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Friday, November 20, 2015

Disneyland: an Appreciation

It seems like I’ve been going to Disneyland my entire life. And that’s because I have.

And my delight upon experiencing it as a child only gave way to my wonder upon seeing it as an adult which has become a sincere appreciation of being there as a grizzled old silverback.

I was lucky enough to grow up in Orange County. No, wait: I HATED living in 500 square miles of housing tracts, strip malls and business parks. A metropolis so deeply, lobotomically Republican that I didn’t even know there WAS a two-party system until I went off to college.

There were precious few escapes when you grew up behind the Orange Curtain. Surfing was about the only thing that held a hint of the Wilds of Nature that had been bulldozed to make more Leisure Worlds. But we alone had this…..oasis of Thrills, Fantasy and Fun right in our backyards.

Friday, November 6, 2015


I recently had a camera shoved up my butt. And no, it wasn’t your typical Saturday night at the Power Exchange Kink Club up in the city.

See, I turned 50 last year. And when I went in for my annual physical my Doctor said: “Happy Birthday!” And then he just smiled and smiled and smiled.

Yes, it was time for a visual tour of the alimentary canal.
Oh boy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Run By The Sea 4K: Sign, Sign, Everywhere there isn't a sign

Nobody likes to be told what to do. But everybody appreciates knowing what’s going on and where to go to get what you need. 

So, if you are putting on a running race, have someone knowledgeable on hand to direct the peoples. Or better yet! SHOW the nice people where to go via a handy new invention that just came on the market:

The Sign.

Its this amazing technology, perfected by professionals and yet accessible by almost anyone who is in a position where they need to remotely inform other hu-mans of where something is.

The Sign: Just set it, and forget it!

Ah, but in this case the Run By The Sea race got it backwards: They first forgot to make the signs, and then........that was it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Travels with Krispy and Noddy (And Karen!), Days 7 and 8: Game, Set and Match

Friday, the 13th of March, 2015. Not Thursday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday,  Sunday or Saturday.

I awoke in a Motel 6. This is not a Charles Bukowski short story or a Tom Waits lyric. Its just a motel, albeit one that is cheaper and uglier and surlier than most.

Still, I was thankful that I did not awake in the bathtub full of ice, with a badly stitched incision in my side. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Travels with Krispy and Noddy (And Karen!), Day 6: From the Depths to the Heights to the Depths

Thursday, March 12th, 2015. (You might want to journey back in time to Saturday, March 7th, if you are a newcomer to this road trip.)

We awoke in the Grand Canyon. Well, not IN the canyon, but in the sprawling village along its South Rim. Karen had never seen the GC, and I hadn't seen it since the 1980's (when it was brand new), so this was going to be a treat.

We checked out of the incredibly-expensive-and-yet-drab motel and drove to the Main Visitors Center on a cold and cloudy morning. We found some breakfast at Bright Angel Bicycle rentals, which a breakfast bought at a bike store. 

And then it was a short walk out to Mather Point, on wide, empty, disneyesque pathways. Man, how many people does this place get per year? Well, in 2014, let's see, 4,500,000 visited Grand Canyon National Park. 3,000,000 paid a visit to Magic Mountain. So the Big Ditch absorbs half-as-many-again as the super-popular amusement park. Wow.

And all you can really do here is stand and look at a big hole in the ground.

But oh my, what a view.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Travels with Krispy and Noddy (And Karen!), Day 5: Adventure at the Edge of the Future.

I awoke at exactly 6am on Wednesday in the Miss Kitty Room of the Strater
Hotel. What woke me up? Well, I've heard a lot of strange and wonderful sounds in hotels over the years, but having your room right next to a busy railroad yard is by far the loudest coupling I have ever heard.


Okay, I'm up - I'm up! Geezooks, you didn't have to slam two goddamned trains together. I used the Emergency Escape Pile of clothing and stumbled down to the lobby, not sure whether I was in the Luxor, the Inca Inn, the Hampton Inn, or, oh yeah, I'm at the Bella Union from Deadwood. Cool. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Travels with Krispy and Noddy (And Karen!), Day 4: Colorado is very high

Ah, but enough of these flashy CASINOS, gorgeous SCENERY, and epic 
HIKES: We've got a job to do!

