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Monthly Archives: October 2013

You’d think I would get tired of it.

Every now and then, its important to get back to your roots.

As I write this, I am sitting at the long wooden table at Starbucks, getting the death stare from 5 old ladies.

Starbucks is crowded today, there IS no where else to sit.

But there was 1 chair left at the long table, and I can see why.

5 well monied older ladies are having a meeting of some sort and the middle chair on the right side was open, but no one would sit there because of the meeting.

But I got a blog to write, plus, I am a dick.

“Is this seat taken ladies?” Loud enough to interrupt several of their discussions.

I have my laptop open and booting up.

“We are kind of having a meeting.” The lead alpha female stares coldly at me for a brief second, spits that out, the goes back to her discussion.

“You won’t even know I am here.” I put my laptop down and put on my headphones.

Once again, into the breach.

The next 5 minutes are a study in human behavior, theirs and mine.

A lot of emotions are flying around for those sensitive to pick them up.

I am sensitive enough to pick them up, but I have this “Water off a ducks back” issue that makes me more than unhelpful in this instance.

Anger, outrage, shock, annoyance, they are all there.

Amusement, but thats just from me. So is a childish petulance, but that always seems to be in the background. I don’t even notice it anymore.

In a moment of asshole brilliance, I begin to blare old school punk rock thru my headphones, loud enough that they can hear it.

Black Flag, still pissing off the older generation decades later.

Judging by my so-so lip reading skills, the meeting has to do with an arts foundation.

The long and the short of it all seems to be that, while there are many talented young artists in some sort of grant competition this year, one of the ladies at the table has a son in the competition.

And it doesn’t sound like he is all that talented.

I made that assumption when the artist’s mother amde this statement:

“Talent is all well and good, but some consideration has to be given for local entrants.”

Ah, the not so subtle melding of art community gentrification and nepotism.

Predictable and sad.

The spoiled, rich artist’s name, (see also unemployed) Brian.

Doesn’t really inspire the awe as an artist’s name does it?

However, there is always the chance that Brian spells it in an unusual way.

I went to high school with a girl named Suzy who spelled it Siouxsie.

Brian, however, does not strike me as all that clever. (Basing this on mom’s slow intellect.)

Who may spell it Bria4n. (The 4 is silent)

The bottom line that everyone seems to be missing is, not everyone is an artist.

Some people, no matter how much they might wish it, just don’t have the gift.

You see it every year on American Idol auditions.

People who are convinced that they are the next Madonna.

And they don’t even sing well enough to get that ghetto trailer trash hoe, Nicky Minaj to vote for them.

Yeah, not a fan of Nicky Minaj.

Or Madonna, for that matter.

However, train wreck that Madonna might be, she is a study of both talent and longevity in an industry known for eating its young.

Finally, the art foundation meeting broke up, and everyone got up to leave.

One by one, they all glared at me as they left.

Gonna be a good day.

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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Loves me even though I’m an asshole.

I’m in love with a phone.

Steve Jobs did me a serious favor from beyond the grave and made the iphone 5C, I am fairly certain, just for me.

He may have been the evil genius (More than one meaning here) but the man knew some phone.

I buy a lot of crap from China.

Ebay and Amazon are filled with ridiculously cheap electronics from China all priced for about a tenth of what we can make it for here.

Ear buds for $.50 a piece? With free shipping? Shit, give me 10 of them.

Sure they are cheap pieces of shit and only last a few months, but they are so cheap!

The iPhone is made in China in the infamous Foxconn factory.

It ain’t cheap, even though I got mine for about a third of normal, it could still not be called cheap.

Its well made and lasts several years.

Not really the China-made MO, but whatever.

Bottom line is, the phone rocks and I am in love.

Siri has never sounded so sultry.

For those who don’t know, Siri is a genie that lives inside the phone and answers questions like a 411 slave.

She never complains and is always happy to help me.

The only thing preventing a long term relationship is her lack of a vagina, but I am willing to be flexible if we can get around her “No dirty talk” programming.

A little TMI there, sorry.

I used to have a teach in high school that, if you ever said “I’m sorry” his immediate reply was “You are sorry.”

That phrase bothered me for a lot of years, but I never knew why.

Now I do.

It took awhile to get to this place of understanding, but I am here.

Here it is.

I’m not sorry.

Not even a bit.

I came to the conclusion that I have always meant it.

Even the mean, horrible, drunk on my ass atrocities.

They may have been rude, mean, obscene and in some instances, illegal, but I intentionally did and said what I wanted.

Like this blog.

The filters I normally employ to be a little more societally acceptable are gone the second words hit the screen.

(I would say “When the pen hits the paper” but I learned to type at age 8 and gave up paper as a creation tool.)

