Sunday, January 24, 2010
This was Team Santos' Amuse Bouche. Goat Cheese puree in a parmesan cheese cup drizzled with honey and topped with a mint leaf.
Team AW/JS had this...JS made Pork Butt braised in Black Bean sauce...the meat was just melting man! SO GOOD!
GY made Lomi Salmon...this is all by hand and totally fresh made.
This was my dish as I had veggies/tofu. I made a classic Harikot Verts Almondine aka Green Beans with Almonds. Lots and lots of BUTTER in this one!
This is the beef dish from team Santos. This is a Vietnamese beef dish from a recipe from SLANTED DOOR restaurant up north. I forgot what it was called..but damn was it gooooooood.
This the amuse bouche from AW...bacon jam on crusty ciabatta bread. Yes...she made BACON JAM...so good and with a kick!
This is from Team Hsincent....amuse bouce, it is a salmon ceviche on a cucumber with avocado and the fish flake things on top.
This was their classic Chicken Marsala which was also EXCELLENT! Man that was good stuff.
The table shot....
and then we had some Molten Lava cake for dessert. Not all of them came out "right" but it was good...once we added some of the goat cheese puree for some contrast! GOOD GOOD GOOD!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
first stop was Niko Niko Sushi in La Habra. It was ok...I don't really eat Sushi so I had the below combo:
We then head to Diamonds in Brea for some pool and drinks...
The color of money baby!
She was lovely....to say the least. She was hands down the prettiest waitress that night.
Rod was in love...and Jeff is always down to photo bomb!
Then Jeff wanted his own pic...with the lovely Ashley.....
She made the evening very nice....
Then we headed back home to play some cards and smoke in the garage. Typical evening.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Walk Away From Your Mortgage!
John Courson, president and C.E.O. of the Mortgage Bankers Association, recently told The Wall Street Journal that homeowners who default on their mortgages should think about the “message” they will send to “their family and their kids and their friends.” Courson was implying that homeowners — record numbers of whom continue to default — have a responsibility to make good. He wasn’t referring to the people who have no choice, who can’t afford their payments. He was speaking about the rising number of folks who are voluntarily choosing not to pay.
Such voluntary defaults are a new phenomenon. Time was, Americans would do anything to pay their mortgage — forgo a new car or a vacation, even put a younger family member to work. But the housing collapse left 10.7 million families owing more than their homes are worth. So some of them are making a calculated decision to hang onto their money and let their homes go. Is this irresponsible?
Businesses — in particular Wall Street banks — make such calculations routinely. Morgan Stanley recently decided to stop making payments on five San Francisco office buildings. A Morgan Stanley fund purchased the buildings at the height of the boom, and their value has plunged. Nobody has said Morgan Stanley is immoral — perhaps because no one assumed it was moral to begin with. But the average American, as if sprung from some Franklinesque mythology, is supposed to honor his debts, or so says the mortgage industry as well as government officials. Former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. declared that “any homeowner who can afford his mortgage payment but chooses to walk away from an underwater property is simply a speculator — and one who is not honoring his obligation.” (Paulson presumably was not so censorious of speculation during his 32-year career at Goldman Sachs.)
The moral suasion has continued under President Obama, who has urged that homeowners follow the “responsible” course. Indeed, HUD-approved housing counselors are supposed to counsel people against foreclosure. In many cases, this means counseling people to throw away money. Brent White, a University of Arizona law professor, notes that a family who bought a three-bedroom home in Salinas, Calif., at the market top in 2006, with no down payment (then a common-enough occurrence), could theoretically have to wait 60 years to recover their equity. On the other hand, if they walked, they could rent a similar house for a pittance of their monthly mortgage.
There are two reasons why so-called strategic defaults have been considered antisocial and perhaps amoral. One is that foreclosures depress the neighborhood and drive down prices. But in a market society, since when are people responsible for the economic effects of their actions? Every oil speculator helps to drive up gasoline prices. Every hedge fund that speculated against a bank by purchasing credit-default swaps on its bonds signaled skepticism about the bank’s creditworthiness and helped to make it more costly for the bank to borrow, and thus to issue loans. We are all economic pinballs, insensibly colliding for better or worse.
The other reason is that default (supposedly) debases the character of the borrower. Once, perhaps, when bankers held onto mortgages for 30 years, they occupied a moral high ground. These days, lenders typically unload mortgages within days (or minutes). And not just in mortgage finance, but in virtually every realm of our transaction-obsessed society, the message is that enduring relationships count for less than the value put on assets for sale.
Think of private-equity firms that close a factory — essentially deciding that the company is worth more dead than alive. Or the New York Yankees and their World Series M.V.P. Hideki Matsui, who parted company as soon as the cheering stopped. Or money-losing hedge-fund managers: rather than try to earn back their investors’ lost capital, they start new funds so they can rake in fresh incentives. Sam Zell, a billionaire, let the Tribune Company, which he had previously acquired, file for bankruptcy. Indeed, the owners of any company that defaults on bonds and chooses to let the company fail rather than invest more capital in it are practicing “strategic default.” Banks signal their complicity with this ethos when they send new credit cards to people who failed to stay current on old ones.
