Friday, July 13, 2012

The "Breaking Bad" Bonus

Here is a diagram of my blog readership over the last two years. Things are looking up!

Nevertheless, that is counter to usual experience on the Internet. The Internet is expanding faster than its number of readers, so, on average, readership should trend downwards, not upwards.

My success is almost-entirely due to interest in "Breaking Bad" locations. By latching onto something before most people realized they would need it, I was able to beat the odds. The peaks in the distribution (like the big one in early October, last year) are due to the timing of events in the show. Page Loads have exceeded 500 every day this week, even though I've been blogging less than I usually do.

I'll miss this TV show, when it's done.

Tips Of Icebergs

Life among the "job creators":
The chief executive officer of an Iowa-based brokerage firm admitted in a suicide note that he carried out an elaborate fraud scheme in which he embezzled more than $100 million from customers over nearly two decades, federal investigators said Friday.

FBI agents arrested Russell Wasendorf, Sr., 64, of Cedar Falls on Friday. Federal prosecutors unsealed a criminal complaint charging the CEO of Peregrine Financial Group, Inc., with making false statements to regulators and released documents detailing a wide-ranging fraud scheme that apparently fooled colleagues, customers and regulators for years.

..."Through a scheme of using false bank statements I have been able to embezzle millions of dollars from customer accounts at Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. The forgeries started nearly twenty years ago and have gone undetected until now. I was able to conceal my crime of forgery by being the sole individual with access to the US Bank accounts held by PFG," he wrote in the note, according to court documents.

...He said he used "careful concealment and blunt authority" as the company's founder and sole shareholder to hide the fraud. He said he ordered bank statements be delivered directly to him unopened, that he was the only person with access to the firm's online bank account, and he told the bank that he was the only representative they should call, according to court documents.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Julissa Veloz Will Be In Sacramento Tonight!

Didn't realize - I wonder if I can make it?:
World Town & Social Night Club Present

***SNOB's like it freaky***

we all have a lil snob in us, join us once a month to find out what SNOBS are into. This month for friday the 13th SNOBS LIKE IT FREAKY.

Friday, July 13th of 2012 at Social Night Club

Featuring a live performance by JULISSA VELOZ with

DJ set's by Trevor Simpson and Nate DavitVIP BOOTH & BOTTLE SERVICE:

Please call Social Night Club at 916.316.9577

DJ Unk - "Show Off"

Pepper played this infectious tune this evening, and so - I guess I'm infected.....

Florence + The Machine - Dog Days Are Over (Glastonbury 2010)

Slavery, Oh How I Missed Ya, How I Missed Ya!

For those who worry about deficits and the burden of student loans, a brilliant idea:
A revived draft, including both males and females, should include three options for new conscripts coming out of high school. Some could choose 18 months of military service with low pay but excellent post-service benefits, including free college tuition. These conscripts would not be deployed but could perform tasks currently outsourced at great cost to the Pentagon: paperwork, painting barracks, mowing lawns, driving generals around, and generally doing lower-skills tasks so professional soldiers don’t have to. If they want to stay, they could move into the professional force and receive weapons training, higher pay and better benefits.

Arizona Has Always Had More Glamorous Criminals

I'm sorry, but Tucson has better mug shots than Albuquerque does. Just sayin'.

Is This Heat Really Necessary?

So hot! Bailey the Rabbit doesn't like it! He's doing all he can to cool off, in the basement: his man-cave.

It was 106 Deg. F at Sacramento Executive Airport yesterday (but well below the record of 113 deg. F, set in 1961).

A tropical-type wave is passing through the Southwest. Last night, thunderstorms roared out of the Jemez Mountains and passed through western Sandoval County NM, heading SW towards Mt. Taylor. It looks like there were related, fierce storms in the Phoenix, AZ area too, heading NW:
Thunderstorms danced around the Phoenix area Wednesday night, bringing lightning strikes that set at least one building on fire, 50 mph winds that knocked down trees and power lines, and rainfall that reached up to nearly an inch in some areas.

...Workers at a strip mall near 24th Street and University Drive found a large tree with a base nearly two feet in diameter fully uprooted by winds.

...About 12 miles away, lightning struck the Republic Monetary Exchange building, sparking a fire on the roof of the structure near 40th Street and Camelback Road early Thursday.

The owner of the business, Jim Clark, said much of the inside was damaged from the sprinkler system. Clark said they lost some computers but were able to save other computers, as well as documents and servers.

Officials managed to put out the fire in about an hour.

