Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Gone With the Wind.....and Fire

This scene is from Gone With the Wind (1939) starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh showing them fleeing the Atlanta Fire during the Civil War.  Yes, it's the Hollywood version of what happened here in Sonoma County but it's hauntingly similar.  I don't like how Clark's character, Rhett, constantly whips the horse but I was not the director of the movie.  My point will be made after watching this scene.

In this instance they are coming from south to north.  The vultures are already circling to prey on fire victims.  They are flooding in from Southern California to Northern California and their main objective is to profit off of this historic disaster.  Fellow citizens of Sonoma County BEWARE.  Don't be in a rush to settle claims with your insurer.  Your insurance company, despite their commercials depicting that they actually care, are out to minimize their losses.  Lawyers will be crawling out of the woodwork to get in on this.  You will be in the middle with these wolves chewing on all your limbs.  Construction contractors with little to no experience and questionable ethics will tell you they can rebuild your home and make it even better.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Smoke gets in your eyes.....lungs, hair, clothing

I have been issuing disaster relief funds to the many in my industry who have lost everything -- and I mean everything.  It takes a while for insurance companies to come forth with money and all the other disaster relief assistance requires paperwork and whatnot.  We have a fund put aside so I can write checks immediately on the spot and hand them to the victims without any forms whatsoever.  I know them personally.  I never have seen so many grown men break down and sob.  Their stories are sad beyond belief.  I felt bad just handing them a check as my life going forward will be a cake walk in comparison.  They are like stunned deer in the headlights.

For the first time in about a week the sky can be seen.  We have been choking on smoke and ash.  The 101 freeway has been nothing but an artery for emergency vehicles coming from all over the country to help fight the fires.  The Petaluma airport has been used as a helicopter base.

Good luck finding a hotel room or space at a campsite.  Fire refugees are going anywhere they can for shelter and many streets are lined with RV's and campers.  Housing rentals are non-existent and some people are gouging fire victims by jacking up the rent.  What little housing inventory we had for sale is now seeing increases in prices $20,000 in one day.  It's the old story of supply and demand mixed with the greed of opportunists.

It will takes years to rebuild.  On the positive side, we have a tremendous opportunity to show the world when we rebuild how we do it.  Are we going to have higher density housing?  After all, who really needs a huge mansion that is a resource hog?  Are we going to use sustainable materials?  Are we going to rebuild incorporating renewable energy sources?

Out of the ashes we can be reborn.  We can be a phoenix.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sonoma County Fires

This is the first chance I've had to take a breath - as long as I don't suffocate with the surrounding smoke - to take five and give you all the skinny on what's what.

1.  Power is out for many businesses and residents.  PG&E and AT&T are working relentlessly trying to restore, but this is way more complicated than plugging something into a socket proclaiming, "There.  All better."

2.  Who will rebuild our communities?  We already have a man power shortage for the skilled trades.  We have all the money available, but nobody to rebuild.  We as a society have shamed anybody who is not pursuing a PhD in Underwater Basket Weaving from UC Berkeley to thinking they are not worthy to live.  Guess what.  All those underwater basket weaver PhD's can't help us now.  They will just sit in their offices and groan on social media our doomsday.  Useless.  They are not taking in any evacuees.  They can't really be bothered when push comes to shove.  They just want attention on facebook and social media.  Attention whores all.  All they type is "hugs and prayers and if there is anything I can do......"......and then they never truly follow through.

3.  This will all sink in about a month or so from now when the news cameras move to the next big story.  To all those who are now offering to help fulfilling immediate needs -- Thank you.  However, we know the real heros will come to aid knowing there will be no news attention nor social media posts with standing ovations and "likes."

4.  If you REALLY want to help victims of the fires, ,please know that their immediate needs for the moment are being met.  What will count is what happens six months to a year from now...or longer.  Sorry, there will be no news media hype complete with cameras nor recognition.  it will be just knowing inside yourself that you were a good person when it mattered most.

hope that is what you're truly all about.  giving you all the benefit of the doubt.  no "likes" on facebook or whatever ego-media you all are on necessary.  Please give for the sake of giving...not for what media attention you can get.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Operating Systems and Platforms

iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, Mac, desktops, tablets, laptops, etc.  Samsung, Apple, At&T, etc.  We have all dealt with various techni-gadgets and their operating systems and software.

Some gadgets play well with other gadgets and their software and others do not.  We all have our favorite gadgets.  I've tried various gadgets over the years and I compare them to one another.  It's hard to say I have an absolute favorite as I liken my techni-gadgets to a tool box.  My favorite will depend on the job I have to do.  You can't use a screwdriver when you need a hammer.  Same with my gadgets.  Some gadgets are better for performing certain tasks than others.

