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The travelling freak show.

Travelling can be a great way to broaden your horizons.

And by horizons, I mean people watch in a new location.

I am over a thousand miles away from my usual stomping grounds.

The Pacific Northwest.

The region responsible for inflicting Starbucks on the world. (That is one of those blessing/curse things.)

The nicest thing about people watching in a new place is that you get to see the local freak talent.

They may be blending into the background for the regulars around here, but I am getting my eyes on them for the first time.

So, here is a round up of the locals in beautiful downtown portland.

  • There are two homeless guys in line behind me that left their signs propped up next to the front door. “I’m not gonna lie, I just want a cold beer” and “Give till it hurts, I don’t mind”
  • The guy standing next to me as I wait for my coffee is so stoned he keeps dozing off and almost falling.
  • This is a general thing. Half the population of this Starbucks is women. And ALL of them are wearing glasses. Not a one with proper vision or contacts in the bunch. I happen to be of the opinion that women with glasses are the hottest thing this side of long thick hair, (Along with the nervous tendency to play with that hair when you think no one is looking. You know who you are.)

The two homeless guys are the most annoying.

The guy that wants the cold beer is a liar, he ordered a coffee drink.

And being a begging homeless guy pays a lot better than it used to, he ordered a $7 coffee drink.

The stoner guy may have hurt himself.

He got his coffee and made his way into the bathroom.

Soon after the door closed, I heard a crash like he fell headfirst into the toilet.

I would have checked on him, but I am not my brother’s keeper.

At least, not this one.

As for the bespectacled women?

I sat and sipped my coffee with a full chubby for the better part of an hour.

And then I saw her.

Or him.

Or it.

Not to be bigoted, and everyone is free to live whatever life you want, but if your basic sex is not within the realm of even guessing, I reserve the right to judge the shit out of you.

Man, women, man, women…… ADAM’S APPLE AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

He/she had a great ass, I will give he-she that much.

I finished my Venti house drip, thats 22oz of caffeinated goodness, and took the cashier’s offer of a free refill for being a visitor and got more caffeine.

There is a certain giddy edge to ingesting 950mg of caffeine in a short period of time.

The State of California defines being “Under the influence” of caffeine at an unsafe level as having more than 200mg in a 4 hour period.

This is how bad things happen.

There is a streamlined cerebral frenzy that goes on when your brain is mainlining legal speed in quantity that only meth heads or astronauts can understand.

Shitty, sarcastic lines so vile you tend to avoid eye contact with others for a few hours just from the sheer travesty of the imagery.

Music is awesome and really annoying at the same time.

You want more than anything to argue with people you don’t even know.

The safe move is just to keep typing and don’t inflict this kind of random mayhem on strangers.

Mainly because you might want to come back to this Starbucks before you leave town like a man making a jail break.

It is wildly hard, almost impossible to be asked not to come back to a Starbucks without an arrest being made, their corporate whore-like money greed is that strong.

I have been banned twice from various Starbucks.

One for, and I quote, inciting an insurrection.

The manager had a flair for the dramatic, but basically, my crime was egging on a crazed homeless man who was arguing with a painting on the wall.

The second time was making comments under my breath to the ultra-sensitive liberals having a meeting at the big table.

They complained bitterly to the manager and then I did it again while he was asking me to stop, and that made me laugh so hard I got the hiccups.

None of this is illegal.

The last thing Starbucks wants is the police involved.

Starbucks just wants to sell coffee.

And I just want to drink it.

Mmmmm coffee…

(Tastes different up here, must be the water.)

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Posted by on August 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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A half century of greatness.

Turned 50 this morning.

Half Century mark.

As I sit here, I can feel wisdom imbruing my mind and oozing from me like an intellectual diarrhea.

And sometimes just as smelly and inconvenient.

However, I find myself blooming like an intellectual rose at this point in my life.

So, and I mean this from the bottom of my somewhat shallow heart.

Whatever wisdom you find here is golden, take it to heart and realize that if you disagree, its only due to your ignorance, and that isn’t your fault.

And I forgive you.

Moving on to the blog.

 

The Man is in the M-er F-ing HOUSE!

The Starbucks closest to my house is a big one, couple of dozen tables.

