a handy guide to New Orleans, from someone who has never been there


Dear reader, I missed last week’s Friday Fives.  I was luckily otherwise bothered to be in New Orleans for the very first time.  We spent an amazing 4 or 5 days there, and it was just the best time and place ever.  Now… this week’s Friday Fives will likely be late or never, as I am training a new hire training class every day 80 miles away.  If I am not training my new hires for 8 hours a day, I am prepping or tearing down.  Or… driving.   So, let’s kill 2 drunk college kids with 1 stone.  I am going to answer all your questions about New Orleans.

As North America’s ‘Top Unsolicited Tour Guide®’ step right in to the real New Orleans… from a guy who was just there like this morning, y’all.

After my very first time there (for only a few days), I will take on the questions on the Chamber of Commerce site.  Likely, the answers were thoughtfully and painstakingly put together by people with lifetimes of experience of the ‘Big Easy’.  I am not only not that person, I won’t pretend to be.  My answers are honest and only speak of my limited experience there.  I will tell you the real truth that those pinheads are afraid of.

Note, I did not ever read any of the answers.  I just copy pasted right off this fine site

first… let me start with this, their new slogan

New Orleans – Its like Las Vegas for people with souls and character®

How can I experience New Orleans’ cultural celebrations and festivals this season?

GTS – google that shit.  There is TONS of amazing and free stuff happening pretty much always.   We found the New Orleans Treme Jazz and Gumbo fest this last weekend.  Totally free, and in a beautiful and awesome park  > Louis Armstrong park.  It was exactly what it sounds like, and it was amazing.

I have not visited New Orleans in a few years. What can I expect?

The fabled ‘French Quarter’ is exactly how you mis-remember it.  Painfully so.  I got the vibe that New Orleans works really really hard to feel and look like what you think it might look like.  We have traveled a lot, around the world, and this felt like a singularity. Remember that iconic scene in ‘the Great Outdoors’, where they are trying to sell their miserable house?  They want it to look like a woodland paradise for the buyers, so you hear things like ‘ok, queue the deer’.  I swear, it felt like that… and it was AWESOME.   Hookers?  yup.  Every single building looking like it was painted only once about 1200 years ago?  Amazing street music and jazz everywhere?  An odd amount of body paint and glitter?  Each and every square inch declaring itself the ‘real New Orleans’, and the actual, genuine, and real life “Home of the _________”.  I dare you to find a business in New Orleans who doesn’t not proclaim themselves the ‘home’  or originator of something.  It’s pretty terrific!

I swear, it feels like every day New Orleans is auditioning to get the lead part in a movie about New Orleans.  This isn’t a bad thing, they know who butters their bread.  It did feel a bit desperate, though.  Example, I dare ANY owner of ANY thing in the ‘French Quarter’ to put a new coat of paint on anything!  You can’t, it ruins the ‘charm’.

Now, obviously there are still tons of ‘pre/post’ Katrina  things happening and evolving.  Basically, Hurricane Katrina was like the arrival of Jesus and his impact on the calendar.  Every conversation about every single thing begins pre, or post, Katrina.  You truly cannot fathom the impact it had on every single aspect of life in New Orleans.  We weren’t in town longer than 30 seconds when our Uber driver told us an excellent (and plausible) explanation of how the government actively failed in the controlling the hurricane damage and flooding.

meschiya lake 2017

amazing local singer Meschiya Lake

How many visitors have been to New Orleans recently?

7?  I don’t know.  Who cares? You shouldn’t!  What kind of stupid question is that?If you are just a follower, go to a Cowboys game. Does it make a difference, or have a direct impact on your experience?    Just go, man.

What time of year should we go?

not summer, way too hot and humid and sticky.  and busy.  Not Mardi Gras, because now you are sharing the roads and sidewalks and airports and cabs and lines for the bathroom with a million random ass mouth breathers who are so drunk that they won’t even remember being there.   Like most places, aim for the ‘shoulder seasons’, which is the time least busy.  This way, everything is the least crowded it can be, the locals are the most ‘locally’, locals aren’t so sick of tourists at this point that they are happy to strike up conversations, and you can get better deals.

What are my restaurant choices?

