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Whiskey Rebel's  Diary
online since  01/31/2001

November 23, 2015


                “I Furlough, therefore I am!”

                Again, I furlough, therefore I am.  I have the best, toughest job of my life going. I can’t really write about it, but I can inform you that I am a tax examiner for the I.R.S. The job comes at the stage in my life in which I should have my best job, since I finished my 33 year bachelor degree study right before I went to work there. Still, I approach it differently than I would have when we had a kid to feed. I am a seasonal worker, meaning I like to work harder for a part of the year and then enjoy some time off without causing hardship for us. For a few years, that has meant a 10 ½ month work season. I worked 2 jobs for much of my life and rested for a few, but the situation is different now. I need time to travel to casinos and chess events and do band stuff and write books. I do a lot of damn stuff creatively and I need time away from the 52 week a year yoke.

                I work with folks who have a full time job in addition to our job, this is the Spartan way it is for many people across the country and has been for as long as I have been working.  Many of them have a mountain of bills from some bad card life dealt to them, but many want to do it to buy a house or save money for their kid’s college or maybe a ridiculously expensive wedding for a Daughter or one of those asinine parties for adolescent  girls that cost a pile of dough.

                One of the great things about our country is we can decide for ourselves what we want to work for and pursue it. Hell, that might be the best thing about living in our fair land, urp!

                When my Frau and I were young, after trying to be normal for a couple few years, we chose to be starving damned artists with part time jobs. When a kid came along we worked longer hours , but by that time we had established ourselves as part time musicians with tiny followings all over the country and Europe. Eventually, I began writing first as an outgrowth of our musical endeavors and then because I felt the call. We didn’t really “get it” when it came to casinos until the dawn of this millennium, part time gambling in the USA is best pursued by folks getting up there in years. It grows on you, just like Scotch whiskey, Sinatra and for most humanoids, getting up early, which however hasn’t made any positive impression  on me yet!

                Note! Going to casinos hasn’t altered my yen for music, loud and chaotic at times. Since I am being reflective here I can admit that with age ( late 50’s thank you ) I enjoy brutal, wacky music as much as ever, but I have no desire to go see band after band at some festival. 3 bands in a night satiates me. I don’t criticize all of you who enjoy more. Most of you are well younger and haven’t gotten to the point in which you could lurk and booze in some casino playing small stakes jolly slots and video poker, maybe you never will, maybe you’ll love it more than we do when the time comes.

                I’m sure damn glad that living in this country we can still pursue stuff we find to be fun. If the collectives keep pushing the envelope, will a time come in which we have to pay for some strangers to go to Ballys or Reno with us? Yunno, gambling $$$ re-distribution, yuck. Son of a bitch, I wouldn’t put it past the current know it all, freedom hating  crowd in power.

                I furlough, therefore I am!  Even though most workers seem to PREFER having minimal time off through the year and value highest never having to look in the mirror and scream when they have time off and the yard martyr crap is all done, I will continue to work seasonal jobs with no chain on the leg. This is one of my crowning weirdo, alientated attributes. Likewise, I don’t want to start some 8 hour shift at 6: 00 am or earlier, so I can GET OFF earlier and mow the lawn. Fuck that!!

                As I told my brilliant work leader a few minutes before furlough a few nights ago, I like to see the sun rise, but not as I wake up, hell no. I want to watch it from my window or patio and then go sleep happily.

                I remember reading an interview in 1980 or so of Johnny Rotten in which he said he likes to watch people going to work before he hits the rack. I am a kindred spirit. I haven’t had to drink to write for many years, but I shall be double damned if I would even try creating during the over rated day. I’ve got to do it in the dark bitter sweet  hours.  Same goes for my significant sessions of chess study.

                I know who the night owls are out there, many of them will read this. We are kindred spirits, you all know the joys of the night time and are almost all self driven and creative as hell.

                One last, time. I furlough, therefore I am. For a couple of months the creativity and fun really begins.



November 06, 2015


                “Two Old Family Friends”

                It is almost unbelievable how old these two old friends are, so vital to our daily lives for decades and now tossed to the curb by us in the same evening.

                First off we have our pal the Sony CD player. This is the first damn compact disc  player we ever owned, purchased in Portland Oregon in 1992. The first disc played on it was sent by our old pal Jeff Clayton, it is a D.A. Coe hits collection which we still own. I already owned a couple cd’s acquired at my old employer Allegro Imports, one was an Eddie Cochran French anthology and the other a Fats Domino 20 song masterpiece. We still own both.

                Yeah, we have owned hundreds of cd’s for many years, but I am not an ingrate. This old friend the Sony played for us for the first times ever most of the cd’s we have played upon and there are many. It is almost silly to think how long the damn thing lasted. It has gotten to the point where it acts weird and freezes up so it is time for it to make its way to the pasture.

                The other old chum makes the Sony seem like a pink cheeked babe. It is the venerable JL A15 our turntable we acquired at wrestling sponsor Tom Peterson’s emporium in 1977. The records we played on it sometimes changed our lives. I will never forget how it took us a couple days to realize that the first Cramps 12” was meant to be played at 45 rpm instead of 33. That record opened up new worlds to us as well as scores of more vinyl wonders over the years. Our first vinyl test pressing was played by us in 1981 on JL A15 and all of them to date  that is literally a few score of test pressing records. Occasionally they sounded wrong and we needed to have them remastered. We always relied on JL A15.

                Furthermore, I made tapes of special batches of songs and sent them around the world in a few cases, such as two great groupings of drinking songs. JL A15 was an intimate accomplice. I sometimes had to record from records that were incredibly valuable in the wee hours when I was plastered. JL A15 was as able as a good guitar or knife.

                Sadly, the thingy that catches the tone arm after the record is done and replaces it neatly in its bed hasn’t worked for several years. It is time to let JL A15 rest besides its old near pal Sony. We have replaced them with new friends to be, not frighteningly expensive players, but good solid ones.

                Please join me in a salute in the way you do it, be it a toast or a reflex nostril mining expedition. Where were you in 77? I’m sure the fingerprints of quite a few legendary musicians who personally handled JL A15 and Sony over the years are still there. For once, I will spare you the name dropping, just think about it though. UUrrp.


October 28, 2015


                DROPPING IN? NO THANKS!

                The title says it all. Hey, you make the rules in your shack and we will do the same here.  Don’t fucking knock on my goddamn door without clearing your visit. I wrote this first  in a magazine decades ago and it has been violated by a mere few. This  isn’t  schtick. If I ever change my mind about this policy I will post it here in my diary or maybe in another magazine column.

                Who will I make an exception for? I have about a zillion relatives, since I met a majority of my blood kin early in this millennium and they are legion. I haven’t had any notion to get pissed off at any of them, so if they come around unannounced, I’ll probably moon them, hug them  and ask them in. Greet them with the Lone Star hand shake.

                If you have slept here a few times ( such as current band members in the know about our few rules  ) go ahead; I know you will be bringing alcohol or have a good story about why you need to drop in, such as eluding someone or something. Maybe there is a song idea there.

                As for repeated house guests from over the years, bands who have stayed with us drinking pals you all know to give us a courtesy call so as we won’t be painting the kitchen in the buff when you show up or perhaps arguing loudly waving fireplace pokers. Virtually all of you know our quirks better than I can state them here, such as the moo moo ritual.

                There are common sense instances in which you can drop in, such as if we have a patio full of men whooping  it up and you are in a party of women who are ready to clink glasses, well hell.

                Yunno, whenever I write this column it always seems to scare off the people who I wouldn’t mind if they swung  by and have no effect on the drop in’s whom it was intended for.

                We aren’t frigging hermits or recluses here. Band practices happen here frequently, we have a stocked liquor cabinet most of the time and a pool in season. I’m sure we had 8 people sleep here a couple times already, lots of rooms. Just fucking call or send a FB message or email or get in touch with a 3rd party friend for directions.

                Oh, almost forgot. My wife handles 98% of my communication with the outside world, but you should already know that if you know me enough to climb onto my porch. UUuurrppp.



October 24, 2015


                “IS THIS A COME ON?”