Busy, even during the off hours.

And you would think that with that mass of humanity, it would lower the instances of crazy, safety in numbers and all of that.

Try not to think.

Turns out that it just makes crazy up it own game.

Enter the Man.

He is either badly aging 50’s or normal aging late 60’s.

He has swagger to his walk, like he is the Shit.

Let me describe his outfit.

White short shorts, bordering on booty shorts.

Pasty white legs that would need several weeks of a proper diet and then a workout program to look even ok in booty shorts.

As it is, its more than a little creepy.

Moving on.
His shirt appears to have slipt thru a time portal from the 80’s.

OP poloshirt, white with faded blue seagulls.

His hair has a little bit of Pomade in it, giving it a slick and greasy look.

He has an original Ipod, complete with the vintage headphones, vintage to the point that the cord to one of the earpieces has a little ducktape repairing it.

Here is the cherry on the Sunday for this little scenario.

He is a big Journey fan and is singing along to Wheel in the Sky.

Out loud.

And he does not sing well.

Journey was only tolerable if it actually is Journey, but when its sung by The Man (AKA Freakboy) it becomes creepy and a little frightening.

The voice is like a serial killer’s, like its the last one you will ever hear as the trunk of the car closes.

And then there is the straw.

The Man fancies himself as a drummer of sorts with a green straw from the cream and sugar kiosk.

So he is singing out loud, pretty poorly by the way, and smacking this straw onto the table like he is beating on a snare drum, out of beat, of course.

Now I don’t want to assume too much hear, but lets go out on a limb here and say that the Man has, or has had, an issue with various chemicals in his life, most likely for a long time.

Long term abuse of any drug makes you hard to take, case in point, me and caffeine.

But there is a loss of self awareness that comes with the more mentally damaging drugs.

In other words, you lose sight of just how weird you have become.

Like a meth head that has scratched holes in his face, then hits you up for change with some convoluted story that, to him I am sure, makes it seem like he is just a regular guy who needs a couple of bucks to get out of a jam.

All the while, continuing to scratch new holes in his face.

And if the thought actually entered your head, “Don’t judge.” Grow the hell up. And if you think the bible says don’t judge you aren’t paying attention.

Uh oh. Looks like there is the potential for mayhem, the federales have arrived.

In classic form, The Man is not shocked to see them.

With almost no words bing said, they all head outside to talk.

Perhaps they are all friends.

Everyone is smiling and friendly.

The meth head with the heart of gold.

Maybe this will be the sequel to Pretty Woman, a new vehicle for Julia Roberts. (Hooker with a heart of gold scenario)

Maybe not.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Whatcha gonna do?

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Dr. Seuss forgot one part.

Unless of course, you get a snoot full of meth.

Its not as flowery or even comes close to rhyming like the legendary prose of the good doctor, but there is a nasty little snatch of truth in it.

So why am I trotting out the wraith of Seuss?

Because the tv show Cops is real.

Let me explain.

I got a an activity tracker a few months ago.

It has gotten me into the guilty habit of coming to the end of my day, realizing that I have not done anything for my health, made me feel bad that I refuse to go jogging, so I go on 5-10 mile walks.

But where do you walk to, you ask?

Somewhere to write.
I pick Starbucks that are a good stretch of the legs and hit the road.

And it worked.

In a couple of months, I have logged 1 million steps.

What does that have to do with Dr. Seuss?

Be patient, I am getting there.

I also suffer from ADD.

I get bored easy, so going to the same Starbucks all the time goes stale pretty quick.

Which leads us to today.

I have been walking for over an hour and I am now less than a mile from my chosen destination.

And I am sitting at the side of the road on a low wall watching the decay of modern society.

The cameras are not here, but this is an episode of Cops, I am sure of it.

Mom is in a bathrobe, chain smoking and alternating between screaming at the cops and crying and trying to comfort Joey. (Not my mom, of course. She stopped smoking decades ago, and you could not get her outside in a bathrobe without makeup unless you put a gun to her head. Even then, she may just take the bullet, mom likes things just so.)

Back to Joey.

Joey, is her little pride and joy.

