Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dad at Village Inn

Dad foots the tab for breakfast at an Omaha area Village Inn. Thanks for the French toast!


We had rain showers today and all the snow is now melted! Pretty quick for 17 inches to disappear. Here's a rainbow although it doesn't show up too well in the pic.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Tale of the Dogs

Well the dogs they had a meetin'
And they came from near and far
Some came by automobile - and i'll be damned if some didn't come by car

Before they could go in
or even take a look.
They had to take their asshole off and hang it on a hook

When they were all nicely seated
Every mother, son and sire
Some dirty son of a doberman pincher came in and hollered "Fire!"

Well they all ran out in bunches
Not even thinking to take a look.
They just grabbed any old asshole, hangin' on any ol' hook

And as might be expected
These dogs were mighty sore
Because they were wearin' an asshole that they'd never wore before

So when you see two dogs
out on the street alone
they'll smell each other's asshole
and hope to find his own.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Bill is NCAA Tourney Family League Champ!!!

Standings Member List
Rank Team Points
1 Jayhawks #1 (Bill's Team) 73 (Bill)
2 Wolverines for Me! 65 (Steph)
3 EEL 59 (Erin)
4 Go Hogs...GT '07!!! 55 (Robert)
5 g 44 (Aaron)

Congrats to Steph on a second place finish! Shame on both Robert and Aaron for letting 2 girls beat you. I believe the rules stipulated that each person was to subtract 1 from their final position and the number you're left with is the number of steak dinners you owe the winner.

I suppose it is possible that Dad won the thing. At this point we don't know.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Gonzaga Basketball Underwhelms

It is hard to believe that we witnessed the peak of Gonzaga basketball under the Adam Morrison era. In Las Vegas, about one and a half years ago. Gonzaga beat the #3 ranked Georgia Tech Yellowjackets.

Sadly, that game in the Las Vegas Shootout was the best Morrison, Raivio and gang could muster. Not bad for a mid-major program I guess...Night Night

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sandhill Crane

It's that time of the year. Thousands of sandhill cranes are stopping along the Platte River in Nebraska.

All you need to know - plus a "Cranecam" is here:

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


The storm is finally over. I think we got 17 inches. 2 days off of work has made for a nice long weekend!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Snow Canyons

Yuki had fun playing in the driveway snow canyon I dug.

No work!

Courthouse is closed. The snow is pounding. Yuki and I contemplating blizzard walk.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Weather woes!!!!

Rest of Tonight
Snow...brisk. Snow will be heavy at times after midnight. New snow accumulation of 5 to 6 inches. Lows in the mid 20s. East winds 20 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 100 percent.

Snow. Areas of blowing snow. Brisk. Snow will be heavy at times. Snow accumulation of 8 to 13 inches. Highs in the mid 20s. Temperature steady or slowly falling. Northeast winds 20 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 100 percent.

Monday Night
Areas of blowing snow in the evening. Snow in the evening...then chance of snow after midnight. Brisk. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Storm total snow accumulation 15 to 22 inches. Lows around 17. North winds 20 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 90 percent.

I'm hoping for a courthouse closure. I gots me a good feeling!!!!!!!!!!

V for Vendetta

We saw the latest effort from the makers of "The Matrix". "V for Vendetta" is a comic book based movie you gotta check out. I give it 2 thumbs up. The Hero battles a corrupt government always wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. Dad might like it. Remember remember the 5th of November...

Snowy Joey

All signs were pointing to Spring having arrived. We had days in teh 70's! The weather was fine. But then this. We are now right in the middle of a nasty snowstorm. Somewhere between a foot and a foot and a half expected by Tuesday. Bah!!!

More Dark Chocolate

Last week we tried Hershey's Extra Dark Chocolate with 60% cacao. This week we ramp up to another extreme: 70% cacao. These tiny little Lindt Dark Chocolate Squares are potent. It's the darkest chocolate I've ever eaten. The flavor is almost overpoweringly strong. They're good, but the flavor is so strong and sharp that it begins to detract from the enjoyment a litttle. I prefer the Hershey's Extra Dark, but try these Lindt Squares for a flavor adventure!