                As many of you know, my wife and I met after our first years at college selling encyclopedias. We spent over a week learning a very long presentation and answers to objections. We were being brainwashed to an extent, just like cults handling new converts, we were rushed over state lines hundreds of miles away where we were forced to sell or hitch hike home in humiliation. A week ago we chatted over whether or not it was in the long run a good thing to learn sales technique from really, really topnotch sales monsters. My wife changed from management to big ticket installation sales early in the year and is doing great, even though she sucked selling the University Society Library back in the day, except for one mega lucky week. I was a good solid seller for them and the company President wanted me to stay on with them so badly, he flew me around in his plane, drove us through Montana in his convertible Mercedes and tried to tempt me with Holiday Inn lounge vixens he sweet talked.

                We wound up indeed hitch hiking home from Billings  Montana, and getting hitched otherwise within the year. That is your background information for this diary entry. Many of you have read “Jobjumper” and already know much of this.

                Anyway, we used to be rehearsed in answers to common door objections. For some reason in this period in the 70’s a frequent witty question that would be snapped off to us, often by some dude with a napkin or bib hanging around his jowls was indeed “is this a come on?”

                In our training room when  the bosses weren’t around and on the road in the back of the vans we drove hundreds of miles a day in the perfect answer was thought up for that one: “Sure, come on and buy these books!”

                This was perfect, it answered their question and vented a bit of our occasional frustration at having to maintain a company line of bull that we weren’t “selling”, we were placing the books at a heavy discount with consumers who we determined were “qualified”. It isn’t that funny a line though at all, now is it?

                But I have to say that working for National Educators has paid dividends over the years for both of us. I am one of the toughest sells you will ever find, be it political spiels, naïve punk rock lyrics, religious testimonies and any sort of sales pitch for a physical product whether you are peddling it door to door or over the phone or in a mall store, I am a goddamned hard sell and I am proud of it!

                I have decent skills in other areas, such as my dynamic go at the arts in writing and as an actual BMI registered song writer for decades. I’m a fair hand at my computer / meets brain job at work and I have my moments in chess. It all is pretty unimpressive compared to my ability to see through partisan and ethical smoke screens. We don’t contribute to slick professional organizations, we do give occasionally to help folks  we are familiar with, literally people we know.  

                Hey, here’s a wakeup call! There are homeless people in every town, but they rarely are the crew members you see working access road stop lights. There are blind beggar cons in most major cities, nothing is sacred to these folks, nor should there be. I wish I had contacts so I could work for some of these motivated “hard luck” crews.

                Whenever a phone call comes in on your answering machine or voicemail beginning with “this is an important message!!!  Hey, it never is. It is a come on.

                Black Friday is targeted towards  the same fools who fall for the “everything must go!” schtick posted in banners over furniture stores for year after year at the same location. It is just a come on friends and readers.

                Radio ads where you hear dumb hillbilly peckerwood voices in hokey skits,  uhhh, that is a come on common in this state, even though it wouldn’t sell in Jersey.

                “Hand written” label mail you find in your box is almost 98% of the time a come on from an auto dealership or investment scam out to scalp seniors.

                Glitzy puff pieces on the net about celebrity wardrobe malfunctions and such, you do know those stories are placed by publicists? Right? It’s a come on, man.

                One of my absolute favorite radio guys is Phil Hendrie. He is a frigging genius specializing in a variety of voices that he uses to chat with to pull over some sort of silly hoax making fun of you gullible humanoids, it is a come on, but he is open about it and his characters make for shows as solid as Stern’s back in his heyday.

                “Best Burger / BBQ / etc in Texas” signs are too frequently seen on our state's city streets and highways to impress me, especially the ones where they cite some sort of contest they won with a grease stained placard, faded and sad.

                Strippers who smile at you and convince you they really think you are hot? A come on, with the exception of maybe 3-4 studs I have known over the last 30 years or so.

                Almost any point of view concerning expenditure of tax dollars can be supported by a supposedly  independent  study. I say bull shit! Come on’s baby, like it or not.  Not always, but a large chunk of the time. Just like the granddaddy of our time, the climate change / global warming mantra, used to fatten enough wallets since it was cooked up to discredit any further $$$$ from U.S. coffers in my opinion.

                Yeah, come on and buy our p.c. guilt trip hoax! UUuurrPP.



October 18, 2015




                Well, I wasn’t born into money, movie star good looks, or a support system that I could rely on in this life I am enjoying anyway at the present. Most of you out there who personally know me or have read my books know this. Some of  you  have  lollygagged  your  entire lives with all of the above well in hand. It took my quite a bit of time to figure many things out in this swell life, aside from my heathen non-belief in supreme beings, which came along very early. I pretty much eliminated jealousy of the privileged from my soul and brain when I was toiling away at my first book living in Philly. I began to learn that people I respected in large numbers looked at entitled little whelps with disgust. So many of them are utterly worthless and never achieve peace or wisdom. I began seeking out society pages or columns in newspapers so I could laugh at their haughty phony bologna social scrotum pole. As part of my job I read wills, which was a real eye opener! A jolly percentage of folks who die with money hate at least part of their family.

                Don’t think for  a  second  that I don’t dig money! I sure as hell don’t buy into the blather about how people who come into money are burdened and miserable. Damn, that’s a curse I would enjoy   with gusto!

                About the time my Frau and I were married I was very aware and a bit envious of the beautiful. Why? High school and its pecking order were still fresh in my memory. Those of you  who know me now, are privy to the big kick I get out of researching old school enemies so I can have the satisfaction of yukking  it up over what became of their looks. They almost always look way the hell older than they should  and  would probably envy ME if they were able to see me now. Hey, I am pretty hot! I am just a part time author and musician and class A chess player, but I do have boxes, many of them in fact of fan mail from the old days and zip discs and other pc storage vessels from over the years showing that I have at least made some sort of impact, whereas their lives went into the toilet when their easy looks and coolness went haywire.

                One of the best things about having to scrap through life is the truth that I needed to learn some realities and survival methods that have kept me going this long. My immediate family does not hate me, which is sort of a common life curse enjoyed by many of the charmed ones I grew up with.

                I’ve made some mistakes of course and we’ve had rough times, but I have avoided the gutter so far. Since we have moved around so much over the years I don’t have much of a local immediate support system like many folks do, but what I lack in strong arms and backs to help us move or save me from having to call triple AAA when my car craps out I feel I more than make up for in knowing a small handful of people in each of 30 or so States and several foreign countries.

                I learned way back in Philly that quite a few people who are born into everything do not believe my theories or the witty points in my books or columns. They think I am negative or wrong or simply a fat pig greasy slob. Oh well, fuck it! I have a large enough number of people like you reading this, many of whom have inspired me over the years, or bought me shots or our recordings or one of my brilliant books. I think of the elite who look down their noses at me and my sort about once every six months or so. Charmed lives can kiss my ass, uurrppPPP.

                Thus spaketh thee Whiskey Rebel.

October 14, 2015


                Bernie Sanders???


                Hey, I’m a capitalist. No way personally speaking, but being an independent cynic, non-partisan to the bone, I’ve had friends from all political persuasions for decades. He’s not the “boogeyman” to me. I have a large number  of  lefty  pal’s  going ape shit on FB over his candidacy. I will say this in his favor. A family member texted me words that pointed out that it is a crazy world indeed, when the socialist is more appealing to unaffiliated earwig’s than the chosen democrat. I quipped in return the witty remark that Ms. Clinton is Velveeta, whereas Bernie is Limburger which is a stinky  and harsh choice for most of us, but at least it is actual cheese. Do you like my analogy?

                Bernie’s battle cry to rally his fans against the billionaires, those monsters with blood dripping from their fangs, his angle pre-dates World War I by many years. Guys like J.P. Morgan and John D Rockefeller come to mind.  Can’t he come up with something fresh? Isn’t he an aged 60’d hippy like Pelosi?  He presents himself as a pacifist, doesn’t he? How will he feel if he inspires some nut to wack a few billionaire’s? If there are some bad and some good, why doesn’t he name names? Is it empty rhetoric to charge up the rebellious wing of his supporters? Does anybody remember the famous “cross of gold” speech invoked against the wealthy 100 years ago? Remember who delivered it and his fate?

                The free college education offering is modern and appealing to more people in the long run.

                Do I think Bernie can be elected, hell yeah, don’t ever under estimate the power and appeal of free stuff. Does anybody wanna buy my vote? It’ll cost you a 24 pack of Coors and a quart of Beam Devil’s cut. Any buyers?

