Sunday, December 30, 2007

two phrases I would like to see dead on the side of the road in 2008

"It's a perfect storm". About anything. I must see that phrase 6 or 7 times a day in the paper, or online.

"This is a wakeup call". And so was that other thing, and so were these 5000 other things.

Used in the same article... the journalist needs to go back to school and learn about "hackneyed, trite and cliche" writing. Often found in the same paragraph, renders the written piece in to unreadable mush.

I had an English teacher when I was a freshman in High School. He happened to also be the football coach. I remember him well.. Mr Marineau... the thing he pounded into our heads all the time, every single time he made us write a paper, was that he despised hackneyed, cliche and trite. And if he found that in a paper, man you could have an A paper otherwise, but if he deemed the paper to have any of that in it, you got an F. He was a great teacher. I hated his guts. He really made us write, though. Made us use our brains instead of hauling out some old tired trick.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

11 and counting

inches, in my backyard, on the ground. More today, tonight and tomorrow!

I love my backyard in the winter. It fills up with snow. The neighbor cats come through and they're the only thing that disturbs the snow. They have a certain path they follow, a little route through the yard. I can only tell this in the winter time. There are two cats that come through out to the driveway through the gate, and one who comes up along side of the garage. This I know because the feet prints are three different sizes. There is a set of dainty little feet that hops through the snow, a set of bigger ones that has a belly drag in a couple of places and just meanders around, and a set that belongs to a cat who really doesn't like the snow.. that cat spends a lot of time shaking its feet out as it walks along.

Friday, December 28, 2007

coming up

Monday after New Years is my birthday. Yay! So my friends are trying to get me to go to see this band up in Bend, but i have to work Tuesday morning and they want to stay the night up there.

I was kind of set on not going, but last night they had a CD with some of their stuff in it playing between sets. One of the songs was "Outside Woman Blues", which I'm familiar with through Cream. I was listening and though, "Wow, I've never heard this version of it, I wonder where K dug up the Cream demo?" only to find out it was back door slam. Sounded just like Cream. So, ok, I will probably go to this thing.

Also I'm consistently amazed at what a pompous ass one of our sax players is becoming.

And New Years Eve, a gig. This will be a wing and a prayer. I'm playing in the band i played in a couple of years ago, but only in the barest sense. They aren't the original band, and in fact we have not ever practiced together as the unit that's playing out there at the Watering Hole.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Someone sent me an email this morning..
"Benazir Bhutto was shot dead! (i hate that phrase, btw..) This is exactly why I want Rudy G for President".

Actually I don't understand the connection they made, but whatever. So he can get "shot dead"? Is he going to prevent other women in politics from getting "shot dead" in places where women all pretty much have a bootprint on their foreheads?

No really. I don't understand what this person is trying to say.


Over today, tonight and tomorrow the forecast is for about a foot of snow!


South Redondo, January '95

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

and finish off the night with a little grumble

not like i haven't grumbled all day.

I had to get something out of the Fo this morning, on the passenger side. That's side that kissed the F150 the other day. Passenger door won't open without a lot of effort.

Y'know, the Little Red Truck got nailed in the same place and we had the same problem with it, that I was able to fix with a little bashing and pulling. This one, the flex is so slight, it's JUST ENOUGH to make the door really hard to open. dammit. I mean, when the door is closed you can't tell that it isn't fitting right.

But hey, that side had it's wheelwell cover shredded by a blow-out before we got it. When we get the fender fixed, they'll probably put a new plastic thing in there. And then I won't be able to show off my fix of its flapping that I did last winter with a Low E acoustic guitar string and an ice skate.


a brand new world

Jeebus i cant believe the difference siping makes. I was hard-pressed to slide around on my way home, and i really tried. There's a few places on my way home that you can screw around and test these things. The roads in town were mostly compacted, partially melted and refrozen snow and ice. I have to really stomp on the brakes to slide, and really crank the steering at speed to get a slide that way.

Friggin awesome.

just like that

well it was decided for me. I went ahead and ventured forth in the Scootypuf, headin down 97 at a brisk 40 or so, and right around the goose hollow ranger station, slid off the road. At least it wasn't into a ditch. At least it wasn't into another vehicle, a power pole, or a tree. At least I didn't poop myself.

