Dec 12, 2018

Two More Dumb Real Life Stories

More story time with uncle Kirk.  

Who's Walking Who Here? 


I have two Basset Hounds and they're heavy, low to the ground, and like to pull me to whatever scent they've caught on to.  Often you get the wise-cracking old man "Who's walking who here eh?"  It's not funny and never will be.  But this next story is probably the truest incarnation of this stupid cliche dad joke I've ever seen in person.  



I was about to get to my turn going back to work but then I saw a large dog about a block and a half in front of me running pretty fast across the street.  My first thought was that it had gotten loose but then a second later I see an older, heavy set man running full speed after it. I continued straight towards the action to see if I could help.  When I got closer I saw that the dog was on a leash but it was pulling the shit out of the guy who could barely keep up.  He was doing all he could to not let go or fall on his face.  They both rapidly left my field of view.  Once I turned the corner I saw the man and dog walking normally.  I was curious as to why the dog had just been running like a bat out of hell then I saw two little dogs in a fenced yard on the corner they just passed. Poor guy almost ate shit getting pulled by that horse of a dog. 

A Bad Tattoo Can't Be Fixed With Beans & Rice


I had just came out of one of my favorite restaurants La Patria after some lovely Mexican dinner.  It's really good but it's in a kind of rough part of town.  It's on the corner of a busy intersection on the north end of town where the street turns into a freeway.  There's a gas station across the street and a bus stop that attracts some colorful characters. 

I step out side and holding the door for my girlfriend, Meg and I see a youngish skinny woman with a dog on a leash. She's wearing a puffy jacket and a beanie on top of her long brown hair. She walks right off the sidewalk towards the entrance where I'm standing with the door open and in a sort of drug induced haze sort of pauses as if to wait for me to hold the door for her so she can go inside. Instead she mumbles and then asks me "are you.. . you... Are you open" I'm like "uhhh yea they are open" But I knew full well that she wasn't actually wanting to go into the restaurant because she was probably just a panhandler and she had a dog with her.  Then she raises her hand up to me.  She has her phone in her hand almost putting it in my face.  I was prepared for her to ask if I had spare change or say her phone was dead and needed to use mine.  Meg is taking to the waitress inside still so I close the door and I'm standing here and she keeps engaging with me. She raises her hand up to me more and starts showing me the shitty tattoo on the back of her hand. I notice that it's a skull face. Eyes, nose and the upper teeth but no actual outline and it sort of wraps around the outside to the top of the wrist. I'm sort of trapped between her and the entrance and I'm still not sure what she wants. Then she starts explaining how she got it at a party while she was 'hella drunk' and wants to get it finished or touched up. Ahh now I get it. She thinks that this is a tattoo shop and that I work here. She's asking if I can help her with her shitty, alcohol induced bad decision tattoo. I kinda laughed to myself with this realization and told her "Um, this is a Mexican restaurant" she almost fell into busy traffic when she stumbled backwards, squinting to get a better look at the businesses we were standing in front of. "oooooooooohhh this isn't the tattoo place?"  I informed her that there was a  tattoo shop just a couple blocks down.  This is when Meg came out finally. The chick asks "oh which way was it?" I pointed.  "oh ok thanks"  then her and her dog stumbled off down the street.



Dec 6, 2018

Three Dumb Real Life Stories

Thing 1. 
Thanks For Checking In!

Illustration by Kirk Shelton
I'm in the bathroom at work finishing up a number two and someone walks in and takes a spot at one of the urinals.  As I'm pulling up my pants I hear a loud boisterous voice echoing off the tile walls say "...You OK?  I'm just checking in"   Since I maybe was in there longer than maybe someone else with a better constitution my instant reaction was that he was talking to me.  Before he said anything else I buttoned my pants and opened the stall door to see a man pressing his midsection into the urinal with his legs slightly spread for balance.  He had one hand on the wall in front of him and the other holding his OtterBox clad cell phone.  I walk past him to the sink to start washing my hands and hear his voice again.  The next words I hear were "So did you clean it up good?  Did you scrape it all out?"   Now I'm trying not to laugh since I know he's not talking to me now but I really want to answer him truthfully.  "Yep, all clean!  Didn't have to scrape it out but thanks for checking in"  I didn't actually say this tho because he was on the phone and had his dick out.  I still think it's slightly weird talking to strangers while their dick is out.  Especially sarcastic jokes about poop in my butt.   I finished washing, giggling to myself as I walked out and told the first co-worker I saw about it.


Thing 2.
The Sheriff of Humboldt St.