October 11, 2015



                So, we have two cats. We’ve had Dixie who is a solid black Halloween style cat for 15 years or so and Nutty for 5 years, he is a Sylvester sort with flowing antler eye-brows. Nutty replaced Mr. Jinx, who mentored Dixie. He was an orange and white dude we rescued in Philly from street varmints. When Jinxy passed we buried him in the back yard of our San Marcos house. Dixie had been dominating his elder for the last year or so, but when that sad day came he howled like King Lear for days, broken up. Dixie taught young Nut how to groom and stuff, how to be cool and use his body to be a high flyer, snagging bugs. Over the years of Nutty’s  life they have grown into pals, unless one of us wants to apply some pets to one of them. If the other is around they get pissed off good. This is pretty standard for a cat duo. Up until the recent months things went along in an ordinary fashion. Jealousy ruled the day when we were around, but when we were away they would become good pals, patrolling the windows and floors of our home. Nutty is the “friendly” one. The only person Nutty gets freaked out about is our Grandson Hank, but even that is changing over time. Hank’s enthusiasm for Nutty hasn’t waned and Nut is spending more time learning to be his pal. Dixie’s way is to run and hide, just like a human  who  becomes a recluse late in life.

                I went through my own reclusive years. Sometimes I have wondered if I somehow influenced my old buddy. The last few years my work year has become very long and I drive 150 miles per day to get there and back. That doesn’t fit the pattern of a recluse. I have grown out of that for now at least. Living in San Antonio has been great! After years of hating have to deal with morons at the post office or grocery store I have found that folks here are relatively pleasant. They bloody work! Blue collar types are easy to get along with compared to spoiled college kids. The post office is a source of mild pleasure once again. When I hit the local HEB for groceries I don’t mind a bit of a wait in line. People mind their business for the most part and there are very few squirrels and hipsters in our part of the city. When I visit thrift and book stores I rarely get pissed off. You can’t really predict who is going to be working at the store and running the register. When I go through a fast food drive-thru ( a rare event due to my sodium issues ) I encounter occasional minor incompetence, but never  out right idiocy.

                Dixie the cat ran and hid when he heard people entering the house for years and in spite of the title of this diary entry, he still does. What he does differently is very cute, so if cuteness makes you gag, skip the rest of this installment. I’ll be damned if the two buddies haven’t started to play cat tag in the middle of the night! Not only that, I will hear a noisy cat toy with a bell in it and peer to see which cat is playing with it and I’ll be double damned if it ain’t Dixie! Yeah, back to kitty toys at his late age! He stopped licking his fur off and it is growing back. He has reclaimed the title of senior cat in the house and goes out of his way to angrily meeooww at all of us if he thinks Nutty is getting preferential treatment.

                What got into him? The old head of the cat block is back. Playing with plastic bell toys will keep either a human or a cat young and spry, we are very pleased with him. He used to weigh 24 pounds or so, his transport cage was indeed designed for a dog,  but  Dix is down to a bathing suit friendly weight of  18 maybe. Again, what the hell inspired him? We’ve had a lot of cats over the years but I’ve never seen this sort of fountain of youth shit. A few months back at a drinking session held on our porch I went into the house for more cd’s and was shocked to see that our pal Beer had stretched out on the floor  overlooking  the drinking area; he wasn’t simply stewed, he was comporting with old reclusive Dixie the Cat who was joining the party by meeting a new friend.

                I have always felt two cats was a perfect number, but what the hell, I think Bukowski wound up with five or six at a time in his San Pedro pad. Sounds like fun, unless you are the one who is going to be emptying the litter boxes. UUrrp.


October 8, 2015

My 25,000th diary post on the topic of alcohol.


Actually, I haven’t counted them. There are several thousand pages in my diary. I rarely go back and read it after a month or so has gone by, but I have written about alcohol persistently over the years. My tastes and opinions on lively booze topics shift now and again. One of the most dramatic changes in my way of looking at things is the huge pendulum swing in my life on the topic of non-drinkers. Early on I sneered at ‘em! About 20 years ago after witnessing way too many drunks I knew were dropping dead ( well, most of them did other stuff too )I came around to appreciate both those who never liked it in the first place and the ones who swore off who didn’t treat me like a addict-creep  for continuing to imbibe. These days my wife and I agree we don’t see a non-drinker as a source of killing the fun in the room, on the contrary! We see them as potential designated drivers! I wish we knew a few more right now, here in San Antonio!


It is fun to social drink shots in unison with friends and relations.  Sometime’s  we  get really bombed together but other times not so much we fall over. Back in the day I was conscious of who was drinking and who was not although I never brought it up with confirmed friends who were used to me drinking while they weren’t. I know plenty of really successful musicians who were better off for giving it up. I’m not going to reveal names, because thee diary is not a gossip rag.

For the most part I don’t give a damn what people around me are drinking. If a friend or relative who loves to drink comes around drinking Gatoraid I will ask why out of curiosity, but I’m not gonna suavely coax them into taking a snort from our home bar array of liquor bottles.

Since hangovers really do get worse with age, I avoid plenty of stuff I wrote about years ago since I don’t need ANY pain or misery. Evan Williams is just pure carcinogenic misery to me, just like malt liquor, Old Milwaukee’s Best and beers that are the shade of coffee, that taste like regurgitated coffee beans mixed with manure  to me.

HEY! I’m not telling you what to drink. Earlier in life I TRIED stuff like Champale and Burgie and Bohemian and National Bohemian and Country Club malt liquor and Potter's whiskey and Potter's vodka, Potters gin, etc. There is a reason, beyond his success, that Bukowski drank better stuff as he got older. As you enter into the swinging  middle aged years, don’t get fancy, just drink a notch or two better. There is a reason why good old corporate beers ( my fave! ) sell for a bit more than stuff like PBR and Ham's. After about your 5,000th beer squirt goo goo,  like me you might start to figure it out! UURRp.

                Yes, you may be excused!

October 6, 2015


Conspiracy theories have been around for most of my lifetime, but they have never been so widely, blindly sucked up by people who should know better. The tabloids of my youth had pieces about JFK being kept alive as a vegetable on a Greek island and a plethora of Martian flying saucer hoaxes. I hold a simple B.A. in History, I’m no deep scholar, but I know enough to tell you that your brain would be much better  off  if you spend a few years learning the basics of history or geography before you drop anchor in the port of cable TV boobs who have to cloak their history revision as double secret ( code words for “unproven” )   information you and the rest of their audience can be privy to. Don’t bring that sucker bait garbage around here! Some of the best advice I can give you if you want to CLEAR YER BRAIN is this: book up on serious main stream scholarly stuff your local library stocks. Instead of “educating” yourself on bologna like “Putin is the antichrist”, learn the basic geography facts on Russia and how the dimensions and climate and various cultures and languages have contributed to the developments of the last 100 years or so in that part of the globe. As you educate yourself, try to develope a knack for determining the biases of the sources you read. I read the books of an author from the U.K. named Service who is a gifted writer and researcher. Rather than treat dudes like Stalin like the boogeyman, he maintains a sort of neutrality while letting Stalin’s actions ( backed  by footnotes and a huge bibliography ) prove him to actually be more of a sadistic monster  than he was depicted in the U.S. in the cold war era.

                The actual truth of things can be much more amusing ultimately than the stock, by the numbers conspiracy blather. Sorry to pop your bubble, but there is no proof whatsoever of a behind the scenes committee of blood sucking, sadistic bankers selecting our next set of politicians. If you have suckered for that Alex Jones hokum, you need to break away from that nonsense and settle into some actual research, not the sad garbage he trowels out. He is not some sort of martyr or hero, HEY! Research his Dad who was part of one of the most ludicrous cults of his time about as intellectual as the radio exorcist Larson (who after dark George the twit  presents  as an expert! )

                Conspiracy and nonsense is a big bucks industry these days. If you’ve been suckered, I will welcome you to this diary with a big hug if you go about learning one skill: HOW TO TELL unbiased fact from snow job or partisan horse shit. If you want to start off cheap and simple, head to a used book store and get a mainstream Philosophy 101 text book that is meant for freshmen. Hey, I had to buy and study one just a few years ago. My last college class was indeed that very  mandatory course that no one can escape. I’ll be damned if by the end of the course I hadn’t hit it off with my professor and expressed the thought at home that the “road not taken” in my life was the path to become a philosophy professor. It would have been a fine alternate life. As a sceptic with no faith to bog me down, I would have really contributed to society, made a difference. Oh well! At least I have chalked up hundreds of recordings, several books and a handful of worthy chess games. Send me a message if you think I’m getting through your thick skull, or if you’re going back to that phony AJ. Dis-missed.  Urp.

