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Reboot v 2

May 30th, 2014 by dac

I’ve been remiss in posting to this stupid blog forever. I don’t know why. I just got sidetracked, but this morning I was listening to 99% invisible on KALW and they did a story about the Jolly Roger (the Pirate Flag) and why it exists and where it came from etc.  This struck me as a totally interesting and also totally random topic.

This got me to thinking… I do all kinds of stupid random searches every day to find out about stuff I heard on the radio or something, so maybe I could rethink why I have a blog and provide a periodic (or perhaps sporadic) view into what I end up finding out. Maybe it’s interesting, maybe it’s not- but ultimately it’s also an exercise in pen to paper. So maybe the fact that I’m writing makes my brain think more about the writing.

So this is me announcing that. I’m going to try to do 10 column inches once a week or so about a bunch of random stuff.  I don’t think it will end up being as much about me as I have written in the past, but we’ll see. At the very least it’s a good way to get back into the pool.

Giants 7, Cardinals 1

October 17th, 2012 by dac

I was gonna talk about last night’s debate, but I feel like after reading– they did a pretty comprehensive job and honestly I’d have a hard time adding any color.

What I will tell you about was our trip to Game 2 of the NLCS.

So one of the advantages of having a roommate even though we could afford the place by ourselves is the fact that we can spend big money on “silly” things.  One of those silly things was $311 on NLCS tickets for game two against the cardinals.  Which Nicole was kind enough to put on her discover (“it all comes from the same place” she says) The Giants have definitely struggled at home so it was with a little trepidation that we arrived at the yard on Monday  They had just dropped game 1- although not in classic Giant’s style.

Up to this point usually when the giants lose one it’s pitching falls apart and they get shelled and then the batting never shows up so it ends up like 6-2 and the whole game feels like a slog through wet sand. Game 1 started out like it was gonna be that- Giants are down 6-0 and Baumgarner is out of the game. Then all of a sudden stuff came to life and we ran it up to 6-4 before starting the walk through wet sand. So, it just felt slightly more hopeful.

But anyway, I digress, we get to the park around 5 for a first pitch at 5:07. We were running a little late but that was largely my fault, I have issues when temps get warm, Nicole calls it “Hot-angry” (pronounced haTangry). Basically I have become so much a of a bay area person that when it gets up to about 75 or any humidity at all, my body shuts down and I get grumpy.

They were predicting normal bay area temps- 71ish but with normal fog rolling in around dusk and temps getting down into the 60’s. So I put on an under-layer- I use my running tights as a pair of long-johns- so I stay warm when it gets foggy or windy. So I’ve got another layer on and it’s still sunny and 75 at gametime.

We stopped just before the stadium to have a burrito and let me get back to normal less sweaty body temp.  We still had plenty of time after I returned to the living so we walked over to the park only to find that Muni had broken down in between downtown and the park, so everyone got to the stadium at pretty much the exact same moment. There were lines around the corner at every entrance. So we were in line when Angel Pagan put one in the center field seats.

It’s kinda fun to get to a game when your team’s already winning.

It’s also funny when the people in the seats next to yours (who you don’t know) ask you where you’ve been.

So the game progressed and things went very, very well. In the post Season, my record is 1-2 so far. I went to 3 games during the last playoff run in 2010 and with the exception of the World Series game, they were heartbreakers. So this was nice… the giants played the whole game with the lead and there were very few truly tense moments.

The fans behind us were wasted, but thankfully  they were wasted fans of the same team we were cheering for.  Here’s why: Every time something cool happened- Giant’s score, solid single to advance the runners, strike out: we all stood up. Why this is important: Every time they stood up they covered our seats in beer & vodka. So as long as we all stood up in the same moment  we stayed dry while our seats got wet. As long as we remembered to towel off the seats in between good things we were fine.

Our bags were not: they emerged somewhat beer soaked.

My bag was mostly full of game stuff so it was easy to wash out gloves, scarves, hats etc and  even the bag was one of those crappy backpacks that everyone has and I put it straight into the laundry. The only real casualty from my bag was my cool Indian head scarf from the street market in Dehli but it’s still usable – just not as a head scarf anymore (which if you ask Nicole is a good thing).

Nicole’s bag didn’t do so hot and we’re gonna have to work extra hard to get it back to Timbuk-2 coolness.

