Apr 18, 2017

Chilibees O'Houlan Charlie's Friday Time Steakhouse and Pub

Hey look a new restaurant is opening up in suburbia! Why am I not excited about it?All these chain type restaurants are practically all the same. A very long menu with little hints of culinary theme and decor changes that try to make them unique. But they're all just cookie cutter clones. When a place has a little bit of every kind of cuisine on the menu, that means they don't do any one thing good. It's all just blah. Cheesecake Factory for example has a fucking Websters Dictionary for a menu but everything in it is mediocre fare that is just a step up from the frozen food aisle. Be wary of the term "American Cuisine" because there is no such thing. It just means they make shitty, generic versions of Italian, Asian and South of the Border Nacho plates. Plus, burgers, fried chicken and salad.  

The Cheesecake Factory Menu Book. 

I do love that no matter what you can always get a burger though. It may have a wacky nickname in the menu but it's still just a good ol' Costco frozen patty on Sysco buns. These places are all consistent, and serve a purpose but don't be fooled. It's just a fancy Denny's with stupid crap on the walls. If it helps they probably have a bar. Or if a friend tells you that [insert crappy chain restaurant] had the best [anything besides giant alcoholic beverage] we should go!  You need new friends. 

... And don't forget the wacky Chocolate Mountain Fudgecainos, Stuffed Pancake Surprise and Triple Berry Explosion Sundaes for desserts!

Mar 15, 2017

Historical Humboldt History

As some of you know, I got a new job.  After moving to Humboldt four years ago I searched for a graphic designer or some kind of artisty job up here for over a year and finally ended up applying at a local hardware store.  It was definitely not where I wanted to be but I was very fortunate to end up at a place with a ton of great people and respect in the community.  I was very happy being a floor clerk helping customers with just about everything at Pierson's Building Center.  About 3 months ago an opportunity arose in the Advertising department at Pierson's and they offered me the job of Graphic Designer.  It's been an exciting change and I'm learning a bunch about advertising, printing, the store, and the community.

Besides putting together all of the ads, flyers, banners etc. there's the historical photos hanging throughout the store that my department is responsible for. These photos are a big draw for people coming into the store.   Last week I spent a few days looking for new photos to use in different online archives.  Each image will get a caption with a location and year and some sort of description as best as we can.  Many images are beautiful representations of turn-of-the-century life in Humboldt county and surrounding areas but most of them don't have a specific location or a year the pic was taken.  I've had to look for clues in the photos. Little bits of information that I can Google.  They lead to more clues and more little crumbs that I follow to eventually get a year or a town.   I've been having a blast going down these rabbit holes of history.  Here's a couple of fun examples of things I've come across.

I was trying to find out about a P.M. Canepa who I found a photo of taking as it turns out, a very early selfie in his shop in Ferndale. Note in the archive says  "The man in the photograph is the photographer himself, Peter M. Canepa, my great uncle." So I went digging and stumbled upon a website with a  Book of Deeds from Ferndale Ca. in the 1900's and started reading all about the interesting goings on in Ferndale at that point in time.

The first interesting bit was about moving a safe.

John Morris moved last Friday the big Jas Jacobsen safe from the White 
Front Store to the jewelry store of P.M. Canepa.  It was quite a chore,  
as the safe is very heavy. (April 12, 1904)

LOL...It was very heavy.

The next series of excerpts documents, very eloquently the goings on with the J. Loewenthal men's clothing store. There's an official announcement about its opening and who will be working there.  One in particular was an Archie Canepa. I couldn't tell if there was any relation to Peter but It's possible since it was and still is such a small town.

He is ably assisted 
by Archie Canepa, formerly of Sawtelle's store in Eureka. (October 12, 

J. Loewenthal's handsome new store was opened to the public last 
Saturday in Ferndale. (October 16, 1900)

M. Clink, the tailor, has accepted a position in Loewenthal's Ferndale 
store. (October 19, 1900)

Archie Canepa, employed in Loewenthal's Ferndale store, while scuffling 
with a friend the other day, had one of his ribs broken. (November 20, 

Archie Canepa, who has been employed in Loewenthal's Ferndale store 
since it was established here several months ago, has resigned his 
position and gone to Eureka to resume his old position in Sawtelle's 
Cash Store. (January 8, 1901)

So what this tells me is that Archie gets a job then a month later gets into a fight at work.  Probably has a ton of other attitude problems and "resigns his position" basically a nice way to say he got fired a couple months later.

