Thursday, August 28, 2008

San Joaquin Delta College, Consult it!

I'm outskis after this. See you guys next week. Hope Duke doesn't get too sentimental with tomorrows BWDW Special Edition
This Delta College shit will not go away. This week the venerable Delta Board of Trustees approved handing a quarter of a million dollars to a consultant to tell them how to spend their bond money. Kathy Roach is said consultant and her job is to fix a mess that the college has blamed on past consultants. In other words, they hired a consultant to consult them on how to fix problems caused by a consultant.

Not too bad so far right? Except for that part near the end of the article where they pay the consulting firm that fucked up twice as much for only 6 months work. Can we get some one to consult the consultant on how to consult the Trustees on paying the consultants?

Shit to do for the Labor Day weekend

We're throwing out an early shit to do this weekend because I'm actually doing shit this weekend so I won't be here to do it. El Duke should be here to take care of you Friday and if anything of note happens during the 3-day weekend. That is, if he's sober enough to operate a keyboard.

Thursday 8/28
Novacain will be at the Blackwater at 7 with Yellow Dot Project. If you haven't seen Novacain we highly suggest them. The listing on the 209Vibe website called this "Noise Pop", I'd say that's accurate. Plus Middagh rocks. $5

If you'd rather go the hardcore drinking route, today is sadly the last Thirsty Thursday of the year. Dollar beers and Ports v. Jethawks. Gates open at 6:05. Tickets start at $5.

Friday 8/29
Ocean Evaporate, Solidify, Quick 50, and In The Abscence are playing at BWDW Fats Grill and Bar starting at 9. Fats is always a fun place for shows when the Latin Magic Band isn't there. (Sorry, we're not fans of that band, and they seem to play there every other fucking day.) $5

Saturday 8/30
The Pubcrawl returns this night and is another great route to go for the drinker in all of us. It starts at 5pm and is all over downtown, including a Ports game and probably the event listed below. $35

Minor Dischord is playing at Bradley's at 9pm if you don't feel like paying $35 for Crawler status. Free.

Sunday 8/31
Carcrashlander, French Cassetes, and Alexis Gideon play the Blackwater at 7. This is pretty much the only thing going on Sunday. Unless of course you plan on getting shitfaced on Sunday night because you don't have to work Monday.

Monday 9/1
Go outside, it's Labor Day. Nothing of note is listed on the 209Vibe website. If Duke finds anything he'll update this over the weekend.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Delta College Board of Trustes apparently run by Captain Obvious

A couple weeks ago I tore apart Delta College (not literally, although I understand if you think so by looking at the place.) for mismanagement of voter approved bond money.

It continues to baffle me how the Delta trustees could be so short sighted to not realize that contruction estimates are notoriously lowballed all the fucking time (just ask city leaders about the Arena's estimate). Not to mention that their dedication to buiding the campus in Mountain House was borderline stalkerish. To be honest, I've lived here my entire life and I'd never even heard of Mountain House until Delta decided to buy up a plot of land there for the Mountain House campus.

Whenever voter approved dollars are misused, we of course have to waste more tax dollars to find out who fucked up. And the San Joaquin County civil grand jury found that the Delta College trustees "made decisions which have caused serious problems and wasted millions of dollars in Measure L funds." Pretty much echoing what anybody who's been paying attention knew.

What did those of us paying attention know? The grand jury put it best, "The district needs capable trustees who are able to meet the task of bringing Delta College into the 21st century." Ouch. Take that Anthony Bugarin.

But that's all old news. That grand jury report isn't anything knew. What is new is that the trustees themselves finally admitted that they know they fucked up big time too, making them the last people in the entire county to find out that they're shitty at their jobs. Better late than never I guess.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The first ever Bar We're Down With

Not to brag or anything, but we like to consider ourselves an accomplished group of drinkers. Mostly because there's absolutely nothing else to do in this town but get shitty drunk (and watch movies...while shitty drunk). So it seemed only natural that when Duke came aboard we would put our expertise together to give you a list of the best bars in the area.

There are some that are decent, but only these select few will be considered the cream of the crop, a full head, shoulders, and set of huge chesticles above the rest.

Two Fridays ago we posted the criteria, this week we bring you the first inductee in the inaugrual 2008 class of Bars We're Down With (name subject to change). It was a painstaking process to decide which bars to induct. Drinks were drank, girls were unsuccessfully hit on, fights happened, friendships forever altered.

In the end, we came up with a list that will probably change before the year is over. But for now we have an inductee. (Note: Inductees are inducted in no particular order) Following the meticulously laid out judging criteria, we give you...

Fats Bar and Grill Grill and Bar

Fats owner Ben on the left. The man, the myth, the legend, Muff on the right. Party bus in background.

