Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Social Network Rules

Good evening dear reader(s)!

As I type this tonight from my underground bunker in a secret location, I am beginning to realize that despite my near perfect track-record of anticipating the next big thing, and my penchant for having vast amount of knowledge when it comes to the interwebs (which is indeed a series of tubes), I completely and totally misunderestimated the phenomenon that is this whole "Facebook" thing.  But since everything is better late than never (that is what I tell my creditors), I have decided to embrace this emerging technology and help spread the word because I am certain the majority of people have no idea what this is all about.  Also, I understand Google has decided to enter the fray.  Wait, what do you mean they already tried a social network site and it failed miserably?  Google can't fail.  They are Google,  Don't believe me?  Google it. 

That said, this second attempt looks like it might actually have legs, which is important as the legs will be needed to navigate the series of tubes.  (The legs accomplish this feat (not to be confused with feet) using packets, which scientists say are basically the packs of silica that prevent your shoes from molding before you buy them.)  Anyway, because of the popularity of sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google's new thingy, and of course, the most cutting edge of them all...MySpace, I figured it was about time someone created rules to follow when on these sites.  Because nothing is more fun on the interwebs than a restriction of your freedom. 

And so it is with great joy, that I present to you infidels...Josh's Big Ol' List O' Social Network Rules!!!!!

1.  If you play a social network game such as Farmcity, Townfarm, Mafiafarm, and Farm Wars, please, for the love of all that is good in this world, don't let it post your accomplishments to your wall!!!!  This only annoys your virtual friends and makes you look pathetic as everyone can see that is all you do all day long.  (PS, quit posting about how hard it is to find a job when it is sandwiched between 50 straight hours of crop fertilization requests.)

"But Josh, who the hell do you think you are to tell me what I can and can't do?"

Well, I'm your friend.  Are we cross?  Why Ed, if I didn't think you were my friend, I just don't think I could bare it.

"But Josh, aren't you also pathetic?"

Yes, admittedly I am pathetic, however I only choose to let my friends know this in my blog-type-thing which they have a choice of whether or not to read.  I do not force them to wade through 500 million updates on their news feed for a single valuable post that explains how pathetic I am by listing my 50 solid hours of farming accomplishments.

2.  If you made fun of me in school, don't expect me to accept your friend request.  You are a douche, and I do not exist to help your "friend" numbers.

3.  Do not put any stock in your friend numbers.  Unless your name ends with Tequila, nobody gives a fuck. 

4.  If you do something of value, let us know.  Sure, it is easy to update your status by saying, "I fucking want to kill the asshole who just cut me off, license plate XXX-1234!"  (example only)  But if you just cured AIDS, I think your friends might rather know about that. 

5.  If all you do is re-post, you should check to make sure that you are capable of original thought.  Re-posting a funny thing every so often, or a quote that TRULY inspires you is one thing...but for the last fucking time, it is NOT Special Education Week, we know that cancer patients would rather be cured than get a new flat-screen and all your chain posts accomplish is making people like me want to murder special children with fucking chemo-therapy drugs!

(Deep breath.)

Okay, so that is all the rules the bulging vein in my forehead will allow me to type for now, but if you have any you would like to contribute, feel free to comment with them, find me on Facebook, Twitter, or lying in a gutter somewhere. 

Until next time dear reader(s), follow the Social Network Rules...or face the consequences.  (I don't know what those may be, but I'm pretty sure they exist.) 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Making peace with being stuck

Good afternoon dear reader(s)!

Today I am typing this blog-type-thing live from a computer in sunny and not-too-hot Sparks, NV.  Even though I live in Reno, I am at my dad's house which is in Sparks.  I hate it here.  It is suburbia on steroids (or more likely, given the area, meth, but the bad drug specific doesn't really mater).  I hate it more than I hate Reno, which is pretty difficult, given how much I hate Reno.  For those of you who don't know the level of my hatred for Reno, I need to ask how you stumbled upon my blog-type-thing for the first time, because it is a recurring theme in my post-type-things.  (Recurring=obsessively bitching about it.)  Anyway, (too may people on these interwebs say anywho, so I have stricken it from my vocabulary for now.  I may bring it back once the hype dies down.)  Anyway, despite my hatred for Reno, and Sparks, and the area, I have started to notice that my seething hatred for it has seemed to be seething a little less lately.  To the point of seething-lite.  I have been looking into why this may be and have determined there can be only one answer.  Money. 

What does money have to do with it?  (Originally a song by Tina until Ike knocked some sense into her, FYI.)  Well, I'm glad I asked myself.  You see, with money, it is possible to buy things such as alcohol and other things that help you to not notice your surroundings.  Now that I have a job that comes closer to paying my bills, I have noticed that I can afford more alcohol so as not to notice that my job is keeping me in Reno.  It is a vicious circle.  Earn enough money to leave, but have a good enough job that you don't hate that pays enough to live to cause you to stay.  This is the hell that currently is my life.  The good news, is that my job will eventually supply me with vacation time and enough money to possibly actually take a trip out of town from time to time.  Which leads me to the trip taken yesterday.

Okay, to be fair, going to the lake is not really a trip out of town.  I mean, not really.  It is more like a trip in town but to a far less disgusting part of town.  Similar to coming from Sun Valley and going to Plumas.  But at least I was able to have enough gas, and a new serpentine belt to be able to get even to the lake. 

"Which lake are you talking about, oh mighty Josh?"  Well, voice in my head, you must not know very much about Reno.  Because even though there is more than one lake within 4 hours of Reno, there is only one "the lake".  I may have talked about this before in a post-type-thing, but since you obviously didn't read it, (and most likely aren't reading this), I will elaborate.  In Reno, when you go to "the lake", you are going to Tahoe.  When you go to Pyramid lake, you go to "Pyramid".  When you go to Frenchman's (which I think might technically be a reservoir), you go to "Frenchman's."  This formula also works with places like "Boca" and Lahontan".  Why does Tahoe get the distinction as being "the lake"?  Well, because Tahoe is not ugly.  In fact, the only thing that Reno can truly brag about is being within a half-hour of what is quite possibly the most beautiful lake in the country.  (There are many beautiful lakes, but Tahoe really is amazing.)  Here is a picture taken from my phone as I was hoping to find signal in order to call 911 as I was stuck on the side of a cliff yesterday.  Story to follow.
  "Wait a second, did you just say you were trying to call 911 because you were stuck on the side of a cliff?"  Yes, I did say that.  I am lying, but I did say that.  I was stuck on the side of a cliff, but at no point did I decide to try and call 911.  That would have been giving up, and I am a man.

So now I am sure you want to hear the story of how I got stuck (for a while) on the side of a cliff.  (Or more likely you don't care, but just expect me to go into the story since it is a natural segue.  Okay.  Fine.  Because Tahoe is "the lake", and because it is the only placed within a hundred miles where non-meth dependent life flourishes, and because it was a sunny Saturday, everybody and their brother decided to go to the lake.  Our original destination of Sand Harbor was not an option because the lot was full, and parking within any distance I would want to walk along the side of the road was also full.  So we decided instead to park further up the road and hike down to Hidden Beach.  Now for those of you who don't know about Hidden Beach, this is the small beach that has no parking lot, where you must park along the road and hike down to.  It is also clothing optional, but that is neither here nor there because at this point I didn't really care if I had to see some saggy nakedness to enjoy the lake.  The problem however, is we miscalculated our destination, and instead ended up hiking (more climbing really) down a very steep (sometimes shear) cliff only to be greeted at the bottom with nothing but ant infested granite boulders that were still about 20 feet from the surface of the water below.  The 20 foot jump in would have been fun were there also not boulders in the water itself.  So after about 20 minutes laying out on the boulders until realizing that we could no longer fight off the giant attack ants, we decided to leave our spot and attempt to find a beach that was less busy. 

The climb down was tough, the climb back up was retarded.  More accurately, I was retarded for climbing down without thinking of how I was going to climb back up with my crappy flip-flops and a beach bag in hand.  After a good half hour, a few near falls, a mild heart attack, bumps and scrapes, throwing the bag to Hannah once she reached a plateau, and her throwing it back so she could start the next climb once I reached a plateau about 4 or 5 times, and sweating so bad that I was literally drowning from it, we finally made it back to the vehicle.  We pulled back out onto the roadway, dodged some cyclists, pedestrians, idiot park-jobs and drove about 10 minutes in the opposite direction of where we wanted to go so we could turn around. 

Eventually we were able to turn around however, and we decided to head to King's Beach in CA with the hope we could park and actually enjoy the beach.  When we got to  King's Beach, we spent another 30-40 minutes driving around, looking for parking, until we finally found a spot that was only about a 15 minute walk away.  We finally found some beach!  We were bruised, scratched, exhausted, but we finally were relaxing on the extremely packed beach.  For about 2 hours.  Then it was time to go.  2 hours.  Am I bitter about all the work we did for a small 2 hours?  I should be, but around here 2 hours to spend lying on a beach looking at a very beautiful lake is worth all of the work.  This isn't the Pacific Northwest, where beautiful scenery exists within 15 minutes of wherever you are.  That 2 hours this weekend may be the difference between being able to stay sane here for another month, and shooting a man in Reno, just to watch him die. 