Now take note of  the mention of  Mr. Clink the tailor above. There's more on him.

M. Clink, in charge of the tailoring department in Loewenthal's 
Ferndale Store, is reported quite ill at his home on Washington Street. 
(April 12, 1901)

M. Clink...tailoring department of Loewenthal's Ferndale store. (May 
21, 1901)

L. Hagen of Eureka is now employed as tailor in Loewenthal's Ferndale 
Store. (October 29, 1901)

Poor Mr. Clink.  I guess "..." means he died. and they hired Hagen to take his place.

This goes on and on about this one little clothing store.  Lowenthal sells the business, someone else takes over, people come and go. It's all business as usual for a few years then this.

Terrific Shock of Earthquake...The store of J. Loewenthal...was 
wrenched and shaken out of shape, the front now being separated from 
the wall by a distance, of about ten inches... (April 20, 1906)

All the way up the coast nearly 300 miles away the Great Quake of 1906 is tearing buildings apart.  Man I could keep reading that stupid Book of  Deeds all day.

One more fun one from my research.  I found an image of a boat being launched.  The only info I had was "Launching of the Klamath" but I needed a location and a date. 

After a lot of searching and Googling I found a page that listed shipwrecks on the California coast that mentioned the Klamath. It gave a wreck date and also mentioned that it was a Schooner, not the steam boat I kept finding stories about.  Once I looked up Klamath Schooner I found a page with all the info. Where and when it was built.  But the thing that stuck with me was this excerpt from the story of when it wrecked.

Poor Snookums. 

Anyway, so much history in such a small speck on the North Coast. It's there if you're looking for it.  We hope to have the new historical posters up in the next couple months so stop by and check them out if you get the chance.  I love my new job.

Nov 12, 2016

Red White and Blue?

Alot of people are saying to be peaceful and talk to each other about our disagreements.  The problem with that is history has proven people to be wrong.  Our laws and basic common decency have shown these people to be wrong..  How can you peaceful discuss something like this with people who clearly don't care and don't listen to reason or logic?

In 2016 I shouldn't have to even think about calmly explaining to someone why racism is wrong.  Or what racism actually is and why they're being racist and don't even know it.

I just can't.   I'm not saying burn down your city but this is what makes normally civilized intelligent people flip the fuck out.  Ignorance and intolerance towards people who don't choose to be the people they are.   Yes,  I'm being slightly intolerant towards these jerks, but it's not hypocrisy, you've chosen to be this way.  Despite facts, history, science, etc.  This is what the angry liberals cannot tolerate.  Closedmindedness.

Like I said before, I can handle Trump...  Just not the monster he unleashed on the world.

Don't you understand that he said the things he said so that you would vote for him.  Not because he actually means them.  He's a liar.  Most politicians and businesses people are.  They only want what they want and don't give a shit about you.  It's a known fact that Republicans have admitted that they get the less educated and religious  people because they're more easily swayed.

One thing I can say is thank you to Mr. Trump for showing the true colors of the United States.  Red White and Blue are really just Ignorance, Hate and Fear.

This is about as peaceful as I can be about this.

Oct 17, 2016


This morning was the most random collection of #onlyinhumboldt moments.
The day started off slow.  It's my Friday so the weight of the week is setting in.  I feel like I might be getting sick and I didn't get enough sleep because I was woken up by very loud rain, then just as I was starting to settle back into my slumber there was a huge flash of lightning followed seconds later with a massive boom.  The thunder sounded like someone set off dynamite I our back yard. 
The morning is more or less dragging so I was eager for my first break of the day.  Finally on my break this customer who looks like he's out of his mind on some sort of illegal drug stops me and asks me my name.  I was apprehensive.  He could barely hold himself up with the empty shopping cart he essentially pushing.  His pupils were irregular and he was slurring his speech.  I reluctantly replied... "kirk"  he then shifted his psychedelic gaze and repeated my name with differ inflection each time.  "Keerrrk, KkeRrk, KiRRRK..."  I ducked out of the way and went to sit outside and drink my coffee. 