Fat's has always been a place near and dear to our hearts. Duke spent at least a little bit of pretty much every day of 2007 there. They're always the first place we consider for Mardi Gras. And they have a fantastic crab feed every year. Not to mention that their yearly party bus to and A's game (pictured above) is an awesome excuse to start drinking at 8am on a Sunday.

When we were pretty much extensions of the bar stools the place was owned by Mike. Who's pretty much one of the awesomest dudes around. This year he sold the place to Fat's employees Ben (again, pictured above) and Teresa who have kept the torch of awesomeness alive and well. And of course before we go to the scorecards we would get our asses kicked if we didn't mention that Jenae is 35 different types of awesome. Of course, we've always had a soft spot in our hearts for former female high school wrestlers. Alright, to the judges...

Drink Prices: 7
Maybe as semi-regulars we're probably a bit biased in this (and probably all) categories. That being said I've never felt the prices at Fat's were unfair. They claim to be a restaurant first and a bar second but they still have prices on par with most bars. Going by memory I believe it's $3 for a domestic draft and $4 for an import. I could be off by a dollar or two, looks like I'll have to go back and do more research.

Variety and Quality of Alcohol: 9
Fats boasts an impressive collection of draft beers. Last I checked it was around 30 or so beers ranging from Budweiser to Fat Tire. And don't think we're just beer snobs here, they're collection of hard liquor is also quite a sight to behold. Including those fancy Jagermeister on tap machines (they have Patron ones too) and a Slushie machine that chugs out margaritas.

Proximity to Other Bars: 6
Fats is kind of on an island in it's shopping center. Tora Sushi and John's Incredible Pizza are the nearest establishments that serve alcohol, but those are primarily restaurants, and John's doesn't even have hard liquor. The Graduate is a short jaunt away as is BJ's and Chili's. If you're feeling frisky you can try going to Valley Brew. But if you do, please take a cab. Those UOP cops are always itching for someone to pull over.

Munchies: 10
This, above all else, is Fats' shining star. Their menu is downright impressive. If you're eating on the cheap you can get so Sopapillas. If you have a little bit of scratch to throw around I suggest getting a pizza. It is the unrivaled best pizza in Stockton. BJ's can suck a dick if they think they even belong in the same sentence as Fats'. If you feel like eating until you explode and throw up and eat some more, you can try the Fat's feast. It involves steak, ribs, and I think shrimp. But that's only if you feel like spending a month on the shitter.

Swimsuit Competition: 7
Last I checked, Fats had predominantly male bartenders. So we extended it to their waitresses too. Which is really where they shine in this category. Unfortunately, I think we've sat at a table at Fats all of twice. So we haven't exactly spent the optimal amount of time judging in this category. Luckily their score was also boosted by the women on the aforementioned party bus. Oh hey, more pictures...

Wow, maybe 7 was a bit conservative. Especially for that hottie in the back.

Now that we've gotten that pesky scorecard out of the way, we'll each give you our parting words. More than likely these will be super inside stories that only 4 people will get. But hey, that's how a lot of hall of fame-esque inductions go. We tried to track down Briss Issak, that's what delayed the post. If he sends me his piece before this gets posted Monday, it'll be here. If not, we've found someone even less dedicated than Duke is to Vegas Kings.

Since this is my site, I get to go first. And in honor of our missing friend, it'll only be one sentence. "I've never seen her be affectionate towards men before." Take it away Duke.

Doesn't that just mean...oh wait, we've been over this already. Like Slick stated earlier, I spent pretty much every day of 2007 in Fats. And as I've said before, I'm only half as much of an alcoholic as that statement makes me sound like. I used to work next door and am pretty much the reason for getting those two over to Fats. There's too many stories to tell, Slick touched on one. One of my favorites it when I soloed it to the Kings Viewing Party they held there last season. It resulted in one of my favorite articles/columns/posts I've ever written. So if we leave with anything it has to be the mental image of a man dressed like a lion signing autographs in a bar, then serving me a beer.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hasselhoff approved, KITT not so sure.

Ok, confession time. I actually wrote the quick links last night and scheduled the post for this morning. I wasn't even awake at 7. But hey, we're slowly posting more regularly. That's gotta count for something.

In hindsight I wish I had held off until I read today's Record which is a cornicopia of ads disguised as articles. The most egregious of which is the featured story on the front page. For those too lazy to click through, it's pretty much a soft feature on Stockton resident Queen Emily. She's made it to the next stage of America's Got Talent.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for finding the local angle in something, but it isn't exactly the most heartwarming story. First of all, she's not even really from Stockton. She moved here a fucking year ago. I'm no elitest, but as far as I'm concerned she's "Houston's Queen Emily" not Stockton's. (Trust me, Duke is worse. He still asks "old or new?" when someone says they're from Morada.)