Too many to mention.  Your choices are 2, basically.  You will end up doing the third.  First choice is start researching now.  You will go down a rabbit hole of food porn.  You may never escape.  You will go to New Orleans on a 3 day trip with a list of 37 places you MUST visit.   Second, you told some people you were going to New Orleans, and they gave you a list of 38 places you MUST visit… or why even fucking bother.  These are good.  Write these down, and (most importantly) get a strong feel for where you are staying.  This, where you are staying, will dictate everything.

See, what will actually happen is a combination of the three.  The top two, and the reality of just winging it.  Yes, there is that amazing café that will change your life that is a short 25 minute cab ride away.  It won all the awards.  Guess what?  You are tired, and had an amazing day, and just don’t have that in you.  Blow it off.  Find a place in walking distance.  It will be amazing, no matter where you go.  There is SO much great food there, that it equals competition.  You can’t succeed wit mediocre in that environment.

In fact, put away your trip advisor and yelp for a couple days.  Go out, make snap judgements.  Improvise.  Pretty much no matter where you go, you will have the best food you have ever had.  Every single meal was transcendent, even sketchy $6 subs from the corner market.   Btw, you have to call a sub a ‘po boy’.   Don’t even ask why, but I just made you cool.

What are my options for shopping?

Just like any other place on earth, too many to mention.  If you are looking to find cool stuff, or unique local stuff, or fun gifts… you will find that.  This isn’t a New Orleans thing, it’s a getting out of your house, thing.

What type of events does New Orleans offer sports enthusiasts?

Wrong question to ask.  With SO much going on culturally there, to go for sports would be a waste of time.  Would you ask that about going to Angkor Wat in Cambodia?  If you got to see Pearl Jam at Red Rocks, would you ask where you can get good fries?  If you were offered a sailing trip around the Caribbean, would you ask where you can catch a good basketball game?  Like any major market, there are many sports and sports franchises.  That isn’t why you are going to New Orleans.

Wanna go to a great sports city?  Go visit Buffalo, or Green Bay.  Those towns, some would say, are cultural zeros.  So, they WORSHIP their football teams.  Trust me, more travel than I care to admit is to go see the Broncos play in other markets.  In Buffalo, for example, they show up to the parking lot to tailgate the day before the game.  Yeah, you leave Saturday morning to go watch a Bills game at Orchard Park.   1) it’s wicked fun, and 2) there is literally nothing else to do in Buffalo.   Great football town, but not much else.

What’s the best way to get to New Orleans?

Doesn’t make a difference how you get there.  However, consider how to maximize your time there.  Yeah, you could drive there.  But, then you spend 2 or 3 days getting there, 2 or 3 days there, and 2 or 3 days getting home.  That is a great adventure, and you should take that adventure.  It is a road trip, though.  Not a trip to New Orleans.  If you have 7 days off of work, spend that 7 days in New Orleans if you can… not getting there and back.

that being said… that airport is SKETCH.  Shady, gross, terrible food, one lousy coffee stand, and to fill my water bottle i had to go into the bathroom.  Pretty sure I have Hepatitis after that airport.  Which one?   Each!  Granted, these are truly first world problems.  I guess I am spoiled by the Denver airport, it’s pretty great.

What are my options for taxis, buses, airport shuttles and streetcars?

All those things mentioned above.  Those are your options.  However, you won’t use any of them.  You’ll find yourself on a rented bike or in an Uber/Lyft if you aren’t on foot.  We had bikes the whole weekend and it was my favorite part of everything.  You move swiftly through neighborhoods, you still see and take in and small all the adventure, you aren’t paying per trip, you are getting exercise, you are saving the environment, you won’t spend 4 hours a day looking for parking space… and even if you are rip shit drunk… you won’t hurt anyone but yourself.

Is New Orleans a safe place for visitors?

Sure, but like ANY travel, have your common sense.  Don’t wander too far away after dark, don’t be overtly drunk… especially after dark.  Don’t leave your valuables laying around or in play site.  Don’t leave bikes or cars or kids unlocked.  This has nothing to do with New Orleans, but is about travel in general.  Nothing good is going to happen anywhere on earth at 3 am… especially if you just look $300 out of the ATM.  Go to bed.  There is plenty of adventure tomorrow.  opt to live to see it.  That is the difference between going when you are 20, or 45.  Hint… I am closer to the latter.

