Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Welcome Return to The Ordinary

After the deluge of Marriage, Death and Life-Changing surgery, I think it's time to just check in with a nice, relatively mundane post.

Some general updateage:

I will hit on the surgery for a moment: Fan-fucking-tastic. Healing up nice, vision is improving all of the time. Last time I saw the Doc, he said I could go swimming by now, should I wish to... just...incredible. I can actually give you an example of how my eyesight's improving: Two days after the surgery I was at a friend of mine's house, and of course, it was the subject of discussion. One of my friends asked if I could read the titles on some of the books on my friend's shelf. (These were GURPs "splat" books actually, if you happen to be enough of a geek to know what those are.) I could make out a couple, those where the font color was sufficiently contrasted to the color of the cover, and everyone was dutifully impressed when I rattled these off. Two weeks later, I'm at the same house, sitting in the same chair, and I glance over at the bookshelf. I could make out every title except one. The one in question had a font color almost the same color as the jacket, and my friend sitting right next to it said he could barely make it out. I could actually catch a word or two, which pretty much blew him away.

It's pretty fucking cool.

In other news: I temporarily chopped my sideburns off. Some people (believe it or not) will be distressed to hear this. Every once in awhile you just gotta take 'em off, air it out, and grow 'em back from the start, y'know? I just got a haircut, just got the eyes fixed, it was time. Might keep it that way for a minute, but the chops'll be back soon, I'm sure.

Got a new MP3 player: 20 gig iRiver. Just got the damn thing, haven't even really set it up yet. It is charging as I type. The plan is to get an FM modulator and hook it up in the car, get that 6 speaker system working for me. The thing'll hold three days of music, or some shit. I have two cigarette lighter outlets in my center console, I'm hoping if I get the right components, and configure it properly, I can charge it while I drive and have the FM modulator both. Then the car will just be dialed in; I'll only have to take it out to put more of The Punk Rock on it. (or whatever. I bought a Marvin Gaye CD today. Fuck Off.)

Went and saw "V for Vendetta" tonight, finally. I'm sure I'm going to have to go over this several times, in several places, with several people, but my short take on it is this: The Movie is the Pussy version of the story. And they did warp the story. Gutsy, compared to typical Hollywood crap, but Pussy Bullshit compared to the source. If you like the movie, and have not read the original, do not hesitate, go get it right now and read it. I still managed to enjoy myself, and I'll be wearing my Guy Fawlkes mask on November 5th, just for the fuck of it.

Just sorted through a mountain of laundry. I know you'd all love to hear about that. Think I'll start another Blog specifically on the subject. (Hey....)

Let's see, what else? Started another 12 Step Program. Yay for me! I'm Fucked up! Social Hollywood, the GIANT new restaurant the company I work for is opening is letting me have a free dinner as a test run before opening, which is cool. Seriously, this place is Ginormous. They've taken over the old Hollywood Athletic Club, and frankly, I'm curious as to even how they are going to fill the space. Gonna check it out Monday with some friends of mine.

Finally, some technical goals that I want to achieve for this Blog. Nothing fancy, just want to get it out there so I don't fuck it off. A "Blogroll," for one. I've been reading a lot of Blogs lately, and I just need to get one of these up. Share some love, maybe get a link or two back, if I can. Tags. I found a utility that will allow me to tag the entries, I need to get it set up. Blogger doesn't handle this natively, so it will take some doing, but I think it will be helpful. I'm probably going to do a custom header, as well. Something that doesn't just scream, "Hey, Look, it's another Blogger account!" Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I gotta do my own thing. Anyone know how to rig a Flavicon on one of these accounts? Or is that just asking too much? Whatever. I should move it to my own site anyway. I do own "" Might as well do something with it. Might be a good place to put the Laundry Blog.

Later kids,

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

R.I.P. Mike Roberto.

So, I found out Sunday that Mike shot himself.

I guess it's obvious that there is nothing about this that doesn't suck. The Memorial is tomorrow. Mike was my Bro, and I miss him.

Of the myriad things I hate about this kind of shit is just the inherent drama about the whole thing. Either one keeps completely tight lipped about it, or you end up dropping unsuspecting bombshells on innocent people asking shit like, "What are you doing Thursday?"

And, of course, throwing dirt on someone you used to hang out with sucks balls, as well.

Sunday after I found out I ended up kind of volatile. I walked down to the mall to get something to eat, and just...I almost started a fight. Hell, I almost started a fight with someone who was carrying their daughter around. He was, in fact, being a dick, but my reaction was a bit lopsided, even after I walked away. I kept having to resist the urge to double back and tell him to put his fucking daughter down and blast him in his fucking face in front of his family. Though this may have prompted him to reconsider his unjust sense of entitlement in future, it would have been a big clusterfuck of wreckage otherwise.

Shortly there-after I wandered into Hot Topic, where the sales girls were jumping around to whatever corporate sanctioned alterna-crap they had playing, and I just wanted to grab them, shake them hard and yell, "My friend just shot himself, how the fuck is your Easter??!!??" I could have Out Gloomed the Gothiest Goth anywhere at that moment.

So, of course, now just mentioning it as a filled slot on my clalendar seems unnecessary drama. And hey, there's this whole fucking Blog entry on it.

Whatever. Obviously, I didn't blast that guy in the face, and I didn't slap the happy out of the sales girls. I'm not trying to over drama it, but I'm trying to cop to my feelings about it none the less, and well, whatever.

