Sunday, September 03, 2006

Countdown to stupidity.

Well, we're deep into the silly season with just a shade over 2 months left until election day. The Sean Hannity Show has a daily countdown to the general election, and the campaign ads have been increasing in frequency on our local TV and radio channels.

I thought that I'd get my picks out of the way early so that you can print these out and take them to the ballot box if you're in California.

Governor: Arnold Schwarzeneggar
Lt. Gov: Tom McClintock
Attorney General: Chuck Poochigian
SOS: Bruce McPherson
Insurance Commish: Steve Poizner
Controller: Tony Strickland
Treasurer: Claude Parrish
US Senate: Richard Mountjoy

Propositions - CA Secretary of State's Office
1A: Yes - Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax monies should be used for transportation, and nothing else
1B: Yes - I'm holding my nose and voting yes. I don't like bond issues, or anything that will raise my taxes, but the roads in California suck. Between 1A and 1B, this will begin to improve the overall infrastructure.
1C: No - Throwing money at housing is like throwing it away.
1D: No - How much more money will we throw at schools just to have it squandered? Every election, there's some kind of school bond act on the books, and people keep voting on them. The money in the last bond is never completely spent, and there's nothing but cost overruns by the contractors. Let's have a ballot measure that requires the contractors to complete the projects on time, and on budget, or suffer consequences like fines and penalties.
1E: Yes - This will provide money to fix our levee system here in the state. Last winter, we had all kinds of flooding problems and levee breaks along the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers. Another severe winter like the last, with heavy snows, then above normal temps will cause more problems with runoff and flooding.
83: Yes - It's time to get serious about sexual predators.
84: No - This is the enviroweenie's version of 1E that has no real money for flood control and levee reconstruction.
85: Yes - Parents should know if their daughters are having dangerous, invasive medical procedures performed on them.
86: No - Not just no, but "HELL NO!" This is a punitive measure that punishes smokers. It will double the cost of a pack of cigarettes, just to send the money directly to hospital corporations.
87: No - Another "HELL NO!" Every enviroweenie group wants this just to punish the oil companies, and this is an attempt to do it. Every environmentalist nazi group has signed onto it, and every taxpayer advocacy, Farm Bureau, Public Safety and many local goverment groups are opposing it.
88: No - No more property taxes. Period.
89: No - Political contributions are free speech. Don't restrict free speech, or make elections more complicated than thy already are.
90: Yes - This will prevent government agencies from using eminent domain to seize private property to give it to another private company. It will severely restrict the uses of eminent domain.

These are my own choices. I'd advise you to read and make your own choices.

I'm Smokey Behr, and I approve of this post.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Another Fresh Hell

It’s another day of bliss here at the "other job" which is turning out to be a bitchfest between myself and my usual Saturday morning shiftmate. She and I are two of four left of the original 16 partners that opened the store in December 2003. We've gone through 4 different managers: The first was fired for yelling at customers. The second left to have her third child. The third left to open a store in one of the best neighborhoods in town.

Then there's this one. She came from a competitor's store where she was an assistant manager before that store closed. She became the manager of a kiosk store that was built in the center of the busiest mall in town. She refers to that store as "(blended drink) hell", which I can completely understand, since the average age of the people on that mall is somewhere around 15. Well, she came to our store, which is a regular store, with retail and everything, except a drive-thru, about 6 months ago.

We've had nothing but trouble since the day arrived. She probably felt threatened by the previous manager, since we all loved her, and everything was running really smoothly when the transition happened. Then she alienated several regular customers with some of the things that she said. Then we began to consistently run short of everything, which forced us to have to call other stores for stock, which was a change, since we usually had plenty of extra for our store and the stores around us. Then she began running off partners. We have had a HUGE churn in partners here, mostly the new hires and transfers. I've seen almost 2 dozen partners cycle through this store in the time that manager 4 has been here. Some of them last a couple of months, some a couple of weeks, and some just a couple of days. We've lost 2 partners in the last week, and one called in "sick" (morning sickness) and we've been scrambling to get coverage for the 2 shifts that are left empty. Instead of working my 5 hours and going home, I'm pulling at least 7.5, which isn't all that bad, because it's an extra couple of bucks, but it cuts into my naptime :@)

It's getting so bad here that I've already typed up my 2 weeks notice letter. All I have to do is add the date, print it out, and I'm done. Hopefully things will get better, and I won't have to drop that bomb.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Out of the rat race, at least for a moment.