Ignoring the fact that outside of the hip-hop world any broad who gives themself a royal nickname without actually being related to royalty is usually a royal bitch, the feature continues. She's unselfishly taken in her daughter's troubled sons. Which is actually pretty awesome until a later story tells us that when faced with the choice of having electricity or entering a singing competition, she choses to spend her power bill money to enter the singing competition.

What? Is that supposed to show drive and determination in the face of adversity or show that she shouldn't have those two sons with her?

On top of all that, they're making it seem like it's a big deal that she might win the minor league of talent based reality shows. (At least Stockton's staying consistant.) No less an authority than The Hoff himself says she's an amazing singer. The guy who brought us "Looking for Freedom" and "Du" musically and Baywatch Nights visually (It's baywatch with clothes! It'll be awesome!) is the guy we're supposed to listen to.

Look, I don't know the lady. All I'm saying is if she actually had talent, she'd be on American Idol and not some filler reality show that can only get ratings during the television wasteland that is the summer.

I'd also dissect Fitzy's press release for the new bakery that opened at the BJ's/REI shopping center. But this thing's getting to long as it is. Although I'm wondering how much I have to pay to get my own article. I can offer $5 and a handful of fun-sized Big Hunks.

Weekend Shit To Do for 8/22-8/24

Hey look, another new feature. Here's the shit happened in Stockton this weekend that caught our eyes.

Tonight on the WPC Lawn at UOP at 8pm they're showing Animal House and Old School for move-in weekend if that's your sort of thing. The Lair should be open by then, somebody let us know if the rumored 3-drink maximum is true. If so, they get the scarlett letter of shitty bars. I'm guessing it's free.

Flava Flav's Block Party is coming to Modesto on Saturday.
I said "caught our eyes", not "will be good" $20

I haven't heard of any of the bands playing The Matinee Saturday at 9, but El Duke tells me it's an awesome venue. The bands allegedly play in front of one of the old Stockton Royal movie screens. So, you know, be high. $10

Boomsnake will be at the Blackwater on Sunday at 7pm. If you're into ex-members of Say Anything. El Duke made me put this one because he knows somebody named Jan Fisco and there's a Jan Fisco listed as a supporting act. Plus Boomsnake is a kinda cool name. $8

By the way, kudos to 209Vibe for a quality website. I've never been much for supporting music just because it's local, that's more El Duke's thing. So good job Ian Hill, welcome ot the short list of Record writers I respect.

Quick Links for Friday 8/22

The Record yesterday was full of hilarious/useless nuggets. Here's some of that in some quick links.

Guess who's back? The Record continues it's love affair with Steve Pinkerton. After redeveloping Stockton into only the second most dangerous city in California (and only second in misery too!), he moved on after a job well done to take the same job in Manteca of all places. His idea to redevelop Manteca? Revitalize their downtown area. Why does that sound familiar?

Congressman Jerry McNerney likes hats. He wears them all the time. He has a collection that boasts more than 20 hats. He visited a Stockton hat store and was given a couple. Do you care? Yeah, neither do I. I wonder if they can give me some free advertisement for this place.

I wasn't kidding earlier today when I said they tore down Ye Olde Hoosier Inn to make way for a bigger KFC. Fucking ridiculous.

Wal-Mart shows it's ugly head in Lodi again.
Does Lodi really need a Super Wal-Mart? What are they going to do with the empty shell of the old Wal-Mart? Have it go through 2 incarnations of a furniture store after sitting vacant for years then finally split the building in two and make it two furniture stores?

DUI checkpoints on Labor Day weekend? Good thing the Record told us. The cops never increase patrols during weekends built around drinking.

The mind droppings of Fitzy himself. His blog on the Record's site is borderline useless like the rest of the Record's website. Although his post yesterday from some stooge asking him if the CA budget impasse is in violation of the state constitution is pretty funny. If only for the shot at Fitzy's ego. (Which he acknowledges)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

ZOMG! Sports news people actually care about. Give that man a sidebar!

I was planning on going to the press conference the Kings had at UOP yesterday, but in true Record fashion they buried the time and location of Coach Theus' appearance in the Local Roundup section of the completly useless Sports page. I wouldn't have been able to make it anyways since I had to work at the time. But I wonder what went on there...

Holy Schnikes! An actual article about the Kings written by a Record writer? (With the exact headline I would have come up with too) Jason Anderson isn't just a pseudonym for Sam Amick right? The Record actually decided to cover a team people actually care about? I mean sure, nothing that we didn't know already was in the article. (Did you know the Kings are in the middle of a youth movement?) But hey, this is a step towards them, you know, actually covering the game when they come to they Spanos Center.

Original reporting about the closest professional sports team (minor leagues don't count. Or in the case of the Lightening, minor league teams of minor leagues.) resulted in me actually reading part of the Record's Sports page for the first time in a long fucking while. Original articles, what a novel concept.

Wait a minute, good news?

I was amazed today to get The Record and actually see some good local news grace the front page. The Stockton 99 Speedway is coming back.