*** odd.  You didn’t ask about the music.  The music is the thing there, man.  It is everything.  The food is the best you have ever had, and the limitless booze (and fact that the bars don’t close) is plenty of fun… the thing about New Orleans is the music.  It is everywhere.  I saw SO much great and amazing and life affirming music in three days.

proof?  Here are some shots from my phone over the course of a few days.  This isn’t even necessarily seeking out music.  it’s just being out and about.  You’ll notice some of these folks are proper stages, some are in corners of bars, some are on corners of intersections, and some folks were just plain set up in the middle of the street.  Musical heaven.  no.  Musical Double Heaven®


it was magnificent.  I have traveled a modest bit around the world… and never to New Orleans.  It was everything I wanted it to be, times 100.  I can’t wait to go back.

*** side note – our host, the Nixons, also turned us on to the HBO show Treme.  Spot on.

I will say this again, because this is the story of New Orleans

New Orleans – Its like Las Vegas for people with souls and character®


Friday Fives – emotional rescue


What’s the dumbest thing you ever cried over?

Well, it’s not dumb… but those videos of soldiers coming home and surprising their kids gets me EVERY time in the feely parts.

What is the hardest you can ever remember laughing? 

About a year ago, give or take several months, wifey and I were driving.  We were listening to the comedy station and it was a Patton Oswalt bit about a fat guy trying on pants.  He compared it to a dying soldier.  I can’t begin to do it justice, but we were laughing to hard we had to pull over to compose ourselves.  I SO wish I could link it here, but I was looking for it recently and couldn’t find it.

Btw… this comedy radio channel is brilliant!  Where was this my whole life, and why has no one tried it before?

 When was the last time you cried?

We covered that above

What is your emotional rescue?

Bob Dylan music.  Specifically, Blood on the Tracks is my go to for everything.  I listen at least once a week.  Can not possibly say enough good things about early Bob Dylan.  Btw, those hipsters who want to say ‘before he went electric’ are just wrong.  His best stuff is his early electric work (1965-66) and Blood on the Tracks came a full ten years after that.  It is, however, almost totally acoustic.

 Describe a new emotion you have just invented?

This happened about 5 days ago.  I saw a photo of a guy doing something dumb that went viral.  In his face, I could see he was already regretting it.  He was ‘pre-gretting’ it.  Or… ‘pregretting’

So that is my new emotion AND word – pregretting®

You are welcome to use that, America.  My compliments!

the words i cannot say

Words we I can’t use anymore

Update – 11.5.17

I wrote this about 2 weeks ago.  It’s a draft.  As always, the kernel is interesting, but I don’t feel I can execute on it to not just sound self indulgent and ranty.  So, this piece was shelved.  You are getting a behind the scenes.   Why do I tell you this, and then why I am posting it?  Last night on SNL Larry David did a skit that is EXACTLY my piece.

So, now I had to share it.  Amusingly, it kinda gets filed under ‘I told you so’, or ‘I was Correct’.  The piece below is as it was written, and yet I think it is EVERY buzzword I talked about.  Note, I am a rabid fan of SNL, and never miss it.  I went to NYC so I could see the studio, it was amazing.  First, here is the skit.   Below it is my piece.  Mine was first.  It was written 18 days ago.  I swear!

Being a word guy, I have to pay attention to words we can’t use.  Most of them, it is for good reason.  Thing is, mostly… we were using them wrong.  That is the real issue, maybe.  Let’s start with ‘fag’.  Can’t use it, and we were using it wrong, anyway.  I am not going to play totally dumb here.  We knew it wasn’t a flattering term.

As a young male, I used that term all the time.  Thing is, I was using it wrong.  It meant, totally and entirely… ‘lame’.  “Dude, you are staying home tonight?  Fag!”   As you can hopefully see from the context, this had nothing to do with sexual preference.  Why can’t we use it?  Well, because it does mean ‘gay’, and it’s wrong to say.  Firstly, it is clearly used a pejorative – a put down.  This states, implicitly, and explicitly, that there is a defect in being gay.  Maybe you think ‘but we use it among ourselves.  It doesn’t refer to gay people, and none of us are gay, anyway.’

I mean… what was the subtext of saying an event was ‘gay’, or you were ‘being a fag’.  Of course, we meant these things were lame.  I guess the underlying bit was ‘these things are lame, and so is being homosexual’.  I am going to have to come back in ten years and edit out the word ‘lame’, and say ‘differently able’.  Ok, back to ‘gay’ and ‘fag’.

