Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Oh, come on you guys.

Out here in Northern California we have a steadily growing gang problem. I honestly don't know why. I mean, I do know why but I don't see why the cycle of violence needs to continue. See, out here we have a ton of migrant workers due to our agriculutral areas and they come up from Mexico and L.A. to work. In my personal opinion and from having been around tons of Hispanic families, the majority of them are hard working, genuine and friendly people. But there's always some bad apples in every demographic.

Now, the gang problem in L.A. has spawned 2 distinctive groups to do battle over drugs and guns and whatever else gangs dally in. I guess in bigger cities and areas, it's all about making money and providing protection for their neighborhoods. However, if you're going to get out of that area and make a better life for yourself, why bring the gang problem with you? This is especially true in the teeny tiny town where I work, but also true for Petaluma. Both of which are becoming infiltrated with gangs. I think some of the "gangs" are poser kids who are trying to look cool and act the part, but I also think there are lots of relatives within these relocated people that are/were gang members and they bring it with them.

**DISCLAIMER** Yes, I know now all gang members are Hispanic or black. But I also know a good majority of the gang members we're seeing up here are Hispanic. So, there. **End Disclaimer**

Anyway, we've been seeing a steady rise in "gang" activity around here for months (if not years) and the other night on the news, I saw a quick shot of a shopping center in Petaluma and the newscaster mentioned that three people were beaten there. Freaky! This was Bay Area news too, not podunk local news. I somehow missed the story and have been waiting on the local paper to run something on it and today, they did:
Read it here.

If you don't feel like reading it, the basic scoop is, some gang members beat up three Staples employees who were on a break because the Staples employees were wearing red. No, I'm not kidding. Three Staples employees were wearing their red Staples work shirts and got beat up for it.

Like I said, I understand why gangs are around in big cities and I get that alot of times, they become family. But I guarantee "real gangs" in big cities do not beat up Staples or Target employees because they're wearing their work shirts. They might beat up Stples employees who are also gang members, but that's not the point. It just seems really...silly. And wrong too, but mostly silly. If you really want to be in a gang and beat up your sworn enemy gang, that's fine. I hope you all kill each other off and we don't have to worry about you. But c'mon, beating up people who are unlucky enough to have to work at Staples? That's just doing it wrong. Do McDonalds employees get beaten up by the gang that claims red because their uniforms are blue? I guess I just wish gang members could be more considerate in terms of who they beat up. Sometimes, a shirt is just a shirt.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

that's funny

At another time, I'll post about how and when I think I lost any and all connection with British humor...or, humour as it were. I loved "Shaun of the Dead" and as a kid, spent countless hours watching Monty Python's Flying Circus on channel 9, but other that that...I just don't get it. I love the American version of "The Office" and have somewhat enjoyed the original British version...but again, my lack of getting Brit humour holds me back. Thus, I don't dig Ricky Gervais all that much (and I feel really bad and really left out for that, but it is what it is) and consequently didn't like the first season of his HBO show "Extras." However the following clip may snap me out of it because, damn that's funny!

Monday, May 28, 2007

G-whiz Mail

I converted over to gmail like, a year or maybe two years ago. I had just had enough of AOL and their inability to play well with Macs. And their ability to suck more than any other email service alive. I dig's fine. Seems like their spam blocker is much better than most. But one thing thats always made me laugh-slash-made me realize how close we are to Orwellian times is the way the service grabs keywords from an email you're reading and throws up a news story or a website link that somehow relates to whatever it is you're reading. Like...if you emailed your aunt for a smoothie recipe, you might find a link for fresh pineapples delivered to your house. Stuff like that.

One time I was emailing about a friends batchelor party and gmail was kind enough to provide me a link to a site that sells inflatable sheep. It's usually pretty benign stuff and usually lame but I just had another comical little helper from gmail that I thought I would share.