I'm no gearhead and I have never actually attended a race at the Speedway, but this can only bring good things. All too much over the past couple years we've seen Stockton landmarks fall by the wayside for new developments. Whether it's tearing down the corpse of Golfland to build another fucking Walgreens (as if we needed one), shuttering Pollardville for a shopping center when the Raley's shopping center had just opened the previous winter (not to mention Morada already had a failed shopping center across the fucking street from Pollardville that ended up getting turned into a private school), the shutting down of Hammer Skate, rendering Billy Hebert Field completly useless in favor of downtown revitalization, the closing down (and tearing down) of personal favorite the Ye Olde Hoosier Inn to make way for a KFC, or the infamous selling of the Stockton 99 Speedway to make room for even more housing developments. God damn, that list is even more depressing when typed out.

When I first heard about the Speedway closing to make way for a housing development, my first thought was probably the same as yours. "Who the fuck would want to live over there?" Well the answer, it looks like, is noone. The company that bought the land rights decided that maybe Stockton has enough new housing developments. (I guess Fitzy's the only one who thinks we need more)

So who's responsible for the first victory in the city's assault on landmarks they didn't create themselves? Former Speedway racer and Ron Jeremy doppelganger Tony Noceti and his wife Carol (Although to be fair, all fat guys with mustaches look like Ron Jeremy to us). They plan on refurbishing the torn up track and grandstand and hope to have it open by spring of next year. In addition to getting the track's NASCAR sanction back, the Noceti's would also like to host swap meets and concerts at the track.

One can only hope this is the beginning of a trend where we actually start to reclaim our landmarks (and titles maybe?) back. It may be Pixie Woods' only hope.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

El Duke visits the new UOP University Center (It's fancy, and green)

One of the advantages blogging has over print media is we can get our stories to you right away instead of the next morning. So in an effort to scoop the Record (again), I'm getting my review on.

UOP's brand spankin' new University Center opened today and as a way to drum up press test the new facility, they gave away free lunches to pretty much anybody who walked in with a confused look on their face. Yours truly included.

Personally I was hoping that the new campus pub the Tiger's Lair would be giving away free brewskis, but I knew that wasn't the case. I would have tried but as soon as I walked in I knew I was going to be in for a long wait for my free lunch and soda (finally with free refills!), so I picked one of the 37 lines that protruded out of the Marketplace (their fancy name for the cafeteria) and promptly realized I was in the wrong line.

Eventually one of the many Pacific staffers on hand enthusiastically handed me a map and gave me a quick guided tour of the 5 available food stations. Which I will now list if for no other reason than to show of their hilarious names:

On Exhibition
Apparently this means grilled items. Like burgers and and such.

Technically they're two separate station, but one's bread and soup and shit. The other's the sandwich station. Bet you can't guess which is which!

Pacific Rim
Asian food. Allegedly including sushi. And other various Oriental delights.

All that classic food your mom used to make like spaghetti, meatloaf, and chicken.

This is a Stockton based blog, I shouldn't have to explain what a Taqueria is.

There's also a salad bar and a coffee shop on the first floor in the general vicinity of the Marketplace. But those cost money so I didn't even go near them.

I opted for the Oriental section, mostly because in the old Summit (the previous cafeteria-type place) that meant a bowl of rice with stir fry on top. As I approached the station, I realized that was not the case. Instead of a made when you order it rice bowl, the Asian station has turned into pretty much a cafeteria-style experience. You have your tray, you tell the person behind the counter what you want, and they scoop it out of another tray and hand you a plate with your food on it. Maybe the the Summit spoiled me (As a college age resident of Stockton, I've spent my fair share of time at UOP). Granted, this new system isn't a bad thing, I'm just a creature of habit. While disappointed that I didn't have my rice bowl, I was happy that I was able to get my food almost immediately (that "almost" being the line). Before, while waiting for the rice bowl, you had to kind of stand around with a usually huge line behind you while waiting for the stir fry to..well..fry. Time is the price for freshness.

I was also happy that they finally added some variety. Before, the rice bowl was the extent of the Asian cuisine experience at UOP. Well, unless you count the sushi trays. But I make it a general rule to not buy prepackaged sushi sitting in an open air fridge. Just a personal choice, but understandable. But while I was excited to try something new, it also exposed one of my cultural weaknesses. I'm not really up snuff on my Asian foods. I recognized some of the easy ones, there was some chow mein, white and fried rice, and an egg roll. But past that I was at a loss. There was something that was deep fried that tasted kind of sweet and soury, but didn't have any sweet and sour sauce. (Unless they cooked it into the deep fry batter McGriddle style. If so, I want to marry that little sweet and sour ball and have its kids.) There was also some sort of vegetable mix that swam around in what I think was teriyaki sauce. (Oh yeah, I'm no food critic either. But we'll get to what I thought of the foods later.)

