Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Day 1 of Adventure to Ruidoso

We departed this morning from lovely PA about 10:50, which was 50 minutes later than we had originally planned, but so it goes. Tires aired up, windows clean, gas in tank we were on the road and away we went. I really like the area around Gilroy, where we passed through Pacheco Pass, and this is always a little treat for me. The girl has not been through said Pass, and was enjoying its scenic qualities as best she could while deftly maneuvering us between large semis.

From Gilroy we dropped into Los Banos, and then down the 5 to Bakersfield, then to Tehachapi past the plane graveyard (very neat) and into all new territory for the Magyar. She couldn't get over how 'desolate' (her words) it was. I told her there was more to come, believe me.

So through the Mojave we went, through Barstow and onto the I-40 where we putted along, made a driver shift, and drove into the night until we came to this lovely mountain oasis in the desert; no, not Ruidoso, but it's ugly Arizona cousin: Flagstaff.

Flagstaff has always reminded me of Rui. It's that whole city in the mountains surrounded by desert thing. The weather here is nice this evening, and the whole trip it has been warm, but not too bad. Eva and I have dropped the windows and are just cruising with them cracked and stereo cranked up. That's the way to travel. Who needs A/C?

We are looking forward to waking up early tomorrow and taking advantage of the free breakfast. Well, I am looking forward to totally stealing, er, taking, some of this fine deliciousness for the trip onward into NM.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Google Shows You Something New ... AGAIN!

Google has released a new feature that is bundled into, a *new* "street view" button that, well, allows you to see the street view of wherever on the map you're pinpointed. AMAZING!

I took it for a ride to some locations I know pretty well (my address, for example) and was really astonished at this feature. I can't believe the coverage they've amassed.

Check it out

Friday, May 25, 2007

Death Row killer's last words: 'Go Raiders!'

Eric & Thor's Visit

Last week Thor and his brother Eric came a-visiting. It was Thor's birthday when they touched down, that was a week ago. My apologies for taking so long to post anything regarding their time here, but it was coming directly on the heels of my job being axed (see below) and the events kind of pulled a one-two punch on me.

So anyway, Thor and Eric touched down on Friday, and we proceeded to get some dinner at a great little place, Ming's Seafood Garden, after we picked up the ladies from Eva's.

After some good ol' fashioned Chinese food we cabbed it to Bacchus Kirk, where drinks were ordered and we secured a little corner booth for everyone to lounge around. Bacchus
is a great little shack of a place on Nob Hill, and everyone was having a great time. My moustache ensured that I was safely looking like a child molester all evening given my companion's youthful countenance.

Thorin loves the Mission, so after awhile he was demanding we depart for said quarter of the city. Two separate cab rides later we arrive at Doc's Clock for drinks, reveling in $2 Olympia. However, Doc's was only a brief respite for our thirst so we pushed onto The Mission Bar, where we downed some Pabst, and I think Thor did some shot of something or other.

We were pressing onto another bar, the Napper, when I ran into, of all people, a guy named Francis whom I used to work with. He accompanied us down the street to 24th and Van Ness where we did another round before hunger and last calls set upon us. We left The Napper in two groups, and apparently narrowly missed danger in one instance and confronted it in the other.

While at the Napper a gentleman had been accosting us to purchase dime bags of ganja from him, and smoke it. None of us were really open to this idea, and one in our party was especially vocal in his protests. The first three of us left and proceeded up the street where they encountered said dealer and his crew on the corner, but my friends just crossed the street and kept their path to avoid him. The others of us, though, were not so lucky. As we reached the corner of 24th and Capp we espied a big FAX/Copy machine (typical of every office since 1995) and, of course, had to make light of it. This attracted the attention of Senor ganja dealer and his crew who were in the adjacent parking lot. When they confronted us I turned and walked away, not wanting to get jacked in the Mission.

Some of my companions did not have the same instincts and while I merely walked away, intent on burritos and a bed, they turned to begin a conversation on French politics or to debate the existence of free will in an epistemological framework, something to that affect. Well, turned out the vatos weren't so keen on conversation and instead shook the dudes down. Luckily no one had any money to cough up and they went away empty handed, but it was still not cool.

The next day we grabbed some brekkies at the Olympia cafe instead of Dottie's cuz the damn line was just too long. Their food's good, but that 45 minutes waiting for duck fennel sausage can easily be translated into mojitos and omelettes down the street, and after enough champagne you don't really care if it's greasy, in fact you enjoy the food more. After Olympia we went to Red's and the weather was fantastic for some brews, some finger food and the bay right at our feet.