I emailed my friend because motherfucking CHEAP TRICK is coming to the Petaluma Fair this year and he loves Cheap Trick. I really love Cheap much so I'm giving up Giants/Yankees tickets that night so I can see CHEAP TRICK in my hometown. This isn't some jokey, lets get drunk and laugh at them thing either like it was when I saw Loverboy at the Fair a few years back. I am genuinely stoked to see Cheap the fair. But I digress, as usual.

So my buddy and I email back and forth and I send one off and at the top of my email box it says "Women Stand and Pee - - Neatly pee while standing, without dropping your drawers!" Now that on it's own is hillarious, but what about an email regarding "cheap trick," "petaluma," and "fair" made this link appear for me?

Of course I clicked on the site and now I'm even more concerned, perplexed and laughing my ass off. It's basically a site where you can buy an extremely uncomfortable looking funnel to...hook into yourself (if you're a woman) and thus pee standing up. Apparently there's some medical uses and all but damn, whoever created this and moreover, whoever made that website must have rock hard abs from laughing their ass off!

If you're a woman who wants to write her name in the snow this coming winter, click HERE

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


There's no spoilers for tonights finale within the post. I just wanted to make fun of people who gave up on the show. Granted, the show hit some snags early on this season, but there's also been episodes this season that were some of the best TV I've ever seen. And tonights episode was not only exciting, sad and totally blew my mind. Blew it right out of the water.

My point is, if you gave up on LOST because it stumbled a bit, you're a doofus and a quitter. Count me among the many who had little to no faith in the network or it's writers. Couple that with the announcement the show will be on until at least 2010 (whoa...writing that and knowing how close it really is just freaked me out!) and I could feel the series dragging on like a wounded animal.

Tonights 2-hour season finale renewed my faith. Thats how you end a series for the season....solve tons of mysteries, open up tons more

My name's Otto and I like to get blott-o

I'm not sure how well you can see this but it's thew backside of a street sign that has an 8"x12" picture of Otto from the Simpsons. You know, the stoney bus driver with metalhead tendencies? I started noticing that someone had put these pictures all over town recently and I gotta say, I don't get it. Granted, it's pretty funny and it's much cooler than straight up graffitti, but it's still vandalism. Yes, vandalism that makes me laugh and go "WTF?" but vandalism nonetheless.

I saw the Otto pictured above at a stop light in the boonies (more or less) of Santa Rosa but like I said, they're everywhere. Back of street signs, on street signs in middle-of-the-street islands, electrical boxes. Basically any flat metal surface in town and they're especially prevalent by my house which is near a park and a middle school...where it makes sense. However Otto-tagger is all over town and he/she is very thorough.

I just think it's weird and call me old, but really kind of pricey. I mean, the person (or people) doing it is printing hundreds of them up and that's costly. Plus they're either printing on sticker paper or they're buying glue to stick 'em. Plus, placing them everywhere takes alot of time. I'll be on the lookout for more. I'm sure you can hardly wait.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Well hello there!

So this past Saturday after my Grandma's 80th bday party I went to a friends "party." Apparently his landlord was out of town so he was throwing down. This appealed to me for a few reasons. First, I was bored and had nothing to do at home so that was a distraction. Second, the guy having the party is a good friend and a cool guy. Third, at my age any time a friend who isn't a friend of your friends kids or nephews is having a kegger type thing because they live with their parents/landlord/wife and that parent/landlord/wife is gone so there's a party, I feel obligated to go. Mostly out of a sense of feeling incredibly old and dating faster than sour cream on a hot spring day. So, my wife and I went.

Once there we quickly realized we weren't nearly stoned or drunk enough to coexist with the other people there. I'm not into smoking and I had to drive home so drinking (much) was out. Instead we tried to sit through one of the longest beers of my life. One cool thing was, the guys had like, 5-6 of those big ole Heinekin kegs cans. You know the ones that look like regular cans but really hold like, 3 quarts? Those have always proved difficult to me because the idea of a giant beer can full of beer sitting in my fridge and then my stomach is awesome. But asisde from MGD, Michelob Ultra and generic "BEER," Heiniken is a beer I just don't like. I'll drink it if it's there and free, but I can't abide by having a giant can of it in my fridge. Unless I've stolen it.

