Ichabod posts pictures of his motocycle rides on his earthlink account so I have included the link. Additionally, Sonny's home page is also added to the list of links.
I have reclassified the photos into an album accessible on the links section. Better yet, you can click here
to access it. Included in this update are the photos on your December 2002 trip.
We made it back from Mexico ok.... For the July 4th weekend, we drove to Santa Anna for the Vietnamese food. The next day we drove down to San Diego. Downtown was really a happening place at night. It was so crowded, it looked like Marti Gras and I even got lost looking around for the car at midnight. The day after that, it was going across the border to the touristic part of Tijuana. Dirty, dingy, lots of seedy folks and people trying to sell you things you don't need. "hey my friend.... step right in here, I got what you need.... only xx dollars..."
Well we stayed till 7pm and I figured it was past curfew because lots of military types with machine guns were popping up to patrol the streets. From the looks of them, I figured they might get some action at night in the downtown area. Walking back to the border, I saw a blond girl being dragged by her boyfriend and some of his friends. Either she got too drunk or was mickied at one of the bars. Someone later told me that happens quite frequently especially if the girl is unaware. The line to get back to the US border was practically a mile long. In line, a frat boy became pretty roudy pushing people and being loud. A Mexican policeman cuffed him right on the spot and dragged him off. I keep hearing that it's possible to bribe the policeman and he will let you go... either that or give him ALL your money and he will likely let you go.
We gradually got to the front of the line when the customs officers gave a few of us in the party a hard time.
"What country are you a citizen of..?" ok, no brainer U.S.A
"How did you become a citizen?" I took a test. Ok, maybe that wasn't the right answer.
"What do the 13 stripes on the US flag stand for?" Beats me..
"Are you carrying anything back from Mexico?" Maybe a belly full of Coronas and Pacifico
Anne's cousin had some exposed tattoes on his arms and legs so they might have grilled him. Ok, something to remember.. in situations like this, you want to be as common as possible and don't draw attention to yourself. By about 9PM, we were back into US soil.
thanks for the tip on the company Ich.... I checked out their website and their kind of work looks like something that Sonny and I can contribute to. However, good companies with products similar to what they are creating are dying left and right. Their site is extremely shallow in information. I wonder if they have enough funding to continue - or would their offer be that we work for free. Investigating them further is a little difficult for me being in Vegas. Sonny, if you decide to find out more about them, could you keep me in the information loop?
It looks like someone else who was playing around found a little more success with this system than you did. The Mercury ran this cute little article regarding people who found each other. Hey, the wonders of the internet through a little tap of the mouse click.
Here is a take on a different topic: Nation-wide Broadband. I'm for anything that would make cheap broadband available for everyone. Right now the issue is in Congress and Lieberman is carrying about trying to push the idea. With POTS lines, America is still in the stone age and to those in power, they want to keep us there. Why not when the Bell providers can continue to milk the public for the next hundred or two hundred years? Well for whatever reason the law makers can decide on, I really hope the issue of Broadband passes. Because the technology have been available for many years and we all need it.
Thanks for taking the time out to hang out with me in Vegas. The 9 hour drive both ways must have been really boring with nothing but country music to keep you company. I remember getting stuck in a ditch on my initial drive out to Vegas. Lucky for me a good-hearted country dude gave me a hand to push my car out of the ditch. (ok, maybe this is my way of remembering one of the few lucky times in my life)
During your visit I was in a period of recovery so you got to be house-bound too. Anne's brothers and their gang came over after you left for home. They were antsy so they were out at the casinos and shopping centers all the time. Well it was good that you don't have the gambling itch or it would have been a problem.
Here is some news local to you that is relevant to some of our conversation last week. First off is the flocking of investors into real estate. Since there is a supply cap in the valley, you ought to see a spike in prices as more buyers are coming in. Second is the topic of "cooking the books". I guess this is just one of many things the stock market has seen that is basically ripping off investors. This article "Investors losing faith" just goes to show that trust can only be stretched so far. When you are screwed up, down, left, right.... it's only a matter of time before you will say STOP!!!!
Sales of bay area homes continue to rise according to the Mercury. This should raise your spirits because people are tripping over themselves to buy homes. They mentioned that the average homes sold over the past month is 48 per day versus 30 per day last year. Pretty hefty jump in a contracting economy and in an area where supply is capped.
On the topic of taxes...., when the year was closing last year, I had this great idea that I should utilize the fact that I didn't have any income for the year. I converted what was left of my IRA into a Roth IRA. Well, as you know, a side effect of this is that the amount that you converted will be counted as income for the year. No problem there since I didn't have any to begin with. I was so smug to perform such a feat and felt great that I had thought of it.
I just finished my taxes yesterday and realized that my investment in the IRA are worth 1/2 of what I will be paying taxes on. Ooop..... an additional oop is that I had to pay California state taxes whereas if I had waited until this year, I can claim Nevada residence and nothing would be due. Ooop ooop. I would have been better off had I done nothing.
This is just another wonderful lesson about trying to get the better of Uncle Sam. Even if it's legal, you have to accept that until you die... Uncle Sam wants his cut in taxes. The concept of a minimalist life is starting to sound good. He can't take something from nothing, can he?
I have collected Timmy's pictures into an easy to access page. It is available on the link list to the side. Were these taken with Sonny's camera? Did you have to reduce the image from a tool on the computer? I'm curious about digital cameras and am thinking about getting one. If Sonny can write a little article about his experiences with them, it would be great.
It's that time of year again. With only 5 weeks left, I'm just about loading in my new TurboTax CD-ROM. Funny, the rebate check came in even before I used the software. Talk about procrastination!