Paying your dues in an art form. 

I've been away from this diary for way the hell too long. We have had some technical issues to deal with, but that's  a half-assed  excuse.  I felt like my head was going to explode, if I didn't get some words down. So, we have tackled said technical issues.

 Many of you know that I have written columns over the years and a good number of you have read one of my five full length books. I've allowed my busy work schedule over the last three years to interfere with my writing. There is no chance though that I can stay away from it for longer than a calculated break which this has been. 

A few of my enemies reading this, might sneer at the thought of me considering myself a writer.  I will state right now what qualifies me to make that claim. I spent over five years working  often 4-6 hours a night,  on my first book Jobjumper. Think about that the next time you feel spent after typing a couple of paragraphs on Facebook.  Five frigging years and that was just my first book. 

I have been a musician, not just since we formed Rancid Vat in 1980, I seriously studied music when I was a kid.  I'm an average Rock musician, but I was excellent playing bassoon, the saxophones,  clarinet, etc.  I didn't become a good musician overnight, it took years of hard work and practice.  If you are one of the folks who wonder why my wife and I have spent most of our lives playing in bands, the answer is clear: what else are we gonna do? Why would we stop now?  and take up yard martyrdom or  collecting bric-a-brac. On paper we will be seniors in a few years, but hell, the two of us are never ever gonna be goddamned seniors! 

A large number of you reading this, play in bands. the sad truth is, when the going gets tough, most of you will throw in the towel, or at the very least you will give up writing new material, and coast, like one of the  golden oldies act you used to make fun of.

 Ok, the bragging is over. Even though I have proven the artistic credentials in the Irwin household, I need to make it clear, that there are many gifted and totally devoted writers and musicians, and painters, and wrestlers, and chefs, and bartenders out there who make us look like lazy layabouts. I am back, once again, at the helm of this diary.  I have had a bellyful of snappy one liners, and partisan puff pieces on Facebook. I feel FREEEEEEEEE!!!! Time to go pet the kitties.


Most of you reading this have read one of my brilliant books
or perhaps heard about me through reading columns in one of a zillion mag’s I’ve
written for over the years such as the current one “Floored”. A few relatives
read this with good intentions, not the sourpusses, but the most fun ones to be

If  you’ve
ever met me and gotten to know me a bit, you probably know that I have been
playing tournament chess since I was a snot nosed brat. Yeah, I took a 23 year
break to raise a kid, but I’ve been at it for the last 12 years or so, playing
most of my chess at slow paced internet sites or at a few tournaments per year
in cities where we can gamble, “we” being my lovely Frau of 35+ years.

has been a big ass change in things. My Wife has been pretty supportive. In the
chess world around the globe there is a term known as “chess widow” which
applies to the long suffering gals whom are often neglected by the mostly male
players who they made the mistake of marrying.

no longer a threat of my Wife being a bored spectator. What the hell, she took
the damned game up and has been studying as hard as me for the last 90 days and
has competed in more chess events than me. Humpin’ jumpin’ Jesus!

She won
a trophy in a Reno tourney, her very first. Because of my nocturnal work
schedule she was an active member of our local meth hospital & San Antonio
chess clubs before I made it down there.

hasn’t won a helluva lot of games in tournaments yet, but few players do,
except for the goddamned cheaters of course. You must admit, it takes a real
pair of grapefruit to take up anything as deep as tournament chess “late in
life” shall we say. Hell, we’re not THAT damn old yet, but most of the folks in
our age group do familiar things at this stage in life, like those mind bending
crosswords or that vile waste of brain matter Sudoku.

chess psych studies reveal that female players are naturally very aggressive
going for attacks, perhaps to blow their male competition off the board in a
Freudian manor. Mrs. Rebel gets a real thrill out of going after her opponents
monarchs, like most members of her sex. She tells me that over the board in
chess her male victims can’t hide behind whatever pathetic brawn they were born
with. She uses her brain to torment them, plain and simple. If you are one of
her future  victims, take heed. Yeah, she will shake your hand after decimating
your forces, but inside she will be laughing hysterically at your feebleness, your
weakness as a humanoid. Hey, when you’re out of earshot, I’ll be cackling along
with her. HO HO HO!!

​   Prepare
to be emasculated!!​

On the way to watch Texas native behemoth Cowboy James Claxton defend his B.O.W. NWA heavyweight championship strap, sometime during that 18 minute drive to the arena I clearly predicted what was going to happen to my Wife.  “You know, one great thing about wrestling that makes it so worth watching closely for a life time, is the fact that at any point, on any given Saturday night like this one, anything can happen. We can speculate about having a great time, but for all we know we could be walking into the best card of our lives”!

4 hours later, driving back home, I reminded her of my unique brilliance in such matters. Like a clap of thunder a magnificent stable of worthy, manly he-men guided by the watchful eye and sage advice of a sharp veteran of the sport had assembled for official photos to commemorate the awesome night for posterity, toting all the goddamn gold in the promotion. Just like a Texas flashflood or tornado or unexpected fire on the plains they had pulled off something no one had predicted, leaving the fans of weaker mentality and predictable bad taste sobbing, openly crying in some cases.

 All night long they had cheered in unison against each of the titans whooping it up now, probably headed for a bar or strip club to celebrate and salute their own greatness. I chuckle even now at their collective rude awakening. Many of the fans who seem to be regulars at B.O.W. seem to be confused over what really matters during an evening of wrestling matches. We aren’t assembled to watch judge’s award points for moves of beauty or the sort of frilly hogwash you’d expect to see at a frigging women’s figure skating event. For  generations working men and women in Texas and of course all over our mighty nation and in remote parts of the globe,  assemble to watch strapping men and shrewish women pound on each other for their amusement until one competitor’s sweaty mitt is hoisted in victory in the middle of the squared circle; it’s called Professional Wrestling. Often over the last century it has been the dominant sport in our country, due to the cool fact that you can see wrestlers compete in communities large, medium and tiny.

Anyway, I hooted for joy during that drive home and not because I could say “I told you so!”, for I do that frequently enough. “Honey, we walked into the formation of a goddamned stable! How often does this happen?”. Indeed, as a youth I enjoyed back in Snoreland, Boregon Playboy Buddy Rose’s “army” including the likes of the Sheepherders and the Dynamite Kid. When we happened to move 1 mile from E.C.W. arena in Philly right at the start of what happened there, we were really damn lucking out. You can see me and my son Elvis as an adolescent standing a few rows from the ring in several matches on the historic tapes show far and wide. We saw a couple notable stables of wrestlers formulate there, the Dudley’s come to mind, the really early Dudley boys with Big Dick and Chubby and Sign Guy.

Humping, jumping Jesus! Now we have stumbled into a mighty stable at B.O.W. a year after we have made ourselves San Antonio residents after 11 wasted, lost years in San Marcos. First Andy Dalton outlasted 9 other contestants in a battle royal for the Cruiser-weight title. Most of the masses were rooting for some of the usual tedious also-rans. Hey! Don’t get me wrong! I respect every one of the competitors back in the locker room! It’s just sad to see that some of them must take guidance from some real saps back there. Mad Dog Ken Johnson is a proven legend and just the sort of man to be counsel  to a man who really wants to win and achieve his dreams rather than be polite and spend years in the pack of mediocre under achievers. Anyway, next the NWA world heavyweight tag team title straps were won in brutal fashion in a real pier six beat down by Brent McKenzie and Moonshine Mantell. Mad Dog once again provided his guiding hand and they demolished their foes in romping stomping fashion that made me cackle in joy in my seat, work week completely forgotten!           

      The final bout of the night featured Claxton defending the mightiest strap of all, the vaunted NWA heavyweight championship sanctioned by B.W.O. in a 3 way scrap. A Texas melee ensued, but escorted to the ring by Mad Dog (who sported a righteous rebel cap much like one I used to wear) he made relatively short work of 2 competitors and thereafter posed of course for pics with the rest of the stable as some of us in the audience grinned and “hussed!”. I’ll be damned! We’ve got ourselves a stable in town. A damned fine one too.               

