Friday, September 12, 2008


As I am sitting here, getting ready to watch some baseball, I get a call telling me to watch the news. I see the remains of the Chatsworth train wreck in LA County. 7 freight cars and one Metrolink cars derailed. The Metrolink engine is off the track and one of the Union Pacific engines. A couple of the boxcars appear to be totally demolished.

Once again, I am grateful to the men and women of the LA County Police and Fire Departments. I understand via Channels 2 (KCBS), Channel 5 (KTLA) and Channel 7 (KABC) that other departments are involved in the rescue effort. Thanks again so much for helping each other... and US!... out of danger. The efforts they are making to get to help those still trapped is amazing.

I can only imagine what it is like. The damage on TV is horrific, and those people have to go help out.

As I sit and watch the coverage, I see how far the Metrolink engine was crushed into the first passenger car. They are saying the train was only going 25 MPH. So far, only 3 reported fatalities (and my heart goes out to those families). [Check that... KABC is now saying 4]. I fear it will only get worse as they clear the wreckage.

My mother saw the wreckage and immediately thought of the Glendale wreck a couple of years ago, which was caused by a guy (later convicted of murder) who parked his SUV on the tracks causing a major wreck.

LA County Rescue teams.... you guys are the best.

National Pastime, Part One

A couple of weeks ago, my mother asked me if BossLady and I would be interested in going to an Angels game here in Anaheim. We said yes. Last night was the night we went, and while we knew it was 9-11, it didn't register that it would be covered by special events at the Big A. Both the Anaheim (sorry, I will NEVER call them Los Angeles) Angels and the Seattle Mariners wore their special flag hats and there were memorials prior to the game. The color guard was by the Orange County Fire Departments, and there was a moment of silence. Simple things, but they meant a lot.

Now before anyone gets any bright ideas, my mother, BossLady and I are all HUGE HUGE HUGE San Francisco Giants fans, which makes sense since we all are from the SF Bay Area originally. And I still haven't forgiven the Anaheim Angels for stealing the 2002 World Series trophy. We won't even talk about what I think of that blasted Rally Monkey.

But I do follow the Angels. I followed the Kansas City Royals when I lived there, and the Baltimore Orioles when I lived in the Washington, DC area (the Nationals hadn't vacated Montreal yet). I followed the Oakland Athletics a bit (Bay Area rivalry... hard to get my hands into the green and gold without feeling like a traitor). But I will NEVER root for Dodger Blue.

BossLady and I have a few Halos items, but we decided to get into it for this game, since the Angels had clinched the Division Title the day before. So we decked ourselves out in Angels red and hats and had a good time sitting in the left field pavilion behind the bullpens. It was a beautiful night, and a good game.

The crowds down here in Anaheim have no life. The stadium was so quiet! I mean, we could hear the rats farting under the bleachers... And it's concrete bleachers! It was like this last year when we came to see Oakland play late in the season with both teams in a playoff push. Where's the energy?

I say that having lived in some really cool sports towns. The Giants push in 2002 was fun, and PacBell (or whatever name it is this week) was an electric place to be. Oakland in the late 80's and early 90's was a riot in the bleachers every night. Kansas City in the days of George Brett and Frank White was just intense with very knowledgeable fans in the seats. Washington with the Redskins and KC with the Chiefs are just crazy places to be, the Tank in San Jose for the Sharks is an ear-splitting experience, and even Anaheim with the Ducks (when they don't let the Sharks fans drown 'em out!)

So I really don't get the lack of energy in the seats last night. I hope OC is not making the fatal mistake of taking this team and it's success the last few years for granted.

Anyhow, we had a good time with my mother's work and as always, we enjoyed a good game of baseball. Nothing better than a SoCal night watching baseball...

The pictures above are from last night. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Save My Ass


Once again, thank you to all the service men in New York and Washington who responded.

I like to think the crews we have here in Orange County kick ass, too, given their work last year on the Santiago Fire in Irvine.

The other day I saw something while driving home that just drove me nuts.

I was driving down the road near a fire station when I saw the truck light up and come out the driveway. Legally, you HAVE to move out of the way. Did anyone? NO. Bastards. Self-righteous pricks.