As I'm sitting outside enjoying the brief break in the crazy weather I see a car pull into the parking lot.  It was a beat up late 90s Toyota Camry or something similar.  I noticed it because the windshield wipers had yellow rope tied to them with the other ends going into the passenger area do the occupants could control the wipers manually. Pretty ingenious low budget Humboldt repair job. 
I walk over to where they parked of course to get a photo of this contraption.  As I came around the back of the car a well dressed older woman says to me "do YOU want that?"  and pointed to the ground.  I replied "want what... Ohh is that...?"  she says that it's marijuana and she doesn't want it.  Good eye grandma.  It was two freshly trimmed pretty large buds of weed.  They were one the ground next to  a car as if they just fell out when when some pot farmers opened their door.  I swooped them up and game them to some coworkers that I know smoke pot.  Actually I'm probably the only person there who doesn't.  Anyway. 
Then as I go back into the store my manager immediately points at me to follow the weird strung out twacked out guy.  I find him in the door department and follow him as he strangely pushes his shopping cart.  He keeps kicking out his legs like a chicken.  In the cart is a solitary item. A notepad  with a pen clipped to it . After I politely ask him if he's done shopping hoping he'll get the hint he mumbles oddly "I have to check out a few more things then I'm done"  He picks up his notepad and shows me the list. He gets excited and says "I WROTE TOO BIIIIIG"  I see he's got five items scrawled out in letters that were about two inches tall. I asked him if he could even read it and he started rambling off legitimate sounding things like "36 inch exterior door... a few other things I couldn't discern and then "GLUE!!!"  he exclaimed, then continued on the topic of glue. "IT'S ALL ABOUT THE GLUE!!!"   he kept repeating it so I tried to show him glue but he got sidetracked in the BBQ section. I let him look around then he took a Weber brochure. He held it up, looked right at me and pointed to it as if to ask if they were free.  I nodded then he threw it on top of his notepad and kept awkwardly pushing his cart.  Just when I thought I had him out the door he said he wanted to look at some books in the small book section that's near the front door. 

I let him be and continue with my job of helping customers.  A woman needed help with lightbulbs and I was confidently helpful.  She wanted two boxes of fluorescent bulbs so I helped her take them to her car.  She was very appreciative and gave me a $10 tip.  This pretty much never happens. Thanks lady!

I go back into the store and I see that the drugged-out dude has come back into the store doing who knows what. I see that some other co-workers are watching him so I go back to the electrical department.  The phone is ringing off the hook so I answer - 'Electrical department this is Kirk' and pretty much every time I get 'Hi Chris, I'm looking for a......' do I mumble on the phone?  He was looking for Dehumidifiers.  This time of year in this part of the country the pot farmers are buying up literally ALL of our dehumidifiers, cheap box fans, not cheap 18" high velocity fans, propane heaters of every variety and a shit-ton of extension cords. The answer to the guy on the phone was no. 

It was a pretty busy day but I found my co-worker who was dealing with the weird dude from earlier. He told me he followed him to our store office where he asked to fill out an application for employment. The office obliged and he sat in there for about 20 minutes filling it out.

Under  "JOB SKILLS" he put.
Nice guy. 

Sep 3, 2016

Hey bro, do you espanol?

I went to pick up some Mexican food the other night at a new Mexican restaurant in a really shitty part of town. It's across the street from a flea bag hotel where shitty people live.  Just two days before there was an incident that involved a man with a hatchet attacking people.  Yeah. But it's really good food and they have reasonable prices.  While I was waiting for my order a clearly homeless guy wearing cut off jeans over dirty pajama pants, two different shoes and a tattered blanket comes in and mumbles something about a jalapeƱo plate.  The guy behind the counter seemed to know what he was asking for and the vagrant pulled out a crumpled up dollar bill, gave it to the clerk, took a paper plate covered with tinfoil and made an elaborate salutation to everyone in the place and left.

Right before I got my food a potentially, but not fully homeless looking Latino guy came in and said "hey bro, (then in a perfect accent) ¿se habla espanol?"  repeated it again along with something else in Spanish.  At this time the woman from the back calls my order and I take my bags but stick around to watch this exchange.  After a few seconds the cashier came out from the back and answerd him in Spanish.  Then in perfect English the Latino guy says "yo bro can I get a couple dollars to take the bus" Now the poor kid working there is thoroughly confused.  At this point he's probably thinking he is trying to bum 2 dollars from a business at the same time not sure if he should be speaking in Spanish or not.  He sort of laughs and replies in English "I'm sorry what do you want?  First you asking if I speaking Spanish then you talk in English"  the guy starts reaching deep into his pants pockets and says "I'm multi-tasking bro I can do it all!  Haha!"  then puts two handfuls of random loose change on the counter and says "I need two dollars for the bus can you help me out bro?"  the cashier has a confused laugh "oooh you want the paper dollars ok"  and helps the guy count two dollars in change then hands him two dollar bills. 

