Saturday, January 01, 2005


Ouch! Cars, Cal and Damon's New Owners

Thankfully, no one was hurt when the cab cover of a small Nissan pickup truck flew off and spiraled into the windshield of my blue Pontiac Montana, shattering the passenger side window and leaving a dent and some scratches on the roof just a couple of miles north of the offramp to Jack Murpy Stadium (the Q to all you anti-traditionalists) on December 29.

My minivan took a lesser beating that than the Cal Bears did (although the recovery time might be the same). At least the Texas Tech Red Raiders were curteous enough to shake hands after whomping on the Bears. The guy responsible for the damage to my car just kept on going.

But we did get the license plate of the truck who hit us (true - but joke intended).

And then there was the bee who tried to cause the same type of damage to my rental car on Friday on my way to CostCo in Burbank as Bono was singing, "and I still haven't found what I'm looking..." SPLAT!

Hey! Pitt just scored! (I am watching the game while typing this... so much for the MWAC shut - out... THOSE PRETENDERS! Just joking.)

Speaking of pretenders, how about them Longhorns. They have to come from behind to beat a 9-2 Michigan team on the last, wobbly field-goal attept, play. It was an entertaining game, and both teams had flashes of brilliance; but, neither team looks as dominant as the (currently) four undefeated teams in the nation. However, Michigan's offense looked very good in the second half, while Texas' QB looked like a very good athlete in the same half.

With no parking on the course, I got there early (in my rental) and parked in the "secret" spot familiar to Brett. Eventually, the officials opened most of the side streets, but it never got completely full near the reading room where I parked and taligated with Ridge and Mike (and his wife) - strangers but nice folks who happened to know where to go to beat the crowds.

As for my "colors" comment in an earlier post... the colors that were missing were Red and White... many tournament seats were VACANT. I am a traditionalist... but my tradition also means supporting the game even if the traditional conferences are not both there. I have been to every game except one (when I was moving to Georgia in 1991) since 1976. About an hour before the game, low-row endzone tickets were going for $20.00 a PAIR. The Tournament either needs to purge the unsupportive whiners, or listen to the whiners (including supportive ones like me) and purge the BCS. Does anyone really think we would have had this problem had the old system been in place and 12-0 USC was playing?

As for "ouch!" several long-time Damon's employees will have been given their pink-slips today. The new owners didn't want to let anything be known until today since they were afraid that some employees, had they been fired, would not show up to work on New Year's eve. The new owners want to keep the total employee level below 50 (it is currently slightly more than that) so that they don't have to provide insurance to the employees. They are trying to bust the union.

Now, I do not normally attack anyone for doing what they want with their business. I also realize that revenues are down at Damon's, and that it is no longer open on Mondays. Competition with Crapicana on Brand (when the rape of Downtown Glendale is complete) is forcing a change in thinking.

But it is DAMON'S. It is a Glendale institution. The staff and clientele are family-like. The Campbells may be wrecking their investment instead of saving it. As a 33-year and third-generation customer (who is only 38 years old), I hope that they do not do to Damon's what the Harvard MBA's did to Schlitz... the same goes for SC's gameplan for Tuesday night!

Oh, and I finally did my part to donate to the hurtin' folks in Asia by throwing cash into the collection boxes at CostCo on Friday and at the Rose Bowl today. I felt better since those Red Cross solicitations were specifically for the folks who fell victim to the tsunamis, whereas contributions directly to the Red Cross website (which I promoted) were less than specificly targeted.

But there are several oganizations who are providing specific help.

But whatever you do, don't give money to the United Nations. Check out the "Pearls before Swine" posting at the Belmont Club. For those of you who ever saw Sam Kinnison (sp.?) on Carson, the U.N.'s camps will remind you of his routine mocking relief agencies filming starving children.

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