Mike Roberto was a good dude. He was my friend, and I miss him, and I'm gonna miss him. I wish there was someway I could have gone back and told him so, or demonstrated such sufficiently to keep him from taking his own life, but I couldn't and didn't and who or what I say to whom and when is largely beyond my ken.

I hope the Pain's gone, Mike, I really hope it is. Whatever it was that drove you to it, I hope it's fucking gone. And where ever you are, I hope you can look down and smile sardonically and laugh at the idiocy of the rest of us doing our thing as best we can, with an Atomic-strength cup of coffee in your hand.

Fucking Knucklehead.

Rest in Fucking Peace, Mike Roberto. You're fucking missed.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Eye for Detail

So, there have been a lot of questions and speculation about my eye surgery. I think I addressed most of 'em in a Message board conversation I had shortly afterwards. Basically there's a play by play. Though there was more to the thread, this is all intact, nothing's been edited. Not that it's terribly controversial subject matter anyway, but just so you know. There was stuff before and after this part, but nothing during. The stuff before was mainly, "Hey, I'm going to have/I just had surgery..." and the stuff after was largely jokes about the Super Powers I gained during the operation. Nothing's out of context. Whatever. Just read it.
(Sheesh. You'd think it was transcripts from the Watergate Tapes.)

Seppuku Squirrels:
You've got guts Vrocky one. I've considered laser scalpels on the eyes and it just freaks me out. I couldn't make it if they "slip" and one or both of my eyes got worse. How long do you have to be away from the PC? I work online all day and also can't afford to miss time from work. No PC usage would mean having to stay home. :
Good mojo in your direction! You never know, lasers in, maybe you'll get lasers out.


Rob Noxious:
It's only the morning after and I already see better than I did with my glasses. And it's only suppossed to get better from here.

I am, thus far, unable to shoot lazer beams back out of my eye, however. Also, there seemed to be few, if any, radioactive spiders in the room.

Maybe next time.

Squirrely, with the technology at the point it is now, it would probably take an earthquake to make the lazers "slip," and even then, I'm sure they have an auto-shut off. Do your research, find a Doctor with experience who upgrades his equipment regularly. The super cheap places you see in the paper all have used equipment. The technology is advancing rapidly, and is being fine-tuned all of the time. I think there's very little left to chance when you finally get down to the procedure, most of the human element is in the measuring and setting, which my Doctor did several times over.

And you'll miss one day of work. That's it.

Go find a good Doctor, take one of the free qualification exams and talk to them about it.

The "Clockwork Orange" part is over fairly quickly.

Seppuku Squirrels:
So how did they do it? Do they put a suction cup over your eyeball and yank it out and shave off the end or what? You mentioned "eye" not "eyes". Are you doing one at a time or are they both done?

So asks the inquiring.


Rob Noxious:
Quote:You mentioned "eye" not "eyes". Are you doing one at a time or are they both done?

Typo. They did both.

You go in, they test you and measure you, repeatedly, (Measure twice, cut once) on a couple of different machines. Some are the familair "Worse or better" eye tests, some are this weird thing where you stare at a red dot and it takes a picture of the shape of your eye.

The main laser machine uses this to track the shape and geometry of your eye while it does its thing.

Then they put in drops that dialate your eye and do it all over again. (The dialated eye thing is really annoying, but it wears off after a couple of hours.)

This is all preliminary, and must happen with in seven days of the actual surgery.

Surgery day, you go in, they give you a Valium so you don't get all jumpy, he explains what's going to happen, "You'll feel pressure, then I'll do this, then there'll be that..." The explanation takes as long as the surgery.

Then they strap your eyelid open, (ala Clockwork Orange, I actually started singing "Singing in the Rain," but, then again, I'm a huge smartass.) you hear a clicking, then they do the other eye.

I guess everyone is different, but when I got up from the chair my vision was still extremely blurry, but better than without my glasses before, but still not, say, good enough to drive. The Doc told me there would be a sharp increase in vision the following morning. That day/night my vision steadily improved, I went to bed late last night, woke up this morning and Boo-yah! I can see just freeakin' fine!

I had a follow up this morning at 9AM. (I showed up in Pajamas and a robe. The Doctor laughed his ass off.)

There may be a jump tomorrow, as well, I'm told. And it should increase some over the next few weeks/months as the eyes fully heal.

I have drops I put in for the next four days, and I wear these goggles at night to keep me from inadvertantly rubbing my eyes or anything. (Which is strictly verboten in any event.) I've also been strictly told not to get in any Mosh Pits for ten days. (And even then, protect the eyes.)

Anyway, almost everyone can return to work the next day.

I've had corrective eye wear for 29 years, since second grade. I keep reaching for my glasses, it's weird. But it's sooooo freaking cool.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find out what it's like to shave with out having to worry about my glasses fogging up. I'm actually really excited about this.


Seppuku Squirrels:

Thanks for the play by play. Sounds like I could probably do it. I have a really hard time letting anything near my eyes and is one reason I gave up on contacts after a few weeks. I just couldn't spend an extra 1/2 hour each day to deal with putting them in. Sounds like I wouldn't have to worry about the panic issues of jerking my eyeballs around if the is no close machinery contact

Friday, April 07, 2006

Lazer Beams

So, though my Blog posting schedule has gone to shit lately, (And it's strange, I miss it. I feel like I've left something unattended. Which, I guess, I have.) I figured I'd post here tonight, as I won't have an option to do so tomorrow, at the least.

I'm getting the eye surgery tomorrow. I'm beyond stoked. I just...I can't fucking wait. See those glasses I'm wearing in my picture? Buh-bye.