I've never completely lost control of a car I was in. There was no helping it. What a bizarre and terrifying feeling. Not even enough time to go "holy shit!". Driving along, then SHOOP! Into the snow. What a surprise. So I sat for a minute and figured out what to do. Called the other guy, let him know that I was turning around and going back home. Fiddled around getting out of the snow and headed back. He was cool with it and said it was pretty crappy on the road down there, but he's in the company van that has AWD.

Siping. A great thing. Getting it done today because I have the munnies for it.

given an excuse to not go to Siskiyou... still deciding

we got like four inches of snow overnight, it looks like. I may call the guy who runs the other route down there and see if he can run mine. If we got that much, I'm not real interested in going over Mt Hebron in the Scootypuf. With regular tires. He knows driving in snow scares the everlovin crap out of me and taking the 97 in crappy weather is not real high on my list of ways to die.

Yeah. Finally gave a name to the camry. Scootypuf Jr. From Futurama. It totally fits.

12 26

We didn't do anything special for christmas. Just hung around the house and enjoyed a day off together. No stress, no frantic anything, no shopping, no cooking serious food. Just how i like it.

Wednesday another day in Siskiyou. Another white knuckle drive. Cheezus I hate driving in the winter here. It just gets worse in January, too.

If I smack the dashboard hard enough, push the slider button in a bit and move it back and forth, if the planets are aligned correctly and there are no solar storms, maybe I'll get heat in the car for a couple of minutes. For pete's fucking sake.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

more from the farang

here's my dad's take on Thailand. I may post excerpts from his emails in the future, just because they're interesting.

"Tremendous divide here between the educated and the uneducated. Oh, fair election, yes as far as the actual voting and counting were done but vote buying is still rampant in the north with the poor masses and the current Thaksin buddies are surely the most liberal about giving the baht for the votes. This all takes place well before the election so the international press doesn't care to report about it. If Samak becomes the new Prime Minister, there will be some interesting stories coming out of the woodwork with his contempt for almost anyone who disagrees with him. Thaksin was thrown out because he was so blatant in the corruption and self enrichment to himself, his family and buddies. Sold shares of his Telephone company to kids for 1 baht and they turned around in days and resold them for 50baht each. He sold his Telephone company to another company and pulled all kinds of strings to get excepted from Capitol Gains Tax on the sale. Wife purchased government owned land for a pittance in downtown Bangkok. Oh, he was well loved by those have not's in the hinterlands because of his government give aways of baht for all kinds of programs and purposes. He knew how to buy the votes and the educated just got tired of it. The educated are also guilty of keeping the uneducated masses down by not promoting education for them which would really solve some problems."

a farang's view

My dad sends me tidbits about Thailand. His last email detailed his thoughts on the election they just had over there. He's also sent me a Thai music file and a picture of the palace in.. i think it's Bangkok. Very cool. So foreign.

Well, maybe not entirely. My biodad's parents took in Cambodian refugees when I was little, and my grandfather had a business at one time where he was importing things from Siam (well, it was Siam at the time) and Cambodia. So I have something of a passing familiarity with the art, architecture and music. There was always something to learn at their house. Their house, in fact, is full of Asian antiques he picked up on his trips over there.

But anyway, dad's enjoying himself over there. Good for him.

Monday, December 24, 2007

oh the SWEETEST Christmas present

"We Jam Econo" is on the Sundance channel. Hellz yeah.


Well, it was bound to happen. You live somewhere that it's cold enough to snow, you deal with driving around on ice and snow and stuff, and someone will eventually tag you. Dale got smacked this morning on his way to work, about a block away from our house. At least it was the car with full coverage.

I haven't seen the Fo yet. I was on my way to my first stop of the day, creeping along on the sheet of ice called South Sixth Street today. I called him to tell him to take the 39 to work because they usually have that pretty ice free. I said "Take the 39, it's less slip-" and he interjects "Yeah. I got hit, dealing with it right now". But he said its more scraping and scratching with a minor dent, no creasing at least *whew*.

a white one

Got a fresh dusting this morning. Neat!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

the one who sang the Aretha Franklin song

is here

had it with the car. again

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a rabid Toyota fan. I'm even the kind of rabid fan that will admit when Toyota makes a stinker of a car, or something similar.