A billboard on 16th Street and Elwood fell onto a road, possibly after a lightning strike. Power lines in the area were momentarily disrupted.

...The winds built up to 50 mph in some parts of the Valley, knocking a few trees down and scattering debris across roadways and homes.

Clouds could remain through the late morning Thursday, and temperatures should reach up to 106 degrees.
Today, the monsoonal moisture is over Las Vegas, NV, and approaching central California. Later today we may see the high clouds here in Sacramento! So it will be hot AND humid! Yuck!

Naked Homeowner Tries To Outcreep Creepy Homeless Guy

Last week, very late at night, as I drove through the DMV parking lot on my way home, I was startled by the sight of a small dog curled on the pavement right in the middle of the parking lot. It took me a few seconds, but I recognized the dog as belonging to the creepy homeless guy who trespassed into my driveway ten days ago to take a dump under my bedroom window. (I've blogged about this strange dog before: The Dog In Suspended Animation.) The creepy homeless guy was sleeping on a patch of lawn a short distance away, and the fiercely-loyal dog, according to its custom of not ever being precisely at its owner's side, but always a short distance away, had also sacked out, but in the middle of the parking lot. The parking lot serves as an alternate roadway, so the dog was quite vulnerable there.

Anyway, last night, I was awakened at 4:35 a.m. by a barking dog. I looked out and recognized this dog, which was, once again, in the middle of the DMV parking lot, but this time exactly opposite my driveway. "Oh, crap," I thought, "is that creepy homeless guy taking another dump down there?" I peered into the gloom, but saw nothing.

I decided to investigate. Completely naked in the summer heat, I headed downstairs, waving a flashlight around, hoping to dissuade any "squatters". As I approached my back yard's gate, I heard an annoyed masculine voice somewhere outside the gate say "SSSSHHHHH!" Immediately, the dog fell silent, and disappeared.

I STILL didn't see anything, or notice anything else unusual. I crept out into the driveway, but was dissuaded from venturing further by the sharp pebbles in the driveway. Nakedness is a bold statement, but it's easily thwarted by sensitive soles of the feet.

Driving to work through the parking lot this morning, I saw the dog again, this time heading somewhere on an errand. A bicyclist stopped to reach out and kindly pet the dog. The dog ignored him.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" - DMTC - Some Promotional Pictures

Willa Paskin Hates Walter White

And who doesn't? Bryan Cranston has turned Walter White into a thoroughly dislikable and exceedingly dangerous person:
With just the tone of his voice, the stupendous Bryan Cranston can make clear whether Walt is being genuine (deeper, slower voice), fake (angry condescension), pretending to be genuine (sweet, high pitched, hint of condescension), or genuinely being fake, as in he is just deluding himself (hepped-up, manic energy). It is increasingly claustrophobic and anxiety-producing just having him onscreen. Every single thing he says has started to sound like a threat. He is the something horrible that is waiting to happen. He, as he only half-delusionally put it, is the one who knocks.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Drum Circle Bounty

Last night, I arrived late for Tye's first drum session after he returned from camp. Uncharacteristically, he had attended a drum circle a few days ago, and recruited several new people. These people - know their stuff! Interesting!

North Korea Begins To Crack

This is how it starts:
North Korean state-run television on Monday showed footage of costumed versions of Tigger, Minnie Mouse and other Disney characters prancing in front of the leader, Kim Jong-un, and an entourage of clapping generals.

The footage also showed Mr. Kim in a black Mao suit watching as Mickey Mouse conducted a group of young women playing violins in skimpy black dresses. At times, scenes from the animated Disney movies “Dumbo” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” were projected on a multipanel screen behind the entertainers; an article in the state-run press said unnamed foreign songs were on the bill.

The appearance of the characters from the United States, North Korea’s mortal enemy, was remarkable fare on tightly controlled North Korean television, which usually shows more somber and overtly political programs. A Disney spokeswoman, Zenia Mucha, had no comment Monday beyond a statement: “This was not licensed or authorized by the Walt Disney Company.”

As with many things in the North’s bellicose and reclusive Stalinist government, Mr. Kim’s rationale was a mystery, but there was a hint that the performance might be significant. An article about the performance by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said that Mr. Kim, who took over after the death in December of his father, Kim Jong-il, had a “grandiose plan to bring a dramatic turn in the field of literature and arts this year.”

Political Spin

Clarifying what already seemed clear enough:
The best part of this story (the Maine Gov calling the IRS the ‘new Gestapo’) is the Governor’s press secretary trying to help spin or explain away his decision to compare the IRS to the ‘Gestapo’. This from the Gov’s communications director …

“He was going for the effect. He did say the ‘new Gestapo.’ He was not referring to the ‘old Gestapo’. I think that’s important to note.”