However, it’s all worth while to walk out of the stadium after a win and listen to the whole crowd go crazy. We cheered the whole way down second street to the Muni stop.  That sort of thing is fun to experience.  To get some of that. Here’s the last strike of the game from Sergio Romo (apologies for my terrible iPhone camera work)

All in all it was a great day. Lots of high-fiveing, Gangdom styling, beer wiping, chant yelling and the like. Let’s hope we get more like that.



Dissappearing Mittens

October 4th, 2012 by dac

So I think Mittens won the debate last night by not losing the debate last night. He also won by not being the Mittens we’ve come to know and fear.

Sure, he still promised that he would kill Big Bird and show Jim Lehrer the door. Yes, of course he said he would eliminate “Obama-Care”. He told us that spending money on “green initiatives” was bad, he made a point to explain how the President was doing the wrong thing by not drilling for oil in National Parks.

But, and here’s the weird thing, whenever push came to shove on Paul Ryan’s budget he basically pulled the old bugs bunny with the charging bull routine and moved away.

We would use the remaining money to feed sick kittens

He spent a lot of time saying pretty words. He spent a lot of time saying that stuff that could be true but just well…isn’t. He changed his claims on health care, he changed his tax plan. He’s basically “rebooting” himself as Romney 1.0.

Mr. Romney said a similar thing on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” At the time, he said, “I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course, there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.”

But Mr. Romney’s aides later clarified that he would only explicitly guarantee insurance for people with pre-existing conditions if they have maintained coverage with no significant lapses.

Romney: My number one principal is, there will be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. … I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans. … I will lower taxes on middle-income families.

He never explains how he’s gonna do this. It’s like me saying “I will promise to walk to the moon in the next 6 years by building a very tall staircase from stuff I find around the house”. Yes I have stuff around the house, but how can I make that into a moon staircase?

The interesting thing for political wonks is that he appears to have decided that America is not buying the Romney 2.0 version. He tried to be the Dick Cheney republican with the cross and the flag, the anti-gay, anti-women, anti- immigrant thing. Apparently, either he’s not good at that or America is moving away from the crazy tea-bag thing.

We’re gonna have to see in the coming days how this all plays out. Does the kinder gentler Mittens work? Will it still work when a President, who frankly looked stunned by this switcher-mitt-a-roo, figures out how to process this?

I expected to hear more about the 47%, Bain Capitol, yachts registered in the Caymens from the President. He didn’t hit Mitt where Mitt is most vulnerable- his wallet. There was also no mention of the things that make the President awesome like  don’t ask don’t tell, equal pay for women, health care for the poorest and reasonable immigration law.

There are still 2 more debates and 1 from Biden and Ryan- I guess we’ll see what happens then.



Post Racial? Not likely.

August 30th, 2012 by dac

On NPR this morning I heard something that shouldn’t have startled me but it did. A woman named Bobbi Lucier (sp?) was speaking from the American Legion Convention had this to say about Ann Romney “It’s about time we get a first lady in [the white house] that looks like a first lady and acts like first lady”. I can only, sadly, assume that this is a racist statement. Are we post racist? No. Every time someone calls the President a Muslim or calls for his birth certificate we should call it what it is. Racism.

There’s an interesting article in Atlantic Monthly this month that discusses this point with more eloquence that I could by TA-NEHISI COATES entitled “Fear of  Black President“. It’s a terrific, although dismaying, read.

How many people are looking at the President as Black first and President second? How many on the right are doing more than the expected knee jerk “I hates me some democrats” kind of reactions.

I feel like there’s a vehemence to the dispisal of President Obama that we’ve lacked in other instances. Can you imagine if the President’s record was anything other than exemplary? In a world where the things being dug up are as inane and misplaced as birth certificates, can you imagine if he’d done anything on Par with President Clinton? There would be calls for lynching.

There’s no way we’re going to change minds at this point, people who are that racist don’t even realize how racist they are. “I’m not talking about race. I’m talking about looks!”

The best solution is to win. Please register to vote if you haven’t, please talk to your friends about the state of the world we’d be have in a Romney presidency, please vote.

Get Bookish!

August 27th, 2012 by dac

Recently Nicole and I were up in Portland and had a chance (actually 3 chances  to wander through Powell’s Books. If you haven’t gone- go- it’s a real treat.  So we were browsing around and we notice in the “book award” section that Powell’s is nice enough to give you printed lists of all of the 20th century’s National book award winners, Pulitzer prize winners and greatest books of the 20th century.