Mortgage holders do sign a promissory note, which is a promise to pay. But the contract explicitly details the penalty for nonpayment — surrender of the property. The borrower isn’t escaping the consequences; he is suffering them.
In some states, lenders also have recourse to the borrowers’ unmortgaged assets, like their car and savings accounts. A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond found that defaults are lower in such states, apparently because lenders threaten the borrowers with judgments against their assets. But actual lawsuits are rare.
And given that nearly a quarter of mortgages are underwater, and that 10 percent of mortgages are delinquent, White, of the University of Arizona, is surprised that more people haven’t walked. He thinks the desire to avoid shame is a factor, as are overblown fears of harm to credit ratings. Probably, homeowners also labor under a delusion that their homes will quickly return to value. White has argued that the government should stop perpetuating default “scare stories” and, indeed, should encourage borrowers to default when it’s in their economic interest. This would correct a prevailing imbalance: homeowners operate under a “powerful moral constraint” while lenders are busily trying to maximize profits. More important, it might get the system unstuck. If lenders feared an avalanche of strategic defaults, they would have an incentive to renegotiate loan terms. In theory, this could produce a wave of loan modifications — the very goal the Treasury has been pursuing to end the crisis.
No one says defaulting on a contract is pretty or that, in a perfectly functioning society, defaults would be the rule. But to put the onus for restraint on ordinary homeowners seems rather strange. If the Mortgage Bankers Association is against defaults, its members, presumably the experts in such matters, might take better care not to lend people more than their homes are worth.
Roger Lowenstein, an outside director of the Sequoia Fund, is a contributing writer for the magazine. His book “The End of Wall Street” is coming out in April.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: January 10, 2010
An essay on Page 15 this weekend about underwater
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Jan. 4 issue was final for magazine
By VB staff -- Video Business, 1/6/2010
JAN. 6 | Video Business is ceasing publication this week, after 29 years of industry-leading coverage of the home entertainment business.
The Jan. 4 issue was the magazine’s last.
VB’s owner, Reed Business Information, is shuttering the magazine and its online operations, effective this week, as part of a larger, ongoing strategy to divest itself of most of its business-to-business publications in the U.S. The company also is closing MBT (Manufacturing Business Technology) and Industrial Distribution.
“I’m extremely proud of the role VB has played in the home entertainment industry, consistently breaking news, while providing important analysis and insight to our readers for almost three decades,” said Marcy Magiera, editor-in-chief and associate publisher. “Every staff member and regular contributor here is a first-class business journalist, and I will miss working with this smart, dedicated and caring group of people.”
VB readers can continue to get the latest home entertainment business and technology news at www.variety.com.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
This is a hybrid/tribute shoe to the OG trainer 1s in the iconic "chlorophyll" colorway.
here is a comparo shot of the 2 shoes. I have the 2009 international retros of the AT1 compared to the Maxim.
craftsmanship is definitely there, shoes are definitely well made. Also from my initial try on, very very comfy!
Monday, January 4, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
check out what Mr. Griffey Jr. is rocking on his wrist?
PANERAI baby....I dont know the specific model....I need to research it.
and a pic of my fave trainer of all time. 89 Air Trainer SC. SUUUHWEEEEEET!
If they ever retro these I will buy a minimum of 3 pairs. I love these shoes and they have great memories for me too. Love it.
Friday, January 1, 2010
But one last mini post. In between all my cleaning and re-org I snuck out to have dinner with my buddy. We ate and then took a cruise around my hood. We cruised Colorado Blvd from Fair Oaks to Hill in Pasadena this evening..NYE. People are crazy. Streets pack with people camping out, BBQing on the sidewalk and just acting like fools. It was pretty crazy.
But what makes this little cruise "special" was being able to ride around with this in front of me!
Bottom portion with the QWERTY keyboard....
Good times indeed...good times.
OK...zzz...time to sleep for reals.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
As you have read below, I did A LOT today. I never knew it would take the whole day...literally. I cleaned up my bathroom, new rugs, new shower curtain and liner and a new shower head.
This is the "Thunderhead" showerhead. It has the internal pressurizer thingy so it will give you good pressure no matter what. After my shower, it was OK. I liked the big shower head and the it gives extra height. Pretty happy with it so far.
I am definitely ready for 2010. I have had a not so great 2009 and I am very much looking forward to 2010 and what it can bring. That was the major reason I spent the whole day cleaning my room. I got rid of all my old crap, stuff I wont or don't use. Felt good.
I am ready for whatever the year will bring. I mean it cannot get any worst right?
For the few that actually read my blog...thanks for checking it out and I hope I can keep posting some interesting tidbits and keep you coming back.
Ok..it is almost 3AM...maybe it is time to sleep. GOODBYE 2009....get out of here!
Looking forward to a great 2010!
BLACK TALONS - when you absolutely positively want to stop someone use the best! Well..these are technically illegal and it is a felony to use these. Let's hope I never have to.....
I found this set on Amazon for $9! I mean WOW. These are 100% plastic playing cards, the same kind they use in casinos and poker rooms everywhere. The other brand that are used are KEM. Basically COPAG or KEM are the only 2 cards out there. Best of the best...pretty much. ELITIST! lol....yeah only the best.