Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Top 5 Downtown events that need to happen

If there's one thing that's stalled the revitalization of downtown, it has to be the complete dogshit event booking that's gone on. In the few years that the Arena has been open, there's been exactly one event that they've had that made any of us go "Oh shit! I have to go to that!" (the EliteXC fights).

To be fair we never thought the Arena was a good idea. We're too close in proximity to not one, not two, but 4 major cities with better venues. Who in their right mind would skip over San Jose, SF, or Oakland to come to little ol' Stockton? Just Gwen Stefani apparently.

Besides the Hollaback girl, we've been treated to a cornucopia of county fair-level talent (and we're including Hannah Montana in that category). Part of the problem, as we've stated before, is the piss poor job done advertising events that come downtown. It sends the message to promoters considering Stockton that we won't help at all. And when we do help, it's to the wrong people and done the wrong way. $75,000 of taxpayer money and what did we get? A shitload of now embarassing billboards. (Please tell us that those "postponed" signs aren't going to be up until the Rodeo allegedly happens next year.)

Advertising problems aside, the main problem is fairly obvious. Events we want to see aren't coming to Stockton. IFG's job is to attract promoters to Stockton, they're not doing their job. The problem is, they're not looking in the right places. We may not be big time promoters, but even we can think up 5 events that should not only be easily bookable, but they'll actually sell tickets. That's right, Top 5 downtown events that need to happen. (Note: We did next to zero research on this list, so feel free to tell us if we're wrong or if they've already attempted these things.) Let's do the damn thing.

Play a Thunder game outdoors at Banner Island Ballpark
We'd worry a bit about ice refridgeration issues outside, but the Arena's track record with that hasn't exactly been sterling so we can look past it. The NHL's attempts at outdoor hockey were regarded as successes, so why can't we do it? We're not the biggest hockey fans, but outdoor hockey intrigues us. We can only assume other casual fans might give it a shot too. Great way to advertise the city and garner some interest in a team that, let's face it, isn't very interesting.

Bring back the HS state wrestling tournament
Alright, as former high school wrestlers we'll admit we're a little biased with this one. But Stockton clearly misses the boost the economy got when the best wrestlers from all over the state came to Stockton for a few days. The tournament left for Bakersfield when it outgrew the Spanos Center. Now we have a bigger venue and a convienently located hotel to house them, it's time to try and lure them back. IFG, we're looking at you. Speaking of tournaments...

Collaborate with UOP for a college basketball tournament at the Arena
When we had the initial idea for this list a while ago, one of the ideas tossed around was bringing the Kings back to Stockton. Since that's already happened, this seems like a great alternative. Like the state tournament, bringing in a bunch of college basketball players from all over the country would boost the economy and get people going downtown. All it takes is one decent sized team to anchor the thing as the attraction school (Gonzaga anybody?) and people should come out to see a big time program that we really never get during UOP's regular season. Depending on pricing, a few full days of college basketball at the arena would be a steal. Plus, holding it at the Arena means you can (gasp) drink at a fucking basketball game like God intended.

Book events at the Fox/Bob Hope that people under the age of 40 (but over the age of 15) want to see
The booking of the Bob Hope Theatre has always been fucking horrible. The last time we went there was for the Too Short/Chingy concert a few years back. Chingy was allegedly the headliner, but more than half the audience left after Too Short's set. It was a classic example of how little promoters "get" us. If there's one complaint we have about the booking of any event downtown, it's that there's next to nothing geared towards the college-aged resident. Which is funny since there's 2 fucking colleges in town. And if there's one thing college kids cum all over themselves for, it's indie bands that don't get much mainstream radio play. These are the bands that would actually consider playing a show in Stockon because they're in SF for another show anyways.

Plus, they're cheap. You're trying to tell us you can't afford to bring a band like Cursive or Modest Mouse to Stockton? Bullshit. The people in charge of luring acts have just never heard of them because they haven't been kids since dinosaurs were used as kitchen appliances. Try asking that Middagh guy for help. We hear he knows a few bands and how to lure them to Stockton.

