Daily Archives: June 17, 2012

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. June 20, 2011


Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/

Admittedly it needs some work. It has also been suggested that I change “Pookie” to “Papa Joe” since Papa Joe sounds more presidential. What do you think?


2009: In Africa this year nearly 60 million hectares — an area the size of France – was purchased or leased by large international agricultural conglomerates and Sovereign Wealth Funds in comparison to an average annual expansion of global agricultural land before 2008 of less than 4 million ha.

Click to access OI_FAQsjune5.pdf



After spending one day in San Francisco following my trip to Sacramento, I set off agin, this time to Southern California. I arrived at LAX and was met by Monty Ormsby, a friend and ex-client who I accompanied and ineffectually represented in his slow, sad voyage of descent from great wealth into bankruptcy at the hands of the Coastal Commission, but that is another story. Monty also, as a young man, was a ranked middle weight boxer until he lost an eye in a street fight, but that also is another story.

Monty agreed to lend me his car for my trip to Disneyland to meet up with Hayden and SWAC who had spent the previous two days there. The automobile was an old black Mercedes that had previously been owned by Sid Luft, who had been married to Judy Garland. Sid, Judy and Judy’s daughter Liza Minnelli had been close friends of Monty (another story). After he died, Sid left Monty the car .

Recently the car had been in an accident, its hood  tied down with rope. Monty uses the car as his everyday car and in addition to its damaged exterior, its interior showed the ravages of constant use, strewn with piles of cigar ash and bits or paper, old styrofoam cups and the like.

After dropping Monty off at his home in Torrence, I drove to Disneyland managing to get lost several times and arriving there in time only to take in the fireworks display.

The following morning as she got into the car, SWAC noticing the condition of its exterior and interior commenced a rant that continued throughout the trip back to Los Angeles increasing in both volume and invective as I proceeded to get lost again. Finally I dropped both of them off at a hotel near the airport and continued on by myself to lunch with Greg McWilliams and Ruth Galanter. For those of you not familiar with either Greg or Ruth, Greg in a friend and was a client of mine for whom I assisted in obtaining entitlements for a large development in San Francisco. The process was no less difficult than Monty’s, but more successful. At least it did not end in bankruptcy. Ruth has been a friend for over thirty years, since the early days of California’s coastal program. She spent several years as one of the most effective members of the Los Angeles City Council.

Over lunch at a good restaurant in Marina Del Rey, we talked mostly about politics. After lunch, I drove to Monty’s house in Torrence to pick him up for dinner. We exchanged the forlorn Mercedes for Monty’s 1985 cherry red Rolls Royce convertible and returned to the hotel to collect Hayden and SWAC. SWAC was much happier in the spiffy and cleaner Rolls as we set off to Venice Beach for dinner.

We strolled through Venice Beach. Hayden loved it. Venice Beach is like an adult Disneyland, except more interesting with its diverse species of humanity, its muscle park, medical marijuana parlors, skate parks and the like (See today’s photographs below). After dinner, Monty dropped us off back at the hotel and he returned home.

The hotel in which we were staying and whose name unfortunately I forgot, had been the old Airport Marina hotel at which in the 1970s the Coastal Commission often used to have its meetings when in Southern California. The hotel has been remodeled into a wonderful boutique hotel and is now part of the Joie de Vivre chain of hotels based in SF.

The following morning we departed for Italy. (to be continued)

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/


Vince’s first call of the morning was to Fat Al to tell him about Stephanie’s death and ask him to look into it. He then called Ike. After recounting the morning’s call from the San Mateo County sheriff’s office, he asked whether Ike thought that he should accompany Vince to his meeting with the Sheriff later that morning.

Ike felt there was no reason for Vince to risk suggesting to the Sheriff that he felt any possible involvement in Stephanie’s death that being accompanied by a criminal lawyer would imply. He recommended instead Vince take Ray along with him if he should need any assistance.

Vince’s third call was to Isabella.
Ike received Vince’s call while working with his orchids in the greed house on the roof of his Mission District home. After completing his ministrations on his beloved orchids, Ike sat in his study drinking tea from a delicate 19th century Korean Celadon tea set and contemplated his phone call earlier with Vince. Fifteen minutes or so later he nodded, grunted picked up one of his special cell phones and dialed.

