Facebook Post: 2019-02-23T17:16:43

While my phone was in my pocket it unlocked. When I pulled it out I found it deep in some strange settings menu. Long story short: there was a series of Japanese characters on the lock screen on the phone, and it seemed to be in addition to all the normal stuff.

I spent quite a few minutes – more than this Taurus would like to admit publicly – trying to figure out what I did wrong, before I found a setting that would reset my lock screen. I selected it, and found that my home screen was reset too. In some ways, it was like a hard reset of my phone; nothing worked, I needed to re-enter passwords, and all the settings were back to default. I had lost no data or apps, but my phone was not how I usually like it.

Now, it’s not important to get into how many layers of stubbornness are working against me, or what ingrained bad behaviors are feeding which motivations, but let’s just say that I’ve been so deep into a “project” (read: ego-trip) that it has been quite a while since I’ve backed up my phone, too. Hoisted by my own clichéd turn-of-phrase, except it was taking the form of a real experience I was living through, and by extension, the fuming and anxiety this was causing was not at all funny, I Repeat: unhilarious, at best.

I was given a choice: loose all my data since (gasp, this is embarrassing, October 1st, fuck me), and back up to a point where my phone apps where back in place, my passwords worked, and I can start breathing in a relaxed fashion… or… I could roll with it.

Keep in mind, this meant I went from two screens of carefully sorted folders full of apps, to – ahem – 20 screens off apps.

I bit my lip and built an IKEA shelf and ate some shepherds pie and did some dishes and soul searching, and came to the conclusion that I would say “fuck it.” Against my better judgement, nay, NATURE, I decided to cut my losses and move on. There’s something inside of me that finds the smallest slight, the minored accident, and blows it up until it takes over my entire mind, burning endless cycles until I see red.

As an experiment, I’ve decided to begin using my phone like this. This represents the apps I use on a regular basis, and seems like a good minimal way to operate for a while. I plan to delete apps that I don’t use after a few weeks. Hopefully, I can avoid my typical negative behaviors (unlikely) and turn over a leaf.

Chances are I’ll just become attached to this configuration, damning me to a future where I must have this, and only this, at all costs.

Show us your home screens, yo.

(You May also commence mocking my irrational behavior in the comments below… now.).

Facebook Post: 2019-02-21T08:32:06

Me: We’re making breakfast.
9 Year Old: So?

9 Year Old: When did you make breakfast?
Me: I told you I was making it.
9 Year Old: But you didn’t tell me when you started, when you were half way done, when you were almost down, when I had to come down and wash my hands, or when they were finally done.
Me: Hurry up and eat, the bus is almost hear.
9 Year Old: Like last time?

Facebook Post: 2019-02-20T22:20:05

In, the Star Trek episode “I, Mudd,” Kirk, Spock and the rest hack Norman and the other robots by spouting nonsense. (“Logic is a little tweeting bird chirping in a meadow.”)

In the Firesign Theater’s “I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus,” Clem hacks the President Simulator by spouting nonsense. (“Why does the Porridge Bird lay his egg in the air?”)


Facebook Post: 2019-02-20T12:16:30

This was far too much fun. Colin Hix and I used to listen to KWVA endlessly, driving around in his car, harassing them to play our band, Cathead, when they were very much not interested. Now, we appear as guests on Marc’s show to talk about that band. How funny this world is. We talk about a million other things, but I wish I’d been a little more prepared to talk about that. We play a ton of music and have a blast, so enjoy this bonus radio broadcast this week!

Facebook Post: 2019-02-18T21:32:23

Breakfast today with Don Haugen was a cool way to wrap up a wild weekend. Scored a shitload of records & comics, got a haircut, recorded some radio with Chris Gierig, Charlie Martineau, & Marc Time, and got to spend a lot of time on the farm with Colin Hix. It was also a very real trip through old stomping grounds and I still discovered new music by a current band. (Motherfuckin’ ICED!) It’s gonna take a while to fully process everything. But for now, I’m just gonna remember all the times in the ‘90s when I woke up, dusted myself off, and wandered down to Brails for a meal with some friends.

Facebook Post: 2019-02-18T21:20:26

When I got home from Eugene, itself a trip down memory lane, I found a package waiting for me from Vincent Ramirez. Some Onomatopoeia scwag and CDs, Steamshovel Monkey and S. Hacek. When I first got to Eugene all the cool industrial nerds I knew were into Onomatopoeia, and it’s cool to finally have these to add to the archive. I’m excited to put these on and relive some mix tapes I listened to over 20 years ago.