However, I'm told that while watching some TV is okay, Reading and computer work is out. This sucks as I'd rather read and or fuck around on the computer. In fact, if I'm denied the computer, reading is usually my first choice for alternate activity.

But, whatever. Doc say do it or don't do it, I comply. Fuckin' A, he's fixing my eyeballs.

I also will be given a Valium during the procedure to relax me so I don't freak out while he's zapping me in the eye. I checked with my Sponser and all that, he said it's probably a good idea. Not only am I directly under a Doctor's supervision, but I only get the one, anyway. It's not like he's giving me any to take home.

Though when I had the emergency molar yanked a few months ago, I was given a script for Vicaden. I never had it filled, Cowboyed it Up with nothing but Tylanol and Advil, went back to his office and handed the script back to him. The look on his face was priceless. heh.

But I get to take the Valium tomorrow. Weeee!

In other News: I performed my First Wedding Sunday. (Been a hell of a couple of weeks) It went beautifully, actually. The weather was absolutely perfect, and well, it was all very cool. I kept the ceremony short, by request, but it was written especially for the couple, and, yeah, it was all very cool. It was a very nice thing. I've been ordained since 2000, but this was the first time I've used "The Power Vested in Me." Kinda Rocked.

Alright, I'm going to try and get some sleep before I end up just staying awake 'til I'm due in Surgery. Wish me Luck! Fuckin' A, wish me something, anyway.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Dead Eye

So, my self-imposed Blogging Schedule disappeared last week, but considering the circumstances, for all of us, I guess it's understandable.

I made my eye appointment Monday, and everything is cool with that, but then, of course, that same day the dead returned to devour the flesh of the living. I didn't find out about what had happened until I left the Doctor's office, when some woman in a skirt suit tried to take a bite out of my bicep. Fucking Corporate Zombies. The lobby Security Guard saved my fucking ass.

As an aside, I had no idea Lobby Security backed their shit up with shot guns. Good to know.

Fortunately the Doctor's office is not far from here and, it being on the ninth floor, they seem to be using it as a home base, for now. I called them and they said to go ahead and keep my Monday preliminary appointment, and then this coming Friday, provided none of us are shambling corpses hunting for Brains, they'll go ahead and do the surgery as scheduled.

Even in the last few days, I have really realized what a handicap it is having to worry about breaking your glasses while fighting off the Undead. I'm convinced this surgery will really increase my over all survival chances.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Eye Balls.

It's been a busy day, and just about to go get ready for work.

I paid that debt, in full. I have a confirmation number, it's DONE.

I also have made an appointment to see The Eye Guy. I go in Monday to find out if I'm eligible for the surgery. I really, really fucking hope I am. I swear, if I'm not, I just might cry. That's not something I do a lot.

My dilemma yesterday was just that, had I not got that debt out of the way, I could, I'm fairly certain, paid for the surgery in one lump sum. Owned my eyeballs free and clear, as it were. I know that this Doctor, in talking to my friend who've gone to him, will set up payments through a Debit card, after a sizeable down payment. I have that down payment. I don't know if this counts as an "Unsecured" debt or not. I know I'm going to have him fix my eyes if it's at all possible.

Someone suggested in yesterday's comments that if I hadn't done anything for myself in awhile I should go ahead and do this. Well, the truth is that I'm an indulgent little fuck, so I really don't get that excuse. However, I have literally wanted to do this from the very day I heard it was possible. I remember specifically when I first heard about it. I have rued my dependence on corrective eyewear ever since second crade, when I was first forced to wear glasses. I stubbornly, as a teenager, wore neither glasses nor contacts and just walked around blind for years.

I want this, I want it bad. If I put it off, I'll just never end up doing it.

Every single person I know who has had it done says the same thing about it: "Best thing I ever did." I have spoke to exactly one person who knew someone else personally who had had a bad experience with it. The doctor I am going to has worked on three people I know, and specializes in giving people better than 20/20 vision. My friend he zapped has 20/10 right now.

Monday can't come fast enough.

Please Pray for me that I'm able to have it done. Or send good Mojo, whatever your thing. I swear I'll be heartbroken and devastated if he says, "No." Though I'll probably pick up some new Buddy Holly glasses out of spite.

Monday, Monday, Monday...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tax Bitch

So, I've been waiting on two years worth of refunds from the IRS, not counting this last year.

See, I neglected to file the year I moved to San Francisco, filed for both years the year I got back, had a nice chunk of change due me...and it never showed up.

I asked the Tax guy about it when I went to get my shit done this year, and called two different phone numbers, navigated a labrynth-like web site, called a third number (or was it the second one again) stayed on hold for half an hour and finally spoke to someone at the IRS.

That conversation led me to believe that they had sent it to the wrong address. This is not too surprising, I moved back into my old apartment building, so I have a different apartment number than what they had on file, but the rest of the address was the same. This actually screws people up more than if the whole thing is different.

The guy on the phone wouldn't admit they had sent it to the wrong address, of course, not directly. These guys are cagey.

Anyway, he said they would have to conduct an "Investigation," and determine if the checks had been cashed. In other words, and he was quite correct, I might have been ripped off. I was told that I would be contacted in six weeks if the checks had actually been cashed and they would then start a full investigation. In other words, they were going to shake me down and see if I was trying to scam them by getting double checks.

So, obviously, I was hoping they would just cut me a couple of new checks and shut the hell up.

Which is what they did. Got 'em today.