And so I realize, that if I can leave here enough, and since I like my job, and it pays okay, and if I get to take a multiple day vacation within a few months, I may be able to make it here a little longer.  I just hope I don't become one of them.  (Yes, I know I was born here, but I feel as long as I continue to resist, I will not be one of the Reno people.)  (Also the fact that I am not interested in doing meth probably helps with that.)

One other thing that seemed to make the last week okay:  I got a grill.  I have a cheap charcoal grill that works just fine and the other day I made kabobs.  I went to WinCo where I usually do not go because of the section of town I happened to be in, and there it was, staring at me in all of its yellow glory.  I haven't had one since Summer, 2008.  I found a big, perfect looking Walla Walla Sweet Onion!  Maybe I can make it here for a while after all. 

In case you have never had a Walla Walla Sweet, let me say that you have never had an onion.  Oh sure, you can find jumbo yellow onions all the time.  Some are even sweet.  They look pretty similar.  But make no mistake, there is nothing as good as a Walla Walla Sweet.  In Seattle, you would wait for them to appear in your local grocery store, shipped over from the East side of the state (hence the Walla Walla) every Summer.  You could also get them for a couple months as Kidd Valley Onion Rings.  (Kidd Valley = so-so burgers with amazing onion rings, specifically when they had the Walla Walla Sweets).  It is almost as exciting as waiting for Copper River Salmon to hit the stores.  I didn't have any during my last Summer in Seattle, but now I have found them at WinCo.  And it was good.  And the clouds parted, and Josh looked down upon the land and decided to spare it.  For now.  My kabobs were excellent.  Here is a picture of the world's greatest onion.  Admire it, for it has changed my wrath into forgiveness, no sheep sacrifice necessary. 
So until next time, dear reader(s), give praise to the Walla Walla Sweet, the lake, and alcohol.  You may not have known it, but they have spared Reno from the fire and brimstone I most certainly would have rained down upon it without their calming influence. 

Take care of yourselves, and each other. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

chopped

Good afternoon dear reader(s)!

 

Today the mystery ingredients in your basket are: 

Bagels, Cream Cheese, Energy Drinks, Powerade, and Bloody Noses.  You must try to weave these ingredients into a cohesive blog-type-thing using these mystery ingredients that will delight the reader(s) so you can avoid being chopped.  You also have access to our pantry and fridge.  There are 20 minutes on the clock, and time starts...NOW. 

 

As you may or may not be able to tell, I have spent a lot of time watching Food Network lately.  This is because my brain has been fried (or grilled, depending on the kitchen setup) by all of the garbage that has taken place since I moved.  The garbage to which I refer is basically the laundry situation.  After squeezing the washer and dryer through the tiny door down the stairs into the basement, and hooking up the dryer lint vent to the lint exhaust tube (which went surprisingly easy), and feeling all accomplished because we were able to get them down there and positioned to be able to wash and dry clothes, and having the 220 box for the dryer that was just hanging by the conduit secured to the wall, and hooking up the cold water intake to the faucet on the laundry sink, and making my own clamp to hold the drain hose over the side, I was thinking I was ready to wash and dry clothes. 

 

Only, it turns out that the 220 on the house was the older 3-prong type and the cord from the dryer is the newer 4-prong style.  This is only the case because when I brought my older dryer into my former rented luxury condo, it had the newer 4-prong outlet and I had the older 3-prong cord.  So I took a giant risk of shocking myself and changed it.  And it worked.  And I was scared to use it for the first 5 weeks, but, apparently I did it right.  So I threw away the older 3 prong cord thinking I would not need to use it again in the lifetime of the dryer.  Oops.  So now I need a new 3-prong cord again, and probably the old grounding strap because I'm sure I didn't keep that. 

 

Okay, so that is still no big deal, if I didn't kill myself once, I am sure I could do it again without killing myself.  But that isn't the real problem.  It is summer, and I have a backyard, and I could hang the clothes out to dry in order to save energy, money, and the planet until it gets too cold.  (Or, more likely, it allows me to put off changing the cord again, because I am lazy.)  The real problem was the first time I tried to run the washer.  In addition to leaks in the pipes to the sink once the water is turned on, I just left the Hot Water Intake hose hanging off the back of the dryer.  No big deal, I'm not using hot water, there is nothing to hook it to, and it is an intake, right?  Well, some of you may know this, but...no.  As soon as I turned on the washer, all the cold water that came in from the cold water intake promptly ran right out of the hot water intake onto the floor.  So I go online, learn that this happens, learn that I can go to Lowe's and pick up a hose cap, take off the hose, cap the intake at the back of the washer, and all should be good.  Cool.  So I cap it, use some Teflon tape on the thread, seal it up nice and tight, and I should be good, right?

 

Well, my first load of laundry hits the drain cycle.  My clamp is ingenious.  The hose does not move.  The intake cap is sealed tightly, and does not leak.  The water drains into the sink.  The sink that does not drain.  At all.  I have my lint bag over my hose, so it isn't because of me.  So after using buckets to drain the sink, dumping the water in the backyard (EPA violation?), and almost passing out running up and down the stairs to prevent the entire basement from flooding, I have my first load of wash done.  I have rigged a piece of co-ax. as a clothesline, bought my 98 cent pack of clothespins and now I can dry them.  One actual load of laundry done, and only a ton of work done to do it. But unless I want to bucket brigade each time, I can't really run a load of wash again. 

 

So I pour an entire bottle of liquid Plummer down the drain.  Nothing.  I buy a drain snake.  Does nothing.  Meanwhile, the leaky water pipes to the faucet have started leaking more.  I go to Lowe's yesterday and buy a P-trap.  I remove the old one, and check it.  It is not clogged.  The clog must be on the other side of it.  I decide to replace it anyway, but when I try to put on the new one, I realize it does not have threads on both sides, just on one.  The old one has both sides threaded.  Well, while it is off, I try to run the snake on the other side of the P-trap.  It does nothing.  I put the old P-trap on, add Teflon tape, tighten it down, and in the process almost take the entire sink down with me.  It is supported by 3 wooden legs, one of which is rotting because the water leaking from the pipe to the faucet runs down it.  I test the drain, it still does not work.

 

Long story still long, but slightly less so, the landlord is dragging her feet taking care of this, I have tried myself to take care of it but have so-far failed miserably, and I FUCKING hate going to the laundromat!  So when I get home from Duds n Suds at 9:00 every night, after spending 2 hours after I get home from work trying to fix the issues, after being at work for 9 hours plus another hour for the commute, all I have energy for is watching the Food Network.  How exciting is my life?

 

Which brings me to my mystery ingredients.  After actually doing my job for 3 weeks, I was made to begin a mandatory new-hire training class which would have made sense had I not started the job 3 weeks before the training began.  So now for the past 3 weeks I have been taking a class that I need energy drinks by the case in order to stay awake.  During these training classes, (which are by conference call), I eat breakfast which I like to be 2 bagels from Smith's each morning with cream cheese.  Then, for later in the day, so I can sleep, I drink a Powerade Zero because it has no caffeine, quenches my thirst, and is cheap.  And finally, for the past 2 months I have been under relentless attack from cottonwoods which has caused severe nosebleeds on a daily basis.  There, everything on the plate.  I rocked that bitch!  Chopped Champion, motherfuckers!  Take that, Ted! 

 

So until next time dear reader(s), remember that while you have made it through the appetizer round, there are still two rounds left to go and it only gets more difficult from here.  So who will be the next food network star?  Are you grillin' and chillin'?  Are you ready for a throwdown?  More importantly, are you ready for Laundry Impossible?  Seriously, help! 






Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Nemesiseses

Good afternoon dear reader(s)!

Today I make my most triumphant return black to the blog-type-thingoshpere from the comfort of my father's dining room, where he has chosen to locate his computer, despite the fact that it is a horrible location for watching porn.  I am blogging from this location because I am at my dad's house today, and there is no way in hell I am going to go outside right now.  I have no Zyrtec.

For those of you who do not know what Zyrtec is, fuck you.  That's right, I said fuck you.  "But Josh, that is not fair of you to say fuck me just because I don't know what Zyrtec is.  Why would you do such a thing?"  Well, asshole, you're right.  It would be unfair of me to say fuck you just because you don't know what Zyrtec is.  In fact, I am not saying fuck you because you do not know what Zyrtec is.  I am saying fuck you because you obviously do not have the NEED to know what Zyrtec is.  Zyrtec is a semi-less-drowsey than Benadryl allergy medication that keeps me from wanting to rip my skin off and put it into your gourmet food as vengeance for being able to stand having skin.  You see, this year, because of the unusually wet Spring, my number one enemy (cottonwoods) have been releasing more fluff, and for a more extended period of time than in most years past.  The lack of a month-long cottonwood assault was the one solace I took in moving from my beloved Seattle back to po-dunk Reno.  This year has taken even that away from me.  My face is one giant hive.  My nose is so congested it makes West-bound rush-hour traffic on the 520 seem free-flowing.  (That is a Seattle area joke.  For you Reno people, think of the construction on 395 South to the spaghetti bowl, times 500,000 with more Lexus SUVs full of idiotic yuppies on their cellphones blasting the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack out their windows as you sit at a standstill right beside them.  I miss Seattle, not Bellevue or Redmond commuters, FYI.)  Anyway, long story still rather long, but now coming to an end:  I am stuffed up and itchy and miserable, and cottonwoods are to blame.  Add to that the fact that my skin is not only itchy and inflamed, but would instantly catch fire in this 97 degree heat, and I think blog-type-thinging from the air conditioned inside is the way to go. 