Come on, you had to see this one coming. We're not talking about a secretive beer olympics like the movie of the same name (although that would be a great idea, and we'd win), we want a beer convention. We've stated time and time again that the only thing to do in this town is drink, so why not get together once a year and do so? If the St. Patrick's Day party that Bradley's throws is any indication, it should be fairly popular. But those guys are thinking small scale. We suggest talking with the area's various mircrobreweries (Lodi Beer Co, Valley Brew, BJs (to some extent) and put on a full scale convention.

Also, if we were in charge, we wouldn't allow any wine. All those old white fucks talking about the difference between two types of $12 supermarket wine just get in the way of our good time. If there's going to be any sort of snobbery there, it's going to be... "What's the alcohol content of your beer?" "I'm drinking a Budweiser." "You fucking pussy, try this Indian Pale Ale. It's at 15%, that'll put hair on your momma's nutsack!"

We kid of course. If history's proven anything it's that even though there would be numerous quality beers at this hypothetical event, everybody would be sipping on lukewarm Coronas like pussies. But hey, book pretty much any bar band and put up a bunch of booths and banners and you got a halfway decent event on your hands.

Of course none of these events will probably happen because they make too much sense. Dealing with Stockton promoters and businesses that know the area and don't look like dickholes in cowboy hats? Horrible idea.

Stockton makes national tv!

Stockton has once again led the way in class across the nation. Today on Good Morning America they reported that Stockton residents have decided to tackle foreclosed and bank-owned homes in their own unique way.

Spray paint.

Now, not the typical Stockton way of throwing up XIV tags on garages. But green spray paint on lawns that have turned brown from lack of watering. You know, NFL style.

But the kicker was not good american hospitality. No, the reason homeowners were doing this was because the look of these foreclosed homes was dropping property values in the neighborhood.

Hey, at least we made national tv again!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Quick Links for 9/29

Let's bang through some quick links and hope actual news happens today so it can be reported on tomorrow.

Yesterday we were headed down Pacific Ave by UOP and saw not one, not two, but 3 cop cars in the vicinity of one of the fraternities and that Methodist church with the weird roof. No doubt some shit was going down. So what caused the massive manhunt? A guy got mugged on California Street. That's right, Stockton PD dedicated 3 police units (and possibly a fourth) to catch a guy who stole a cell phone and a wallet. What are we? Lodi?

If you can't trust a back alley hooker, then just who the hell can you trust. Consider our moral fiber shaken to the very bone.

Oh hey, just what downtown revitalization was missing. A big ass movie screen. At least we can avoid that drive to Dublin when Transformers 2 comes out. Nothing's hotter than a 6-story tall Megan Fox.

We're kind of wondering what's so strange about this story of a guy who (allegedly) killed his cellmate while trying to beat a concealed weapon rap on a technicality. Guy with history of criminal behavior commits crime, kept off street. Throw in the fact that a child molester died and this is the feel good story of the year. Man, Stockton rocks.

For the record, this was not us. Mighty tempting though. That's like 500 points. 600 if he had a walker.

In what can only be described as a throwback column, Fitzy again tells us that the reason downtown hasn't succeeded is because we're not moving there. In the process he pretty much ignores every real reason downtown hasn't succeeded. You know, that whole booking shitty acts and picking one of the more dangerous spots in the city as a family gathering place. But it can all be fixed with homes downtown!

Your weekly Monday morning slow news day rant

So, a couple of times we've thrown out the idea that original sports analysis/reporting would go a long way in increasing the overall quality of the Record. Sports are popular from what we hear. We've also touched on the Record's overreliance on AP stories. Lastly, we've noticed the Record likes to shoot it's wad on Sundays and leave Monday's to be a wasteland of boring news, uncomfortable hungover morning cuddling, and somehow even more AP stories.

It was this perfect storm of lazy, cost cutting shittiness that brought us today's Sports section. We've stated a couple of times that we usually completly skip the sports pages. Today is a good example of why. Not a single story was written by a Record writer. Not one.