At least, he was about 25 years ago, now he is a drugged out mullet wearing handcuffs and sweating like he is in a sauna.

And if you really wanted to wrestle with the police, why would you wait until you are handcuffed and surrounded.

Joey loves a challenge, evidently.

I really love police dogs.

They are almost always German Shepherds, one of my top 3 favorite breeds. (The other 2 are Irish WolfHound’s and Shih tzu’s)

The police dog is really wanting in on the fun here, but he is being barely restrained by a large cop no doubt with a heart of gold.

[[ADD SIDEBAR]] The Starbucks I am in stopped playing self indulgent Lillithfair crap music and played a 4 pack of Run DMC. They were the shit. [[END]]

Where was I?

Ah, my disappointment that there was no meth head mauling by the big puppy.

Now, you can screech at me all you like about this next line, but you are still wrong.

Joey did this to himself.

Meth and ignorance are a personal choice.

You’re goddam right I said it.

Its a disease, you whine.

Polio is a disease.

Meth is a personal choice made up of equal parts ignorance, lack of faith (In God and self) and poor parenting.

Personally I feel there is a lack of Irish genealogy here, but I cannot find the science to back that up.

“Are you happy now, mom?!?!” Joey yelled this as he was leaning across the hood of the patrol for the pat down.

Let me answer for mom.

No, no she isn’t, probably hasn’t been happy for a long time.

I read somewhere, “At any moment before you enter the gates of hell, you can change your luck.”

I have always felt there was a part of that missing.

You can change your luck, but only if you know you can.

I am going to jump out on a limb here and say that mom and Joey have no clue.

More’s the pity.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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People fear change for a reason.

First day of the 2016 and the blog is late.

Off to a great start.

Blame it on management.

They refuse to give me holiday pay and I don’t work for free.

There are two holes in that little plot line.

First of all, I am management.

Second of all, I do this for free. (Or at least for such a small amount that it qualifies for “Labor of love” status.)

I could play the sickness card, I have had one of the worse little bouts of sinus/asthma/respiratory sickness than I have had in over a decade.

Here is why that card can’t be played.

I don’t drive a bus for a living.

Blog writing can be done sitting up in bed. (I know this because many of them have been done in just that fashion.)

So what excuses are left?

I got nothing.

Default to Holiday laziness.

It was actually kind of nice to not have to go out for New Years eve for once.

I am getting too old for unrestricted partying.

Some of the greatest nights of my life have been on New Years.

Some of the worse as well.

Top 3 best:

  1. An Epic evening of trying to show a friend from out of state how awesome Southern California is. We went out, got in a fight, found a party at random, took over that party, drank all their liquor, fondled their women and existed a Gods for a small period of time. The friend referred to that as the greatest night ever.
  2. Asked a women to marry me and she said yes.
  3. Spent a scandalous evening having sex in a bed/jacuzzi/couch with an amazing woman that I broke up with soon after, but what a memory.

Top 3 worst:

  1. While drunk and belligerent, I was held by the police on unspecified charges in Hermosa Beach, CA.  I was released in time for breakfast without being given any specific reason why.
  2. I was given back an engagement ring on New Years.
  3. This one is tough to describe without discussing things I don’t discuss here. I had a moment of clarity on New Years Eve and realized that a major part of my life was ending and it was terrifying.

But it is 2016 now.

Lots of things will happen this year.

Both good and bad.

But what kind of year was 2015?

Brutal and Beautiful.

It started off brutal.

Jobs ended, relationships ended (Some abruptly), close relatives died.

And then it got better.

New activities happened, new jobs materialized, new relationships are in the works.

Should be a good year.

Right up until something decides to take a shit on the goodness.

Here is the difference between goodness and badness.

When things are good, the goodness does not seem to go after the badness.

When bad happens?

Its almost like revenge prison sex.

Like bad is taking something way too personally and is out to get goodness.

Should be an interesting year.

Despite my vicious and somewhat cruel nature, I wish you all well in this year.

As long as it does not get in the way of my own happiness.

Some of you get that, and some of you are convinced I am kidding.

Whatever works for you.

Take care, and if all hell breaks loose and you need help?

Don’t call me. (Unless you are a blood relative or at least married into the clan.)