Sometimes I'll drape a piece of clothing over Yuki like a saddle. He doesn't seem to mind too much. This weekend I decided, why stop with one t-shirt? I put a load of clothes on Yuki to the point he was swaying from the weight. You can tell from his eyes that this wasn't the animals favorite game.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bingo's Boys Episode two

Traffic was light, and in fifteen minutes or so we pulled up to Evergreen Downs. The building was old red brick, nicely maintained and landscaped. It was cordoned off with yellow tape, and a uniformed guy named Blanchette let us in. I knew him a little. Another cop led us up to 3G. It was small, maybe nine hundred square feet, but very well finished, with upscale furniture. There were two tiny bedrooms and a nice little kitchen, perfectly neat except for a dead blonde lying flat on her back next to the stove. She was wearing a flannel granny-style nightgown. The bed was turned back and looked to have been slept in. No sign of any struggle. Just that weird bullet hole in the crown of the skull, with a little dried blood around it. There was no stain of any kind on the floor or anywhere else.

The time of death would later be established at around three A.M. Four was probably closer. A small person, lightly clad, loses heat faster than the charts would indicate.

Bingo and I looked around. He knew enough not to touch anything, but was otherwise way out of his element. I sent him to the car for the camera, and when he got back I took pictures, maybe forty of them. Then I told the duty cop to call the morgue to haul off the body, and ordered a complete autopsy. It seemed a little pointless, but who knows? You might get lucky and learn something. I told the cop I particularly wanted blood alcohol and stomach contents.

Bingo took me home, and I called Buster on the way. I felt a lot better than I had half an hour ago. There’s nothing quite like a murder to clear the senses.

Buster had already started a detailed background check on Ms. Horton. She hailed from Illinois, and had spent twenty years or so in Vegas, hooking, dealing blackjack, and buying real estate. She had been married, for five years, to a casino flunky named Benton. She never took his name. Two kids came from the marriage. Annette is now thirty and living in Seattle. Works in sales for a small software house. Never married.

Ramona’s other offspring is a son, Charles Horton. Known around Reno as Chopper. Chopper has worked as an errand boy for the mob, and does some small-time independent book on the side. Mostly high school and college sports. He was always into drugs, first as consumer and then, on a small scale, as dealer. Just a bag here and there, to help support his habits. Chopper is a loser, and has gotten little or no financial help from his mother over the years.

Buster and I ended our conversation just as Bingo pulled up to my apartment. Buster agreed to stay off my back until the next morning. I had the flu, which was surprising in view of the substantial antitoxic powers of the seven or so gin and tonics I had enjoyed the night before at Mandalay Bay. When I was a kid we called that drink ‘Atomic Jim.’ The drinks were free and I only lost a hundred or so in the dollar slots. By Reno standards, a real bargain for a night out.

------------ to be concluded -------------

Friday, March 17, 2006



Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tourney Update for Dad

Seems dad somehow failed to sign into the tourney. If you still want to play the old fashioned way, you can calculate your picks giving yourself a point for each correct pick and see where you factor into the mix

Standings after first day

1 Erin 13
2 Aaron 12
2 Bill 12
4 Robert 10
5 Steph 9

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Wacky Weather: Funnel Cloud / Big Snow

We woke up this morning to 4+ inches of snow on the ground. Not a big deal for Nebraska or even Arkansas but in Cameron Park, CA this is a once every 20 year thing by my understanding. The first thing I did was to leash up the beagles and take off on a long hike. They have always seemed to enjoy the snow.

I then shoveled the driveway which was way slick and went out to play in the all wheel drive BMW325XI. It was fun and really the first material snow the car has been in with the exception of a few ski trips in Tahoe. It did well and was fun

Only 3 days prior to the snow there were severe thunderstorms throughout the region. After flying in from the Bay area I saw a funnel cloud over the Eastern Sacramento/Ranch Cordova region. Here's a snap of the cloud that I didn't take.

Dark Chocolate Revolution

More and more studies seem to show that dark chocolate is healthy. It may lower blood pressure and/or contain antioxidants or whatever. Thanks to this information, we are on the verge of a golden age for dark chocolate lovers, one of which I am. Two new products from Hershy's are fueling the dark chocolate craze. Hershey's Rich Dark Chocolate Sticks, and Hershey's Extra Dark Pure Dark Chocolate Bars featuring 60% Cacao.

