dont order cake from wal-mart

recently, someone ordered a custom cake from the wal-mart bakery and was punished appropriately for their action. the original order was to say “best wishes suzanne,” and underneath that to say, “we will miss you.” what you see below is what the savvy professionals working at the wal-mart bakery produced:

 [story taken from the gin blog]

shooting at the high school!

the daughter texted in to say that she was in lockdown today at the high school. there was some gunfire across the street at a small plaza where a lot of the kids eat and hang out during the lunch break. she texted in:

[12:46] Daughter: Were on lockdown
[12:47] Daughter: Since like 25 minz ag0
[12:50] Daughter: Kuz guys we’re running around with guns
[12:50] Daughter: N there’s heka police all over outside n surrounding the skool

the high school web page was updated with information every 10-15 mins, which was a great idea i thought. i can still see some of the frantic parents rushing over there trying to pick up their kids. that usually doesn’t work and your kid is better off just staying there at school. great job to the leadership team at the high school for using the website to communicate.

some local news websites had some pictures from their chopper-cam:

you can see the body bag right by that laundromat near there.  it’s fremont’s fourth murder this year.

happy mundane links

well, it’s mundane monday. here’s some interesting stories in case you can’t quite yet get started working.

new delhi deputy mayor has been killed by monkeys [bbc]

old comedy stand up clips from carlin, etc [standup]

awesome slow shutter photography [clipmarks]

the better the costume, the better the superhero impersonation [flickr]

i was debating between comcast and directv, but not anymore [insidenova]

update: we recovered most of our stuff!

so we get a call on monday night from the santa clara county sherriff’s office saying that they have some items from our house burglary the week before. they asked if we could meet them at the office the next day at 9am. after getting lost trying to get some morning coffee at the rivermercado, we got to the office to find a conference room full of stuff. the officer there said that there were about 5-6 families’ stuff that they recovered from a couple people in a stolen uhaul and their hideout at a local motel 6. i got my camera back, les got most of her purses and some of her jewelry back too. we’re still waiting for a couple weeks to either complete or cancel our insurance claim because we don’t know yet if the rest of the things will turn up. they also had taken some things that we didn’t realize were missing like a checkbook, a credit card bill. they did end up having the registration stickers for the yukon.

the officer said that our house was the only one hit in fremont and the other houses were scattered across the bay area. that was a little weird to me, and makes me feel like we were targeted somehow. the officer asked if we had been a victim of identity theft in the past several months, and of course his guess was right. he said that they have seen that recently, where people get their mail taken from them and then a few months later they get broken into. i’m not sure what the connection could be and he declined to elaborate.

the officers were actually thankful that we came in to get our stuff. the more items that were left unclaimed, they said they had to do a mountain of paperwork. they even were dropping hints to take stuff that we maybe even weren’t too sure was ours, just to get it out of their hair. i told the main officer to give me a call if there was some stuff left over after the families went through it – there was a good camcorder there, along with a couple game systems and things.

one theory i have is that they came in during an open house of ours – only because the house would have been open and they could have scoped it out pretty well about how to get in and what stuff they may have taken. most of our goods were in the garage during our open house, like the jewlery box and my camera. but they did show up at our place on tuesday with a uhaul truck and that might have looked not as suspicious when people were moving stuff from the house into a uhaul when there’s a “for sale” sign in the front yard.

the officers that nabbed them were actually working for a stolen car task force in the bay area when they ran across our items – they weren’t specifically looking out for crooks in our particular robbery. he said they’re a bunch of meth-heads that already had 2 strikes on them and this will be the third, considering the value of the goods taken. i was a little worried that i’d have to testify against them but he assured me that they could prosecute without my testimony, provided i leave them some item that was taken which could be personally identified. we left behind an old checkbook which had our name and address. this alone should be enough to convict them. we’ll be moved out soon anyway, and so i won’t have to worry about them coming back at all.

so, after some careful thought, here’s some other suggestions coming from a recent victim of some property crime:

