Friday Fives – odds & sods from a drunk editor

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When someone tells you a ‘man walks into a bar’ joke, you picture the same bar each time- what does your bar look like?

It’s dark.  As you walk in the front door, the bar is basically the length of the room, to your right.  To the left are the tables… maybe about 10. Once you step in, the jukebox is right behind you.  Straight ahead at the end of the room there are bathrooms on the right. On the left is what the call the kitchen, but I am being generous.  I also prefer these jokes to have a rabbi, a reverend, and a Buddhist.

You walk to your street and see FBI, CDC, ARNG, CIA, APHIS, DEA, USFWS, NTSB, EPA, PETA, NOAA, FAA, ATF, FDA, MORS and NSA raiding your house. What do you do and what are your thoughts?

Shit… again?  Keep driving, slowly.  Like, I am a curious neighbor but nothing more.  Being a liberal on a dirt road, and the only liberal for 30 miles in every direction… who knows?  They might be checking my guns, make sure I have tons of them. I only have 1, so that is suspect.

You’re given $1500, but it must be used toward your hobby. What do you buy, and how does it help you progress?

Easy, as I have been thinking about this a lot recently.  Am going to skip over my first hobby, which is guitars. I already have far too many (about 12 different kinds).  So we will go to truck. I need about $600 to buy new wheels. Something menacing looking for sure. I need $350 to get steps for the truck.  The truck is tall and I am short. BUT… unlike most of you mouthbreathers, I am getting ‘wheel to wheel’ steps. This means they don’t only cover the passenger compartments… but go all the way back so you can use them to get into the truck bed.  Lastly, I need about $300 for a lock box. Check this out, not just black diamond plate, but this thing has tie downs on top. Fuck yeah, baby!

What’s your “once a year” thing that you can’t miss?


You are given unlimited money to produce a TV series adaptation of any movie/movie saga/video game/book. Which one would you choose and what would be your production decisions?

Jack Kerouac’s ‘Desolation Angels’.  Starring? Um… Giovanni Ribisi and Ryan Reynolds.  Directed by I don’t care, but we’ll have Terry Gilliam there doing something for sure.  Brendan O’Brien will be handling all musical everything.  From scoring to foley work to song choices.

Its not your average Keroauc book, which is why you have never heard of it.  It is fantastic, though. Keroac and Neil Cassady spend a summer on top of a mountain as a forest fire lookout.  They aren’t together, each post is a solitary one. But, they are a couple mountain peaks apart, and pass their time over walkie talkies.  Oh, and ALL female roles will be played by either Kate McKinnon or Margo Martindale.  My two favorite character actresses.  Of course, this being Hollywood, there will be no key female roles.  I am just sayin if there were to be… those would be my gals.

Friday Fives – junk drawer

Go ahead and head to your junk drawer.  Don’t clean… just observe. Now its time to answer some tough questions… so get your affairs in order.

Is it in the kitchen?  If not, where? If so, anywhere you would move it if starting over?

Kitchen is perfect.  Here is why, the kitchen is THE solo hub of the house.  Notice how houses now all design a combination of the kitchen and kind of integrate it with the family room?  This is often called a ‘great room’ design. In the days before the 90s, kitchens were put away. They were basically hidden, like a dirty secret.  My guess is its a remnant of women staying home while the male worked. The kitchen was her turf, and the family and dining room was the man’s lair.  That is just an educated guess… but a fucking great one!

Now… when you go to a party… note how everyone migrates to the kitchen.  And why wouldn’t you? Its where the food and booze comes from. Let’s get closed to the source, eh?

Do you have any CR2032’s in there?  Before you google it, just know you need some, stat.  Everything small runs on them. Including your sister.

Shit yeah, I do.  And some CR2016s.  Know that 2016s are primary used for assholes, though.  If you don’t have some CR2032s… get thee to a Kroegers before you need them.  I can count as many things in my house that use that size battery as that use a traditional AA or AAA.

