Friday, September 29, 2006

No Need for Altruism...

I learned something about myself today. I took some psycho-analysis a few weeks back and had a two hour call regarding it today. I learned that I am fun, want recognition, intuitive, friendly, aspire to lead and can lead others well, artistic (explains the whole music thing), self-assured and think quickly. I am a traditionalist. But that all gets me into trouble and I am blunt, but we already knew that.


I scored extremely low in altruism. Which I find weird. Let Webster's explain:

"Main Entry: al·tru·ism
Pronunciation: 'al-trĂ¼-"i-z&m
Etymology: French altruisme, from autrui other people, from Old French, oblique case form of autre other, from Latin alter
1 : unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others"

Yeah, apparently this is not me. Supposedly if you are not my friend, nor can't help me in any way, I have a "Screw you" attitude. Which explains me running to the Hummer last night while getting a burger to avoid the pan handler who'd just take the money I could potentially have given him, to the liquor store to by a pint of Mad Dog 20/20.

Forget the fact, I donated to Katrina Victims and the Tsunami. Those people don't count I guess. Even all those clothes we specifically donated down there.

Nor, do I believe in the death penalty. I have written about this many times, the OJ acquital is why I am against it, no matter how sick and twisted the individual is or appears to be... We're always hearing about "new evidence" and dudes being let free after 20 some odd years ("Here comes the story of the Hurricane...") after we found out they didn't do it.

I mean, I scored in the 10th percentile in altruism. Maybe it's because I think every homeless person should just get a job or people shouldn't have kids if they are on drugs or can't afford them. I mean, seriously, people should take responsibility for their own actions if they get into trouble. I don't like government handouts... I don't like taxes that give money to lost causes. Handouts are a cottage industry.... we give employment to social workers to just help people... Not for me I guess.

It's all very interesting...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Giant Turtle Invades Sacramento!!!

A photo taken of the turtle, standing nearly as tall as the flower pot behind him, some two feet tall!!! Note his massive physique!

A giant turtle was nearly struck by on coming traffic this afternoon as it walked down the middle of a busy street. A local Sacramento Woman, and reptile samaritan, got out of her "Turtle Rescue Humvee", stopped traffic and rescued the large reptile before some serious damage was caused.

"We were lucky today that the lady with the H3 showed up," a witness on scene told reporters, "Somebody could have gotten hurt! What would we do without those massive vehicles."

She was able to transport the beast, affectionately known as "Charles the Turtle", to the holding facility located at her home until "Reptile Rescue" could arrive on scene to care for the beast.

More photos below.

Bone crushing feet pummeled the black top!

With gaping jaws and bald head, "Charles the Turtle" was ready to strike in his holding pen.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Steve Pimps Some Beer Now...

My work duties, doing what I do to make money, brought me to the northwest corner of California, to Eureka. Why? Because it's there and I have one solitary customer that needs to be seen once in a blue moon. (Which as you know occurs when the Moon is full twice in a calender month, but I ain't into that hippy tree-hugging Zodiac loving crap)

And when in Eureka, you must drink beer because there is nothing else to do. Well, that is, if you are a conservative Republican Hummer driving, IKEA shopping, Capitalist, like me. Afterall it is Humboldt Country, I am sure if I were a liberal, I'd identify with the locals at some soup kitchen line, feeding the poor, on my spare time, that is if I wasn't smoking pot in my dorm room, as a career student. OK... enough liberal bashing and back to the beer...

When you go to Eureka, you have to stop at the Lost Coast Brewery downtown. It is a cool little brewery with some outstanding beer. They are well known in Northern California for their Downtown Brown Ale as it can be found around various bars and taverns.

I entered the brewery after getting to town and situated in my hotel room. It was packed and I was hungry and unfortunately I was by myself, so I had to get a table for "just one?". I sat down, I scoped the room to see what people were drinking and my waitress comes and asks which beer I wanted. "All of them." I said, "including the Seasonal brews." She goes, "The sampler?" Yeah... lay it on me.