From Red's we ventured back down the peninsula to San Mateo for some infamous Habanero Hamburgers. They used to be served at what was then the Prince of Wales Pub. Now it's the same place but it's got some other name and they remodeled the interior. I think the remodeling was OK, thye put down new floors, but the place lost a lot of character that went into it being so unique. There was formerly a lot of sports junk all over, a real Giants strong hold, now it was kind of sanitary. That, and the service sucked donkey. I ordered fish and chips, with some nachos to appetize me. Well, the fish came out without chips (WTF?!) and the guy didn't even bother to tell me that they were out. Just served me some fish. And the nachos? Tortilla chips with cheeze whip dumpe don them. Worthless.

That didn't sour the day, though. We returned to Palo Alto, hit up the Old Pro where there was a girl who just couldn't get enoug of the bull and rode the damn thing like 8 times with all her friends. After that it was Rudy's and then a walk home. We put Thor and his bro on the plane the next day not much worse for wear and belly full of breakfast Palo Alto style, to boot.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Day The Music Died

Some of you may have noticed a few days have passed since my last post, so I'll go ahead and give you the low down as to what has happened with me to cause the brief hiatus.

I moved back to the Bay Area last year, in October. I found this great job at a cool little tech firm, eMochila. I was in Sales there (if you couldn't tell from the previous posts), and we made great websites for accountants and lawyers. When I went to the interview for this job one thing stuck out in my mind: the Sales floor had music playing, and anyone could go up and change out their iPod. Coming from a very corporate job in Las Vegas it was a totally different vibe. It was just cool.

So during the last six months or so that I've worked there this job was really fun. We had two teams of folks between 3 managers and it was like a little family. We had a company kick ball team, we all went out for drinks after work, we were a pretty tight crew. There were probably about 34 of us in the company, total. I say 'were' because as of Thursday afternoon the company laid off everyone in Sales (9 people total) and some of the tech team, as well.

I won't go into the details of what happened, or what is currently ongoing with the firm, but suffice to say that the managers/owners were forced to make a decision that none of them were happy with. They were nice enough to us that they made a decision that allowed those of us let go to have a little parachute to rely on rather than just bring thrown out on the street. They were genuinely concerned about their employees, and it hurt them to have to make the decision in the first place.

So how do I feel about all this? Needless to say my termination was abrupt and it all came so quickly that it has taken me a few days to digest it all. That, and the fact that this weekend Thor came through with Eric and I had to entertain (more on that in a later post).

I like the fact that we got a severance, I'll start there. The owners could have dragged us out for as long as time allowed and then did what they did (let us go) without having the capital to drop us lightly. That was nice of them, and I respect them all the more for it. It really speaks to the unique culture we had, and the great guys that they are. Much respect to you, gentlemen.

The fact that I am here today in this position is interesting to me in and of itself just because I feel like I'm living a movie or news story. I mean, how many times in America have we heard about the tech company that's flying high one day, then something happens, and the next day it basically folds? To that end I'm not happy it occurred (because many peoples' livelihoods were destroyed) but the writer in my likes being in the midst of an interesting story.

In that same vein, the job was always teaching me something new. It was a new field for me, a new position for me, and I was always presented with something that was a challenge. I have been through a very interesting and also educational experience. I've learned a lot about business, about people and about myself. Hard times make a mind pliable, I suppose.

So what's in store for Wes now? Well, I'm unemployed and looking. If you know someone who needs a job done, get in touch and let's talk. In the mean time, I'll probably watch the final episodes of Rome that I downloaded, and maybe a few films as well.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Resonating Post

Saw this article on Psychology Today, a link from Reddit. I am in many ways a loner. I keep to myself, but I have a small group of close friends that I feel very close to. I like to think that I can mix well in any social situation, I just eschew them most of the time and opt to chill out alone. I've had this baffle many people close to me, while others seem to "get it" very easily.

Some clips below:

In our society, where extroverts make up three-quarters of the population, loners (except Henry David Thoreau) are pegged as creepy or pathetic. But soloists ... can function just fine in the world—they simply prefer traveling through their own interior universe.

Introverts aren't just less sociable than extroverts; they also engage with the world in fundamentally different ways. While outgoing people savor the nuances of social interaction, loners tend to focus more on their own ideas—and on stimuli that don't register in the minds of others.