  OH! One more thing. B.O.W. is moving for their next card (Oct 25th) to the old stomping ground, the Woodlawn gym which is perfect for wrestling, very comfy even for fat asses like me. Cowboy James Claxton will be defending HIS title strap against Jax Dane in a goddamned street fight! I’m sure there will be matches featuring McKenzie, Mantell and Dalton as well. Or, perhaps the promoters will prefer them to simply pose with the glowing assembled shiny belts! Goddamn, what a sight it was. I bet they had a blast afterwards with booze, beef and broads aplenty! Well, I’m gonna crack open a Coors to wash down the Texas triple shot of Devils Cut Beam whiskey I’m now gonna throw back in their collective honor. UURRPP.      


  Relaxing in casinos is extremely important to me at this stage of my life. As I explained to my Son Elvis the other week, his Ma and I made really pathetic gamblers from our 20’s well into our 40’s. When I took up competitive chess again after a 23 year break when we moved to Texas, I eventually bought a Texas hold’em text book by Doyle Brunson, the bible of the game for decades. It assisted my chess training that I subject myself to learning the formula for playing hands. I still haven’t played live poker, but that’s beside the point. When you train to read a poker players hand at the table by the tools of the trade it translates for usage elsewhere.

I got a PS game and tested what I had learned and was satisfied. I then decided on some sort of whim to learn the formula for playing video poker in casinos. I got a game that makes an obnoxious sound if you make an error and worked hard to learn the best way to play video poker. Marla learned the system, which has lead to us actually enjoying visits to casino’s more and not making such stupid moves. No more drawing to inside straights. No more following hunches, that’s for rubes. As I told El, there is one formula for jacks or better, which I mostly play and there are few variables from the correct path, which is based on long term statistics. I was quick to point out to him that sometimes blowhards who bet “wrong” do quite well. Hell, I can’t explain luck; I just know I’m not blessed with it like so many people are.

Anyway, my Frau and I will soon be spending a few days at the Lucky Eagle (?!) casino in Eagle Pass Texas, Texas first casino. My blood Father told me about the place a year and a half or so ago. I respect his tastes quite a bit and observe his great seniority in casino matters over the years. We’ve been following the casino afar since then as it grows and feel like the time is ready to strike. They have a great looking hotel now and are expanding as fast as my belly in the off season. We plan to have a blast as we celebrate Texas FINALLY having a casino. Hey, I’m a proud a Texan, but as a dyed in the wool heathen I can’t stand the prudes ancient blue laws and childish “road to hell” arguments being used in this new millennium by the squares. Go Texas. Go Gambling. Go Sin. Go “road to hell”. Go penny slots with catchy, noisy themes blasting from Bose speakers set inside motion chairs for our enjoyment. UURRPPP.


  My work season will very likely last again up through October or early November. It’s nice to rake in the dough but since I put out 120% every day for my “seasonal” job and commute 2 + hours per day it wears me down a bit. People who have a year round ordinary job just go to work and pace their asses, but not me. As I always say, I can’t write about my job, but it is one difficult, brainy son of a bitch. One part of my job deals with some really mind blowing detailed printout work which actually I have determined is as difficult as the toughest chess problems I tackle. My old 10 key prowess is slowly coming back. I’m faster than the race to the food after the funeral service on a computer these days. I’m at my peak and can only hope it makes a positive influence on my guitar playing, which uses the same portion of my brain. I got me a new rosewood tint Les Paul Jr a few months back and am fired up to debut it publically. Will I wield it like Mick Ronson or Cheetah Chrome?  

         I use various means to fire my ass up these days. Going to Branded Outlaw Wrestling’s monthly cards really helps and an occasional night of music clears my brain as well. I got to do both a week ago in the same night. We watched thee mighty Cowboy James Claxton  power bomb his way to the NWA BOW World heavyweight strap and then head to a Hod show in town at the Bonds 007 bar. It’s great to be around some goddamned humanoids I can blather to and drain a couple with after months of sometimes tedious egghead work with minimal human contact for days at a time. Hod pounded away with a jackhammer intensity which cleared my head and my sinuses. I soaked up every funky little aspect of beauty at the wrestling card from the imbecility of some of the hecklers who consider themselves in the know and funny to watching a dude named Juicy flex his butt cheeks in rhythm on command. There was a large group of us there yelling and hussing. Is there any better way to relax in one night than with wrestling and strident, badass music? Uuurrrppp.    

6/1/14   So, I’ve been back from the Chicago Open chess event for several days.  My co-workers are a clever bunch for the most part. They don’t ask ignorant questions about my going away to play a few times a year somewhere in our mighty nation. I can’t write about work, but I can say that my lead is such a brain that he is out there in that zone beyond my comprehension. When I talk to him about compartmentalizing chess knowledge and work codes and stuff in various sectors of my brain he understands. What I do in my cubicle is impossible for probably 97% of the work force, but simple compared to what he does. I’m sure that if he wanted to get serious about chess he could catch up with me in 6 months or so. I’m basing this statement on the games I’ve studied that are in databases played between Einstein and a couple of the A-bomb brains. Those guys rapidly attained a skill level of mine without book study. They clearly watched some real masters going at it and emulated what they picked up. Einstein was pals with a very brainy world chess champ named Lasker. Of course there are quite a few instances of math professors and software folks with oodles of brain matter  in their fields, but  not worth a shit over the chess board  in spite of years of study. 

I’ve learned that I need about 24 hours to shift my brain powers from my work to a chess mode. The last year or so I’ve tried to train my brain to keep both up and running, with only limited results so far. If I have 24 hours and a nice cooler full of beer and a traveler of whiskey I can sit in a hotel room and go through the increasingly familiar transformation. Luckily, my job has me in a pretty good state stamina wise. Since I’ve been working this brain job I don’t run out of gas in 2-3 hours at the board. I have to face 2 games per game usually lasting 4-6 hours each. OK!!! Enough of straining your brains, you reading this. It’s really not all so cerebral every game at a chess tournament. My recent trip is memorable for a few bizarre things. I played a dude who was pretty damn wacko by my standards, you don’t have to play chess to know where he is coming from. He would make a very, very bad poker player. He entered the tournament under a double first name that I doubt he was given by his mama. Gypsies I met in the late 70’s would use those sort of names (I dig Gypsies).

This sportsman  arrived a bit late to the game wearing a flashy but clearly dime store quality suit and a big pinkie ring that was meant to distract or hypnotize me, but only made me giggle. Sunglasses and  a bad  mustache rounded out his “intimidating” schtick. He never spoke during our game, but loudly slammed the pieces down in a way that I could have justifiably complained to a tournament director to make him quiet down. I haven’t seen too many dudes like him over the years or I’d take up another hobby. Obviously he was trying to “hoo doo” me. He wasn’t out to win a game or a few bucks over the weekend, he is a rare breed of chess player who gets his rocks off by defeating  somebody in a personal manor.

Get it? It’s not his intellectual pleasure internally he gets off on, but my own pain or that of his other opponents. He is a sadist who uses hoo doo as part of  his “bewitching” technique. Having started out in the late 60’s when there were a great number of chess freaks, I don’t blame his routine for my ultimate loss. Huh, I’ve known my share of witches and Satanists over the years. He’s pretty lame by comparison. I had an advantage almost the entire game and sort of let my winning advantage get away from me. I studied the game with one of my computer engines and know what I did wrong. The dude put one hell of a lot of effort into freaking his opponents out, but you see that sort now and then when you play in major urban areas.

His wardrobe and accessories were simply horrid though. It was the sort of cliché nonsense you’d see performed by one of the wacky, jovial hicks on an old “Green Acres” episode. I’ll be laughing about the experience for years I’m sure. If you just stay in your own corner of the world and never venture out you get used to the eccentric behavior of your own club mate’s, or bowling crew or co-workers. I sort of broke even in the event in the long run. I had fun around the hotel and indeed just trying to get to the damn place. Leaving O’hare airport in a rental car was stressful at first, but finally a heap of fun. I wound up circling the entire airport underground by mistake, which brought to mind a “Dark Angel” penny slot. I attempted to pay tolls each way up and back, but found myself cruising past some green arrow’s and  neon  signs, which were oddly not manned by employees. What gives with the I-294 toll booths? Who carries $1.50 in exact change in their pockets or satchel? The State of Illinois must be doing damn well $$$ wise to be able to afford not to collect tolls. It looked like an honor system to me. Well, next time I’ll tell all about the tiny kid I played who kept telling me when he need to use the bathroom. Uurrp.


I’m pretty damn excited about our new Vat CD “We‘re Still Better Than You“. We’ll be getting them within a week or so, maybe it’s best if I bang out something about the books I’ve read fairly recently in the mean time. You’ll get enough sales pitches soon enough. Let’s start with a book I snatched up a couple months ago at Barnes and Noble “Not Cool” bylate night show Redeye’s Greg Gutfeld.