The only thing keeping it from being confused with the Sports section from Modesto, Sacramento, or any other SJ valley city is the picture from a Stockton soccer tournament on C6. No story accompanies the picture. It just tells you to read the box score.

You're telling me Bob Highfill can't even shit out a column about that 76-yard field goal attempt? He writes exactly one column a week while other papers have guys signed specifically to write sports columns. You know, original analysis. If the sports writers don't have any of the minor league teams in season right now, no college football team to cover, one day a week of high school football, and no sparsely attended horse races; then what the hell are they covering?

Go cover football. Or better yet, Kings media day. Or the end of baseball season. We have SIX localish professional sports teams and how many beat writers does the Record have dedicated to them? That's right, goose egg. The Warriors are actually handing out press passes to bloggers because cheapskate newspapers aren't sending beat writers. You gotta spend money to make money. Loosen up those purse strings and give us something decent to read asshats.

Friday, September 26, 2008

An open letter to the editors of the 3-Minute Record

Dear Elizabeth Giblin and the rest of the staff at the 3-Minute Record,

I generally enjoy the 3-minute Record. If you could somehow put the 3MR on recordnet.com it would improve the quality of the website becaue it's basically a news aggregator mixed in with snarky writing. You know, like a blog. Only instead you decide to print it on the back page of the Local section.

While we feverishly await the day when our humble site graces the "Best of the Web" feature, we'd like to take the time to bring up an issue with today's edition of the 3MR as a service for men everywhere who read the "Tragic Consequences" feature where the "good" and "bad" arrows usually reside.

Please never do that feature again. It's bad enough that there was a story about a (Warning: Men reading this might want to put on a cup before continuing reading.) 61-year old man getting a circumcision. (Insert your own Briss Isaak joke here) But, and I'm pretty sure I speak for penised creatures of every species, nobody wants to read a story about (Again, brace yourselves) a guy who had his dick removed while sedated (God I hope he was sedated) during surgery without being consulted.

It's not a funny story and we don't need to read about it. I may not sleep for the next week out of fear that some surgeon might come in and chop off Little Duke. I may skip my next 4 doctor appointments. It's been a good half hour since I read the story and I'm still clutching my twig and berries.

So in conclusion, you get the blue arrow of shame that you cut didn't pass out today. Oh, and F-Minus isn't funny.

Reclaiming the Title

Quick Links for 9/26

The city's budget deficit has increased by a couple million while the city works on prioritized budget cuts. Will your city funded service be deemed important enough? Probably not. See ya later Mobile Library.

We don't want to seem cruel or anything but if you accept a ride from complete strangers on 9th street, you probably deserve to be robbed. There's optimism about the kindness of your fellow man, and then there's just plain retarded. This is the latter. Who walks around Airport and 9th late at night without some sort of protection on them?

We're almost positive there has to be more to this story. How baked do you have to be to not know that if you deny the cops access to your home they're just going to come back with a warrant? How quickly can they even get warrants? Unless the cops had the warrant faxed to their car while they waited out front those stoners should have had plenty of time to dispose of the admirable amount of hippie lettuce there had. And one of them was a doctor!? He has to be the only pot smoking doctor in California who doesn't have a prescription. You don't have a single doctor friend who can hook you up with a green card in return for some free surgery? (Not that it would've mattered with the amount of ganj found, but still.)

Did we hear Clem Lee right at the Wednesday forum? Ann Johnston endorsed the abomination that is Wannabe Morada? We haven't taken a side in the mayoral race yet, but this might have just sealed it. When builders go back on their promises you revoke their ability to build, not just learn a lesson at the expense of sprawl.

Speaking of sprawl, A.G Spanos Cos Senior Vice President David Nelson finally fesses up with the real reason for their lawsuit in Fitzy's column today. From the Record:
"...the settlement agreement requires infill development downtown at expense of other areas of the city," Nelson said, "that's impacting my ability to move forward with development on non-downtown property."