Later on, I have to walk outside onto the patio (or flat-top grill for humans as food), and barbeque some chicken and corn on the cob.  As lovely as this deliciousness sounds, I am not looking forward to it.  Hey, you know what makes 97 degrees even hotter?  How about standing over a 350 degree grill?  And enjoy this as the cotttonwood fluff continues the air campaign against your forces of freedom and barbeque.

Which can mean only one thing:  Cottonwoods are terrorists.  They are affiliated with Al Qaeda.  They hate our freedom and are attacking innocent civilians!  And on the Fourth of July weekend no less!  A three day weekend that is my first actual rest since starting the new job and moving!

Well, we will not take this threat lying down.  We will fight these terrorists wherever we find them, and bring them to justice.  Join me today, in the eradication of our enemies.  Fight this threat for the innocents (me) who have been lost (unable to spend extended periods outside).

Well, it is time to get the grill ready, if I am not back in 10 minutes, go on without me.  

Until next time my dear reader(s), I recommend you be vigilant.  Report cottonwoods.  Contact your local arbor day foundation and tell them that if in planting trees they include cottonwoods, that they are giving material support to terrorists.  Start petitions in your community banning these enemies of freedom.  And have a happy fourth of July.  Remember to thank all of those people who have done so much to fight to preserve our freedom.  People such as the makers of Zyrtec, Zyrtec D, Benadryl, Claritin (even though it is only mildly effective, it does not make it any less noble or brave for taking up this fight), and the developers of future, more powerful allergy medications who's side-effects don't involve lymphoma and anal hemorrhaging.

God Bless pharmaceutical companies, and God Bless America!  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Farmer's Crap!

Good evening dear reader(s)!

Tonight I am live blogging to you  from O'Ski's at Victorian Square in Sparks, NV.  As you may or may not know, tonight is the 1st night of the Farmer's Market here in Sparks (or 1 or 2 California berry vendors and a bunch of overpriced fair food market).  Okay, so that wouldn't be too bad, but this year, business like O'Ski's are kept from making any money off of the locals who are starved for entertainment because the City of Sparks has elected to move the market to a little plot of space by the movie theatre, leaving the businesses along Victorian well away from the fun.  The message from the city?  We support California farmers, but think the local Sparks businesses and the local economy can go fuck themselves.  Wow.  And I wonder why the local economy is worse than Detroit!  

Fuck you Sparks!  Fuck you!  Are you trying to be Reno?!?!?  

Please, if you care about your local businesses, events, etc... Contact Mayor Geno Martini @ 775-250-1612 and tell him we support local businesses.  

Thank you, and goodnight.  

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sorry, didn't quit

Good afternoon dear reader(s)!

As you probably did not notice because you most likely have better things to do, I have not been post-type-thinging lately.  I am determined to change that, but unfortunately, I am also determined to have some money to spend at some point in my life, and that means working, which makes it difficult to maintain the awesomeness that is my blog-type-thing as consistently as I would like and with the quality of run-on  sentences that you have come to know and loathe.  

I am aware of the difficult position this puts you in, what with not knowing the exciting goings on in my wonderful, fast-pace life of excitement and occasional naps.  For that I would like to apologize, but I have a rare disorder that prevents me from doing so.  

So what has been going on since the last time I graced my mother with a post-type-thing?  Well...um...yeah.  So let's just stick to the formula of bitching about stuff, shall we?  

I can't really think of anything to bitch about right now.  Nobody has pissed me off too horribly.  I mean, aside from the perpetual road work on 395, and now 80, I have even been having semi-good traffic luck.  (Knock on wood or nearest wood-grained faux wood product.)  It has been a good 4 days or so since I almost ran over a homeless guy on a bike, Street Vibrators Spring Ze Rally seems to be staying mostly away from me, people haven't been tailgating me when I am forced by traffic to go less than 30 over, & I haven't encountered too many people doing 30 under in the fast lane.  

I like my job.  Alot so far.

My power is on, I might get to start paying companies I have outstanding debt with soon, and there is enough gas to get me to and from work most days.  

I am happy in my relationship.

There has been semi-good music on the radio lately, & there is enough good stuff on my phone to supplement that I am not yet sick of.

It is June and not 108 degrees yet.

Hmmm, so I guess I have nothing to bitch about, right?

WRONG!!!  I am freaking out here!  This is Reno FAILURE!  This isn't "Things are going just fine here in Reno & all is well."  I have not had a run this good in this town, ever.  (Knock on wood, only real wood will do this time.)  I hope that nothing catastrophic occurs.  This is Reno.  

So until next time dear reader(s), pray that when balance is finally restored, it does not involve the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians as I am certain it must based on how well things seem here right now.  Pray that I fail in my prediction of impending doom.  That is one failure I would be happy with.

Monday, May 30, 2011

BBQ Day & Something To Do With Flags

Good afternoon dear reader(s)!

So first things first, I should say Happy Memorial Day to all those who serve or have served or even those who died while serving in our nation's military to fight for the freedoms we have allowed to be taken from us by corporations and over-reactive laws designed to keep us safe from terrorism.  

I am of course exaggerating, we do have some freedoms left, & we have more than a lot of other countries, so it isn't like they died in vain.  You know, unless they died in a war that had nothing to do with protecting our freedoms, our way of life, or really anything strategic whatsoever as evidenced by the fact that after we gave up and allowed the mission to fail, not much really got worse for us in the world.  In which case, sorry, they died in vain.  Doesn't make them any less brave or noble, just means that they were used in a terrible way.  

Either way, today is the day we celebrate their sacrifice by grilling hamburgers, going camping, or if you live in Reno, huddling up together by a roaring fire.  

I made strawberry pancakes and mimosas in honor of the day, & we will most likely put on our parkas and head out to see a movie later.  I am very excited, because today traditionally kicks off the beginning of wishing I was still in school & didn't have to work so I could have a 3 month vacation coming up.  There is nothing more fun than sitting in my business casual office attire, looking out the window at children running and playing in shorts and tank tops, and wishing a pox upon them.  

This summer I have made it a goal to at least go up to the lake or something fun like that a few times provided it is not snowing.  Last year I was too broke to do anything fun & I am determined to do whatever is necessary to change that, including ponzi schemes.  

One other great thing about the kickoff to the summer season is knowing that my beloved fall is right around the corner.  Fall is my favorite season, although it is only slightly higher ranked than autumn.  The only thing I dislike about fall is its proximity to winter.  This fall I plan to go to the Seattle area and hit all the cornmazes (with corn that is, you know, alive) and pumpkin patches.  I will feast upon the finest honeycrisp apples in carmel sauce after getting my mini pumpkin into the barrel via the pumpkin sling.  A good time will be had by all, except the poor kids waiting in line at the pumpkin sling behind me, as I drop $20 after $20 to continue firing the pumpkins until I get that damn apple!  

This fall could have some problems however, as the NFL lockout is still ongoing and if games do get cancelled, I will have to find something constructive to do on Sundays.  Perhaps I could use the time to plan the assassination of the owners who forced the extra time upon me by locking out the players.  Or, maybe I'll just become a productive member of society on those days.  Either way, the results can only be negative.  

Well dear reader(s), I need to get ready if I am going to go to the movies.  

Until next time, I think it would be nice to honor our nation's soldiers, past, present, and future, by forming your own para-military units to protect our freedom to watch football this fall.  No, it isn't terrorism, you are fighting for our freedom.  I don't care if Jerry Jones is just an old man, he is between you and your freedom to watch football and must be stopped. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Getting Sick

Good morning dear reader(s)!

For the past week I have been feeling a little under the weather, which is hard to do when the weather is so cold for late May.  Now it is Memorial Day weekend and of course, it snowed, but since it is Memorial Day weekend I am neither upset by this nor surprised by it.  The last 3 weeks have been cold, but during this weekend, snow is tradition here in the Biggest Little High Desert Crappy Weather Town, so I will not complain about it.  I am actually starting to feel better which is why I have so valiantly decided to resume my post-type-thinging while forgoing my holiday for the sake of my dear reader(s), and boredom.

I was so sick last week that I actually lost my voice.  I was scared that this might also result in the loss of one of the voices in my head, but I am happy to report that they are all accounted for, and there may even be one more hiding up there.  I think I will name her Jim.  My voice went out on me this morning, and I was afraid I was having a relapse, but it turns out that the dehydrating effects of a bottle of whiskey the night before can mimic laryngitis rather effectively.  I will remember that fact when I get my motion picture debut acting job that requires me to play someone with laryngitis who is also dashing and sexy opposite Mila Kunis or Yvonne Strahovski.