Still waiting for this year's return, but hey, at least I'm current,

Now, the dilemma: Do I use the money to pay off a few bills, or go have a life-long dream fulfilled?

I really, really want to have someone shoot lazer beams into my eyeballs. I want my vision corrected. Hell, the last two shows I went to I knocked my own stupid glasses off of my own stupid face, and I didn't even get in the pit! Stupid Glasses! Lazer beams rule!

On the other hand, the creditors are breathing kinda heavy. There have been a couple of nice, "Pay us this much and we'll shut the hell up, " offers that look pretty good.

I might be able to a little of both, sorta. I'm really trying not to start any new debt, at all. If I take all the mony from all the returns I can pay for the eye surgery outright, with a nominal amount left over. If I pay off one of these debts, I can still get the surgery, but I'll end up owing money that will be deducted monthly from my checking account, something I hate.

I'm going to give it some thought, meditate a bit, perhaps, but I have to make a decision soon. That debt offer has a sell-by date.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Holy Crap.

So, as you may or may not know, I am a Registered Minister with the Universal Life Church. I have been for some time.

Other than trying my best to uphold the very basic tenets, as I understand them, (Try Peacefully to do What is Right and Religious Freedom for All) it was just one of those things. I printed out the Certificate they sent me when I was Ordained, (An unimposing and humble looking document) filed it away and otherwise continued my Spiritual Journey to the Best of My Ability, as I'd been doing otherwise.

I didn't send them any Money, not for the fancy Official certificate, or the handbook, or anything. I knew they were available, and I figured I'd pick them up eventually, but they weren't strictly necessary, I was told, and I was Officially Ordained regardless.

This was all so long ago, I actually forgot when I had done it.

So, this year, two different people have asked me to Preside over Ceremonies for them, one of which needs to be very Official and Legal. I had, ever since taking this step, wished to be available to my Friends and Loved Ones for this sort of thing should they need or want me to, but, well, it had never come up until now.

Initially, I couldn't find that scrap of paper I had printed out all those years ago. I couldn't even, when the website asked, "If you don't know the date of your Ordination, give us an approximate and we'll look it up," I didn't even know that. I didn't even remember the year. It never occured to me to call the Church.

So, at first, I went ahead and re-registered. I guess this would have been fine, but I ended up with a Document that said I was Ordained on the 6th of March, this year. It did further say not to worry about double registration, as the Church would eliminate any such duplicates. Fine, but I still had a print out with the wrong date, and though legal, it just didn't seem right. Even if I were to order one, I still didn't know the year for an approximation.

I dug a little deeper and actually found the original document. It was really not much to look at, in fact it was downright questionable. I could Photoshop a fancier looking document in all of two minutes. Hell, I could do better in Word.

But there was a phone number. The same phone number was on my new certificate, and on the website. So, I called The Mother Church in Modesto this afternoon. The very helpful Lady who answered asked my name, and had my Date of Ordination right there in her Database. (Sunday, August 27, 2000, By the way.) She further assured me I had the Legal and Holy Right to perform these Ceremonies and anyone who doubted so could call that number and they would promptly verify it.

Now, I had conciously assumed all this time that I was "Good to Go," as it were, but frankly, being officially told so, along with instructions on how to back it up, and who would vouch for me, well, was humbling and a distinct Honor all at once.

I can, as I sit now and as I have been for the last 5 1/2 years or so, Legally Marry People in most of the Country, and with a little more paperwork, easily obtained, do so it the remaining couple of States, except, I guess New York, which requires a couple of more Hoops. (Though, I guess those are doable.) And, of course, if I Marry you in any State that Legally Recognizes the Ceremony, you are Married, Legally, in the entire United States. (And most, if not all, the World.)

Again, this is at once humbling and a distinct Honor.

This is all Very Cool, and I feel Very Good about it.

Bless You All.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Thursday Collection

I have discovered the LA Nerd. He is helpful and fun. He has blessed us with 5 Parking Tips for L.A.

Meanwhile, Overcompensating searches for the True Meaning of Spring Break, and I steal a joke from Diesel Sweeties and post in on My Space.

And you should really go buy Jeffery Rowland's new book The Case of the Missle Crisis. He deserves your love.

Now, go install FireFox and read Transmetropolitan.

More as Breaking News Develops.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


This Side bar thing is really pissing me off. Does anyone not get it pushed all the way to the bottom?

Anyway, here's something that should piss you off:

Politicians in the state of Mississippi are pushing forward with plans to ban abortion.

As Bill Hicks said, "Half of my friends think people who are Anti-Abortion are Assholes, the other half think people who are Anti-Abortion are Dicks. It's a really divisive issue." Paraphrased, due to not having the exact quote in front of me, but close enough.

Also, for something fun and truly scary, check out the LAPD's new Crime Map.

Let me know where the side bar in my comments, please. (And your resolution, if you know it.) I'mo fix this yet.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Alright, I missed Monday. Fuck it. You didn't want to read about my stupid watch anyway, did you? Well, it's cool as fuck; that's all.

In any case, here's what I did Monday, the best part of Monday, anyway:

One of the Coolest Record Stores in L.A., in fact, probably The Coolest, until Aomeba came along, is closing it's doors April 9th.

This sucks. However, I have a piece of its History, and I'm going to have it for some time, I would warrent. The shelf pictured to the right was a display unit from Aron's Records. I bought it a few months ago, and just picked it up yesterday. It can hold 1000 CDs, at capacity, and the shelves adjust (Obviously, if you look at the picture.) to hold an ass-load of DVDs as well.