“Yes,” he spoke into the phone when his call was answered. “I assume he has called you by now?”

“This evening? Good. I think it may be time for him to meet the old man.”

“No, I do not think this is a Brotherhood operation. Just a third rate scam among some of their greedy operatives.”

He then hung up the phone and returned to sipping his tea.


a. Eponymous laws:

Gall’s law“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked.”

No kidding Gail.

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“The last refuge of scoundrels is not patriotism but the claim that no one could see it coming.”

c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”(Isaiah 45:7)

(Now we know who to blame.)

d. You must be a Republican ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“If you believe that warrantless wiretapping of American citizens is constitutionally protected, but a women’s right to choose is not.”

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

John Coates, a former trader turned student of neuroscience, performed an experiment on the trading floor and found out that if a trader’s testosterone levels reach a little higher than the peak, their brain goes haywire.
According to Coates, “During the dot-com bubble, people who were working with me displayed all the classic symptoms of mania: They were euphoric, delusional, and overconfident; they couldn’t put a coherent sentence together; and they were unusually horny, judging from the number of lewd comments and the amount of porn that was showing up on their computer screens.”
Source: Discover Magazine

(This explains everything.)


“Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there is in any country, uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labour and live on. If, for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be furnished to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not the fundamental right to labour the earth returns to the unemployed. It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man who cannot find employment but who can find uncultivated land, shall be at liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent. But it is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state.”
Thomas Jefferson; 1785 letter to James Madison.

Today’s Photographs:

Monty, SWAC and Hayden at Venice Beach


Dope at the Beach:

Categories: April 2011 through June 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. June 11, 2011


In Nebraska farmland prices have reached about $6,000 an acre. Based on the current price of fertilizer and seeds, it costs about $4 to grow a bushel of corn. That means at current prices, each bushel produces a profit of $3.50. Farmers these days get about 200 bushels per acre of corn. That means a $6,000 investment produces an annual income of about $650, which is an income yield of 10.5%. That’s more than double the earnings yield of the S&P 500. And it is three times the yield you would get with 10-year Treasury notes.Read more: http://curiouscapitalist.blogs.time.com/2011/06/01/Americas-hottest-investment-farmland/#ixzz1OnI7cOmj

Ah, but one bad harvest and the bank owns your land and sells it to someone else who also believes in getting something for nothing. Spend your money on sex, drugs and rock and roll or its current version, it’s better for the economy and a lot more fun.


“When George W. Bush took office in Jan 2001 there were 111,634,000 private sector jobs. When he left office in Jan 2009 there were 110,981,000 private sector jobs.
When Bush took office in Jan 2001 there were 20,835,000 government sector jobs. When he left office in Jan 2009 there were 22,582,000 government sector jobs.
That means during Bush’s eight years in office, we lost 653,000 private sector jobs and gained 1,747,000 government sector jobs.
Moral of the story: Barack Obama is a Kenyan socialist fuckstick.
And George W. Bush saved capitalism. Plus, he got bin Laden too.”

Why can the liberals not leave poor old George alone to moulder on his ranch in Texas? He’s so yesterday. Do you believe he has only been gone for two years? I always pictured George as a man wearing a suit that was two sizes too big for him.


I have spent the past two days in El Dorado Hills, resting up, worrying about whether or not the operation really was a success, and playing with Hayden.

Somewhere I once read that a doctor opined, that the human body is like a machine. Parts wear out. The mechanic fixes the parts as they wear out and the machine goes on puttering along. As the machine ages, parts begin wearing out more quickly, until they begin wearing out quicker that the mechanic can fix or replace them and then the machine is sent to the junk yard to die.

This morning, I realized that I have either lost or left back in San Francisco, my supply of happy pills. This means that in another day or two I should tumble into withdrawal. Withdrawal is worse than death.

On Saturday, Hayden leaves for Italy for six weeks. I was thinking of joining him there before returning to Thailand. But my recovery schedule does not permit that.

Meanwhile he has spent the past two days in the back yard collecting a certain type of bug that lives under the rocks in the yard that he calls, roly-polys. He has collected 14 so far. I find it disgusting. He keeps asking me to help him search. I keep excusing myself by telling him that because of my operation I need to visit the toilet a lot. Ah, kids.