Last night as we were having a massive rager at my Biggest Little Rented Luxury Condo In The Ghetto (rager = Hannah and I getting drunk, eating canned cheese and Triscuits, and playing Yahtzee) someone called the police on one of the upstairs neighbors.  I am thinking it was one of the other people who live in the same condo as the upstairs neighbor who the police was called upon.  I love domestic violence.  It is so much more entertaining than international violence, and would have been a lot of fun to observe the cops dealing with it were I not paranoid that the police were actually being called on us for being drunk and disorderly and rolling the Yahtzee dice too loudly.  I have a distrust of police ever since our school system's "Officer Friendly" and 15 or so other Sparks Police Officers raided my friend's house when I was 7 years old because my brother and his friend who were about 10 convinced me to assist them in egging the house across the street in retaliation for my brother having an egg thrown at him earlier in the week.  We launched the assault from the roof of my friend's house and were quite successful in the destruction of our target and other mission objectives until the 8 cop cars sped into the driveway, the cops fanning out across the property, unbuttoning their gun holsters as they ran, and when my unknowing older sister and her friend (who were charged with watching us) answered the door, proceeded to attempt an arrest of them when they honestly said they had no idea what the cops were talking about.  My sister made the thankfully not fatal mistake of trying to jump on one of the cop's back when he tried to cuff her friend and was subsequently arrested, charged with assault on a Police Officer, taken to Juvenile Hall and sentenced to 1 year of house arrest.  (My brother will owe her until the day she dies for that one.)  I was immediately caught by a cop as I was climbing slowly (fear of heights even back then) off the roof.  I made no attempts at resisting, except for crying rather profusely.  My brother and his friend were caught trying to run away, if I remember correctly.  We had won the battle, but lost the war.  Anyway, even though I was only taken to the station where I waited until my mom was called and subsequently released, my first experience with police was not what I could call a positive one.  I may have only been 7 years old, but I remember wondering at the time why it took so many cops, flying up the street, with guns at the ready, to subdue three boys under the age of 12 egging a house in broad daylight, and two 14 year old girls who were inside baking at the time. 

That "Officer Friendly" who later told me to turn in my parents if they were using marijuana when he taught the "D.A.R.E." program to my sixth grade glass had a son.  I went to Junior High with that kid.  He was a thug little jerk who shot me with a BB Gun when I was walking home from school one day.  Years later, he was killed in a park in Reno, in a drug deal that went bad.  While I certainly take no joy in that fact, what I do take from that is the fact that a badge and a gun does not make someone a good person, good parent, good citizen, or even good at their job.  The memories of these two events involving the same officer have combined to make me a little less trustworthy of authority, particularly police, than your average citizen.  Why am I pointing this out?  Well, because I often write about the dislike that I have for police in this area, how I think that they are not doing a very good job, or that they overstep their authority.  I would like to be honest about any potential bias I have in this area so that you can form your own opinions with the knowledge that since I was 7, I never really liked cops. 

That said, I am about to go RPD bashing.  Not in like a physical, violent type of way, but I am about to call them out on a recent raid they made in the Neil Road area. 

Before you all freak out, let me just say that I have no intention of saying that they were harassing the residents of the area for being Mexican as some people immediately claimed after the raids took place. No, they were doing their jobs, serving high-risk warrants to dangerous individuals.  That is why we have police.  No, what I am upset about is the way they decided to make the execution of their jobs into some sort of PR stunt.  If these warrants were so high-risk, why did they invite the media?  Also, this is their job. 

You are a cop and this is why you get paid.  Why do you want some sort of brownie points for doing what you get paid a rather decent sum of money to do?  You take that job understanding that in the course of the job, there are certain dangers you may encounter, so don't ask me to thank you when you FINALLY get to work.  Did you catch that foreshadowing?  Here it is again, in case you missed it the first time, I said FINALLY.

Here is a quote, directly from an article on KOLO, for what the police said to the media after grandstanding about, you know, doing what we pay them to do after the early morning raids on Friday, May 27th.  "Reno police say the area around Neil Road has been a haven for gang members and drug activity, and beginning now, that is going to change. "  Okay, hold on a minute,  Reno police say that the area around Neil Road has been a haven for gang members and drug activity?  Um...why?  Are you not the fucking police?  Do you not have tools to enforce laws against that kind of thing?  Beginning now, that is going to change?  Why now?  When your budgets are being cut and supposedly now you can't guarantee the public safety?  Now you are finally going to enforce the laws?  And you want us to be happy about that?  What is even worse, is that this article basically explains that the warrants served were federal warrants and that the local SWAT was acting in cooperation with US attorneys and the DEA.  In other words, Reno wasn't doing shit so the feds had to get involved.  This article ends with "Police say this is only the beginning."  Okay, now I am just laughing.  After 20 years of drugs, gangs, and violent crime, this is only the beginning?  What the hell is it that you do then, officers?  Here is the link to the press release-er-article if you would like to read it for yourself:  http://www.kolotv.com/home/headlines/Drug_Bust_Nets_At_Least_One_Arrest_122718909.html

Well, I should go because I am feeling light-headed and am starting to lose my voice.  Not from getting sick, but from screaming at all of the garbage people are blindly accepting in return for the feeling of a little safety.  

Until next time dear reader(s), don't read the news, it'll make you sick.   

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Background Checks and Other Evil

Good afternoon dear reader(s)!

Today is Sunday.  Tomorrow I should have been starting another job that I had to get in order to be able to possibly pay back the loans I have taken in order to pay my bills and late fees from not paying bills earlier, but I am unable to start as scheduled tomorrow because the results of my pre-employment background check are not in.  Now I am having to figure out when my first paycheck will be should I even be able to start at all this week, and whether it will be in enough time to make it.

You see, a few months ago I quit a full-time job that I could not stand under the belief that certain payments I was receiving that were in fact gifts but still payments that were to be made to me for a certain amount of time on a monthly basis, coupled with the money I would be receiving part-time for working at a non-profit organization that I love, would be enough money to carry me through until I found a second part-time, or full-time job to supplement the part-time job for the good organization.  However, the gift money is coming to me less than regularly due to hardships elsewhere in the world and therefore the money that I have relied on to pay bills has either not been to me in time enough to avoid late fees and owing more, or just has not come at all.  I realize this is entirely my fault for relying upon money that I didn't earn in the first place, but it most certainly does not change the suckage factor of the situation, or that I was not living beyond what I thought was my means to bring it upon myself.

A couple weeks ago though, I was offered the full-time job that I know I would be able to stand doing.  I was saved.  It looked like I would make it after all.  I even twirled around in the street and threw my beret into the air.  The offer was contingent upon a background check and drug screen.  No problem.  I work for a non-profit organization that serves children.  I passed their background check just fine.  And even though my credit sucks, I was also offered a job by a bank that I turned down in favor of this job.  I passed their background check just fine as well.  Both of these other jobs required that I be fingerprinted, and that those fingerprints be sent to the FBI.  This job, has no such requirement.  And since the only drugs I do are caffeine and alcohol (when someone buys me a drink lately, as I can't afford to myself), I have absolutely no fear about the drug screen.  I was to start tomorrow.  My hopes were pinned on this fact.  Nope.  Results are not back yet.

Is this investigation really necessary?  The FBI and CIA both screen their potential employees more than any private investigation firm probably ever has, and yet, somehow classified and secret information still makes its way to our enemies.  Have you ever heard of Robert Hanssen?  My point is, these background checks do not work.  If a criminal is going to attempt criminal behavior, no simple background check is going to stop them.  If the FBI can't stop it in their own ranks, I doubt a pre-employment screening is going to.  It is my opinion that the companies who provide these services to prospective employers are in fact scamming those companies based on an irrational fear of potential litigation.  This slows the hiring process to a point where a large company that may have a very real need to fill a position, must plan months in advance to fill that position.  Meanwhile, they run the risk that the candidates they want to hire are going to be picked off by a company that can bring them on board faster.  The employer should see the money they waste on these ineffective checks for what they are.  They are a scam.  Even if some criminal employee exposed a company to the risk of litigation by doing something dishonest, chances are whatever damages would be awarded would be far less than what is budgeted for these screenings.  Maybe I'm just saying this because I want to start work already, but I really don't think so.  I am wondering if, because I have said this, I am blowing my opportunity to get hired as the investigation firm will uncover this blog-type-thing in the vast pile of muck filled tubes that is the interwebs, and decide that because I talked bad about their process I am not employable.  It is a risk I must take.  I owe it to my reader(s) to express the truth as I see it, because I am chalk-full o' integrity.  And nuts.

So I have decided that I will start my own background investigation firm.  I will exclusively investigate the backgrounds, credit ratings, and other information of other background investigation firms.  I will offer my services to companies who are considering contracting with a background investigation firm to investigate potential employees, so they can be protected from litigation should a potential employee decide to sue the company for hiring an unethical background investigation firm to investigate the ethics of their potential employees.  With the corporate mindset the way it is today, I figure this is a billion dollar idea.  I am waiting for the Napster guy or Justin Timberlake (as the Napster guy) to contact me so we can get this baby off the ground.  I will call it "The Background Company".  If he tells me to get rid of the "The" and just go with "Background Company", I will do so as it may be cleaner.

Well my dear reader(s), I should get going.  I have a lot of prep work to do if I am going to start looking into backgrounds.  If I knew where my camera was, I would post a picture of me looking into the background so you can see how good I am at it.  It might come off a little artsy, especially when the other people in it are looking into the foreground, but if that's what it takes to properly market my idea, then so be it.  



Saturday, May 21, 2011

Official 2012 Campaign Announcement

Good afternoon dear reader(s)!