Facebook Post: 2019-02-15T17:41:50

In addition to all the usual radio stuff, I’ll be popping into The Sunday Morning Hangover w/ Reverend Marc Time. I’m pretty stoked. We’re just gonna hang out, play records, and tell stories. You should tune in Sunday Morning at 10 AM on KWVA. We’ll be on for two hours… then Marc’s gonna take me record shopping. Should be a ton of fun, so don’t miss it!

Facebook Post: 2019-02-15T17:07:52

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I was thumbing through comics when an employee set down this pile of sci-fi pulps. I quickly grabbed two, then realized they were also $0.49 each, and snagged the rest.

The gal at the counter looked at them and said, “I’ll need to do a price check.” As the book dept guy slowly made his way over, the clerk began roughly thumbing the pages, as bits of this one and that one flew off. I bit my tongue, not sure how to tell her she was slowly destroying my purchase. Finally, the gent gets there, yes they are $0.49. I carefully take them out of her hands.

So, they would be in better shape if it weren’t for her.

Facebook Post: 2019-02-14T07:04:57

Hive Mind: Marla and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day, having spent more time in our lives single than not, and our sympathies are with our single friends. But, we have a friend coming into Salem today and we want to go out to dinner with them… but, it’s VD, so everywhere we want to go is overbooked with VD events. We just want a meal, maybe a drink or two, with plenty of menu options in case traditional bar food isn’t quite enough. Any recommendations that don’t need reservations and won’t be a circus and won’t be overpriced?

Facebook Post: 2019-02-13T08:20:17

Long emo post about the past and memory and here’s a joke but for reals, guys, I’m getting older and the world is fucked, damn I miss such and such period, x y z band was amazing and you’ll never know why I’m crying over a building they tore down and put up a shitty parking lot full of Green Day references – no, it was Pinhead Gunpowder, stupid failing memory gag that doesn’t quite land – oh, and it’s some holiday or something and I love my wife, here’s a selfie. #GenericPost #IForgotTheComicBookJoke #ObscureLiteraryReferenceForUnrelatedReason #Balls

Facebook Post: 2019-02-12T21:26:06

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Here’s a few odds and sods: live recordings. All but one of these shows were at Icky’s Teahouse. One tape is from 25 August 1995 with Confused by Tools, Holy Rodent (Don Haugen), Rick & Joe and Cathead. Another tape from 10 May 1996 with ACRONYM (my first Noise project), Walter & Johnny (Kiisu Dsalyss and Jonathan Christ) and Terminal Amnesia. Another tape from 3 November 1995 with Conkrit (Seth Rhoades) and Cathead. And another tape from 20 July 2001 with the one time I sat in with Neutered Prunes, recorded at some Portland coffee shop.

There’s more, but this is a good start.

Facebook Post: 2019-02-12T21:13:17

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Some of my prized possessions. I bought my Brett Estep tape from him at a Glenwood show in 1994, and played it to death. The 9th Life (Shawn Di Fiore) tape was an obsession of mine when I was first was KWVA, and I finally tracked it down and treasure it. Since I returned the CDr to Jesse Ransom Burkett, this tape might be the only example of Mondale (Chris Brooks) that I still have. And, of course, my Piglet tape, by the greatest punk band from Eugene (after E-13), a treasured item I will never let go.

Facebook Post: 2019-02-12T21:00:29

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Connected to the Cathead crew was a man named Sierra, who was later my roommate for many years, and later, my best man. He introduced me to Unwound and The Wipers, was a model of style for me as a young man, and made an endless string of amazing tapes, and later CDr-s, that are still strange and amazing. (He was recently on my radio show as The Ramen City Kid, but his ability to blow my mind goes back to the old days.)

Facebook Post: 2019-02-12T20:54:35

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There are many more that come to mind – notably The Earl Tape – but this tape by Kiisu Dsalyss was very indicative of the kind of weirdness that he would commit to tape. Like his tape The Audio Acid Companion, he was helping guide me to an aesthetic that he and Colin Hix were trying to create for Cathead. I can barely describe what listening is like, but it’s bizarre and amazing and I used to listen to this one on a loop to accentuate the effect. His tapes really shaped me, and I can’t recommend them enough.