I took this picture shortly after setting it up last night. None of the CDs or DVDs are in any kind of order there, and I still have a handful of both floating around, but that's most of 'em. I did, actually, alphabatize all the CDs shortly after taking that picture (Like you wouldn't.) the DVDs will wait. (Where's that other Stooge's CD? I know I had it. Did I leave the fucker in the car...)

Still, Aron's closing is a bitch, though I'm proud to have some of its history in my living room. In talking to the staff, most of them seemed not to place the blame on Aomeba opening, (Though, that place is huge, and I'm sure it contributed) but they felt the Best Buy and Target that opened right down the street is what really did them in. I guess, as much traffic as they did in Vinyl and Used stuff, the real money was in the new retail items, and, in that, they just can't keep up with the Chain Stores.

And so, I bid a Fond Farewell to Aron's Records, here in its Final Days, and I will Proudly display my Collections in Memory of its Noble History, on a Memory of its Noble History.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Three day weekend.

Apparently some people are still having problems with the format; the sidebar is getting pushed to the bottom. Today finds me a little short on time, so I'm going to spend the weekend trying to solve this, and get back to posting normally (one would hope) Monday.

Go read Something Positive.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

You Say You Want a Resolution...

Right, so I think I've fixed the disappearing letters problem.

Please, please, please leave comments and let me know how this is looking on your screen. Especially if your monitor's native resolution is anything other than 1024 x 768.

Other than the letters, I really need to know: Is there a gap between the Sidebar and the Main content? (there shouldn't be) Does the Sidebar get pushed allll the way down to the bottom of the page? Anything else look wonky?

I know there is now a gap between the header at the top and the main body of posts/sidebar. I'm cool with that.

Anyway, feedback, please!

Hopefully Manana will see the return of actual subject matter instead of technical crap. Last time I promise any particular content on a given day. That'll learn me. (And, of course, Blogger's server was acting buggy while I was trying to fix all this in the wee-hours. Oh well. Done now, I hope.)


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Can You Read Me Now?

.........If the text is getting pushed off of the Black area,
............Try Highlighting it with your mouse.

Seems that my cool-ass background does not play well with different screen resolutions. It should be fine at 1024 x 768. I'm going to pause for now on my intended subject matter in hopes I can find a solution to this. Writing a bunch of text no one else will read is one thing, writing it when no one can read it is something else entirely.

I'm on it. Suggestions are appreciated. Watch this space. Zaphod for President.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Filler in my Head

Quick Filler Post to bask in the glory of my New Layout.

The background, with some modification, is courtesy of Joe D. who runs the Old School Punk Flyers Group over at MySpace. I really appreciate its use; though, to be fair, I did use the "It's easier to ask Forgivness than Permission," technique in getting permission. Still, he was way cool about it.

I spent faarrr too much time adjusting the font heights and orientation, but I'm really happy with it. If and when I move this thing to my own domain, (And I have "" just laying around doing nothing right now) I may keep this layout.

Still a couple of things I want to fix, but over all, I think it's pretty damn cool.


Monday, March 06, 2006

High Tech, Low Tech, No Tech

Man Loves Tools. Kids Love Toys. I Like Shiny Things with Bells and Whistles.

But as much as I dig an efficient piece of operational electronics, I appreciate a well made, simple instrument that has served my ancestors admirably for time out of mind. Hell, I think I like that stuff more.

Have you ever wondered at the simple beauty of a Crowbar?

So where's the border? When should it be Vintage and when should it be Space Age? Cutting Edge or Retro? Cyber Punk or Gutter Snipe?

I'm here to make a case for the balance.

Over the past few weeks I've made a few purchaces. Tools. Accoutrements. Guy stuff, actually. The choices I've been presented with have brought this subject into sharp focus.

I'm going to start with my new Razor.

Gillette, as I'm sure you've heard, unless you don't own a TV set, has just released a new cartridge razor with, I dunno, fifteen blades or something ridiculous. I did not buy one of these.

Here's the thing: our Grandfathers did not use Triple-Bladed "Shaving Systems," and they were better groomed than most men today. They also had far less trouble with razor burn and shaving bumps. Ever wonder why?

Cary Grant didn't have a Mach III.

Now, I'm not advocating scraping a sharpened sea shell across your cheek before work, but I have gone decidedly Retro in this department. No, I'm not using a Straight-Razor either, I'm going back to a Double Edged Safty Razor.

I'm also using a Shaving Brush and Shaving Soap. There is a learning curve. These are not Safety Sissors from your Kindergarten Class. But the irritation on my neck is starting to disappear, and my shave is almost as smooth as glass.

I've actually chronicled my initial progress here on this thread at "

When "Modern" results in a cheap, plastic object that, while not requiring much skill, doesn't really do it's job any better, or not well at all, it's time to go Retro.

Tomorrow Next Week: Geek meets Punk Rock with my new Atomic Watch.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


It seems most regularly updated Blogs follow a five day a week schedule. This hadn't occured to me when I started this, but it's beginning to make sense to me now.

This is where it gets so weird it laps itself and returns to normal. My personal schedule is far removed from a Monday through Friday kind of thing, and has been for many years. Therefore, on the surface, Blogging M-F wouldn't seem logical in my case. However, Friday night tends to be a long night at work, making me tired and lazy on Saturday, and Sunday, while it's my day off, I usually have quite a bit on my agenda.