After I got my food I needed to find something to wash it all down with. On each side of the Marketplace there's fountain drink stations. Unfortunately while there were 6 or so food stations, there were only 2 drink stations. Depressingly this was twice the amount of drink stations the Summit had. (3 times if you count the Lair) After finding which winding line was the one that ended with me getting a drink, I informed the two empty handed people in front of me that this was the drink line. I then handed them my map and they thanked me as they braved the free food frenzy. The drink line took longer than my food line, but that was more because the jackasses in front of me had an undetermined number of people in their group. Sometimes I was only 3 people away, but then 2 of their friends would come back with cups, because they all forgot cups. And then after all of that, the assholes get water. It's free food fuckos! That means load up on the Mt. Dew while it flows like water!

When it was finally my turn I was disappointed to find out that the ice had run out. It was excusable because roughly half the population of Stockton had descended upon the place in search for a free lunch. Although that still didn't take the sting out of waiting 10 minutes for some warm Dr. Pepper.

I expected finding seating to be a bear, but as with the entire time I spent there, UOP was on the ball and expected it. They had plenty of outside seating to accommodate the penny pinching masses. The food was good considering I wasn't sure what to expect with many bites. Although I guess mystery is what you get when you tell the server "just give me a little bit of everything." What can I say? I'm adventurous.

After cleaning my plate (ok, so maybe it was good regardless of the mystery), I realized one big downfall. My plate was an actual plate, not a paper plate. I have to give this back. Yes, I almost immediately realized that the new UC was a green building. Fucking hippies. At first I thought that I had overlooked the disposable to go plates, but then I remembered my plate was handed to me already full of food. If I then wanted to go back and chow down in the dorm of some broad I had picked up earlier in the Lair, I'd have to come back to return the plate. (Because I would never just throw the plate away anyways in that situation.) Also, I remember drinks coming in different sizes so I could enjoy my Dr. Pepper throughout the day. Now I have a small plastic cup. But hey, free refills!

All in all it was a pretty decent experience. I was expecting mass chaos and was pleasantly surprised that I was in and out within a half hour. During free food day no less. The new UC is a sight to behold. Althought hat new water "fountain" is a drunken death waiting to happen. It's basically a rock slate with a half-inch lip, and the water pours over the lip into a grate that recycles the water. Considering it's in front of the building that houses the only legal public drinking place on campus, I'm predicting a "UOP Student's half inch of death" headline sometime in the future.

I hope you enjoyed this semi-review. I'm used to reviewing movies so being a food critic was kind of new to me. But I guarantee this will be better than the inevitable Fitzy column on the place. But we had it here first, so suck it Record.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Say it isn't so

There's a nasty rumor going around that Valley Brew has ended their $5 pitchers on Sunday deal. If this is true, I'm deeply disappointed.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Introducing, Bars We're Down With

We finally got one of those recurring feature ideas. The tone on this site has been fairly negative. It's not an intentional move. I'm really a fairly easy going guy.

So in an effort to stay positive, we've decided to focus on the only real fun thing to do in this city. Getting falling down, crawling back to your car apartment drunk. So here it is...

Bars We're Down With

An easy description of this would be the SJ County Bar Hall of Fame. We're going to focus on bars that we consider the cream of the crop. If you think your bar deserves this distinction e-mail us.

Each bar will be carefully considered by a three person panel. Las Vegas Kings proprietor and new contributor El Duke and alleged RTC contributor, Briss Issak.

Don't think this is some arbitrary list of bars we can talk into giving us a drink discount. Although if any bar wants to do that, that would be awesome. To determine the bars on this list, we're going with a highly technical 10-point formula divided into 5 categories. Those categories are:

Drink Prices
This is an important category. Most of the time this is the deciding factor in where I choose to drink. This category eliminates places like Deja Vu's who charge roughly $35 for a drop shot and $8 for a bottle of Coors Light. Their $2 Tuesday deal is a steal though. So Deja Vu's would probably be something like a 2 on the 1-10 scale in this category. But let's face it, you weren't going there for the drink anyway.

Variety and Quality of Alcohol on Hand
This category is also important, but usually is at odds with the above category. We combined variety and quality into one category because they usually go hand in hand. If a bar has 20 or so beers on tap, chances are about half of them are quality brewskis while the rest are standard fair. (i.e. Bud, Bud Light, Coors Light. You know, water.) We also combined this for a place like Valley Brew which only has about 10 or so beers on tap, but they're all fucking awesome.

Proximity to Other Bars
Bar hopping is key to any good night of getting shitfaced. If a bar gets to be too crowded or becomes a sausagefest, you can just chug your beverage and head on over to the next watering hole and try again. This category was devised specifically for places like downtown Lodi where the beverage variety may be lacking at some bars, but just down the street is Lodi Beer Co. and half a dozen other bars.