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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The finger of doom.

Today is a day for bitching and complaining.

First on my list is parking.

My new morning Starbucks is a busy one, at least double the amount of morning traffic from the one in downtown Manhattan.

Traffic sucks on a regular basis even when all available spots are open.

And now, today only, the building management decided that it would be a brilliant move to put out some red cones and yellow caution tape and restrict half of the parking spots.

If there is some sort of serious work to be done and it is absolutely necessary to shitcan half of the customers to the coffee and none-coffee businesses here, so be it. Have the work teams standing by and get it done ASAP.

Here is the problem.

There is no workers to be seen. Not even an ominous work van.

Nothing.

And the morning java crowd is not taking it well.

As far as addictions go, caffeine is a fairly mild one that doesn’t make evil shit happen if you are denied.

Nobody gets shot if you can’t score and no one has ever performed oral sex in the alley to get a mocachino in the wee hours.

However, caffeine has an odd element of entitlement that other drugs lack.

Anarchy reigns in the parking lot at the moment.

The is a black BMW that is stopped in the middle of the lot, door open, and a guy in a black suit is rapping on someones trunk.

He is not happy.

“HELLO? UH, YOU SNAKED MY SPOT! HELLO!”

I watched this one evolve and I believe I know what his issue is.

Black BMW entered from the west.

Open spot about 10 spots up. He hits his turn signal, but for reasons unknown, creeps forward really slowly.

The second he hit his blinker, a red VW Jetta enters the lot, coming in hot, at least 20 MPH in a small lot.

Sees the open spot, BMW is still 8 spaces away from the open space, and the Jetta makes an audible tire squeal as its slides into the spot.

Mission accomplished.

BMW does not view this as done.

Adding to the fun mix is the Jetta driver, who appears to be a very mild mannered business woman, not angry, not yelling, appears to be oblivious to the BMW driver’s issue.

You know what this little scene is missing to make it truly fun?

The police.

Oh wait, here they are.

And, it appears, that the BMW driver has been looking for someone to yell at other than the Jetta driver.

Why? No clue. But the police are the wrong ones to yell at.

As anyone who has spent a little hood time in the company of the police can tell you, they do NOT enjoy being bitched at.

Out comes the finger.

When the BMW driver begins to stab the finger in the general direction of the officer, things only get better for those of us who take some sort of sick delight in the tense shitty moments of others.

The BMW driver is now in trouble. The Jetta driver has asked and been given permission to go get her coffee.

I decided that coffee was a fine idea myself and went inside.

When I came out, 15 minutes later, the BMW driver was still making friends.

Let that be 3 lessons to us all.

1. Let the spot go. You don’t own it and another one will be available soon.

2. Its not personal. Don’t get out of your car, don’t make a scene. It still will not get you the spot.

3. Leave your finger out of it. The police have little tolerance for you and HAVE NO TOLERANCE for your finger in their chest. Trust me on this one.

Words for the next generation.

Leave your finger out of it.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Death is not a secret.

Popquiz hero, what do you do?

 

Bomb squad in the hizzy, y’all.

There are 3 members of the pd bomb squad sipping coffee in the El Segundo Starbucks.

Its a little daunting, I mean, are there really that many bombs going on in beach cities?

Even the cities that butt up against LA Airport?

Evidently so, the bald one with the extra bulky kevlar vest under his shirt just finished his coffee and declared that they better get going, it was going to be a busy day.

Am I the only one that is more than a little scared about the fact that the beach city has a serious full time bomb squad? Couldn’t they just be part timers, meeting once every few months to update paperwork?

As I watch the bomb squad get in their ominous black SUV and leave, I notice that people are beginning to arrive for the daily meeting of the “I want to die, soon” club.

There are just 2 members out on the patio right now, lighting up.

I have never seen people aggressively smoke like this.

Most people smoke by taking a drag, and letting the smoke sit in their lungs, then letting it out.

Its disgusting, but that is how its normally done.

Not these guys.

Suck a lungful of that smoky death and then let it out and take another hit before the old smoke is completely out of their mouth.

The overall effect is like picking up disgusting in a bar, taking it to dinner, slipping it a roofy and then treating it like a naked farm animal for the rest of the evening.