What’s your favorite thing in there?

Rubber bands!  I have few, though.  They get put to work as soon as I acquire them.  LOVE rubber bands. Mostly, they are used to close up food in fridge or freezer.  The best? The kind that come around broccoli!  That shit is some rubber band porn!   Remember how we all joked that duct tape and bailing wire held the world together?  In my house, its zip ties and rubber bands. Lastly, I actually have (and use) bailing wire.  You don’t even know what that shit is, do you?  Anyway, you can never have enough rubber bands.  And if you do… give some to me.

What’s the dumbest thing?

Random AA batteries.  Here is why. It’s not that they aren’t wonderful… its that I don’t remember or mark which ones are good and which ones are bad.  Why would I put bad or spent batteries back in the junk drawer? Because you can’t throw batteries out.  Know those people who come to your house and check your mattress tags?  Yeah, they have branched out to being battery Nazis.

I need a system, stat. Please help.

Let’s say I were breaking in, what would I steal?

I also keep the car keys there.  Why? I have been driving for over 20 years, and I have never once lost my keys.  I do that by keeping them in the exact same place. Always. On my person, they are on a hook on my side, even in an office environment.  At home, in the junk drawer.


Friday Fives – earworms and future predictions

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Go to your playlist and hit shuffle, the first song that plays will describe the rest of the year 2020. What will your year be like?

Well, I have a lot of playlists (Spotify) for just about every mood.  So, I will pick the one I listen to most often. I listen to this one 2 to 1 over the others.  I hit shuffle and it came up with Peace Frog, from the Doors. So, there you have it, my 2020.

Btw, it is a song you may not know, but it is super great.  Here it is.

What is the LEAST annoying song to get stuck in your head?

That there is a contradiction in terms.  For the season, though, I’ll say Paul McCartney’s ‘Simply having a wonderful Christmas time’.  Btw, I have a theory about how earworms get there, and how to get rid of them.  I think you heard a snippet of the song, and your brain is going crazy trying to finish it.  Go and listen to the song a couple of times, all the way through. Now you are cured! I wrote about it here some years ago, on my music writing site.

What song would you choose to play during the end of the world?

Born to Run.  BUT… I would need to hear it start to finish.  Loud. No interruptions!

If each brand had an honest slogan, what would some be?

Please just buy this.  Honestly, we think it is a good product and you can’t imagine how hard we have worked on it.  It will make you happy. We are confident of that. Please just give us the chance to earn your business.

You’re allowed to take one movie and keep just one actor, the rest are replaced by muppets… what movie do you choose?

Godfather.  We’ll keep Brando…. No.  Brando’s cat!   Soon as I typed this, I realized some such visual pun would be online.  Found one, and that is your header today, instead of a mandala.


Friday Fives – inconvenience edition

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You run an inconvenience store, what do you sell?

Everything by the ones.  Single M&Ms and such. Gasoline only said in one ounce containers.

What is the “gas station sushi” of other food?

Everything you can get at Casa Bonita.  Case Bonita is the iconic and real Mexican restaurant in north Denver.  Long before South Park, it was famous for a couple of things. Super cool cliff diving shows inside the restaurant, and terrible food.  When we moved to Denver about 20 years ago, everyone told us you have to go there. It is a TON of fun – and it absolutely was, and terrible food – and it absolutely was.  Their food is like a poor poor poor man’s taco bell.

We went for the experience, and figured the food could not be that bad.  Surely, with their reputation of just terrible food… someone would up their game.   Nope. Wait, let’s hop over to Yelp and see what people say. Found this one.


What is the health score here ? It wasn’t posted that I could see?


Listen, man, if you’re asking for the Health score of Casa Bonita, I’m gonna tell you right now that you probably shouldn’t be going to Casa Bonita. People don’t go there for the health score, or the food. In fact, I was always told if you go, get a sopapilla and plan on eating dinner elsewhere after you leave.

 Do you prefer mittens or gloves?