This one should be pretty self explanatory. What shit do they got to eat when you've finally decided to settle down for the night. Places that are restaurant/bar combos have a decided advantage in this category. But don't worry, that doesn't mean Applebees is going to show up in the Bar Hall. Granted, if a particular Applebees has a dynamite bar, then they might get inducted. But we've sat at all the bars at local Applebees, Chili's has way better bars, and they're not even close to making the list. This category is probably the least important, but still needed. Because Valley Brew's got some damn good yam fries and Fat's has the best pizza in the county. This is not open for debate. But let's move on to the best category imaginable, which is without a doubt the most important...

Swimsuit Competition
How would the bartenders (bartenderesses?) look in swimsuits? Some places you don't have to imagine that. (On the Beach, I'm looking at you.) Others, you wouldn't want to. (Sorry Stooges of Stockton, Ivan in a two-piece just isn't appealing.) Regardless it's important. El Duke used to drive from Stockton to Lodi after he got off work at midnight just to get an hour of drinking in at the bars over there just because of the hotness of the bartenders. This can be extended to the regulars too if a certain bar has smokin' regulars. Come on, alcoholics are sexy and you know it.

Starting next week we'll induct the first bar in the inaugural class of 2008. If you have a bar you think we haven't drank at that deserves consideration, let us know.

That bond measure was an assload of help

I've lived my entire life in Stockton. Since I've spent a portion of my post high school years here, there's a 115% chance I went to Delta for at least semester. One of my biggest beefs during my time in the 13th grade was the parking situation. Anybody who went to Delta knows what I'm talking about. If you get there anytime after 7, you're parking in west bumfuck nowhere (Also known as Shima 2). Being, you know, a college student, I didn't even wake up until 7. And I was one of the early birds. All of this is before we even begin to discuss trying to leave Delta immediatly after class. One time I was happy I was able to get out of there under a half hour. In short, Delta's fucked up.

I've since stopped attending "High School: The Sequel". Probably the smartest thing I ever did. One of the big things that went down before I left was the passing of venerable bond Measure L. At the time all of my teachers were telling their classes how awesome this bill would make the school and how it would help out the Tracy students with that awesome Mountain House campus. Even though the "School of Lost Potential" is right on the other side of the Altamont.

Needless to say, that hasn't been the case. The Mountain House campus remains one of the most controversial items in Delta Trustee meetings. The only (completed) visible results of the bond measure have been the fancy new electric signs on both the Pershing and Pacific entrances to the campus. Oh, and those flat screen TVs they put up in Danner Hall that are toooootally helpful and needed. And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, they completly fucked up the parking situation even more.

For Delta's 20,000 students, there's normally 5,000 parking spaces. So they do the logical thing, knock out 1,000 of those spots, lowering the total to 4,000. With 5 times as many students as parking spots, Delta must be working towards some sort of solution. The parking situation was hairy before they knocked out a thousand spots and fucked up access to two more parking lots. So obviously they're building a parking garage or something to alleviate the problem once and for all.

Oh wait. They're building a fucking soccer field? Are you serious? They're permamently killing a parking lot to promote the most useless of activities that is JuCo sports? Where the fuck do they expect students to park? What's that? They spent how much on renting out spaces at Weberstown? 10 fucking grand? They were parking there anyways, for fucking free! Why rent out spaces that were already being used? To make sure they were available? A bulk of Delta's students are doneski by noon. Go to the mall at noon, it's a god damned ghost town. I'm pretty sure the spaces will be there.

Thanks for wasting my money Delta. Your mismanagement of funds has resulted in making the entire area sour towards the idea of ever letting you jackasses even utter the words "bond measure" again. And guess who's stuck paying off this fuck up of a bond measure? Me and my kids. Thanks assholes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Finally, something that makes sense

Oh hey, I'm El Duke. Let's get a proper introduction out of the way, shall we? I was born in Oakland but moved to Stockton when I was 1 or so. I run Las Vegas Kings, a sports blog that leans towards mostly basketball. I used to appear in print in the San Joaquin Delta Impact (now known as The Collegian). I'd link to my specific articles and columns, but if I remember correctly they weren't all that good. (Unlike this stuff) I'll eventually be doing a podcast focusing on local bands and probably a few of those minor league athletes. If you want to be featured e-mail me.

One of my favorite memories from when I was a kid was going to see Kings preseason games at the Spanos Center with my dad. Sure they sucked back then, but I was around 10 then, I didn't know better. I never understood why they stopped coming to Stockton. When the Arena opened, I was excited that our modestly sized arena would help draw the Kings and other big acts to Stockton.