So its really gross.

You have to wonder what makes someone hate themselves to that point that dying a horrible death is desirable.

Its not like its a secret anymore, if you smoke, it will kill you.

It even says it on the pack.

I thought killing yourself was illegal?

I once heard a kid give a really stypid opinion about smoking.

To be clear, the kid was barely out of his teens, so old enough to make his own choices, but young enough to make really stupid choices.

His claim was this, a friend of his went to a doctor who told him that the human body can absorb the toxins of a couple of cigarettes a day without a problem.

The level of ignorance is pretty deep on this one and the “I weep for the future” is obviously implied.

At the time, I said nothing, mainly because I wasn’t sure where to go with that.

“Your an idiot.” Seemed too obvious.

What left me stumped was where to go with this for maximum insult.

Lost opportunities and all that.

The one thought I keep circling back to is that this is more of a modern version of nature thinning the herd.

This kind of stupidity removed from the gene pool is not necessarily a bad thing.

I subscribe to the “Everyone is responsible for themselves” thought process.

Not a popular thought process, by the way.

We do live in an era that absolutely no one is responsible for anything, except the rich, they are responsible for everything else.

Thank god the smart asses are not on the dime for anything.

First, you would have to find one of us who gave a shit about anything but our own amusement.

Lets face it, we’re a shallow bunch.

And we like it that way.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Surrender, Dorothy.

All good things must come to an end.

Today is my last day working in Manhattan Beach, the sweet location by the beach.

Moving on, better things, all that.

The blog will continue, so don’t worry about that.

I am moving work digs to just down the road.

And there is a Starbucks nearby, what do you know?

I lead a charmed life.

I am walking up the hill, the reverse walk to my car from the office.

Sun is shining, birds are chirping, there are a few ladies wandering around in bikini’s.

And there is a homeless guy that resembles a scarecrow standing in front of Starbucks, shouting at people.

Now, I am a people person, we all know this.

I like to talk to people, all sorts of people, usually homeless people.

Because nothing says funny like crazy.

And, like striking gold when you are digging for worms, I find something special.

There is something special about the variety of homeless guy that chemically peaks into that shouting zone.

People react to that in such an interesting fashion.

By pretending he is not only not there, but by obviously pretending he is not there.

Putting your hand next to your face to supposedly keep from seeing the guy is just plan rude.

I like to view this as a street performance.

And his act? Its a classic.

He has the usual homeless appearance, complete with wild hair and scraggly “Unibomber” beard.

I cannot seem to shake the image of the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz.

In a twist, Scarecrow appears to be a gypsy homeless, despite the fact that most scarecrows are rooted in place. He has a bicycle with a child trailer containing a non-smiling german shepherd. (Never a good thing when they don’t smile. But, given the circumstances, would you?)

“Don’t go in there! Bad fucking news in there! They could give fuck all about y’all!” This is being shouted at the top of his lungs.

Eye contact seems to be in short supply, so when I stop and look right at him, he takes the bait and focuses on me.

“Stay outta there!” Complete with an angry finger jab in my direction.

“Why?”

Just from his enthusiastic reaction to a simple question, I might be the first person not wearing a badge or high on meth that has talked to him in months.

After a second of orientation, he continued.

“You can’t be homeless in Starbucks!” The shouting really makes it a little difficult to chat.

That seems harsh. Starbucks as a corporation, would have a hard time defending that policy in the media. Best to dig deeper.

“Are you sure?”

Ok, that pissed him off. It cranked the agitation level up a few notches. I am safely out of lunging distance. Hunter S. Thompson said that you can turn your back on a man, but not on a drug.

Fine, no turning my back.

“FUCKIN’ A, I’M SURE!” The dog growled.

“Hey guys.” A very mellow voice came up behind me.

Ah, the police.

The rest of the conversation was not something I was invited to, so I left.

The police always prefer private conversations, they are picky like that.

 

I will miss this Starbucks as my daily stomping grounds.

I have written close to 500 blog posts sitting mainly at these little tables.

In life, the only thing that is a constant, is change.

So, I will move on, and remember all the scenes and people that I have witnessed here.

And I will miss you most of all, Scarecrow.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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