They give them to you in book mark size.

So we start looking at the list and I have to admit even with an English degree I was sorely lacking. So we have started reading the lists! I picked up a copy of John Cheever’s “The Wapshot Chronicles” and Nicole is reading Jennifer Egan’s “A visit from the goon squad”.

We’ve only got like 250 books to go!

At the end of the list we’ll have bragging rights and smarter brains! Hooray for us. I’ll keep you posted.

Also. I have been sorely remiss in updating the ol’ bligity blog. So perhaps in my re-commitment to life of letters I will also attempt to write a bit more.

To that end: expect a travel-logue from Portland in the next few days.

Nobody really *wants* to have sex in a bathroom.

June 4th, 2012 by dac

I’ve been doing a good deal of travel this year. Not a ton, but enough that I’ve spent some time recently in airports and conversely, airport bathrooms.

Not so strangely enough, this time spent in airport bathrooms has led me to think more about Larry Craig.

Recently, Nicole was telling a story about how there was a number of mainline Philadelphia republicans who had been frequenting gay bathhouses on their way home from the city to satisfy certain “needs” that they were not able to satisfy at home. It’s kinda sad that there’s still enough of a stigma about being gay that people don’t feel comfortable enough to just come out and say “I’m gay” and then be allowed to live normal bathhouse free existences.

However, I am basing this thought on the same notion that more porn= less rape generally is thought of, that people when given access to an outlet for their needs will generally choose the more sociologically sound. Not that I want at all to compare being gay to porn, but what I’m getting at is that if people can get what they really wanted all along that they’d be calmer more productive individuals.

So back to Larry Craig. I’m in LA in the United terminal and I duck into the men’s room to wash my hands. All of the stalls are full. People are… um… doing what normal people do in stalls and there is a serious, shall we say, aroma going.

It stinks.

And there’s paper towels everywhere.

And the trash can has a very recent diaper on top.

And there’s puddles of who-knows-what.

How does anyone other than a desperate, desperate man come into this room and think of… sex?


I can’t even imagine, and for the benefit of science, I tried. I tried to think sexy sexy thoughts but all I could think was how stinky it was in there. Oh and let’s not forget about noises…ew.

So here’s what my postulate is: If Larry Craig could have allowed himself to just *be gay* then he’d never have to try to pick up guys in an airport bathroom or any bathroom for that matter. And if mainline Philadelphia republicans were cool with just admitting something to themselves, they could go back to their house in the suburbs and do all the things that they wanted to do at the bathhouse only with someone who would also have dinner with them afterward.

But no, Larry Craig had to do the same thing he did when he was caught up in the cocaine/ male congressional page scandal back in the eighties. Deny everything and then come out against homosexuality.

Larry, don’t you know that displaying that kind of homophobia only further helps convince us otherwise?

My friend Patrick once said that the only way that you could be sure that you weren’t gay was to have sex with someone of the same sex and not like it. However I think Larry Craig has done the opposite, he had sex with someone of the same sex and liked it so much that he was willing to do something truly filthy to hide something that’s completely normal.

I know what you’re thinking, if Larry Craig had just come out in the eighties and said “I’m gay”, he would have been an unelectable Idaho Republican congressman. But, what if he were instead, a really lucrative Idaho lobbyist with a partner to come home to and clean starched sheets on which to satisfy himself instead of Minneapolis airport toilets. I keep thinking of the directv commercials that follow one line of reasoning to it’s utmost – you know if you just got what you wanted in the first place, everything would end up being fine.

Wouldn’t that be a better life?

Talk to me rightwing nutjob

March 27th, 2012 by dac

Let’s talk about the Tea Party and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I need to understand why folks don’t like it.

I have,  throughout the past, made my political leanings clear. I am so far left that you can’t see me from the middle. I know this.

For godsakes I supported Kerry.*

So yes, I know what you’re thinking- of course he supports something that President Obama supports. And yes, I probably would, however….

Here’ the thing I would love to have someone explain for me:

Why is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or “ObamaCare”** bad?

I like to understand the arguments for and against something. I want to at least know that I understand the point that someone else is making before I decide that they’re wrong. As far as this goes I don’t even understand what the fake reasons are so I can understand the real reasons.