Well, odds are one of you is.  I am looking in your direction, Steve.  Just get it over with. Imagine how that person feels, especially if they are closeted.   1 in 10 is gay, and 1 in 10 are left handed.  I am left handed.  Imagine if I wanted to hang out with a social group who used ‘lefty’ as a pejorative.  “dude, that guy drives like a lefty”.   Jesus, who made these brownies, a lefty?  What do you call a dead lefty?  A good start!   Man, I think I am just gonna pretend to be right handed around these guys.

So… that one I completely get, and feel bad how freely I used it.  ME.  I am not going to say ‘it was a different time’, or ‘everyone did it’.  There is no ‘we’ here.  This is on me, and they were my actions.  I was wrong.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge this above.  These kids aren’t playing football, or tag.  They are playing ‘smear the queer’.  In case you are young, or not a guy, this was a very real game with a name I feel disgusted by.  You have a football, and a bunch of kids.  Whomever has the football is mercilessly chased and tackled and hit… until he gives up the football.  The next person who gets the ball runs for his life, as he is now ‘the queer’.  Yes.  Terrible!  Not the game, mind you.  The name is just sickening in retrospect.  We played it daily at lunch and recess.


Another word we lost, due to us moving it wrong – retarded.  Man, I LOVED that word.  And man did I use it wrong.  I meant something was dumb, or ineffective.  This bus schedule is retarded, it won’t be here for another hour.   That has nothing to do with development disabilities and challenges.  Mostly, it means (again)… lame.  Man, this concert is retarded.  This also denigrates people with learning disabilities… and unfairly.  No one chooses to have to cognitive deficiencies.  I get why I can’t use that.

Funny and terrible side note.  As a youth (we are talking about 35 years ago), we were told that word was mean.  We had a retarded child in class.  Instead of appreciating the differnces, and being sensitive to our peers… we came up with a work around.  We called retarded kids ‘gompers’.   Funny, in that we used the work around when the actual word was appropriate.  Gompers came from this – there is a school in Phx, AZ that was a magnet school for retarded children – the Samuel Gompers school.   To sum up – we kept ‘retarded’ in the lexicon to refer to things we didn’t like.   But to refer to actual retarded kids, we called them gompers.   Wtf?

But then there are ones I just don’t get.


That means half black, half white (I don’t have time to type out African American.  For brevity… it’s black).  Apparently, that is a pejorative as well.  I guess it always was?  I truly NEVER saw it that way.  I kind of tracked rock stars of mixed race, as it was interesting to me.  Lenny Kravitz, Bob Marley, Tyler Stewart, and Tom Morello.  It fascinates me to see what race they ‘pass’ as.  Tom Morello… just looks white to me (yeah, white.  Again, no time to type Caucasian).  Here is Tyler, the drummer for Barenaked Ladies

I find it SUPER interesting that Bob Marley was.  Why?  He is probably the most recognized black man on Earth.  His music and life’s work were about the struggles of being poor and black in Jamaica.  Bob Marley is who you listened to in college so that girls knew you were sensitive.

I tell you that to tell you this – what is wrong with it?  To me, it is simply a descriptor.  Apparently, I am wrong.  Here is a nice and thoughtful little piece about it.  I do know this, though – as a straight white male… I don’t get to decide what is offensive.  It appears the preferred term is ‘mixed race’.  I don’t like it… just because it is too long.  Wait, that is dumb.  Mixed race is less syllables than mulatto.  Why is it offensive?  Is it because it implies being black is somehow less than being white?  OR… it is because being of mixed race is somehow less than not mixed race?  Truly, I am just curious as to what part about it is offensive.  Good news, though – even though I disagree philosophically, I have dropped it from my vocabulary.


Can’t use that anymore.  I guess I see why, as it can be used as a pejorative.  I see it simply as  descriptor, though.   Here is my big problem with having to drop the word ‘midget’… it’s replacement >  little people.  Man, that seems WAY worse to me. Were I a little person… which would I prefer?  I guess it would depend on the context.  I am super sensitive to this issue, though.  I am short.  Not real short, just 5’8”.  I have always been insecure and neurotic about it.

Siamese Twins

Yup, gone.  We have to call them conjoined twins.  Nope, don’t like this replacement, either.  How is ‘siamese twins’ a pejorative?  I have never heard someone use that term to describe anything other than humans who were born physically stuck together.  Perhaps if people said things like ‘dude, you drive a like a Siamese Twin’.  Or… ‘nice guitar.  Who picked that out, a Siamese Twin’?  Even if I wanted to use it in a derogatory way, how would I go about that?



