Archive for August, 2009

Go Early and Beat The Crowds

The wifey and I stopped by the new Bob’s Big Boy (in Orange) for breakfast this morning at 8 AM and we were the only ones in the joint. If there is a lesson to be learned from this, it is go early and beat the rush! As for the breakfast itself, it was… interesting. Not my cup of tea coffee really.

emptybobs.jpg

Have you had breakfast at Bob’s? What did you think?

Somewhere, Rick Warren is Crying in a Corner

I love to hate on Saddleback’s pastor Rick Warren and his stupid book, The Purpose Driven Life. It gives me purpose porpoise.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20Q32xIyoeo[/youtube]

The most basic question everyone faces in life is Why am I here? What is my porpoise? Self-help books suggest that people should look within, at their own desires and dreams, but Rick Warren says the starting place must be with fish and their eternal porpoise for each life. Real meaning and significance comes from understanding and fulfilling God’s porpoises for putting them in the ocean. You too can live A Porpoise Driven Life!

[Via Boing Boing]

Buyers Market? Think Again

Don’t let the media fool you, it is NOT a buyers market. Maybe it is, if, and only if, you are willing to wait month upon month upon month – you get the idea – for approval from the bank for that short sale property. There are good deals to be had, but you have to be willing to wait. A lot of people think they can, but since the process is so long and the banks are so overwhelmed, potential buyers are pulling their offers and moving on i.e. when an equity home is on the market people are overpaying.

When the short sale buyers pull their offers they are so ready to buy a home they act irrationally. Irrational in the fact that they are willing to pay well above the asking price for no other reason than they HAVE TO BUY A HOUSE BECAUSE THE “EXPERTS” ARE TELLING THEM TO BUY NOW. Irrational because they are willing to waive appraisal contingencies – for example the house appraises at $450,000, but sells for $510,000. Typically a bank won’t finance a loan for more than the house appraises for, but like most things there are ways around this. You buy a mortgage origiation point or more likely the bank will require you to make up the difference in cash. Of course, you can always pay in cash, in full, and believe it or not people do. We lost a house to an all-cash offer. We were also asked by a sellers agent to waive the appraisal report, needless to say we did not put in an offer, but four others did. WTF???

Let’s not forget those that are going to rush to buy and close escrow before 30 November 2009 just so they can claim the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers. The way I see it, and I could be wrong, I think there is going to be a mad rush and even more competition in the next two months. Basically you have to be in escrow no later than the end of October if you wish to claim the credit. As the law is currently written any home purchase that closes escrow beginning 1 December 2009 is not eligible to receive the tax credit.

I realize the Southern California market is markedly different than 95% of the rest of the country. However, by rushing to buy and pushing prices back up is doing no one any favors. If you buy a home for more than it’s worth that is exactly what you are doing. Even if it’s worth that price to you, it’s not a sound financial decision. So basically all this irrationality coupled with so many short sale/REO properties is making for a very small sellers market. As my husband likes to quote the age-old proverb: “a fool and his money are soon parted.”

Can It Get Any Hotter?

The answer to that question is yes, it can and will get hotter tomorrow. Crap.

The OC Register says “the county smashed a heat record today, and the National Weather Service says that it’s likely to be 1-2 degrees hotter on Friday.“ Stay cool people and stay out of the ocean, Laguna Beach Lifeguards would ”prefer you wait for another day to get into the ocean“. I guess you’re better off in the pool – sheesh!

Cal State Fullerton’s Tuffy is Toast

tuffy

Gary Robbins reports that Cal State Fullerton has officially fired Tuffy the Titan, the school mascot for over fifty years.  Tuffy was a prominent part of the University’s identity, as Tuffy was featured on almost everything.  Well, Tuffy will still be featured at sporting events, since it’s pretty hard to get inspired by a tree, which is part of the new logo.

The reason Fullerton chose an elephant as a mascot is due to the fact that early in the school’s history, some silly elephant races were held on the fields that are now the Student Union buildings.

As many commenters on the Register noted, I’m suprised that in the budgetary crisis we have, CSUF can justify all the money it will take to change the logo.  Guess that’s what those fee increases were for!

So, now Tuffy is gone, replaced by an extremely generic looking logo.  Ugh.

CSUF new logo

When Public Utilities Attack

What do you do when 75 gallons of raw sewage comes spewing out of your toilet? Imagine just sitting in your bed reading a good book when a literal shit-storm is unleashed in your master bath – leaving sewage all over every surface in the bathroom and bedroom. Well that very thing happened to one unlucky Huntington Beach family… twice. Oy gevalt.