Umm, what? You're developing non-downtown property right now? Actually, scratch that, you're developing property here period? 1,400 more homes in north Stockton. Are you fucking kidding me? Isn't there some other town you guys can put your shitty cookie cutter houses in? I hear Lodi's got a shitload of open land. Try Galt, nobody gives a shit about Galt. I'll make a deal with you guy. You go away until forecasters can actually see the end of the mortgage crisis, and we'll work on reselling the surplus of foreclosed homes that we have. In other words, come back when we fucking need more homes. I'm pretty sure we're good for a while. Greedy assholes.

Shit to do for the weekend of 9/26

Sexy Friday Sept. 26th

The Outlaw Dance Society, The Icarus Jones Collective, and the Second String Quintet will be playing at the Dean DeCarli Waterfront Square at 6 for something called The Final Final Friday. I have a feeling Sexy Friday will return next week, but that doesn't give us any reason not to drink like it is the final Friday. Briss Isaak got a head start after USC's loss yesterday. Free

Saturday Sept. 27th

The Subtle Way, We're Not Friends Anymore, La Circa, This is the Hospital, and Katsumoto are playing at the Empire at 7 for the 209Vibe all ages anniversary party. It's good to see somebody celebrate shit right. Why does a celebration have to be a certain day? I personally celebrate my birthweek, not just the day. Yes, I'm that awesome. Don't be put off by the "all ages" part of this show, the Matinee's right next door. So feel free to float back and forth. $12

Novacain's playing the Blackwater this night too. I'd have more info about it but everyone's favorite perrenial Presidential candidate didn't put anything up on the 209Vibe site. According to the Stockton Rocks! MySpace it's at 8 with Jikokusei Shoukougun and a vacant spot (this could be you!).

Elizabeth's party! omg this shuld roxx0rs!

Sunday Sept. 28th

Again, nothing's going on Sunday. Did I get magically transported to Utah or something? Oh well, that's why we have football I guess. The Raiders take on the Chargers this weekend so Marmalard should throw about 35 touchdowns. Were you aware Marmalard leads the league in TDs and is the highest rated passer in the league? You betta ask somebody.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Time for a morality check

Morals are a tricky thing. Mostly because the definition of morality is up to each individual person. We don't claim to have better morals than others. Our morals just work for us. Most of us have a similar core grop of morals. Gimmies like buying your 2 year old a lap dance for their birthday or hitting a woman. Both of those are things we hope are universally accepted as immoral.

One of the things that really grinds our gears is when somebody tries to tell us we're immoral. Because most of the time they don't know a thing about us and usually the moral sticking point is something that is anything but a no brainer. Which brings us to Fitzy's column yesterday.

He reviews the book "Edges of Bounty: Adventures in the Edible Valley" by William Emery. The book is about...well we're not entirely sure. (Which is a great sign of quality writing) Whatever it is, it invokes a lot of "isms", which is never a good sign. The main ism that's thrown around appears to be edibilism, which apparently is the practice of catching or growing one's own food. Emery argues that this method is morally superior to commerically grown/purchased food. Why? We never find out. It just is. (Which is a shakey arguement for a blog, let alone a newspaper column.)

Wait a sec, arguements about commercialism and morality without anything substantial to back it up? Why, I believe that's the mating call of the...oh fuck. Hippies! (And if he's not a hippie, he probably should have left out the part about lazily smoking from a pipe on the porch)

God we hate hippies. Out of all the people who try to force their own set of morals upon other people, hippies are the fucking worst (Mormons are second worst).

We're not even going to dignify most of his claims with a respose because that would be lowering ourselves to his level. We don't claim the moral high ground. Because as we said before, everybody's different. Respecting livestock and growing your own food may be good for you, unfortunatly we have these things called lives.

We will tackle his main claim though. Emery states that food you grow/catch/kill yourself is better because you can just tatse to moral superiority oozing out of its juices. So we asked our resident farm boy (El Duke) if that's true. His response:

"I've personally chopped the heads off of and defeathered chickens in my backyard for dinner and didn't notice any difference from store bought chicken. Same goes for the pigs we raised, but how can one really improve upon bacon? He might have a point with food you grow, but that's more because of the sense of accomplishment than anything moral. And a sense of accomplishment doesn't taste like dick."