Its a lot like an intentional literary Tourette’s Syndrome.

(Coupled with a little man’s syndrome that manifests as chronic emotional manipulation of others.)

Best case scenario, it makes me unpleasant or annoying on a regular basis.

Worst case scenario, basically, makes me the LAST person you want privy to your embarrassing stuff.

The day to day lays somewhere in between, making me pretty tough to deal with.

Family and friends that put up with me are known for their patience.

It took a long time, but I am at peace with that.

Mainly by paraphrasing that old adage.

“You can only please some of the people some of the time and the rest? Do your best to piss them off.”

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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Cell phone wars and bike rides.

The war is over.

Casualties were high, but the outcome is good.

I ended up deciding on the iPhone 5C.

It has the polycarbonate shell, but still has a serious heft to it that keeps it from feeling cheap.

And compared to that rotten piece of shit I had, it works like a goddam dream.

I had no problems with my iPhone 4S, so the 5C being faster, bigger screen and better overall, it is a perfect fit.

My disappointment at the shitty track record of the Galaxy 4S is big.

Tech support is shit, so is Sprint tech support by the way, and they could never get two separate units fully up and running.

The iPhone? Turn it on, that is all that was needed.

Apple, evil empire that it is, with pretty serious human rights manufacturing issues, but they know their shit, I will give them that.

When it comes down to it, your cell phone should be an afterthought, a background thought, let you check your stuff and never be the problem.

I spend a lot of time Facebooking, texting, emailing, gaming… etc.

And with what they cost, both the phone and the data/talk/text plans, the stupid things had better work.

I spent 3 days, shleping back and forth to the Sprint store. (Including my mistaken journey to the most poorly run Sprint store I have ever seen and will never go back to.)

That is time that I will never get back.

The phone war has aged me, hardened me, made me deal with a side of myself I didn’t like.

But its over now, and I am home.

 

Decided a celebratory bike ride was in order.

The LA River is lined with bike paths.

We (No details here) started at the LA River Center and Gardens in Glendale.

This is a hidden cool place on a side street in what appeared to be a shitty section of Glendale.

Beautiful place that was closed when we got there.

The gates, however, were open, so we wandered around for a few.

The solitude was nice.

Time for the bike ride.

Getting to the LA River was a little frightening.

Major road construction going on in Glendale right now. (We will be kind and ignore the fact that I was in this area a year ago for a bike race and this section was torn up then too.)

Once we got to the river, the bike path is stunning.

The ride is lined with little pocket parks on the left, and what appears to be wetlands in the middle of the LA River on the right.

Some of the sections have 3-4 story trees growing, so much more than you would expect.

The course of the ride is from a magazine article from 2009.

There is a stop during the first hour where you leave the LA River and trek east for a quarter mile and visit an art gallery.

An art gallery that doesn’t exist anymore.

Evidently, 2009 was a long time ago.

Thats ok, this is a really artsy, elitist section of pretentiousness, so there is always another crappy gallery to take its place.

Back on the bike path, the knot in my ass brought on by the visit to the land of “Rich folk pretending their no” begins to fade.

I love bicycling, its like a massage for the soul, complete with happy ending.

The halfway point is a stop at a high end bakery for lunch.

Baked goods are one of the concrete pieces of evidence that there is a God.

Pastries, coffee, gourmet grilled cheese, lunch was stunning.

The ride back started off well, then quickly turned to shit.

A broken spoke puts a wobble in your wheel that is amazing mainly because the wheel keeps turning even with about a 3 inch wobble.

We made it back and I got my bike to the shop, where an angry Belgian will return it to perfect condition.

Life is better.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The phone war has changed me.

The Phone War, its like a digital version of Platoon.

My phone is a piece of shit.

I realize that I have said this before, but I am feeling it today.

I had a phone I liked.

With only one problem.

It had a small screen.

It was the old iPhone and the new one has a bigger screen.

This would seem like a simple fix, right?

Wrong.

I have a tendency to fuck things up when they are going right.

I had a phone that was fine.

So of course, I need a new one.

I got a deal on one of the higher rated Android phones yesterday.

Got home and the goddam thing will not hook up to the internet.

Called tech support and spent 2 hours on the phone to Mumbai, India, talking to my new friend “Roy”.

(Side note. If you are going to take an American sounding name to put me at ease, choose one that is not creepy and 40 years out of date.)

So, 2 hours of flashing and updating with “Roy”, and the phone is still crap.

Nothing to be done there.

Took the phone back and exchanged it for the same model.

Got it to hook to the internet.

Got home and the next problem surfaced.

Turns out that since my last phone was an iphone, anyone who has an iphone and has texted me before, cannot do so for 30 days.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Turns out that iMessage is Apple’s texting server, and it has a 30 days memory.