Illustration by Kirk Shelton
I was driving to work yesterday morning and saw something interesting and sort of humorous.  I got to the end of my street and saw a skinny older fellow standing on the corner.  He had an old backpack and a floppy red ball cap. Dressed in newish looking jeans held up by a very worn leather belt tightened all the way up to what was probably an added belt hole with about 10" of excess belt hanging in front and a plaid flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up because it was too big for him.   His ears and pocked nose were also too big for his head.  As I pulled up to him at the corner he was focused on something coming down the street and he pursed his lips which made his jaw close to far because of a lack of teeth.  He aimed his pointed finger out at the cross street in front of us.  I look over and see that he's pointing at a young transient on a stolen BMX bike carrying a Hefty bag of aluminum cans over his shoulder.   The old man now has one eye closed looking down the barrel of his finger, he follows the guy on the bike with it as he rides passed.  Then jerks his hand back and up with an imaginary BANG!  In that instant I shared the same disdain towards the creep on the bike and congratulated him with a look.  We locked eyes for a second and with confidence and a sense of accomplishment he put his still pointed finger up to his mouth and blew.  Just like in the movies when someone blows the gun-smoke from the barrel.  In the same motion took a step back to reveal his imaginary gun belt, holstered his finger pistol,  turned his head in front of him and continued on his way proudly down the street.   I somehow feel like the streets are a bit safer now.

Thing 3.
He Wanted it Grilled



I'm waiting for my burrito at the taco stand at 14th & Broadway and this guy starts talking to me.  He had a thick accent and seemed to be from somewhere around North Africa or the Middle East.  I couldn't help but notice his huge headset with a module on the earpiece with buttons and big microphone that wraps around like a pop-singer from the late-90's.  He says he's a trucker with a 75ft trailer.  I politely acknowledge this seemingly unnecessarily forthcoming information.  He then motions like he's sawing something with his hand pointed toward and parallel with the road we were on, which happened to be Broadway which is also Highway 101.  In broken english asks if this is 101.  I tell him that it is but with a hint of concern dancing gently on my brow since he had just told me that he's what I could only assume a professional truck driver and hauler of goods.  He says he's wondering if he'll be able to continue South on 101 to San Francisco with the length of truck he has.  He mentions to me that he came on 299 and that it was very bad.  Highway 299 is a very windy and narrow route that runs from the middle of California running from the East to the West coast which is where we are.   I'm now thinking to myself,  and I'm no expert but anyone who knows a little bit about this area would agree that if he came on 299 he should have no problem taking 101 the rest of the way.  It's basically the only major trucking route that runs the nearly 300 miles direct from San 
Illustration by Kirk Shelton
Francisco to here.    But just to be safe I said that he should check with CHP or some other kind of highway authority.  Again in my head thinking I dunno, maybe he should ask another so-called trucker that knows what the fuck they're doing.   Because like, isn't knowing where the major highways are and all about major trucking routes, kind of part of your fucking job? 

Then his eyes got big as if he'd remembered something urgent and turned back towards the order window "excuse me! Hello!"  He got their attention. While crouched down so his head is at the height of the order window he starts making a hand gesture like his hands were an alligator mouth. "Can you make my burrito hot, you know, grilled..."  opening and closing like a panini machine. "You know grilled, hot."  I could neither hear nor see the woman inside the order window behind the mesh screen but I knew exactly the face she was making.  It was a combination of  "I don't speak english & I don't know what you mean" and "what the fuck? grilled? this is a damn taco trailer on the street we don't grill our burritos"  I
t was pretty much the face I was making while watching him try to order a grilled burrito at a taco trailer.  Then he turned back around kind of shrugged his shoulders and put up his hands with a frustrated look on his face that was a combination of "They must not speak english" and  "Idiots! I went to a taco place that has grilled burritos just yesterday"  
Usually I tend to trust a professional truck driver over most people out on the roads to know what they're doing out there but motherfucker didn't know he was actually ON highway 101.  Man learn to read a map.... Also this isn't a Taco Bell.   Be safe out there.



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That's it for the things.  Thanks for reading.  Talk to you again soon. 

Nov 29, 2018

The House That Jack Built (Director's Cut) - Noggin Review


Hey I'm actually reviewing a movie that has just come out in theaters.  Hell the R-rated theater version isn't even out.  I'm like a real movie critic!  


