An Outbreak of Honesty?

I was catching up on the news today when came across this story about two Safeway stores going unlocked on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Police said when they showed up at 3:30 p.m. Friday they found that people had been taking items and leaving money at the registers.

Sounds like an opportunity to dust off the old Sac Rag “Right Awn” right? Not if you read the comments. Ah, the comments…

“This is why I LOVE ROSEVILLE! We are hard-working, trust-worthy people. You would never read a story like this (the honest people part) happening in Sacramento or most other cities.”

Continue reading “An Outbreak of Honesty?”

Some people became angry

Crowd waiting for Air Jordans
Happy Holidays.

From we learn that, in spite of these tough economic times, people still covet sneakers and are willing to wait in line for them.

Crowds were in line waiting for the release of Air Jordan 11. The crowd that gathered for the $175 sneakers became so unruly, police were brought in and the mall closed. As a result, many customers who had been standing in line for hours became angry…Some people reportedly tried to get into the mall through back doors.

No word if any were wearing hoodies. Although I can report that Mrs. TopofIt has intentionally worn a hoodie at the Arden Fair Mall without so much as a second look.

Only six people were able to get shoes before the mall was closed. They received a special police escort from the mall to their vehicles.

$175 for reissued shoes! Man, people are funny.

The Big Chill

We have some colder weather coming to our beloved city today and tomorrow. As such, temporary shelter for Sacramento’s homeless will be opened tonight.

I won’t even comment on the comments because I am all about the “Hide comments on” feature. It’s like you get to read about what’s going on in Sacramento and form your own opinions! Imagine.

The article did use my favorite phrase:

Homeless advocates have been scrambling to find emergency housing since funding for the Cal Expo winter shelter was closed because of budget cuts.

In other news, the CIM sold out five and half weeks earlybecause of these hard economic times.

It’s all about how you look at it, right?

At any rate, being homeless has to suck in pleasant conditions. Being homeless when it’s 28 degrees and snowing…

Polar Express Tickets are SOLD OUT

While the Kings may be suffering from the lowest attendance in franchise history it sure was refreshing to learn that, for the third year in a row, the “Polar Express” train ride in Old Sacramento is sold out for the season.


“We don’t advertise. We do promote ticket sales to our members, but it’s just a word of mouth event over the last three years,” said Mello.

Of course, people have to be people and some have scalped auctioned tickets on eBay (tickets are normally $24 for adults, $16 for children).

At any rate, this is good news for Sacramento and for our otherwise crappy economy.

(For the 2010 Polar Express train ride, members of the California State Railroad Museum will have the opportunity for advance ticket purchase before the general public. For more information on becoming a member, call the Membership Office at (916) 445-5995.)

Poll: 3 out of 5 feel that summer is hotter than winter

I just don’t get *news* stories like this one at (via AP):

Poll: Californians Worried About College Costs

A new poll shows Californians are worried about higher education funding cuts they fear qualified people won’t get to college. A Public Policy Institute of California telephone survey of about 2,500 people finds half of parents with children 18 or under are very worried about being able to afford a college education for their children.

Really? You don’t say. Let me dust off my sociology degree for a second and suggest that all parents from the beginning of time have been very worried about being able to afford a college education for their children. Sure, there is a sector of the population with tons o’cash who may never actually sit down on their Italian leather sofa (try not humming that tune now, btw) and *worry*, but a headline letting us know that Californians are just worried about college costs doesn’t really help anyone, right?

I know I’m a curmudgeon, but if all you hear is that the sky is falling with no end in sight, because of the budget, of course people will be worried about the cost of EVERYTHING.

California has a garage

Jimmy Kimmel Live did a funny bit about the “Great California Garage Sale” coming soon to a broke state near you.

“This is a win-win for the state and for shoppers,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement Tuesday announcing that a selection of items also would be sold on eBay and Craigslist. “Together we are eliminating waste and providing great deals in this tough economy.”

Wow. Big Scary Knives.

Can we leave negative feedback? What would yours be? Apparently their eBay approach is raising some eyebrows.

UPDATE: Items are going fast after day one.. Final sales are over 1.5 million.

The fine print

I was reviewing my monthly cell phone bill the other day. I receive it online so I usually take a quick peak at the charges and make sure nothing out of the ordinary is going on. I came across the “Sprint Surcharges” listing and thought I’d click the “Show Details And Explanation of Charges” link. Good night. And I quote …

Sprint Surcharges are rates we choose to collect from you to help defray costs imposed on us. Surcharges are not taxes or amounts we are required to collect from you by law. Surcharges may include: Federal USF, regulatory charges, administrative charges, gross receipts charges, and other charges incurred to recover costs associated with governmental programs. The amounts, and the components used to calculate Surcharge amounts, are subject to change.

Seriously. No euphemisms? No fancy technical terms? Just one notch away from “We are being effed by the man, so we are now effing you.”

If you review your SMUD bill, you may also come across the “Monthly Service Charge” of $5.00. You know, a charge to bring you electricity or gas which they charge money for and receive a profit from. Who couldn’t use $5.00 extra a month for funsies?

Have a deeper look at your monthly bills and let me know if you come across any similar charges.

P.S. Simply by calling a few of my regular service providers and inquiring I was able to reduce a few monthly charges. Remember, they won’t come to you to offer you a savings. It takes work, but is worth it in the long run.

Public transit budget grab was illegal, court says

this poster should have
been illegal too

News & Review’s Cosmo Garvin blogs about Regional Transit’s EPIC WIN last week when the California 3rd District Court of Appeals ruled (in the case SHAW et al. v. THE PEOPLE ex rel. CHIANG, as Controller, etc., et al.) that a portion of the money taken from Public Transportation Account in the last 3 budget years must be repaid. Garvin points out that there is obviously no money in the state’s wallet to pay out, so it remains to be seen what will happen.

What should happen, to borrow a phrase, is the political heads of Gov. Schwarzenegger and many other elected officials on a platter. What would happen to a businessperson who shifted money around in order to pay his company’s bills and did something illegal?

I want to buy a gun today

The sale of firearms locally is on the rise because of the budget.

“People are coming in and saying, ‘I want to buy a gun today,'” Barrett said. “We’re specifically seeing people say, ‘I want it because I’m not going to be able to get the protection that I need from the sheriff’s department.'”

This can’t miss. Luckily, folks will not be able to conceal these weapons

Faced with the potential loss of more than 200 deputies due to budget cuts, McGinness said earlier this month that he may consider issuing more concealed weapons permits.

So, we have this going for us. From the comments area:

People have to be able to protect themselves and their families!!! Yes, case studies are proven about when honest, law abiding citizens are armed and ready that crime does go down.

I wonder if case studies would also prove that if folks installed a soft serve ice cream machine in their kitchen obesity would go down.

City pools are practically closed

Glenn Hall Pool
Glenn Hall Pool, by Midtown Grid user Julia

The bathroom closure announcement is probably the most unfortunate and glaring change in the city’s gutted rec budget, but I’m really disappointed that almost all the pools will now only be open 3-5 PM. There will be no city pools open after 5pm, and several pools — including my beloved Glenn Hall pool — will be closed to recreational swimming entirely. The changes take effect Monday. Oh well, at least the kids can play in the sprinklers, right? Oh wait.

Continue reading “City pools are practically closed”