About Lono

My name is Lono. I live in Parker, CO. I have a wifey, horses, dogs, cats, and fish. I write here, as well as a music site www.maybeiamwrong.com I am also in a band called Clownfight. IamCorrect at Gmail.com

the new writer’s strike

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America,

I am all for the proletariat.  I am all for unions.  I am all for the working class, and especially the creative arts.

Until today.  I read the writers guild is about to go on strike again.  Why?  Well, why is kinda funny.  See, after the last strike basically devastated the industry… the industry learned to do without them.  THIS is why everything on TV is ‘reality based’, because production companies are terrified to depend on writers.  So… a few years ago, they literally learned to do without… because they had to.

So… after that serious ugliness… )and it was incredibly serious if you watched tv or movies.  All tv and movies simply stopped.  Literally, even all talk shows stopped.) production companies did as best as they could to not get stuck in this pickle again.  For a while, it worked.  Everything on tv was ‘reality’ based.  Remember when Food network did shows about cooking and people?  Remember ALL of that programming went away in favor of food based competition shows?  That was because of the writer’s strike.

Now, however, we are in this amazing period of ‘peak tv’.  Ushered in by the greatness of shows like ‘the Wire’, ‘the Sopranos’, and ‘Breaking Bad’… tv is better than ever.  TV used to be the poor little step child of movies, the ‘Silver Screen’.  Now, we can all see that most tv is far superior to most movies… no matter how hard Brent Bozell tries.

Now, the writers are going to strike again.  I FULLY get why.  Their wages keep going down, there is no job security, and their benefits are shit.  Power to the people, right?  However, going on strike only makes sure the industry will NEVER AGAIN need writers.  Keep taking beef away, for a really long time.  It doesn’t make us want beef more.  Maybe at first, but in time we simply learn to live without beef.  So, if beef is gone for 2 weeks… we are thrilled to have it back.  If beef is gone for 5 years… once it comes back, we say ‘no thanks.  We moved on.  Sorry you weren’t here for us.  Hey… want some chicken?”

The way to prove you are needed isn’t to leave.  If you do that, I assure you they will find a way to not need you.

atheism

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People ask me how, or why, I am an atheist.  A great question, which I don’t mind discussing at all.  However, some people say “you are just agnostic.”  That statement frustrates me.  It may be true, in a super philosophical sense… but it is also diminishing.  Even if I were, shut your pie hole.  I don’t tell you what to believe, and you shan’t tell me.

(ed note.  It appears you ARE telling people what to believe.  It’s the very nature of this post.  Geesh, you are a bully, man!)

So, I should start with some qualifiers.  I never had a bad experience at church, or with religion.  I grew up going to church, and it wasn’t that bad.  I grew up in a Catholic church… in AZ… and never even got diddled!  We know they sent most of the pedos from the East coast to NM and AZ.  In fact, when I was young… I kinda enjoyed mass.  Our church had a rock band, people were always super nice, and there was always free donuts.

Nothing bad or cryptic happened to me… not with god, or church. I don’t think I ever believed in god, ever, in my heart. Frankly, I suspect the same for you, and most others.  Like the pledge of allegiance, I just dutifully accepted it.  When I got to thinking about it, I could not see a value or reason of god.  I remember talking with my friend Brian, this is at 6 or 7 or 8 years old.  We were talking about who we love the most.  I remember thinking and saying “God, mom, and my dad”.  Then, I realized that my priorities needed adjustment.  It was mom, then dad, then god.  I mean, mom and dad did all the cooking and raising and working and loving.

Here comes an important point.  You might say “but it is through god they can do this.  god invented your mom, and god invented diapers.”  Sure, but god isn’t in there wiping poo.  God isn’t doing the heavy lifting there, and god didn’t get up every night at 3 am.

God?  God didn’t do shit.

I know, I know, you want to say that god had a hand in all of that.  Maybe, but god didn’t work 12 hour retails shifts on her feet like my mom did.  God didn’t take us camping in the summer, that was dad.  Do you see my logic here?  This is the empirical thinking of a 7 year old.  Well, it still holds up to 45 year old me today.

PT 2 – we are MORE moral.

this is a big one.  People who identify as religious believe that godless folks are less moral.  I can PROVE to you why that is wrong.  I am godless.  I do very good work in my community.  I volunteer for the dog shelter (DDFL.org), teaching in under privileged schools (JA.org), the Red Cross (RedCross.org) and my county’s emergency management team.  We won’t talk about how I spend my Sundays fixing shit in my community, while you spend your Sundays in church TALKING about fixing shit in your community.  No, sir.  My point is this, and it is really important you grasp this.  Literally, please email me or comment if you don’t understand.  Maybe I am mis-understanding it.  Truly, this is an open dialogue.  Send me almost anything on this topic and I will publish it below… especially if you try and make a well reasoned argument.  If you just post ‘you are stupid and going to hell’, I may not publish it.  Why, it makes your side look horrible, and that isn’t fair.

I do these good things not because I hope to get to heaven.  I do not do them because god is watching.  I do not do them because I may go to hell if I don’t.  I do them because I feel they are right.  the question to you is, what would you do if your god wasn’t watching?  Integrity is what you do when no one is looking.  Write that down somewhere.  It’s my mantra.

