Deranged Mind

October 25, 2010

The Hits Keep Coming From Kim-Shree Maufas

Filed under: California,News,Politics,Society — Tags: , — The Deranged One @ 4:11 pm

Well, it’s been just over a year since I wrote about Kim-Shree Maufus and her questionable use of a San Francisco Unified School District credit card. Judging from today’s news, nothing has really changed. While the schools (hey school board – remember that’s supposed to be the main focus of your job) are slashing costs, the board’s annual budget is apparently a mere suggestion.

Over the past four years, the board has increased its budget by 28%. During the 2009-2010 budget, the board spent $492,629, including $22,000 for catered meals prior to board meetings for members and staff; $7,300 for a Portland conference attended by six of seven board members rather than the usual two or three; and $766 in taxis used by one board member during a five-day conference. But more than that, in each of the four years, the board members have spent more than they budgeted to the tune of $58,000 in 2007. Some of the expenses included the following:

  • $766 for 21 taxi rides taken by board member Kim-Shree Maufas during a 2008 conference in Orlando. About $500 of that was submitted for reimbursement last year, 15 months after the conference – even though the district’s policy is that such expenses should be submitted within 15 days. She said the hotel she selected, which cost $12 less per day than those used by other board members, was farther from the conference.
  • $1,500 for six months of babysitting during board meetings for Mendoza’s two children, who are now in seventh and 10th grade. The benefit has been authorized by the school board.
  • $622 for a rental car for Maufas during a five-day conference in 2009 near Allentown, Pa.

Thankfully, my children don’t attend San Francisco schools. But I suspect the parents of those schools are being squeezed just like we are with required “donations” every year at registration time. With this kind of shenanigans, I would definitely think twice before donating one cent to the schools. And why, a year later is Kim-Shree still on the school board? After last year’s revelations, I figured she would quietly resign her position. Imagine my surprise when I read that her lavish spending on the taxpayers’ dime has continued and she’s actually running for re-election this year. Unreal.

November 3, 2008

Proposition 8 Fanatics

Filed under: California,Politics — Tags: , — The Deranged One @ 10:19 pm

I haven’t bitched about anything in a bit so I guess it’s that time. And since it’s the eve of the election, what better thing to bitch about than the election?

Don’t get me wrong, I take voting and our government very, very seriously. However, over the past few weeks, my mailbox has begun to strain from the weight of all the junk being mailed by every damn politician I’ve never heard of, I can’t listen to 5 minutes of the radio without hearing some commercial and now, I can’t drive home without hordes of fanatics jumping in front of my truck to scream at me to vote for their cause.

The sheer volume of junk mail has me thoroughly disgusted. I wish I had set aside a box to throw all of the mailers into so I could weigh it at the end of the election. Some of the candidates are even sending multiple pieces of junk on the same day. Now think how many trees they’ve collectively killed in their quest to live off the public teat. Disgusting, isn’t it?

Next up are all of the commercials. This is probably one of the most annoying ones (thankfully I don’t watch a lot of television, but the audio version is played out on radio.) And since it’s so annoying, I want to share it with you. Replay it about 50 times so you can hear Gavin Newsom over and over and over….

I’ve heard that jackass say “whether you like it or not,” about 500,000 times in the past month. First, Newsom is an idiot. I pray that he never is elected to another public office because he’s the type of jackass who likes to hear himself talk. Doesn’t matter what he’s saying (or even if he has anything to say) he goes on and on. I won’t even start on the stupid things he wastes San Francisco residents’ money on. I digress. I’m not going to go into my beliefs on Proposition 8. Basically, if you vote yes, it outlaws same sex marriage in California. Until the inevitable lawsuits begin. If you vote no, it keeps things status quo. Until the inevitable lawsuits begin. See a common theme?

As I said, my beliefs don’t matter. Look at me as a martian from a 50′s movie who just touched down in the Golden State in the midst of the election. You have signs everywhere. Yes on 8. No on 8. Does anybody really think that if they have 2 more signs than the other side, it’ll convince me to vote one way or the other? Apparently, somebody does.