  1. anything over $100, record a little something about the item and tuck it away. something low-tech like writing a couple lines in a notebook about where you bought it, a serial number, and how much it cost – or something higher-tech like scanning the receipt and posting it to a secret flickr account. this way, even if your computer is stolen, all your receipts are online somewhere. this would make recovery very quick.
  2. get a small house safe for your important documents like passports, birth certificates and any other old idenfitication documents. cranksters will try to establish credit in your name, so keep these items under wraps. it doesn’t have to be a fort knox-style safe, just something that would take longer than 5-10 minutes to open or pry loose. remember, they want to be in and out quickly and won’t fiddle with a small safe that’s bolted securely to the ground.
  3. get an alarm system. of all the officers we met at the sherriff’s office, each asked if we had an alarm system. the main officer we dealt with said that even though a police response to an activated house alarm can be 15-45 minutes, the noise and attention it brings could deter some people, or at least shorten their stay in the house. with an adt system, for example, they will call the homeowner when the alarm is tripped so you might have a better idea about when your house was broken into. also, you could get home sooner and alert the authorities sooner if you know when the house was burgled. we didn’t find out for several hours, until people started coming home.
  4. get a dog. a loud, medium-sized dog may make people think twice about hanging out in the backyard to try and pry a window open. they may not even try to break in from the front of the house, in plain view of people driving by.

anyway, thanks to everyone for their support. hopefully this is a sign of good things to come.

dark black people not invited

i wonder who is the arbiter of what is light-skinned and what is dark-skinned? considering the event is in detroit, i could easily see some gunfire or other foul play marring this event because someone got disrespected.

reminds me of this picture i posted previously.

those guys couldn’t even get in the parking lot for this party.

worst rally corner ever

some video of a particular turn at a rally provided by paul-o.

i’m amazed at all the audience participation in helping these chaps out of their cars.

on a side note, alyssa failed her permit test today, getting 17 wrong out of 53. the max allowable wrong is 8. i think she has to wait a week to take it. some of the questions are pretty obscure, but they’re all in the driver handbook. better luck next time.

happy monday -> sucky tuesday


monday started off good, but then tuesday afternoon rolled around and i got called around 3p to hear les say that our house got robbed. wonderful news on top of everything else going on lately. everyone is safe, but the house is thrashed as these hoodlums emptied dressers and closets looking for goodies. since we’re pretty modest, we don’t really have a lot of expensive stuff. furthermore, a lot of our stuff was already packed in the garage because we’ve been staging the house for sale. the single most expensive thing missing is my digital slr camera, 3 lenses and the camcorder, which was all conveniently packaged in my camera bag. bummer. they did leave behind a laptop and my exchange server. i suppose it was a smash-and-grab job so maybe their hands were full already.

our homeowners insurance will take care of some things like the camera, the wife’s purses and jewelry, but the toughest part to deal with is the violation factor that strangers were in our house and going through our stuff. they left behind some tools and i think some house keys, although they’re pr0bably useless clues as to who did it. they came in through a back window they had busted open. we’re usually good about locking the windows and doors before leaving.

as i thought about it, some of these things may have helped:

  1. leaving a car parked in the driveway, even an older one. since we normally park our cars inside the garage, it’s hard to tell if we’re home or not unless you look in. lately, since our garage is full of our stuff, we’ve been parking in the driveway and so it’s obvious when we’re home and not.
  2.  having a working alarm system. the house came with an older alarm system but we never hooked it up. the thieves still tried to disable it because the alarm box inside was all torn apart. it shows that they’re worried about it. we had an adt alarm system at our old condo and it was like $10 a month to operate. the squealing alarm might be enough to discourage actually entering the house, or maybe not giving them a lot of time to go through and grab stuff.
  3. considering what was taken, i came to the conclusion that they grabbed what was small and most available. for example, they still missed a few things that were “one layer deep” meaning not right out on a countertop or something. considering they probably were there 5 mins at the most, they’re not going to dig deep. if you have some valuables, put them a couple layers deep in a container in the closet. for really valuable things, something like this would be unbeatable. never would a house burglar go through every can of food you have in your pantry to find it.
  4. keep good records of your purchases and things. i can already tell i’m going to have to fight to get our stuff reimbursed properly from the insurance company. i kept some of the camera paperwork and things, but i don’t have the physical receipts at the ready to show the claims adjuster. scan the receipts and post them to a flickr account or email them to yourself. that way, they’ll always be there.