Well, in a way, our old Camry is one of the stinkers. I am so through throwing money and brain power at it, but unfortunately I'll have to continue with it until the end of next summer, probably. It doesn't have the bitchen 22R engine in it, and it's the second gen that had the ECT transmission, which in itself was a great idea, with not so great execution, apparently.

Through my brilliant powers of deduction, I've come to the conclusion that all the problems we've had with it can be traced to ONE issue. The vacuum system. Dun dun DUUUUN! Either not enough is being created or there's a leak somewhere that I haven't been able to trace down. Brakes, stalling, part of the heater problem.. all vac related. The power booster on the brakes works.. whenever. The heater vents open and close according to their own esoteric schedule. The transmission shifts at strange points, making getting onto the freeway an adventure. It starts and runs great but sometimes as soon as you put the pedal down, it poops out. That drove me bananas for a while. Because I kept thinking it was the automatic choke, but because it's fuel injected, and computer controlled with a cold-start injector, there is no automatic choke.

But, you know, otherwise it runs like a champ and gets great mileage. I hate vacuum systems as much as I hate electrical, as far as working on them goes. I'm a brakes and suspension person and would happily spend all day throwing new pads and shoes on cars and shit like that. Weirdly, I love resurfacing rotors and drums. I love to watch the lathe straighten that shit out. How clean they look once they're done. And honing cylinders. wee!

So I guess in the next couple of weeks I'll take it down to Shane and say "Fix it or shoot it, I don't care".


Dale is now an uncle! I forgot to mention it! Can't believe it. His youngest brother is a dad, as of Wednesday. They're in Virginia. Got a baby for Christmas. She was late coming, by about a week-and-a-half.

I was supposed to be a Christmas time baby, but I was late, too. Been late ever since. I was, according to my mom, two weeks late. In a way, I still was a Christmas baby, if you're an adherent to the Eastern Orthodox sect.

I have several cousins with kids, but I'm an only child so I get to be an auntie, too, finally. Of course, my friends who have kids, i love those kids, too. Even though I say kids are sticky little petri dishes, I like kids. Phyllis' oldest granddaughter loves me, loves my bass with the stickers of Spongebob and Patrick on it. There are pictures of that small person in my flickr page, the old one. She's the one with the Baby Bum T-shirt on. The day I took those pictures we were at a jam out in the hills and she was swinging on a tree swing, and we got her to say "Awesome". Though it sounded like "Ottum", but that was close enough. She was about 18 months old in those pictures, and now she's so much bigger. Watching other people's kids grow up is pretty cool.

When I first met The Hoov, her oldest kid was going into her freshman year I think. Now that kid is a mom, the middle kid is going to be a mom. Hoov was a grandma at the ripe old age of 36.

Tam's daughter was five when I met her. Now she's 14 or 15. Bone's kid was 4, and now he's in high school. It's been really cool to see these kids grow up and their personalities develop. They're all wacko, which is important. Star was in the south coast's version of American Idol last year, and she made it to third. Personally, I think she should have won. She did Aretha Franklin's "Freedom" song. I've heard her sing Aretha songs, and she does them justice for a white kid from Oregon. When she was little, she adored Bad Company and Cream (ok, I admit, I turned her into a Cream fan), and couldn't carry a tune in a bucket with wheels, but boy did she ever show me. We do like to rag on her here and there for being a Spice Girls fan, too, but y'know, she was 6 or something, so it's ok.


we did a secret santa thing with the smart half's family this year. Everyone emailed out a sort of wish list. What i asked for was: a new set of DR flatwound bass strings, mediums (mine have been on my bass for almost seven years, a true testament to their badassedness), the CDs "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" and the "Sticky Fingers" album by the Stones, rolls of T-max or Tri-X film, a Rapidograph pen, an 8 x 10 copy of a favorite family picture and "if you make things, send me one of your crafty things".

My gift came yesterday. A pair of homemade socks, a really cool homemade scarf knitted with ribbons (both totally match my woolly hat), the Sticky Fingers album, a pair of shell earrings in a really neat little wooden (lindenwood) box carved in a polish style. So i was thrilled with all that.