As you are now no doubt aware, our efforts to bring about an early rapture have come up a little short today.  I have already called continued existence and conceeded the race.  Continued existence was gracious in victory and I pledged to work with continued existence in any way I can for the rest of this term.  I apologize to all of the volunteers who worked so tirelessly for our vision of the end, as I know I have let you down.  But though we are down this day, we are not out.  For while our efforts to recall continued existence may have failed, we still have a great chance to win in the official end of the world in 2012.  And I promise that from now until then, I will work harder than ever to make sure that is exactly what happens!  Our voices are strong.  Our cause is just.  The end may not be as near as we had hoped, but make no mistake, with your continued support, the end IS near! 

To find out more about how you can bring about the end, visit your local library or send a self addressed, stamped envelope to this PBS station.  

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Failure's Guide To Cheap Living

Good morning dear reader(s)!

As I type this post-type-thing, I have less money in my bank account than what I know is required in order to pay my rent.  I have payment arrangements with the power company, am late on my phone bill, & owe about 7.5 million dollars to Renown (I figure anyway, with the interest charges).  Yet am I worried?  Yes, yes I am.  But that is beside the point.  

This post-type-thing is all about the things you can do to save money & still live a fun life.  It assumes that unlike my situation, you take in just above the amount of money than what you need to survive.  I take in far less, so just believe that I know what I am talking about from experience during those 3 days of my life when my income did slightly exceed the amount necessary for basic survival.  

So without further French words, here are money saving tips designed to maximize your fun dollar.

1.  Pre-party.  Drinks at bars are expensive.  We're talking one to two ounces of liquor and some mixers for $4 to $5.  But did you know that you can save by buying in bulk?  It's true.  You can get a bottle of liquor that holds 25 ounces for just the equivalent of 3 drinks.  That's a shit-load more drunkness for the money.  Just buy the bottle, take it home, drink up, & stumble or take public transportation to the event you are planning on attending.  If your buzz fades, one drink at the bar to maintain is much cheaper than buying enough to get it started and maintain.  You are fucked up, & have enough cash in your pocket to buy shitty food afterwards.  Everybody wins.

2.  Skip the bar all together.  If you aren't single, & looking to hook up, & there isn't a cool band playing, & you aren't going stir crazy at home, why go to the bar at all?  Invite some friends over for Yahtzee.  It is fun if you are drunk & highly competitive, & if you all are real dorks, perhaps it could even lead to a fight!

3.  For extra savings, play drunken Yahtzee by candle light.  You will have more money for fun if you give less to the evil power company.  It will also help create a romantic mood as your friends are projectile vomitting while trying to scream, "Yahtzee!"

4.  If you are going out, walk.  Gas is very expensive (or for Reno natives, HELLA expensive) & DUI expenses are even more so.  Plus there is that whole "risk of getting killed or killing some innocent person" thing.  Walking not only saves you money on gas and court fees, it also saves money on carpet cleaning by allowing you the opportunity to puke on a sidewalk rather than your living room floor on the way to the bathroom.  Also, walking has been shown to be effective exercise and may help counteract the huge amount of calories you took in with 7&7s and Jimboys, ultimately saving you money on hospital bills you would have paid to take care of your obesity related complications.  You'll need to save the hospital money for your coming liver problems anyway.

5.  Need energy to keep the party going?  Try an energy drink instead of meth.  Rockstar has been shown to be just as effective as meth, yet much less expensive unless you get your meth for free by blowing your dealer and/or manufacturer.  Rockstar also has far less instances of side effects such as tooth loss and instant aging, so down the line, should you ever care about your appearance again, you will save money on dental services, plastic/reconstructive surgery, etc...

6.  Read my blog-type-thing and tell all your friends about it.  Since I do not charge my dear reader(s) anything to read my post-type-things, this super low cost option to impress your friends, be the life of the party, and appear knowledgeable on a vast array of subjects is perhaps the single best entertainment value available in my dreams.  It also cures cancer.

So until next time, incorporate the ideas above to help maximaize your fun dollar.  If they don't work, your fun dollar most likely isn't very fun & should be given to me for re-education.  Just send your dollars to me, & I promise I will reform them and use them in a fun way. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

And I Feel Fine

Good afternoon dear reader(s)!

I hope you are ready, because according to some, the day of Judgement is this Saturday!  I have been waiting for this day for so long, that I really can't begin to describe my excitement.  I am really hoping that these people are right, because if the world as we know it is really about to end, then there will be so much less that really pisses me off and perhaps I can finally be at peace.  There is no thought more soothing to me than knowing that the bible thumpers will be up in Heaven with God, where I no longer have to hear them judge everyone anymore.  It will be like Heaven on Earth.  Ooh baby, do you know what that's worth? 

This Friday night is Marianarchy.  If the world is going to end on Saturday, I can think of no greater way to spend the night before.  Okay, scratch that...I can think of no greater way to spend the night before that would not be really horrible in case the world does NOT end on Saturday.  Well, okay, no better way to spend the night before the end of the world in public, in case the world does not end on Saturday.  At any rate, what I am trying to say here, is that I am looking forward to it and it should be fun. 

So because I think this whole Rapture thing is a crock of shit, not just because I don't believe the guy who says he figured it out from calculations he made by reading the bible, but also because I don't believe in the vast majority of things I have read in the bible, I pose this question to my dear reader(s):  If you knew the world was going to end on Saturday for real, what would you do between now and then?

How could I ask you that question without answering it myself?  Well, it's my blog-type-thing, and I'll ask you questions I won't answer if I want to, ask you questions I won't answer if I want to, aaaaask you questions I won't answer if I want to.  You would ask questions you won't answer too if it happened to you.  No, just kidding, here is what I would do if I knew factually that the world was going to end this Saturday. 

Thursday:  Freak out.  Spend like an hour rocking back and forth, maybe crying like a little girl.  Go through all the stages of grieving.  I figure I would reach acceptance by Thursday night. 

Thursday night:  Provided my Hannah was willing, I would have sex until I could no longer stand, and then I would have sex some more.  I figure this would take about 3 minutes.  Just kidding, I have more stamina then that.  We'll make it 5 minutes. 

Thursday night, 5 minutes later:  I would nap for an hour or so. 

Thursday night, 1 hour later:  I would go and rob a convenience store.  I would do so in the least violent way possible, as I do not want to scare the poor clerk who has to work in the convenience store 2 days before the world is going to end.  I might share my knowledge and proof of the coming rapture with said clerk in order to persuade the clerk to gift me half of the money and alcohol in the store.  I'd take cigarettes too.  I don't smoke, but the world is going to end, and I bet people who do smoke would do some seriously messed up shit for cigarettes if they knew it might be their last one.  I would then start thinking of ways to exploit that. 

Thursday night, another hour later:  I'd probably be fairly drunk by this point, because I am kind of a lightweight.  I would use some of the cash haul from the convenience store to call a cab to take me to various bars where I will try and get skanky girls to do skanky things for cigarettes.  I am not into skanky girls, but that doesn't mean watching some sick, nasty type stuff done for cigarettes wouldn't be fun.  I love my Hannah, but I bet if the world was going to end, even she could enjoy that.   

Thursday night into Friday morning:  I would probably have thrown up by now.  And would be announcing to God that he could go ahead and end the world if it would make me feel better.  Then I would remember that the world IS going to end, and try and summon myself for...

Round 2:  Friday, early, early am:  I would go pick a fight with someone I know could beat me, but I would try hard as hell to beat the piss out of him or her anyway.  I don't ordinarily believe in hitting girls, but the world is going to end, so why not?  They'd most likely win anyway, and I will have fun memories provided I don't take too many headshots.  Memories that will last me a lifetime, of about a day. 


Friday, early am, but with the sun up:  I would go to the Gold 'N Silver and get an omelet with cheese, mushrooms, ham, tomato and avocado.  I would then go to Save Mart and get champagne and OJ for mimosas. 

Friday late morning:  I would go up to Tahoe and go skydiving.  They have skydiving up there.  Sounds totally terrifying unless you have no fear of death. 

Friday afternoon:  After returning home, I would play music as loud as I possibly could. 

Friday evening:  After robbing a convenience store, skydiving, having sex until I couldn't stand for record time, watching skanks do sick stuff for cigarettes, getting in a fight, skydiving, and playing really loud music, I would probably sit around for a while getting into an "I don't know, what to YOU want to do?" argument with myself.  Then I would remember that Marianarchy is going on and head on over there.  

Late Friday night:  I might try and convince Hannah to let me have sex with her again, until that moment at 12:00 Saturday morning when the world is going to end.  Wait, it's not supposed to end at midnight?  Oh hell, what do I want to do now?!?!  I don't know, what do YOU want to do? 

So until next time dear reader(s), better figure out what you're going to do in case the world as we know it ends on Saturday.  Coming out to Marianarchy starting on Friday evening sounds like a good start.  I promise I won't try to manipulate you or any of your friends into doing stuff for cigarettes, unless you want me to, in which case don't get angry if it ends up online for people to pay me $19.95 a month to view it.  After the world doesn't end on Saturday, Marianarchy will be happening then too.  You should go, or the world might end.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

We're #2! We're #2! We're #2!

Good morning dear reader(s)!