I was at first, indifferent about this movie.  I’m not a big follower of film makers or get excited in particular if someone like the Cohen Brothers come out with a new movie.  I’m also not a real big fan of hardcore gore films.  They intrigue me, and if I see them I watch them like I’d watch a magician, constantly wondering how the trick was created.  How did they make it look so convincing?…or not.  So when I’d heard Lars Von Trier was doing this one-night-only directors cut of a new film I could really not care any less.  But some friends of mine decided it was an event to experience and we got tickets.  I also hadn’t seen any of the trailers or read any of the lead up marketing up until the day-of and was seeing words like “people walked out” “disgusted”  “serial killer”  and “gorefest”and became curiously concerned about what I had gotten myself into. So expecting the worst I went in open minded and prepared myself to see some horrible shit.  

* * * * * * *Spoilers Ahoy!* * * * * * *

The movie as you may have already read chronicles a series of randomly selected “incidents” or killings from his long catalogue of murders, as told by Jack (Matt Dillon) in the dark to an unseen voice, Virgil,  his guide to what one at this point can only assume to be Hell.   The movie weaves in and out of  his memory of these incidents and Jack and Virgil’s back-and-forths narrating with relevant depictions of art, scenes from wildlife films and cartoon clips.  

One trait that’s unique about Jack that’s apparent early in the film is that he has OCD. In one of the killings we get to see Jack keep having to go back and make sure he cleaned up. Even to the point of almost getting caught.  It’s pretty comical. Comedy is pretty constant throughout this movie despite it’s subject matter.  But what isn’t as prevalent as I’d thought was graphic depictions of gore.  There was no real hardcore scary nightmare fuel like I had expected.  It was pretty run-of-the-mill gory horror if you ask me.   There was one scene in particular (blacked out below) which the MPAA probably had the biggest issue with.  This is probably where people in Cannes turned on Von Trier and walked out.  But it’s not gory at all.  It’s just… really fucked up.  But Jack has issues.  As we learn through his conversation with Virgil.  

Extra spoilery:(highlight text to read)  He takes a mom and her two young boys whom he’s befriended on an outing to a hunting tower to teach the boys how to shoot targets. He then is shooting the boys from a hunting tower as if they were a family of deer.  With some pretty graphic rifle blasts.  He sets up the kids at a picnic with the mom who’s still alive and makes her feed her dead son pie.  Then gives her a running start then shoots her from the tower.  He later does some DIY taxidermy on one of the boys to make him look happy.  It’s kinda gnarly looking. 

Virgil, his guide to hell has admittedly “heard it all” but Jack insists that he must tell his story.  Almost a bragging confession from a sociopath who lacks any kind of empathy and feels justified in his actions.  Jack and Virgil go back and forth whether art is nature or as Virgil argues that art requires love, which Jack can’t feel or understand. There was probably a lot more deeper analysis to this aspect of the movie which I kind of zoned out on because I kept expecting the pay-off gore scenes that I was promised.  

Right up to the very end when they finally get to Hell I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the gnarly payoff of the orgy of blood,  dismemberment and pain. But it never came.  Jack, the ego-maniac even, once given an opportunity decides to try to escape from Hell, unsuccessfully.   And then it ends.  No whizzing chainsaws, no cannibals, no screaming torsos.   So on that level I was pretty underwhelmed but overall it was an entertaining movie with good characters and a humorous portrayal of an imperfect Obsessive Compulsive ego maniac killer with some psychological  and philosophical narrative intertwined.  Jack's OCD takes a back seat to his ego and confidence as he kills more. Getting more brazen and caring less about hiding his acts. Even taking a body back to the crime scene to get better photographs of her because his original photos were not to his liking.  

There’s also a house Jack is building.  He never finishes because it’s never right, because of his obsessions for perfection.  Again there’s probably some kind of parallel meaning to this but I came for blood, not  a house.  Well, there was a pretty gnarly house near the end but you’ll have to see the movie for that.  or highlight the text   Virgil asks him about his house when they meet and Jack is kind of upset with himself he didn't ever finish.  Virgil tells him to choose a different material or something like that and Jack starts constructing a house in the walk-in freezer they're in out of Jacks collection of frozen dead bodies. So there was that. 


     Non Spoilery TLDR    

It was fun and entertaining, funny a lot of the time but it wasn’t nearly the gore-fest that was advertised.  Definitely some brutal violence in scenes but it wasnt non-stop killing.  There was a lot of down-time.  There was though some rough subject matter in one of the “incidents” which is most likely what pissed off the MPAA and upset viewers at Cannes.  But a horrible gore-fest?  not even. 

