Sunday, January 27, 2008

Clinton and my brother

Photo by The KC Star

Maybe you can see it.

You might have to squint, but the kid - second from the right, back row - is my brother. And, boy howdy, does he look thrilled to be there!

Then again, standing in a gymnasium for over an hour listening to someone talk about politics, his wife, other things, would not appeal to me either.

"Hey, I thought there was a game going on...what do you mean stand here? Who is Hillary?"

I would have gotten excited for Clinton - I did when he was at the Auditorium - but now he is openly campaigning for his wife. I'm not a big fan of her at all.

I got my reasons: her stance on, the First Amendment, Iraq War, Health Care, the death penalty are not exactly what I think it good for even a half cooked avocado..

Call me a hippie - I know I am.

Clinton is an engaging speaker - despite your politics, you have to agree with that - but i don't really know if i would vote for him if he ran for anything ever again.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Project: Hipster Douchbage

It have my new glasses. My ironic beard. My styled hair that takes me 20 minutes to look like I just woke up.

And now, I am in a band.

As a painfully Midwestern artistic-type. There was only one way to truly confess my love/disdain for this world. A three-chord progression that uses old song maps to make music that sounds mostly like a commercial you remember from last year's Super Bowl.


Through my music I can express my soul, and pick up hot chicks at woefully boring parties.

How did we do this?

Well, first off I blatantly ripped this from another blog. But more importantly it was with lots of pluck and vigor that the AFBs were able to bring our music to the world.

With our debut album, Into Our Own, we show how we are all about the music.

You too can join a band.

Down with the power; Make you own album.

1. - The title of the article will be the name of your new band.

2. - The last few words of the very last quote is the title of the album.

3. - The third picture is your album cover.

Becasue these days cutting yourself isn't enough to make you a rock star anymore.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I hate covering fires

You have to stand in the cold.

You have to watch someone's home go up in flames.

Said people are usually crying.

You have to deal with TV reporters.

TV reporters have to deal with you.

You smell like an asbestos-fueled bonfire for the rest of the day.

There is only one thing worse than covering a fire and that is covering a shooting death. I had my fill of those.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Letters from a madman Vol. 1 Issue 1.

For a little context: After quitting my former job, John kept sending his bizarre brand of letters to my old e-mail account, which forwarded them to my old editor but never got forwarded to me.

Eventually, the bosses there told him to stop because he was scaring them and I no longer worked at that institution of paragraph assembly, which only instigated him to write more.

The last time I saw him was at his wedding.

When you find a fellow Gonzo letter writer you have to hold on to them. Then you can get a bit of correspondence like this

Dear John,
Well, I am sure the honeymoon is off and running.

I just wanted to get this e-mail address to you before you had the whole editorial side of the Star beating down your door for sending me your usual snuff-film-laced e-mails to my old account there.

This line is secure. No government agents or sausage-fingered Jesus freaks will be listening in.

Drunkenly Yours,

He was quick to counter.

I loved the Sausage-Fingered Jesus Freaks....I saw them open up for Tesla and Warrant at OzzFest '99 in Kansas City. They brought the house down. And then we had to burn it down.

Thanks for the new e-mail. I would hate to have those dumbasses e-mail again to remind me you no longer work there.

But I thought one more could not hurt. Actual e-mail sent tonight to DKnopf or whomever that jackass is at The Star:

"Hey dude...tomorrow night, you, me and Bobby McGee...18th and Central. Bring the gimp."

That oughta keep him busy for at least 30 seconds.

Iowa, out.

I volley back

Well, hope all is well. Keep sending those letters to the Star. They need it. They are soft in the middle and ready for a shake up of some sorts.


No word yet on how the letter writing campaign has fared.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Proud Highway pg. 237

I weep for this industry.

For the most part, we all used to joke about being layed off, canned, fired, pink slipped, etc. But those were jokes. None of us really though it would happen and - again - for the most part it has not.

But today the knife cut a little close.

The Examiner - the former daily rag out hometown way - laid off 50 percent of its staff. Only one person over the age of 40 managed to survive the smack down from corporate.