Well, it didn't. (God that bitch sucked at her job) In fact, after the attendance figures from the EliteXC show were released, I'd be surprised if even Miley Cyrus came back. Let's face it, in today's economy (especially here in Stockton), we can't afford the Arena. $700 for ringside seats to the EliteXC show? Are you kidding me? I feel blessed when my bank account has a quarter of that in my account. With the Kings being a decidedly bigger deal than EliteXC, I knew my hopes for highish quality basketball in my hometown were dashed. Seriously, we have a minor league team for every fucking sport BUT basketball. What gives? We can't pull an ABA team? The Modesto Bearcats (hand-to-God I'm 40% sure they exist) might move here if we offer them a grilled cheese sandwich every game.

Oh wait! UOP has a basketball arena too doesn't it? That's right, on Oct. 2oth the Kings return to the place I learned to love basketball (from them!), the Alex Spanos Center. I'd link to the Record's article on it, but their online version just says to read the paper the next day. Thanks for the information fuckasses. Coach Reginald Theus himself is said to be making an appearance at UOP on Aug. 20th when tickets go on sale. I'll probably be there even though I won't be able to afford tickets to go until a week or so before the game. Considering at Arco the Kings only average about half capacity for games that matter, I don't think it should be too big of a problem.

Bill Atterberry, destroying the future backs of America

It's been a while, but I remember my high school days. It's easy to remember those days because my days at Delta were almost exactly the same. Wake up hungover, groggily drive to school, realize I slept through my first 2 classes, then I start loading up my pack mule to help carry my books from class to class.

That last one was a biggie. I'm fairly certain I can attribute most of the lower back pain I have in my advanced years to the 50 pound weight I was forced to carry around for 4+ years. Hell, I didn't even read half those textbooks. I just had to have them so when the teacher referred to them in class, I coud bust it out and pretend to read while I was thinking about motorboating the cheerleader to my left. Needless to say, I don't miss school. (But I do miss those titties)

One of the things I was crtiticised for throughout my academic career was my complete lack of organization skills. My backpack, locker, and binders all looked like they had been eaten and thrown up by Rosie O'Donnell. Not too many of my teachers cared because as overworked underpaid old people, they had enough to worry about. In their mind, as long as I was turning in my assingments, showing up to class most of the time, and passing their class; I was gravy.

That was a great attitude. This is not. Putting asside forced notetaking system, adding weight to backpacks that were already dangerously overloaded is one of the more retarded things I've heard of since I started this site. What does Bill Atterberry have against the backs of the future?

I asked a former Lodi High School student their opinion of Atterberry. The response?

"Bill never had balls. He got where he's at cause he's a male in a mostly female profession. Plus his interim tag never left for years after he was put in charge. So he goes over the top like a woman in charge does, constantly trying to prove himself."

In other words, Bill Atterberry is a jackass who feels he's got something to prove. He'll force his students to do things (like taking notes) his way, and if they don't like it they get used to it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Well, this sucks

Hi, I'm El Duke. I'm the new guy. I'll try and do some official introduction later. But there's more pressing matters. One of my friends died in a motorcycle accident today. His name was Nick and he was a good guy. Yes, I'm aware the linked article says he's in critical condition, but I got a call earlier today that he was brain dead and they were pulling the plug at noon today. He's donating his organs, which is nice, but it doesn't detract from the fact that this death shouldn't have happened. Why? Because he was drunk.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-drinking. I'll throw down with the best of them and can name every bar within a 10 mile radius of my apartment. I'll also admit to driving after having a drink or two, but never too much. I've had to go to too many wakes/memorial services at bars in my short lifetime. In fact, I just went to one a couple weeks ago to commemorate the 1 year anniversary of the drunk driving death of Jeremiah "J.D." Davis and Brandon Baker. It was a touching tribute to friends that left us way too soon. It made me remember to think twice when I decide how I'm getting to and from the bar. Unfortunately the same message didn't reach Nick. It should have though, J.D. was his cousin.

Rest in Peace pal.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Guess I'm not visiting the Arena any time soon.

When I went to the EliteXC fights a couple weeks ago, I noted that the Arena concession staff didn't exactly look or act like the sharpest penises (peni?) in the vagina. Well, today it came out in the Record that they in fact aren't. But neither is the ABC.

Yesterday the Dept. Of Alcoholic Beverage Control suspended the Stockton Arena's ability to sell alcoholic beverages for the next 15 days. Which would be a harsh punishment if the Arena was used more than twice a month. (Of course that hopefully will change now that IFG's GM has been canned.) (Fantastic move by the way, just 8000 years too late.)

When did the alcoholic indiscretion happen? At the Gwen Stefani concert. You don't remember when Gwen Stefani came to the Arena? Yeah, I almost forgot about it too because it was almost a fucking year ago.

Why did it take so long? Because the Arena and the ABC were discussing a settlement that included negotiating when the suspension would start.