Pwnage of the Day

Me: "Hi, this is Wes Temby from the XXXX Corporation, how are you today?"

Her: "I'm sorry, I don't really have time to talk right now."

I know this is a put on, because otherwise, if she was really busy, why would she have answered the phone? Not to mention I could sense in her tone that she knew I was a salesperson and she was giving me the brush off.

Me: "Oh, I'm sorry, is this not a CPA firm?"

Her: "Well, I'm not a CPA, but I do book keeping for businesses and tax preparation."

Me: "Gotcha! You had time to talk!" I hang up.

Quotes Of The Day

George Bernard Shaw

"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."


"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Code Monkey

I stumbled across this video from a website that had a funny pic someone linked to on Reddit. (Wow that was a neat little train, eh?) I really liked the video, probably because they mention Login Pages specifically, but also because it was pretty humorous overall. I could certainly relate to the song's content, for sure.

From The 'Current Events' File

So if you've been anywhere near major media these days you know now that Jerry Falwell is dead. Slate Magazine did a neat little write up about him, a 'Greatest Hits' of sorts, outlining the fact that this guy was not some respectable political symbol but more appropriately a total tool.

Some of my favorite clips from the article below:

On AIDS: "AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals."
This one is especially interesting to me personally since my father, a straight man, died from the disease.

On the separation of church and state: "There is no separation of church and state."
Interesting since some of the regimes we are currently at war with in the grandiose War on Terror are in essence Theocracies; not to mention the statement is completely at odds with our own Constitution.

On Jews: "In my opinion, the Antichrist will be a counterfeit of the true Christ, which means that he will be male and Jewish, since Jesus was male and Jewish."

Monday, May 14, 2007

A View FromThe Sushi Boat

I love sushi. I've had good sushi (recently) and bad sushi (not so long ago ...). Here's a clip I found on the net that gives you a view of what the sushi boat sees as it makes it's rounds.

Waiting ...

What's the worst part of establishing a website? Waiting for the domain to clear ...

This weekend in addition to birthday revelries I purchased the domain (pretty original, eh?) and have been checking my Gmail ever since then for the domain to come live. It's terribly frustrating, I must tell you.

So anyway, check in the coming weeks, as it will be my domain of choice (for what I hope are obvious reasons).

Birthday Weekend

What a birthday weekend I had! Friday, the actual day, I was taken to dinner by my family out here to DiMaggio's on Washington Square. This was a fun restaurant, and we've been there before. I like the place, the decor is nice with dark wood everywhere. It offers your standard Italian fare, but they do a good job with food that you've seen in different forms more or less across America, and that counts for something.

Saturday the girl and I went down to lovely ol' Palo Alto and sauntered over to the Stanford campus for a pow wow they were having there in the Eucalyptus grove. Literally. A Pow Wow. It was a good time, there were a lot of Natives from all over the country. I couldn't begin to tell you all the tribes, but I saw Cree and Hopi for sure, and a few Apaches as well. People were doing the hoop and gourd dances right as we showed up, and that was a real treat.

I've not been to a pow wow in ages, so this was like revisiting my childhood in a way. I made sure to wear my Sacramento Hot Shots shirt with the Zia emblazoned on the chest and back to show off my New Mexico (read: Native America) roots. In fact, I met some Natives that commented on it and we struck up little conversations about New Mexico. Mission accomplished!

Part of the fun of the pow wow was being out in the warm weather. It's getting really nice on the peninsula now, much better weather than San Francisco experiences. Palo Alto is just far enough south to avoid the fog that rolls in, and we still get a nice cool bay breeze, so we don't bake like they do inland or in the South Bay. Because of this I was wearing only a T-shirt (see supra) and flip flops. Funny thign about the sun: as warm as it is it can also burn you. Who knew? I didn't feel it at the time in between munching on fry bread and corn, but my neck developed a nice red hue to it at the end of the day. {Racial pun} I was a red skin, indeed! {/Racial pun} It wasn't too bad, I don't think I'm gonna peel, and I played it off to Eva that I was just "getting some color."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Looking for a Job?

Wow. I saw the below posted on and was a little amazed. I have Google'd myself before, and was kind of amused at the results. I can't imagine what a potential employer would make of the results.