considering what i do, i can say that it’s almost easier to keep out digital thieves with the use of firewalls and encryption, compared to keeping people outside of your house. no matter what sort of security you have in your home (alarm, security cameras, window locks), it would not have stopped what happened in my house yesterday. the police take some time to get there if the alarm were to go off, they probably wore a hat or hoodie and they can bust through a window if necessary to get in.

my last thought would be to say just save your money and don’t get really nice stuff at your house – or at least don’t get really attached to it. keep your really sentimental and irreplaceable stuff in a safe inside the house or a safe deposit box at the bank.

i do not own a pair of cuff links

here’s some light outside reading because this blog can’t possibly satisfy all your online needs:

“stack jack” was just named captain of the gs warriors [mercurynews]

woman runs over her own legs in a mcdonalds drivethru [phoenixville]

newest victim of google earth – navy’s “swastika” barracks [msnbc]

the only plastic surgery i’d get is a somnoplasty [topsocialite]

monta ellis scared approximately 400,000 male bay area w’s fans [mercury]

women before and after a few stiff gin-n-tonic’s [sonnyradio]

25 signs you’ve grown up

1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can’t smoke any of them.

2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.

3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.

4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.

5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.

6. You watch the Weather Channel.

7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of “hook up” and “breakup.”

8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.

9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as “dressed up.”

10. You’re the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won’t turn down the stereo.

11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.

12. You don’t know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.

13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.

14. You feed your dog “Science Diet” instead of McDonald’s leftovers.

15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.

16. You take naps.

17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.

18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at three in the morning would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.

19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.

20. A four dollar bottle of wine is no longer “pretty good shit.”

21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.

22. “I just can’t drink the way I used to” replaces “I’m never going to drink that much again.”

23. Ninety percent of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.

24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.

25. When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate them instead of asking “Oh shit what the hell happened?”


26: You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that it doesn’t apply to you and can’t find one to save your sorry old ass.

snatched from [divinecaroline]

happy monday!

had a good weekend with the family. alyssa is hanging out a bit more than usual, so that’s nice to have the entire unit out together. took friday off work to go to kevin & rhianna’s wedding at tilden park. the scenery was really nice and marcos had a good chance to play with some other little relatives of ours that we don’t see too frequently. even though it looks like salem is tackling marcos, he actually likes her the most of all the kids.

she always does a good job watching him…better than some of her older cousins, considering she’s like 7 or so.

saturday, home depot had a little thing with the fremont fire department. the hook-n-ladder had to leave in the middle of it to respond to a call but marcos got a good inspection of the undercarriage before they left.

most of the other kids were lining up to sit inside the cab, but this son of mine inspected the chassis and drivetrain pretty thoroughly. note the filipino squat in the picture above.

sunday, we all headed up to sf to watch the blue angels as part of the fleet week stuff. they didn’t have quite so many open ships as in years past. my suspicion is that the navy is not so enthused to do their show anymore since the bay area is so liberal and generally not supportive of military actions, especially these days. dad said that sf even tried to cut out fleet week altogether, probably for the gay policies and the iraq war stuff. it doesn’t surprise me. regardless of the politics of it all, it would be nice for them to come out so the kids can get interested. they’re only perpetuating the whole feeling by keeping their good ships from the show. how can the show be useful as a recruiting tool if you bring out a coast guard cutter and a guided missle frigate instead of a big ol battleship or aircraft carrier? at least the blue angels were in town and that was a good show.

again, marc slept through most of it, even the solo f-16 with full afterburner. not even a flinch.

pictures posted for all three events in the photos section. login required.