CORRECTION: In my previous email I mentioned that John Stuart Mill and John Locke were contemporaries. Stephanie Dall correctly pointed out that Locke had been dead for a century before Mill was born. She is right.


See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/


“What the hell is that all about?” The Isabella character screamed as she ran into the shipping container that served as the changing and make-up room for the novel’s characters. “I thought he was going to get rid of characters, instead he adds those two fat fucks.”

“Actually,” the Vince character said while staring into the mirror applying make-up that would make him look as though he had slept only one hour last night. “Fat Al is really quite slender. He has to stuff a bunch of old rags into his pants to get that pear shape. Ike, on the other hand is…well rotund.”

“Whatever,” pouted Isabella as she flopped into a chair in front of another mirror.

Anyway, he got rid of two characters, Stephanie and Charlie. Although he is only missing, I would guess it’s the last we will see of that character.”

We never saw him in the first place, only Stephanie’s story about him. What’s that about anyway? She was the only other women in the novel except for me and he knocks her off. Come to think of it, I hardly ever appear and when I do, it’s only to show a little skin and act mysterious. I’m, what do you call it, yeah, a stereotype, that’s it. I bet the author’s gay.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that. Most mystery novels written by men have only one or two women in it anyway. The beautiful woman there for the male hero to sleep with and as often as not who dies in the end and the woman who ends up implicated in the murder. On the other hand, who knows? One never does with these arty-types. Besides, we still have Nina.”

“Ms knitting needles? She does nothing but bring you coffee and look pissed off.” After a moment of reflection she adds, “I bet she is a murderer, if not in this story than somewhere else. I bet I’m killed off. Do you think I die?”

“You have to sleep with me first.”

“Fat chance, if I have anything to say about it.”

“You don’t. Anyway, don’t worry too much about your role or lack of one. I believe in the next chapter, I talk with you on the phone and we meet. That will be some page time for you?”

“Oh, goody another meeting, isn’t it about time for some of you suits to do a little grabbing, I can use a some sex about now. Or, are all you suits afraid of a real woman?”

Vince glared at her. “You could always get yourself off.”

“Ah, spoken like a true eunuch, at least its sex with someone I love.”

(Author’s Note: Actually, Isabella’s got a point about the lack of women in the story. I intend to remedy that as the plot moves along. As for her dying, she needn’t worry, she deserves worse.)


a. Eponymous laws:

Dunbar’s number — A theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. No precise value has been proposed for Dunbar’s number, but a commonly cited approximation is 150. First proposed by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar.

What is a stable relationship? I have never had one much less 150.

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“Conservatives are irony deficient.”

c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

“And the booty, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught, was 675,000 sheep, And 72,000 beeves, And 61,000 asses, And 32,000 persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him . . . of which the Lord’s tribute was 32 persons. And Moses gave the tribute, which was the Lord’s heave offering, unto Eleazar the priest, as the Lord commanded Moses.” (Numbers 31:32-41)

See, one does not have to die defending the faith to get 72 virgins. If you’re a priest you get 32 for just standing around encouraging others to die. [What, no alter boys?]

d. You must be a Republican ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“You must be a Republican if you believe that God wrote Leviticus but Jesus did not preach the Sermon on the Mount.”

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

Arnold is shorter than I am by an inch or two. The lady in the photograph must be all of 3 ft. 6 inches tall.


“If you’re going to make every game a matter of life or death, you’re going to have a lot of problems. For one thing, you’ll be dead a lot.”
—Dean Smith

Categories: April 2011 through June 2011, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, bu 3Th. June 8, 2011


2011: The cost of solar cells, the main component in standard panels, has fallen 21 percent so far this year, and the cost of solar power is now about the same as the rate utilities charge for conventional power in the sunniest parts of California,
Bloomberg Reports.


a. America.

American neighborhoods with better transportation options have far more discretionary income than the average American family or those who live in the outer, “Auto-dependent” suburbs.

An average family earning $40,000 per year can save over $4000 per year by moving into a transit oriented development. They can then use that money to pay off the debts that they incurred to the banks that persuaded them modern economics can violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics and grow forever. The bankers will be pleased with your choice.

b. Thailand:

Reports in American newspapers indicate that Thailand is considering prohibiting the tattooing of images of the Buddha on to the skin of foreigners. Apparently it will still be ok for Thai citizens to continue to adorn themselves with the sacred image.