Gloves, obviously.  Mittens are little finger prisons.  Who would do such a thing to themselves?  You, I guess. I mean… someone is still buying them.

What product immediately becomes scarier when you put “military-grade” in front of it?


Who is the most attractive pre-1900 person in your opinion?

Weird question.  I went lazy and simply google ‘most attractive pre 1900 person.  This guy came up and I cannot argue. He is a hottie! Also, likely, a notorious criminal.  No idea, I didn’t dig that much.

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Bay leaves, coca leaves, and the worst security agent in Panama


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A couple of months ago, I was lucky enough to go to Peru.  To be brief, coca leaves are everywhere down there. Yes, coca leaves as in cocaine.  They are mostly used for tea. Every hotel we stayed at had baskets of coca leaves out with hot water to make coca leaf tea.  This was 24 hour a day access, where even coffee was only available during business hours.

So it’s available is all I am saying.  Thing is, the USA tends to super not appreciate us bringing that product back.  One would imagine airport security and customs would be especially worried, and trained, to deal with these things.  You might think that Panama was super duper worried about these things, what with Noriega and all that.  Let’s just leave the second and third person omniscient.  I would think flying home to the US from Peru, through Panama, coca leaves might be a concern.  I kinda had an experience with this, and it turns out not so much.

Let’s say I had a bag of coca leaves in my bag.  Surely, I wouldn’t do such a dumb thing. But let’s say I did.  I forgot about it, how about that? This is 80% true.  I had so much shit packed into that bag.  Two weeks of traveling in the jungle and up to Macchu Picchu were all backed into a single backpack.

Coming home from Peru, we had a layover in Panama.  It was rad, because we could see the Panama canal from the plane.  Deplaning, though, we had some very strict security I have never encountered anywhere traveling the world.  We were all stopped by US looking security people who wanted to see our passports. This was on the jetway, before we were in the airport.

Whatever, we had our passports of course so we showed them and that was that.  It was just weird. Now we are in the concourse, and we find our gate. The gate has a whole new security checkpoint.  I guess it makes sense, as these were flights going to the USA. The weird thing was that it was very clearly a temporary set up.  They had the magnetometers for people, and the scanning thing you put your bags through. Even though everyone in this airport had gone through that before.

The lady sees a lighter, which I didn’t think about because they are finally allowed.  I got to Peru and back to Panama with it never being an issue. She asks if she can search my bag for the lighter.  I tell her absolutely, I have nothing to hide. I didn’t say the last sentence, as we were speaking in Spanish. While searching through my bag (a large soft sided Osprey pack, they are dope!) she pulls out a bag of coca leaves.  Asks me what they are. Very quickly, I say in Spanish “Those are bay leaves, I am a cook.” Well, looks like I am going to Federal Pound me in the Ass prison! In PANAMA. This lady’s one job basically must be looking for coca leaves from crackers leaving Peru and heading to the US, right?  She smiles and says ‘Ok” and puts them back!

Point being, l guess… if you need to smuggle coca, go through Panama.  Just surprised she didn’t take her cut.

Friday Fives – habooby edition

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Have you ever had a vacation ruined by the weather or did you just work around it?

Nothing dramatic I can remember.  We go to Mexico a LOT, almost every year.  I remember we were there one year when a hurricane was coming soon, but it petered out.  I realize this is first world cruel and fucked up, but lots of places we go to (not the tourist spots, obviously) you think “how could a storm fuck this place up?  There is no infrastructure. I good hurricane might give them a chance to start from scratch. However, this isn’t Japan. The town would be rebuilt in just as haphazard as it was the first time.  You go to a small down and see the decimation, and realize a hurricane whipped through here. “When did this happen?” (thinking in the last 2 years) “oh, about 18 years ago.” When you see building happening in Mexico, it is done mostly without mechanization.  They have guys carrying 5 gallon buckets of cement up 4 floors of stairs.

