Monday, June 04, 2007

Santa Monica Pier

Today was odd.

Went down to the Santa Monica Pier to get some shots and saw.....
  • The brass plaque at the end of Santa Monica Boulevard pinpointing the official end of Route 66.
  • Cops climbing onto the roof of a senior citizens facility obviously searching for something as the coroner's team pushed a body past us.
  • Tons of homeless people in picturesque surroundings curled up with their belongings as celebrities lunched across the street at Ivy at the Shore.
  • After finally migrating this gauntlet of visuals and making it to the pier, we descend to the beach and into a sea of white crosses signifying each military person killed in Iraq.
I stood on the sand covered boards amidst these crosses and protestors and watched as people lay on the shore laughing, kids playing in the Pacific surf and in the background the carousel and roller coaster on the Pier continued non-stop.

Death & despair in a setting of carnival overpriced real estate.

Sometimes, it's necessary to be confronted with such sights to really value everything you have.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Indian Customer Service

I was reading the feedback on a recent story about Dell being sued by the NY attorney general for their less than stellar customer service. A lot of people are more than pissed that for the home computers you have to deal with some outsourced Indian service......and I'm not talking about Apache or Commanche Indians either.'d think by reading that feedback that all those pissed off people were Texans by the way they are venting. But they aren't. So why don't American companies realize how badly that are enraging their own customers by makeing us deal with thick, heavy Indian accents? We have enough trouble just understanding one another on either side of the Mason Dixon line so how the hell can we understand someone in Bombay/Mumbai?

My only experience with that was when I had moved 3 years ago and I had called SBC about my DSL service. I somehow got bebopped over to India where this male yahoo was trying to tell me to reinstall my operating system. When I commented that the operating system had nothing to do with the issue, this guy was adamant..."You MUST reinstall the opreating system in order for your connection to work."

The hell I do.

So my gentile, Southern girl reply was: "Look Steve - and we all know your name is NOT Steve - my operating system has jack to do with this situation. So just because I am a girl and this is about technology do not assume that I don't know anything. The ONLY variable that changed was the DSL phone line the computer is attached to and the ONLY thing reinstalling my operating system will do is waste my time and give you a chance to get off work before I call in again."

He went on to jabber about something tech related - I guess to give his flaccid ego a boost - and I hung up the phone. I called SBC back and told them that I would only speak to someone currently in the United States of America and if I got transfered back over to India, within 24 hours their CEO would have a very detailed letter overnighted to him.

So what was the issue?

SBC's work order hadn't made it all the way through the system. Some yahoo along the way dropped the ball and didn't process one of the features.

Yes...that's right, there was no issue whatsoever with my operating system or anything else on my computer.

So just because someone says they are "tech support"....don't just blindly believe everything they tell you to do unless you want to find yourself taking a very big step off a very tall bridge.


Sunday, April 08, 2007


I've always had a thing for artistic men. Whether that art is music, painting, photography or a welding torch, there's a streak to them that the typical 9-to-5 banker guy just doesn't have.

Many times I have found it odd that creative men spend part of their lives with a predictable female. Oh sure, the female thinks it's great that her guy is different in the way he dresses, speaks and thinks. But after a while, the very elements that attracted her to him are the very ones she tries to change.

"Get a real job."

"Plan for your future."

"Be more responsible."

On and on and on until there is this guy wondering what just happened. He isn't the one that did the bait and switch -- it was her. He's still the artistic type and God love him, he tries. He tries to change and to be the person that someone else expects him to be.

And he succeeds about as well as your city zoo's zebra succeeds in changing his stripes.

So today, I read the most fantastic article on pentimento. If you don't know what it is - I'm not going to tell you because you can read it for yourself.

I LOVE this article because it is so true and so real.


The Real You
Under layers of disappointments and faded dreams, our true colors come shining through.
By Bob Perks

Everything in my life is connected.

One event, good or bad, leads to another, and every step in the right direction gets me closer to where I want to be. I have also learned that every step in the wrong direction doesn't necessarily take me off course. Those steps bring me closer to the reason why I am on this path to begin with. A journey off course means I needed to reconnect with the spirit of my mission in life.

