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Soapbox

We all need a place to vent and this is mine.

1) The state of the world

How unpredictable life can be.

What can we say about the 2016 election? Didn't we think we were beyond this? The .com implosion, the housing crash and the aftermath of September 11th left all of us a little more aware of just how fast things could change... but nothing prepared us for this.

The "average voter" has been disenfranchised and fed a steady diet of misinformation designed to control them at the polls. The bigots and malcontents have been empowered and the con men are gearing up to take as much as they can, as fast as they can... they are amazed they got away with it this far and expect that eventually they well be ejected. The sooner we can do that, the better. More on Politics below.


2) CRIME...

is, by definition, something done outside the limits of the law. There are plenty of things that ought to be against the law that aren't and just as many things on the books that shouldn't be there. I remember hearing once in the 80's that Los Angeles had a law requiring all trains moving through city streets were to be preceded by a man on horseback waving a flag!

We live in a violent world - but we ALWAYS have. It wasn't any safer for our ancestors in any past age.Violence is something that can happen to all of us now. We all wonder how seemingly "normal" people, let alone children, can turn deadly. How they have such disregard for other living creatures.

But where on earth did we get the notion that we could eliminate negative behavior by passing a law against it? How naive. If we could change human behavior that easily we wouldn't need laws at all? Let's get our heads out of the sand before the lion bites our collective behinds.

The Gift of Fear : And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence

Don't let the title fool you. This book is about accepting this gift we have all been given and putting fear to work as it was intended - for our survival. Gavin de Becker's number 1 best seller; "The Gift of Fear" has specific insights into the reasons for violent behavior and ways of protecting ones self and loved ones.
After spending years consulting for governments and celebrities he decided that the best way to really make a difference was to bring the information to the people. Gavin de Becker worked with the families of Columbine, to bring some sanity to the violence that is erupting among our children.

The appendices in the back provide checklists for judging the "Incident Potential" for everyday situations and resources for dealing with them. The paperback has an additional chapter bringing it up to date as of May 98. An audio tape version is also available.
The Gift of Fear : And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence Links to other book, magazines and related materials are available in the Library.


3) Management & Politics

From Merriam-Webster

politician: a person experienced in the art or science of government; especially : one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government: a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of or a candidate for an elected office.

president: an elected official serving as both chief of state and chief political executive.

executive: having administrative or managerial responsibility.

Over the years I’ve worked for many companies and individuals, run my own graphic design business, and taught at a couple community colleges. I’ve come to believe that the most striking determinate for success is good management… be it an individual, a household or a country, bad management can destroy the most promising endeavors.

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In June of 1968 I listened to the assassination of Bobby Kennedy on the radio from my Hollywood apartment and felt the hope drain out of me. My birthday fell a week after the election, so I missed the opportunity to cast a vote AGAINST Richard Nixon.

With that election, I believe, began our slide into the current state. I’ve often wondered how different the outcome would have been if more of us “Boomers” could have voted back then. I’ve been determined to be heard on subsequent controversies. When I was asked to share my reasons for supporting Barack on the website they put up devoted to his female supporters, I realized that it was a great opportunity to be of service to others like myself who have felt frustrated by the state of our government and our society as a whole.

Like many of us outside of Chicago, I first became aware of Barack Obama when he appeared on the Oprah show long before he ran for the presidency. I was intrigued and picked up a copy of Audacity of Hope to find out more about him. I was impressed with his quiet, honest, intelligent manner, his ability to thoughtfully answer tough questions, and his confident handling of unexpected situations. Later I gave a copy of the book to a friend who was bemoaning the lack of such qualities in our current politicians.

Looking back on it, I'm very glad he won... and he did succeed in getting Bin Laden! There are many things he wasn't able to do, but thats not unusual. Especially given the record breaking opposition he faced during both terms. His approval rating is at its highest.. higher than many of our most beloved presidents. I think history will put him among them one day. Which makes it even more astounding that we just elected an narcisistic, bigotted bully with zero experience in running even a public trash pickup, to follow him. That man and his henchman have set about the rape and dismantling of the largest institutional govermnent on the planet. Their unsuspecting supporters will wake up one morning to find that not only were e right, but that they did not get anything he promised... while the "deplorables" make off with as much loot as they can carry.

From F. John Reh,

Good Management Is Predictive Management Not Reactive Management

A predictive management style is an important ability for a manager to have. The more problems that can be prevented through predictive management, the fewer resources will need to be spent on reacting to problems that have arisen. Predictive management does not replace reactive management, but it reduces the need for it.

If you are good at reactive management, you are:

1. Decisive and able to act quickly,
2. Able to find the root cause of events,
3. Creative and able to develop many solutions,
4. Innovative and able to find new ways to solve problems, and
5. Calm and in control in the midst of a "crisis".

Someone who is good at reactive management is able to remain calm, quickly analyze the problem, and find its root cause.

If you are good at predictive management, you are:

1. Thoughtful and analytic,
2. Not likely to go chasing after the current panic,
3. More aware of the important than the merely urgent issues,
4. Able to identify patterns in data and patterns of failures,
5. More focused on "why" did something go wrong, rather than "what" can be done to fix it, and
6. Able to keep the big picture in mind when working through the details.

Someone who is good at predictive management is sufficiently detached that they can identify the conditions that lead to certain problems and can implement procedures to reduce or eliminate the problems. Rather than being concerned about the immediate problem, they are able to relate current conditions to earlier information and predict when problems might arise.

4) The housing market.

Housing prices were starting to go back up. Its anyones guess what will be going on by this time next year. Rentals are already through the roof.

The crash was a long time in the making. The California median home price in 1968 was $23,210. The median price of a home in the San Francisco East Bay was $650,000 in 2002 - for a 3 bedroom tract house. After the meteoric rise in 2004, April of 2006 found it drop to only $561,350... and then go back up to $740,000. In Washington DC the median home price was $177,000!

Some of the lows in 2006; $175,000 Barstow, $190,000 Porterville, and $280,000 Fresno. The highs; $1,295,000 Palos Veres, $1,385,000 Laguna Beach, and $1,501,000 Newport Beach.

This is what $200,000 bought in the 2002 market in the San Francisco/Oakland area.

The lot is about 50x50' on the northeast corner of a one way street, a block from a main intersection. The house was only slightly bigger than the car port and one car garage combined. One can see all the way through the house where the moisture damaged boards were removed the year before. The unstained redwood fence was about five years old - replacing the original picket fence that was in total disrepair. The outhouse was removed a couple years ago when they added permanent windows and paint to the house, and removed many years of trash. The remains of the well are in a brick pile near the front corner of the lot.

Its benefits are being within walking distance from buses, BART, varied shopping, and a few blocks from a major freeway on & off ramp. The magnolia trees are watered by virtue of the spring only a few feet below the surface. At 12 feet above sea level, this is an area that is also designated as a flood plain.

This little gem on the other side of the street was fought over for over $400.000 in 2004...
at least they can bulldoze it some day.

 

In any case, it took two guys one weekend to put most of the existing structure in a dumpster.
Then one guy lived in the garage while they rebuilt this on the lot..... Its not hard to imagine what the owner across the street thought of the view out her front door! At least it's better now...

California real estate being what it is... in 2005 we found this bargain "Starter Home" for only $642,000 in the Monterey suburb of Seaside... similar homes in San Bernardino County were still going for $200,000 in 2007.

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