This morning I woke up a little early and, being awake but too lazy to get out of bed, I grabbed my not-so-smart but slightly more intelligent phone & read an article on some news site explaining how the US economy could fall to #2 in the world in a matter of months, and some believe it has already happened.  The tone of the article was that this happening would be a disaster of epic proportions and life as we know it would change for the worse, forever.  

Okay, perhaps because I do not have experience as a high school football coach who believes that 2nd place is just the 1st loser, or that there aren't any trophies for 2nd place (even though there are, I've seen them), I fail to see how being the world's second largest economy to a country with a population roughly 90 thousand times the size of ours (actual numbers, just not correct actual numbers) would be such a bad thing.  

People say if we were no longer the #1 economic power, our political infulence on other countries would suffer.  Would it?  Look at the way we've been able to shape the world since the fall of the Soviet Union made us the world's lone superpower.  (X-ray vision would've been a cooler lone superpower.)  Let's see, the Russians sided against us in almost every international dispute not putting us in direct confrontation, the Israeli-Palestian conflict has only gotten worse, nobody would seriously join us in invading Iraq because it was just plain bullshit, (despite our standing as the #1 economic power), that pesky 9-11 thing happened & the leaders of a stone-age nation were so influeneced by our standing as #1 that they refused to turn over the guy who created a private army to take us on (obviously also in awe of our economic standing).  The whack job in Iran continues to hold power despite our efforts and constant trash-talking to weaken his position (or maybe because of it), Venezuella is lead by a man who constantly thumbs his nose at the #1 economic powerbroker, and on and on...

What being #1 has really done for us, amounts to nothing more than having a target painted right on our backs.  Add to that the fact that we are the very first to get the call for help when something goes wrong.  

I can't wait to be #2, provided our leaders are smart enough to recognize the advantages.  

But Josh, what advantages could there possibly be by not being #1 anymore?  Well, voices in my head, I'm glad you asked.

When a nation gets itself into trouble and asks for our help, we can refer them to China.  "Look nation, we feel awful, but no longer being the #1 economic power of the world, we can't really afford to help.  Have you tried China?  I hear they have some extra cash."

When nations in conflict want to put us in the middle we can get out of it without seemingly letting anyone down.  "Look Israel, I get that you want to be secure, but you treat the Palestians like shit & maybe you need to offer up some concessions if you want to stop this conflict.  Not only can we not afford to continue to back your every play, but as the #2 economy, we have been told our stance on the issues doesn't carry as much weight as it used to anyway." And also, "Look Palestians, we are no longer supplying Israel the conventional weapons they use against you, and we really don't want to be involved.  That said however, you may want to reign in your bullshit terroism because Israel has nukes and we are no longer the ones whispering in their ears telling them to show restraint every 5 seconds.  Get me?"  "Both of you need to figure this out on your own and quit using us as a scapegoat."

We can finally match the economic policies of other nations and take a more protectionist stance.  "Yes, we have 1000% tarrifs on goods imported from China, but we need to and they don't.  They're already #1 and only got there so fast by artificially undervaluing their currency.  That new world order horseshit needs to be led by the people at the top."

We can quit annoying other countries by pretending we've got everything figured out.  "Look world, we like our democracy and our freedoms, even if the system isn't perfect.  You do what you want though.  I mean, what do we know?  It isn't like we're #1."

In a race, you can lead for a very large portion of the race and still come up short at the finish line.  The only time being the leader matters is when you cross that line, and unless you believe the Mayans, I bet that line is still a long way off.  Being #2 may give us the chance to make a pit stop, change our tires, work on our engine and make sure we are in good shape to finish the race.  We can draft off the #1 car and keep the bugs off the windshield.  

And if at the end of the race, we still can't pass the leader, it won't matter.  Nobody gets trophies at the end of this one. 

So until next time dear reader(s), be proud to be an American, if you are an American who is reading this.  Not because of power, but because of the promise and freedom America is supposed to represent.  Embrace our new position in the world.  Take to the streets in celebration of it.  I want to hear you.  "We're #2!  We're #2!  "We're #2!"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The War Against Values

Good afternoon dear reader(s)!

Has anyone else noticed that everything seems to be getting more and more expensive these days?  Where are the culture warriors from Fox News to stand up for true American values such as cheap gas, cheap food, cheap clothing from China, and cheap electronics also from China when you need them?  It seems that right now even cheap Chinese goods aren't so cheap anymore, and that really goes against my values. 

I have carefully cultivated a lifestyle where I can work a very small amount of hours for an organization I can stand based solely on the fact that everything I purchase costs less than $5.00 per.  Now I am finding it hard to maintain the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed.  Who do I sue for alimony?  It's not like I'm trying to continue paying for Botox injections for my 8 year old or anything, I am talking about the inability for many of us to afford basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter, gasoline, and caffeine.

I think I am going to have to break down and get a full-time job.  This is a very sad thought as I really do not enjoy the whole "working" thing and was hoping to do it as little as possible.  Perhaps this will lead to a world of health insurance and other benefits, and maybe one day a mortgage, new car and other things that "responsible" people have, or perhaps it will just lead to an early grave.  Either way, not sure it will be worth the work.

I think it is high-time that we all contact our representatives and tell them that we are tired of the attack on American values and would appreciate it if there was a greater focus on the values that we should expect.  Perhaps in the form of greater volumes of clearance items, coupons, everyday sale items, inexpensive generics, and better discounts for buying in bulk.  Also, if the cheap Chinese goods could be cheap again, and not fall apart or be contaminated with melamine, that would also be a good value. 

Speaking of a lack of values, has anyone else had to deal with NV Energy?  Ever?  If so, I am sure you can understand just how little knowledge of value or values of any kind this monopolistic evil entity has.  Or if they have the knowledge, it is only in the way one is to know their enemy.  They are the enemy of value, and the enemy of values.  Why do I dislike NV Energy?  Well, beyond the fact that they answer to nobody except the Public Utilities Commission (The Sweetest Smelling Utilities Commission in the World) that will never cross them, beyond the fact that their online site for you to make payments is constantly down forcing you to make payments over the phone with the convenience fee or going to Sak N Save to make them (Sak N Save?!?!  That is EVIL!!!!), beyond the fact that they can raise rates at will, beyond the fact that they have closed any office around here preventing you from meeting someone face-to-face to voice your displeasure, there is the fact that they can apparently shut down streets with no notice, box in your vehicle with their equipment, and not even the city of Reno cares to do anything about it.  Below is an e-mail exchange taken verbatim (I deleted addresses and phone numbers to protect myself and the minion) that I started with the City of Reno.  Please to enjoy:

Hello,

I am not sure I am contacting the right people, but since the streets are in the city, perhaps you have jurisdiction.  Today, May 16th, 2011, I awoke to find that NV Energy had closed the street I live on (location withheld to prevent stalking) and placed tow away signs in front of my vehicle.  They also temporarily had my vehicle blocked in with their equipment, although the workers were kind enough to let me out when I told them.

I park on the street because the parking designated for my unit is almost always taken by a neighbor's friend of family.  I appreciate some sort of notice so I can make sure alternative parking is available.  There was zero warning of this closure.  Nothing.

If this were an emergent situation, I could understand, but I did notice spraypaint marking lines on the street since about Thursday last week.  I figured work may be happening, but again, no notice was given.

I believe that the city ultimately has the say over its streets being closed, & I would imagine you require notice from private companies who wish to close your streets to the residents of your city.  This closure does not appear on your city-wide closure list, so I can only assume you also were not informed.

Regardless of NV Energy's monopoly, I would imagine they are subject to rules and regulations regarding street closures that any other private company would be.  Am I wrong here?  Do those regulations even exist?  If so, who enforces them?  If not the city, could you direct me to who would?

I understand work needs to happen, but knowing about it first just seems like common courtesy to me.  If you have no say in this matter, but know who might (the Public Utilities Commission?), I would appreciate you letting me know.

Respectfully,

Josh Wrenn
Reno, NV


---------------------------------
Hi Joshua,
 
The project manager for this work is Howard Bigby, XXX-XXXX. (I withheld the number to give the poor minion a break). He works for NV Energy.  
Thank you for contacting Reno Direct
----------------------------------------
 
 
Now, as you can see, they are directing me back to NV Energy.  So either the City of Reno does not care, or has no control over their own streets.  Either way, I think it is horse poo.  Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with the people in the trucks, my problem is with the way the management of the company is allowed to do what they want, when they want, and the residents who pay for their services have absolutely no recourse. 

If this wasn't bad enough, on day 2 of this little project, the NV Energy equipment began their work at 6:45 am.  6:45!  If I used to play my drums before noon I would get the cops called on me, but because they have flashing yellow lights and work for a utility they are somehow exempt from noise ordinances? 

I have decided the only way to possibly get out from under the thumb of NV Energy is to create a competing energy company.  If anyone of my dear reader(s) has the technical know-how to accomplish this task, and would like to form a venture which is sure to succeed, you may contact me via this blog-type-thing and I will give you a 10% stake in any profits, as well as 100% loss liability.  I do not think you will find a better investment opportunity in this economy. 

Well my dear reader(s), I have used enough of my electricity for the day, I would hate to pay anymore to NV Energy than the bare minimum required for post-type-thinging, cooking, leaving lights on unnecessarily, listening to music, and watching pornography. 