So here I am thinking I am gonna get 5 or 6 tastes. Out comes 10, 6 ounce glasses in a little Sushi-like wooden tray. I also got a tasting map. Great... I then motioned to the waitress for one of those big pretzels with all the mustards, using my best "deaf" hands motion. And well.. I got to drinking. I went light to dark instead of following the map. So here's the review, numbers correalate to the map, the order here is how I drunk them:

1. Lost Coast Wheat, a typical Hefeweissen brew. Pretty delicate. Not too much of a"beer" taste. Good if it ever got warm in Eureka. It's foggy 360 days a year. Today was one of the five it wasn't foggy... it was windy!!!

8. Great White, from the map "made with two-row malted barley, unmalted wheat, a secret blend of Humboldt Herbs and Ale Yeast". Humboldt Herbs? I picture in my mind some dudes in a faded orange 1979 Toyota 4X4 pickup, who look like the dudes from Phish, "farming" in the middle of the Redwoods. Whatever. Great White is tasty and refreshing. Nice set up to drink the Wheat beer first and go to this. Had a lager type taste. Good stuff.

2. Pale Ale, a slight hoppy finish but well balanced. I enjoyed it but at this point, I noticed I am sitting in the middle of this brewery, all by myself, with a tray beers everyone in the place wished they ordered instead. Way to mark myself, just sitting here with my tray of beers... I couldn't tell if people were feeling sorry for me but I explained enough times that I was from out of town, walked to the brewery and yes, I had been there before. Good times...

10. Tangerine Wheat, at this point I noticed I went "out of order" in my light to dark route I was taking to the mighty stout. This beer was the lightest!! Tangerine Wheat... hmmm... at first taste, I swear I felt like I was at my Grandmother's old house in San Jose with the huge Tangerine tree in front. Tasted like that that front yard smelled, which to me... a guy who hates "foo foo" beer, pretty damn good. I could conceivably drink that all night and still be proud of my manhood (liking women still too). Good times...

5. Apricot Wheat, total chick "foo foo" beer. Avoid if you want to escape with your manhood or if you are guy who likes women that doesn't want to be mistaken for liking men. ... not that there is anything wrong with it.

9. Indica IPA, finally... the one I wanted to taste when I saw the list. I am an IPA man, after the stouts of course. Well, after the whiskey, then the wine, the stouts and then comes the IPA. I liked this one because it was an IPA-taste without a, "Hello, I am trying to be a hoppy tasting beer". About here is where the buzz is coming on nice. I avoid beef when I order and go Vegetarian for dinner, which for me, is a Caesar's Salad. About the IPA, on the map it says "Highly Hopped Strong Ale in the style of the early 9th Century beers making the sea voyage from Great Britain to India." I became puzzled because that is such a miss print. In the 9th Century Britain, surely wasn't great, after coming out of rule from the Romans, Celts and Gauls. I think they meant the 19th Century when the Brits were on the roll, setting the middle east up for us here in the 21st Century. Yeah, colonialism brings great beer. Can't wait to taste Baghdad Ale or Kurdistan "Black Gold" Stout.

3. Alley Cat Amber, a decent red beer. I think... I was almost fully buzzed because I hadn't eaten all day and had just digested the pretzel and was gnawing on the Caesar's Salad still. I bought the T-Shirt for this beer for my sister in law because she reminds me of a Cat.

4. Downtown Brown, the world's best brown ale. Kicks the living hell out of Newcastle. Taste this beer and you'll say, "Newcastle Beer sucks!" Smooth, on smooth, brown ale. Tastes like Guinness, goes down like a pale ale. Nice.

6. Raspberry Brown, apparently the geniuses that run Lost Coast had a few too many Downtowns the night they decided to dump raspberries into the world's best brown ale. Or maybe it was the "Secret Humboldt Herb" or something. Fully-hated this beer, I wanted to yack so bad but I manned up and finished it. Ordered the Bread Pudding for desert at this point because I was buzzed. Not good... because...