Facebook Post: 2019-02-12T20:36:32

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I made a dive into the archive with the hope of seeing what was there, and turned up a few items that seemed worth moving to the front of the pile, for capturing / digitizing / saving in a better way. I thought I’d lead with the oddest example: a grocery bag of Bible Study tapes.

The first time Cathead recorded at SIR Studios with Rick, I saw this bag of tapes and asked about it. Rick said he was getting rid of them. We talked him into giving us the tapes for $20, and for ages our demo tapes were on these. Each tape was a different length, which was irritating, but we made it work. I still have quite a few, and I wanna digitize then for samples alone.

Facebook Post: 2019-02-12T08:35:03

Me: Do you need any help this morning?
9 Year Old: No.
Me: Do you want any breakfast?
9 Year Old: I said no!

Me: Do you want pancakes?
9 Year Old: NO!

9 Year Old: I don’t like big pancakes.
Me: I only made big ones.
9 Year Old: Only small ones taste good.
Me: Well, I only made big ones.
9 Year Old: They look bad.

9 Year Old: I’ll have a big pancake I guess. But I want a big plate, not a kid’s plate.

9 Year Old: It was okay. But the big ones aren’t as good.

9 Year Old: Can you make pancakes next time?

Facebook Post: 2019-02-11T18:42:16

Althea Young was a little-known vaudeville performer who was getting started near the end of period when vaudeville was entirely on the stage and was starting to move into radio and film. She wasn’t a massive star. She wasn’t even the kind of person who was likely to get a radio or movie deal. But she was the kind of girl who would get a write up in the paper on May 14, 1920, in the “Dainty Exhibition” show review, far right column. Which is nothing to sneeze at.

She was beautiful, charming, and destined for other things. Entertainment is never easy for women, and in spite of good reviews and a beautiful voice, she started having kids, and soon it made more sense to settle down, even if she was settling in the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles.

Even as her life was changing, she was still connected to the entertainment world. Her son, George Johnson, told stories of swimming in Rochester’s pool (actor Eddie Anderson, from the Benny Hill show). He delighted in the time he got to visit the Disney studios and watch the animators work on Donald Duck cartoons. Below are photos of George, his brother, his mother Althea, and Laurel & Hardy, on vacation on Catalina Island. George loved his mother, found her voice to be incredible, and remembered her as the only person more beautiful than Betty, his wife. It was Althea’s connection to the entertainment world that put her family at the center of this town where you just ran into celebrities because it was the 30s and LA wasn’t “LA” as we know it now.

I never got to know Althea, in spite of the research I tried to do on her career. But I took care of her son, George, just before he passed. (Seen as I knew him in the last photo.) He would tell stories about his life and remember his mom, and he seemed happy. I think he liked those memories the most.

George was a simple guy, and didn’t take much to school, in spite of being an avid reader. He joined the Coast Guard, but was soon called upon to serve in the Pacific Theater of WWII, and his stories of this period are hilarious, harrowing, and in many ways, mundane. As he put it, he sent and received coded messages, he cooked his own meals because he hated the food, and he was on two different boats that sank. (I believe the story he told was that he woke up to find the boat taking on water.) He loved to drink and he loved John Wayne movies, and we spent a lot of time watching westerns and wishing he could still drink, as he was no longer allowed.

The funniest thing he ever asked me was if I could put on, “a strip tease movie.” He hit me and laughed about that. I told him he couldn’t even imagine what those movies are like now. He said, “I don’t doubt that.”

But mostly he just drank decaf and watched TV, and he never complained much. Occasionally I would put on old 20s jazz and try to get him to talk about his life, but he wasn’t all that interested. The part about getting back from the war, meeting Betty, working for the state, his kids, his grandkids… he didn’t talk about that stuff much. I mean, I have hours of tape of him talking about his life. At some point, he talked about everything. We even talked about pot.

(And I’m paraphrasing): “When I was single, before the war, I would date all sorts of girls, white and colored, you met all kinds of people. But there were usually two types of women: those who drank, and those that smoked reefer. Both were fun, but I never liked that reefer stuff. I never stayed with those women.”

George was inappropriate. (I’m sure his version of that story was more colorful.) His favorite word was “Horseshit!” and he would use it to finish any sentence where he couldn’t remember a word. “Could you bring me the… uhm… horseshit!” That was how he talked. But for all his gruffness I remember him asking that we fill out his ballot to vote for, “anyone but that man,” and for a 90 year old Republican, that’s a pretty progressive move. But he hated politics, and really had no stomach for it. He would talk about almost anything, but even still, he preferred the story about partying with Spike Jones & His City Slickers to almost anything else. (Something that was the only good thing he got to do in the service.)