Wow, that response stank of moral inferiority didn't it? We're not trying to say what Emery wrote is inherently wrong, it's the casual use of the concept of morals that we take issue with. Emery doesn't know any better than you or I do because every person is an individual. What one person might call "parasitical urbanism" might be called "supply and demand" by another. Who's wrong? That's not really for us to decide. (Hint: It's the dirty hippie.)

Don't think we forgot about you Fitzy. What the fuck's up with all the hippie ads lately? First that faith healer bullshit and now this? At least you wrote the Reiki column. Half this column is regurgitated shit from some jackass's book. We can shit out two posts a day in addition to the actual jobs we have, and you can't even form a fucking opinion on the book who's passages you lifted to fill space? You just thank the guy for coming by and realizing we had to step up production after we started supplying goods for more cities.

While we appreciate a good "present the facts and let the reader decide" story as much as the next guy, it usually helps if you present the other side. Otherwise you're pretty much just handing your column over to some douchebag who came by and said our agricultural system is fucked up because they ("they" meaning the ag industry) want to make money. God forbid families get supported.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quick Links for 9/24

Words can't express how disappointed we are that the audit of Delta's spending of bond dollars isn't going to be public until the end of the month. Can't we sue to vote on this too?

How many mob-style shootings can one town have in a week? It looks like we might find out. And that "It's pretty bad when gunshots don't even bother you" quote might overtake Nick Diaz's "Real fighters are from Stockton" as the quote that most accurately depicts this city.

Not sure what we can really add to this except that we're not all surprised it happened in Sonora.

Oh and free candy for donating food and other shit to a Lodi food shelter. Because it's not like the hungry kids the food bank collects for would want candy or anything. We hear they hate the stuff.

A quick lesson in marketing from El Duké

Alright, fuck this. I'm not letting this happen again. One of the biggest issues I had with the EliteXC fights a couple of months ago (besides the fact that I was in the minority that paid) was that whoever was in charge of advertising did a piss poor job. I'm no ad expert. Shit, I don't even watch Mad Men. But even I know that if you wait until the last possible second to advertise an event, nobody's going to show up. Then you're going to have to give away more than 50% of the tickets, and nobody will buy tickets next time around because they'll just wait for the week-of freakout where seemingly every radio station is giving away tickets. We all watched it happen with EliteXC and sadly it looks like it's happening again.

In less than a month the Kings are playing the Clippers in a preseason game at the Spanos Center. First time they've done so since the 80s (or early 90s if you want to count scrimmages with the Warriors). You probably wouldn't know about it unless you happened to catch the initial announcement a month ago. And that's really fucking depressing.

Most people who know me know that I'm a huge Kings fan. So when some of my not-so-tech savvy friends (i.e. friends over the age of 40) ask me about the game, I'm usually one of the only resources the have.

"When's the game?"
"Wed. October 15th"
"Who are they playing?"
"The Clippers."
"How much is it?"
"Tickets are between $10 and $250."

I've had that conversation roughly 800 times in the past week. Which shows me three things. A. I have too many friends over the age of 40. B. People are genuinely interested in the game. (Which is encouraging) and C. Whoever's in charge of advertising is doing a horrible job.

We're less than a month away from this game and people don't even know when the fuck it is. Like I said earlier, I'm not an ad guy, but even I know to properly advertise an event. You have to pound it into our skulls for about a month using every medium available so the ticket buying public (including the people who still haven't figured out how to send e-mail) actually knows when the game is and can budget for tickets accordingly. This is where EliteXC failed horribly. During the week preceeding the EliteXC fights, people would ask me what I was doing for the weekend and my response was universal. "I'm going to the fights." Sadly, the response to that was also universal. "What fights?"

When Stockton gets events like these they should be treated like the big fucking deal that they are. (Insert ironic "Event City" joke here) If you treat the events that actually choose to come to Stockton like they're just any old event, then they're going to be perceived as such. Now, I know we're all a little cautious to get excited about an event after the debacle that was the Stockton Rodeo. But this isn't some douchebag with a cowboy hat and a bag full of dreams, this is the fucking Maloof brothers we're talking about. If they're going to fuck us over, they'll probably do it with actual hookers.