My writing is a reflection of the many turns in my life.

This one started with one word,and the world created the opportunity to share it with someone along the way.

In my travels, I hardly ever listen to the radio. I always carry CDs so I can learn while I drive. One of my favorite authors is Robert Fulghum. Since my all-time favorite author Og Mandino passed away, I started collecting everything I could find by Fulghum. I enjoy his voice and appreciate his wit. Both he and Og are great story tellers.

In "Words I Wish I Wrote," Fulghum explains what artists refer to as "pentimento."

Sometimes after a work of art is finished, the artist will repaint a section, covering up something he doesn't like. After years of exposure the original will sometimes show through. Being able to see the creation underneath is referred to as "pentimento." The process is compared to repenting.

I must have replayed that part of the CD four or five times. I thought about how many times in my life I tried to cover up something. Perhaps a flaw in my personality, or even a habit that I would like to change, only to find it showing through at a very inappropriate time. But sometimes what we cover up is something authentic, something we need.

Excited about this new revelation, I automatically expected to find a reason to share it.

After speaking at a recent conference, I met Cathy. She approached me, saying, "I found myself the other day."

"Why? Were you missing?" I replied.

"No. I guess I was just hiding." she said.

She went on to tell me that, when she was younger, she was full of dreams and hopes of a life of happiness ever after. As she grew up, the world changed and so did she. The dreams seemed to fade. The hopes died away. Life buried them underneath piles of reality and darkened disappointments.

But now in these new found years of maturing and wisdom gained, she has discovered that they were still there all along. Dreaming out loud one day while visiting her family, she heard her mother say, "The real you is showing through."

It was then she realized that just below the surface of her recreated life, all of the "original" Cathy was still there.

"Wow!" I said. "Pentimento!"

"What?" she asked.

"It is said that our lives start out like a blank canvas. As we grow through life we create our masterpiece. But sometimes, like the true artist, we return to paint over the original. One day, after much exposure to a life well worn, the real you comes shining through," I told her.

Then I ran out to my car and gave her the CD as a gift.

There it was. On a journey to another place in my life, I learned something new.

When this happens, I believe I am obligated to pass it on. Maybe that information wasn't really for me. Maybe it was intended for Cathy all along.

Still, that one word explained so much for my own life. I am where I started, but better for the journey.
As I look in the mirror now, the paint may be cracked a bit and a few lines have appeared on the surface. But when the time comes, I will proudly sign my work of art and hang it in the museum of life--next to yours.


Remember, there have been clerks and storekeepers and bankers for hundreds of years. But the ones that leave the lasting impression on humanity are the artists and scholars. Think of the lasting effects we have from the works of Galileo, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Mozart, Beethoven -- the ones that acted upon their dreams.

Embrace who you are.

Be true to yourself because at the end of the day all you have is the integrity you owe yourself first and foremost.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

2 Wheel Passport + BMW Motorcycles

BMW Motorcycles has joined up with 2 Wheel Passport for some of the most amazing routes we will be taping this season!

As we tackle part of the Pacific Coast Highway, we'll have G 650 X's and Helli Kornton as our special guest Guide.

Flash over to the East Coast and we'll have the incomparable Nate Kern joining us as a special Guide as we give it our all to tame the Tail of the Dragon on F 800's.

And then, land speed record holder Andy Sills joins us on K 1200 R Sport’s as we journey to the motherland of speed.....Bonneville.

....stay tuned because the action is just beginning...


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Purple Bike & Amusing Sites

The Illustrious One is having his bike tricked out by Vida Loca Customs. They've done a lot of fabrication work and a custom paint job. You check out the results yourself at:


If you like your iPod and you like your home computer sites like (music site that learns what songs you like), then check out This site is similar to Launch but in a few short weeks it will work with your iPod like devices to and everytime you are near a WiFi connection it will update itself automaticall.


