Aug 28, 2013


A friend found the cassette tape pictured below and an old VHS of some friends band playing at my high school and sent it to me in the mail. It arrived yesterday and I was excited until I realized that I no longer own a VCR or Cassette Player.  It's not very often I think about this band or that period so long ago in my life.  

There's sort of an interesting story about this tape. I was at Lollapalooza in 1993 when I was in high school.  I was this 16 year old kid walking around with my long scraggly hair and an Obituary shirt. Some similarly looking guys that were clearly several years older than I was approached me with fliers for a concert. At this point I'd only been to a handful of shows, but only big concerts (like the one I was at). I'd never been to a night club show.  The flier was for these guys' band Thanatopsis and a well known nationally touring death metal band aptly named Death at a club in San Francisco called The Stone.  I'd never even thought about bands like that playing concerts in clubs that I could go to. The two guys from Thanatopsis were trying to promote the show but also, sell advance tickets to the show. Many clubs that let local bands play have a system known as "pay to play". Basically you pay the club to play, and they give you tickets to sell so that you can make your money back. It's kind of a bullshit deal for bands but it covers the club's ass if no one shows up. In order to get the tickets I had to go to their house in Oakland to buy them.  My good friend and band mate at the time Todd was more into the metal scene than me and I knew he would want to go so I told him about the opportunity to get tickets for Death and we quickly got into his 79' Subaru and went to meet Thanatopsis.

Todd (r) in Thanatopsis
circa mid 90's
They lived in a dank warehouse loft space in a not-so-nice area of Oakland.  It was somewhat of culture shock for me.  Their loft apartment smelled like spilled beer and bong water, but they were really hospitable and were happy to sell us the tickets.  They gave us a copy of their demo with the tickets. On the way home we listened to the demo and were amazed. It was awesome. Unique progressive yet aggressive death metal. Perfect fit to open for a band like Death. We went to the show, which was another cultural first as we took the wrong train stop and had to walk across downtown San Francisco in the evening.  The show was awesome. The whole idea of seeing a band I was a huge fan of, on a small stage, up close like that blew me away.  After that I was a show-going metal scenester.  A new world of local bands opened up to me.   We followed Thanatopsis to just about every bay area show they played. We became relatively good friends with them and Todd went on to try out to be their singer at one point. He ended up getting the job which was surprising because he was so young, in that we were like 17 at the time and they were 22/23 years old.
  Todd went on to play shows and record a couple albums with them. This led to him being in a couple other well known bands in the local scene in the mid-late 90's.  It inspired me to do the same. I played in a few bands in high school and eventually joined up with what became Fingertight which went on to sign a deal with Columbia records and tour the country.   

I'm not saying this time in my life or his encounter with some metal dudes trying to sell tickets for their show directly effected my career as a musician but it definitely opened a door to a new world and it's something I will never forget. To wrap it all up in a nice poetic tortilla, the highlight of my career was probably being in the lineup on the last touring version of Lollapalooza in 2003.   

Aug 22, 2013

All For Not.

I Had a really good job interview Monday. Got a new 'fit, a haircut, beard trimmed, tucked in my shirt... lied my ass off as much as possible without actually lying on my resume. Got Meg to help me write a kick ass cover letter and thank you letter. Charmed the fuck out of the lady interviewing me... who even showed me where my desk would be! 

Got the courtesy call a couple days later that I was the second choice out of a bunch of candidates but didn't get the job. She said it was a hard decision but apparently I had less experience with the job than the other guy who probably lied slightly more than me.  She said if he doesn't work out I'm next in line.  But I cant find "hit-man" in the yellow pages.  

The crappy thing is that I really let myself get my hopes up for this fucking shit and now I'm feeling like ultimate turd barf.   

I'll be crying my sorrows into a bottle of root beer, hostess cupcakes and ice cream sandwiches.

Aug 20, 2013

I Guess I Like the Cock

For no reason other than the fact that visually it reminds me of Ketchup and that I usually resist getting sucked into liking most things that everyone seems to be into, I have avoided Sriracha sauce, aka, Rooster Sauce, aka Cock Sauce.

My whole life I've hated Ketchup, which has evolved into staying a safe distance from any foods that are red colored, or ketchup-like. I won't eat sweet & sour sauce, even tho everyone loves it. I won't eat most hot sauces and some bbq sauces. I'm just weird about shit like that. 