*** ok, end of piece.  I was going to explore those next two words above, but I realized the piece was petering out.  My next intention is what words do we use now that won’t be acceptable in 20 years.  Like… we don’t say ‘handicapped’, we say ‘disabled’.  Well, i think we do, that may be out already.  You get the idea.  Instead of saying ‘retarded’, we are allowed to say ‘dumb’.  Well, remember… ‘dumb’ is a medical term, and has NOTHING to do with intelligence

lacking the power of speech (offensive when applied to humans)

again… you get the idea.  We won’t be able to say this soon, and that is probably ok as well.  Language is malleable, and I love that.

Friday Fives – lefty justice edition

What was the high school fad that, looking back makes you say “really?” 

It was the late 80s… so that whole neon/Wham thing.  We can look back and laugh, now, right?  Absofuckinglutely not.  Know what that did?  Make a whole generation of kids people homophobic.  Seriously.  Were the great and cool George Michael alive today, he would agree with me.

What is a current fad that needs to go away?

I am pretty far removed from fads.  All I do it work, and I don’t even have cable.  So, I have virtually no idea what is happening out there, except for politics.  In that sense, the term ‘fake news’ drives me crazy.  I have NO doubt there is false info going around.  Lord knows there is.  However, there is a demographic on the right who uses that for things they don’t agree with.

Trump called information about his dismal inauguration turn out ‘fake news’.  Said the turn out was historic.  Well, we have photographs.  We can count every single fucking head, and then compare that with empirical and historical data.  Then, we can say ‘actually, the evidence and data and FACTS show that this was the worst attended in ____ years.  That isn’t ‘fake news’.  It’s just ‘news you don’t care for’.

What isn’t a fad but probably should be.

Your mother?  Flashing?  Not bad flashing (guy parts), but good flashing (girl parts).  Can I even say something like that in lieu of all the Weinstein news?

What’s your “in-Fad-uation”

Besides spending 3 weeks listening to ‘goodbye yellow brick road’ over and over and over again?  Can’t think of one.  I guess it appears I am going down a BNL hole, musically.  Steven Page, who I kinda expected to fall apart (you know, after getting fired from BNL, getting busted for coke, and caught cheating on his wife… all inside like a week or two.  But, dude sounds terrific.  Can not WAIT until he gets back with the band.  and he will.  100% dead on positive, he will return.  Neither are near as good without each other.

Check this amazing video out.  If you just look at the still… it looks sad.  He is an unkempt hobo playing for invisible fans.  Poor guy probably doesn’t even know his name.  But the watch it.  He sounds AMAZING, and perfectly studio perfect.

*** ok > there is this > he seems to think he left Barenaked Ladies, because his songwriting suffered.  Um…. yeah… like a week after he got busted for coke, BNL loses a multi million dollar Disney deal… Steven quit?  Yeah, sure… to spend more time with his family?

What is the opposite of a once popular fad?

Sexual harassment?  Oh come on, lighten up, Francis!  In fact, lemme tell you a little something about why your sexual harassment classes don’t matter.  They don’t teach people WHY it is wrong… just that it is wrong.  But how can that be done?  I’ll tell you – watch the famous old PBS special ‘blue eye brown eye’  Watch as an amazing teacher DEMONSTRATES why racism is dumb, and wrong.  I don’t think the stuff we teach today teaches respect.  It’s more designed to teach you how to not get caught… or how not to get your company sued.  But why it’s wrong, and stupid, and cruel to be sexist or racist… they don’t seem to care.


Friday Fives – potpourri


What instantly discourages you?

Seeing how Congress (both the House, and the Senate) all get re-elected at rates in the 90% era.  Yet, almost every American things Congress (correctly, btw) doesn’t do shit and they should all be fired.  Yet, we keep re-electing them.  It is SO self defeating.

If you could shoot anything (fire, pudding, etc.) from the palms of your hands at will, what would you shoot?

I think pudding would be a fine start.  Where the hell does this question come from?  It’s some kind of modern day Rorschach test.  Maybe best to keep this between you and your therapist, Roy.

 What two celebrities do you often confuse with each other?

Ryan Reynolds, Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Evans… there is a bunch of super hunky young actors that are somewhat interchangeable in my mind.  All good, though.

What was the stupidest thing “that kid” did at your school?

