Saturday, December 30, 2006

what goes around

yeah so those neighbors... the ones who called the cops... they were gone last weekend and i noticed they had a leak in one of their outside pipes. Apparently when they came back, they fixed it.

And then i go out this morning and hear water again. I looked around our yard and found it was coming from their place again. They're not home, again. This leak is jetting out from their siding. So i imagine it's probably all over inside the wall, as well, and possibly even all over the floor in the house.

The only thing i can think of to do is call the water department and tell them to shut the neighbors water off to prevent any more damage. I don't think the WD is open tomorrow, though.

Don't know what to do. The Mean Pril snickers about it and says "ain't my problem". The little sliver of Nice Pril would like to do something, but doesn't know what.

famous last words

well, damn, these things are creepy sometimes.

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"I dunno, press the button and find out."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

At least you didn't get this for Christmas

One of my friends has been on-and-off dating this asshole for years. I've only known her for about a year. Last year, she dumped him because he threw a table at her. Then, at some point this year, she got back together with him, and a few of us reacted with the rolling eyes and "That's really not a good idea". That's all you can do, usually, when your watching someone walk into a meat grinder for the umpteenth time, because people don't listen.

Yesterday i got a call from a number i didn't recognize, and it was her. The 54-year-old toddler (and i have witnessed a couple of his tantrums) had come home, grabbed her by her hair and pounded on her again, leaving her with a black eye and some other bumps and bruises, and broke her phone. Then he left and she went to her daughter's house and called the police. They called back within a half hour and had his lame ass in custody.

He is on probation, and he had three more months to go before he was going to be off probation. He's much stupider than i ever imagined. He's going to be there for a while, i hope.

Monday, December 25, 2006

first time for everything

You know, i had never seen "It's A Wonderful Life". That's right. 36 (a week away from 37) years old and never seen it.

I caught it at a friends house last night. I must have caught it right at the beginning, but i figured "Hey i'll see what's up with it" and watched the whole thing.

I just want to say i really dug the dialogue in it. I don't know why. It seemed so much better than what i've seen in movies made since i was born. I can see why it's a classic, too. The little guy gets one over on the big jerk with the help of the regular people. Fantastic.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

cheesy christmas goodness

man, on the abc family channel they're having some kind of marathon of Rankin Bass christmas shows. weeee!


well, here it is Christmas Eve and WHERE'S MY SNOW!? If i wanted a wet Christmas, i'd go back to Coos Bay.

I want a Gibson SG. Not necessarily as a Christmas or Birthday present. I just want one. It's taken me a long time to decide which geetar i want, and finally, that's it. I'd even take a very good copy.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

guitar hero & 2

i hate this game so much. I think i hate it as much as i hate karaoke. If you want to play guitar, buy a freakin guitar and learn how to play it. Hell you don't even have to pay for lessons, just spend $4 on a guitar magazine every couple of weeks and you'll learn all kinds of stuff. You can buy a guitar for like $80 and if you like it, spend up later on a nicer one.

and now there's that singing one? I cant remember what its called.. like karaoke in your laptop or something. "The only way to rock". (i guess doing it on a stage with instruments in front of actual people doesn't count...) Pah. You know, the commercial for it has the two lamers at the mall singing the Worst Song The Cure Ever Recorded? That one.

the inner geek howls

at this thing. I saw in it in a Pop Sci magazine. Yeah. I read that sometimes. I don't get half of it, but i read it cover to cover and try to learn things from it. Because science-y type things are very cool.

The Periodic Table Table.

I want it. Smart Half about soiled himself, he thought it was so cool.

Friday, December 22, 2006

our tree of chaos



i noticed today that Lake Euwana had a nice skin of ice over much of it, except the channel where the current from the Link River keeps it moving. So i went and took some pictures.

It's thick enough that someone had tossed a couple of cinderblocks out onto it and not cracked it or punched a hole in it. The birds are all hanging out along the edges.

I haven't been up to look at Upper Klamath Lake yet, which is pretty sad considering i'm only about three blocks from it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

o boy!

More snow arriving! That is just so damn cool.

Our tree is up, and decorated. I still have some orney-mits to put on it. We will need a bigger tree next year. This one is loaded down. I didn't realize i had so many. Smart Half got all his on fairly quickly. However, it appears that when i was younger, my mom and i were ornament making fiends and there are half a billion of them now on the tree. And still like half a tub of them.

Smart Half and i each picked out something to buy and put on the tree. He mentioned something about he picked something he thought would work with the theme i seemed to have in mind. I think i had just mentioned that i prefer blue and silver stuff to red and green. Just me being perverse, probably. So he picked something silver. But a theme! Hell, it's Christmas, and that's the only theme i apply. Chaos reigns on the tree.