So now there's this ongoing craze with this particular type of Asian hot sauce that for the reasons mentioned above I never had any interest in putting in or near my mouth.  But while at a Pho Thien Long, a local Thai/Vietnamese restaurant that sports a wide variety of sauce choices at the table,  I finally gave in and tried it. It's good dammit. As most of you know, it's spicy but in a good way. The flavor isn't intrusive and went well with the BBQ beef noodle bowl I ordered.   There were a couple of other mystery sauces in the basket at the table which were ok but didn't enough of an impact which led to me trying the coveted Sriracha. 

I hate agreeing with food hipsters on this but it's pretty legit. Don't expect me to start putting  like pizza and eggs and shit tho. Not right away.  

I should point out also that during the great Ranch craze of 1993 I resisted and still won't touch the stuff.  I have an automatic aversion to most things white and creamy.  Sweet creams in deserts are ok but almost anything derived from sour cream, mayonnaise or cream cheese is out of the question. Cottage Cheese, even plain yogurt kind of grosses me out.  Cheese cake, forget about it.  I think the underlining flavors remind me of the taste left in your mouth after vomiting. So, definitely not Ranch.  When it became the next big thing, and everyone was trying to top each other on whatever new unlikely food they could dip into or drench in Ranch, then I had a new reason to hate it.

But Mr.Sriracha sir, you get a pass for the moment. I hate that I kind of like you. 

Aug 14, 2013

Microsoft Customer Service Experience From Hell

Microsoft customer support experience in a nutshell: I'm going to repair your brand new computer that doesn't need to be repaired and tell you I'm going to try to charge you $60 before you even tell me what your problem is. 

Here's how this all started. I bought a product key for Office 2013 from Costco.  I followed the directions and did everything I could possibly think of to get it to work but it kept either saying the key has been activated already, or it would say I don't have Office installed (but I have an icon for it in the start screen?) and says to click a link to install it, but it sends me to the Microsoft store to buy it.  I see a link for "live chat" to get help so I click it.  I'm 80% sure that those online live chat support things are just robots even tho he said his name was Kevin but Kevin couldn't help me so he gave me a customer support number to call. It was totally weird from here on. It rang twice and an Asian lady picked up right away. No automated system, I was feeling good about this so far.But as she started to speak she had one of those accents that were just light enough that I could understand the words she said, but thick enough that it didn't instill any confidence that she understood what I was saying to her. I started explaining my problem but before I finished, she transferred me to her "Supervisor" So I started telling him my problems and he cut me off. He said in a very similar accent but very carefully and rehearsed sounding "ok I am going to help you with your problem. I have to transfer you to my sup.. (he corrects himself) manager" ugg... this sent me right back to the first lady, who asked me to install some random shit which after protest she explained would remotely connect her to my desktop so they could see my settings to fix what was wrong. I was apprehensive but maybe I fucked something up in the 30 minutes I'd had my computer on. Maybe it had something to do with my Microsoft account which I really don't use ever. Then she transferred me back to who she referred to as the "floor supervisor" who then said "ok I'm going to update some settings and download office 2010 for you" and this is where he mentions that it was going to be $60 for the repair. I said "repair what? this is a

BRAND NEW COMPUTER" and he couldn't grasp that I had new product key 2013 not 2010.   As soon as he said $59.99 I told him to stop, I didn't want anything and to disconnect my computer. They're just fucking card readers which is basically like talking to a person looking at a fucking manual. I hate foreign Customer Service. They are probably the same card reading robot on the Live Chat I wonder how many people they bilk out of $60 doing that shit.

I swear to god if i get a fucking bill for that shit. So I do a recovery back to stock, since I only had it a few hours I didnt lose anything, just reset all the account info and stuff having to do with office. I started over with the key following the instructions to the tee. Same crap. I opened the Office that came preinstalled which seems to just be an activation link. It has a choice to buy, activate or try. So I clicked activate and it says that the key has already been activated. So I can only assume that I got a bullshit key or someone at Costco used it and put it back on the shelf, or someone installed it and then returned it. Looking back I should have reported the key to microsoft. Oh well, too late for that, since I just returned it and got a new one, which was wrapped in cellophane. Now that I think about it, the one I had before wasnt wrapped or sealed or anything. I didnt even give it a second thought because it was an item they had to get from the back room. I havent tried the new one yet but I'm sure it will work because it hasnt been opened. But, back to the subject of this post, Microsoft Support is a pile of shit that tries to rip you off.