Every other week, I game on Sundays, as a matter of fact. Gaming being something I've intended to cover here, this also might seem counter-intuitive, but it actually cuts directly into the time I might otherwise be Blogging.

So, whatever, I think I'm going to try a Monday thru Friday Blog schedule. I could have just said that, but hey, this one's a freebie anyway. See you Monday.

Friday, March 03, 2006

"A Pissed off Rob is a Motivated Rob."

Yeah, apparently, and in more than one venue, it would seem.

I've got a lot going on right now, stuff I could actually lay a whole diatribe out about, but fortunately or unfortunately, I am not at liberty to talk about much of it on this kind of level. I'm not concerned about my own privacy on the matter, but it would simply be unethical to speak about in anything more than the broadest of terms.

However, it is something that is certainly taking up a large amount of my time and attention, and probably will be doing so for awhile. In fact, due to "A Pissed off Rob being a Motivated Rob," I have likely set myself up to be quite involved with said situation for quite some time.

So, in regards to this Blog, I have three options, as I see it so far:

A. Not talk about it.
B. Drop out of the Blogsphere, as it were.
C. Talk about it.

I actually sat down intending to implement A, but frankly there's too much of this floating around in my skull to try and turn around and talk of something trivial instead. B would ultimately leave me feeling like an ass, a quitter and a loser, not necessarily in that order. So, then there's C, which at this point I'm already embarking upon.

Well, there, we are. I shall endeavor to keep this in the broadest terms possible, then.

I'm part of a recovery group. I have mentioned previously that I used to drink and that I no longer do so, so this should, I would think, surprise no one. Several years ago I was very heavily involved with a local chapter of this group. In the last couple of years I have dropped in on the group but have been active elsewhere. Recently, people currently involved have asked me to come back by, expressing concern for the current state of the group and the actions of some of those who attend.

I didn't think much of it. It's always been a pretty rowdy group and people have always been concerned about some of the behavior of it's members. And, indeed, on most of the occasions I had recently attended it was perhaps, well, more annoying than I remembered, but nothing to get up in arms about.

Then I swung by Tuesday night. It was appalling. I was embarrassed. Again, we'll keep this in broad terms, but it was, in short, unacceptable. And it was not a percieved change due to long absence, it was flat out fucked up. (This has been corroborated by regular attendees.)

I simply left that night, as it was far too far gone to try and address in the moment. I returned, however, the following night. It was indeed much calmer, and while I acknowledged that, I spoke out harshly and at length about what I had seen the previous evening, and called for a return to the principles which support the recovery group as a whole, not just this particular chapter. This was largely well recieved and taken with an attitude of "It's about time."

And I managed to commit to re-involving myself more directly with the group, possibly in my old capacity, which may well be a large pain in my ass, but if that's what's meant to be, so be it.

That's all fine. Whatever. Great. Yay for me.

Trouble is, like many humans I am fallible; I can fuck up. And, regrettably, I did.

While I was making my rousing speech, I was asking, directly, by name, help from members of the group who I knew cared about it's survival. As I was doing so, a girl in the back, someone I actually like and respect, was waving her hand and saying, "Oh Pick me! Pick me!" in a playful tone. Unfortunatly, she was one of the people indulging in the fucked up behavior from the night before, and though it was much less severe in this case, her waving her hand around and talking while I had the floor was a form, though slight, of the kind of behavior I was speaking out against.

I had not intended to point a finger at any one person directly. It was, in fact, an inappropriate time and place to do so. Then again, I wasn't speaking from a prepared script, and I tend to shoot from the hip anyway. So, I basically ended up calling her out publically in front of everyone. This was wrong of me. I've attempted to talk to her, and well, as one might imagine, she's not terribly quick to forgive. That sucks, but I'll can now only offer amends, and she can accept it or not. I'm still more concerned about the group.

Of course, then, I only go and make things worse. I returned tonight. She was, actually, not there. (Which is a good thing, at this point. I wasn't exactly looking for her. I had seen her earlier in the day.) In any case, I was speaking about the group again, and in an attempt to illustrate how I thought it was more important to stand up for the principles of the group rather than be popular, I mentioned the incident of the previous night. Unfortunatly, what seemed to get across was that I don't give a fuck about that person. I didn't mention the person by name, but still. Also, it couldn't be farther from the truth.

Frankly, I think I'm most concerned about my message getting garbled.

But the real, grievious error is I've now wronged this person twice. Or, at the very least, I've made it seem like I have it out for them, which really sucks. One of her friends called me "An Officious Little Prick," which I actually found highly amusing. At least it was eloquent.

Regardless, many people have stepped up and thanked me for what I said, over all, and have pledged support for bringing things back to a semblence of order.

So, basically, I owe somebody a humble apology and I'm committed to helping restore a troubled recovery group. Both of which kind of suck on different levels.

I mean, fuck, I don't mind pissing people off to get things done, shit happens, but I don't need to do it simply out of clumsy speech and I really don't want to piss off people who can ultimately help. She's a decent person, she helps a lot of people. I fucked up.

Okay, I've left all of the names off of everything, so we should be okay, right? How about I don't fuck anything else up, huh?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

So here's my friends response to my outrage, and the fact I posted it all here:

A pissed-off Rob is a motivated Rob.

My work here is done. I'm needed elsewhere now. I'm needed wherever outlaws rule the West, wherever innocent women and children are afraid to walk the streets, wherever a man cannot live in simple dignity, wherever a people cry out for justice...

What a prick. He does get points for quoting Blazing Saddles.