Although i love tinsel, we didn't do it. Something about having cats... there's nothing weirder than chasing down a cat with a piece of tinsel hanging out its ass that it ate while playing with the stuff. So, i don't do tinsel.

I took a picture of it today and i'll try to remember to unload it and get it on flickr and put it here.

Also, i have no idea when i am going to have access to my other blog. I'm thinking January, which kind of makes me pout a bit.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

off the bluff

yesterday at a friend's house i saw a little bit of video and no sound about a car going off a cliff somewhere, and someone being inside. When i got home, i checked ye old hometown paper for some news on something else, and there it was.

These cliffs were part of my childhood and teenage years. As a kid, my dad and i walked down there a lot, we went down to the shoreline and looked for shells, and then climbed back up. As a teenager, my friends and i often headed down the cliffs to drink. The spot where this person went over is about two blocks from the high school dad taught at for 20 something years. During the 70s, it wasn't uncommon for authorities to be winching cars back up over the bluffs, and a lot of the time, the cars were just left down there. It got harder in the late 70s and early 80s to shove a car off the bluffs or drive one off. The city placed huge rocks along the curbs, but still, somehow, people manage to drive off the cliffs or push cars off. At the time they were placed, wide cars were the norm, so they were probably placed with that in mind. Smaller cars can fit through the gaps, though.

Monday, December 18, 2006

benefit concert results!

The Blues Society had it's annual benefit concert on Saturday. It was the fifth one. Held at the VFW in downtown Klam Fallz.

We filled a big trash can with donated canned food, and there was a wad of bills in the bucket we had dedicated for donations to the food bank. The raffle was a big hit, and people walked out at the end of the night with a DeWalt drill kit, a nice acoustic guitar, guitar lessons, free gas, pounds of coffee, free coffee bucks, free lunches, discounts on clothes, a wok set, a knife set and a glassware set (which the crisis center won!), T-shirts, diamond earrings, a nice print of one of my photographs, and a lot of other stuff. I won a free LOF, a travel mug and bean bucks, and a gift certificate for the local lingerie shop (and of course they will have nothing in my size, so i'll probably spend it on socks or something lame like that). I wanted the guitar and the wok set, but the stuff i won was pretty darn cool.

Smart Half ran the sound, and all the bands sounded excellent! EXCELLENT! Good sound all over the hall. That's because he's awesome at running sound.

We raised almost $2000 for the Crisis Center.

So a thank you to everyone who came out for this, all the people who worked at the hall, the VFW, all the bands, all the businesses who donated things to raffle, everyone who helped move the heavy stuff around and set all the things up in the hall... thanks for making it a great big success. There are women and kids who are going to have a little brighter Christmas than they might have, now.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

rough winter

wow. A rather large wave of unfortunate events have swept through the northwest this year.

Plane crash in Bandon, plane crash near Hauser, Sammy Boehlke, the Kims, the three hikers on Mt. Hood, the empty catamaran, several and various boats needing to be rescued (well, that's probably not particularly unusual this time of year), nasty storm in Washington, another nasty storm which left 1 million people without power and caused people to think they could bring their bbq inside to cook and heat (collective bonk on the head to those people). Various people dead from weather related stuff-floods, candle fires, exposure...

Am I missing anything?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

must have been something i ate

I'm probably as surprised as anyone by the last outburst. Of all the things people know me by, being emotional in person or in print is not one of them, generally.

For now, i'm tapping the foot and waiting for the snow that's been promised repeatedly. Well, where is it already?!

My buddy the Beeb is heading up from Oregon's Bay Area (ha ha ha that just makes me laugh every time i think of it) to do a gig at a big local employer's Christmas party. He's coming today so he can jam with us, and doing his gig tomorrow, and maybe hopefully he will stay over to come to the benefit Saturday.

We are going to get our Christmas tree today! We last had a tree in '97 or so. It was a total Charlie Brown tree. But we loved it. Prior to that, i think the last time i had a Christmas tree was at some point when i was living with one or the other of my parents. My mom and i decorated her big ficus tree one year. That last tree would have been in the 80s some time, probably. So you can imagine i'm about jumping out of my skin with glee about getting one again.

And lastly, i'm going to drag Natalie ice skating. I would like to do it this week. It's cheap. Surprise surprise- i took ice skating lessons when i was a middle-schooler. I went straight from rollerskates to the ice. I was at a little thrift/antique/cool old junk store a couple of weeks ago and they had two pairs of men's 8 ice skates. These were *old* skates. But the blades looked good as new, the leather was supple and in great shape. I'm thinking i would like to go back and get them. I like ice skating. I love the way the ice feels as you move across it, and the scrinch scrinch sound.