7. 8-Ball Stout, so here I was at 54 ounces of beer in less than say, oh 45 minutes and I am holding "Big Papi". The Oatmeal Stout. I called it "Big Papi" because ESPN was showing highlights of David Ortiz's 51st and 52nd homers. Not because the beer was dark. Oh no! This beer is robust! Full... creamy. Loaded with roasted malt goodness every 30 something needs. Ordered a pint when I downed this sucker, forgetting I had orded Bread Pudding. I became full because the Caesar's salad was expanding at an ever growing pace in my gut. Good times...

So there you have it. The Fall Selection of beers from the Lost Coast Brewery, in Eureka, California.

I wrote this post to get my street cred back with Tom, since he dropped the whole port fiasco in the comment section in my wine post! Irishmen...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


On the verge of snapping this morning. I dodged many of bullets this week like actually sitting on a jury trial and wasting a week serving my "civic duty".

So I am sitting here having lunch, and I am just totally f-ing pissed about Hugo Chavez. Forget the whole Democrat/Republican thing, or whether you ride up on people driving Hummers and chastize them for using gas, or if you are Pro- or Anti-War. Who does this idiot think he is coming to America, standing up before the UN and calling an American President the Devil. My God! I feeling like burning his country's flag in street but I won't because I am civilized. I feel like fire-bombing the Venezuelan embassy but I won't because I am civilized. Yeah because I am civilized, I'll just write a blog post about it and that will be that. Who does this guy think he is? We should capture him, put him on a plane, and send his ass back the South America. Over... done! Except tomorrow he's gonna tour Brooklyn with one of the Kennedys. Is this really happening? Is this for real? Are we actually going to let this man see how freedom is supposed to work? Are there some politicians that support this guy? If it's not Bush then it's some other American President. The next American President will still be pro-freedom no matter who it is. The next American President will still be at war somewhere in this world. It doesn't end because Bush is out of office... When do we do something about this guy? Or the Iranian guy or whatever flavor of the month pops up.

Give it up already... send the dude home... Enough is enough!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Steve Pimps Some Wine...

Calaveras County is not known for much except, Mark Twain's Jumping Frog, the Zodiac Killer and psycho killers Charles Ng and Leonard Lake. However...

They have some fine wines.

Let's have a look shall we?

Chatom Winery located along Hwy 4 before you get into Murphys is a great little first impression of the wine country here. The owner is Gay. Seriously! (note: pun) My favorites are the Syrah, the Sangiovese and the Merlot. They have two Syrah's actually. One's a reserve that is pretty good and bold Syrah. The Sangiovese is light and dry. Good turkey wine actually though a nice pasta would be great as well. I am usually terrified of Merlots. Don't get me wrong but after the movie Sideways, I know why you should be scared. Merlot is a sucker wine. It makes people believe they can taste, "a red wine". But Chatom's Merlot is very tasty and would go great with a nice steak. Chatom's Chardonnay is good but white win is for...

Zucca Mountain's tasting room in Murphy's is located in a basement of a 19th Century building. I am not tall, just 5 foot 10 and I nearly banged my head along the low ceiling of the tasting room and with my back it was difficult to limbo into the door, especially after you have been tasting a while. However... again another Merlot hit my taste buds. I envisioned sitting inside Lawry's Steakhouse, diving into a Lawry Cut Prime Rib. It was really subtle in taste. Again Calaveras County also produced another fine Sangiovese. Zucca Mountain's to me was light and delicate and very smooth. I also enjoyed their Tesoro which was a Merlot/Syrah blend. All of the tasters made a big stink about the Barbera. I was not seeing it. Too bland for a Barbera. I know my Italians and this Barbera was made far from Italy.

Black Sheep Winery is a great for bargain hunting. Their Syrah is 10 bucks a bottle and could be easily sold for 30 or 40 in a upscale grocery store. A case right now is $72. 72 bucks!!! How can you go wrong. I enjoy their Sangiovese as well. For some reason, I don't like the Cabs up here. Maybe at 2000 feet, the grapes get too cold or maybe it's too warm in the summer and the grapes don't cool enough. I don't know, Alexander Valley down in Sonoma County has the best Cabs.