More later.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

On The Scratching of Ass

So, I've told some folks what I was up to here. (You're one of them, aren't you?) The following was posted to a Message Board Thread on the Subject.

Bear in mind the poster I'm about to quote is one of my Best Friends on the Planet. He's allowed to say shit like this to me. He's also allowed to get told to Fuck Off for doing so. In any case, whether he pissed me off or not (and he did) the point he made was valid, as was, I think, my response to it. Anyway, here:

This is why I don't have a blog, aside from the rage I feel in my breast every time I hear, see, think, or type the word.

Today, I scratched my ass. It wasn't as spiritually satisfying as yesterday's ass scratch was, but maybe tomorrow will be better. I'll be running to Wal-Mart today to pick up a cheap back-scratcher on the off chance that it can also be used to scratch my ass. Here's a link to a website about ass-scratching that I found today. I had hoped that they would sell me a good ass-scratcher through the mail, but they just seem to have pictures of ass-scratchers throughout the ages. Fucking funny stuff, man. Oh, well. I may post more later if I'm not scratching something. My ass is getting a little raw, so I may go for the balls tonight.

To be fair, I actually agree with him on the idiocy of the term "Blog" itself, but I wasn't consulted as to it's validity, so I tend not to worry about it. Anyway, here's my response.

It's about accountability, asshole.

Or, to use your analogy, I can sit around thinking about how I really should improve my Ass-Scratching techniques, being as I have the means to do so, but if I only think about it privately, or write about it a private journal, (Dear Diary, my ass really itches. I know I should apply a side to side scratch, but I just can't seem to find the motivation...) my Ass will probably just continue to itch.

If I check in daily on my Ass scratching progress on a public blog that I've informed others who have been known to scratch an ass that I am posting to, I will likely feel more obligated to improve my ass-scratching.

All of that aside, those being why I personally have started this endeavor, there are some really useful and informative Blogs that have nothing to do with the Bloggers' personal lives. Some have multiple authors. Gizmodo, which is a really cool Blog about new gadgets is really fucking nice. Every day they show shit from around the world, new gee-gaws and gim-cracks. Really cool shit and where new technology is really heading. Boing Boing is good, though it is often centered with a political slant that would make Mik's head explode. Still a lot of cool art projects, events and news items you probably wouldn't otherwise find end up on there. Also, I like LifeHacker a lot, it's focus is on personal productivity, software and hardware that can help actually get shit done. Lot's of little tips and tricks, spyware free software downloads make there way on there, but, as with any software they focus on, they usually look at how to get it to actually accomplish something rather than just be a bell or a whistle.

These are the Blogs I read. There the kind of thing I'd eventually like to evolve into, but I don't think I can do that from the gate, so I made the start you've seen.

And yeah, the post this morning was just a check in on stuff I'd mentioned from the previous day, whether or not I'd accomplished the Ass-Scratching I'd set out to do or not. However, in an attempt to somewhat emulate the blogs I do admire, I made it a point to throw some other things in there. A "Thank you" of sorts for bothering to stop and read. Stuff that interested me, and that I hoped would interest my friends. In today's case, a free, tiny program that has great potential, a story on an interesting place, the likes of which I've never seen, (And would really like to go to) and a web site that will do for free what many pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for, with the bonus of being able to access your stuff anywhere in the world that has the 'net access to surf to the page.

So, y'know, I'm trying. Thanks for the overwelming support.

I posted this here, because it further refines and focuses what I'm doing here in the first place, and what the hell this is about. That, and he pissed me off.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fat Tuesday

L.A. is beautiful again. The sky's so blue it's painful.

Never got out of the pajamas yesterday, I didn't even set eyes on another human being. Drank coffee, sat on my ass and listened to the rain.

It was fucking awesome.

All those errends from yesterday? Yep, on the docket today, so this'll be short.

Here's some cool shit I found on the web today, couple a' beads I'm throwing out for The Fat Tue: (Show your Tits! -Hey, I'm developing a theme!)

Deskpins, via Lifehacker.

"Windows only: DeskPins is a simple little application designed to let you pin any program to the top layer of your desktop, meaning you can make any program 'always on top.'" Nice! (Description from LifeHacker, too.)

Also lifted from Lifehacker:

ThinkFree Office Online.
Open, edit, create, store and share MS Office Documents online...For Free. You can also post Word Docs straight to a Blog. (A feature I haven't used yet, but I'm sure to play with.)
This is damn cool. I hate e-mailing attachments, and I hate losing formatting, the uses for this are vast. Way, way cool.

(I guess you can tell I'm a big fan of the LifeHacker...)

Finally, Eat with Giraffes!

Giraffe Manor via Boing Boing.

(Edit: I nuked the Comic because on the Nag Strip. Check out User Friendly, anyway. The strip I posted was from yesterday.)

Off to work. I may not have any hot water to shower in. Send warm thoughts.


Monday, February 27, 2006

The Sky is Crying

It's raining like a bitch right now. It was beautiful yesterday... eh, whatever.

I kinda just want to hang out at the house and get my Zen on, but I've got a couple of errands to run. Gotta mail the taxes and get some groceries. It'd be a perfect day to do nothing more than sit around with coffee in my pajamas.

Oh well, I guess it'll be "Zen and the Art of Avoiding L.A. Drivers who Don't know How to Drive in the Frickin' Rain."

Apologies for the Long-Ass post yesterday, but it really was cathartic. Also, in the long run, I think it will really help me get some use out of this Blog. Hey, at least it gave me a descriptive tag line to work with for awhile.