All I could think was that if I was in an accident or any other type of life threatening incident, I would want those motherfuckers out of the way so the guys trained to save my ass could do just that: SAVE MY SORRY ASS!

While I would never wish pain on anyone (well, maybe my ex... but that's another story), I do hope some of these people who won't get out of the way for emergency crews will someday find themselves in a situation where they need rescue teams NOW, and some other prick causes the crews to be just a little bit late.

Maybe I am just being cruel by that. I don't know or care. All I know is these guys put it all on the line every time that siren goes off, and I don't need some self imposed god in his BMW feeling like it's not his job to get out of the way causing someone to suffer.

Maybe they could start writing tickets for that?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Apparently Columbus Was Persian... Or Was It Afghan?

It's a rant.

Today I set a record. I got told off.

That's not the record.

The record is that each time, I was told off in Farsi.

Next time, I will just save a lot of time and effort and go postal after the first one. Or at least find a beer to drown myself in.

Each one of the people yelling at me were upset that I don't speak Farsi (never mind that it is considered THE toughest language to learn if not your native tongue).

The last one got to me. Her closing argument was "you should learn to speak Farsi like everyone else here!"

Say what??

When did Farsi become the native language of Southern California?

I know that there is a heavy Hispanic population here (Santa Ana has the highest Hispanic concentration in the States). So I can see Spanish as a necessary language. I even respect the history of Spanish being spoken in California since this state was originally a Spanish (and later Mexican) territory that was taken over by the US.

I understand the history of English here, since parts of California were discovered by the English.

Native American languages make sense since they beat everyone here.

I could even understand, though it is a long stretch, French being spoken here since they settled a large part of the North American Continent.

Hell, I could understand Chinese, since so many came over to help build the railroads and take part of the gold rush.

Portuguese as well, as they were major players in the settling of the Americas.

Remind me what part of the settling, growth and development of California, nay, the American Continents, was played by Persia or any Middle Eastern country? Or even Afghan country?

History books are always missing something (they are only as reliable as people's memory), but to miss a whole fucking country in something so vital as the history of our state?

Last time I checked, English is spoken in just about EVERY country in the world. It's the language of transportation and business. Even Canadians speak it. Rumor has it parts of the deep south do, too.

I am not advocating a national language. But I am one of those people who believe that if you come here, make an attempt to learn the customs and language here. I know if I moved to your home, I would be REQUIRED to learn yours.

So go ahead and bitch at me. I really don't care if you do. But to yell at me for not speaking a "native tongue" when it's YOUR tongue in MY home? Get a fucking life.

And go home.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Job Security

Sometimes it's not the customer or employee that does stupid shit. Sometimes, it's the company.

In the complex I work, there is a One-Time Giant retailer that has fallen on hard times. They recently decided to close the location where I work. The "STORE CLOSING EVERYTHING MUST GO!!!" signs went up two weeks ago. Today, they increased the size of the signs, like that will save them.

What really got me laughing was what I saw this morning as I drove by the store.

Bear in mind, those Closing signs are everywhere. There are six of them by each entrance, four of them on the top of the building facing each direction, and three on the street blinding drivers.

Driving by this morning, I noticed at each entrance, right below the Store Closing signs, was a sign in large print stating "NOW HIRING"!

That's right. Now hiring for a job that will end in 3 weeks.

Am I missing something?

You can start a job just to have the company quit on you for a change. Nice.

What's really fun with customers is how they seem to think that every other store in the complex knows why that one store is closing. While I do talk with other managers in the complex, business information like that is usually considered confidential by retailers, and as a result, it's a terminal offense to disclose it (one of the reasons I am vague about work details). We do speculate with each other, since most of the stores around me are small, and the big anchor stores don't speak with us that much.

On a side note, I did learn bribing my team gets great results. I had challenged my team to hit certain performance goals and I would cook for them. They hit the goals, so I made enchiladas for them. They have decided I can cook. I agree with the thought.... feed me and I will do just about anything (I have SOME limits, so don't get all your, er... hopes... up).