Now, I don't know how many were from news, sports, IT or advertising. All I know is what was cryptically sent to me. But even cryptically it was like reading a tattered note written in the final death throws of some fool running scared from the battle field.

"Send help. reinforcements, someone!"

At the same time, The Paragraph Factory is cutting back, old editors are being downsized, good people are being shifted and the staff - ultimately - is being cut.

They are going down because they are mismanaged, slow to change, Titanics among an industry of Icebergs.

I don't see us as an Iceberg at the News. We are merely a life raft, half full, and bobbing up and down each time one of these massive ships of journalism goes under for the deep sea to consume.

Romenesko has been too depressing to read - though the disciples of Gonzo keep me up to date.

We will do our thing and drag people aboard our little corner of the ocean as they come swimming off their vessels that tried to drag them.

I'm not worried. Not in the least.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The doo-hickey goes in the thing-a-ma-bob

I never understand why guys who sell hard-core electronics always act like they just stole whatever they are trying to sell.

I'm not talking about the guys who push HD TVs or a new cell phone with a smile. I'm talking about the punk-emo kids in the back who specialize in car stereo simply because they know how to forcefully remove them from any kind of car.

Even at Best Buy, when I tried to get the parts I needed for my satellite radio, the sales guy kept shifting from foot to foot, looking over my shoulder and sweating profusely.

"Um, yeah, man, that should work in you car," he said, averting his eyes as if i was about to bring the military though the service window to bring down his little corporate electronic racket.

I half expected him to lead my out back where he kept "the good stuff." Ah, but no luck. He instead sent me online to some "Pimp My Ride" Web site where they specialize in obscure audio parts and 20-inch wheel rims.

Turns out my 2000 Honda Civic is too old to have new gadgets connected directly to it. So I e-mailed the guys who sell these parts and this is the photo I get back:

Sure, these didn't just fall off the back truck and into his garage.

But I got my PxDxKI Aux Modulator. Even if i did feel a little dirty dealing with these guys. Next time, I'l just hit up the pot heads at Radio Shack.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I took a personality test to find out who I really was.

Out side of the usual destructive drunk that I normally am, it turns out that I actually am, what this Myers-Briggs test call, an INFJ - Introverted Intuition with Extroverted Feeling. Aka, The Protector.

After 60 or so questions of determining what I like, dislike. What I find acceptable and unacceptable. What I see as comfortable or annoying, it assigned me this letter combination.

While I think this kind of thing is about as reliable as reading your horoscope, I did find its results kind of interesting.

Some snippets from the book:

"INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types."

I am, indeed, rare.

Internally, it said, I will try to organize things into definable and constantly changing lists, priorities, and definitions while externally it's a complete cluster-fuck.

"On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous...They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk or home."

"Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. This may result in an INFJ stubbornness and tendency to ignore other people's opinions. They believe that they're right."


"Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive."

I tell you what you need to know, but not when I get angry...

"They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or silent anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress."

In relationships:

"INFJs are warm and affirming people who are usually also deep and complex. They're likely to seek out and promote relationships that are intense and meaningful. They tend to be perfectionists, and are always striving for the Ultimate Relationship. For the most part, this is a positive feature, but sometimes works against the INFJ if they fall into the habit of moving from relationship to relationship, always in search of a more perfect partner. In general, the INFJ is a deeply warm and caring person who is highly invested in the health of their close relationships, and puts forth a lot of effort to make them positive. They are valued by those close to them for these special qualities. They seek long-term, lifelong relationships, although they don't always find them."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

You're a mean drunk

Today we printed a mistake.

Not the first time in my career as a reporter, but definitely the one that has garnered the most phone calls.

What we wrote: Northeast's AA meetings will come to end after this week. For other meeting places in the area, call the Kansas City AA Hotline at...

What we should have written: Northeast's Al-Anon meetings will end after this week. For other meeting places...

Number of angry, defensive, confused phone calls from recovering alcoholics: 14

Really, folks, just chill out and have a beer...oh, wait.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008