I remember some of the slower kids would stand at the urinal to do their business, but would have their pants down around their ankles as they stood.  Poor kids, probably no one showed them how it works.  Not like anyone has one at home.  You might think by seeing all the other kids, though, they would adapt.  Did I help them?  I admit I did not.  I certainly didn’t bully or mock them, either.  That benefits no one.

What are you listening to right now?

Shitty Colorado Springs radio station… the only one we can get in the office.  It is half classic rock, and half new pop garbage.  It will go Journey, then Rhianna, then Queen, then Justin Bieber.  Perhaps the older acts were the pop garbage of their day.  Maybe I am just more used to the older stuff.  But, it drives me crazy.  The older stuff I prefer not just because of the comfort of growing up with it… it is almost all guitar based.  Everything new is just made on computers, by computers…. And that is what I hear.

Well, its not the only station.  It’s the only station that isn’t a jesus station.

Friday Fives – how the man keeps you down!


Are you a good worker?

How do you mean?  Like… am I good at what I do?  Am I as productive as I could be?  I’ll answer both, but I remain suspicious of your motives.  The answers are yes, and no.

Ok, since you brought this up, I have a whole rant that has been building in my head for years.  I wanted it to be its own piece, but it ended up being boring and preachy.  Here is said rant >

The right/Republicans/conservatives (call them whatever you want) have this mythological fantasy of the working class.  They say that Americans WANT to work.  They said all these great masses of hard American workers needs only thing – the Govt off their back.  The philosophy of the right is to get government out of the way of the great proletariat working class so they can succeed on their own.

I have worked long enough to tell you I don’t think there really is this huge hulking mass of people eager to be successful on their own terms but can’t because of government interference.  It’s a great idea, and I just love it.  Unfortunately, human nature kicks in.  People are working, very simply, because they have to.  It doesn’t mean we don’t work hard, and it doesn’t mean we don’t take pride in our work.  If American productivity is suffering, it is because of human nature – laziness and sloth and self interest.  This isn’t even an American problem… it is simply human nature.

Here is where it gets sinister.  In the guise of helping the ‘poor and struggling working class’, the conservatives want to strip away govt regulation of everything.  If not to benefit the working class, then who is it for?  So corporations can run amok with pollution, and no regard for labor laws.  This movement means that not only is the government not looking out for you, but they are making it easier for your boss to screw you.  They have an answer to this, too.

It’s known as ‘trickle down economics’.  By letting your boss only pay you minimum wage, and skirt all matter of regulations, he gets to make much more money.  With all that money, he can employ more people, right?  And he can afford to go to the movies, which is good for the local economy at the movie theater.  And he can afford to do out to nice dinners, which is good for the restaurant economy, and the parking valet economy.  And he can afford to pay you more, so that you can do all those nice things that also help the economy.  A rising tide lifts all boats, right?  Except… it doesn’t work.  We have learned that the rich just pocket the net difference and don’t do shit for those below them.  This is why while the rich keep getting richer, the wages for middle class working Americans haven’t moved in 40 years.

All these shortcuts for business owners DOES help the business owners, that is true.  However, the business owners are, by definition, not the working class.  They are the bourgeois (pronounced boozh-wah), which means ‘the owners of the means of production’.  The actual worker bees… doing the actual work… they are the ‘proletariat’.  Of course, this is a simplified explanation of a very complex issue.  Just know that odds are, you are probably getting screwed.  The conservatives not only aren’t helping you, they are actively working against you.   Even worse?  They are so good at messaging and manipulating that they get people to vote against their own self interest.

If the right really wanted to do something for the working class… how about getting rid of the onerous effective 45% tax on overtime?  What good is making time and a half when the government takes half?

Let’s say you make $10 an hour.  You have a chance to pick up another 8 hour shift.  Great!  You will be making $15 an hour!  Not so much.  After taxes, you are only making $8.25 an hour.  It’s explained better here, but the net result is why bother working OT?  Why kill yourself and what little free time you have to make LESS than your regular hourly rate.  THAT is someone could make a real difference in American productively and American quality of life.  Make working overtime actually worth it.

Know what else ‘they’ do?  They tax unemployment.   Every job you have ever legally worked at, you pay into unemployment.  Your employer matches it.  Both of you have no choice, and that is a good thing.  The idea is this is a safety net in case you lose your job through no fault of your own.  I have been laid off a couple of times, and I have received unemployment benefits.  It truly is a blessing and a lifeline.  I sure was pissed, though, when I found it being taxed.  Why are you taking a chunk of my money now?  When I need it so bad?  It is only half of what I was getting paid to work, and I paid into this my whole life… with my earnings… and the Fed gets a cut?  That is how you kick a man while he is down.