Or, rather, I have a job to do. I used my escape pile of clothing by the motel door and left Admiral Karen to slumber through the sunrise. I drove the minivan across Grand Junction, fully comfortable in this strange little city after all the weeks I spent here last year. 

I turned on the Sirius radio thingie in the center touchscreen console and whoa! Things had changed! Now I heard "Lola", "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys", and 70's Who ("Love Reign O'r Me") - the three songs were in a completely different order than all the other times we had heard them. My world was shaken to its core.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Travels with Krispy and Noddy (And Karen!), Day 3: Arches National Park

After polishing off 1,000 miles in the first two days, it was time for a break. 113 miles, less than two hours - by far the 'easiest' day. But that doesn't mean there wouldn't be challenges.

Like the craziest 1.5 miles of the entire road trip.

We awoke at 7:30am, after sleeping for 9.5 hours. Utah really takes it out of you.

We were on the road early because this morning we were re-visiting one of our favorite places: Arches National Park. This would be my 4th trip there, and Karen's 2nd, and we already had plans to return again at some point, and camp for a few nights. Its a magical place.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Travels with Krispy and Noddy (And Karen!), Day 2: The Long Way Across Utah!

Day 2: Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Up at 5am - no, it's 6am. Stupid daylight savings time. Newsflash, America: The cows don’t give a pasture pastry what the clock says. Putting the entire country through mild jet lag for a week is not helping anyones - or anythings - productivity.

But, whatever (whenever) I am up and at my favorite place in Vegas - the last spot at a busy blackjack table. The three people to my right have been up all night, drinking and smoking like there’s no tomorrow. But there is a tomorrow (except for their bank accounts), and its here, now. 

Roy and Daisy and Jennifer are proclaiming after every losing hand that “this ish the lash hand for meesh.” But win or lose their stupid hands keep putting more chips in the circle and pulling more cash from their slim wallets.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Travels with Krispy and Noddy (And Karen!), Day 1: To Vegas!

Dramatis personæ: 
  • Krispy, the frog: Purchased at a Thriftymart immediately before our first roadtrip, back in 2001. Named after our first stop on that trip, to get doughnuts. Krispy is pretty much always excited.
  • Noddy, the Dinosaur: Purchased in 2014 at the gift shop of Dinosaur Journey in Fruita, Colorado. He was in the discount bin because one of his legs is fucked up. Named after his peculiar trait of perpetually nodding his head when the car is moving, due to his long, horizontal neck. Noddy is ever agreeable.
  • Admiral Karen, the wife: Met at a bardic evening back in 2000, pursued for the next year. Nicknamed ‘Admiral’ since her hilarious and violent swordfight at our wedding in 2006. Karen is always up for a weird and wild adventure, especially if sports are involved.
  • Angus, the bard: Note-taker and co-driver.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Pantheacon, 2015: Sunday

Sunday. Sunday? Yeah, this is Sunday. The last full day of Pantheacon.
My big show was SATURDAY, and the panel I moderated was FRIDAY, so my work here is done. Time to get out and enjoy myself, responsibility-free.

Admiral Karen and I had breakfast at Cafe Ho-Hum, taking advantage of their legendary inattention to double up on the buffet and just pay for one.
I figure by this time I have sufficient Frequent Indigestion Miles for them to comp me a bowl of lumpy (and yet somehow also soupy) oatmeal for my bride.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pantheacon, 2015: Saturday

I woke with the dawn, as always, feeling not as good as THURSDAY or FRIDAY, but
darned decent for 'lets-call-it-5-hours-of-sleep'.

I had breakfast at Cafe Ho-Hum with James and Anne, who were still a big googley-eyed after their first full day on Pconitude.
9am found me at "Protecting with the Sidhe" which I was interested in, but when I saw that the presenter was wearing spike heel boots, had a dykey flip haircut AND an Irish accent, I was suddenly paying SUPERCLOSE attention.
Lora O'Brien proved to be as brainy as she was beautiful, presenting a refreshingly practical, no-nonsense approach to keeping the Fey on your side, illustrating her bestiary with several entertaining stories that pointed up the do's and don'ts of working with the Others.