Smart Half got a webcam. You have no idea how long *I* have wanted a video camera of some kind. It takes stills, as well. It isn't portable, but that's alright.

Friday, December 21, 2007

ass cold... i gots it

it was like 11 degrees when I got to Tulelake this morning. Was a fun ride, with no heater. I thought for sure my big piggies were frostbit when I got there.

Currently, the airport is reporting 18 degrees. On my porch, it's 26. However, it was als0 26 over on the other side of town around 1:30 today, also.

old guy

a few weeks ago i was stuffin some muffins (after all that is my job) at one of the gas stations and an old guy and I started having a conversation. Old, like, probably in his 80s at least. What he said made me laugh.

"Oh yeah now its the bitching and grumbling season. It's been snowing since God had a pacifier, and complaining about it every year is ridiculous."

Then he laughed, bought his coffee and wished me a safe winter.

I do love the snow. I love everything about it. How it's fluffy and spattery when it's wet, watching it build up after it starts to stick, and then when it's done snowing, watching it decay a little... how it gets an icy crust on it and you can walk on it without breaking through sometimes, how it settles into the crevices it's covering. I love how on a night with a fresh snowfall, you get to see the invisible things. You get to see where the deer are going to and coming from, the most trod path for the cats through the yard. And when it melts off, you can see neat patterns in the mud. Actually i think frozen mud is about the most trippy looking thing there is.

I thought it was really cool how late at night the other night, when the snow had stopped, all the sudden all these people were out playing in the snow, walking around together, looking at how the snow built itself on tree branches. I mean, it was literally after midnight, and whole families were out in it. If we let it, snow brings out the kid in all of us. If you're so serious, so grown up, that you can't grab a hunk of cardboard and shoot down a hill ONCE in the wintertime, and holler all the way to the bottom, what a crummy life you must lead. And I do know one guy who is so serious like that, and he's just a drag to be around.

I just don't like driving in it. Because I'm not good at it. I can drive great in rain, on sand, in mud... but ice and snow... not good at it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

the white

it snowed all day down in siskiyou yesterday. There was just under 3 feet of snow at the Snowman Hill candy cane thing. But it only stuck at the top of the 89 between Mt Shasta and McCloud, so it wasn't too bad. Then, the dreaded drive home.

I have a hard time driving when it's snowing at night. The snow mesmerizes me so I have to really concentrate on driving. Just found out that it makes me a little carsick too. lol.

Not too bad going over Mt Hebron. Not too bad going through Butte Valley except in Dorris but the last 20 miles were goddamn terrifying for me. It had been snowing long enough that it had stuck to the road and I was driving over packed snow, with crap for visibility. The tires on the car are really good... considering they're just all-weather, and they have pretty deep and wide tread. I'm just not good at driving in snow, at all.

The last two miles on the 97 getting to the city exit... 15 mph. Yeah. I suck. Blowing snow, shitty visibility, luckily no other traffic because i was the only idiot on the road. kids were hanging out at Veteran's park at 8:30 pm goofing in the snow.

But it gets better! Really. I got home fine. Went over to Phyllis' house and we hung out, watched "Festival Express" together, played some geetar, put down some whiskey and mellowed out. Around midnight, I left to go home, but she went into her garage first and brought out a sled.

The world looks really surreal at night after a good snowfall. It's quiet, and everything almost glows. There were a lot of people out, actually, walking around in the snow and playing in it at midnight. My neighbors built a big snowman!

But I got the coolest- a first ever (another one!). I got to ride down a hill covered in 6 inches of fresh snow at midnight in an old-style wooden sled. You bet your ass we hooted, hollered and made a bunch of noise.

This morning there is probably a little over 6 inches of snow on the ground. Not quite a foot, maybe. It's gorgeous.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

flickr weirdness

so, yes, you see two flickr photobadges. The top one is the new account. The bottom one is the old one that I can't access anymore. Flickr. Whatever.


I have dragged this around for a few years, waiting til I had a scanner so I could finally share it with the whole friggin world.

Florence's Grand (Fl)oral Parade.

Grand Oral Parade

Monday, December 17, 2007


The title makes me think of two songs, but they have nothing to do with the post.