I relayed that piece of info to the gathered Lebowski's, Cheech's and Spicoli's and this one old dude (who in hindsight was probably someones dad....awkward) and I remembered the Coors Light Party Ball. This was a 5-gallon "beer in a box" that came out in the early 90's and it was awesome. We had countless tailgate parties and house parties supplied by the Coors Light Party Ball. I used to work in a quick stop (more or less) and one of the regulars always had one flowing from the back of his work truck. It was pretty much totally awesome. But then they just went away.

Me and the dad-at-the-party reminisced about the death of the Coors Light Party Ball and filled in all the youngin's on what they had missed. Then I thankfully drained my Lagunitas IPA and we left. Cut to; tonight. I went to 7-11 for suppiles and saw the above pictured giant can of Coors light!!! As much as I have become a beer snob, I still like Coors Light. I can drink a bunch of it and never really feel hammered and it cannot be beat on a hot day. And now, it comes in a GIANT CAN that will soon find it's way into my fridge...and then my heart.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

New Wilco

The new Wilco came out this past Tuesday and it's really great. Yeah, of course I think it's great, they're my favorite band. But...this one is just a nice, mellow...almost introspective album. There's hardly any "noise" and no experimentation as there has been on most of their last 5-6 albums. I've been telling people "it's the perfect springtime album" and I totally believe that. My favorite song on the album is "I Hate it Here" (no, I'm not being drab...the song's not what you might think) but I also love "What Light." Here's the lyrics...they're incredible:

If you feel like singing a song
And you want other people to sing along
Just sing what you feel
Don't let anyone say it's wrong

And if you're trying to paint a picture
But you're not sure which colors belong
Just paint what you see
Don't let anyone say it's wrong

And if you're strung out like a kite
Or stung awake in the night
It's alright to be frightened

When there's a light (what light)
There's a light (one light)
There's a light (white light)
Inside of you

If you think you might need somebody
To pick you up when you drag
Don't loose sight of yourself
Don't let anyone change your bag

And if the whole world's singing your songs
And all of your paintings have been hung
Just remember what was yours
is everyone's from now on

And that's not wrong or right
But you can struggle with it all you like
You'll only get uptight

Because there's a light (what light)
There's a light (one light)
There's a light (white light)..................

and so forth.

Go buy SKY BLUE SKY today! It'll make you feel good inside!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

We're All in This Together

I'm reading Owen King's book of short-stories (and a novella) called "We're All in This Together" and it's simply amazing. I was totally, totally, totally blown away by the novella within the book (which is titled "We're All in This Together") and I didn't want it to end. Sometimes I get bored and kind of zip through pages, but with this story, I really took my time. It was like eating a really good piece of cake where you just savor it. I savored the words and every once in a while, King would throw in some vital piece of info so casually and so pwerfully, I had to set the book down and gather myself to put together what had just happened. King writes in such a cool way. He's extremely creative yet throws in pop culture references that fit and don't attract undue attention to themselves. He throws them out there then works them into the story in a way that works. Dare I say...genius?

I won't give details about the story as I won't do it justice. The nuts and bolts are: a kid in the year 2000 is at that crossroads in life where you have to grow up. He hangs out with his retired union organizer grandpa (who is a raging pothead) and tries to ruin his mother upcoming marriage to a real L7 square. The story is told in flashback (or as if the author were in the present, as it were) and it's just great. I haven't laughed out loud at a book in a while nor have I felt such deep feelings of sadness as well as kindred spiritness in both the author and the characters in the book.

I finished the first short story last night and it was good. I really dig King's writing style. But it's to the point where the novella blew my doors off so hard, everything that comes after it will be held unfairly to comparison. I may switch over to something else to let my feelings chill out.

Go get this book! It's the perfect springtime/summer read. You'll love it, I promise.