Judges Say Google Background Checks Are Okay

The idea of a Google search as a person's permanent record continues to gather a lot of interest -- whether it's people fretting that they can't be found or government agents using it as a tool. A consistently reoccurring theme is how employers use Google as a de facto reference or background check on potential employees, though many of these worries seem a bit overblown. However, one federal employee who got fired for misusing government property alleged that a Google search by an official as part of the investigation into his thefts violated his "right to fundamental fairness". A three-judge panel disagreed, rejecting the claim that the search, which turned up information about two previous times the guy had been removed from a job, affected the decision to fire him. The case seems to hinge on the use of the search, and whether it undermines due process in determining whether or not to fire the guy. The judges said that the official's Google search didn't constitute ex-parte communication, since it wasn't a communication between parties. That seems to be the crucial part of the ruling here, because it essentially means it's acceptable for employers (or at least the federal government, as an employer) to check out workers' backgrounds online. The judges seem to be saying (quite reasonably) that the internet shouldn't get singled out for special treatment, and that it should be considered as any other research source. Should any communication on the internet constitute prejudicial ex-parte communication, then it should be dealt with as such. The bottom line: just because your boss found out about your past online, it certainly doesn't mean they can't fire you.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bill Richardson Ads

So a coworker and semi-regular reader (I suppose) of this blog commented that the blog is not 'personal' in the sense that it does not get to "what Wes is." A fair criticism, I'll admit, but then again, as another reader noted, that's not really my style anywho.

However, in light of the fact that this blog is not personal, I am posting below a video from Bill Richardson's campaign. Bill is the governor of New Mexico, my more-or-less home state (all but 2 of my formative years spent in the little village of Ruidoso), so this is ad is coming from a guy who represents something very close to me -- New Mexico!

OK, I know this isn't personal at all, but the ads themselves are kind of funny, so enjoy.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Maricopa County, Arizona Hates George Washington

Did you hear about the professor who is being fired for sending out a copy of George Washington's Thanksgiving Address via email? Yeah, totally ridiculous, right?

Apparently he got it off the Pat Buchanan website (not a guy I support, personally) and merely emailed it to people on a listserv. Some people took it as 'harassment' and filed suit against him. The man is a professor, the email contains nothing more than the address our 1st President offered on what is now a national holiday.

Where has common sense gone in this country? You can read more about the incident here.

Money From Tragedy: It's The American Way!

Please direct your browser to this article highlighting a man who immediately went out and bought up domains related to the Virgina Tech murders.

Quite capitalistic, opportunistic and crass. Way to exploit!

The Realignment of America

I saw this post on and found it pretty interesting. So much so, I thought I'd post a link to it here.

The article discusses the way that the internet has essentially decentralized labor, allowing people to work from places that are more to their tastes, rather than being bound to their company's office location. I hope the article bears truth, because that would mean I could actually *afford* to live in Palo Alto! LOL!

Subway Systems Of The World

The above is a map of the San Francisco BART system. Since I am a user of the Bay Area's public transit systems daily (specifically BART and CalTrain) when I saw this page (recommended to me from Reddit) displaying the subway systems of the world in scale I was very intrigued.

Improve Your English

A funny commercial, and it speaks to the linguist in me.

Paris Hilton Jail Update

I posted earlier about Paris Hilton going to jail and my thoughts on the matter; saw this article today about the petitions being floated both for & against it, and thought that I'd post here about those, too. Funny because last night when I heard on the news the talk of the petition to keep Paris out of jail it actually occurred to me to begin the Send Paris to Jail petition. Great minds think alike, I suppose. Then again, fools seldom differ ...

Highlights follow:

Four days after a Los Angeles judge sentenced Hilton to 45 days in jail for violating her probation by driving on a suspended license, the competing petitions provided a rallying point for a lively debate over whether the celebrity socialite and reality TV star deserves her punishment.

"We think 45 days in jail is a cruel punishment for the caliber of what she did," said Kyle Vincent, an artist who launched the Web site and is trying to collect one million signatures on a petition seeking clemency by June 5, the date the hotel heiress was ordered to report to jail.


Vincent was also using his site to hawk "Free Paris" T-shirts for $18.99 a piece, along with similarly themed buttons, bumper stickers and coffee mugs.

A no-pardon petition urges Schwarzenegger to "ignore other petitions asking for clemency and show the people of California that no one is above the law."