They keep promising us snow. Like, measurable amounts. Not really any yet. I know we are in a good snow when everything gets very quiet outside. The snow muffles it. It's just weird. There was about a quarter inch on the ground when I woke up this morning, and then it's just sort of piddled on and off.

Ah but the two songs.. First into my head was "Tantalize" by Jimmy the Hoover. Then "Tantalize" by The Church elbowed it out of the way. Both songs put me in a very specific time and place. I can feel the summer sun on me when I think of those songs.

O and Smart Half and I are going to rearrange the living room tonight. Not all that big to begin with and has a sort of invisible wall right down the middle. Trying to get more space, or at least the illusion of more space, out of it.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

um yeah

that blogroll. just haven't gotten to it. I have it saved on a non-posted post so i dont forget anyone. Mr Crazy, I won't forget you :)

Ron Paul

Haven't paid much attention to the presidential candidates. And why would I, since in my mind, all politicians are liars and thieves, anyway...

But This Dr Paul is a Constitutionalist. And that's a huge red flag to me. Another red flag is that his followers say things like "He's the ONLY ONE that can.. (blah blah blah) and this is the last chance to keep us from being taken over by the UN (blah blah blah). North American Union (blah blah blah)!!!". I mean I hear crazy shit coming from the mouths of people, crazy shit that was crazy 15 years ago and is still crazy.

Learned a lot about the Con party in the early 90s. More crazy people, lock step with the Militia Movement folks and the nuttier of the survivalists. Am immediately suspicious of anyone who is called "THE ONLY ONE!!!!". I'm not a big UN fan, but mostly because of their sheer ineptness, cowardice and lack of action. Which I think are valid reasons not to like the UN.

But I think there are people who give the President too much credit for what the President is supposed to do. I mean The President, not the President in Office, who i haven't even paid any attention to since the last election.

I don't believe conspiracy ideas about government actions that shock people, secret societies, etc. Because I don't think there's anyone with enough brains IN the government to get any of the crazy shit done that it's accused of.

convergence of nastiness

I'm supposed to detail my friend's husband's truck. Was gonna do it yesterday but got involved with grocery shopping and laundry. Well that can suck up a day faster than a fifth of vodka. The weather was decent for most of yesterday too. Which is important because i don't have an indoor area to deal with it in. So its supposed to be decent most of today, and I'm pulling the stuff together that I'll need. If i can get the upholstery done, and the plastic scrubbed (which will probably take most of the day anyway) I can run back over tomorrow with the armorall and window stuff. Tomorrow we get our first real snow, apparently. The dusting will become 3 to 6 inches.

That's a big ol' IF. It's a 20-year-old Nissan pickup that I don't think ever even had a vac applied to it. I was vaccing it the other day and went over a gooey spot a couple of times, thought O Crap I'm Pulling Up A Chunk Of Rotting Carpet. But no, was just the dog fur that was embedded in the gooey stuff.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


i just want, y'know, a day off that's actually a day off...

Friday, December 14, 2007


mom called me while on her daily walk yesterday. "You should see the water" she says. "It's so calm it's almost reflective". She was heading into RAT when she called.

It made me miss the ocean. If I think about the ocean, I get all melancholy and sad, because I'm not anywhere near one anymore.

She says I should come and visit for a week again. She can line up a couple of details to make the trip worth it for me. It would be worth it either way. To be somewhere warm in December.

My goal in 08- i actually have a couple of them... not to be charged any outrageous fees by the bank for the year. A new bass amp- WITHOUT swapping my old one. It just sounds so good I can't bear to give it up even though it's goddamn huge and not very portable. See my grandpa while I still have the chance. Ah, Temecula...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

put up or shut up

i get so ticked off sometimes at some of the people in the blues thing. Jeezus, I do. Some people just run their mouth and bitch and piss and moan about everything, but ask them to make an effort to change whatever they're bitching about and OH NO! I WAS JUST TRYING TO HELP! Well, then, help, asshole. Do something. HELP is an active verb. It is an action. Standing around and complaining about everything with your finger up your ass is NOT help. It's hindering.