I was sort of shocked to read a batch of rants by somebody who actually see’s things my way most of the time. He’s not a droning by the numbers Libertarian like Stoessel. He takes issue with just about all the known sides some of the time. He’s damn sharp. Get this: he clearly knows the difference between not liking being around “drunks“, but loving to imbibe himself.

I’ve got to admit I’m proud that if the author happened to stumble onto some of my old columns he’d likely recognize a kindred spirit in me who wrote many of his ideas in columns for a smaller audience. For all I know of course, the man read Hitlist avidly. He loves loud annoying music, is from California, is pals with Buzz and has drank into the wee hours with John Lydon.

Of course most partisan democrats who follow the don’t watch Fox network “beware!” marching order likely hate Gutfeld without knowing why they’re supposed. Well, that’s one of the main themes of the book; cowardly lefty pseudo intellectuals hating the prescribed boogieman things to go along with the cool people, just like back in school.

GG (huh! I heard him mention our musical pal GG on Redeye once out of the blue) aka Greg Gutfeld rips the hipster elite a new one in language not much cleaner than what I use. Smarmy comedians I hate but you probably dig get slapped good. The occupy protesters are compared and contrasted with the Tea party. I laughed from something on every damn page. You better get this one if you are even close to my morally bankrupt, fiscally conservative cause oriented hating ways. I dare you to read it at work. It’s probably going to attract hate as fast as a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” from watercooler lefties.

A good long read I savored for many months was “Seward, Lincoln’s indispensable man”. Even though I have my degree in history I’ve got to say I knew little Seward. I’ve moved onto the better known best seller about Lincolns Team of Rivals which covers Seward, but I’m not too far into that. The solo Seward bio (written by Walter Stahr) will suit those of you who like a very serious historical read with ample notes. NO CONSPIRACY crap is included thankfully. This is real history, not the sort that has to be cooked up to appeal to Beavis and Butthead.

From cradle to grave you get all you ever will want to know about Seward, whom the author points out is better known than many Presidents. Stahr is a real historian, who doesn’t wear his own party affiliations like a badge on his tweed jacket. For instance when Seward dallies with political machine worms, they are identified as such. He lambasts stubborness on all sides of the pre civil war era fireworks. He pays credit to statesmen from all sides of the issues of Sewards time who are worthy. Sewards doings after his career was over are quite interesting considering he had about as miserable a time of it with losing kinfolk as Roy Orbison.

Ok, I know few will argue with me here on the need to pick up “The importance of being Ernest” a loving tribute bio of Jim Varney by a Nephew. It’s a damn hard book to put down…“know wud uh mean?” We Irwins have spent hundreds of hours watching Varney’s commercial collections, his films and his old Saturday morning kids show. Yes, I loved him as Jed Clampett too. The author ( Justin Lloyd ) knows his subject from the closeness of a family member, but he has pursued and notated in the back pages interviews with the appropriate authorities who were on the scene throughout Jim’s life. If you pick the same deal I did on, you might get your copy in 2 frigging days like I did. This is a slamdunk must have read. Book of the year..hell the decade so far. Urrp.

04/18/14 Welcome class today I'd like to rant about a Facebook phenomena that alternately seems to piss people off or confuse them. Though the perps would like folks to think they are doing something new, sassy and dangerous, they actually are reworking a bit that not only I have used over the years , it could be said that large numbers of cynics and scallywags from my generation have also utilized. 

Incidentally for you new readers to this re-launched diary, I will reaffirm my position as being a member of what I refer to as "the Sex Pistol's generation." Anti-hippie, small in numbers, more creative than any other generation in recent memory. I'm referring to the overworked rash of phony Facebook news post. Eighty percent of these seem to be pointless false obituaries of random celebrities.

OK, it was funny the first few times. They fooled a large number of people. This false death report bit dates back to the early days of radio really. They like you to think of course they are doing something witty and original. Sad to say, they have beaten this shtick to death. They are neither witty nor amusing. Is their point to educate folks on the gullibility and naivety of humanoids?

Humpin' jumpin' Jesus, I've been making this point in columns and diary entries and drunken public rants for many years now. Almost without exception each time I have done so, it has been a classic, top notch, piece of cleverness. By pointing out the masses idiocy, they are echoing my thesis statement on humanity. I wish I could get royalties when some of these copycats perpetrates another "yawn" hoax.

Hopefully a few large checks will be forthcoming. Until that day, come up with something of your own, representing your own generation for once. At this point, hoax deaths outnumber legit death reports on Facebook. To you loyal Rebel-Roos out there, I suggest y'all not fall for this is sort of over worked bilge like so many of the normal people do. In a nutshell don't believe a goddamn word of it. Learn to do simple accurate research. Dismissed.  


                Welcome to the latest goddamn re-launch of this diary. My Wife has sweated her damn ass  off working with the help of tech people so that we could save this site from death. The concept of a diary must pre-date even the frigging Romans, but this one was inspired by a couple I saw on-line way back the fuck when 13 years ago, in the days evidently before 01/31/2001, when the first entry was posted. Bill Nelson’s diary froze into oblivion a few years ago, but Robert Fripp’s is still going so I am told. 

Even though I am well aware that there are some really clever entries herein, I also recognize that plenty of them just plain suck or are repetitive without creative cause. I’m well aware of my original goals for starting this damn thing, to have an outlet and try to establish what academic writing instructors call a “voice”. The first few years it’s obvious I needed to drink to find a way to let er rip, but I since have overcome that. I’m not criticizing writers who need to have a few blasts or go sniff an exhaust pipe for inspiration before tickling the key’s, it just seemed to me to be excess baggage.

 A few years after starting this diary up I went back to finish my “4 year” degree and was glad I wasn’t hobbled by having to drink and write in exams. I took a couple significant writing courses at the hallowed halls of my now alma mater that showed me the “right way” to
actually punctuate and not use offensive ALL CAPS and all that sort of standard shit. We chose when editing my subsequent books not to make a silly amount of changes in stuff I wrote way back when, to leave it as it was laid down. The fiction piece I’m about 100 pages into as of this date is pretty well punctuated enough to fit the needs of classically trained nitpickers.  I’m not straining myself, it just seems natural now. 

I not only don’t need to drink to write these days, I don’t aim to very often. I know what has to be done and will go peacefully to a quiet room at a library, sober as that sourpuss twat Carry Nation. My degree (cum laude) in history was accomplished in spite of all the obstacles that used to make me quit. I had to suffer often, but with age I have learned to view it as grist for the mill creatively.
When things really suck, I can try to trudge through knowing I’m gonna be able to write about it. This is possible because of this diary, where I learned to find that creepy inner voice. I’m rarely at a loss for words now and writers block can kiss my ass. 

I can’t write about my current government job, but I can say that my work there is intellectually so far beyond that of the jobs I wrote about in my first book, I shake my head in my cubicle sometimes thinking back. I’m in my mid 50’s, but my chess game and writing skills and work brain are all way up in the damn sky looking down at you in your ignorance and flatulence, plopped down there in yer kids wading pool gargling diet beers, cheap ones.  My potential has just recently been tapped into, but I’m still the same guy, I wear sweatpants and crappy t-shirts to work and recognize my own eccentricity is matched by many of my co-workers. I should
have found a way to work with the smart, offbeat at times people years ago. I’m really a late goddamn bloomer. What the hell. I’m glad that I keep getting better looking too; damn, I’m looking hot tonight as I sit here. Welcome.  


Dear diary, I have a confession to make; might as well make it a public thing. Take a nip off of your drinks readers and prepare for something twisted. It has to do with my listening habits in the car during my commute time this season. Last season I listened to Howard on my Sirius radio for 10 months straight. He started to kind of bother me with a sort of series of bitchy, prudish anti drinking hogwash spiels though. I found myself in January going from channel to channel in search of some sort of distracting dialogue.

Where did I find it? Holy shit friends and neighbors, I'm hooked to frigging Dr. Laura!! For real. Now as someone seeking refuge from a show that was getting too preachy about drinking, you may be asking why in the hell I'd wind up listening to that old prune-bag. First off, bear in mind I listen mostly for distraction and not entertainment. I listen to cd's and music channels on Sirius frequently, but it can get repetitive in its way, you can get in a rut listening to even the best music. Also, remember now I don't listen to or read things just to agree with the slant taken. When traveling we listen to just about any talkhost we can tune in. Those of you who are afraid that the hosts you hate might win you over are fucking wimps in our view. Pew!!! You partisan monkey see monkey do cowards would hate riding with with us.