Friday Fives – my editor’s obvious concern for zombies

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Are zombies people too?

Well… they certainly were

Should there be an order banning zombies from any immigration? 

Yes, due to their recruiting practices.  Not unlike the gays and blacks, zombies propagate and multiply by the brain eating of the living.  But let’s not use labels.

Should healthcare reform cover undead chain saw wounds? 

Depends on the future earning potential of said ‘zombie’, which my client and I resent the use of.  Going forward, please refer to us a ‘previously living’.  ‘Zombie’ is an unfair pejorative, and frankly a tired stereotype.

Can pets become zombies too?  Are you looking to buy some?

Let’s just say I have proof the answer is yes

Which favorite celebrity would make the best zombie? 

Johnny ‘Rotten’ Lydon.  He is SO already there.  Take a look for yourselves.

ok.  You deserve more here. However, I have to go to bed because the news people told me tomorrow is going to be a blizzard, and I have a long ass drive to work.  Interesting side note, today is exactly 1 year from the last blizzard that was historic to Colorado.  It was the first time they put a chain law in place in the city

Friday Fives – don’t touch that dial!

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What stops being cute after the age of 13?

Birthday parties.  To quote the great Dave Barry – “there is a time and a place when you should stop expecting people to be excited about your birthday.  That is the day you turn 7”.  I say that, interestingly, roughly a week away from my birthday.  As you might imagine, I regard myself as the exception to all of this.  You can send gifts care of the website.

What is something you hilariously misinterpreted as a kid?

I assumed water was free.  Like, I understood we had to pay for electricity (due to my father cautiously over-managing the thermostat in the house… like all dads)…  but I had assumed water was just magically free.  Our right as a taxpayer.  Ironically, we now live on well water… so it is free!

If someone leaves an abandoned baby on your front porch what will you do?

Raise him/her liberal and compassionate and polite.  OR… call the authorities.  Probably should call the authorities… what with what happened last time and all.

What two types of people are there?

Ø  Politicians that pretend to be compassionate, but really don’t give a shit (Democrats) and

Ø  Politicians that at least have the stones to admit they don’t give a shit about anyone else (Republicans).

Me?  I am a liberal, for sure… but I distrust them all.  That being said, I think Obama was a dope ass President, and I am 100% confident history will recognize same.

What is a skill that almost everyone in our grandparents generation had, that almost none of us have today?

Basic self sufficiency – making clothes, baking, working on a car… shit like that.  I work for AAA Colorado, and I can tell you the amount of adult males that have no idea how to change a tire is terrifying.  Good for business, sure… but bad for society.

Not saying I AM super capable.  BUT, I am more so than my Dad was.  Also, I can change the oil, change a tire, can cook, and can play the guitar like a mother f’n riot!

Friday Fives – whether cheeses should be proper nouns edition

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What’s the best “secret sauce”? 

the highest man can achieve in the sauce realm is a good ranch dressing.  I am very very particular about ranch dressing.  I can tell a good ranch just by looking at it.  For one thing, anything that is ‘shelf stable’ (meaning it doesn’t have to be refrigerated) is crap.  Anything that comes in a packet is shit.  in fact, I can’t think of a single ranch dressing you can buy as the kind a like.  Wing places always have the best ranch, as does Village Inn.  It should be kinda runny, and not mayonnaisey at ALL.  It should not have any yellow hue of ANY kind.  It needs to be bright white, fairly runny, and sweet.

Of course, this has nothing at all to do with salad.  I don’t much like ranch on salad.  Too heavy.  A nice vinaigrette will always do the trick for me.  I am talking about using it to dip friend food into.  For the record, in high school, I coined the term ‘Ranch Generation®’***

  I think the use and abuse of everything related to ranch is specifically a Gen X thing.

The last meal you had is what you’re going to eat for the rest of your life, what is it?

Either… a spicy and creamy shrimp and pasta dish… or a lightly seasoned filet mignon.  I mean, that would be my choice.  You are asking what the last thing I ate was?  Mac and Cheese.  There is a LOT of amazing things you can do with mac and cheese.  This was just boxed stuff.

 What are some unforgivable sacrileges regular people do all the time when cooking?

Besides overcooking a steak… let’s talk about an eating one, instead.  Imagine you made something really good.  Like, a lightly seasoned filet mignon.  And you serve it to your wife.  And then she says the unthinkable… she says something that breaks your heart.  She shits down your throat with these words:

I am leaving you!.  No… these words I am about to share with you are worse!  I am banging your arch enemy!  No sir, I have words even worse than that?  I just got the call, and your father has died.  NO… these words are even worse than that.  She says ‘ketchup, please’

What is the most disturbing thing you’ve ever witnessed in a kitchen/restaurant?

In college, I worked delivering Chinese Food.  It was a dream job.  I got $5 an hour (this was 20 years ago), plus tips.  Plus all the Chinese food I wanted.  Plus… I didn’t even have a car.  I delivered food for a living… with no car.  They gave me their car to use… and a gas card!!!!  Anyhow, that was a great job.  Now, on to the story – the owner worked in the kitchen.  No one worked harder than the Chinese.  That family was there open to close, 7 days a week.  Sorry… the story.  Because he worked in the kitchen, doing the prep… he had eyes on all the food coming and going.