I can’t tell you the Democrats are going to save you.  All evidence proves they are just as corrupt.  However, if we have any chance it is with them.  Yes, the Dems put lots of rules in place.  Too many.  However, they are the ones who make sure your rivers don’t catch on fire, and that you can breathe good air and have drinking water.  They are the ones that make sure you get vacation, sick time, leave time, days off.  Like unions, most Dems in power have become as corrupt as the powers they are fighting.  However… they/we remain on the right side of history.

*** whew.  that came out of nowhere!  It is also why it took me an extra day to get these out.  Once I started that rant above, I just kept going and going.  Obviously this is stuff I am passionate about.

 What do you carry?

Always?  A leatherman, my keys, and my cell phone.  I don’t even leave to get the mail without a leatherman.  Let me add this – I firmly believe you have never have enough lights and knives.  Know what else is super cool about the Leatherman?  It’s an American company.   Even better?  It is their name!  The company was started in 1983 by Tim Leatherman.  With a name like that, dude was bound for greatness!  or… gay porn.  Still, what a cool story.  Now, you will see zillions of ‘multi-tools’, as the industry calls them.  Like kleenex and band aids and jello before him… we simply call them all ‘leatheman’ now.  Btw, mine is a real Leatherman, comrade.  Thanks, Tim!

Do you know your neighbors?

Know them?  I LOVE them.  I have gotten very close with our neighbors in the last few years.  They are all wonderful and amazing people, and I am thankful.  I live way out of town, down a dirt road.  No stop lights or streetlights or anything.  Not even city water.  So, we are a bit isolated.  This means are neighbors are even more valuable.  Also, having such wonderful neighbors when you live out in the country is wildly practical.  To go drinking in town is just too far, and then certainly unsafe to drive home.   So, instead, we save our money and drink at each others houses.  Here is what I mean by remote; let’s say I am going two houses over… we drive.

Where do you like to go for a day trip?

If I have the time?  Into the mountains.  Luckily, being in Denver, we are just about an hour drive from being deep into the woods of the Rocky Mountains.  It’s pretty great here.

What is at your feet?

dogs.  Weird thing, though… it’s your dogs.  please come get them.  We have enough, already.

Friday Fives – back to the future edition

You have an extra $500 to frivolously spend each month, you cannot invest or save it, what do you spend it on?

Guitars, Cadillacs, Hillbilly Music.  Ok, good tip, Dwight… but I’ll just scratch out the Cadillac part.  We still cool, right?  Oh, and we can skip the hillbilly music, and maybe put boobs in its place.

What terrible alcoholic drinks did you try as a young adult?

Anything that was in front of me.  Like every young adult before, and after, me.  Cost and access were the primary concerns.  Are we now really all that different?

You wake up, current age, and it’s 1974. What are you going to do with your day?

Go see peak Zeppelin.  Then, catch Bob Dylan on tour for ‘Blood on the Tracks’***  Then, start saving up now for 1977, which is PEAK rock and roll live era… simple as that.  Then catch Bowie, and Queen, and Elton John.  Also, I am 2.   So… I can get in for free, right?

also, at this point… concerts are still a loss leader for record companies.  So, tickets are heavily subsidized.  and Bots don’t exist yet to eat up all the tickets.

In 40 years what will people be nostalgic for?

“a simpler time”, when people had equal access to the internet.  When poor people could google the same results as rich people.  When the speed of loading my uncle’s awesome blog was no different than loading AT&Ts ‘megaserver page’, which has chucked out all of my bookmarks and installed itself as my home page.  And the porn… oh the porn.  Back in the early 2000s, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting some boobies.  Man, men are pigs!

You have one-chance to steal anyone’s talent. Who’s talent do you steal?

  • Jerry Garcia’s guitar playing
  • Salvador Dali’s painting
  • Hunter Thompson’s writing
  • President Obama’s temperament, diplomacy, and his everything else


editor’s note to self

*** 1974-75, Dylan wasn’t touring on BOTT, unless you count that whole weird ass ‘Rolling Thunder’ traveling experiment.  I think we all know if you want peak Bob, live… you had to catch him by 1966.