Aug 12, 2013

Purse Thieves! Hang Em!

I almost forgot to mention this. Crazy thing happened yesterday as I was at Target in the dressing room trying on "get a job clothes". I heard a woman screaming in the store. Not something you expect at Target. She was yelling "SOMEONE STOLE MY PURSE!" She kept yelling it and you could tell she was running. As if she was chasing after the assailant.    What I could gather from what I overheard from the dressing room attendant; some piece of shit literally stole some old lady's purse from her shopping cart and bolted. The lady yelled and a bunch of people chased after the guy.  I don't know if they caught him or not. When I left the dressing room the store seemed normal. No cops no commotion.

Stop doing drugs and stealing old lady's purses people. The drug problem is seriously bad here in Humboldt.  I know this place is famous for weed, but the theory I never really put much stock in, that pot is a gateway drug seems more and more real here. Come for the weed, stay for the heroin.

Aug 9, 2013

What The F**k is a Doctor Who?

If anyone was ever curious what the fuss is about, here's the bio for "The Doctor"  (I stole from IMDB and edited slightly for clarity)  The Doctor is the title character from Dr.Who, the BBC Sci Fi TV series that's having it's 50th Anniversary this year. Yes 50th.

"The Doctor is the last of an ancient, nearly God-like race called the Time Lords from the planet Gallifrey. He fled his home world to explore the universe. He travels in a living time machine known as the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), which he stole from the Time Lords and which appears like a small London police box on the outside but which has nearly infinite dimensions on the inside. After some initial adventures in 1963 London, his odd lifestyle attracted the attention of two schoolteachers who forced their way into the TARDIS. The Doctor, wishing to keep secret his existence, essentially kidnapped the teachers and took them on a number of adventures, eventually returning them and traveling with other companions. He is described as the universes greatest defender and has saved it countless times from all manner of alien, war or other disaster. He shows a soft spot for humans.

Throughout the series, The Doctor has been forced to regenerate ten times, a process he can undergo when he is near death and which causes him to change appearance, but retain his memories (explaining the 11 doctors and actors who have played him). He has been hunted by his own kind, the Time Lords, but his main enemies are [but not limited to], the alien Dalek, from the planet Skaro; the Cybermen and his nemesis, The Master.

Specifics about The Doctor, including his name and other details, are shrouded in secrecy within the world of the show; only a few select characters on the show which become apparent as to why when you watch, are believed to know it. Supposedly the oldest and most dangerous question in the universe is "Doctor Who?" The Doctor's true name is apparently the answer, and if it is answered the Doctor's timeline could be accessed and corrupted, which could in turn lead to the destruction of the universe by reversing all of the times the Doctor has saved it.

He has been described as a doctor of everything. The Doctor is at least 900 years old. It has been said he can regenerate only 12 times, for 13 lives, but since this limit was set by the Time Lords, and because the series is now on its eleventh Doctor, this number is now seen as flexible. The Doctor himself once joked he could regenerate 507 times. He has two hearts, and a respiratory bypass system which allows him to go without air for a short while. His relationship with his traveling companions is general platonic, with two notable exceptions." 

The show started in 1963 and went till 1989. Early episodes had very limited budget and were really cheesy but the stories and characters were so engaging people still watched. The show was revamped in 2005 with a younger flair and a more slick production. The new version is currently still running on BBC and BBC America.  For the 50th anniversary special it looks like we're going to get a 12th Doctor.

So, now you know. It's incredibly dorky but once you start to watch you kind of get into it and sort of look past how ridiculous it all is.  There's a reason it's been going for so long.

Aug 7, 2013

Foreign or Retarded? Part 2 -PYMHM

PYMHM  -Another classic Post You Might Have Missed from the archives. This time we whisk you back to February 2008, when I still worked in an office. Oh the good ol'days. Everyone has "That person" in their office that just isn't right. 

Back in November I posted this noggin about a dude that worked here who was a little different..

Foreign or Retarded?

They just hired this guy to translate all of our manuals from English to Dutch. So, he's from Dutch or something. Holland right? Somewhere in Europe. anyway. I cant tell if the shit he does is just weird because he's from a different culture or if its because he's a complete dumb ass.