So on the day before Thanksgiving in Lodi, the ABC and Lodi Police will have officers posted up in front of every downtown bar to make sure people are getting carded and that the bars stay at least 10 people below capacity, and not hesitate to shut them down as soon as one person drunkenly shoves another person (*cough*MOJO'S*cough*). And the Stockton Arena gets to negotiate when it's suspension dates are so as not to affect their alcohol sales AT ALL?

Fucking bullshit.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Couldn't have this been about the good holistic medicine. The Ricky Williams kind?

It's been a while since we've checked in with Fitzy. Let's see what wacky thing he's up to now. Wait, what the fuck?

This week Fitzy visits a Reiki Master (See: dirty hippie) in Brookside. The headline itself cautions the reader to keep an open mind. Which is pretty much the equivelant of saying "Here's a sidebar of complete bullshit."

What's Reiki you ask? According to the pillar of accuracy and integrity that is Wikipedia, Reiki is:

"a spiritual practice used as a complementary therapy developed in 1922 by Mikao Usui. After three weeks of fasting and meditating on Mount Kurama, in Japan, Usui claimed to receive the ability of 'healing without energy depletion'. Practitioners use a technique similar to the laying on of hands, which they say will channel "healing energy" (a form of ki) through their palms."

So Reiki was developed by some guy(?) having it magically bestowed upon him on a mountain in Japan. Funny, that's the same way the cure for syphillis was discovered.

So if the power of Reiki was just given to some person after days of personal reflection on a mountain, how did it get all the way to America?

"Hayashi (ed. note: Hayashi is a student of Usui who took over after he died.) initiated and trained Hawayo Takata, who travelled widely in the USA, practising Reiki and teaching the first two levels to others."

Wow, that's really nice that Takata was able to come to America and provide us an opportunity to practice this ancient mysticism that Japan's known for all of (now) 86 years. I wonder how she translated the teachings to relate to Americans.

"Takata stressed the importance of charging money for Reiki treatments and teachings. In 1976, Takata began teaching the Shinpiden stage and introduced the term Reiki master for this level. She also fixed a price of $10,000 for the master training."

Oh. Huh, I wonder what the overseeing body of Reiki thinks about this. Someone has to make sure not just any yahoo can feel you up for ten grand and call it holistic healing.

"There is no accreditation body for Reiki, nor any regulation of the practice."

Well this person Fitzy visited had to have done the whole intense meditation on a mountain thing, right?

"Reiki courses can even be taken over the Internet."

So let me get this straight. Fitzy got an invite from some crackpot with an internet connection, and decided to give her free advertising in the only real newspaper this area has. And on top of that, he doesn't even actually get the treatment. He just watches it. Can't you wait until you at least have a headache or something and give it a shot yourself? I'm pretty sure I pay chicks at Deja Vu's way less than $10,000 to put their hands all over me, and I know I'm going to feel great afterwards. I better tell the Record so they can devote a 10-part series to it.

I understand that during the dog days of summer that decent news is hard to come by, but come on. Once you start giving us stories about a guy who's too embarassed by his "ability" to bend spoons with his mind to give his last name, it's time to take a vacation. Might I suggest Lost Isle?

Oh and remember Fitzy, like any good journalist (which we don't claim to be), it's good to present both sides of the story. And the overall "I'm not sure about this, but here's what I saw" approach is not giving the "this is crazy hippie bullshit" side of the story isn't good journalism. But thanks, I had writers block, I'm happy to do your job for you.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Quick Links while we take a sick day (or 5)

Those pesky computer issues are back, plus I've been sick. So now that we got excuses out of the way, here's some links local stories with allegedly clever remarks. We'll try and roll something better out later this week. Until then, my head hurts too much.

-Downtown's big problem? Parking! But I could have sworn that we weren't going down there enough. More expert planning by our city leaders. Gotta love the foresight.

-EliteXC: Unfinished Busniess wasn't a sellout. First reported here! What wasn't reported here but was something I had an inkling about while waiting in line was less than half the people who attended paid to do so. I was one of the unfortunate suckers who actually plopped down money for the event. EliteXC doesn't seem too worried about it. Stockton didn't exactly do the best job promoting the card. And no, a truck driving a billboard around does not count as advertising. Especially when the only times I saw it was at the intersection of March and Pacific. I saw that thing parked at the mall(s) more than I saw it mobile. Granted, you don't see mobile billboards much when you're holed up in your mother's basement.

-Looks like the Asparatus Festival is staying downtown. Which is kind of sad because I always preferred it being at Oak Park. Mostly because at Oak Park it wasn't such a fucking maze. Oh well. How many more days until Chestnut defends the title?

-... Shit, that's all we got. Appreciate the shortwinded posts while you get them. Once I feel better and actually read the Record, instead of just skimming the horrendously unnavigatable, we'll post something more substantial. If you got any ideas, own editorials, or happen to be a local band who wants to be featured on the eventual podcasts (oh yeah, PODCASTS!), drop us a line a My inbox is lonely.