Rocky Point is a real heartbreaker.  I was just there for the first time in 30 years this year.  I was stunned by how many empty and half finished huge resorts there were.  There was a couple dozen (source below) buildings which had been abandoned during construction.  Many of these were HUGE… 20 stories or more.  Someone ran out of money and just quit. The buildings stay there for decades.  Like a proper entitled liberal straight white male, I have a fix that I am sure no one has thought of.  For any new building permit for a huge resort there (of which there are plenty), I would say “here is the deal.  I’ll give you the permit, AND the land, and resources already deployed… if you take one of these half done buildings and finish it.  Yes, even the land for free. We’ll make plenty of money off the taxes and tourism. Otherwise, it is a 10 year wait for a building permit.

Oh wait, they have thought of this.  Even though they admit nothing has happened in at least a decade.

Javier Tapia, general coordinator of the Sonora tourism development commission – the state’s tourism chief – created a task force called the rescate de inmuebles turísticos inconclusos, or unfinished tourism real estate rescue, that has now met with condo builders and city officials. The result: a half-dozen builders have requested state assistance, including use of a private industry expert, to look at how to conclude construction and what to do with a building whose end product, if offered, would be one for which there’s little or no demand.

There is clearly no OSHA in Mexico, and I doubt much building code.  This is why a 4.0 earthquake can break some glass in the US, but kill hundreds in any other country.  Jesus, look at Haiti earthquake in 2010. They are still ‘recovering’ and living in tent cities. It will be a 100 years before anything is restored to any kind of glory.  That isn’t a knock on the Haitian people, but against their shitty leadership, and decades of unfair debt laid on them by the first world.

What were we talking about again?   Sorry, that went way off topic.  How deeply unlike me.  🙂

Man, I am such a pretentious windbag… like every good liberal.  At least I am aware… and well intentioned.

What small changes do you feel people could make to give the planet a fighting chance against global warming?

Stop using single use plastic water bottles!  I see all this outrage about plastic straws ****, but come on people.  Now, you know the environmental impact of the water bottles, right?  The Great Pacific Garbage Reef?  Last month, Consumer Reports taught us that the water isn’t even better.  Not even by a tiny bit. Almost all bottled water is just other cities’ tap water.

Are you adversely affect by the weather, such as SAD?

Are you calling me a pussy?  No, Winter does not make me sad.  Christmas mostly makes me happy. However, it is also a time of great anxiety.  Not because I don’t have enough money to buy Timmy a doll house, but because of my wifey.  I love her, and she means a lot to me. And she is super duper tough to shop for. So, every year I just panic.  I end of doing well, but it super stresses me out every year. Yet another first world problem. 

How is the weather where you are and have you seen drastic changes in it during your lifetime?

It is cold and snowy, which is natural for Denver in December.  What I have noticed is what happened to Phx, AZ. You know those freaky special effect looking sandstorms called ‘haboobs’?   They are really something, and I am sad I have never seen one in person.  Growing in Phx, and so having lived there approx 19 years, this had never happened ONCE.  According to this source, they happen about 3 times a year.  Now, is that climate change? I have no idea, and won’t pretend to know.  This PBS piece says it is directly related to ocean temperature.  If that is the case, it is absolutely related to climate change happening.

Just sayin, they just started happening in the last decade or so.  From afar, I just have to say it looks cool as hell.  If you are driving home, though, and see this?  I have a term for that.  I call it ‘Steven King outside’.  If someone says look at your window, what do you see?  I would look at this and say “it’s rather Steven King out today.”   Meaning > something this freakish, otherwordly, and endtimes-y… could only be in a Steven King story.

Do you think we can stop global warming or is it too late?

I think it was the prophet Donald Trump Tiny Tim Nicky Minaj Kid Rock Robert Burke who once said  ‘Evil triumphs when good men do nothing

Yes, it is too late to avoid the impacts, we are seeing them all around the world daily.  How about when a couple years ago, Kansas had the most tornadoes in history? Or when last year, for the first time in history, 3 cat 4 hurricanes made landfall?  Obviously, there are a million anecdotes like that. And obviously, one can likely find half a million anecdotes to disprove it.