Both are very good. The sticks aren't quite as dark, but the long stick makes them fun to eat and a healthy 60 calorie snack. The Extra Dark Bars are very good. Maybe some of the best dark chocolate I've ever eaten. Bucky says, "check it out!"

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Beverage review

Recently 2 new beverages caught my eye. The first is Slice One Grape, the second is Tab Energy. Slice One Grape is a diet grape soda that I find unremarkable. Tastes just like you'd think, which isn't good.

Tab Energy is cool because Coca-Cola made (maybe still makes) a diet cola called Tab. The Nortons across the street always had a big supply of the stuff as I recall. Tab energy is diet (5 calories per can) and is pink in color. It has some typical energy ingredients like taurine, ginseng extract, and guarana extract. It has an unusual flavor. I'm thinking bubble gum but maybe the pink color makes me think of that. It's worth checking out for sure. I'll let you know if I feel any energy boost from it. I doubt I will. Erin, "doesn't like the aftertaste and wouldn't buy it, but says it wasn't horrible". We'll have to agree to disagree.

Bingo's Boys Episode One

The Sunday Las Vegas Review-Journal lay undisturbed on the table in front of me, supporting an open bottle of buffered aspirin which had spilled over the headline. I managed to grip three pills, brought them to my mouth, and chewed them up as quickly as possible. A big slug of orange juice washed away the bitter taste, and the cure was on. I found a big plastic mug, filled it with water from the tap, and set the microwave for three minutes. A jar of Taster’s Choice instant coffee and a spoon completed the necessary apparatus. In two hours I would be human again.

The phone rang, intensifying momentarily the pain in my head. I flipped it
open and mumbled a greeting.

“Randy. You sound bad. Are you O.K?”

“Yeah. I’m good. Just a touch of flu.”

It was my boss. Buster Martin. Captain Buford Martin, of the Reno Police Department. I’m Randall Dubois, a so-called detective. Mostly homicide but
also whatever comes along. Reno is really kind of a small town.

“Flu, my ass. You’re not still drunk, are you? Gin will be your end yet.”

“Not this time. Is today Sunday? I think it’s my day off.”

“There’s been a shooting. Looks like murder. Can you drive?”

“No way. Maybe in three hours.”

“I need you now. I’m sending a car for you. Bingo Harnessey is on his way.”

“Send Rachael. I can’t deal with Bingo now. Where’s the shooting?”

“I told you to forget Rachael. I meant it. She’s my secretary, not your love-slave. Evergreen Downs, off Eighth Avenue. Apartment 3G. Chick named Ramona Horton. Single, sixty or so. Lived alone. She was a hooker and blackjack dealer in Vegas years ago. Owned a couple of houses and a condo. Sold it all fifteen years back to a developer, netting three or four
million. Moved here and retired. Took a bullet, one .38 slug, in a weird place.
Straight down through the top of the head. Bingo can tell you the rest. There
isn’t much. You need to get your shit together, and now. The case is yours.
I’ll call you later.”

The microwave dinged, the water was tepid. Two more minutes produced a
gentle rolling boil. Two rounded teaspoons of the powdered coffee finished
the job. Just like Starbucks, and a lot less than three bucks.

I brushed my teeth, took a fast electric shave, and finished dressing.

The doorbell rang, it was Bingo. He looked and acted a little like Bill
Fagerbakke, as Dauber Dybinski, on the old Coach TV show with Craig Nelson.
Bingo is cool enough, but not my first choice as a chauffer today. I wanted
... to be continued ...

Friday, March 10, 2006

New fiction to appear soon on these pages!

A new short story, called "Bingo's Boys", will be appearing
soon in serialized form on these pages. It will consist of
three gripping episodes, and is the work of blogger Richard
Tangeman, author of "Le Petit Corpse".

Monday, March 06, 2006

You just don't see this too often. GT, Kansas, Arkansas and Nebraska all Ranked!

Latest Baseball Rankings
1. Georgia Tech
2. Clemson
3. Rice
4. North Carolina
5. Tennessee
6. Mississippi State
7. Cal State Fullerton
8. Florida State
9. South Carolina
10. Arkansas
11. Oregon State
12. Tulane
13. Louisiana State
14. Nebraska
15. Florida
16. Stanford
17. Arizona State
18. Missouri
19. Mississippi
20. Texas A&M
21. Texas
22. Long Beach State
23. Pepperdine
24. Cal Poly
25. Kansas

New McDonalds Coffee?