Until next time, get working on those plans for my power plant.  I have about 1/4 of a spare bedroom for space, so I think we could supply enough power for about 175,000 homes, or maybe a potato clock.  Somewhere in between perhaps, I don't know, I am the idea man, you are the one who works off my vision, just make it happen.  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dream Jobs for Failures

Good afternoon dear reader(s)!


Despite what I have said during interviews, let's face it, my dream job is not to work in a call center as a Customer Service Representative, behind a counter making crappy coffee for idiot yuppies at a Starbucks, calling frat-boys and sorority twits to see if they really do want to volunteer or were just signing up because their house's charter requires some charity involvement and they really didn't realize they'd actually have to do something, or try to get someone to buy something they don't really want and probably can't afford anyway.

So what is my dream job?  What would I do for a living if I had the chance to do it?  Would I realize that there are negatives even to those jobs?  Well, I am glad I asked myself, because I am about to list my dream jobs, or at least jobs that I think I could tolerate, despite the down side to each job.  So here is my list of dream jobs, so you can steal them out from under me.

Drummer/percussionist  This is a no-brainer.  I like playing drums.  I am pretty good at it.  I love music.  I do not get stage fright (especially when there is a drum set between me and the audience), I crave attention.  It keeps me from getting too fat.  There is usually some drinking going on, even if not by me.  People are having a good time, unless we suck, in which case I am still having a good time, and fuck those people if they don't like us, they don't understand real innovation anyway.  My biggest problem with this one is actually that as of right now, I have no drum set, and when I do, it is hard to find someone who's dream job is to play guitar, or sing, or play bass that also has rehearsal space and isn't already involved in 15 other bands.  Or if I do find someone like that, they are too strung out to show up.

Writer  If you haven't noticed, I really do enjoy writing.  I am okay at it, but I wouldn't say good.  I know the difference between they're, there, and their, and am learning the difference between your and you're.  Just kidding, nobody knows that.  Just kidding again.  Or am I?  Anyway, writing this blog-type-thing over the past few months has allowed me to vent my feelings and frustrations in a way that is not only personally fulfilling, but good for society as it prevents me from mowing people down inside of a shopping mall or someplace similar. 

Singer  I did say dream jobs.  The problem with this one, is that I can't sing.  I do a decent karaoke version of Million Dollars by Barenaked Ladies, but that is about my entire vocal ability.  Still, I would love to just stand up on a stage somewhere and belt out original music mixed in with such awesome classics as "Africa" and "Carry On My Wayward Son".  If I remember correctly, one of the local strip-clubs used to have shower dances.  I never went, but if this means that they have showers on the stage, I think this could be converted into the perfect venue for someone with my talent and dream.

Radio DJ  I like to talk a lot.  I m opinionated but can pretend to like stuff a lot too.  I think that is probably 90% of a DJ's job.  "And now here's this great new song from Pepper that in no way sounds like every song that was ever put out by Sublime, a band that was really only popular because they wrote songs about weed."   I do not know this for sure, having never been a DJ, but I bet they can't stand half the crap they have to play and sound enthusiastic about.  Not to mention the personal appearance aspect of the job.  I follow a couple local DJs on Twitter, and they are always tweeting about such and such night at some bar that is a sponsor of the shows on the radio station and I think, "That would be so much fun!  If I was in the mood that particular night.  And it wasn't the 16th week in a row I had to be there.  And I wasn't feeling like crap that night.  And there wasn't anything happening in my personal life that I would rather be doing at the time.  And I wasn't being harassed by idiots who feel like they know me because they hear my voice on the radio and follow me on Twitter all night.  Nope, never mind, that would suck!"  Still though, I would imagine you get to hear stuff before it gets too completely played-out, you probably get a decent amount of free stuff, and apparently you get the hook-up on being able to see without glasses or contacts.  I could live with that.  As long as I didn't work for a local station that does not get the hook-up on vision, and has to promote Rob, Arnie, and Dawn.  I would rather lead pirates in Somalia then contribute in any way to Rob, Arnie, and Dawn's continued plague upon humanity.

Touristy Craft-Shop Proprietor, Cannon Beach, OR  I would have a beach house attached to my shop that would sell crafts that I would make on my scroll-saw and other things out of nets and shells, and various souvenir t-shirts, post cards, and other overpriced crap that the tourists could take home to places like Reno to remind them once that they were in some place beautiful just before they put the barrel of the gun in their mouth in the parking lot of Sierra Sids on Christmas after they lost all of their gift money to the video poker machine and the hooker. 


City Manager, Reno, Nevada  There would be absolutely nothing wrong with this job.  Get paid a huge amount of money to sit and do nothing but watch the town continue to die. 



Record Producer  I think I have a good ear for what the idiot music buying public will consider to be good, and I think I could do a good job of getting musicians to let go of any integrity they might have once had in order to make more money for everyone involved.  "I think we need a little more keyboards in the mix here."  "Could a 12 year-old girl sing this part 14 times and still love it?"  See, I'm a natural.   

Peace Officer (Corrupt)  I could easily look the other way while that transaction is made provided my cut is sufficient and it isn't in my neighborhood.  But if you run that red light, boy, you're gonna get a nightstick across your head. 

Actor  I like to pretend I am more interesting than I am.  Why not get paid for it?  

Well my dear reader(s), until next time, start thinking about what you would be doing if you had the chance, and then go out and make it happen.  Quit your lousy job and go for your dream!  And while you are living on the street, having failed to make it, I might just give you the last 20 cents from my paycheck at one of the crapy jobs I was smart enough to keep, and tell you to be proud for daring to dream! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Miracle: Something To Do In This Town!!!!!!

Good morning dear reader(s)!

As promised, this particular post-type-thing includes my exclusive (as in, no other blog-type-thing will have it) interview with Nick Ramirez, artist, musician, founder of Marianarchy, and all around good guy.  Why am I interviewing Nick?  Well, because I want you to go to Marianarchy, and since I have no influence over anyone, maybe he will. 

So what exactly is this Marianarchy thing anyway?  Well, I am going to steal the description directly from the Marianarchy MySpace page, as it comes directly from Nick himself, and I didn't feel like asking him to go through the whole history of it again, as he has done so many times.  So here is the history, direct from the Marianarchy MySpace page: 
"In 2000 my girlfriend of 4 years, Marianne Psota, contracted an airborne illness. She was in the hospital for several weeks. Doctors thought it might be encephalitis or meningitis, they never were sure. Consequently she also developed a seizure disorder. Marianne was uninsured. She made her money bartending and booking & promoting shows for bands. She was well known and loved in the Reno, NV music and arts community. So our friends and I, put together a rock show to benefit Marianarchy (as she was affectionately known) and help her with her bills. The initial benefit was an all night event from 4pm -4am at the Zephyr Lounge. Inside and outside was packed with family, friends, well wishers, musicians and artists. The local news even showed up. The show was amazing, and raised a lot of money for Mary. She was overwhelmed and moved by the outpouring of support. She really felt the love.

In 2004, a month before our 8 year anniversary and after a long battle with chronic epilepsy, Marianne had an unusually bad seizure and was unable to be revived and past, she was 37. Needless to say my life was shattered, and the community felt a profound loss.

Soon after, I decided that I would put on a benefit show once a year. I would dub it “Marianarchy” in her honor and continue the tradition of coming to aid our friends in need and to raise awareness of causes that seem to fit Mary’s story.

The deal is family first. If someone we know or someone they know has an unexpected hardship we’ll have the show for them. If we are so blessed that tragedy has not befallen our Reno family this year, we pick an organization that Mary would approve of and give it to them.

So far, we have raised money for our friends Christy Tenniere, Linda Radey, the Epilepsy Foundation of America, and the Solace Tree (a local nonprofit for grieving children, teens and families).
"

Since that was written, Marianarchy has also benefited Dale Kellams and the Reno Cancer Foundation.  Last year my first original band "Sprout" reunited for the event to support it, and being asked to do so was and will continue to be one of the greatest honors I could imagine.



The great thing about this show, is that it isn't just a benefit, it is a chance to have a great time while watching some of Reno's best musicians play for 2 days for very little cash.  Try doing that at a casino.   

So without further adieu, here is my interview with Nick Ramirez, so you can learn more about this great event before you go.  And you will go.  Or else. 