I'm no pro. I think i took lessons on and off for about two years, and did a lot of just skating around and around, but i can stop, i can start, i can do those crossover turns and skate backward and a couple of fancy spins that i probably wouldn't try now anyway. It'll be the first time in years i've been on the ice. Natalie will probably be treated to watching me fall on my ass a few times until i get me feet back under me. That's all right. It cant be any worse than sliding down the slope on my ass with my still-hooked goofy-foot with the board on it heading over my head, with my left knee next to my right ear, and hearing that wonderful *rrrip* sound.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

symbolic vs. actual

I'm talking about action. Activism. It's been eating at me for a few weeks.

When i read that the camera-ready protestors had finally managed to run the Schumacher fur store out of Portland, it started eating at me. What had they actually accomplished? Nothing. There are still animals that need our help, and a once-monthly protest at some store? Did that actually help any animals? What do the protestors do when they aren't lookin good for the TV people? Do any of them volunteer at animal shelters, or work with abandoned horses, or talk to cattle ranchers about keeping their charges healthy? Are any of the people of college age in any kind of program at school like veterinary tech or even maybe working toward a degree to become a vet? Do they have pets of their own? How do they treat their pets? Have any of them even spent more than 10 minutes at an animal shelter? Or donated a single dime to a spay-neuter program or any other kind of program that puts the right people in the right places to do things that tangibly help animals?

The Schumacher fur store protests were purely symbolic and mostly devoid of any real action taken to help any kind of animal. People will always buy fur. We don't buy as much as we used to, but i don't see us stopping the practice any time soon. So they ran the store out of downtown. Big Woop.

I correspond with Strayer at Cat Eyes. She's a great lady. She puts her money where her mouth is, and she surely doesn't have a whole lot of money to be cramming down her gullet. Her focus is on cats, and i would bet that if she could afford it or make it happen somehow, she might expand to other animals. (Let me know if i'm wrong on that Strayer, but i believe it about you). But the fact is that she goes out and traps strays and ferals and fixes them and finds homes for them, she helps get them well. That's actual action. Her effort sometimes seems futile just because of the sheer numbers of irresponsible people out there. She keeps doing it. She isn't wasting her time standing around some store with a sign in her hand, smiling for the media.

Funny how she lives, also, in the bluest of Oregon's blue cities, and all she gets for her actual action is a bunch of crap. There are no animal activists beating down her door to help her. Maybe they're afraid they'll get dirty or something.

When i first moved to Oregon, someone jokingly told me you can't live in Eugene or Portland or Corvallis unless you have some cause or another. That was fine with me, and i didn't have any causes. Over the years i've lived here, i have taken on a cause. People. Even when i can't hand out money, i still get out and try to do something for someone. I have a couple of people on fixed incomes in different parts of the state that get a care package from me a couple of times a year. It takes me a while to build the packages up, but they always get one from me around Christmas. They are usually some frivolous silly things, some small luxuries, some necessaries and maybe a little cash if i have it. I just added another person to the list of people i send these to. I do a lot of work with the blues society here, and i've played more volunteer gigs with them this year than paying ones with the band i was in earlier. I drive someone around because they can't drive.

At Christmas time i see all the trees around town that have the little stars on them or whatever with a childs name and Christmas list, or a senior citizens name and Christmas list, and i want to cry because i can't just take all the little stars and buy all these people the things they want. Pants! For god's sake, some of these seniors just want a pair of pants!

I don't know. Maybe put the protest signs down and head into a homeless shelter, or an animal shelter, or pick a star or two off a Christmas tree. Do things because it's right instead of because your politics dictate it. Do something, and waiting around for the media op isn't something. Jeez, on my birthday i'm going to teach people how to string guitars that have never owned a guitar, and if they couldn't buy it at the Store That Shall Not Be Named, they might never own a guitar. That's why i'm doing it- i want to take some of the frustration out of it for them. Make it fun right away. "Your fingers will be hamburger! Your neighbors will complain! Your parents will come up to your room and yell at you to turn it down! But what are you doing? Something a lot of people don't get to, so take it up and enjoy it, and get good, to make other people happy, because it will make you happy". Really though, what the hell else is there to do on your 37th birthday?

And by the way i think altruism is a load of crap.

