June 2016 Newsblog

New location for Viva Escrow! Inc.
136 W. Walnut Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016
All staff numbers remain the same.

I didn’t think the day would come, but our move is done, done, done! As we settle in, a serious question remains.

What will I post on Facebook when there are no more screeching brakes, loud metal against metal crashing sounds, screaming police sirens and car chases appearing on headline news?

When there are no more cars landing halfway into our front office or upending the bus stop stone seat?

The tradeoffs are the quiet streets, the huge variety of eateries within walking distance in Old Town Monrovia, and something else which I will mention later, 20 minutes away and a world apart.

Despite what one of our clients thought, we are not in the boondocks; we still get post office delivery, UPS, Fed Ex and overnight couriers.

Wherever we are we will always provide the customer service and support that our clients deserve.

I mentioned I went to D.C. to walk up and down the hallways of Capitol Hill for 5 days in my “early Halloween costume of female lobbyist on 4 inch heels”.

Never mind the images that this creates in the mind. The reality is that the feet and legs may never be the same again.

We delivered petition letters and packages to all of California’s 50 some representatives plus other states.

We talked and pleaded for support from other trade organizations as well as the CFPB. Our request was for governmental clarity on regulations affecting us. Shouldn’t clarity and transparency be one of the Amendments to our Constitution?

A few things I learned besides the fact that marble is very hard on the feet:

1. Washington DC traffic is crazy.

2. Just the mention of the CFPB and the ears perk up.

Certainly the ears perked so much that it looks like there is now a movement on foot (pun intended) with the Republicans to depose good ole’ Dodd Frank.

Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, Chair of the House Financial Services committee, is spearheading the movement and his opening salvo was that this Act “stands as a monument to the arrogance and hubris of man in that its answer to incomprehensible complexity and government control is yet more incomprehensible complexity and more government control.”

Wow. And was that a comprehensible sentence? Let’s not hold back now!

Is it possible that in deposing Dodd Frank the CFPB will be on its way out? I

s it possible that I may not have to go to DC again next year?

Is it possible that I will have a life again?

Gosh, I may have to vote Republican!!

For more information on this current breaking news of major import, please link to another article here.

D.C. also brought home another learning experience and that is that Uber is my best friend. I broke in the Uber app and I am proud to announce that I am no longer an Uber virgin!

Which leads me back to that first thing that I learned. Watch out which corner you are standing at when you are waiting for your Uber ride; if you are at the wrong corner it will take your Uber driver 15 minutes to circle around DC traffic to get across the street to you.

If you are in one of the small streets at the back of the Capitol, your Uber driver may never find you OR there may be steel roadblocks preventing them from accessing that street.

Yes, hindsight is foresight and this is duly noted on my little book of TIPS FOR NAVIGATING LIFE IN D.C. That and always keep flats in your bag.

Uber is now testing their own version of that self driving car, competing with Google and Apple and all those big tech companies that have too much money and nowhere to spend it.

Can we actually type “Uber” and “self driving” in the same sentence? Isn’t this like an oxymoron? Or maybe it is for those other morons who really don’t know how to drive?

Moving along now I want to reflect back to my comments last month about tiny houses.

As a follow up here is an article about the smallest house sold in San Francisco, which sold for a (gasp!) cool $500,000 smackers.

If you are looking for bang for the buck, this 353 sq. ft house translates to $1,500 per square foot. Yes siree. Bang your head for every buck that you spend.

Then there are a group of enterprising contractors who put their skills to use and built a teeny weeny home in 3 days to auction off on E-Bay.

This is part of an effort to showcase and contract out their skills while the sale proceeds go to charity.

Behold capitalism and the entrepreneurial system in its best form plus the concept of philanthropy thrown in.

This is life in the First World.

And life in this world includes living through the economic crash of 2007, from which we are still struggling to recover.

But talk about short term memory loss, Wells Fargo and Chase are back at it again, offering 3% down and FICO scores as low as 620. Can “stated income” be far behind? Is this the beginning of another downhill slide?

If the big names are offering, how quickly will everyone else follow? Can you say, immediately?

On other economic news, while the Republicans consider getting rid of the Dodd Frank Act, the Democrats are considering a new bill to overhaul credit reporting.

Maxine Waters, Democratic Minority Leader of the House Financial Services Committee (and Hensarling’s counterpart) has decided that enough is enough!

It’s time for consumers to dump the present credit reports into the Potomac and declare our independence!

Take back control, consumers! Fair and equitable credit reporting for the masses! Gosh, I may have to vote Democrat!

Okay, let’s not get too excited. There is some grim news on this subject. Most recent hackee (person/company/entity who got hacked) happens to be Equifax, one of the 3 big credit reporting bureaus who also offers W-2 services for big companies.

Their system were hit by the dreaded H word and private ID information of their Vendees got stolen.

If you think your system can’t get hacked, think again. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when”.

When a South African bank loses $13 million from a two hour attack carried out by hackers in Japan using forged ATM credit cards, or when Bangladesh’s central bank loses $101 million and there is a suspicion that North Korean hackers are involved, you know that there is no safety across nations. Everyone is vulnerable.

Are you, perchance, a serious student of Zythology, like my assistant, Mario? Zythology, my friends, is the study of BREWING BEER. Don’t laugh, he tells me this is serious stuff that deserves all of his (off working hours) time, ingenuity and concentration. And ah, ha!

Wouldn’t you know it, one of the reasons why he is happy that we moved to Monrovia, besides the plethora of eating places and quiet atmosphere, is the beer brewery (Pacific Plate Brewery) right down the street from us.

Apparently, they make a mean Hibiscus Wheat Ale. Did I not say they we are VERY HAPPY with our new home and we are extremely WELL SITUATED?

Anyway, yes, I agree, this is a very serious undertaking long in the making because archaeologists uncovered a 5,000 year old brewery in China (of all places).

I am betting that like spaghetti, fireworks and paper, beer is another one of those things that Marco Polo and trade caravans exported along the Silk Road to the First World. Germany, drink you heart out.

If you have not noticed, besides this being the Year of the Golden State Warriors, this is also the Year of the Wild and Crazy Politics. President Obama is on his last legs as the incumbent POTUS so he has to think about what to do next for the rest of his life. He doesn’t have a peanut farm or a ranch to retire to and he can’t just laze around and drive his girls crazy.

Michelle would probably pull her hair out. So apparently he has given this quite some thought and he is sharing it with us here in this video skit of the CCC (Couch Commander in Chief) getting help and input on prepping for life after the WH.

You can’t say I don’t keep you up-to-date with Life in the First World.

And finally, my public announcement service of the month (I try to have one each month).

If you think Chinese is a weird language, English is really not far behind. Here are some thoughts for us to ponder:

There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.

A big “Thank You” to whoever I stole this from (did you really think I was smart enough to think of this?) and let the summer begin!