Hayden and I spent a lovely but brief weekend with and Norbert and Stevie Dall at their home in Sacramento. Next week Hayden and SWAC are leaving for Italy to stay there about six weeks before returning to California so I will not get to visit with him again until I myself return sometime in September.

I took the Capitol Corridor Amtrak train from Sacramento to Richmond California where I transferred to BART for the remainder of my trip back to San Francisco. The Capitol Corridor has free internet connection. The last time I had taken the train along this route was about a decade ago and the rail-car I rode in was mostly deserted. Today the car was full.

The procedure yesterday was a success and now I am recuperating at Annemarie’s house.


See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/


Chapter 21 (continued):

Vince returned to reviewing the files taken from Sam’s secret office. He had told himself that he would familiarize himself with the contents and then destroy those files containing blackmail, illegal or embarrassing material. That was a bit of a lie. He was actually curious to see what Sam had collected. After reviewing a number of the files, he dismissed any intention he may have had of destroying them when it became apparent how useful they would be during his upcoming meetings with many of the firms clients. He also could recognize how valuable they could become in any attempts to keep certain disruptive partners in line.

At about 3am, feeling exhausted he curled up on the office sofa and fell asleep with the conflicting angels of conscience buzzing in his mind confident that the evil angel of convenience will prevail as usual. About an hour later, the annoying bells of his cell phone, chiming out some samba tune that he could almost identify, woke him. He did not recognize the number and although convinced it was a wrong number decided to answer it so as to enjoy the release of pent-up tension while he screamed at the miscreant for waking him up.

“Mr. Biondi?” said a gruff voice on the other end.

“Yeah, who the hell is this calling at this hour?”

My name is Mooney, Deputy Sheriff Mooney of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. Do you know a Mrs. Stephanie Coign.”

Suddenly more awake and trying to grasp what was happening Vince said, “Yes, has anything happened to her officer?”

“Well, I am here at Devil’s Slide and we have just removed a body from the wreckage of an automobile that we assume from the driver’s license we found on her that she was the driver.”

“Oh my God!”

“We also found on the body, a piece of paper containing this number along with your name.”

This announcement was followed up with a rapid series of questions about his relationship with Stephanie and when he saw her last. When, at last, Vince tried to get his own questions answered he was met with the request to appear at the office of the Sheriff as early in the morning as he could make it.

After they hug up, Vince lay back in the darkness, unable to get back to sleep while hundreds of unanswered and unanswerable questions danced through his mind along with the demons of guilt and fear. He waited for dawn. When her fat, sticky, rose-colored fingers finally crept through the blinds and caressed his face, he began to make his phone calls.

a. Eponymous laws:

Archie’s law — In petrophysics, relates the in-situ electrical conductivity of sedimentary rock to its porosity and brine saturation. Named for Gus Archie (1907–1978).

Who would have thought? Good for you Gus, or is it Archie? I usually dislike people with two first names, but using Gus and Archie together I like. Mrs. Archie’s maiden name was Melinda Gus and his father’s name was Archie Archie. They originally wanted to name him Archie Gus-Archie but common sense prevailed and they settled on just Gus Archie. Good job, Mr. and Mrs. Archie!

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“You must be a Republican if you believe that the earned income tax credit that benefits the lowest wage earners in the nation is an unwarranted redistribution of income, but lowering the capital gains credit on unearned investment income is not.”

c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.” (Exodus 35:2)

In other words, according to God, on the sabbath, freeze your ass off in darkness or die.


“Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the laborer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.”
John Locke, Chapter 5 Second Treatise of Government.


“He who warned uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed…”
Sarah Palin on Paul Revere’s famous ride.

In an effort to clarify her statement La Palin later explained:

“Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there that ‘hey, you’re not going to take American arms, you are not going to beat our own well-armed persons individual private militia that we have.'”

She blamed her previous answer on the media, saying it was a “gotcha question.”

(In fact, before he could ride very far and ring anyone’s bells, Paul Revere woke up so many British soldiers that they promptly shot him for disturbing the peace. As a result, the revolution was cancelled. God save the Queen.)

I apologize, but here I must end with a quote from John Stuart Mill, a contemporary of John Locke who observed that:

“Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.”

Categories: April 2011 through June 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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