And if you have some extra dollars, head over to Strayer's page and plunk them down on the Donate to POPPA button. Money doesn't taste much better than feet do, but it's more pleasant to put your money where your mouth is rather than your foot.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Blues Benefit

Our annual benefit concert is NEXT WEEKEND! Holy cow! Yeah, next Saturday night (12/16) at the VFW. Four bands including the KBS Jam Band. That's just a group of members that changes from event to event and we get together and do these things as the KBS Jam Band.
Last year i believe we raised something like $5000 for the KYDC (and several families had Christmases they would not have normally had) and two big trashcans full of food for the Food Bank.

This year, our beneficiary is the Klamath Crisis Center and, again, the food bank.

We go around town and collect items and gift certificates from local businesses and raffle them off. Holiday Jewelers always kicks in something with diamonds. This year, someone may get a Blues-O-Gram from Natalie, Rachel and I. I'm donating at least one of my photographs, too. The local awesome guitar store kicks in a guitar.

Anyway if you are in the area and are looking for something to do Saturday night, roll on by the VFW at Klamath Ave and 5th street with a couple of bucks in hand and an item of nonperishable food.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

a gift on my birthday

ok don't get me wrong. Today isn't my birthday. But follow along, if you please.

Smart Half's department at The-Store-I-Do-Not-Name is in charge of selling musical instruments. They sell the same brand as the ones you can get if you by whatever VW it is. These aren't bad little guitars. You could do a lot worse for more money. Trust me on that. Made in USA, headquartered in Boston, MA on the street named for my mother's mother's family. I goof off on them when I'm waiting for him. Any guitar is a good time to me, though.

Ok onward. He told me that last year, the biggest reason for returns on these guitars was because a string broke. My first thought was "How retarded. Do people think the strings are indestructable?! Or that the guitar is now broken?!". Whatever. Customers are freaks. Anyway. How lame!

So the gears started turning and my brain started smoking and i spit out an idea. I'm going to give a little guitar clinic type thing down there in his department after Christmas. The best day happens to be on my birthday. So, on my birthday, i am going to be helping a group of brand-new guitar and bass owners learn the important stuff. The important stuff is things like learning how to restring your guitar, how to tune your guitar, where to take it around town for repairs and adjustments, who to go to for lessons, a little demystifying the hype about guitars and letting them know which things you REALLY need when you own a guitar, and which things people just tell you that you need to make you spend money that you don't really have to.

Each guitar has an invitation to this event on its box. I will bring some cookies and soda or juice or something. I'll have my guitars and basses there so people can see the different kinds of strings, bridges and saddles, etc. I'm going to print a little handout with the local guitar store (who is a member of the blues society, and i am doing this as a society member) business cards of their teachers, a little diagram of what is on a guitar and a bass, and a note chart of the notes on the neck AND a small list of helpful things you should have around. Like a small Allen wrench, wire cutters, soft cloth, lemon oil, small phillips head screwdriver, stringwinder, etc. The guitools you always seem to need when they aren't around.

You know what? I freakin hate stringing my guitars. I take the six-stringers to a shop and pay them to do it, i hate it so much. I am not a fan of stringing the basses, but it's not as tedious. But it's a necessary skill and i am going to spend my birthday teaching brand new git players these things. No one taught me them until i was well under way.

Yeah. Happy Birthday to me! It will be the coolest birthday present to myself, ever.

psyching up for indoctrination camp

Well, in all the years i have pondered what i should head for in college, i may have figured it out finally. But first, we have to get the crapmobile out of the shop, and that's another $900 we get to throw at someone. It'll be nice to have two cars again. It's happened so rarely for us to have two working correctly at the same time. Usually the issues with them are something beyond my ability, space and tool collection to handle. (As an aside, every damn car i have ever had in my possession has had exhaust issues. I am so sick and tired of that.)

So, with any luck, i'm book bound in spring. I'm keepin it to myself until i get a thorough overview of what i want. I'll just say that my love of the outside world has a big influence on what i want to go for. I just want to talk to the instructors first and see if they are really instructors or just taking the opportunity to cram their ideology down the throat of young college suckers.

Of course, it will be transferrable. I don't know where we will be in five years, and i may not be done by then anyway.

Oh.. and Mike- *wink wink*

I'd like a bacterial infection grande, to go

Taco Bell's most recent problem rather makes me happy that i haven't eaten there since '93 or so.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Siam Thai

I finally got over to a local restaurant that i had been meaning to try since we got here. The Siam Thai on Washburn. Smart Half and I are both big fans of Thai food. Unfortunately, for the last decade, we have lived in places where Chinese food is about as exotic as it got. 'Cept the great Mediterranean cafes in North Bend, of course. Not that i have anything against Chinese food. I like Asian food in general, but Chinese gets old.

