Saturday, January 24, 2009


This country is experiencing a pretty strange phase of feel-goodyness lately. Don't get me wrong, I'm actually digging it.

Of course, the economy is still all fucked up, and nobody can eat peanut butter and we're still at war in a couple of places, but gosh darn it, when something cool happens it sure sticks out like a sore thumb doesn't it?

Consider if you will the near tragedy that was US Airways Flight 1549. After taking off from LaGuardia Airport, a bunch of birds, led by a charismatic cult leader who convinced them that they would commit revolutionary suicide if they flew into a jet engine, ended up disabling the plane. The pilot, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III, managed to hard land the plane upright into the Hudson River. Apparently them thar Airbuses can stay afloat for awhile since all 155 passengers and crew were safely retrieved before the plane sank into the frigid waters of the Hudson.

Sullenberger is being hailed just about everywhere as a hero, and rightly so. His first officer on the flight, Jeffrey Skiles, was the one originally piloting the plane, but Captain Sullenberger took over, which turned out for the better because, despite 23 years with US Airways, Skiles had only 35 hours total logged in flying an Airbus A320. The concession to experience at the moment that the plane's engines went dead may well have defined the fate of all involved.

This is one of those stories that almost seemed predestined to happen. Many folks (including myself), believe that stuff happens for a reason. Instead of yet one more tragedy in the air, for once we have prevention of disaster thanks to actual human initiative. Plus, it simply would have been a bummer to have this happen just 5 days before the Obama inaugural. Instead, the outcome of Flight 1549 just added to the positive, celebratory tone.

It just seems like such a bizarre contrast of climate. Eight years ago, fairly soon after a President was sworn in (and following the most dubious election in history), we had a horrible mass murder involving airplanes crashing at the will of people. Now, we have the polar opposite happening with all aboard to live another day, followed by the beginning of an era with a Chief Executive who is promoting a feeling of hope and relief in so many citizens.

It's just a peculiar feeling in the air nowadays. It's like things have turned upside down inside out. I, for one, plan to enjoy it while it's here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Y'know, for some strange reason, I just can't get sick of watching this video...

Saturday, January 17, 2009


So. I've been hearing a lot of this jibber jabber lately about how Sacramento needs to become a "destination city", or some shit. Well, consider the fact that one of the most desired destination cities in the world, San Francisco, is a relatively short hop up the road. I did, considering that I visit there fairly often (and recently), and I've got some advice for Sacramento as a result of my research. And that advisory sums up as follows:

Find another fuckin' goal, Sacramento.

There's a motley assortment of philistines, village idiots, retired debutramps, and hipster Oompa-Loompas puttering around Sacramento nowadays. All of these fools think that a city's cultural style and substance can be spewed out willy-nilly overnight with a trendy restaurant du jour here and a flashy gimmick event there, sprinkled like pixie dust over a white rice bed of cookie cutter condos and corporate chain retailers. Just let the developers in, let them work their special brand of magic and, voila! After barely a year or two of any work, the online travel sites will be BLOWIN'. UP. With people trying to get a travel package bargain to SACraMENto!

Yeah. Right.

Look. Get something straight. It takes originality and character to create and maintain a great city life, and it's not only something that takes time to develop, it's something that almost defies description, and just is, or isn't.

Sacramento is a great place to live in, and has plenty of quality within its city limits. I'm not going to go into detail or name names, because if you need me to do that, then YOU need to get outside more often and check out what's out there.

We need to concentrate on the livable strengths of our fair city, and improve them. As far as the problems, with crime or whatever, welcome to the big city. Shit like that will need to be dealt with anyway. But as far as overall quality of life goes, please don't keep repeating the mistake of America Live and the like. Just quit. Seriously. And if you like shit like that, just leave.

And stay out. Seriously.

Friday, January 09, 2009


"Of one thing I feel certain: this same technical progress which, in itself, might relieve mankind of a great part of the labor necessary to its subsistence, is the main cause of our present misery. Hence there are those who would in all seriousness forbid the introduction of technical improvements. This is obviously absurd. But can we find a more rational way out of our dilemma?

If we could somehow manage to prevent the purchasing-power of the masses, measured in terms of goods, from sinking below a certain minimum, stoppages in the industrial cycle such as we are experiencing today would be rendered impossible."

-Albert Einstein, 1934

Saturday, January 03, 2009


I've lived in about a half dozen different joints in Midtown, but the first one was what was probably not so affectionately referred to as the "Purple Dump".

This otherwise relatively nondescript apartment building was home in the mid 1980s and hoo boy, I couldn't begin to narrate the complete stories of the music played, events that unfolded, and drugs that were consumed in that time. Among other memories was the morning that, following a typical night of LSD, pot and beer consumption, I had woken up after about two or three hours of sleep to walk into my living room and lo and behold, here comes Emilio Estevez being chased by a bunch of various law enforcement vehicles down P Street for the filming of Wisdom, a Brat Pack-era actioner shot in many locales in Sacramento which has been mostly forgotten by the movie-going public at large. And besides, Sacramento was just being used to represent Minnesota anyway. I didn't even realize that they had palm trees in Minnesota.

Anyway, for years and years and years the building had a color resembling a longtime old and stale grape flavored square of Now and Later candy, and thus had in time earned the now legendary nickname of "The Purple Dump". Imagine my surprise when, passing by one day, I had noticed that the owners decided to, erm, spruce things up with a fresh coat of paint. Unfortunately, they decided to use "School Bus Yellow" as their new color scheme.

Why the fuck would you paint ANY dwelling the color of a Yellow Cab, unless it's, say, the Yellow Cab Dispatch Center and Garage? Are you pissed off at the neighbors and want to hurt their eyes every time they come outside of their homes? Is there a study which has proven that crackheads are less likely to rent or loiter around places painted this way?

Yeah, I have a feeling that the "For Rent" sign in front of this joint is going to be posted in the front for quite some time. Oh well, I guess that they can't call it "The Purple Dump" anymore. Perhaps a new nickname like "Ugly Ass Yellow Shithole" can be a suitable replacement.