Now of course this wouldn't be a proper post if I didn't blame somebody for whatever egregious error in judgement we're posting about. Unfortunatly with this situation, it's a complicated answer. It's pretty much everybody's fault.

It's IFG's fault because they've turned the Arena into such a money pit that the Kings were afraid that they wouldn't sell enough tickets to make the event seem respectable. Feel free to read that again. Let it sink in. A professional sports franchise wants so little to do with our Arena that they preferred to have a preseason game at a venue a quarter of the size of their normal venue as opposed to half. If you want any proof as to how shitty of a job IFG has done promoting the city and the arena, this is as good as an example as any I've heard.

It's also (obviously) The Record's fault. They're too busy telling us to go to their Literacy Fair, or assailing our eyeballs with Lori Gilbert's bullshit, or breaking the shocking news that Al Davis is fucking Looney Tunes, when they should really be beating it into our brains that we have an opportunity to show that can support and want decent sized events. I understand that they apparently have a sports staff of 3, but can't they at least fucking call Bobby Jackson and ask him about how it's going to feel playing in front of Kings fans again? I'm not even asking for hardball questions. I'm flat out begging for a puff piece on the Kings. Anything. ONE WEEK UNTIL TRAINING CAMP STARTS. Whoops, sorry. Got a little out of control there. But really guys, at least fake like you're making an effort.

It's also (sadly) the Kings' fault. As far as I can tell, they've also done jack shit to promote the event. Of course they could care less how they do here. They gave it a shot, if it doesn't work they'll just go back to having preseason games in Reno. But at the very least they could send Spencer Hawes down here to take hilariously awkward photos. (Yes, I'm almost certain that is the real Spencer Hawes' MySpace.)

And lastly, it's our fault. Yes, I mean you. I love being a cheap bastard as much as the next guy (and don't even get me started on Bris Isaak), but if you don't support at least some of the shit that comes our way nobody will come. We might have to pay money to see shitty acts like Brian Reegan or Gordon Lightfoot in order to get decent acts that don't cater exclusively to the Latino crowd. I know this may come as a shock, but steady ticket sales count. While I admire everyone's patience in waiting for radio freebies, those free tickets do jack shit for paid attendence figures. (You know, the important figures) (Note: I have no idea how this sentence got omitted from the original posting. Are we the only blog without fucking grammar Nazis ready to pounce at the misuse of a semi-colon?) Also, stop fucking attacking Morrissey when he graces us with his presence. That doesn't look good for other fucking awesome acts that otherwise wouldn't wipe their ass with our newspaper. (You think emo kids are bad? Imagine if we somehow booked Carlos Santana.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lori Gilbert devours entire LENS page, and Brian McCoy

We're pretty sure we've made our utter contempt for Lori Gilbert's writing known. She hasn't really given us much to post about because she left the Sports page earlier this year (Thank you oh merciful God). Since she left the realm of sports and moved to the entertainment/LENS section we've pretty much found her easily ignorable since all she does now is write soft features about shit nobody cares about. Then we turned to today's LENS section, which can be summed up in 3 words. Just fucking ridiculous.

(Almost as ridiculous as the fact that the 3 stories that grace the front of the LENS section aren't all available on the Entertainment homepage of recordnet.com.)

In the past we've bitched about the Record's overreliance on AP stories, but if a full page of Lori Gilbert is the result, then please give us another bland run down of the shitty new CW shows. Tell us about garage sale season again. Have Tony Sauro tell us a story about how he once did coke with Stills and Nash, but not David Crosby because he was totally demolishing some groupie tail. Fuck, sell the whole page as ad space. The stories she wrote are pretty much ad copy for some bad play anyway. Quit falling alseep at the wheel McCoy. Just because you're moving on doesn't mean you get to phone it in. And yes, subjecting us to a full page of that crap is phoning it in.

WTF recordnet?