Honestly after sitting through the nearly 3 hour long unrated director’s cut I was wondering how the movie will play out as an R rated film. If they cut out the very few mildly extreme scenes what the hell are you left with? 


Oct 29, 2018

Making Some Waffles With The Noggins

I've posted about waffles before, even a special holiday version of this recipe but this is my go-to waffle recipe.  Bon appetit! 


DISCLAIMER: I make this without any measuring cups or spoons every time so I'm not really sure of the exact amounts of shit.
  • Plug in your fucking waffle maker. 
  • Get a bowl big enough to put all of this in.
  • Start with more than a cup of flour. Not quite 2 cups. About as much as you can scoop out of the flour jar with your hand 2 times.
  • About a tablespoon and half of sugar. Like a shallow palm full. 
  • About a half of a teaspoon or like 3 or 4 taps of baking powder. (not soda) 
  • 4-5, maybe 6 shakes of the salt shaker of salt. 
  • Kinda whisk that together.  If you don't have a whisk or just too lazy to dirty another fancy dish, rinse off a dirty fork from the sink.
  • Optional cornstarch. I don't really know why you'd add this but a couple recipes I saw used it and I add it sometimes. Try it out. If I do, I use the back of the fork handle to scoop a couple scoops in.
  • Just one whole egg.  I've seen recipes that beat the whites separately until thick then fold them in or to just use the yolks but fuck that shit. Seems like too much work for a god damn waffle. And if you were about to just put a whole egg into the bowl without cracking it, firstly I'm surprised you got this far without burning down your house you fucking idiot. Secondly, put down the eggs, unplug the waffle maker and back out of the kitchen slowly.  Go watch TV.  
  • Around a tablespoon of vegetable oil.  I just eyeball it and pour it in.  I've started experimenting with adding even more oil so add more if you want. We've been out of oil for a while and I've just been using a wide slice of butter melted in the microwave. I like butter. TIP: even if you don't have oil or butter the 2 cups of syrup you pour on it when its done wont care either way.
  • I sometimes add about half a cap of vanilla extract. I say 'sometimes' because sometimes I forget because it's the morning. I usually don't notice its in there or not. I used to think that I really needed the vanilla and used whiskey instead. I don't remember noticing the difference.
  • Then the milk, sometimes (all the time) I'm out of milk, I've used just plain water or sour cream with water or cool whip or vanilla ice cream...Ive even mixed up Coffemate™ store brand powder creamer into some hot water and used that. If all you have is nut-based milk, that kinda works too but it's essentially just white-colored water. 
  • Pour a little and mix a little, and pour and mix until its about the thickness of waffle batter. 
  • Mix everything until mixed then let it sit and have a couple sips of coffee or whatever you like to drink in the morning or other appropriate beverage depending on the time of day. Just give it a minute to do it's thing.
  • Top with the cheapest maple flavored syrup you can find. The bigger the container it comes in the better. I also get butter flavor if it's on sale because even tho I like butter It's extra work to put it on every waffle every time. Just whatever you do don't fuck up and buy "Pancake Syrup" because that shit is not Maple anything and it tastes like molasses that got poured out of a dog asshole. It may be the only thing I've ever returned to a grocery store.
  • Scoop out a ladle full or if the ladle is on the other side of the kitchen just pour in about a Starbucks grande lid size glob in the center of the waffle maker. If you're rich and have cooking spray use that on the top and bottom.
    Makes about 4 waffles.  FYI: I have a proper, thin waffle maker. Not a stupid thick Belgian waffle maker. Amount of waffles may vary. 


You can do whatever you want with this or just ignore it completely. This is what I do when I'm having a waffle craving at 7 in the morning. I recommend eating waffles before you shower and get ready for work because if you're anything like me, you WILL get syrup on your clothes and you will smell it all day and not be able to tell where it is on you. Have a wonderful day waffle lover!
TIP: I've seen people suggest having the oven on low, and put them in the oven as you're making them so they aren't soggy when you're done with the batch.  I don't do this because if I don't end up eating one as the next one's cooking until I've eaten 4 waffles by myself in my underwear in the kitchen, I'll just throw them in a freezer bag and freeze them for later.  You can just pop them in the toaster like Eggos.  But home-made fucking Eggos. 

Oct 19, 2018

Inspired Inspiration

So I've been starting to write lyrics more and a couple of them are starting to make their way into my band's songs.   Inspiration comes from everywhere they say.  Today I stumbled upon a website that's basically a collection of letters, notes and photos that people find in the trash or on the ground and send in.  A few of the letters caught my attention and I turned them into lyrics.  I hope they turn into songs at one point.  I'm really enjoying this new creative outlet.  And remember these are written for a punk band so it's not going to be and long epic sagas.