From the Daily Telegraph: Paris Hilton must serve her time

A Different Approach

In Sales it is important to be on top of your game and to know where you are going. When you have a prospective client you need a game plan of what you're going to be doing with them. Your pitch needs to be orderly and you need to know your product inside and out so that you can answer any questions that may arise.

Yesterday I got a guy on the line who last year was a "not interested." I called him up again this year and reintroduced what we do, sent him another email. Got him back on the line and he once again told me that this was not what he needed. So rather than following my manager's directive and just abandoning the guy as a lost cause I stopped and asked him flat out "Well, what do you want?"

Like a skilled martial artist I had pulled him off his balance. Suddenly I was not attacking him with sales, but opening up and letting him come to me. He took a moment, and then told me exactly what he wanted. He set his own trap, because a that point I told him I could provide him that, at X price.

Fast forward 30 minutes and I've pulled out from him details about everything he wants and exactly how he wants it; I've answered all his technical questions and addressed his concerns. At this point my manager is looking at me and telling me to get off the phone with the guy because "he's just milking {me} for information," Instead of heeding this advice I lay it out for the client: Look, Jim (not his real name), I've listened to everythign you've said, and I've identified what it is you're looking for. I've told you that I can do it for this price, which you've told me is a good deal to you. What's stopping us from going forward?"

His answer: "Nothing, let's do this."

What A Difference A Season Makes

So my office is in full swing now, on what is our company's bread and butter market. We were doing our thing with this other demographic, and it went OK, but certainly not the numbers we're used to seeing around here. Now things are kind of looking like normal.

Observing the board this morning I noticed that the new kid, last month's golden boy, is nowhere to be seen in terms of productivity. This is Sales, and I know that happens, believe me. I'm not knocking the guy. The reason this is in any way interesting to me is not so much this individual's performance, but rather those numbers in contrast to my manager's accolades the month prior.

You see, all last month this guy was held up as THE model that we should all be striving to emulate. The kid had passion, our boss would tell us, that's why he was doing so well. To be fair, he did post good numbers that month (and to be doubly fair, it's only the 8th, he's got more than enough time to eclipse all of us yet again), but what irked most of us was his lack of modesty in that accomplishment not to mention just some other douche-baggy aspects of his personality. I don't want readers to think my office or I was pulling punches here, either; when it became obvious that some of us disdained him we were honest with him when he asked about it. Fair is fair, I suppose.

In addition to the lack of sales this month, it has also come to light that the retention rate for his clients has dropped to the lowest in the office. That's never a good thing. Again, I'm not harping on this individual's performance, but rather my manager's enthusiastic endorsement of him last month compared with his production this month. It almost seems that my manager has a propensity for betting on the wrong pony. I guess I like the ironic contrast between loving the kid and shouting at all of us to be more like him one month and then more or less acting like it never happened the next.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Summer In San Francisco & The Boiler Room

Warm weather has finally descended upon my lovely little burg of San Francisco. I work in The Mission, which happens to be one of the sunniest and warmest areas of the city. This is great during the winter when we are spared the fog that the rest of the city is flooded by, but it is a two edged sword when we're talking about summers.

You see, since San Francisco is notoriously cool there is a little impetus on the part of construction firms, landlords, etc. to install A/C units here. Honestly, most of the year (like, 93% of the time, really) this is perfectly understandable. However, there are those days, like we are having now, when the breeze is off-shore and the heat really gets going. It's not Vegas hot or anything like that, but it's a little warm, nonetheless; and of course, my building is one of the great ones without any functional A/C (nor heat, for that matter, see previous posts about that ...) so we are left to dial in the sweltering San Francisco summer sun, (those floor to ceiling windows that provide such great downtown vistas have a drawback, I suppose) making our office a more or less literal Boiler Room.

Monday, May 07, 2007

"I don't deserve this!"

So Paris Hilton is going to jail. Not some ritzy pay-by-nite outift, either. The real thing.

Upon reading the article two sentences stood out to me, uttered by Ms. Hilton herself:

"I feel that I was treated unfairly and that the sentence is both cruel and unwarranted. I don't deserve this."

I was struck by her plea. Moved, even. You don't deserve this, Paris? Note to you: people with much less money, power, influence, connection, etc. than you go to jail for things like this all the time. It's the system at work. Does it suck? Yes. Does it suck to be you? Right now, for certain it does.

I guess I just took those comments she made as so class laden. Are the laws too strict? Perhaps, but Paris Hilton has carried herself as super aloof for quite some time now. Nothing like a month and a half in county lockup to bring you back to your senses.