Millier Winery has a small tasting room along Main Street in Murphys. Used to be an old gas station. We (my sister in law and I) were both floored by the "Ghiradeli" Zinfindel. Zins go either way with me. Either they are too fruity or too dry. This one reached the middle and hung there. The old heavy handed pourer, poured us some hefty tastes which really set up the buzzes for today. They had a great Syrah but I only gave myself a $100 budget today. Easily spent up here on 4 good bottles of wine.

If you bargain shop and basically just like red... you can do that too. Great wines at low prices at Kautz, Black Sheep, and Stevenot.

It's a habit up here for us to hit these wineries. My wife's family grew up here and her parents live close to Main Street here in Murphys. Very addicting habit and even if you don't like to buy wine, it's good for a free buzz.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Psychology of Steve

So I went to the psychologist dude today and in a nutshell... (get pun?) there is nothing out of the ordinary with me.

The guy was totally gentle. I mean, seriously... you cannot prescribe a drug to a person that would make them this mellow. He spoke quietly and soft, almost apologetic. The guy sounded like the teacher from Beavis and Butthead. I kept thinking this the whole time which probably made me seem happier than normal because I kept trying to hold back a smirk or two.

Anyhow... I apparently need to sleep more. I need to find a way to get to the deep stage 4 sleep. I may not be there long enough because I have an irregular sleep pattern. I gotta figure out away to shut it down and night and knock it back a few notches before when I get home from work. This abnormal pattern contributes to the real physical pain I apparently am suffering because I get all tense and stuff through out the day because of the lack of sleep. He actually told me to sleep in the afternoon when I can. Yeah, that is possible...

Also he asked me to try some Oxycontin at bedtime. Of course, I perked up when he said that. I'd look really Republican to my friends then... Go Rush Limbaugh... He denied that I'd ever get that far but if I needed some more pain help to try that out. Yeah that sounds cool... hmmm.... Not!

I got a sleep chart and a list of herbal supplements for my diet to go home with otherwise. I guess it is time for the spinal tap er uh, Lumbar Puncture next to make sure I don't have some spinal fluid disease.

Kewl Beans!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Well, He'd Better Blog Something!!

I did not participate in any 9/11 discussion yesterday other than where I was during that time, which was on the couch watching it all at 6 AM, puking my guts out from a bad flu I had. I only remember how eerie my neighborhood was that night when my wife and I went for a walk. It was just so damn quiet. Really interesting experience.

Gonna see a "shrink" on Friday! Yeah, that is cool stuff... A "shrink". Woo hoo... Well not really a shrink per se, but a psychologist. So no cool drugs to play with! This is part of my pain management thing I have been working on. My back, neck and wrist all still hurt from time to time but screw it, I play golf and strum my guitar anyway. (As my left hand slowly goes numb on the keyboard) I happen to be pretty fast typing on the keyboard but I notice lately with my hands, I tend to have a few more typos than normal, which is kind of weird. Something I should tell the dude I guess. I tend to hurt more in tense situations too. Like when I can't find my golf ball when there is money on the line or if I am stuck in traffic or if some snotty Cheeto fingered brat on a plane is bouncing his hard plastic green truck off my dome or something. Things I do enjoy like work aren't too tense in and of themselves. I like seeing "my people" even if only once a month, I like seeing them, spending time, helping them make money or save money or whatever it is I actually do that pays the bills. (Note: I still refrain from telling you people what I do for a living. It carries it's own mystique but half the regular readers are friends and well, they know) But really, what am I going to tell this psychologist dude on Friday? I know:
Y'all don't know what it's like, being male, middle-class and white...

Yeah, that'd go over well eh? Especially if he's not white...

Damn... Now I am sounding like our Governor. At least he is not gonna raise our taxes like Angelides. I swear, if ole Phil get's elected over Arnold, I am moving out of state because this hell hole is gonna get twice as expensive in a heartbeat. Dude, will repeal Prop 13 or something and jack our property taxes. He'll tax hard alcohol which will put a bind on my Whiskey drinking. (It's after Labor Day, start up the Knob Creek) I could go on... but why...