I've been seeing ads for an all new premium blend coffee at McDonalds. I went there today to try it. The manager was honest and told me the coffee isn't new, and pointed out the ads don't actually say it's new. She says they upgraded the blend about 6 months ago and are just now promoting it. I tried the coffee. It tasted like the same old McDonalds coffee which isn't too bad, although I now prefer Burger King coffee especially since they have "turbo" coffee with extra caffeine.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Hike Kauai!

Kauai wasn't all timeshare fun. We had a fun and relaxing time despite loads of rain. Actually, there wasn't a sunny day in the bunch. We didn't get into the pool or the ocean once!

One day we drove our Maroon Mustang convertible (again subsidized by our timeshare friends) to the Northeast tip of the island to hike along the NaPali coast. Lots of great photo ops...

Here's the trailhead:

Fairly early into the hike Steph stumbled onto a little field mouse just sitting just off of the trail. She fed the thing some crackers and it made his day. One the return trip the mouse was again waiting on the trail so we saw it twice!

As you can see, some of the views along the trail were fantastic. Also - this was the one day when we actually saw small amounts of sun.

Another view:

The hike led to a rocky beach 2 miles away. As the picture conveys, the beach can be a dangerous place:

After crossing a small river to the beach I was surpised to find 3 cats that had taken up residence at the beach.

The river leading to the beach:

Jayhawks over-achieve

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas coach Bill Self has no doubt that this is his favorite championship team.

"From my standpoint, this was sweeter than any of the other ones that I have had, because we started 1-2," Self said after the 18th-ranked Jayhawks beat Kansas State 66-52 on Saturday to clinch at least a share of the Big 12 championship.

"We were 1-2 and not very good, and guys got confidence and guys grew up and got pretty good late," said Self, whose 2004-05 team shared the Big 12 title with Oklahoma but then lost a core of senior stars that included All-American Wayne Simien. "To me, I have more pride with a team not expecting to do it, and do it, than a team that is expected to do it and does it."

It is the sixth conference championship for Self, whose teams also won two Big 10 titles at Illinois and two Western Athletic Conference titles at Tulsa. Kansas (22-7, 13-3 Big 12) can win its sixth Big 12 championship outright if No. 6 Texas loses Sunday to No. 19 Oklahoma.

The Marriott Timeshare Deal

We spent a week in Kauai that was partially subsidized by our willingness to partake in a 90 minute timeshare pitch. It actually stretched to 120 minutes but it wasn't as horrible as some of the stories I've heard. Please don't construe that it was fun or enjoyable either however. All in all, it was similar to the 120 minutes spent at a dentist getting a tooth prepared for a crown.

The Proposition
If you decide to "invest" in this vacation "asset" you get 1 week/year at a very nice complex in Kauai. It is called the Waiohai Beach Club and is located on the very nice Poipu beach. Here's a snap:

Now the week of the room you are acquiring is no mere hotel room. It's about 1100 square feet, kitchen, 2 bedroom, 2 bath and nice throughout.

The Cost

So what's this puppy go for. Well - there are two direct cost components. The upfront cost for a room with a beach view is $42,000. If that seems a little steep you can option for the garden view room for $33,000. Then, there's a yearly maintenance fee that they don't talk about too much. This fee right now is $1200/year and is subject to increase. Now to determine the present value of this thing pull out your finance book and look up the value of a growing perpetuity. Some folks call this the "Gordon" model but I digress. Here's the formula:

PV = 1 / (r - g) where r can be the anticipated inflation rate and g is the expected growth rate. Marriott's own site references r to be 5%. There is no reason to expect g, the annual average growth rate of the maintenance fee to be much less than that but we'll do a little sensitivity analysis just to make sure we're in the ballpark:

with g at 2% the PV is $40,000
with g at 3% the PV is $60,000
with g at 4% the PV is $120,000
and as g approaches r the PV approaches infinity

So that's it, depending on the spread you are likely looking at a ~$100K+ investment for a week of vacation fun forever. Oh, and don't forget the flight and rental care expenses you'll be accountable for if you want to enjoy the beach.

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