On that note, there's a portion of the article which describes what a young man, Joshua Capone, did to defend his favorite Hilton. He wrote a letter to the governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, asking him to intervene on Paris' behalf. Mr. Capone, have you lost your mind? Wait, I need read no further than what you penned to the Governator to get the answer:

"She provides hope for young people all over the U.S. and the world. She provides beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives,"

"Our otherwise mundane lives," that's a quote right there. My bet is that Mr. Capone is a devotee of the E! channel, and watches the likes of Access Hollywood religiously. Check the subscriber rolls of Us and I'm sure you'll find him.

Who wants to make a bet Paris a) writes a book about her experiences, b) has a made-for-TV movie about her jail time c) has some sort of celebrity fund raiser thing about it d) all of the above?

This Is What A Tornado Struck Town Looks Like

I heard about this town, Greensburg, that had been struck by a tornado recently. It was in all the papers, even all the way out here in good ol' California. I've never lived in a tornado zone, so I don't really have any idea of what these things are like. However, I did see the film Twister and at the time I had quite the little crush on Helen Hunt (what the hell was I thinking? She looks like The Beast from the television version of Beauty and The Beast) so I saw that film a few times.

Anyway, I saw the above photo and a few others posted here and thought they were post worthy just to highlight the destruction that took place on the plains. Crazy. Nature just really lets us know from time to time how small we are. Bodhi was right!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Disbar Judge Roy L. Pearson Jr.

I read about this judge in Washington who is suing his dry cleaners for $65 Million dollars because they lost his pants and just couldn't believe it. How on earth does this man, a judge, no less, live with himself over this absurd claim? You have to read the story in it's entirety (posted below) to really understand how ridiculous this man's behavior is. He needs to be disbarred and reprimanded for his stupid, ignorant and hurtful actions. This is an instance of frivolous tort if ever there was one.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A missing pair of pants has led to one big suit.

A customer got so steamed when a dry cleaner lost his trousers that he sued for $65 million. Two years later, he is still pressing his suit.

The case has demoralized the South Korean immigrant owners of the mom-and-pop business and brought demands that the customer -- an administrative law judge in Washington -- be disbarred and removed from office for pursuing a frivolous and abusive claim. (Watch people shake their heads over the case of the missing pants Video)

Jin Nam Chung, Ki Chung and their son, Soo Chung, are considering moving back to Seoul, seven years after they opened their dry-cleaning business in the nation's capital, said their lawyer, Chris Manning.

"They're out a lot of money, but more importantly, incredibly disenchanted with the system," Manning said. "This has destroyed their lives."

The customer, Roy L. Pearson Jr., who has been representing himself, declined to comment.

According to court documents, the problem began in May 2005 when Pearson became a judge and brought several suits for alterations to Custom Cleaners in Washington. A pair of pants from one suit was missing when he requested it two days later.

Pearson asked the cleaners for the full price of the suit: more than $1,000.

But a week later, the Chungs said the pants had been found and refused to pay. Pearson said those were not his pants, and decided to take the Chungs to the cleaners and sue.

Manning said the cleaners have made three settlement offers to Pearson: $3,000, then $4,600, then $12,000.

But Pearson was not satisfied and expanded his calculations beyond one pair of pants. Because Pearson no longer wanted to use his neighborhood dry cleaner, he asked in his lawsuit for $15,000 -- the cost of renting a car every weekend for 10 years to go to another business.

Manning said Pearson somehow thinks he has the right to a dry cleaner within four blocks of his apartment.

The bulk of the $65 million demand comes from Pearson's strict interpretation of Washington consumer protection law, which imposes fines of $1,500 per violation, per day. Pearson counted 12 violations over 1,200 days, then multiplied that by three defendants.

Much of Pearson's case rests on two signs Custom Cleaners once had on its walls: "Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Same Day Service." He claims the signs amount to fraud.

The case is set for trial June 11.

Sherman Joyce, president of the American Tort Reform Association, has asked that Pearson be denied a renewal this week of his 10-year appointment.

The association, which fights what it considers abusive lawsuits against small businesses, has also offered to buy Pearson the suit of his choice.

Chief Administrative Judge Tyrone Butler had no comment on Pearson's reappointment prospects.

