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Bum rush 

The bad times must really be getting to the folks over at the Tribune. Some of them are becoming unhinged. Case in point: Check out Bill Morem’s column about the bounced checks by the newish owner of the San Luis Obispo Blues, Stevie Mac.

In months of reporting, the Tribune has revealed that: 1. The owner’s real name is Steven McPherson; 2. he plead guilty in 1997 to several financial crimes, and; 3. some of his checks to the city and workers have bounced. Now he’s talking about returning the team to its original owners and he’ll probably have to because city folks says they won’t renew a lease with him.

Good reporting. But then Morem had his say. First, he was shocked, SHOCKED! that a man whose proper name is Steven McPherson, would go by the name “Stevie Mac.” Really? Here are some more hot tips for you: Diddy is really Sean Combs, Bob Dylan wasn’t his real name, and “Chip” isn’t always a birth name. Have at ‘em.

He went on to call Mac a “deadbeat” and “a bum, a shameful bum” because of $11,000 in bounced checks. Wow, Bill. Angry much? It’s hard to walk through a Chamber of Commerce meeting these days without finding somebody who owes somebody else more money than that. These are hard times. Lots of checks are late. That doesn’t make everybody shameful bums. It happens in business.

The Tribune’s wasted a whole lot less ink and indignation on local developers who seem to have flat out robbed investors. Oh, but many of those developers are or have been advertisers.

That’s sort of their thing over there; they’re tough when the powerless screw up, but quite forgiving of mistakes by their friends in power. If you doubt it, check out their endorsement of Paul Brown for SLO City Council.

And “Billie Mo,” if you don’t mind me calling you by your rap name, nobody called you a “bum” or a “deadbeat,” when you ripped off a chunk of one of your columns from the Internet, something most newspapers fire columnists for. Come to think of it, “deadbeat,” and “bum” pretty well describes the act of cutting and pasting somebody else’s words as if they were your own.

The Tribune has been pretty hostile to the Blues for years. For reasons unclear to me, they’ve had it in for a team that’s been a big part of SLO’s summertime fun. And under Mac, the team got a whole lot better, and the fun stayed the same.

Surfer Magazine recently put the Pismo Beach Pier on the map, but it wasn’t to highlight the groms and gramps who do their own sort of shredding there. They noted that Heal the Bay has listed the spot as one of the 10 most polluted “dry season” beaches in the state. I think what that means is that lots of beaches get polluted from rainy season runoff, but Pismo has the distinction of being polluted all the time! Shred will be interested in the DNA testing they’re doing there to find out if pigeons are truly the source of the pollution. I’ll bet every cent I have invested in hedge funds that it’s people shit, not pigeon shit, that’s making the surfers sick.

Colin Rigley’s cover story this week delves into the county’s “10-year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness,” which, like the “No Child Left Behind Act,” is named for certain failure. Rigley tells us the 10-year plan was born by actually stealing $75,000 from the Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter so they could spend the money instead on such important matters as consultants and finger puppets.

Yup, finger puppets. There were toys to be had for every person involved in the bureaucratic exercise. If the exercise eventually gets the county money that actually goes to the homeless, then all is forgiven, but if it doesn’t, they’re stuck with a terribly named report that will soon be as useless as broken toys.

Here are my top tips for folks struggling to make it these days:

If you’re scrambling to make the mortgage and are certain you won’t be able to hold out much longer, don’t raid your retirement funds simply to make a few more payments. I’ve been told that you can coast for months without payments as the foreclosure process works itself through, and they can’t take your 401(k).

Consumer Reports says you can make cheap vodka taste like expensive vodka if you run it through a Brita filter.

New Times is free, and well worth it. SUVs come cheap these days. If you buy a GMC Armageddon, you can get a new one with leather seats and a third bedroom for $10,000; it’s cheaper than rent.

If you’ve already given your maximum of blood this month, consider signing up for work as a pharmaceutical guinea pig. The pay’s good, and occasionally you can score some anti-depressants.

This might be a good time to shed those advanced degrees. Sell them to somebody who thinks they’re worth something and join the SLO Police Department. They pay $85,000 to start for people with high school diplomas.

All of this advice comes atcha with a big Sarah Palin wink.

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