known some highly talented but broke writers in my day and it does bother me that they're struggling at dead end jobs while these schmucks are multi-millionaires, and they don't help anyone with their drivel. They prey on loneliness, give you a fake solution that doesn't work, and sucker good people into buying more of their trash.

The Mars guy even has a fake PhD. I don't remember the whole story, but it's either the company was shut down because they're cons, they went bankrupt, or a combination of both. I'll have to verify that for you. In the meantime, notice that he doesn't say where he got the PhD from? That's because he bought the PhD as opposed to earning it like the rest of us have to do.

So for now, I'll float the idea around to some agents. If they think they could successfully pitch it, I'll write the book. If not, I won't and I'll think of something else to rant about. Whatever happens, I'll keep you all informed.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The truth about property taxes

I know taxes are everyone's least favorite subject, but this needs to be said. This doesn't just apply to Americans, but pretty much any country where property gets taxed and is rented. So it applies to the entire First World and a lot of the Third World as well. As for those of you in the Second World, your life sucks, so can't help you.

There's been a lot of talk around here of raising property taxes. They say it will only affect the rich, because only the rich own property. Nothing can be further from the truth. For one thing, in America at least, more than half of both the middle classes and the working class now own (or have mortgages on) their homes.

We all know the middle and the working classes are burning the candle at both ends to make ends meet as is. Raising property taxes for a lot of these families might be the straw that broke the camel's back.

For another, if they raise property taxes, landlords and landladies will take it out on their tenants. Here's how.

I'm a landlord. Own several properties that we rent out. Most landlords recognize the difference between an asset and a liability. An asset puts money into your pocket. A liability takes money out of your pocket. I make money by buying assets and dumping liabilities.

If one of my homes was a liability, I'll either raise the rent or I'd sell it and buy another property. This is how I compute rent. I'm sure most landlords have a similar system.

mortgage + property taxes + insurance + repairs + enough profit to equal the crap I have to put up with being a landlord = what I charge for rent

If one of those goes up, I raise the rent or sell the house. So needless to say, if property taxes raise, take one guess who gets affected the most? Yup, that's right. Renters and the middle and working classes who own their homes.

Yes, there is a conspiracy when it comes to how much landlords charge for rent. It's called capitalism. So the next time you hear talk of raising property taxes, it really won't bother me. I'll just raise the rents when the leases expire. My tenants however will be bummed. And so will millions of other renters.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not a cold-hearted bastard. I don't enjoy raising the rent, especially if I like the tenant. I actually take good care of my tenants and make sure everything works and nothing leaks. But I have to do what I have to do to make my properties profitable or else I sell them, and my tenants just may end up with a cold-hearted bastard as their next landlord.

UPDATE: I completely forgot about fixed income folks. If anyone will be slammed by property tax increases, it will be folks on fixed incomes (mainly retired people, but also includes injured vets, widows, etc.). Thanks Laura.