Issue: Off Shore Drilling laws

Fake Reason: We need to do more off shore drilling. If we hem the oil companies in by making them subscribe to overly protective environmental laws the oil companies won’t be able to make profits and therefore won’t drill. This will mean we have to get all our oil from terrorists and gas will get really expensive.

Real Reason: Big oil is making record profits and can spread that money around to politicians.

So, back to health care.  I need to know both real and fake. I hear this whole “death panel” argument, but that’s a load of hooey. There’s also the “it’s gonna cost us money” argument but yesterday during the supreme court hearings the lawyer against the health care act admitted that most of the cost of the health act would be from people who already qualify for government health benefits actually signing up for them.  This comprised 95% of the expense calculated by the state of Florida.

How is someone signing up for something that they are already allowed to have bad? That’s like Kellogg’s saying that they had too many expenses because everyone actually clipped out the coupon for frosted flakes and used it.

Also I don’t know the real reasons. Is there money that Insurance companies will lose? Where is the funding coming from? Why is the right against it?

I found this article, but not only is it poorly written and unnecessarily confusing, I didn’t know any more at the end.

So seriously, if you can explain either the real or the fake reasons, please comment below. I won’t delete anything that’s reasonable (and lacking in  swearwords) and maybe it’ll help me make some sense or what’s going on.

*And there was never a blander more unelectable presidential candidate from Mass who wasn’t Mike Dukasis

** Such an idiotic rebranding

*** Other links, HealthCare and women

Yes and also No

March 13th, 2012 by dac

I just finished reading Mike Doughty’s Memoir “A book of Drugs: A Memoir”. It was a good read.

Mike Doughty for those who don’t know was once the lead singer of Soul Coughing, and now has a solo career as a guitar playing singer/ songwriter.

I have followed him since back in the Soul Coughing days.

Until reading his memoir, I would have said that he and I (born just months and several hundred miles apart) were on a similar trajectory. No, I’m not comparing myself to a famous rock star. I’m saying that as his career progressed, I found myself interested in it as he changed.  I continued to be a fan as he changed who he was and what he was doing.

Also interestingly, while our ultimate ends differed, reading the memoir he and I both tapered off our drug usage approximately the same time. Admittedly, I never got into heroin, and I never had to 12 step it, and I still enjoy a drink or two, but I sort of felt like that was the story arc. My interest in drugs has waned and as I’ve aged, the whole party down thing has largely gone away.

Okay, so let’s go back and talk about what I found out in the memoir. The dudes in Soul Coughing were apparently kinda douchey and it was a rough time for Mr. Doughty. There’s was a lot of up hill slogs, it was hard to get what he wanted creatively from the other band members and it was generally unpleasant.

As rock star memoirs go, it was a good read. He’s a good writer and it’s engaging and very funny at spots. I would recommend you pick it up, especially if you have been or are a fan of his work.

However, there are a couple things that bugged me and I figured why not get them off my chest via the world wide web.

Let’s go back to me for a second.

I have very little musical nostalgia. Once I have had my fill of a song, I kinda don’t want to hear it anymore. This is true of about 95% of music. There are a few exceptions that have stood the test of time and there is also the possibility that a song, after enjoying some time  on the bench, might sound interesting again thanks to some time apart.

For example: The Cure (whom I loved) remains unlistenable but Echo and the Bunnymen have a somewhat timeless quality on certain songs.  The great majority of music from the 90’s is awful but there are a few Soul Coughing songs that I still enjoy.

Back to the book.

The Book of Drugs has no chapters (which is kind of a cool way to make the whole thing seem like a half remembered tale told by a friend who’s relating some forgotten lore from their past) but it does have ‘sections’; you can feel the voice change and you can tell that this section appears to have been penned at one sitting. Maybe it’s a cohesiveness of narrative.

For the most part, it remains a memoir. A relation of stuff that happened in the order that it happened. Although there is a disclaimer at the front that basically states that memory is a fickle beast and if the dates are wrong or something is missing, man is a faulty instrument.

There is a section where Mr Doughty addresses the fan base. And he states that he doesn’t like songs yelled out at shows (not even solo songs- which explains why he ignored my request for “F-Train” the last time I saw him). He feels that what he’s doing now is the stuff that he likes most and is proudest of, and who doesn’t think that they are wiser & better than they were in the past? I should hope we all are learning throughout our lives and continuing to grow. Nothing strange there.