Everyday he passes my cube in the morning and greets me.Nothing wrong with a greeting but the accent in his voice and his over excitement has a faint odor of mentally challenged. I'm sure he's really intelligent because he's trained as an engineer. Enough so that he's translating technical jargon for us.

Last Monday I heard him going cube to cube telling people it was his birthday. then he finally got to my cube. in his Hollish accent he says "Hello, It's my birthday today" and offered me a pre-wrapped carrot cake out of a box of carrot cakes. Now, is this something they do in Holland or is it just that he's a weirdo? Seemed odd.

Since I posted that I remembered there's something that I forgot to mention, or maybe I hadn't realized it yet is that he sucks at computers. Which was kind of cute at first but then started to get on everyone's nerves.

So like I said, he was hired to translate our manuals, which he was good at, but the hugest obstacle for him was that he basically didn't know how to operate a fucking computer. So when everyone around him got sick of showing him how to save documents, or how to edit text in Word. One of his biggest problems was finding a document that he saved but didnt know where he saved it too.

Everyone here started to have this kind of "OK marcel, what is it NOOOW?" attitude, which apparently he couldn't tolerate any more.

Then well, he just snapped. I was out in the shop and saw him talking to one manager, then after I came back to my cube they both go to his cube and he's yelling. Verbally having a meltdown in his goofy accent.

"yeeu cant treat me like dis... yeu treeate me like ehh .. like ehh, nose uppity, like I am some kind of eediot. yadda yadda"

Well dude, you are an idiot. Come back when you learn Windows and Office.

Then he storms to the C.O.O's office and does the same thing. Then the next thing I know he's in his cube taking down his pictures and then left.

Later dude. fuck, its a good thing I don't work at the post office. I could be dead.

Aug 6, 2013

I figured out why there's no good Chinese food in Humboldt County

One of the more entertaining local new outlets available to me here in Eureka, Lost Coast Outpost has a running series of  best-of contests called "Humboldt Approved" where it's readers can vote for their favorite local things. So far they've had Best Burrito, Best Burger and the most recent, Best Chinese Restaurant. I've lived here 6 months and based on the four places I've gone and the fact that locals I know can't recommend a good Chinese place. I've just accepted the fact that I'll have to wait till I go back to the bay area for good Chinese food. I'd settle for a panda express at this point. But then one of the reader comments pretty much hit the head on the nail. Eureka, is one of the original old pioneer cities of California settled in 1850.  But something it lacks that most other old coastal cities of the West have is a vibrant Chinese culture. There's no China Town in Eureka.   

"It didn't take Jean Pfaelzer long to notice something odd about the class she was teaching at Humboldt State University: no Asian students.
There were significant numbers of Native Americans in the Humboldt student body back then, in the late 1970s. There were also noticeable numbers of other minorities, particularly Hispanics. But, campus-wide, Asians were few and far between.."  KEITH EASTHOUSE: Northcoast Journal

In 1882 the white people of my lovely new home didn't like all the Chinese takin' their jobs and being all Chinesey and stuff which led to what's now known as the Chinese Expulsion of 1885.

Chinese Expulsion: (from Wikipedia)
Rising immigration from China in the late 1800s sparked conflict between white settlers and immigrants, which ultimately led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Economic downturns resulting in competition for jobs led some white people to commit violent actions against Chinese immigrants, especially on the Pacific coast, despite the fact that Chinese immigrants provided the backbreaking labor to build the railroad making it possible for the railroad to connect the coasts of the nation. In February 1885, the racial tension in Eureka broke when Eureka City Councilman David Kendall was caught in the crossfire of two rival Chinese gangs and killed. This led to the convening of 600 Eurekans and resulted in the forcible permanent expulsion of all 480 Chinese residents of Eureka's Chinatown.[33] The expelled Chinese unsuccessfully attempted to sue for damages. In the U.S. Circuit Court case Wing Hing v. Eureka, the court noted that the Chinese owned no land and held that their other property was worthless. A citizen's committee then drafted an unofficial law decreeing:
  1.  That all Chinamen be expelled from the city and that none be allowed to return.
  2.  That a committee be appointed to act for one year, whose duty shall be to warn all Chinamen who may attempt to come to this place to live, and to use all reasonable means to prevent their remaining. If the warning is disregarded, to call mass meetings of citizens to whom the case will be referred for proper action.
  3.  That a notice be issued to all property owners through the daily papers, requesting them not to lease or rent property to Chinese.
Awesome, so now because of that, 100 years later you can't get a decent Lemon Chicken in the area.

