Dog Bites

No, No, the Other Millionaire Candidate
Sure, Dog Bites has had some fun with gubernatorial wannabe Al Checchi. And we don't regret it, either. But we've started worrying that we haven't given equal time to Republican Darrell Issa. He's the SoCal magnate who's after Barbara Boxer's U.S. Senate seat, and he has pledged $14 million of his own money to get it.

Issa, whose personal net worth is estimated at over $250 million, is president and CEO of Directed Electronics Inc., which makes car stereos and specializes in subwoofers. Issa has even done time judging boom car competitions. These, for those blissfully unfamiliar with the phenomena, are events in which people who have spent thousands of dollars on mobile stereo equipment meet in a parking lot and see whose car audio system is the loudest.

DEI is best known as a car alarm manufacturer, and builds the Hornet, Auto-Mate, Python, Sidewinder, and Viper auto security systems. And, though Issa currently enjoys only 13 percent name recognition with voters, you've definitely heard him. His is the voice that says: “System: Armed!” and “Vehicle protected by security system. Stand back!” under your window at 2 a.m. (If you haven't been privileged to hear Issa's awful warnings, log onto for a listen.)

“If someone had told me six years ago that my voice would emanate from hundreds of thousands of vehicles daily, I'd have invested in earplug futures,” says the ever-modest Issa.

Disposable Income, Anyone?
Perhaps the chief perk of media employment is getting on weird mailing lists. Dog Bites just received our brand-new copy of the Emerging Affluent Report, a quarterly trend-watch newsletter from the publishers of P.O.V. This issue looks at the difference between yuppies and Emerging Affluents (EAs, for short) and declares that while yuppies are into designer labels, EAs are into brands — which means that a yuppie might buy Calvin Klein, while an EA would buy CK Jeans. Hey, it's a crucial distinction.

But Dog Bites figures it definitely takes more time to emerge as an affluent in some sections of the country than in others, and those of us in the Bay Area may have to spend longer in the larval stage. We came to this conclusion after reading EAR's feature on Chicago's newly trendy Bucktown — the kind of gallery-filled, latte-dispensing, vintage-shopping, and restaurant-hopping neighborhood San Franciscans like to think of as, well, quintessentially San Franciscan. There's just one little, critical difference: a one-bedroom in Bucktown goes for $650 a month.

News of the Gross
Environmentalists like to talk about how long it takes disposable diapers to break down in a landfill. We here at SF Weekly have had the rare opportunity to observe this process firsthand. Back in late November, someone dumped a bunch of used diapers into a tree basin just up on Third Street. Day after day, Dog Bites staff walk past the noxious pile. It remains unchanged, even after nigh on three months' exposure to the elements. We're even starting to wonder if this is some kind of experiment, sort of an urban waste-disposal analogue to the FBI's body farm. Apparently Mayor Brown is planning Clean Sweep II for sometime in early May. Till then, we can only watch and wonder.

Smudge for Success
Do the stars in their courses fight against President Clinton? New York management consultant and Executive Mystic author Barrie Dolnick says the planet Saturn transiting Clinton's 10th house of Career and Achievement means that Bill is hitting a “prolonged career slide.”

To ward off negative energy, she suggests that Clinton sprinkle sea salt across the thresholds of his office doorways, smudge his office with burning sage, place crystals (onyx, citrine, or peridot would be good) and a mirror on his desk, and start wearing silk underwear.

Then again, he could just bomb Iraq.

— Laurel Wellman

Dog Bites welcomes tips, especially those pertaining to disgruntlement. Write to Dog Bites, c/o SF Weekly, 185 Berry, Suite 3800, San Francisco, CA 94107, or e-mail

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