Josh: Okay, first I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I am sure you must be busy getting everything set up for this year’s event at Jub Jubs Thirst Parlor on May 20th and 21st. You’ve been successfully putting together this show for a number of years now, and benefiting a lot of people along the way.
Josh: Who is this year’s Marianarchy benefiting?
Nick:  This years show is for Matt Wassmuth and Maria Reed....both trying battling cancer.
Josh: Where can you find the lineup for this year’s show?
Nick:  The lineup is on Facebook/marianarchyreno
Josh: Is this the first year that it won’t be held at the Zephyr? And are you excited to be holding the event at Jub Jubs?
Nick:  I guess it is the first summer show we haven't played the Zephyr...I didn't really think about that....we are very excited to do 2 days at Jubs,it's bigger and it's family
Josh: Have you been getting support from local media to get the word out?
Nick:  the RGJ and the news and review and RTT have all helped spread the word
Josh: You have been involved in the Reno Arts & music scene for many years now. Are you optimistic about the state of art and music in this area?
Nick:  the state of art and music huh? I can only say that i am very busy with several projects I can only get out so often to see new stuff but id say its alive as it ever was if not more
Josh: Aside from the suggested donation at admission, how else can people support the cause this year?
Nick:  we have T shirts! and movies
Josh: Will you ever stop Marianarchy?
Nick:  I will keep it going as long as people want to come....i might have to give the show to someone else to put on someday
Josh: Any other projects you are involved with that you would like to mention?
Nick:  I have a new rock band with Tobin and Roger called Present and a singing group called hella a capella
Josh: Any one you would like to thank or “shout out” to?
Nick:  I could only say thanks to all the many volunteers venues and especially all the bands that have played the last 7 years
Josh:  I will not ask about Marianne, as I know you have told that story many times, but I would just like to thank you for keeping her memory alive in a way that not only helps people, but continues to be one of the best things about Reno. Thanks again for your time as well.

So there you have it dear reader(s), what more do you need?  Go to Marianarchy!!!!  Check out their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/marianarchyreno for more info. on times and the lineup. 

Until next time, start clearing your schedules to go on May 20th and 21st.  If you are lucky, you just might see me there.  Don't look me in the eye though, and address me only as Mr. Failure. 


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Preparing for Death Threats

Buenas dias dear reader(s)!

Today is Cinco de Hannah!  Why Cinco de Hannah and not Cinco de Mayo?  Well, first, my Hannah was born on this day back in the 80s, AFTER MTV (yes I like them young, but don't worry, not creepy young), and second, because I only like enough mayo to wet the bread, I am much more of a mustard person.  Especially Dijon mustard.  Mmmmmmm.  Tonight's celebrations will be muted though, because I have to finish a pinata, (don't know how to do the squiggly thing over the n to make it an en-yay (not sure that is how they spell the letter, but I know the pronunciation is correct) (not to be confused with Enya), so now it is a pine ah tah), and also because I have a very important appointment tomorrow that does not call for me to smell like tequila.  Unrelated, but very important thought here, can someone please notify Guinness that I just earned the world record for parenthesis in one sentence?  Then can someone buy me a Guinness?  (Maybe related after all.)

Okay, so by now, if you were reading this, you might be wondering what I have said so far that would cause me to receive death threats.  (Besides my overuse of parenthesis.)  Well, I haven't actually gotten to that and am debating on whether or not I should.  I like my life, and balancing that with how much I like to express my opinion even if said opinion is controversial, or even if said opinion overuses parenthesis, or even if said opinion overuses the word "said", isn't always an easy task.  However, my integrity is too important to be quiet for too long.  Integrity is the need for attention, right?

So here we go.  If after reading this, you feel the need to kill me, please don't.  Remember, the only person who regularly reads this is my mom anyway, so it is not like my controversial opinions will actually influence anybody.  There is a company called Klout that tracks influence over various forms of social media, and I don't think they would know who I was if I was standing naked outside their offices shouting in a megaphone that I would be posting naked twitpics of me shouting into a megaphone outside their offices for the next month.  So really, if I offend you, take comfort in knowing that I am really only talking to the voices in my head and my mom, and using this online forum to do so to further my delusion that one day people will actually stumble upon the things I have written and understand my genius the way the voices in my head believe people rightfully should.

I do not think everyone in the military needs to be supported.  There.  I said it.

Here is the basis for this statement:  Not everyone who joins the military does so for anything but a paycheck, a chance at a job when they get out, a chance to kill someone, or a way to get out of whatever dying town (like Reno) they grew up in.  I'm sorry, but I think that is wrong.  I understand that these people are still possibly allowing themselves to be called upon to sacrifice their lives in exchange for these things, but so do construction workers in risky projects.  And let's face it, as a numbers game, your chances of dying in battle while serving in our nation's armed forces is pretty slim.  This does not include everyone in the military of course, just some people who I think have no interest in defending our freedom.  Look at Nidal Malik Hasan.  He made it all the way to Major.  He was obviously in the minority, but I think the evidence shows that there was reason to question his interest in defending our freedom.  However, in the "Support Our Troops" mindset most Americans seem to have, if someone is wearing a uniform, they can't possibly be disloyal, treasonous, criminals, or just plain assholes.  However, Americans seem to have no issues at all when questioning the leaders they elected to office.    

Let me go a little more in depth on this.  The people in the military I am specifically calling out here are the ones who are completely disloyal to the chain of command.  You hear stories from veterans who talk about not liking the guy who was in office giving them the orders, but then you hear them talk about having a job to do, and following those orders because at the end of the day they were fighting for our freedom, which comes via a Representative Democracy, and they had to trust that the people chose the representatives who ultimately made the policy decisions that turned into the orders they had to follow.  In other words, regardless of their personal feelings toward the people in office, they were loyal to them because being loyal to them is being loyal to the system and people who put them there.

Have you heard what some of the military members have been saying about our their Commander-In-Chief recently?  Again, I am not saying that to be in the military you have to like the person, but when you so forcibly publicly disparage the person who (like it or not) was elected to office under the Constitution (which you have sworn to defend), you are giving comfort to the enemy.  You are not showing unity in mission or purpose.  Our Constitution allows you freedom of speech, but in the military you also have responsibilities.  This is worse than Jane Fonda being used as a propaganda puppet by the NVA, you are the ones showing our enemies that you do not side with our democracy.  I would like to see a member of our military write the same kind of things about their direct Commanding Officer on Facebook that they write about the Commander-In-Chief.  Can you say insubordination?

Because Americans are so scared of going to the extreme and spitting on troops, calling them baby killers, and some of the other horrific acts of cruelty some civilians committed against our military in the aftermath of Vietnam, Americans have become paranoid about being critical or questioning the motives of anyone in uniform.

I have seen posts on places like Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere on the internet, from active-duty military members saying that they do not believe that our President was born in this country, and therefore is not the legal President.  Do they not think that our enemies have access to the internet?  Do they think these posts are only read in the US?  By saying these things, they are saying that our Constitution is not working, that our government is illegitimate, and our enemies are seeing it all.  

I recently got into a debate with a military wife regarding her claim (actually a re-post) that President Obama was debating on whether or not to pay our troops.  I pointed out to her that by saying this, she was spreading lies as she had no evidence whatsoever to back up the claim.  I showed her how, during the budget debates, it was actually Congress debating the budget and the President was waiting for a bill to sign, while trying to get both parties to compromise to avoid a shut-down.  I showed her that even in the event of a shut-down that our troops would still be guaranteed their pay (although it would be back-pay and that would've sucked for their families).  I also brought up how a bi-partisan panel appointed by the President had recommended the PAY-RAISES for military members be capped at just over inflation.  Now, I know a lot of people define limits in growth as cuts, but that logic is political only and not true.  Ask any average American who has not had a cost-of-living increase in a few years about that.  The military would still be getting increases above inflation.  That is not a cut.  Does it suck for the military that the Republicans are so bent on cutting spending that their expected raises may be limited as a consequence?  Yes.  Does that mean President Obama is debating on whether or not to cut their pay?  No.  After proving my point, with various links to articles, law, and records, I was asked if I was in the military.  I am not.  I answered that I am not, nor have I ever been, and was told then that I couldn't know what I was talking about.  Then, a chorus of military wives and members of the military piled onto the comments section to agree.  So wait, because I am not in the military, I cannot tell the difference between a cut in spending and a cap in the growth of spending?  According to many people, I guess not.

I honestly believe that blind support for the military is getting out of control.  Their popularity over the civilian government is putting the power in the hands of those who were never elected to lead.  All it will take is for a few high-ranking generals to have a conversation.  Luckily enough for now, those generals at the top seemed to have started their service in a time when more people in the military showed loyalty to the country and people they were supposed to serve. 

Here is the thing I want everyone in the military who has a problem with what I have said to realize.  No American citizen elected you to serve our country.  We did not choose you.  We did however, choose our President.  Like it or not, he is the man we chose to give you the orders.  We chose him to make decisions about what needs to be cut, what needs to be limited, where to use our armed forces (you) to intervene, and where not to.  I don't always agree with his decisions, but I don't spread lies about him on international social network sites such as Facebook or Twitter either.  (Except that one about me beating him at one-on-one.)  I do not claim that his election was illegal.  I do not say that he is lying about the successful operation to eliminate Osama Bin Laden as a threat.  For those of you in the military who do, please quit.  You are in it for the wrong reasons.  You are supposed to be defending our way of life, but if you do not support our Representative Democracy, if you do not trust the American people, what is it you are defending?  Your paycheck?  

So until next time my dear reader(s), understand that I am not trying to say we should not respect the majority of troops who sign up for the right reasons, I am not trying to say that the military is bad.  What I am trying to say is that you should not show them, nor anyone else blind loyalty.  If you can question the motives of our civilian leadership, you can question the motives of those who wear a uniform.  Just be honest in the questioning that you do, and think about who may be listening to your questions.  Don't question the guy in the postal uniform though, you never know what he might do. 

My next post-type-thing will be a much less controversial subject, unless benefit concerts are controversial to you.  Stay tuned for my interview with Nick Ramirez all about the wonderful event that is Marianarchy.