Personally, I don't watch American Idol. But for those that do, is a rallying point for all of those that are hardcore voters for the underdogs. Supposedly this site helped the guy from last season win the event.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Take Responsibility

Today I was in Bonham checking on the progress for one of the bikes being used in 2 Wheel Passport. During my visit I received a call from someone who worked the North Texas Rock Rally with me wanting to know what I knew about Earth Day Jam and GL's invovlement.

I replied that I knew nothing as I hadn't spoken to GL since at least August of last year.

This person went on to tell me that the Earth Day Jam has supposedly been moved from Dallas to Los Angeles because Texas Stadium was double booked with another event. This person took the initiative to call Texas Stadium and it turns out it's not booked for anything the day in question for April (next month).

So then they call the LA Forum and was informed a tentative hold has been placed but nothing has been secured.

This person also went on to say how GL has been bashing me for months as one of the reasons the North Texas Rock Rally failed and also how I was responsible for the failure of some "bike event benefiting kids."

I had to think on that second one for a moment and asked if he was referring to the Million Dollar Ride that happened last autumn? He didn't know the name of the event in question - he just restated that I was being blamed by GL for it's failure.

My reply to all of this -- "Well, D******, all I have to say is that I haven't spoken to GL since August, I received the same notice that probably everyone else did from the attorneys saying that North Texas Rock Rally couldn't pay it's bills and that my outstanding invoice wouldn't be paid and as so far as Million Dollar Ride - the only thing I did for that was offer feedback when it was asked."

We then went on to chat about an event I helped out with the weekend before last called the North Texas Irish Festival -- 3 day event with 46,000 attendees. I told him how impressed I was with the management of the event, how well the staff and volunteers were treated, the amazing hospitality area for the staff & volunteers, etc. etc.

Now the kicker to all of this is that Marsha Singer is the event director for almost every major event in Dallas and GL had been trying like the dickens to secure her involvement for Earth Day Jam to no avail. Marsha is the person that called me at the last minute to help with the Irish Festival because one of her key people was dealing with a death in the immediate family.

Kind of odd that the premiere event director in town calls me in but yet one of the less than stellar event directors is going out of his way to bash me?

To top this off, on a certain networking site I am a member of, the following comments were left for me in relation to the Rock Rally:

Sponsors / Media / Builders at North Texas Rock Rally

2 recommendations for this position:

“She admirably and diplomatically resolved MANY problems with sponsors and builders that could havve been VERY volatile. She thinks fast on her feet and isn't afraid to take control. I'll bring her in whenever I can.” July 27, 2006

Tigger Liddell, Man. Partner, ThunderKitty Productions LLC
managed Raine indirectly at North Texas Rock Rally

“Working with Raine was a breath of fresh air... she was highly efficient as well as highly effective in her role... a professional through and through as she handled anything that was thrown at her with tolerant grace. I highly recommend her services!” July 26, 2006

Andie Jones, Entertainment Director, North Texas Rock Rally
worked with Raine at North Texas Rock Rally

Joel Osteen said recently that whenever someone is talking poorly about you, you should look at it as a blessing. God knows what's being said and will doubly bless you as a way of making up for the trash talking by others. I like the thought of that -- so keep trash talking me and I'll keep reaping the blessings.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Catching Up.....

So I've been quite lax at updating the blog. In fact, it's been exactly 2 months since my last update and I've never allowed more than a week to elapse. Suffice to say that things have been busy. Since the last update, I had a birthday on January 13; The Illustrious One and I went to Cincinnati for the V-Twin Expo and it was a brisk 7 degrees; a few days later I found myself in Orlando at a warm 70 degrees then back to Dallas in time for more snow.

Things are whipping along at a fast pace on 2 Wheel Passport. BMW is involved as is Fender Guitars. I hope to make other announcements soon.


Oh and happy happy joy joy, some chap has a blog and I am the #1 Most Bangable Babe for the month of March.

I have no idea who this guy is but I think it's a compliment! You can check out his blog at:

At the last minute I was called in to help out at the North Texas Irish Festival last weekend - seems there aren't many people that have experience on the event management side or know how to handle a load-in. I must say it was the calmest and most undramatic event I've ever been part of. 46,000 attendees showed up -- and kudos to NTIF for having one of the best hospitality areas I've ever seen.