Sewage.jpg

Apparently, the city was cleaning out a sewage pipe outside their home causing 75 gallons of shit to hit the (ceiling) fan. The family is asking the city for ten thousand dollars to help them clean up the mess and restore order to their lives. This seems like a very reasonable request to me and I think the city ought to cough it up. What do you think?

[poll=33]

“Pitcher” Perfect

Old Towne Orange Sign

There are so many things I love about Old Towne Orange (the houses, the people, the shops just to name a few), but I have one spot that has been my favorite since I discovered it several years ago.
Pitcher Park-

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Pitcher Park sits at the corner of Almond and Cambridge in an entirely residential area, minus the school across the street. The park is small, taking up no more width than 1 house and no more length than 2 houses. It has benches, tables, greenery…all the things you expect to find in a park. But when you look closer, you see the little details that I love so much about the park.
Well don’t just sit there, follow the link to hear what they are and see more pictures! (more…)

Community Service = Free Admission to Disneyland?

Our friends at Mice Age have posted an update by their chief commentator Al Lutz. While often didactic and prone to instructive (rather than constructive) criticism, one cannot help but be fascinated by Mr. Lutz’s juicy tidbits he throws to the drooling Disneyland devotees all over the world. This particular update focuses heavily on D23, Murphy the invisible dragon and the current DCA expansion. However, at the very end of his column he addresses the alleged headaches Disneyland is enduring over this year’s Free-On-Your-Brithday campaign. Essentially he reports the promotion has been one gigantic pain in the ass. Who am I to argue with that? :) He then casually drops this little bomb:

The new campaign for 2010 will allow anyone a free ticket to Disneyland, but only after they complete a certain number of volunteer hours in their community with a Disney approved charity or nonprofit organization.

Say what? Really? That’s sounds like an administrative nightmare!! Still, I really like the idea of encouraging volunteerism and rewarding people with a magical experience. If they really do bring this concept to fruition it will be one of the most unique promotions the Resort has ever seen. I like high concept ideas like this and am interested in seeing it in action.

Would you complete a certain number of volunteer hours to earn a free ticket?

Newport’s Banana Stand is Back in Business

… at least according to Jason Bateman the Arrested Development movie IS going to happen.

George Michael talking to GOB at the Banana Stand

George Michael talking to GOB at the Banana Stand

At a roundtable interview for his new movie, Extract, Jason Bateman gave away some details about the status of the film verision of Arrested Development.

What is the state of “Arrested Development”?

Jason Bateman: The script’s being written and when Mitch (Hurwitz) is done with it we can go to the scheduling part of it which will probably prove to be a bit challenging given the size of the cast.

And they’re all attached?

Jason: He is asked us not to speak about specifics, but that he’s working on it.

It seems like 5 or 6 months there was a lot of momentum. A lot of people talking about the film. And then it seemed like it sort of got a little bit quiet. Everyone’s a little nervous it’s actually happening. Is it, in fact, actually being written right now?

Jason: Yes.

That’s 100%?

Jason: Yeah. Yeah. That’s never changed. I mean people have guessed and “rumored” and all that other stuff in all areas of the media. I’ve always been a little sort of…I’ve always felt bad that I never had more information to give people when they asked me about it, but I guess people kind of got frustrated by that and they just started kind of making up their own sort of “well, we haven’t heard that much” or “news hasn’t changed so it must be going away”. I don’t know. It sort of took a life of its own on and fatigue started to set in I think about the whole story of it. I mean, there’s really no need to write anything about it at all until he’s done writing it. Once he writes it then, just like any movie, then it becomes something a little bit more real and then you try to figure out scheduling and you try to figure out people’s deals. I mean, it’s got the same life that any other project would have. It has just as much a chance of happening as it does of not happening really.

All I can say is YAY!!! I love this show and I can’t wait for the movie.

Photo courtesy of womansday.com.

OC Supervisors Continue to Bang Heads Against Brick Wall

By appealing a recent court decision to reject Supervisor Moorlach’s pet project to renege on a contract with the Orange County Sheriffs.

Their suit has already been rejected twice.  You would think they would get the hint.  But no, they see the possible future savings as worth it.

Granted, it would indeed be a large savings.  But the problem with this whole thing is that once you have negotiated a valid contract, you shouldn’t be able to say, oops, never mind, I don’t like the terms anymore.  Which seems to be what they are doing.

I think the Supervisors are trying to capitalize on the extremely high anti-union sentiments that seem to be everywhere these days.

Why all the resentment? 

They aren’t perfect, but unions are why you get breaks, lunches, and a set-hour workday, amongst many other things. 

I see more anger directed at unions than I do at almost all CEOs, Wall Streeters, and banks combined.

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