Well, I'm taking a little break from work and life at the coast. I'm here in beautiful Morro Bay, CA, (known where I'm from as the Portagee Riviera) enjoying the cool weather and good seafood and steaks. I'll be doing a little shopping, too. I'll get back to my regular life in a few days.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Spandex is a privilege, not a right


It's time to change your wardrobe. Wearing clothes that are 3 sizes too small is disgusting, no matter what size you are. Buy clothes that fit. Seeing your tits squeezing over the top of your bra is not sexy. Seeing the crack of your ass is not sexy. Seeing the stretch marks on your belly and love handles from the half-dozen kids you have in tow is not sexy.

Guys, same thing goes for you. If you have to pull your pants up all the time, buy a belt, or get them in the right size. If you are a 5' 6" and 120# guy, those 40" pants and XXXL shirts are the WRONG size. Remember, that baggy clothes thing comes from prison, where they don't always have clothes that fit you when you are in-processed. Another note: In prison, when you wear your pants with your chonies showing, it means you're looking to be someone's bitch. Whose bitch do you want to be?

Speaking of kids, how tough is it to make sure that they are in clean clothes with clean faces when you take them out in public. It's not that hard to keep a packet of wipes in your purse with all of the other crap. It's not that hard to make sure that the laundry is actually clean before you put it away. Remember, follow the instructions on the washer, and don't overload it to make sure you get all the dirt out. Soap and bleach are cheap, especially when you go to the 99 cent store to buy it.

Don't look filthy, don't act filthy, and you won't get treated like shit.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

An open letter to the Dixie Chicks

Dear Dixie Chicks:
I heard on the news today that you are having to cancel many of your tour dates because of slow ticket sales. Sorry to hear that. Not really. You made your bed when you pissed off your fan base by making comments about our president. It really wasn't just that, but the fact that you went offshore to make the statement. You didn't have the ovaries to make the comment here in the US because you knew what kind of reaction you would get.

Then you go and cut another album, and the first released single is "Not Ready to Make Nice". Maybe you should have rethought that. Until you actually do go and make nice, you can expect to have the same kind of album sales and show ticket sales here in the US. In fact, you might as well take your act to Montreal, and set up shop there, since they really like you and your politics there.

I'd recommend that you take your cues from Toby Keith: "We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American Way..."

Sincerely, Smokey

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A few on-topic random thoughts

As I sit here in Downtown Fresno listening to the scanner and the HT, monitoring every imaginable fire frequency used in the Central San Joaquin Valley, I look up and see the pall of smoke from the Canyon Fire stretching from the northern horizon around to the west, and finally dispersing slightly overhead. I hear on the broadcast radio that the Canyon Fire has
gone to 24k acres in just 4 days, and the PIO says there's no end in sight due to the "steep terrain, erratic winds, and lack of resources". I remember William LaJeunesse on Fox News last night with smoke and glow from the Sawtooth Complex talking about basically the same thing. I read the morning report, and see that over 2600 people are on the Sawtooth, Millard and Canyon incidents.

Then I begin to wonder: Why haven't I heard the OES equipment being staffed and assembled into strike teams from MAR V? Why haven't I been called to see if I'm available to go out on a strike team assignment (not that is matters, 'cause I'm not)? What about all the other full-time and paid-call firefighters that are available to work? Why is there a "staffing problem" when there are plenty of firefighters that can be called back to work to staff reserve equipment to form up local government strike teams to go to the fires?

Another peeve of mine is that overhead positions that could be filled by qualified volunteers and paid-call staff are going UTF (Unable to Fill) because of the firefighters' unions bitching about it. I'm a CSFA member, just like they are; I get paid by the state, just like the rest of CDF does.
Why should needed positions go unfilled at all, when there are plenty of qualified people available in the Paid-Call and Volunteer ranks? Why can't we even get the training we want to even get us available to be trainees?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I hate politicians.

Once again, it's the stupid season. I'm getting more shit in my mailbox than a high school english teacher during homecoming week. Everyone is sending me crap about how to vote. Vote for this candidate, vote for that candidate... fuck it. I get it from both sides, even though it's a primary election. As a member of 2 different unions, I get their shit. As a registered Republican, I get all of the Republican-related groups sending me crap. One union is all over one candidate and the other, of course, is for the other; neither of them is the GOP candidate.

Fuck. I can't wait until November.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Shot heard 'round the border

I made a post to a few of the many lists that I belong to regarding the arrest of illegal immigrants along the border a while back, and it's kind of amazing where you can find your words end up.

It's not the first time that I've written something that's had fairly wide distribution, so I'm not completely surprised. I also asked to have this post widely distributed. What I didn't expect was to see it popping up just about everywhere in the anti-illegal immigration community.

Since what I wrote was basically for California, and not for other states, I'm going to have to do a little research regarding citizens' arrest in other states along the border. I'll post what I find either here, or to those other lists.