Here's what I came up with ...






Cautionary Tale:
Do not use dryer 26
unless you want your precious panties
to look like this.

ripped to shreds and all tore up
Used to be my favorite pair and
they were good luck.

Panty warning at the Laundromat
Panty warning at the Laundromat

I see that something has gone wrong
Dryer 26 will eat your thong
Ladies, ladies, please beware
Dont use 26 if you care.

About my
Panty warning at the Laundromat
Panty warning at the Laundromat

Do not use dryer 26
unless you want your new lace and silk
to get all ripped

Panty warning at the Laundromat
Panty warning at the Laundromat

Connie Said
Connie said, you can drop dead.

she said…
You’re a lying piece of shit.
you can go kick rocks
you can have
That little skank box

She said she’s done
She said Fuck you.
She said it’s over.
Now all you have to do

is Drop Dead!!!!
Connie said, you can drop dead
Drop Dead!

Connie said, you can drop dead.
Drop Dead!


Hard Feelings
You could say that
my feelings are mixed
I thought for a long time
but it came out like this

I thought things were going fine
but I kind of feel like I hate you and love you
at the same time

Sometimes It’s good
and sometimes it’s bad
You’re the best thing and worst thing
I’ve ever had

I don’t quite know how to say it,
and I don’t fully know why
but I kind of feel like I hate you and love you
at the same time.

I’m sorry if this is harsh
or if it sounds mean
we might feel better next year
when we turn thirteen.

The only thing I can think of
the only words I can find
Is that I kind of feel like I hate you and love you
At the same time.



Never Done Donnie
Donnie’s in there
with his biz
you creep outside his door
now he can’t jizz

You’re fucking up his concentration
It makes it hard to for masturbation
Without going full duration
He’ll never reach ejaculation

He left this note
for you to find
To let you know that
he’s jerking off inside

You’re fucking up his concentration
Makes it hard for masturbation
Without going full duration
He’ll never reach ejaculation

Oct 16, 2018

So I Joined a Second Band

In my nearly 30 years of playing music I've never, as far as I can remember been in two bands simultaneously.   My main punk rock band Dead Drift started out with me learning a hand full of songs and eventually helping with the collaborative song writing process.  Now I'm back learning stuff again for this new band Not Ewe.  Gonna be fun seeing where the writing goes as this music is a bit different than Dead Drift.   So far balancing two bands has been less than hectic.  Hope to have some music to share soon.  They have a facebook page. 

Also if you didn't know about my other band you can find Dead Drift at Facebook and Youtube.  New stuff is coming soon!  (I write lyrics now!)





Oct 3, 2018

I Guess We All Follow Trump on Twitter Now?

Just be glad he didn't accidentally send the dick pic he was trying to send to Kim Jong Un.

I love you Kim!  

Sep 27, 2018

Fast Food Adventures: Eureka Taco Bell.


Today at Taco Bell I walked in and noticed a lot of people not eating... waiting with their receipt in hand indicated to me that there would be a bit of a wait but I ordered anyway.  Just before I ordered they called a guy's order number and he kept asking "is this mine" while digging through the bags, pulling items out.  They repeated his number but it was like the number didn't mean anything to him and he just kept taking inventory of the bag.   They read off his rather large order and was like ok this is mine, out everything back in, took it and left.  My order number was 43.  After a few minutes they called "38" and then I realized why everyone was waiting.  Oh man this is gonna be a while I thought to myself,  but it went by fairly quick.  It seemed as if the place was filling up as fast as they were calling orders.  They finally announce "order 43" and I get up to get it and this toothless old lady who had just ordered her shit starts moving towards the pick up counter behind me shouting "Is it a 7 layer?" Now, here's where  I'll give the other guy a pass on not knowing his order number, because he clearly had been waiting and was 98% sure it was his order but disregarded the order number process. This  saggy tweaker lacked the foresight that most people have, that I described at the beginning of this.  The foresight to look and realize that all these people aren't just hanging out at Taco Bell to enjoy the sweet aroma of rehydrated beans, they're all people who had already ordered their food several minutes before you leaned your stolen bike against the building to come in here.  No you hag, it's not 'yer 7layer'  Step the fuck of my shit, pay attention, don't throw away your receipt, take note of your number and sit the fuck down. The world Taco Bell doesn't revolve around you.


Update from the next morning. 