Flood In The Basement

The intrusion of tree roots in the sewer line has become an annual event, usually in late spring.

The drought this winter seems to have delayed the annual event. The spring passed by without incident. There was a preliminary rumbling last week, but I caught it quickly, and it passed.

About 2 a.m. last night, while the washing machine was merrily draining its water and I was getting ready for bed, E. approached:
E.: (Sigh) I think we're going to have trouble with the sewer again.

M.: And why do you think that?

E.: Because the toilet was burbling.

M.: NNNNNNNNOOOOOOO! When that happens you have to stop the draining water RIGHT AWAY! It's going to be a disaster in the basement!
And, sure enough, it was a disaster. In the basement, the cap to the sewer line had popped off, and there was water everywhere. I mopped till 3 a.m. I likely lost some old, stored magazines in the mess, but the damage seems mostly-confined to the temporarily-stored belongings of Joe The Plumber, E.'s arch-enemy.

And so, soon I'll have to clear out that line again. It needs replacing, but who's got extra cash for a sewer line replacement?

More Stupid On The Right

Great place you put Texans in, Mr. Perry: getting taxed for services they can't access, because of your special brand of stupid:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Monday he will not implement ‘Obamacare’ provisions such as the Medicaid expansion and the insurance exchanges. The decision could mean that Texas ultimately loses an opportunity to cover half of its uninsured residents and relinquishes to the federal government more control over its health care system.

You Should Have Thought Of That A Long Time Ago!

You dumb Birther morons! OF COURSE this is what's going to happen! And we now know who you are! Stupid Birthers!:
“By the way Alex, remember when you were in my office in Virginia, one of my crew asked if you’d ever seen a drone, and you answered no you hadn’t,” he said. “I get home and within a week or two of that conversation, I’m taking my dog for a walk, and guess what I see right over the tree line? Right above my head is a drone.”

...“There could only be one thing that this drone was spying on, and that would be me,” he said. “That would be my property.”

...Jones and Farah seem to be reacting to recent reports that the government has permitted limited use of unmanned drones in civilian airspace. Last June, an antigovernment “sovereign citizen,” whose family had chased police off their North Dakota farm with high-powered rifles, became the first American citizen to be arrested with the aid of such a device. The government reportedly plans to expand the use of drones within the next few years, an idea that unsettles civil liberties watchdogs on both the left and right – and leaves antigovernment activists like Farah and Jones giddily unhinged.

“This is a game of control for them,” Farah told Jones. “We have to resist all attempts to control us, whether they’re telling us our kids have to have these mandatory vaccines, or they tell us in order to get on an airplane you’ve got to be groped. This is where the resistance starts, because this is part of conditioning for what is really the endgame for them, which is, you know, we’re all going to be global citizens, we don’t have any say in our government and so forth. It’s everything our Founding Fathers fought against, and we’ve got to be like our Founding Fathers all over again, and the only question in my mind is whether we have the fearlessness, and the courage and the conviction that they had to do that.”

He continued, “If [Obama is] re-elected, it’s gonna be war. We will be at war. We will be hunted down like dogs, Alex Jones, just keep that in mind. That’s what the stakes are.”

Monday, July 09, 2012

Piper Stoeckel, Miss Arizona 2012

Interview on KGUN Channel 9, in Tucson. Crowned Miss Arizona Saturday night. Miss America, here she comes!

A University of Arizona dancer (I recognize the big studio!) Go Wildcats! (And hopefully an association with TRB too!)

Marcus Crowder's Greta Gerwig Profile

Marcus Crowder's Greta Gerwig profile, from last week:
Sacramento acting guru Ed Claudio worked consistently with Gerwig from the time she was in elementary school through her high school years at St. Francis.

"She was a natural actress and always made really good, sharp choices that were right on target. When she played Nina in 'The Seagull,' she was Nina," Claudio said.

"As an acting teacher, the best you can do with people like that is draw out their talent, encourage them and help them grow," Claudio said.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

"Hairspray" - 'Bows' (July 7, 2012)

A Fish Tale

E.: MMMMAAAARRRCCCC! I have such a tale to tell!

M.: How was Minden Lake?

E.: We caught so many catfish! One was 30 inches long! Chris and I used worms to catch ours, but the Portugese guy next door used anchovies. The biggest one he caught, however, he used a piece of hot dog!

M.: Catching cats with dogs?