So i about soiled myself to see a Thai place. And so far, i have not been disappointed. Yesterday we had lunch there for the second time, and i was really enjoying the music coming in over the speakers. Oh and the food of course.

But anyway, the music... yes...
I hear a blues progression. Standard, very Western. And then, the vocals in Thai. The vocal melody was more Asian sounding, and the juxtaposition over the Western blues riff was really cool. Then another song came on, which was, like, prog rockish i guess, with very Western drum parts, electric guitars and meandering effects, but in the background, sort of buried in the mix, underrunning that Western feel was a distinctly Asian instrumentation and scale.

So i could just sit in there and eat fried bananas with honey sauce all day and trip on the music they play and be completely happy. I even asked them to turn up the music.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

now a little incredulous

the more that comes out about how the Kim family got lost and what they did, honestly, the angrier i get. in some article or another, someone is quoted as saying Mr. Kim did nothing wrong. I'm sorry, and if i had any readership i'm sure i'd take some heat for this, but Mr. Kim did plenty wrong. He didn't have to die. That's the shame of it. I think it's unreal, what happened.

A simple "get off at the next exit and turn around to get back to the 42", and he would still be alive. Those beautiful little girls of his would still have a father, and Kati Kim wouldn't be a widow.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Sad to hear that James Kim wasn't found alive.

And frustrated. All they had to do when they missed the exit for the 42 was turn around or continue south to the 199.

One can point blame at mapmakers and signage, etc., but someone made a series of bad decisions and this is the unfortunate outcome.

beat down

Rumor has it my li'l bro in Ontario may have taken the dive into white dope. That pisses me off. If the rumor is confirmed, i'm hoppin in the car and going up there to beat him severely about the head and shoulders. hell hath no fury like me finding out one of my friends is hooked on that shit. Whoever he's getting it from? Start looking for a ditch that fits...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I'm very happy that three-fourths of the Kim family have been found, and i hope they find James Kim alive and well.

But i can't help wondering what possessed them to take that road?

Monday, December 04, 2006


I watched something on the history channel yesterday about the Titanic. I guess it was filmed in 2000 or something. I didn't have a TV in 2000 so i wouldn't have seen it when it was new.

It was a documentary about some guys who were looking for reasons that water had been coming in through one of the boiler rooms while it was sinking. The old theories about the ship sideswiping the iceberg didn't explain why water would come in through the bottom. They eventually found two pieces of the bottom- the keel.

In between footage of the wreck, there were passenger stories interposed. They talked with Milvina Dean (who was an infant) and the son of another passenger that was 15 when the ship went down.

But that wasn't what really piqued my interest in it. They talked about the band.

I've come to the conclusion that venues have been dissing musicians probably since the dawn of time. "We love having the entertainment, but we aren't paying you" is apparently the mantra.

White Star lines didn't want to pay the band union scale, so they listed them as second class passengers.

Strike one.

As the ship sank, the band kept playing. They all went down with the ship and froze to death in the water.

Strike two.

The band leader's name was Wallace Hartley. To the end, he and his bandmates offered comfort by music to the people trying to leave the ship.

Strike three- When the passengers that were rescued arrived in New York, there were thousands of people waiting. Again, when many of them returned to England, they were greeted loudly and with cheers. Hartley's funeral had some 30,000 or so people at it. What a send off... but then...

The band members' families were sent- can you believe this shit- bills for the loss of the uniforms that the members were wearing.

You can read more about the band here.

This is a thankless thing to do, this playing music thing.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

i have a question

well actually i have tons of questions. This one in particular, i probably know the answer to, and its one of those answers you don't really like.

If you get busted on a 3rd strike drug offense you should do more than one year in jail, correct? ("should" as in, I'm sure the law generally provides for more than one year in such a case. Not should as in, "well i think he should do more time")

Especially if the offense is for cooking meth in your house...

Where there are some kids and a girlfriend...

Who doesn't lose the kids, even though she's involved...

And she doesn't do any time either...

What does all that mean?

I think i know, because then there was this-
Someone else who got busted (but was only ticketed, due to it being a different drug) who had yet SOMEONE ELSE at their house who the FBI came and got...

First person (who did the year) calls the second person the day after the bust and says, "Hey i heard the FBI was at your house".

What the hell would you think? I have a jailhouse mentality. I've been in the system too long. The courts in three states have extorted plenty of money from me, so i automatically think something that's very dangerous to be thinking. If you slap this label on someone, you endanger them. So i'm not going to mention the label i'm thinking.

But what do YOU think?