Next weekend is the Greenville Avenue St. Patricks Day Parade -- and The Illustrious One should finally have his bike back. It's been a long time since he dropped it off in November but it's looking quite fantastic!


In sad news, John Ingman who played Mr. Humphries in Are You Being Served passed away.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

U.S. - Mexican War .... Part II

So in 1846 - 1848, the U.S. and Mexico battled it out. Don't ask me how I know the dates - that's a long story in itself. Suffice to say the U.S. won because that name comes first in the name of the war.

Anyway, so speaking as a Texan, it just seems as though even if the U.S. government doesn't go to war with Mexico - or as we in Texans pronounce it, "Messyco" -- it seems like we are primed for a war between the civilians.

When U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair was asked last week why he still supported the U.S., his reply was, "You can tell a lot about a country by the number of people trying to get in versus the number trying to get out."

Let's be realistic, when was the last time you heard about someone yelping to leave the U.S.? It's usually from Barbra Streisand whenever there's an election -- she keeps swearing she's going to leave if Republicans win, people keep sending her boxes, but damn if she's not still here.

So back to the issue at hand. Illegal aliens / immigrants that are mostly from Messyco - they break the federal law to get into the U.S. illegally. And now some yahoo by the name of Jesse Diaz from LULAC is responding to a federal study that revealed that 100 illegal immigrants previously arrested and released for breaking state or local law had on an average been arrested six times.

Senor Diaz claims that it is the FAULT of America that these poor, criminal, breaking the law border crossers are being sabotaged by the American way of life. They are delving into crime, alcohol and drugs and turning away from their fine, "law abiding" Catholic ways.

Well how about this Senor Diaz -- tell them to get the hell back to Messyco and break the laws down there. Embrace the Virgin Guadalupe and Bimbo Bakeries. Or better yet, your happy ass should take them in, employ them, spend the money on getting them legally registered in the country.

How dare you blame the U.S. for these issues. Haul yourself to Mexico and fix the issues there on the streets before these people try to cross a border.

Before you liberals start going ballistic, keep in mind that I know most of the illegals are just trying for a "better life". I blame the Mexican government for not doing more for their own people and I blame U.S. companies for willingly hiring them because if the companies didn't hire, there wouldn't be any demand that needed to be supplied.

Why is it that people from all over the world are capable of applying to become US citizens and follow the due process yet we're expected to just open up the borders to Mexicans and say, "Ya'll get your asses on in here and belly up to the bar!" Are there not countries in Africa and south east Asia that are in just as bad, if not worse shape than Mexico? Why aren't we giving carte blanche to all of them?

In a recent Dallas Observer article on the Minutemen observing the various street corners where illegals congregate to be hired as day laborers, they were talking about how they were targeting the businesses hiring the illegals by getting photos of the license plates of the cars / trucks picking them up.

One guy being interviewed recalled how he was talking to an acquaintance that owns a huge West Texas ranch. One day the owner is making his rounds and finds the decaying body of a young woman in the middle of that barren land. It was obvious she had suffered a broken ankle but there was no ID on her. She died, probably abandonded by the group she was with since she couldn't keep up with them, miles and miles away from anywhere and without her family ever knowing what became of her.

That is a human tragedy. That is what should be prevented by U.S. companies shutting their doors to illegals employees and that is what Senor Diaz should be focusing his efforts on -- make Mexico better so these people don't wind up dead in a desert or cooked from the heat in the back of a semi truck they are being smuggled in.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Happy Birthday Ziggy Stardust... the Thin White Duke... the musical enigma that is David Bowie.

May you have 60 more amazing years....

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Can you guess the correct answer??


36 have been accused of spousal abuse

7 have been arrested for fraud

19 have been accused of writing bad checks

117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses

3 have done time for assault

71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit

14 have been arrested on drug-related charges

8 have been arrested for shoplifting

21 currently are defendants in lawsuits, and

84 have been arrested for drunk driving within the last year


Can you guess which organization this is? NBA? NFL?

Give up?
Scroll down

It's the 535 members of the United States Congress. The same group who crank out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep US in line.