What's the point? Anyhow... Live strong peeps!!! Off to see Elijah some more!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Freakonomics vs. The Spawn of Satan

Finaly back home. I spent the week in the upper midwest playing "corporate guy". I must say Minnesota is a beautiful state... it sucks it gets so cold there.

Anyhow, on the way back there was like no direct flight at a convenient time. I had to stop off in Utah. It was like 2 plus hours from Minneapolis to Salt Lake City and I was lucky to have a window seat... so I thought!!!

35 F was my seat and you guessed it 35 F was the last seat, by the window in the very back of the plane. Dude, I was the first one there and it sucked being so far back. I knew I was screwed with my bad back and all as well. But I had my new book "Freakonomics" and I was gonna be intent on reading anyway since it was such a long flight.

So after I took my seat at the window, the dude who had the aisle seat shows up and he is huge. I mean he is like 6' 8" to 6' 10" and he was just big. He could not stand up fully and he almost took up two seats! So I actually was kinda happy because they announced it was a full flight. I figured the guy was so big he probably bought two seats. So I was gonna have the coolest seat on the plan because I wouldn't be packed in.

Around a minute before the plan door shuts I see this lady walking slowly to the back of the plane. I mean she is going slow.... looking at her feet every 2 or 3 seconds. When she finally reached her destination, which happened to be my row... She revealed why she was walking so slow. Her 18 month old son, binky in his mouth and little green truck. Goliath stood up and let her in. Then "Slam!" right in the face, little "Chucky" hits me with the green truck. I am like, "WTF!" inside but I say politely, "Gee how old? my son was born about a month ago--" and I am cut off while she says humorously, "Just you wait!"

Okay, so we're packed now... I reach up and crank that fan near the lights on and point the one over the lady next to me my direction as well, because my claustrophobia is now kicking in. Yes, I am clausrophobic but as long as I have a fan on and I can breath fresh air, I am totally fine.

The plane takes off and little "Chucky" starts, first pulling my book then he does the running thing with his legs off of the seat in front of us. And he just lets out this total, Chris Cornell-like wail (listening to new Audioslave album while writing this) and I am like, just get this plane up to 10,000 feet so I can bust out my iPod. I am thinking, 2 hours of this will be too much. What if I have to pee? What happens then? 4 people in one row?

"Chucky's" mom explains how good he was the previous flight but when I asked her when they flew into St. Paul, she says..."Oh three nights ago, we took the red eye!" No kidding? Ya think he slept because he was actually tired? Because it was late? It's 5:30pm for Christ's sake!! The little dude is amped... The sun is still up... What are you thinking? I so want to say all that but I am polite.

10,000 feet and I finally get the iPod going so I can tune out the kid and get to "Freakonomics" (good book by the way, especially the part where he talks about the Economics guy joining the crack gang in Chicago). I hit random on my iPod and up comes the appropriate "I wanna tune the screamer out next to me" songs in succession.
  • Metallica's Disposable Heroes
  • Hum's Stars
  • Samiam's My Time by the Dime
  • Rancid's Salvation
Good times I tell you... almost 20 minutes of pure aggression that would drown out anything. Then "Smack" I am hit with the green truck again but this time it's on the ground at my feet. I got the "sorry" look from the mom and I am like, "Dude! c'mon". "Chucky" is crying and screaming and he wants his truck back, so I reach down like a contortionist to get it and I hit that right nerve in my neck and back and it was like a lightning bolt from Thor's hammer through my spine. I got the truck but I swear I thought I was gonna cry it hurt so bad and the bad thing was, I could not move. I literally was frozen waiting for the pain to subside. After a minute or so I was able to move and hand the truck back. I know the mom could tell I was hurt, so she got up and walked "Chucky" up and down the aisle for awhile. I shook my head at Goliath a bit and he smirked saying how screwed I was.