So this morning at McDonalds... (yea I eat fast food, and yes I hate drive-thru's) a crusty old biker-tweaker type kept bitching and asking where his muffin was and that "he wanned it b'fore mah dang coffee gits cold"  First of all your coffee is currently 10000 degrees and will not get cold for another 30 minutes, secondly and more importantly you were given a receipt with your order. That receipt has a number on it. They call out that number when your order is ready. There's also a big, bright TV screen in clear view that shows which orders are ready and which ones are still being made. Now when the lady asks you what your number is and you put up your arms and go "I unno?" like you've never been to a fast food restaurant in the last 20 years.  Then when she asks "do you have your receipt?"  you scoff and, with attitude, turn around, sift it out of the trash and hand it to her she then tells you that it's coming right up. Because there are other orders before yours, as you could see from the monitor right over your greasy head if you payed a-fucking-tention. Again assholes, don't throw away your fucking fast food receipt...there's important information on it that you'll need in a few minutes.  There's not a crew of people back there making McMuffins just for you Randy.

I swear these two are a match made in heaven. 

Sep 17, 2018

I Think I've Finally Found My Two Favorite Root Beers...


And they're not even root beer!  

As many of you know I've been a connoisseur of Root Beer and other soda's for quite some time.  I've had my favorites before but as my palate had become more refined I'm starting to realize that my two categories of flavor profile which leads me to lean toward certain favorites. Many Root Beers have a really molasses flavor or have a pronounced anise taste, neither of which I enjoy.  The other predominate styles are honey sweetened Root Beers or Root Beers with a honey flavor and   Root Beer with a strong minty bite which can only be compared to the flavor of Pepto Bismol.  Side note: I love that shit even if I don't have nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach or diarrhea.

In my quest to seek out a Root Beer that has these qualities in them I've landed on two top contenders which ironically, aren't even technically Root Beer. 

One day at Bevmo I took a chance on something I never considered, but I'd tried all the Root Beer's they had available that day and something called Birch Beer  caught my eye.  Birch Beer?  Birch is wood, wood comes from trees, trees have roots... So I figured it was Root Beer-adjacent so I gave it a shot.  Instantly I knew this was something special.  It embodies that wintergreen bite that I like about certain root beers, and of course Pepto Bismol.  My Girlfriend isn't a big soda drinker but likes to try my Root Beer discoveries.  She tends to like the anise flavors more.  When I tried the Creamy Red Birch Beer I leaned over and said "you wanna try this one?" she lit up and put out her hand "It tastes just like Pepto Bismol you'll hate it!"  She recoiled and said "ew gross"  She hates the taste of most over the counter liquid medicine so I knew she'd react.  It's red, it's creamy and it tastes nothing like the name suggests.   I don't know what makes it red but unlike other Birch Beers that can be too minty to the point that it's almost medicinal or chemical tasting, the Creamy Red gets the best of the Birch Beer flavor with that hint of creaminess that smooths it out and reminds me of Root Beer.  Unfortunately I haven't seen this in the stores around here for quite some time and from what I'm learning it's a little bit hard to find.  You can order it on the internet but you have to buy a whole case at a time.  I might just end up doing that.

And on the honey flavor side I've always liked a couple Root Beers that had a hint of honey.  I recently discovered Sprecher Root Beer which has a pretty good mix of minty and honey with other notes mixed in and for a while there it was my new #1.  But one night the store I usually got Sprecher from was out of the Root Beer. Usually I'd go for a Ginger Beer or Ginger Ale but this place only had the Ginger Beer brand I really dont care for, and the Sprecher Ginger Ale tastes like soap to me for some reason.  Even tho I have absolutely hated cream soda most of my life I picked up the Sprecher Cream Soda bottle to consider it. There was a
cartoon bee buzzing front and center on the logo so I went for it.  This was like no other cream soda I'd had before.  Usually to me cream soda tastes like carbonated sugar water but this was sweetened with honey and natural vanilla.   It was flipping all the switches for me.  This was the flavor that I was looking for in Root Beer! Finally!

So now, my new favorite Root Beers are Boylan's Creamy Red Birch Beer and Sprecher Cream Soda.   I would have never thought I'd like Cream Soda and I'd never even heard of Birch Beer before but there it is.   If you, like me have an affinity towards honey sweetened beverages or the minty pepto taste of some root beers, give these two a shot.  If you cant find the Creamy Red Birch Beer, many other companies make a Birch Beer which arent horrible if you like that type of flavor.

Happy Root Beering!