Still, I have dealt with some issued gadgets that I loathe.  I have spent hours on a gadget that I didn't even really want trying to make it useful.  All I get are error codes and crashes no matter what I do.  The more I tried, the worse it got.  It's not compatible with anything.  It's frustrating.

I came to the conclusion that gadgets are like people.  Gadgets, like people, are all wired differently.  Literally.  What works for one gadget won't work for another.  Some gadgets require constant attention and maintenance.  Some gadgets are not dependable and will crash when you need them the most.  Other gadgets you can program, program and reprogram and you will still get error messages.  The more energy you put into it the more frustrated you will get, and the outcome will never change as it's just not wired quite right - like people.  You can spend enormous amounts of energy on somebody but their core wiring isn't right and the outcome disiappointing.

Moral of the story:  Some people have faulty operating systems and no amount of programming will change them.  Save your energy and frustration.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Puerto Rico

I feel sorry for the people in Puerto Rico.  They could not have picked a worse time for a natural disaster - as if they had a choice.  We had three major hurricanes within about 2 weeks of each other.  All of the disaster relief had been spent by the time Hurricane Maria decided to hit.

Instead of spending time feeling sorry for ourselves by publically protesting this and that, disrespecting the national anthem, and whining about how life isn't fair (nobody ever said that it would be) and playing the victim card for media attention, why don't we take that energy and attention to help those in Puerto Rico?

This is just the beginning of natural disaster scenarios that will shape the future.  Global warming will continue to produce freakishly and more frequently powerful storms that will wipe out places like Puerto Rico leaving behind a colossal mess.  I've said this before and I'll say it again.  The situation is way more severe than what we are led to believe.  If we knew the magnitude of what lies ahead, people would panic.  I have just one question:  Just where are what are we going to do with all the people?

I'm certain Puerto Rico's residents are all ready to relocate due to this natural disaster.  This is the first of many entire populations looking for refuge because global warming.

p.s.  Beach front property is a BAD investment. Say good-bye to places like Amsterdam that lie below sea level.  Amsterdam will be the next Atlantis.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Hillary Clinton: What Went Wrong

We're still talking about the train wreck of the 2016 election.  Let's face it.  We were doomed.  The democrats, who say they are all about the will of the people, squashed Bernie Sanders.  I guess the democrats really don't care about the will of the people at all.  They only care about keeping their own internal sense of order and political payback system alive and strong.

So now Hillary wants us all to know what went wrong.  We know what went wrong.  She's the only one who didn't figure it out in time.  We don't need her self-serving book deal crying sour grapes trying to place blame on everybody else except herself.  No words are necessary.
p.s. I just figured out that with just one little typo Hillary Clinton could be Hillary Clingon.  Yup, a cling-on and clawing desperately for what she thought she was owed and entitled to.  Karma's a bitch...and no, that's not a misogynistic term although I'm certain in her mind she will twist it as such. No shame in a strong, female dog putting things in their proper place now is there?  

Friday, September 22, 2017

California Housing

We have all heard about the California housing problem.  Yes, it's expensive to live here.  Yes, it's also very beautiful here.  Yes, it's a desirable place to live.  We are no different than Hawaii and other places where real estate prices are through the roof (no pun intended).

The answer????  Stop producing more and more people.  That's a start.  Stop being a dumb fuck and I mean that in the most literal sense.  More people equals more housing.  People require a place to live. Also, nobody can escape the law of supply and demand.  Politicians and other do-gooders think they have the answers, but they don't.

For every buyer there is a seller.  Don't ever forget that.  Maybe we don't have a housing shortage, but rather a greed problem.  Tell me of a cocktail party you have been at where somebody was bragging they sold their house to the lowest offer.  Silence.  I thought so.

Everybody nowadays buys their home with the aspirations of rapid appreciation.  Each residential purchase is a temporary, transitional stepping stone until the colossal, pretensious mansion on top of the hill is acquired.  Homes are not where families celebrate lives together anymore.  Homes are no longer the center of traditions.  Gone are the pencil marks on the walls tracking growth of children.  Gone are the family cemeteries.  Homes used to have souls - and that also created neighborhoods when people actually conversed with each other in the evenings out front as the sun set.  There was a human connection that tied us all together.  We actually spoke with each other and watched out for each other.

I'm getting off track.  When you hear people whine about affordable housing, ask them if they would support a price/equity limit on sellers - kind of like rent control.

I hear the uproar already.  Everybody wants to make the most profit from their homes or land when selling.  Welcome to capitalism.  You can't have it both ways, people.