I think about George a lot. My office is his old room, and there’s little mementos all over the house. He was difficult and amazing and a treat to know, and I miss him every day. I think about his stories, and I worry I’ll be the last to remember some of them.

There’s more – so much more – but what I remember the most is how reverently he would talk about his mother. He talked about her the most, I think, and when I found the promo photo of her from her vaudeville days (the first image below), he was delighted. He had never seen it before.

But it was this bit from the review of her performance that made him cry. When I think about George, I think of him, a grown 90 year old man, crying when I read him the following. I miss you George. You were awesome.

“(From The review below): “Swanee River,” by Althea Young, beggars description. A most beauti­ful picture of crinoline and pantalettes floated before us in stately grace, to the measures of the old Southern melo­dy. By this time the audience had be­gun to realize that a master hand was behind the blending of colors, the arranging of the dances and the exquis­ite charm of the whole program. It had reached a point where adjectives failed to express your real feelings and “ohs” and “ahs” were all that could be heard.”

Click to access seq-1.pdf

Facebook Post: 2019-02-11T10:06:45

This experiment worked out to my benefit. I’ve never tried anything like this before, but since Marla is sick, I took a shot at making dinner. Portobello mushrooms with the stems / gills scooped out, a sausage patty, ricotta cheese, turkey bacon, marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese. In spite of having never made it before, it worked out okay. I never realized how much water was in portobello mushrooms, so in the future I might try to roast the mushrooms a little first. But this was a great meal that I recommend. I improvised with the given recipe, so just have fun with it. But I totally recommend it… and I guess it’s keto, which I didn’t realize at first. (This is only half of what I made.)

Facebook Post: 2019-02-09T23:29:50

Watching the original Star Trek now is a lot to process for me. The first time I saw any of these episodes was on a standard definition television not much bigger than some of the laptops I’ve had. And not in order. Not the whole thing. With commercials and static and interruptions from family, I occasionally saw these fuzzy images where the matte paintings were blurs, the music was is a muted mono, and the colors were barely more than black and white.

With all of these handicaps, with all of this working against me, never knowing how certain stories worked out, having to piece together all the things that didn’t make sense, with bedtime and school cutting into viewing time, with everything working against my ability to see this show from just before I was born, I still fell in love with it.

My primary TV in High School was a six inch black and white, and the most interaction I had with the show was through that screen. It’s where I also became familiar with a lot of TV from those days, but for all the Newheart and Simpsons I digested, it’s Spock I still think about.

So to watch it now, in such pristine digital form, to see any episode, to catch details and nuance on a big screen – to see it for the first time, in some cases – feels like something I’ve been dreaming about my whole life.

Facebook Post: 2019-02-06T20:36:59

I can’t really remember a time that I hadn’t seen “The City on The Edge of Forever.” I know I must have seen it in syndication with my parents, and certainly a few times since then. But over the years it has been largely consumed as a tidbit, either in a documentary about Ellison’s writing or a documentary about Trek. Usually, when I return to watch something like this, I put on The Next Generation, a show I know better and bonded with strongly, so it hasn’t been my habit to watch TOS episodes.

And, let’s be honest, nowadays the plot of “City on the Edge of Forever,” is incredibly well worn. This is a kind of story that we are now trained to see a mile away. It IS a cliché.

So why is it that, in 2019, a corny TV show from over 50 years ago, filmed on a backlot, where the ACT-ING is so stilted and over the top – and yet – still, even, I’m brought to tears by Shatner and Collins hamming it up for my emotional center to become completely destroyed?

Facebook Post: 2019-02-06T08:53:53

If you wanna get some insight into the SF ‘70s scene by someone who was playing in bands then, and has been on the radio the entire time, then listening to Marc Time tell stories is certainly for you. The tid-bit about a little band accidentally called “Dead Kennedy” opening for Marc’s band is certainly worth the price of admission. Enjoy!


Facebook Post: 2019-02-04T13:53:48

Okay, I’m very sad to have missed the snow. We didn’t get any here, and it’s unlikely we will. Perhaps that’s not very “cool” of me, but whatever, I like what I like. And right now, I wish there were just blankets of snow everywhere. Sigh.

Send photos and snowmen and everything else. Maybe my dreams will be full of snowy thoughts.