If you ordered a dish that had shrimp… and you did not eat all your shrimp… and you sent your dish back with those shrimp on it.   The owner, Mr Huang, would take those shrimp and recycle them.  This means when you order a shrimp entrée at that restaurant… you may be getting that guy’s shrimp.  Thing is… it didn’t bother me at all.   Most people seem to find it just horrible, though.  I worked in restaurants through my teens.  This means I can’t really be disgusted.  The food business is beyond disgusting.  Being a night person, as I still am, that meant I was always on clean up, as well.  Restaurant kitchens are a vile and dark and horrible place.

It’s why I went to college, truly.  I realized if I didn’t take a sharp turn now towards my future… I could be stuck in industrial kitchens at 3 in the morning cleaning.

What’s the your favorite kind of cheese?

That is an odd question.  Who cares?  Since you asked, I will tell you that I almost always prefer white cheeses over orange cheeses.  Provolone, Swiss, Mozzarella… etc.  Wait… should those have been capitalized?  Does cheese count as a proper noun?  I could google it, but really… who cares?

*** interesting side note about the ‘Ranch Generation’.  I am convinced this is a thing.  Turns out it is not.  I went to google ‘ranch generation’, hoping to find an article I could like to validate my point.  I hit up google, and the only reference I found to ‘ranch generation‘ was me and something I wrote 5 years ago

thoughts on the NFL & national anthem protests

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I want to talk about the NFL protests of the black players taking a knee during the national anthem.  I think it is terrific!

I understand that many people see this as a slap in the face of America, Democracy, and (specifically) the system that allowed them to rich and famous and successful.  How could they shit on the America that created the American dream they are living?

Because even the black folk who are rich and successful still fear the police.  They are still getting bullied, beaten, and shot.  In the last few years, an alarming number of videos have surfaced showing black motorist being shot for absolutely no reason.  Here is the thing, this isn’t new.   Not by a 100 years.  No, what is new is that everyone has a video camera in their hands.

take a look at this.  Motorist gets pulled over.  Runs.  Cop shoots him in the back, running away.  Then, walks up and plants a weapon the deceased.  Can you imagine how terrified the person was who took this video?

When you consider this is happening, OFTEN… and  you are worried about athletes not standing for a song… you are worried about the wrong shit, my friend.

There has been terrible and sick and unacceptable attacks against police in retaliation for this.  Obviously, it is stupid and horrible to go shoot a cop because ‘all cops are racists’.  That is fucked up.  Taking a knee, though?  That is honorable.  That is civil disobedience, and participating in Democracy.  Remember Thoreau taking a stand against the Govt and taxes?  He literally wrote the book on Civil Disobedience.  He became a hero.  It was ok, because he was white.  If any other color tries it, it’s treason, I  guess.

Civil disobedience is a symbolic or ritualistic violation of the law, rather than a rejection of the system as a whole.

Why do you really care if a black athlete doesn’t jump to the flag?  That doesn’t hurt you, or your family.  Perhaps it hurts your white pride.  If no one is getting hurt, and no one is, by taking a knee to highlight their struggle… god bless them.  They are making us have this conversation, which means it has succeeded.  Kudos to Kaepernick for starting the movement, and kudos to him for sneaking off with that extra ‘e’ in his name.  Why aren’t you Hawaiians upset with that?  This guy is running off with your vowels, and your white women.

Lastly, there was this even worse sentiment.  He could not speak for the black experience, as he is apparently only half black.  Now that is some bullshit.  I am guessing he is black enough to get hassled by cops, pulled over randomly, and ignored by taxis.

Plus, look at this ‘fro.  He is certainly ‘black enough’ to get shot anywhere in the bible belt for loitering.  Good on ya, Kaep!  Power to the people!  All power to the people!

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They say the best things in life are the little things, what are some of those things?

Pebbles, stones, pins.  Those are small things.

When did you realize you were getting old?

I can tell you the second I realized it happened, not sure how long ago it was.  Probably about 10 to 15 years ago, wife and I were driving through Northern AZ.  It was desolate, and we were sick of our CDs… so we went to radio.  Very little choice… country and jesus stations.  BUT THEN

We are saved!  Rock and roll comes on the radio.  We loved all the songs, and I remember one of them was Prince.  We were congratulating ourselves for finding good radio when the announcer said ‘oldies’.  Yeah… he dropped the O bomb!  And we had known every song.  It was humbling, and I swear I was probably about 30.  That isn’t old.  Maybe I am old, now… but not then.

What did you learn about a friend when they were drunk?

Had abusive parents.  Very, very sad.  We were SO close, and that never came out until he was faced.  Probably never remembered having the conversation.  Heavy stuff!

What things do you do every day that you wish were automated?

Driving to work.  I don’t even mind the time, but it would be better to be on a train or something, where I could read and listen to music.

What was your “holy shit this is actually happening” moment?’

First time I had sex.   Can’t wait to try it again!