It was completely bizarre. Then as I'm walking back to my car I see flashing lights and it's cop cars and an ambulance in front of the Budget Inn.  The excitement never stops on the  east end of 4th St.  

Aug 30, 2016

Busses Only... Except For Me and My Little Angel

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I live next to an elementary school and I've talked about the parents dropping off their kids before. About all the stupid shit they do. About how I see them yelling at their kid's like they're a fast food worker who forgot their fries. About how they blast mega bass through insane sound systems while dropping their (now deaf) 2nd graders and about how whenever I would hear a loud bus horn I knew it was because some asshat parent would not only drive in the clearly marked bus lane, they would also stop which blocks the lane then get out and walk their brat to the front of the school. Well, today is the second day of the 2016 school year and my first day off to watch this shit-show live, right from my kitchen window. In recent years they've added a crossing guard to help the kids cross the street, which has been helpful, but this year someone got smart and added a person to help the idiot parents put their cars where they're supposed to. Despite the added traffic cones, arrows that guide you the other way and large "BUS ONLY" letters painted repeatedly on the ground these ignorant self-righteous fucks still want to get right up to the front so their little crotch fruits don't have to walk an extra 40 feet. And despite there being an actual human person standing there with a bright neon vest in a place there's never been a person standing before, they still insist on going through the bus lane. I can almost narrate the conversation in my head that the traffic controller is having through the car window with the parent while It's happening. It goes something like this. Traffic lady: "hello ma'am, you can't drive through there" Mom: "whaat?" Traffic Lady: " Yea that's a bus only lane, we have a child drop off area right over here if you stay to the left" Mom: "Why can't I just go here?" Traffic Lady: "because it's a bus only lane" Mom: "how am I supposed to know that?" Traffic Lady: "because of the cones and the giant letters painted on the road that say BUSSES ONLY, and because I'm telling you" Mom: "When did they change that, I've always parked here" Traffic Lady: "This has always been this way, you've just chosen to break the rules and block the lane for the busses, can you please move over to the left lane there's a line of cars building up behind you now" Mom: (as she angrily struggles to maneuver her giant SUV out of the bus lane over to the long straight empty child drop off zone that's literally 40 feet away she mumbles and trails off) "I always.... Who are you to tell me.... I don't see no busses... what a load of..."
On a typical school morning there are a line of bright orange traffic cones that have the bus lane completely cordoned off. It actually takes more effort to maneuver through them than just follow the proper route. Some parents will use the Faculty parking lot and walk their bastard offspring all the way to their classroom door. While this doesn't block the bus lane it takes up parking spaces for the actual teachers and staff that are supposed to park there.
So as much as I loved the glorious FUCK YOU of the bus horns in the morning It's even sweeter to see people told directly to their stupid faces they are wrong and they've been wrong now for 3 years. Kudos to you traffic lady, we all thank you for your service!

Aug 20, 2016

I have Diarrhea...

Earlier today as I was bagging up merchandise for a gray-haired, middle aged lady, just as the receipt was printing she looks up at me with wide, yet calm eyes and says.  "I have diarrhea..... I'll be right back"  and then takes off towards the ladies room.   What caught my attention though, was how cool about it she was when she said it. There was only a slight sense of urgency.  She said 'diarhea' but her demeanor seemed more like 'I forgot to get batteries' –not as severe as one would expect from someone about to violently projectile defecate into their pants at a hardware store. 

UPDATE: "I forgot the batteries" is now code for having to go take a shit amongst fellow employees.

BEST FACEBOOK REPLY: With age comes wisdom... And nonchalant poop emergencies. - Brian Cutright 

Aug 8, 2016

The Mysterious Fresh Freeze Incident

Something pretty strange happened while I was picking up some take-out tonight from a local drive-up 50's style diner here in town called Fresh Freeze. It's located at the edge of a shopping district in the middle of town on the corner of F and Harris streets. This is a fairly busy street corner.  I parked on the outside edge of the lot which would put my car facing the street instead of the building. I remember because I usually park in front facing the building but couldn't because there were a lot of people there. I don't know why this is significant but I'm trying to paint somewhat of a picture here. In the corner of the lot next to my car is a big 50's style Fresh Freeze sign.  It was still very light out and as I was walking back to my car I noticed a guy standing near the sign on the sidewalk. He looked like he could be a homeless type person. There's a pretty significant homeless problem in this town and ever since the city evicted 100's of people from a homeless camp recently with little thought on how to help them, they've sort of spread out around town. He wasn't full-on hobo though. He looked like a typical grungy young person I may have hung out with in the 90's. Beanie, longish hair, long trench coat. Imagine, Jay from the Kevin Smith movies.  Anyway, I notice him but pay no further attention to him and continue walking to my car with my food and milkshakes.