The other day, I was driving home pulling a large load of wood. It was raining and there was a semi flipped over. Traffic was screwed up for obvious reasons. And just beyond the accident, as traffic started to build up speed again, it ground to a halt as some idiot pulled off the highway to run over and stick their sign on the side of the freeway. Oh if only another semi would’ve flattened the stupid shit.

And apparently both factions have decided that if they steal/deface/burn their opponents signs, it’ll help them win. One of my coworkers chased a carload of kids across town after she caught them stealing her Prop 8 sign from her lawn. There’s a really intelligent move. Never mind that she incorrectly told me that voting yes on Prop 8 meant that you were voting to approve same sex marriage. If you’re too stupid to understand what your cause is all about, you shouldn’t be putting a sign on your lawn and you certainly shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

Worse than that, I talked to some guy who is visiting from Utah. He was telling me about a video he saw on YouTube where somebody videotaped somebody else stealing election signs. Yawn. Okay, I guess that might be exciting in Utah. Anyway, he wanted to set up a sting to catch people stealing signs and then wanted to know if you can get into trouble in California for beating somebody up for stealing a sign. It’s a sign, for Christ’s sake. He corrected me and said no, it’s much more than that. Um no. It’s a wooden stake with a piece of paper attached. Are you willing to lose some teeth for a sign that was likely destined for a dumpster after the election? I’m not.

Tonight, I was driving home from the store. Everywhere I looked, there were election signs. They look like the weeds I fight every spring. On the radio, I got to listen to Mayor Gavin for the umpteenth time blabbing on and on. And as I approached a big intersection, there were 75 fanatics protesting on the sidewalk waving their signs, blowing whistles and generally acting like jackasses. Worse than that, they were jumping in front of traffic as it slowed for the signal. Since they had a bunch of kids with them, I must say they were setting a wonderful example for their kids. Yes, their antics really enticed me to vote for their cause.

Thankfully, tomorrow evening the drama will be over. I will be able to listen to old commercials. I won’t have idiots jumping in front of me in traffic. I’ll be able to relax. Well, maybe not. I just saw my first Christmas commercial of the year -- Hallmark. Fucking bastards.

September 23, 2008

CA Redemption Value

Filed under: California — Tags: , — The Deranged One @ 2:30 am

Back in the days (the 70′s) I used to recycle aluminum cans. Bottles too. Remember the wire carts near the checkout stands where you’d bring your empty coke bottles? Well, as time went on, my garbage company delivered a special can to toss our recyclables into and that’s what we’ve done since.

The kids were asking about the “CA Redemption Value” printed on all the soda cans when we were camping last month. I explained that when we purchase beer, soda, water, or whatever, we pay a deposit and when you return it to one of the recycling centers here in California, you get your deposit back. Well, not quite. If you have to pay sales tax on the beverage you’re buying, you also pay the sales tax on the CRV. Yet when you return the container, you don’t get your tax back. Another sneaky way for the state to milk us dry.

Anyway, the girls thought it was pretty cool so when we got back home, instead of throwing our cans and bottles into the recycle bin, I set up a spare trash can to store them in for a month to see how much we’d collect. The can overflowed in about a week. So I started filling garbage bags.

Now, before you think we’re alcoholics drinking beer like it’s going out of style, worry not. The missus refuses to drink our well water so we go through bottled water like it’s going out of style. And I think the girls decided to see how much soda and juice they could possibly consume. I had to put a stop to the soda. Anyway, we ended up with about 4 or 5 large bags of cans and bottles and today was the end of the 30 day trial period. Actually, yesterday was.

Yesterday, I loaded up all of the cans and bottles into the truck and drove to the local grocery store where I recently saw the recycle container. That’s all they really are here in CA. A fancy conex parked in the corner of the parking lot. I arrived and it wasn’t there anymore. Plus, one of the bags opened up and I had to stop to pick up a couple of the plastic water bottles that blew out. I did my shopping and came back home. And I was a little irritated.