It still thinks I have an iPhone.

So, while I text and it goes thru normal channels, iPhone people text back and since my phone is now not an iPhone, I don’t get the text.

A quick survey and I realize that 90% of my texting is from iPhones.

I hate my new phone.

I have had cell phones for over 20 years and I have never had a “one thing after another” experience like this.

Way to go Sprint and Apple, I blame you both.

And tomorrow is more of the same.

I am taking it back.

Apple is Ike Turner, slapped the piss out of me, and tomorrow, I will go back like a bitch.

Damn.

Going with the iPhone 5 is semi-humiliating but actually makes sense.

I know the iPhone. Sure, IOS7 looks like a silly cartoon, but I know where everything is.

Its like a restaurant you go to a lot.

Sure its not the greatest, but you know the menu by heart and you know where the toilet is.

What is shocking to me is the amount of issues out there that are incredibly well documented, on both the Apple and the Android side, that so many people know about, but no one will do anything about them.

Especially not Apple, the phone makers, or the carriers.

Its like the consumer version of Dumb and Dumber.

The issue I was having with my phone not connecting to the internet? A simple network reset fixed the issue.

2 hours on the phone to Mumbai and that never occurred to “Roy”.

For several reasons I can’t change carriers.

We all have different reasons why we can’t change or get away from this shit.

In the end, we are all Tina.

And Ike is hitting harder as time goes on.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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And you aren’t sure where your clothes went.

The difference between a county fair and an RV show held in the same location, is the variety of available deep fried foods.

At least, thats how I can see it.

Its the same collection of circus freaks that show up for the fair, but with one, clear difference.

Financial demographic.

An RV show draws a crowd that is every bit as weird and dysfunctional, but they are either gainfully employed and weird or retired with an income and weird.

Either way, they are buyers.

From the moment you come thru the door, don’t ever forget the fact that the entire reason for being of the entire event is to sell RV’s or stuff for RV’s.

Don’t forget that, mainly because the people working there don’t.

Walking in, I heard the following, much to my delight:

“I am not going to buy a damned thing, I am just hear to look.”

That is just so naive and cute, its like a 5 year old said it.

I really wish I was still in sales whenever I hear silly shit like that.

Right now, there are several of you shaking your heads and stating how you do that all the time, no one can sell you shit.

Do you know how many people like that say the same thing in those situations?

Pretty much all of them.

These are the people that those of us who sell things make our living off of.

The people who are just that fucking stupid that they are convinced they are clever.

You know who I am talking to.

It starts with the browsing.

You wander from RV to RV, grazing around the ones you like.

The salesman watches this and takes note.

And then, first pass.

“Can I answer any questions for you?”

Temperature gage, nothing more. Just to see if you are homeless.

50 percent of the time, you give them the Heisman, stiff arm, nothing.

“Just looking.”

They are expecting that. So much so that it barely registers.

So they follow up.

“I would never buy from someone who didn’t just leave me alone.”

Shut the fuck up, yes you would. And you have, there are few virgins here.

The guy is helpful, if he is dedicated, he knows his product and he knows the numbers.

Its all a numbers game from there.

Something like this:

10 approaches. “Can I answer any questions for you?” Ask it to 10 people to get 4 who are not rude and ask a question.

10 who ask a question, to get to 2 who are possibly in the market.

10 who are in the market to get to 3 who are willing to go to the tables, the Stockyard, to talk.

1 out of every 8 who go to the stockyard to get the 3 that will go to the isolated closers table. The Slaughterhouse.

1 out of 5 who go to the slaughterhouse will buy.

Do the math.

Roughly 400 approaches, numers subject to change, in order to get a sale.

Commission? $20K

Sweet work if you are good at it.

For every guy out there that believes he is just to mentally tough to be talked into a sale, they make their living off of you.

It just takes a period of stroking your ego enough to get you into position for the kill.

And, on rare occasion, someone will walk up to the sales guy and say, “I would like to buy this one, who do I talk to?”

That is the sales equivalent of having a deer shoot itself, then tie itself to the hood of your car.

And it doesn’t get any better than that.

And for the record, I know how this game is played and I still almost bought an RV.

 

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Only two things scare me.

And one of them is Carnies.

Nomads you know, circus folk, small hands, smell like cabbage.

That is a line from my favorite movie.

Carnies, however, have changed over the years.

Nowdays, they smell like BO, cigarettes and meth.

Suddenly cabbage doesn’t sounds so bad, does it?

I am in a semi familiar place, a Starbucks on the edge of the crappy section of town.

And the circus is in town.

Well, a carnival is in town.

And its just down the block from Starbucks.

Parking at this Starbucks is dicey, they share a lot with a few popular stores.