EDIT: while writing this I completely forgot about this
The Best Root Beer I Ever Had 



Sep 12, 2018

I took a stab at a weird r/writingprompts

After years of violence and surges of urban gang activity by the infamous 'Cereal Gangs" in the year 2439 a mandatory ban on natural sugar and sweeteners went into effect to try to curb this violence blamed solely on sugary breakfast cereals .  As planned the sweetened breakfast cereal industry amongst others crashed hard.  The violence waned but the city-centers of the planet entered a deep sadness.   It took underground food scientists 12 years to develop a new artificial sugar additive to bypass the ban.  Of course a development such as this came with great resistance from  the overlords of the Planetary Sustenance Consortium. After months of heated protests from the underground science community and their supporters, known as Sads, it was finally cleared by the PSC . Once this new chemical compound was readily available it started to show up in products that hadn't been seen in over decade.  One product that surged to popularity was a fruit flavored breakfast cereal Trix.  Trix was controversial because the Trix gang was thought to be at the center of the Cereal Gang problem which began nearly 20 years prior which many blamed for the sadness they'd all suffered through.

The Trix release was fairly benign at the beginning but on the day of the 20th anniversary of the sugar ban a man  enters the pages of our history books.  A name none of us will ever forget,  Peter Cecil Enzinger. Enzinger was an opponent to the PSC's decision to approve the new artificial sugar compound. On 15 March, 2459 Peter donned an antique rabbit costume, which was the historic mascot of the Trix brand, and moniker of the gang. He casually walked into a crowded sustenance station that had been the first to offer the new Trix Cereal and exploded a home-made plasma reaction bomb killing himself and an estimated 62,000 innocent people.


Sep 11, 2018

9/11 Post


17 fucking years?  Nothing will be the same no matter how much time passes.  Everyone who was old enough to remember has a 9-11 story, and once again here's mine as I remembered it from when I posted this back in 2006. 

It was Fall of 2001 and my band had just secured a demo deal with Madonna's record label, Maverick Records. A few weeks prior a rep from that company came to see us at one of our local shows. At that time my band was at the top of its popularity locally and we had a really good turnout. The rep was the guy who discovered the band Disturbed who was, and still is a pretty popular metal band from Chicago. The deal we got furnished us the opportunity to record a demo in Chicago with the producer that recorded all of Disturbed's music, Johnny K that would be listened to personally by the president of Maverick Records. This was the big break we had been waiting for. The weeks leading up to our visit to Chicago we rehearsed the songs we thought were our best and just started counting the days.


The counting was over. Our bags were packed, our flights all arranged and our songs were as tight as they could be. The night before we all tried to just get a good nights sleep for our big day. Earlier than I had liked, my phone rang the next morning. It was my good friend and photographer of many shows, Justin. I answered the phone and before I could rant about how early it was he said "you're not going to Chicago today" why not, what are you talking about? "turn on the TV... We're under attack" WHAT? ! Shut up man, we have our plane tickets and everything.. What the hell are you talking about? My girlfriend Meg is waking up and asking what is going on. justin continues, "no dude, they bombed the world trade center in NY" Meg turned on the TV .. I just stared with my mouth open.. Oh my god what the fuck is going on. Questions and emotions filled me, just as almost everyone experiencing this at this moment. Then, the other plane hit and I remember the news people confirming that this indeed wasn't some accident. It was an attack. As if anyone had real doubt, hope maybe, but not doubt that this was anything other than what it really was. After the reality of it all sank in, and they started talking about grounding flights I remembered I had a flight today. The chance of my life to get a real studio demo for a label just got cancelled. I heard the TV news guy say something about pieces falling off the buildings and I looked... The first tower fell.. INSANITY.. Me and Meg are just in complete awe. Then the second one falls... How could this happen?!?! Immediately conspiracy theories popped into our heads "bush probably did this" we both agreed. But why? Still worried about our flight, I called the rest of my band members who were still dealing with what they just saw on TV... We called our manager. We scrambled to the Hotwire.com site to confirm that they would not refund our tickets... There was no clause in the agreement about terrorist attacks... We were frantic. What the hell do we do? On the TV, they were showing cheering crowds in Pakistan or somewhere, burning American flags and celebrating. whhaaat? I was like.. Why don't we fucking bomb those motherfuckers.. Look they're happy.. look it was them! THEY did it. This was the knee-jerk reaction for many of us in that moment. 

By the next day, after reeling from all that transpired we found out finally that Hotwire is refunding tickets because of the tragedy. Without a flight tho, we still needed to get to Chicago. We wouldn't let some terrorists stop us from our chance at getting a record deal. We did what any self respecting band would do. We rented a minivan, loaded it with luggage and band equipment kissed our loved ones goodbye and drove! We drove like the wind. Nonstop minivan from Martinez to Chicago.