Well... we finally headed for decent and I had to pull off the iPod. The lady and the Spawn of Satan came back to sit down. The kid was restless as ever opening the tray table as the mom shut it and this repeated for minutes and then the kid was hungry. So the mom busts out some Cheetos. Cheetos!!! To an 18 month old kid? The kid had orange dust all over the place in minutes. And then after that? Raspberry Fig Newtons. Holy Crap! No wonder the kid was so amped and out of control, he was being fed garbage. Empty calories man... pure energy. I wonder if he gets a Red Bull at night to go to bed?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Drunk Guy at the KFC...

So... I went off tonight to the ATM to get some cash for the week and deposit a check I got. And wouldn't you know it, there was a KFC/A&W right next door to the bank. I had the hankerin' for some Kentucky Fried Chicken despite the whole "cruelty of animals" thing that KFC does before they deep fry them. (I know, I just made ya think about the whole de-beaking thing... gobble gobble...) (oops that's turkey not chicken)

Anyhow, wouldn't you know it there was a grip of people in the place getting a few buckets of chicken for their hungry families. There was a useless rent-a-cop on duty with his badge sewn on to his shirt. I almost laughed when I saw him. Sorry, but seriously, when I walk into a fast food place, I'd like to know who's who. You know... who you shouldn't look at because of their gang affiliation or who you should look at because they are fun to look at, like the rent-a-cop who I'd bust in half in two seconds if it ever went down.

I'd also like to know where the exits are, including the ones behind the restaurant because if some psycho runs in with an AK-47 or a sawed off Remmington 12 gauge because he lost his assistant manager's job to the freckle faced kid that shows up on time and stays late, I'm freaking bailing. I totally want nothing with that.

Today though... drunk guy was there. For some reason I knew this when I rolled up in the Hummer bumpin' my Ben Fold's Rockin' the Suburbs off of my iPod. All the spots downtown are labeled compact which means to me that the parking spots are small and you gotta take care when navigating these. An H3 fits tight into a compact spot and still has room to swing the doors open fully. I parked in back by the fence so no one would mind, though. But drunk guy was already there in his 1990 turquoise green Ford 150 LONG BED stretched acrossed four spots. "What a dick!" I thought as I passed by it to the door.

So I am like three spots back in line, right? Well... make it two actually. Basically there was this dude with a... you guessed it, Budweiser hat one with his shirt unbuttoned like he was cool or something and some fresh faced early twenty something who was waiting behind him in what he thought was a line. Then there was me, in my Tommy Bahama, sandals and pocket safari shorts.

I'm sitting here watching and the kid in front asks, "Are you in line?" to the drunk guy.

"Um... do you see a line?" says 'Bud'.

The little Asian guy that works behind the counter decides to get further involved then he already is by saying, "Can I help who's next?" for like the third time.

"I'm waiting for my food, buddy... and I am gonna stand here," interjects 'Bud'.

The kid suddenly gets pissed, and I am thinking, this is so me 10 years ago... I was just like this kid. He just wanted to order and some dick was standing in his way. The kid was ready go a few rounds but the drunk guy had the size and position and rent-a-cop is nowhere in sight. I felt I needed to act fast because this kid could get dropped right in front of me. I perked up, y'know, flexing my chest and got up to full posture and I just about said, "I got his back, get the F--- out of line!!!" But before I got that off, the greasy looking dude in the shades and black Raider hat with matching white tank top that I have just now noticed says... "Hey man, let the kid order... get out of line man..."

'Bud' shouts out a few explicitives and pretends to go at the Raider Nation guy. I am thinking, "OK here it goes, right now... rent-a cop better get up here and call someone or something, Raider guy likes to fight. I have heard about these guys on Rome. They took a Miami Dolphins fan down in the bathroom at the playoffs a few years back and peed all over him, right in front of his kids. These guys are just straight up, hard". But dude, Raider guy suddenly changes the subject on us all while we were in suspense because him and 'Bud' are "buddies". They had just hit few cases of beer hard all day at the condo or something and Raider guy was reigning his friend in because he was an ass. They went off and got their rootbeer and stuff and left. I got my food soon after.

Sure enough, they got into the so-1990's green truck straddling the back lot. The cruised by the H3 slowly and gave me the cool car nod.

Silver and black are bad colors.