We'll listen to the whole range, from NPR to Limbaugh, from Michael Savage to what have you. So, maybe you can dig why I wound up listening to Dr. Laura in the first place. Did you know there was a suit involving her and Howard many years ago? Go look it up, that's yer homework. Dr. Laura does 2 things that really amuse me. 1) Some callers get about 5 seconds into explaining their situation and she shouts them down, demanding that they do something drastic like file papers for divorce based only on that little preliminary data!? Huh. If they ask for further clarification she sometimes hangs up on them saying she's not going to repeat herself. It makes me laugh, whether she's just providing entertainment by being such a witch or whether she's really crackers. 2) She drives me ape, thus keeping me awake and engaged with some of her snap judgments concerning her phone in callers. Somebody will call in and start explaining their troubles in a way she doesn't like and she'll start badgering them to say something in a certain way, to assume some tone of voice that will please her, to repeat one of her clichés for example ("I am my kids Mom!").

It's easy for me to get a chuckle at some radio shrink, I am incapable of taking advice from any sort of therapist or psychologist or member of the clergy. I've never found any sort of human source of advice or religion or head-shrinking that could convince me for 2 minutes throughout my life. I'm immune from it. So, I can play with it and have fun and kill some time. I can only listen to so much goddamn music in a day or a week. Go ahead and give her show a try if you're sick of Howard; just don't start listening to her advice seriously, it's ok maybe half of the time and completely bonkers the rest of the hour. UUrrp.


This diary is going to receive an update in the near future, if that has any credibility anymore with any of you. The current problem is a snafu with our current server. We're going to maintain this address and switch to a more user friendly soft wear I can access from our pc's instead of a crusty old mac. It may not seem like it, but it kills me at times to see this diary neglected. We have a way around here of sparking back up things that have died down to dull embers. Bad junior high school level analogy, eh?

My work season has started again, at the job I can't write about, which you may contact me personally to discuss. I can relate that last year was my most prosperous as a wage earner, even though it is rather disappointing from the standpoint of the upper middle class, like most of your daily gigs as providers. I'm sure I draw mostly bad seeds and bad providers here, with some notable exceptions. It is a very, very brainy computer job which hopefully will keep my noggin humming to stave off dementia. When I'm at work I need to think nice thoughts to keep myself productive. I can't exactly do the Sunday NY Times crossword on my breaks. I sometimes do a few chess problems when a tournament is approaching. Mostly I focus on those twin demon subjects I restrict myself from dwelling on here, the cats and my cute, gifted Grandson. Either are very fun for me to relate about to others in detail, but are just too easy.
Yes, I am guilty of gazing at pictures of the cats and Hank at work, what a clod am I? What a soft, flabby wimp of a man, shouldn't I be planning an assault on our lawn like most folks my age of both sexes? I may be getting sort of normal in some ways with age, but in others you may relax and know my stubbornness and honest boredom keep me from slipping. I haven't the slightest interest in the most exotic shrub. I consider the $$$ we pay to a yard service to mow our grass one of our expenditures almost as necessary as things like bread, milk and television.

Yeah, I've read a few mainstream suspense books from the best seller list determined by normal humanoids, but you won't catch me doing anything in our backyard after work or before but swimming, drinking or loafing. You likewise won't catch me yakking over the fence with neighbors; I'm still proud to say I have avoided their polite waves on occasion. I'm good at pretending I don't see them, faking ignorance or obliviousness, but you all know I'm like a tiger when I walk out of doors, tuned in to vibrations and jungle jive. Yeah, house with a pool and a job commute, you'd think I'm finally morphing into Ward Cleaver, hah! I work nightshift and dress as casually as most of you when taking your trash to the city dump or doing the yardwork I despise. I listen to classical music sometimes on headphones while actually working, but it's stuff like Venom and Radio Birdman and the Stranglers and Sirius underground garage while commuting.

Yeah, I'm a proud Grandpa, but I'm nothing like yours! I might be your parents age, but that's where the resemblance ends. No, I don't consider myself superior to them, just one of the wackiest blends of political thoughts and social mores they will ever encounter. I'm a lone wolf most days of my life, even at chess events. I do come home to the guys, the cats. They are rarely too busy to wake up and follow me around the house. I really enjoy their wacky, demented relationship. Ass licking for affection, followed by fur ripping fights. I get along good with my Grandson. He's known who I am for a long time already. I don't seem to creep him out. When I visit his home he leads me by hand into his room to display his latest endeavor and kick, be it violent bowling with plastic pins or baseball gyrations, done with strength and promise. I love it when he starts dancing spontaneously to something he see's or hears. I can't write about it, it would kill this diary. Even cool thoughts such as how it would be dandy to survive to shoot pool with him and his Dad in a bar ( my goal as a Father which I attained ). It's not that far off, I think about it and have his picture posing with me at work in a prominent place, but need to focus on other stuff here. I've made that point here; I do so every couple years. Yes, I am guilty of a work ethic and a love of heavy history biography's that are difficult to hold up to read after an 8 hour tango with a computer and I love my kitty's and would vomit if forced to watch football or any college sport with your male relatives and they in turn would heave if they had to listen to the sick, vile music I commute to. There are a jillion Grandkid friendly blogs to be found. This won't be turning into one, although I don't mind revealing my sweet side occasionally.

12-29-13 I haven't had much of a chess tournament here at the North American Open in vegas. We've had a great time and all, but the chess games were fun and worthy but the results didn't swing my way much. I have to record for posterity the doings in the last round. I wound up paired with another 9 year old. No big deal anymore.

Over the years I've had to face the question of quitting the game or blotting the little trolls out of my mind at the board. My results have improved against the 8-14 year olds. The thing that burns me a bit still about them is the fact that whereas they always have supportive family folks with them and without exception a hired trainer chess wise, I've never been able to afford a lesson in my life. My Frau helps a great deal in many ways, but it's just different having a staff of people waiting on you and your lovable spouse. My opponent on this occasion was backed by a mother, father and indeed a chess coach.

Some of the kids barely talk to me, but this kid was extroverted as hell. After the taking of the usual exploitation "beauty vs. beast" pic, we got the game started. You don't need to know even the rules of chess to follow this, but be aware of the fact that you can either win, lose or draw a game. The kid kept bashing out his pieces with sound effects, superfast, imitating some silly jive from chess movies like searching for bobby fischer. In 99 percent of games between adults play is polite and quiet. Silence is mandatory in the playing hall; shit 700 people or so played at a time.

My troubles began when I sacrificed a little bitty pawn in the opening to circumvent any notions of his attacking my king. We went into an endgame with him that slight bit of material ahead, which is serious enough amongst players our level, but considering how he was clearly impatient and wanted to get it over fast I chose to slow things down and bore him to death. That's a common adult vs. kid strategy. It's worked for me sometimes in the past. Gradually material disappeared from the board. As the game progressed the boy kept trying to psych me with a routine of noises. Slamming pieces down, chattering to himself and slowly unscrewing the lid to a Gatoraide bottle and then gulping it loudly. This behavior is really pretty rare. I don't know who is responsible for the kid being so unsportsmanlike. If I had wanted to I could have talked to a tournament official about him, but shit. It would look like sour grapes a big boy like me a goddamn monster being so sensitive about an "innocent" little brat.

I took 3 significant breaks from the board to try to bore him, but still couldn't make up that dangerous pawn down difference. After my last little walk away from the board I resolved to just be a sportsman and try my best to provide dangerous opposition and lose if I must. You know, I may be a creep and hang out with the dregs of society, but I'm a real square Joe when it comes to chess, an ambassador for the goddamn game.

The kid kept acting as cocky as any player I've ever faced in my lengthy almost lifelong career. He was sure as shit he was gonna put me away. I kept thinking my moves over carefully, still poised for a mistake. He was frequently still making instant moves which is a bad move, even for damn strong masters. We arrived at the last phase of the game with just our kings and a few pawns left, he had 5 and I had 4. Finally, the little bastard cracked. 3 of his pawns faced 2 of mine and needed to over power them, but he arranged them in a moronic, cocky and thoughtless way, knotting up the board.