Ok, soapbox tirade coming.

Let’s say climate change is a hoax made up by liberals.  For why? What, exactly, do we gain? What is the worst case scenario of us as a culture reacting aggressively to combat climate change?  Less pollution? Cleaner water? Gee, ok. Maybe it isn’t such a bad thing. Please consider this, mechanization (or… electricity… or automation… or engines) all came about about 120 years ago.  Let’s pin the date at about 1900 for reference. This is when cars, electricity, and the industrial revolution began. Do we not think that has had any impact on weather, or the environment? The only question to me is… how did it take so long?

If that planet isn’t getting fucked by very quickly changing for the worse environmental reasons, why are we hell bent on getting to mars?  Though the president does not acknowledge climate change, the US Govt does, and you can bet your ass the US Navy does.  Rising sea levels are a pretty BFD to deal to them.

“The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world,” 

Look at the pollution in Beijing?  In short, it exists because the Chinese economy was growing at a super scary rate of 12% annually, as opposed to the median 3%.  The govt was taking advantage of it, and they aren’t know to be touchy feely environmental impacts. This is the impact of coal burning fuel (cars, machines, manufacturing).  You cannot dispute that is where that is coming from. Perhaps a temperature inversion is making it worse… but this is carbon burning based pollution. This is what we have done to the earth for 120 years.  You can’t argue that. I guess what we can, and do, argue about is if we caused it. Well no shit we did, jackass.  I am no Ed Begley.  We live in a house larger than we need, and I drive a big ass pickup truck.  It’s for the horse trailer, but still.

I also think it is odd we have made it a political discussion, instead of an environmental one.  I have been lucky enough to be around the world. Just about everywhere I go, it is acknowledged.  Not with judgement, just as an observation. Most other countries see it as a thing that simply is.  There is also proof that even righty lawmakers know it is a thing, but they know they will get drummed out of office if they say anything about it (just like discussing gun violence).

it can all be addressed in SO much more a succinct manner with this

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What constitutes salad?

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It’s a simple question, with no easy answers.  As you may imagine, I have always been creative writer/ranter/provocateur.  In college, or maybe high school (this is all pre-internet) that was the name of my sad little refuselnik newsletter I made in college… thinking I was a subversive genius.  Really, the origin story of this blog goes back to this stupid, but legitimately interesting thesis of just what does constitute a salad.

What makes something a salad?  Had you asked 10 year old me, I would say lettuce.  We know that isn’t the case. Potato salad (gross). A mix of ingredients?  That is too lazy. Cereal and milk is a mix of ingredients. Has to be cold, maybe?  Nope. Take a look at a taco salad. There may be places that serve a taco salad cold, but those people are assholes.

Let’s ask the veterans word smiths I don’t have a copy of the OED, sadly… so we’ll use the online equivalent: says:

any of various dishes consisting of foods, as meat, seafood, eggs, pasta, or fruit, prepared singly or combined, usually cut up, mixed with a dressing, and usually served cold

Merriam Webster says:

1any of various usually cold dishes: such as small pieces of food (such as pasta, meat, fruit, or vegetables) usually mixed with a dressing (such as mayonnaise) or set in gelatin
2a green vegetable or herb grown for salad 
3a usually incongruous mixture HODGEPODGE

Well, that seems vague.  What have we learned above?  More messaging from Big Salad and the Big Salad lobby.  ‘Usually cold’, that is a total dodge. My omelette? That is totally salad.  Pizza? Yup, that is not only a salad, it is now officially good for you. Wait… cols pizza cut up into small pieces.  Look, I just crapped in some iceberg lettuce (and chopped it up.  There are rules, duh!)  Don’t act like you haven’t! Anyhow, that was yesterday, so its cold, and …chopped… it’s salad. I did it again today, too. But it won’t really count as salad until tomorrow.  I am not an animal.