So, during my half block walk to get my java on, I notice about 5 homeless guys hanging around outside the store.

Grungy, dirty, torn clothes and wild hair. Skin that even the most gifted dermatologist couldn’t save.

I am in a good mood today, so I fish around in my pocket for some change.

I realize that anything I give them is going towards meth, but thats a personal decision.

I am doing it to make myself feel better, they are just the device being used.

Its an old system.

Kind of a win-win with meth involved.

And then I heard one of them say that they had to hurry and get back to work.

They went in and I followed.

Now I was intrigued.

I stood in line behind these smelly inbreds in a daze.

They smelled worse than some of the homeless I have been known to associate with on rare occassion.

But, from the sounds of it, they would be working 16 hour days for the next 8 days.

They have to be the hardest working homeless derelicts I have ever heard of.

I was pretty relieved when I finally got thru line.

The carnies had a stink that will break your soul.

And it lingered.

There is nothing less appetizing than BO and Coffee.

In the end, I had to sit out on the patio, the inside smelled like a cesspool.

I hate to be a whiny ass about this, but it was giving me a headache.

Not my normal MO, but I decided to take a walk with my coffee.

Bed, Bath and beyond is one of those places I avoid like the plague.

Not because I dislike the store, much the opposite.

They have too much stuff.

And it is all the cheap, crappy items that I love to prowl thru.

It was in aisle 12, next to the steel ice cubes that I came across the microwavable seat cushion.

If you are going somewhere cold, you can pop this into the microwave for 2 minutes on high and it will stay warm for 10 minutes.

There are more than a few problems with the whole idea.

First off, if you are outdoors anywhere cold enough to need this, you will not have a microwave with you.

And if your are indoors anyplace this cold, the electricity is out.

Plus, the idea of sitting for 10 minutes on moist heat leads to 3 unpleasant situations.

First, hot ass cheeks. A torture invented by the romans.

Second, a sweaty taint. This is not a desirable thing.

Third, and this might be the most obvious one, quit thinking about your ass so much! Nothing good can come of that.

There is an entire section of items “As seen on TV”.

At one time or another, I have seen all of the items on a cheap infomercial.

They all give the impression that they come from Europe or Australia.

If that is true, they have a lot of worthless crap overseas.

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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Hell smells like BO and urine.

Would it kill people to fucking bath?

The trains in Los Angeles were laid out like a madman’s maze.

I lived in Portland for a few years, and the trains and buses mesh like a well choreographed dance.

You can get anywhere in Portland Metropolitan area in 45 minutes or less.

Los Angeles? Funny.

You can be waiting 45 minutes for the bus or train here.

But thats not the worst part.

I am going to an event in Downtown LA and didn’t want to drive.

So I figured, ”Why not take the train?”

Anatomy of a mistake.

So, I waited 30 minutes for a train that is supposedly running every 15 minutes.

Don’t do the math, it’ll make your head hurt.

So, the first train was a 20 minute ride.

The woman next to me had BO like nobodies business.

Except that, since our shoulders were touching, it was my business.

I broke my nose years ago and cannot smell things unless they are pretty strong.

But I had no problem sniffing this lady.

It was a long 20 minutes.

I waited another 20 minutes for that same “Every 15 minutes” train.

Standing room only.

The guy standing in front of me, and I think the guy to my right, both looked homeless and smelled strongly of urine.

Lucky me.

My only thought was that karma must have had enough of my mouth and decided that it was time for a little payback.

This was the long ride. 30 minutes.

Supposedly 20 minutes, but an extra 10 was thrown in when the handcapped guy managed to get his wheel caught up in the 4 inch gap between train and platform.

Luckily, his chair was mostly on the train, so the door couldn’t close.

I got the feeling if the door had closed, the train would have rolled off with him being ground up.

Instead, we had the driver, me and a few others, trying to unstick his wheels.

What did not help was that the guy was crazy and convinced we were mugging him.

He stank too. Beer, BO and urine.

The trifecta of nasty.

The third train was only a 10 minute wait, and a 3 stop connection to the 4th train.

The 4th train was something special.

The moment the doors closed, a tall black man, smelled like flowers, began shouting.

I was 3 feet from him and couldn’t make out the first 20 words he shouted at us.

I finally began to realize that he was chastizing me about abortion, and something that sounded like “Mopery”.

(I could be wrong on that one. As far as I know, Mopery is the lewd act of exposing yourself to dead people. Although it sounds like something the Almighty would be pissed about.)

In the end it took 2 hours and 25 minutes to go 17 miles.

I have a friend who is an actor who was recently turned down for a role.

He was drunk when he said the following:

“Its tough to get anywhere in this town.”

No shit.

 

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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