The Cali' Experience: Street Food Rodeo (Davis)

Anne And Grace enjoying some tunes at the Street Food Rodeo just two blocks from our town-home.  Grace had her first taste of tamales and also mint chocolate chip ice cream!


Funny?: The Onion (Teacher's Summer Job)

High School Student, Teacher Applying For Same Summer Waitressing Job

This one is too close to home to laugh at. This is, I am sure, an example of The Onion using comedy to point out the shortcomings of our society and I can guarantee you that this story is very close if not spot on to the reality for many teachers in the U.S.

System Ops: Long (Union Represented) Hours

And so began day one of seven twelve-hour shifts in a row.
Still I'm getting paid (and paid well) for all of my hours worked unlike in Madison.


Car-ifornia: Samesies!

Parked next to another black 2014 Chevy Volt today.  Not sure why but there is a novelty in that for me.  It's probably not that uncommon of an occurrence as GM in an effort to make their window openings seem larger from the outside enforced a black accent panel below the windows no matter what color your volt is.

So if you are smart you go with black.  And in general smart people buy Volts so it stands to reason that there are a lot of black one out there!  See how I did that?


In other Volt news, I went 33 days without using a drop of fuel and the car, in order to make sure that the engine stays lubricated and that they fuel dose not get old (in addition to pulling a vacuum on the gas tank so there is no air to let the gas go stale) basically dictates that you need to run the engine for ten minutes.  It only used 0.03 gallons of fuel to run the engine maintenance mode.  If you are curious to hos much more efficient the Volt is compared to a regular car, my cars computer who wants to be all showy says that I have a lifetime average of 250MPG right now.  That's a little simple as it is looking at only how many gallons of fuel it uses per mile.  I track all sorts of metrics on the car and according to the MPGe formula:

To determine MPGe ratings, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses a set amount of electric energy that's equal to the energy contained in 1 gallon of gasoline.  The EPA says one gallon of gas contains 115,000 BTUs of energy--which equates to 33.7 kilowatt-hours.

Using a complicated formula to add in the actual gas used I figured my lifetime MPGe to be 99.61.  Not too bad at all!

The Cali' Experience: Hot Air Baloons In Davis

Saw this on my way home from a night shift this Thursday morning.  On the full resolution version of the picture, to the right of the third highest balloon you can just see a para-glider that was hanging out with them as well.


Music: Interview Mike Cammilleri Discusses Organ Trios

Click through the link below the pic to read an interview with a good Madison friend and if you're in Madison and reading this go see him play this Friday at One Barrel Brewing Company.  Not getting to see his shows is one of the few downsides of our move to California. 

Mike Cammilleri on celebrating organ trios

The Madison-based jazz organist and his trio play Friday at Strollin’ Schenk’s Corners.

Music: Night Shift Neurosis

This is a playlist I made when I was on a night shift back in Madison that I've searched and found video versions of the songs to share here.  I normally place dates on my playlists when I make them but I didn't when I made this one (part of the haze that is a rotating shift schedule I guess).  I do remember that I was pretty worn down at the time and I think that this set of songs captures exactly how I felt at that point in time.


Music: Rest In Peace B.B. King

I was a tiny speck at the back of the arena at the 2007 Crossroads Music Festival but I was so lucky to see B.B. King perform once in my lifetime!  Rest in Peace B.B.

B.B. King's Bio


Current Events: Meanwhile Back In Madison...

I remember when people had their day in court. Any how... it's probably best we continue to let the people who work day to day, hand in hand with potential defendants decide if they should be brought to justice or not. That makes sense right?


The World According to Mister Rogers: The Origin of the Sweaters

I know the link to the video at the bottom does not work (privacy settings) but click through if you would like to watch it I think it is worthwhile.  I just thought I would share something in the waning hours of Mothers day from one of my favorite people ever, Mr. Rogers.
"Hi neighbor!
We are television neighbors aren't we?  You and  I?
I wanted to show you some of these sweaters that I wear really close up.  But first, I want to show you this picture of the person who made them.  This is a picture of my mother.  She knits the sweaters that I wear when we have our television visits.  I just wanted you to see her picture and to look very carefully at the beautiful work that she does with her knitting.  Here's one, another, see each stitch she makes with her hand.  It takes a lot of practice and a lot of work.  She makes sweaters for many different people but that's one of the ways that she has of saying that she loves somebody.  She uses needles and yarn, and her own hands to knit the sweaters.
You know when I put on one of these sweaters it helps me to think about my mother.  I guess that's the best thing about things.  They remind you of people!"
~Fred Rogers


Funny: The Onion (Gwilym of Many Conquests)

7 Million People Direct Descendants Of Single Smooth-Talking Ancestor

"It is remarkable, historians note, that he was able to spread his seed so far and wide before the age of 29, when he was savagely beaten to death by a neighboring lord known as Dafydd of Nine Cuckolds."


The Cali' Experience: Goodbye Madison Home

This last Friday the sun set on the adventure that was home ownership in Madison, Wisconsin. I thought it would be fitting to share a photo of a sunset taken from the second floor of our former house.  The memories of the home itself were great bur there are lessons that I would be remiss if did not share with you regarding building an entry level home in a new neighborhood with a large builder (Veridian Homes for us).

If you are choosing to build a home in a new neighborhood Be Sure that you plan to stay there  long enough for the builder to finish building on all of the lots.  It may behoove you to find out if they are panning other additions after your the b subdivision is filled.  The reason mention this is, that same company who spent so much time treating you like kings and queens during the purchasing and building process will shank you in a dark parking ramp if you try to compete against them in selling a home.  Of course when we were building our home there was no way to tell that the political climate would shift so much, and public support for teachers would fray so much that we would even consider leaving Wisconsin but we all know that if did.

When we knew we were moving we talked to a realtor and the general consensus was that all we would have had to bring nearly $30K to the closing to cover the difference our home would have brought in the sale and the fees for the selling and purchasing realtors.  This was specifically because of the reason I mentioned above.  There were people trying to sell their homes while the builder(Veridian Homes) was still building homes in the neighborhood and they were selling our exact home for nearly $20K less than we needed to sell our home for and break even.

So we did the only thing that we could we got a property manager and rented the home instead hoping to wait until Veridian Homes was done building in our neighborhood.   We lucked out and we had two good years with two good renters and Veridian did finish building in those two years as well and two years later we were looking to walk away with $10K.  We thought that all the way up to the a week before closing.  But Veridian had one more jab to take at out wallet.

In the two years that they were filling those lots they continued to sell similar homes at  nearly $20K less than what we paid for them to build our house and while we had a buyer willing to pay our asking price the appraisal came in at $10K less than the offer precisely because Veridian had watered down the market with their price cuts.

In the end I'm pragmatic about the sale.  We got out of the mortgage without paying any money out of pocket which a lot of people who bought homes around the same time as we did can't say.  All the money that we put into the mortgage was gone but out payments were never more than rent would have been and the two years we rented out the home the rent we charged covered the mortgage payments so no harm no foul really.

In the end I am just glad to be done with contributing any of my money to the states shit administration and their shit agendas.  I hope that their best and brightest that remain there take a cue from ours and others like us who have moved on to bigger and better things and do the same leaving the remainder of populace and the state to collapse in on its hardcore conservatism like a dying star.