Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Grayson : 15 lbs. 12 oz. 26 2/4 in.
Chloe : 14 lbs. 6 oz. 25 1/4 in.


Is it really that simple? I've been reading and watching for days now and I don't understand why Congress is so confused as to why they do not have the public support. They have yet to explain the catastrophic affects this will have (not getting the $$).

To see it from the public ( aka Main Street) point of view, the banks are in the weeds because they have mortgages for houses that have no or less value than the paper on them. People are simply walking away making the paper worth even less. Sending money to the banks without negotiating current mortgages will only further lead to more forclosures and more empty money. It isn't solving the problem but merely putting a bandaid on a symptom. We've been discussing it, Hon and I, for some time now being in the real estate industry and how it's affecting business.

If banks are given the money they are okay for a while however without renegotiating mortgages and eliminating detrimental ARMs, eventually we'll be right back HERE again with more foreclosed properties and less money being paid back to banks. A house heading for foreclosure let's say has a mtg of $1200. If they hit the ARM in November it goes to $1400. If the bank renegotiates now to maintain the $1200 they may actually continue to have the loan paid off - if not, the folks walk away and the bank then has to sell this property, which will then likely be in less than spectacular condition for pennies on the dollar further decreasing the value on the street of these homes and maybe acheiving what would calculate to $600 -$700/mo mtg when it's all said and done.

Does that make sense? Obviously no and now you have banks still in the weeds and MORE people without homes, more people stuck in homes they can't sell, more people unable to buy for lack of lenders, etc.

After reading this article on CNN by Dobbs it validated what we've been saying all along. If you don't have time to read the entire article, I've highlighted the point here:

Chetry: What do you think if you were up there making decisions? What do you think we need to do?

Dobbs: Well, the first thing we need to do is return to a traditional role of regulation. ... The problem here is not simply the housing market. But $700 billion and nothing in that bill deals with the foreclosure crisis, if you can imagine that. That's arrogance. That's stupidity. That is your leadership in Washington, D.C. Democratic leadership in Congress and Republican leadership in the White House.

So that's an absurdity. The first thing that has to be dealt with is mitigating the foreclosure crisis, period. Secondly, in terms of instilling confidence in the banking system and in our credit markets, the first thing to do is to deal with those institutions that are wildly out of balance, whose balance sheets, frankly, are a joke. And the regulators who should have been tending to them over the years are also a joke.
It's time to end the joke. That means aggressive regulation. It means aggressive intervention on an institution-by-institution basis.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Each journey begins with one step...

Also in the news!!!

Blink, please BLINK!

Was reading an article Hon emailed me. It was in Newsweek titled, "When Athesists Attack" and it was very interesting. There were many good points and it was well written but it wasn't until page three, for me, that it really came together. Very basic analogy provided to show just how ludicrous this woman, as choice for VP, really is.

This was all of it in a nutshell:

"Watching her deny to Gibson that she had ever harbored the slightest doubt about her readiness to take command of the world's only superpower, one got the feeling that Palin would gladly assume any responsibility on earth:

"Governor Palin, are you ready at this moment to perform surgery on this child's brain?"
"Of course, Charlie. I have several boys of my own, and I'm an avid hunter."
"But governor, this is neurosurgery, and you have no training as a surgeon of any kind."
"That's just the point, Charlie. The American people want change in how we make medical decisions in thiscountry. And when faced with a challenge, you cannot blink."

"Ask yourself: how has "elitism" become a bad word in American politics? There is simply no other walk of life in which extraordinary talent and rigorous training are denigrated. We want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases. And yet, when it comes time to vest people with even greater responsibilities, we consider it a virtue to shun any and all standards of excellence. When it comes to choosing the people whose thoughts and actions will decide the fates of millions, then we suddenly want someone just like us, someone fit to have a beer with, someone down-to-earth—in fact, almost anyone, provided that he or she doesn't seem too intelligent or well educated."