I get in my car, set the bags down on the passenger floorboard.  Make sure the milkshake holder is secure for the drive home. Still bent down I plug my phone in and tap the auto-window-down button sort of all in one motion. As I sit back up, window now down, I notice something right outside my car door.  It's the guy.  Right. There.  Sixteen inches from my head. He's in a wide legged stance and with both hands, he's pointing a red digital camera at me reciting this line very bluntly and with full seriousness.  "DO NOT TRY TO CONTACT ME - I WILL FILE A RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST YOU" all the while snapping as many pics as he could before I opened my door. I unplugged my phone opened the camera app and got this bit of video, shouting "why are you taking pictures of me"  as he briskly walked away repeating the forementioned warning.


I got back into my car and followed him down Fst.  I had my camera open and ready on burst mode to catch a shot of him.  Apparently so did he.  As I got closer to him I notice that he's walking on the sidewalk at a medium pace, It looks as if he's removed his coat maybe to try to disguise himself. But the interesting thing is that he has his camera pointed backwards. At me!  I slow my car down as I pass and now we're dueling with cameras like members of opposing street gangs during a drive by shooting.  

All I was able to get was this blurry series of pics  as I passed.  

Here's an animated gif of the pics. 

He's probably just some poor guy off his medication and is just having a mental paranoid episode. He probably thinks he's some kind of rogue agent and everyone he sees is in some evil organization that's after him. For all I know the red point-and-shoot digital camera doesnt even work and he found it in a dumpster or something. Just another prop in his delusion.

This whole thing was just sort of surreal and I dont know how to feel about it. I just hope he doesn't try to track me down with my license plate number and stalk me or something.  

Jul 24, 2016

Really? A New BLAIR WITCH movie?

A trailer for a new horror movie titled The Woods surfaced recently that many thought resembled the story of the original movie The Blair Witch Project.  On it's own the story of the original Blair Witch Project movie wasn't very groundbreaking. Much like The Woods and many other haunted forest movies it's about a group of young adults that get lost in the woods and  get haunted by an unseen spirit.

With that being said, many aspects of the first Blair Witch Project movie made it truly unique. It revolutionized horror movies. In my opinion more for the worse than for the better because almost every horror movie to be released since then has been the same "found footage" and conveniently low budget filming style  But the way Blair Witch Project was marketed and presented early on, with fake documentaries and historical websites helped create a word of mouth marketing buzz. Then being released in small theater added to it's own mysterious mythology and history. Many people, including myself, while sitting in a leaking, tiny damp theater in Berkeley during a rainstorm, still wasn't sure if it was real or not. People leaving the theater in awe and confusion. All murmuring to each other "what did I just watch?"

Blair Witch Project was the first and last true found footage movie that worked. Every found footage movie to come after (including the Blair Witch sequel)  were a complete joke. Excuses to do cheap production. No one is fooled.

By the time Blair Witch got really popular and people that saw the previews on TV and watched it in the megaplex it was already ruined. The Blair Witch Project that came out in major theaters a few months later was essentially an entirely different movie in a way. I don't blame people for saying "that movie sucked" if they experienced it like this because by then the cat was out of the bag, it really did suck because the mystery was gone.

Now as many suspected the movie with the working title of  The Woods is actually a reboot of the 1999 film The Blair Witch Project. It will be released September 2016 with the title Blair Witch.  To make a full production remake of this is just stupid and lazy.

Apr 16, 2016

Crazy Stories Your Brain Creates

It's weird when you see something that looks odd but most likely has a rational explanation and your brain, because it doesn't have the full story creates a crazy one of its own.

I was walking passed a car at the gas station and saw an older woman sitting alone in the passenger seat of a newish BMW.  She had a dazed look on her face staring blankly into the sky at nothing.  Almost like someone you'd see in a hospital who's alive but lost all cognitive function. The car had Oregon license plates and my mind immediately concocted a script about someone who broke their grandmother out of an institution and was traveling south through California to escape to Mexico to get experimental treatment.