On the drive out there we were constantly reminded of the events from the day before. Every car on the road had an American flag on it. Every house, every storefront all had the full 2 page American flag that the newspaper printed in that days issue. It was pretty crazy. We even got some cheap Chinese made flags to put on the minivan. You could really see how unified the country was at that time. And you could defiantly see the reality of the flights being grounded. No planes anywhere.. And if you did see a plane you questioned it and got a little scared. There were a lot more rental cars and people driving. When we stopped in Cheyenne Wyoming for dinner we started talking about the Matrix sequel which was in production and that it was being filmed back home in Alameda. At this time a family had been seated near us and the father got up and corrected us on some fact we were curious about as h e walked by. He was gone before we could ask how he knew but his wife told us. "He's a director in Hollywood" cool, has he done anything we would have heard of? "he just finished American Pie 2..." And something else but I cant remember. Anyway, they were in that shitty little dinner place because they too, were driving across the country back to LA. We chit chatted about 9-11, and bragged that we were on our way to do a demo with a famous producer. 2 up and comers in the entertainment industry having no business in that little Italian restaurant brought together by a tragedy.

We finally made it to Chicago. It was amazing.. I had never been further than Reno and now I'm in Chicago, having just experienced "the Heartland" first hand. As we got closer to Chicago the first thing you see is the Sears Tower, realizing that now its the tallest building in America. We got a little worried that it would be the next target. We didn't get to go to the top and see the observation deck because it was, of course, closed because of the attack. There were these little reminders everywhere. Even tho we were there chasing our dream to be rockstars, it was overshadowed by what had happened. I'm trying not to say "9/11" because at that point, on 9-13, it wasn't a phrase people used yet. It was still just the other day to us.

One of the reminders which hit home with us was when Johnny got a letter from a record company colleague about songs that radio stations were pulling because of the attacks... "Anything referring to death, airplanes, buildings, bombs, fire..... "
etc etc etc... The list of songs included the obvious, "let the bodies hit the floor" by Drowning Pool and other heavy metal songs similar to that.. And the not so obvious "Benny and the jets" by Elton John and other songs by unthreatening artists with similar songs with "jets" or "plane" or "fire" in the title. It was ridiculous and our first taste of the powers that be stripping us of our rights and freedoms in the name of "the war on terrorism" Next came the Patriot act.

Jumping a few months ahead, my band ended up not signing with Maverick due to them not giving us an actual contract to sign. We gave them 2 weeks to listen to the demo. We paid for the trip out to Chicago but Johnny liked what we recorded so much, he was so confident we'd get a deal, he waived his fees and said to pay him when we got signed. With our confidence from that, at an all time high we took that demo and shopped it to every Major Label. Jump to November 2001, after months of schmoozing, showcasing for labels in LA we wake up the day we fly to NY to Showcase for Island records to find out that a plane crashed in NY. Not again! Our flight was not cancelled but delayed a few hours while they determined it wasn't connected to terrorism, by now we're just pissed because those damn terrorists are keeping us from getting a record deal. We joked that it was a plot to keep us down. We arrive in NY, play for Island records and through an odd turn of events, we end up the next day in a NY high rise meeting with the head of rock music at Columbia records. Midway through our meeting we get on the subject of September 11th and he shows us a photo of him and his son on a boat in NY harbor with the twin towers in the background. He tells us that the picture was taken on Sept. 9th and continues to share with us how he remembers that day. It was interesting to get New Yorker's perspective. It really hit us pretty hard never really thinking about how regular people, not directly affected by it, but who were in NY dealt with it all.

Jumping even further now. Its been a couple years, we have recorded our album and are out on tour. We've been so caught up in our success and living the dream it sort of took us out of reality. We knew that there was a war, we knew there was shit going on but we kind of didn't think about it. I remember one day in like Iowa or something at a truckstop diner looking up at a TV showing war news and saying jokingly "so, did we win yet?" but the hardened down-home USA patrons of the establishment didn't think it was funny. I never felt so small in my life. And it sort of put everything back into perspective for me. The war was real and people were still very patriotic and concerned with what was going on. 


A part of me wonders if that same gung-ho-America feeling from back then somehow morphed into the brainwashed, right wing, racist sect of cult followers we have now trying to control the narrative.  Falling back on this horrible event 17 years ago to justify themselves.

Anyway, how could anyone ever forget?