We were left with kings facing each other chasing each other back and forth unable to make any progress. Suddenly, the kids cockyness disappeared. He stared a the board for 10 minutes his expression one of shock and awe. We moved our kings back and forth a couple more times, but it was obvious to both of us that the game was going to be a draw. Falling etiquette norms I offered him a draw, which he fucking had the gall to refuse! I waited at the board gazing now and then at the games on either side of us. What the hell was he going to do? If he did anything other than accept the draw he would now lose thanks to my veteran savy and stubborn willingness to persevere.

Suddenly, he started goddamn crying!!! 30 seconds later, he was still sobbing. 3 minutes of crying and he was annoying the other players a bit, embarassing them, but still he kept at it. I timed him with our chess clock and he cried for a full 8 minutes!! Finally he stuck his hand out and we officially drew the game. His help squad stood near mutely. I called my son El about it later. This was a bizarre but very memorable game. I not only saved myself from a defeat, but I'm damn sure I'll save more over the coming years using this game as a mental prod. UUrrrppp. Fuck!! Crying for 8 minutes in the tournament hall?!?!? I cried as a kid over my first adult tournament losses, but outdoors a block away. Shit. Elvis thinks it's possible this might be a case where the kid might learn a lesson and come up to me at some event down the road in coming years to apologize. We'll see.


I have a real short fuse these days when it comes to those eager communications experts who think that their buzzword oriented lingo has some sort of actual value. Yunno, all the catch phrases that a minority of office workers actually in practice use. Remember "let's network" and "do the math" and my favorite "throwing somebody under the bus". Ok, I know there are at least a couple of my valued relations with communicatons degrees, but I can't hold back even out of respect to them. Ever had anybody walk up to you and just hock a wad of spit in yer face? That's what I feel like when some jackass "human resources" type at work ( not my current job ) sends a communication to a large group of workers loaded with phrases that harken me back to the ordeal I had to survive to get my degree, a Communications 101 class. It was all talk about talk; content mattered not..and the kids in the class sucked that shit up like it really matters.

The truth is, it does matter if you work for some trendy dot com employer or maybe a public relations firm or ad agency. Most jobs use traditional language, period. Why don't these fucks ever mention this? Offices are ruled by people many years out of school for the most part. The communicunts ( my new buzzword! ) assume that life imitates college..huh!! Balls to that. The trendy little pieces on and other forums of mass idiocy would have you think that the key to having a great career is having some young and hip and cool job. Fact is, once you're past 30 or so you look ridiculous using juvenile, trendy buzzwords. What positive purposes has all this bullshit talk about talk been used for?

The only uses the chic words and phrases I have experienced have been words used to shut down somebody who is making some good solid demands of bosses. "Take a deep breath" they say as the employee pounds his fist harmlessly on the table to point out a way in which he (or she!) is getting screwed, or a way management has been fucking things up. If they have their way, you can be making brilliant points they should be paying heed to, but they will just shush you with jargon about "anger issues" or a need for multi-clusterfuck dialogue. Communicunts work as public relations experts for politicians; this is the breed of puke who conducts study's to see which words offend potential voters so they can purify some lying career politico's spiels. What a noble cause, eh? This is what we need less of.

One of the communications mantra's is a need for straight talk, plain language, but they spring on the unsuspecting a trendy system of baloney and buzzwords they've never heard to eliminate just that. When I hear of some well intentioned relative obtaining a degree in this b.s. I get a pain in my gut. They've been coached and brainwashed into thinking the world is like that out there, 20 somethings using college-speak. Well, it's no coincidence that some of the communicunts I have known over the years have wound up going to D.C. as "interns" (another bs term referred to young fools conned into working for free). Risk Management units for corporations will hire them and of course those super ethical lobbying groups.

Of course these kids won't listen to your horror story's if you try to wise them up. I don't meddle, only sniff around the situation. Incidentally, a close relative of mine teaches high school Comm 101 classes occasionally. Happily there is a world of difference. Plenty of the younger kids have trouble with even the very basic shit we all actually should know about communicating, looking a job interviewer in the eye, reading the nonverbal message you get from a date's father glaring at you with hands folded across his chest. The simple framework of the subject is ok, it's just been bastardized horribly by p.c. types since the 60's hippie generation came into power. As a master salesman and an attendee at evangelical sermons for most of my childhood I can guarantee you I know how to communicate effectively as they say. As a graduate myself in the field of History I can cite 2 groovy governments from the 20th century that likewise bent over backwards to develop new words and phrases "for the people"; 1) Nazi Germany and 2) the Soviet Union from Lenin and Trotsky right up to the end. Both regimes would attempt to deal with angry populaces by creating alleged programs with catchy titles to pretend to solve problems that caused millions to starve or rat out their neighbors. Communicunts can kiss thee Whiskey Rebel's ass!!!

First off, let me remind you all that I'm a serious capitalist. I'm critical of some of the obsessive behavior of humanoids out there in this entry, but I'm not suggesting we establish more laws to try to downplay the collective insanity of a percentage of fellow species members here in the USA. It's about midnight between Thanksgiving and black Friday and the ugly retail behavior is already being reported. My Frau and I both have retail experience dating back to the 70's.

We agree that even though the media is able to make it seem like crowds and deals are hitting some sort of new heights, honestly they warned me about morons in 1975 at my first retail "black Friday" at Sears. More people than usual gathered out in front of the doors of our mall store. The mood of the folks who were in to collect the big savings on advertised specials were of two mindsets. About half were giddy and happy; the other half seemed dragged there by spouses or cynical and crabby.

My last retail job was at Tower records in Philly. The hysteria was ramped up a notch or two, but not fundamentally different. I've given the question of "who the hell camps out or gets there early to stores for black Friday" a great deal of thought. I think the whole deal is cooked up by the stores to try to get attention, try to get the early $$$ early shoppers with little else to do in their lives have to spend. If you have the time on your hands to try to save a few bucks, more power to you.

If you're camping out in the parking lot, whoah! You've crossed the line. I'm not surprised if 1) you trample old farts in your path when the doors open 2) the deals and savings don't materialize and you freak out 3) you wind up getting bait and switched into buying other goods, which the retail pro's are convinced they can con most of you into doing. FINE!! I love capitalism. Don't pass laws to keep stores closed. Regardless of what you hear about labor laws and holidays and compensation for retail workers, it's probably wrong. Retail pay laws differ from State to State. If a retailer wants you to work a holiday, you're gonnna...or find a new job, or maybe not get it in the first place if you seem picky about working those days in your interview.

I don't think that's so bad. I've been there over the years working for many retailers and I can guaran-damn-tee you that poor beleagured walmart employees have it one helluva lot better than the huge number of folks working for mom and pop stores who have less rules to follow and nobody to put the spotlight on their slavedriver practices. The attention gets put on the "big box" stores by union advocates. What do they care about mom and pop screwing their handful of employees? They need to garner media attention and raise hell at large employers. Hey, I belong to a union and wear the T-shirts at work to advertise it, but I always feared the idea of the retailers I worked for going union. I was a really, really great retail salesman. I made bucketloads of commision sales. Unions would have just made my talents benefit the lazy fucks who couldn't sell shit. If I get a job at a coalmine or picking fruit, I'll hope there's a union to protect me and join it. Retail unions are for the weak.

Anywho, back to black Friday. I'm a better person for having worked retail jobs on hysterical days. All this stewing over evil retailers ruining holidays is just a load of spew. If your family's thanksgiving table was minus a couple of thrill seekers who think they have the time to kill in front of some store for days, or have more reasonable folks who leave the family day early to take position at the malldoors at 4:00 am, well so be it. It's probably not that much fucking fun being around most of y'alls relatives to be truthful. It just means there's more food for the rest of you and that the tongue waggers in your clan can start gossiping about the ones not there sooner!

It's a whole lot of hubbub and flim flam about nothing new in my book. The only things I'd consider doing on a bellyfull of turkey is seeing a great musical act (we've seen Wayne Hancock a couple times on T-giving night) or more likely attending a wrestling card. That I completely endorse! Since when does anybody really, truly give a flying fuck about the rights and comforts of retail workers? Nobody ever came to my rescue when I worked for the shittiest retailer in the world for 3 damn years! Yeah, the Shack. If you don't know about that, plug plug. It's time to order my book "Jobjumper" where 25 years of my shitty jobs are covered in depth. Hey! That's my own crass commercialism at work. Turning a free as air diary entry into a book plug. Urrpppp.

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