Melvin Welles, former chief administrative law judge with the National Labor Relations Board, wrote to The Washington Post to say that if he were the judge in the case, he would throw out the lawsuit and order Pearson to pay the Chungs for their legal expenses and their mental suffering. He also called for Pearson's ouster and disbarment.

"The manifest absurdity of it is too obvious to require explanation," Welles wrote.

To the Chungs and their attorney, one of the most frustrating aspects of the case is their claim that Pearson's gray pants were found almost right away, and have been hanging in Manning's office for more than a year. Pearson claims in court documents that his pants had blue and red pinstripes.

But Manning said: "They match his inseam measurements. The ticket on the pants matches his receipt."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Map Of The Internet

Sometimes I'll be surfing the net and I wonder to myself, "where am I?" Have you ever felt this way?

If so, not to worry! We're saved! The new map to the internet is here. Note the Google island volcano fortress.

And I Thought MY Job Was Bad

Saw this little story collected on my Google Reader, and thought I'd share it with you here. Crazy stuff. Thank you, American labor laws!

Cashiers claim desperate measures

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Cashiers at Chile's Santa Isabel supermarket chain say their employer is so stingy with their work breaks that they have had to resort to wearing diapers to make it through shifts without getting fired.

The union at Santa Isabel, owned by Cencosud, one of Chile's largest chain retailers, said cashiers are not allowed to leave their work stations during their shifts, which last eight hours or longer.

"They are not given permission to go to the bathroom and they can't last for so many hours; that's why some have started using diapers or sanitary pads," Marianela Fernandez, president of the Santa Isabel Supermarket workers union, told Reuters.

Cencosud said any such incidents would have been isolated.

"It is possible that there may have been isolated cases that were not in compliance with the norms and procedures of Santa Isabel," Cencosud said in a statement. "In these instances company policy has been to immediately adopt the appropriate corrective measures."

The complaint has been taken up by Chile's largest labor organization, the Central Workers Union, or CUT, which has requested government action in the case.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Santa Cruz

As a nice outing from "The City" the girl and I decided to take a trip to somewhere I have not been in a very long time: Santa Cruz. The name itself conjures up images of skateboarding to me, most likely due to the skateboard company of the same name. I think the last time I was in Santa Cruz was during summer camp, and we spent the majority of our time at the Boardwalk (of course).

To be sure, Santa Cruz has a lot of skateboarders, but we weren't there for them. I haven't touched a skateboard in seriousness since I broke my ankle on one back in college, and I wasn't about to relive that experience on a day trip vacation, thank you. Instead we focused our energy to making the use of what Santa Cruz had an abundance of that day: sunshine, nice weather and beaches.

First things first we had to get some grub on, so we went to the Walnut Ave. Cafe. This place was decent, and I Yelped it. Wes loves his Yelping. After Breakfast we strolled through the downtown area, stopping at the post office to pick up some stamps, because if there's something Wes likes almost as much as Yelping it's sending post cards to people. Who doesn't like to get a post card form such exotic locales as Santa Cruz?

Then it was on to the *real* fun stuff, the beaches and Boardwalk. For those of you not aware, the Boardwalk at Santa Cruz was featured prominently in the 1987 teen vampire flick The Lost Boys. I used to love this movie, not because it's a double Corey film, but because it represented all the cool things a six year old thought California was full of: Skateboarding teenage vampires who rode dirt bikes and lived in abandoned old collapsed hotels. Yeah! Pure awesomeness.

Thankfully there were no real vampires out that day (sun would have gotten them anyway, I suppose) so we were allowed to wander this place unmolested save the throngs of small children and their attendant parents. The Boardwalk has all the stuff you would expect a Boardwalk to have, like cotton candy and peanuts and video game arcades. I, for one, just wanted to wander about and see the sights. I was not into riding the rides (though they did look interesting), and my companion does not have the stomach for such thrills, so we remained terrestrial.

After the Boardwalk we walked to the end of the wharf, along the length of which we spied many a barking sea lion. Their presence is not as severe as Pier 39, but they're there, no doubt. You're able to get closer to them here, due to the public landings on the wharf. I guess they climb up at high tide, and then when the waters recede they just lounge in the shade and sleep. It was nice to get out over the water, if for no other reason than the presence of a cooling breeze.

After the wharf we rambled back downtown to a nice little spot that was recommended to me, The Red Room. This place was initially a little cool towards us, but they warmed up after a few. I really liked the decor, and for a hot afternoon it was the perfect place to grab a cool drink and watch the world go by outside.