He also states that he doesn’t like to play Soul Coughing songs because it brings back all of the awful memories. Also based on his drug use at the time, he doesn’t feel like the work is all that good. My opinions aside, I get that,  I don’t like music from my past because it brings back…well… my past. I can’t speak to the whole “music I wrote” in the past (My college band while fun- never sold a record) but I understand not wanting to live there.

I respect the fact that he may not want to continue playing songs from that era. I also respect that he may not like fans that only remember him from then and come to a solo show expecting some kind of soul coughing unplugged experience. Who wants to live in the past?

Here’s where I got a little peeved, well maybe not peeved, possibly saddened: There’s a statement he makes that he prefers fans that have only ever heard “Circles” (which is probably my least favorite Soul Coughing song).  I think that statement says that while he’s grown, that his fan base has not. I cannot speak for others, but perhaps, I have grown and changed. I really like his solo work.

I find that his work has changed inline with my tastes, his songwriting seems to be gaining depth and complexity in time with my interests following suit. I like his latest record “yes and also yes”.  I really enjoyed the actual concert that he recorded “The question jar show” (while I haven’t purchased the record yet). I had a great time at the latest show with his band fantastic and emerged with a new band to love – opening act Moon Hooch. The statement that he’d not like me as a fan is hurtful, but until he tells me to leave I’m not gonna.

I’ve never yelled a Soul Coughing song at a solo show. I now know not to yell even solo songs (which makes me sad because I really love ‘F-Train’). I already have my tickets to the San Francisco show in April. If he wants to sign stuff, I might even have him sign my Kindle (that’s where his book lives).

However, I hope that he can recognize that while he’s getting new fans all time, that some of us have been here from the beginning and, whether he wants me or not, would like to stay.


The india Trip

November 16th, 2011 by dac

Hey folks,

I switched back over to the Travel pod blogging software for the India trip because it has the cool mapping function. Feel free to follow along- the link is in the links along the right side of this blog.

Okay… just one more

October 28th, 2011 by dac

I couldn’t help it. I got another email from Tea Bag town and I had to respond.

here’s the email (my response is below)

> T’was the night before elections,
> And all thru’ the town,
> Tempers were flaring
> Emotions ran up and down.
> I, in my bathrobe
> With a cat in my lap,
> Had shut off the TV,
> tired of political crap.
> When all of a sudden,
> There arose such a noise,
> I peered out my window,
> Saw Obama and his boys
> They had come for my wallet,
> They wanted my pay
> To hand out to others
> Who had not worked a day!
> He snatched up my money,
> And quick as a wink,
> Jumped back on his bandwagon
> As I gagged from the stink.
> He then rallied his henchmen
> Who were pulling his cart.
> I could tell they were out
> To tear my country apart!
> ‘On Fannie, on Freddie,
> On Biden and Ayers!
> On Acorn, on Pelosi’
> He screamed at the pairs!
> They took off for his cause,
> And as they flew out of sight,
> I heard him laugh at a nation
> Who wouldn’t stand up and fight!
> So I leave you to think
> On this one final note…


Twas the W administration
and all through the Earth
wars had been started
to help Haliburton’s net worth

Environmental laws had been scrapped
and banking was lax
but thankfully, people with billions of dollars
paid very little to tax

Bankers were encouraged
to spin profits from lies
and the housing bubble was coming
with a side of freedom fries

The national debt was careening
as those wars sucked up funds
there was no money to pay for it
no butter, just guns

However all was well for
Texas’ fortunate son
he packed up his bags
and back to Houston He run

He left the country
in a terrible mess
How we could dig it out
was anyone’s guess

So we elected someone smarter
and he tried to solve it
with no help from tea baggers
who spat bile and vomit

He’s wrong! Look at this mess!
It’s clearly his fault!
They ignored the past (of course)
That’s the right wing gestalt

Now I’m afraid that Fox
will spin out more lies
and we’ll get some new bible thumping idiot
a new President to despise

But I’m not so worried
if they vote in some right winger boob
cause I’ll be headed to Vancouver
and I’ll watch America go to hell….. on the couch…. on the tube.

And I wish you tea baggers
have a pleasant goodnight
You can keep your racism, sexism, vitriol and hate
And all that crap you believe on the right