I got on the internet today to figure out where the closest recycling center is. I recognized two of them (the missing one from yesterday was no longer on the list) and off I went. I arrived at the closest one and it’s not there either. What the hell? I head to the second one in the next town over and now I’ve driven 13.1 miles. I pull into the parking lot and I’m a bit surprised to see that it’s there. And it’s open. I unload my junk and drag it over to the container. Two meth addicted dumpster divers rode their bicycles up just as I got there with their bags of cans. So I stood and waited. When it was my turn, the keeper of the bin told me he was going to lunch.

I’m not an expert on customer service, but what the fuck? I was already pissed about driving all over creation trying to find a damn recycling center and now that I’ve unloaded the truck and waited a few minutes, you’re going to tell me to piss off so you can go to lunch? My first instinct was to grab him by the throat and after choking him out, locking him in the container. But that wouldn’t be very Christian, would it? Actually, there were too many soccer moms roaming about the parking lot. I settled for a “fuck you and I hope you choke on your lunch” before loading all of my shit back into the truck and heading off again.

I remembered from my internet search that there was an actual honest to god recycle center at the garbage transfer station. Hopefully it’s not another of these fly-by-night container jobs. So off I go. I get there and now I’ve driven 19.5 miles. Not that I’ve driven forever and a day, but with diesel costing over $4 a gallon and adding pollutants to the air, I’m starting to think that I’m defeating the whole purpose of recycling here. Alas, I arrive at the transfer station and there is indeed a recycling center with scales, conveyor belts, the whole 9 yards. And it’s open!

There are 5 people in line ahead of me. I wonder if they’ve had all the same difficulties I’ve experienced. I wasn’t in a chatty mood, so I didn’t bother to ask. I unload the stuff again and put the cans, glass and plastic bottles in various garbage cans then drag them over to the scale. The poor guy working the scale had a horrible wandering eye. Strabismus for you educated folks. He had an equally horrible personality. In any event, he weighed my stuff. Since I had more than 50 containers, they do it by weight. Here was the grand total for the month:

  • 1.2 pounds of aluminum cans = $1.88
  • 15.8 pounds of plastic bottles = $14.54
  • 28.6 pounds of clear glass = $3.00
  • 23.8 pounds of colored glass = $2.50

He had me sign the receipt then directed me to the scale at the entrance for my cash. The jackass at the entrance had an equally bad disposition. I guess smelling trash all day wouldn’t make me bright and sunny though. So I collected my $21.91 and drove home.

I ended up driving 32.4 miles. For simplicity, we’ll say that I averaged 16 miles per gallon at $4.25 a gallon. So my profit is down to $13.41. That doesn’t include my frustration from finding closed and missing recycling centers. And in the end, I had promised the girls whatever money we made from recycling so they got the money. Was it worth it? Undecided. But I want my sales tax back.

September 2, 2008

KPFA – The Police State

Filed under: California,Humor,News — Tags: , , — The Deranged One @ 1:02 am

KPFA has been around since 1949. It was started by an anarchist pacifist in our beloved Berkeley, CA. I’m sure you can see where this one’s going. It has a pretty strong signal throughout Northern California, you can listen to it on this newfangled internet and, if some of it’s programming is carried on the Pacifica Network so you can hear the shows which are carried on some of the NPR stations. What does all of this have to do with anything? Not much. Other than the Berkeley angle.

Not much comes out of Berkeley that is relevant to the rest of civilization. Occasionally, I get a chuckle out of their stupidity. I did have a pretty good laugh about the Berkeley city council’s brilliant decision to allow a bunch of out of touch nutjobs with too much time on their hands to completely disrupt a business district whilst protesting in front of a Marine Corp recruiting station. Well, I didn’t laugh at the Marines or the unfortunate business owners who had to endure the drama orchestrated by the treasonous council. I laughed at said traitors who tripped over themselves backpedaling when they realized they how foolish they looked.

But the latest from KPFA puts a smile on my face. There was drama there in the late 1990′s because somebody or other felt that Pacifica and KPFA were becoming too mainstream. Essentially, that’s what it came down to. There were protests, firings, arrests, etc. 10 years later, does anybody remember or care? I don’t. And normally, I don’t pay too much attention to anything related to KPFA until I saw this little tidbit in the paper.