I think that's the phrase in the English language that I hate the most. "I was just trying to help". When i hear it drop out of someone's bonehole, I instantly dislike the person who says it. Ok keep this in mind- the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Do we need to dissect that? Intentions. Not deeds.

There are three or four of us who are the "magic stage set up fairies" for everyone else. Some people show up late, leave early, and bitch the whole time. I'm not one to engage in fisticuffs on the dance floor, but i am very nearly driven to it multiple times a jam night. I can't get all loaded to dull the irritation, either. All i can do is smile, nod, and go back to whatever I'm trying to deal with.

Bunch of babies some of them are. Christ on a popsicle stick.

Monday, December 10, 2007

McCowan's closing

Only someone who lived in San Pedro for any amount of time would give a crap about this. Which is why I'm sad. I shopped at each of their stores when I lived in Pedro. They were always walking distance from the places I lived.

McCowan's last market closing.

The stores had better delis-real actual ones- than anywhere else I've ever been. Something else I miss is the neighborhood stores San Pedro had all over the place. Almost all of them had a sandwich shop inside that made sams that beat the crap out of anything like Subway or Quiznos.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Jim Rowe

Jim's service will be Jan 19th at the VFW in Bandon. It'll be a nice one. Almost every musician in Coos County will probably be there to say G'Bye to such a fantastic guy.

that blog roll

It's been a long ol time since i did anything like update it, change anything, etc. I'm pulling it down entirely and starting all over. Yeah... can't remember the username or anything either. wee.


Ok our benefit thing is tonight. This thing always makes me nervous. I'm not nervous about playing. I know by now I can hold my own with ANY musician, just about. What makes me nervous is all the other attendant stuff that goes into this. Trying to remember what time to meet who to pick up what and take it where... We plan this thing pretty well, but still it comes down to.. "plug it all in and let it rip".
Five bands!

You've heard the phrase about herding cats... how dealing with a large number of musicians can feel pretty futile sometimes.

Nah. Herding cats.. far less painful. More like juggling chainsaws. I try to be easy to deal with, but I can't believe some of the childish crap that comes from other grownups. We had a big flapdoodle about the damn flyer two days after it was printed... someone was ticked about being called a "supporting act". First thing I did when I read the email detailing the umbrage was think "Dude, get a grip. It's Klamath for god's sake". And then I laughed and chortled over it for a couple of days. It got straightened out (ok someone kissed his ass I guess) but JEEZUS!

did a little dance

in my friend's bathroom last night. She has a scale. So I availed myself of it. (We don't have one). 10 pounds gone since mid-August or so. HELL YEAH! Officially, 12, actually. DOOD! so awesome.

Friday, December 07, 2007

the best compliment

Someone at the jam last night called me "The Human Metronome". hehe. I actually get that a lot. I'm not that fancy, but I stick like glue to the beat.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

the other other white stuff

had I mentioned yet its snowing?

Klamath Falls Airport website

yeah yeah... weeee! anyway. Lookie!


Here's a whole bunch of words strung together that have no discernible meaning:

"It has nothing to do with what faith a person has - it's whether or not that person's life is consistent with how he lives it," Huckabee said Thursday on NBC's "Today."

At least, to me... what?

on pea soup

Yesterday's drive to Siskiyou was pea soup from town to Mt Hebron summit. Frozen pea soup. The drive back.. ok well I had thought it couldn't have gotten much crappier, but the drive back was indeed worse. Thick fog from Weed to the Mt Hebron summit, and then all the way through Butte Valley into town. Thick enough that most of the time I could only see three of the lane divider dash lines ahead of me. This fog was denser than any fog I've experienced. Even the worst of the Coos Bay fog I've driven in had nothing on this stuff.

Banks are still on my shit list.

Monday, December 03, 2007

no snow

Oh yeah and we got gypped on the monster storm. Just a whole bunch of wind. We get enough of that from our elected officials. Snow, please!

Thanks, Mojo

For "I hate banks". A m0nth never goes by that I'm not swearing about one bank or another. This month, it's been especially difficult to restrain myself.

I hate banks I just can't stand em
Gimme a shovel and man, I'll plant em
Six feet under that's where they belong
I hate banks is the name of this song

And my favorite part, in one of the verses,
Mr Bank president can twitch in a ditch