For the entire article check here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Train along the coast

So we celebrated our 5th anniversary and mutual b-days by taking a train ride from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon. We flew into LA the night before, has a tremendously great meal at Ciao Trattoria off 7th and Fig (highly recommend the place) and the next morning we took the rail to Union Station for our departure that morning.

We got the family room sleeper, thankfully. The roomettes only sleep two and you literally sit across from one another with your legs on the other person. Because we upgraded to the family room, ours slept five and we had the entire width of the train where we could stretch out and relax. We played scrabble, hung out in the lounge (Parlour Car) for sleepers only, spent time in the observation car where we watched dolphins in the ocean, walked around the different towns when we had stops, and went to the movie theater after dinner and saw Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Anthony, our conductor, was awesome. We overheard and spoke with some other couples who had other conductors that were less than pleased. Anthony brought us champagne, fruit baskets, would stop us when in the observation car to see if we wanted the beds turned down, etc. He was just the most attentive and detailed service provider I've seen in a long time. If anyone takes the Amtrak Coast Starlight, I HIGHLY recommed him.

So we spend the night on the train which was great as it literally rocks you to sleep. Woke up just before sunrise ( still use to baby time, I think ) and went to the observation car to watch the sun come up over the mountains. We were just passing Mt. Shasta when dawn broke. The ice and snow was still prevalent. It was really awesome.

Once we arrived into Portland, we walked downtown to the hotel and showered up, relaxed, and headed out
to Mama Mia's Trattoria for our birthday dinner. We had to take a picture of the hostess calendar for our scrap book and the server commented on what a unique calendar it was. When we explained it was both our birthday they congratulated us and, after another great dinner, surprised us with this amaretto cheesecake with caramel drizzled over top. I love cheesecake and I can honestly say this was the best I've had. It seemed to evaporate in my mouth, it was so light and airy. The taste was wonderful but the texture was out of this world.

The next day we walked around downtown shopping and taking some pictures. Checked out Powell Books which was awesome, could have spent a weekend at that place; took the train over to Lloyd Center and then back again before going back to the room for our late checkout. It was sad to leave Portland. The weather was magnificent. It was cool and breezy but sunny so you were warmed and comfortable. There was no rain, in fact they said it was uncommonly warm that whole week.

The downtown had a great feel to it and the mass transit system was fabulously friendly and easy (and FREE) to use. Would have loved to spend more time checking out the burbs and gardens, etc. But this trip was really about the train experience, which we truly did enjoy. Check that one off the list.

We took pics with the digital and some with my old 35mm. I haven't developed those yet but here are some pics from the trip off the digital.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

cell pics

Cell phones really need to get better at this...does anyone even talk on these things anymore ANYWAY?!

My how they have grown. SO much has changed. I was clearing my photos off my phone to get an upgrade and as I was emailing them to myself, in just three months time, I witnessed just how much they've matured. They sleep through the night, smile all the time, and are starting to grab things...mostly my hair.

The hats don't come close to fitting them anymore where they once would fall off their tiny heads. Those pjs (they came home in them, baggy) no longer fit at all!

I love this shot. Momma was holding her and I kept trying to capture her serenity but I do have to say I failed. My little 1.3 mega pixel just couldn't do the job. But it's still a great silhouette.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

GOP needs a WEBSTER!

"I am appalled by the Obama campaign's attempts to belittle Governor Sarah Palin’s experience,” said Fiorina. “The facts are that Sarah Palin has made more executive decisions as a Mayor and Governor than Barack Obama has made in his life.

Fiorina was referring to an interview with Anderson Cooper of CNN. Obama responded to GOP arguments that Palin had more executive experience than he or Biden did.

“Well, my understanding is that Governor Palin's town of Wasilla has I think 50 employees,” he said. “We've got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. So I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute I think has been made clear over the last couple of years.”


sex·ist –adjective 1.pertaining to, involving, or fostering sexism: a sexist remark; sexist advertising, showing
–noun 2.a person with sexist attitudes or behavior.

sex-ism -noun
1. Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women; showing contempt for the other sex.
2. Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.