In case you have no desire to read the entire article, allow me to summarize. There was a black woman (that doesn’t seem to have any bearing on the story until “Minister of Information” is quoted as saying, “The station reports on police terrorism. Police should not have been called to deal with a black woman”) who was a volunteer at the station. She wasn’t wanted there anymore and there’s some question as to whether she was told she was unwanted. Either way, management told her to leave. She didn’t. They called the police and when officers arrived, she started acting a fool. When they tried to remove her, she punched and bit the officers. Personally, if you bite me, you’d better have a very good dental plan because I’ll kick your teeth down your throat. Regardless, she went to jail. And now the bellyachers at KPFA are doing their thing. Here are a couple of highlights:

In an e-mail two days after the incident, interim General Manager Lemlem Rigio said Foster had been banned and called a staff meeting to discuss what had happened.

“It is important for you to know that the Berkeley Police acted independent of direction from KPFA,” Rigio wrote. “We are extremely concerned about this incident and are deeply committed to hearing your important comments and feedback.”

I wasn’t aware that KPFA directed the police. You call the police and tell them you want somebody gone, then when they start fighting the officers, you call time out? Right.

Dan Siegel, an attorney for Pacifica Radio, said management felt afraid when Foster refused to leave.

“Everyone is appalled at what occurred, but I’m not sure I would blame the person who called the police,” he said. “Our staff people have the right to work in a safe environment.

“It does seem that the big number of armed police officers could have escalated the situation.”

The police escalated the situation? No, I think the idiot who started punching and biting escalated the situation.

No end in sight to the funny stuff oozing from Berkeley like shit from a broken sewer pipe.

August 23, 2008

Zombies Descend on San Francisco

Filed under: California,Humor — Tags: , , — The Deranged One @ 12:13 am

This one is from left field. It all started with some great photos of the zombies as they descended upon San Francisco this past August. No, not the drug addicted derelicts in the Tenderloin. Real Zombies. In search of brains.

It doesn’t get much better than that. Okay, they didn’t really eat brains. It was all in good fun. And as our good friend, Protest Shooter notes:

Actually for a protest this was wildly successful.

  1. Turnout that beats most actual protests.
  2. Twitter followers twenty times larger than the save the oaks followers.
  3. Raised awareness.
  4. Massive honking, support from surrounding crowds.
  5. Good interactions with police which helps with future protests.
  6. Asserted rights to freedom of speech, freedom to assemble.
  7. Did it without permits.

And this despite bad weather and 30 minute subway delays. It’s pretty ironic that just a group of folks having fun can outdo the protesters with actual organizations and meetings and decades of experience and, oh, an actual cause.

If you interested in future “events,” feel free to drop by the zombies’ website. And before some smartass pipes up, why shouldn’t the zombies be allowed to have a website?

August 9, 2008

Cindy Sheehan vs. Nancy Pelosi

Filed under: California,News,Politics — Tags: , — The Deranged One @ 11:51 pm

Well, I just read in the San Francisco Chronicle that Cindy Sheehan is going to challenge Nancy Pelosi for her Congressional seat because Pelosi won’t impeach President Bush. Yawn.

While I’m sure this will make certain people excited, it doesn’t do much for me. Single issue candidates typically crash and burn after the novelty wears off. Plus, it’s San Francisco. Does anybody anywhere else in the country (other than Berkeley) give two shits either way about anything that happens in SF?

I’ve tried to figure out Sheehan. There is quite a bit on the internet, but who knows what’s truth and what’s fiction. The plethora of photos depicting her embracing Hugo Chavez appear to be genuine. Hmm, do we have an attention whore in our midst? How do you go from mourning the loss of your son to embracing Fidel’s little protege? Screw it, it doesn’t really matter. The best thing we can hope for is that Ms. Sheehan causes enough distraction that she causes that trainwreck Pelosi to get voted out and for Sheehan to lose with the majority of the vote going to the Republican candidate. That would make for an entertaining outcome.

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