Breaking Bad Wallpaper

The premier of the final season is next week. I'm excited but sad at the same time. I'm running out of good TV shows to watch. I've been watching Fringe on Netflix but that's almost done too.   So, for the occasion,  I made a blue meth inspired breaking bad wallpaper for my phone. It goes with the same style of the last batch of wallpapers I made.  Feel free to download and use it on your phone.   I'd love to see screenshots of it on your phone too.

 this is what it looks like on my phone.

Also, dont forget about my Breaking Bad T-shirt designs for sale on redbubble! 

This is why we can't have nice things., the authority on internet debunking has pretty much verified that this is in fact a real test from a real school in, you guessed it, South Carolina.  And I never doubted it for a second. These religious asshats are fucking up our nation's kids. Whats crazy is, what if a private school started teaching math as 2+2 = 5 and so on?  Everyone would be like "that would never happen because then all the kids would end up stupid"

Exactly fuck heads. That's what these bibletarded nutjobs are doing to the future of the world.  I think this goes beyond freedom of speech and freedom of religion and borders on child abuse.

I know in private schools and homeschooling you can teach whatever, but there's gotta be more strict definitions of what "education" is. Sending a child out into the world with backwards, wrong shit in their heads is going to make it difficult for them to adjust. It's not that I don't agree with what they are teaching... it's that reality disagrees.  It's just wrong. Not, it's wrong to steal wrong, but gravity makes things fall to the earth not float wrong. 

Religion is too large a concept for kids to be forced into.  I'll never forget when a friend's daughter, who was in 4th grade or so at a Catholic School, overheard me talking about my atheist views and how there is no god and that I dont believe in jesus... she started crying because she seriously believed that I was going to literally burn in a place called hell, because I didnt believe in jesus. Why the hell does a kid needing that shit in their head?  Now these kids in those freaky christian private schools are going to have to go through life either relearning science, or getting ridiculed for their ideas about the origins of life on earth. We're all born the same, then dumb ass grown-ups go and fuck us up. It's like that with everything, we all want to raise our young in our image, be it, turning them into a racist, a vegan, or a level headed thinker.  I'm glad my parents raised me to think about stuff, and not pigeon-hole me into one way of thinking about the world. Science, logic, fairness, civility and free thought was a big part of my life growing up.  Thanks Mom & Dad!  

Aug 5, 2013

Dog TV is for the Birds.

this is Bruce!
If you didn't already know, I have a Basset Hound named Bruce.  When I had a full-time job we had to leave him at home all day for 10-12 hours.  And so he didn't feel alone we'd leave the TV on for him.  I know not the most energy efficient but fuck it, I pay taxes.  Leaving the TV on whatever local news channel was on, eventually turned into screaming matches on whatever stupid  Divorce Court show, or Maury Povich so we could never leave it on that. I've decided that Bruce likes wither Science or History because I think he likes the narrators voices of whatever daytime documentary shows are on.  I also believe that somehow he subconsciously learns from it.  Just in case there's technology in the future that allows dogs to talk, he'll have something substantial to talk about.  

A few weeks ago I'd heard about this new pay-cable channel just for dogs but I didnt really believe how serious it was.   I saw that they were having a free preview of it last weekend so, out of curiosity I put it on. Not only did my dog not give a shit about it, but it was the most asinine crap ever.  When I first turned to It, there was a golden retriever gazing into a sunset with soft new-age music playing.  Then about 15 minutes later I turned it back and it was fucking Elk. No dogs, just some wildlife in the woods. Again, tranquil new-age nature music playing in the background.  Bruce still had no clue. Later I turned it back to see what it had to offer.  This time I couldnt believe it. It was a dog at the vet.  My dog can't take a car ride without freaking out for a week after a vet visit, and they're putting it on DogTV?  oh hell no!

That's some bullshit. 

DogTV should just be cats, rabbits and medium sized rodents running in a dog's POV camera angle.  Or images of people preparing steaks. A laser pointer being pointed at a wall...  An old shoe getting tossed around by a gentle tide, Frisbee being tossed...   And no stupid soundtracks... Someone saying "here boy" and "good girl" and "who wants a treat?"   Things dogs actually like.