Stuff that should be checked out:

A Lesson is Learned, but the Damage is Irreversible
PBF Archives

Happy New Moon.

I Don't Wanna Grow Up.

Here we go. That's the kind of dedication I expect to see.

I might just post an entry now and again if we have more of this sort of thing.

So, I'm told I need a "Niche." Something of interest to me that will be of interest to those out there.

Frankly, I'm not sure I care.

Is the delicate balance between Punk Rock and Geekery not enough? I don't fucking know. Maybe it's just right. Is it possible to have a midlife crisis if you refused to grow up in the first place? How do I reconcile my various interests into Bloggery without just spawning a incoherent mess? Is it even possible? Perhaps. In fact, I may be able to distill it right here and now. (Or maybe not, I guess we'll see.) Let's just free-form type some shit out and see what we come up with, huh?

Let's start at the top: Why would I Blog at all? Honestly, and as cheesy as this may sound, I want to grow. Perhaps if I attempted some focus and accountability in a Blog, it may help focus my day to day.

Great, but not only would that alone be boring as hell for anyone else, but I have a support network in real life. And I own a fucking journal. Obviously that alone would not only be cheesy, but lame. Also, it would bore me to fucking tears, as well.

Yet, there's something in there that is essential. Something about that quest forward that's necessary. In this Blogger Organism we are creating, we will call this the Spirit, the Soul, if you will..

(I say we; if there's anyone out there reading this, your input can help shape this Monster. Go find me a Fucking brain, Igor!)

So, that's the underlying Spirit, the quest for Spirit itself. Advancement as a Human. Striving to be Childlike rather than Childish.Keeping alive, as Heinlein put it, "That streak of Anarchy that is the political birthright of every American." Maintaining my Punk Rock Sensibilities while holding down a job. Growing up, without throwing out all of my Comic Books and Role Playing Games. Being a 36 year old man who can look out at the City of Los Angeles with both Child Like Wonder and Gratitude and the Jaded Cynicism of a Crusty Old Fuck who has lived here as long as I have and led the kind of life I've lived.

Cheerfully sarcastic, optimistic cynicism.

Boy, that sounds like a bunch of Horse Shit.

Oh, well, we'll roll with what we've got for now.

So, if all that happy Taoist shit is our Spirt, what about the Mind? This will likely be the meat of this Blog, should I actually ever post anything. <-Grin-> The Spirit and Mind are closely related, thus, not surprisingly, some of this was touched upon above. Mental Pursuits, Distractions, and Ponderings. Namely, Punk Rock, Comic Books, Role Playing Games and, of course, Computers and Gadgets.

Toys, bitch! Toys and Games!
(Wait, that sounds like Sex, shouldn't that be under "Body" instead of "Mind?")

Well, let's look at that, now. (Or, at least, use it as a cheap segue.) Blogging does seem primarily a Mental execise, so for our purposes, much of the focus will, indeed, be on those mental distractions we all love. So, what then of the "Body." Our Blog Organism certainly requires one. (Since I seem to want to beat this analogy to death anyway, we might as well finish it out.) The Body, as I see it, can be both the frame work the rest of the Blog lays upon, and those aspects of my life that directly effect the physical.

To whit: I have been exploring ways to increase productivity and organization, decrease clutter in my life and improve my diet, health and well-being. The desire for increased productivity is actually one of the things that led me to a Blog. Seems backward, perhaps, but it's more of an accountability thing. If I strive to check in with my goals here, perhaps I can keep myself to them. This is the framework I was referring to above.

These things are all tied in to my desire for a Career, rather than a Job. Some of you who know me may not be aware, but I'm a trained actor. I gave it up a few years ago, but I've come to find out it's not something one gives up. I don't talk about it at length because everyone in this town is an actor; it's, frankly, almost embarrassing. Little by little, however, I am back to pursuing this. I honestly don't think I have a choice, and that's neither a good thing or a bad thing.

And yes, I have a great job waiting tables.

These things, the tangible, the health issues, emotional, mental and physical, will serve as Our Bloganism's Body. I should, I suppose, while on the subject, mention that I used to drink. A lot. I also used to do many different drugs, some in great quantities. I no longer do so, and haven't for several years. I don't want this Blog to be about that, but it is a part of who I am, so I'm sure it''ll come up in places.

If anyone is experiencing a problem with these things, feel free to e-mail me and we can discuss it separately. You don't want everyone else hearing about that shit, anyway, probably.

Anyone who doesn't have a problem with the various substances: Party On, Dude. Just because I have a problem with Drugs and Alcohol doesn't mean others can't enjoy them. Again, I doubt I'll bring it up much from here on out.

This subject constitutes body, mainly, though it fits with Spirit, as well.

Of course, most of what I mentioned can be cross categorized. I have no intention of labeling everything on my Blog as "Mind, Body or Spirit" going forward, like some fucked up New Age Guru wannabe, it's just a tool to help me focus things, and hopefully, make the whole thing a more enjoyable read. Not much accountability can be achieved if no one's reading. I have both a journal and a pen if I wanna do that.

So, what does our creature look like? I guess it'll be the Adventures of a 36 year old Man in his pursuit of Punk Rock, Gaming and Comic Books and his Attempt to get his Collective Shit Together. Is that enough of a Niche? I'm sure Gratuitous Sex will work its way in there, too. (Shit, will Blogspot edit those boobs? Guess I'll find out.)

So, I guess there's nothing left but to flip the switch and bring this Monster to life. I guess I hit this button marked "Publish Post" ...