The erudite post and the post before it (which was some other boring police post) have been removed for no discernable reason. (Unless those $10 words Burkin was using were insults, but we looked them up, they weren't.) How dare you remove posts we reference on this awesome site. Although we ask again, what the hell was so bad in those posts that they needed to be removed? Should we not be savoring a crimeless day? Shame on us for enjoying peace.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Quick Links for this painfully slow Monday 9/22

Oh hey, another slow news day Monday. Imagine that. Here's some quick links while we feverishly search for content.

Oh shit! Drought! While we're slightly fearful of somehow recreating the water conservation episode of King of the Hill, telling us about a drought the day after summer's over seems kind of alarmist. Especially when, you know, the winter drought hasn't actually happened yet. We could have sworn ESPN had the market cornered on future history.

You know an easy way to tell it's a slow news day? When the follow up article is printed the same day as the original.


It's not a real Stockton party until some gets shot at and shanked. (Gonna fly now....)

While we consider ourselves expert headline writers, we couldn't have done any better ourselves with this one.

Anybody else think this might end with a Killer Whale on the moon?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shit to do for the weekend of 9/19 (AKA Talk Like A Pirate Weekend)

Sexy Friday 9/19
This weekend's fairly lopsided as far as shit to do goes. Everybody's got dibs on Saturday and totally neglected Friday and Sunday. The only real show I could find for tonight was a Blackwater Show featuring the Magnolia District, Monica Marie, and Rebecca Goldsmith at either 8 or 9 (there's two listings for it on 209Vibe). Free

Saturday 9/20
Looking to do something this weekend? Well this is the day. Seriously, this day is wicked packed.

There's Minor Dischord and FunkyTim playing by the movie theater at 7pm. Obviously free.

Or if that's too close to nighttime for you to consider going downtown, the old Stockton Royal is being put to good use as Extended Walrus and Sukijames play at 7:30 on the Matinee side. $5

Over on the Empire Theater side of things is the San Francisco International Stand-Up Comedy Competition at 8pm featuring a bunch of comedians you've probably never heard of. (But as the press release notes about 50 times, they could become famous eventually.) $25

Or if you feel like boogeying down (a phrase best said/read by using a Richard Nixon voice), you can make the trek up to Modesto as 209Vibe celebrates it's adults-only 1-year anniversary at the Fat Cat. (Thus fulfilling our requirement to advertise any event who's press release contains the phrase "grown and sexy".) One can only hope the end result is Ian Hill waking up the next morning on the Fat Cat bar with half his beard shaved off. $10

Sunday 9/21
Absolutely nothing is going on Sunday. Unless you're into camp fundraisers. (Which is for a good cause, I've just never heard of the camp or the city it's in but it's in New York. Why is it on 209Vibe?) Luckily Sunday is the best day to have nothing going on. Sundays are for getting your hopes up for no other reason than "Jamarcus looks good today" only to watch his fat ass waddle around in the pocket and throw a 5-yard slant on 3rd and 15. (Sorry, way too easy)

Quick Links for 9/19 Arrrrrrr!

Before we get started with the quick links, happy Talk Like a Pirate Day everybody. Arrrrrrr! Man, that felt good...matey. We'd type like pirates all day but pirates have horrible grammar and reading sentences like "Fitzy, ye be not funny, yar." all day would probably make your eyeballs bleed. Plus we're pretty sure typing like a pirate isn't practical, the hook would get in the way.

Queen Emily made it to the America's Got Talent Top 5 (We'd have a link, but saw this story in the 3-Minute Record and wrote this paragraph, stupidly assuming that the story would be on recordnet.com.), beating out an undetermined number of drag queen celebrity impersonators (we'd have the exact number of drag queens she beat out, but we watch TV shows that are actually entertaining). The Queen said of her experience on the show so far, "It feels grand." Which brings up two thoughts. One, Someone's letting that Queen nickname go to their head a little bit. And two, people still say grand? What's next? I had a gay ol' time winning that competition? We're calling our shot and predicting a "Coronation of a Queen" headline when she wins this thing. And yes, we're well aware we quoted the Flintstones theme a couple sentences ago.

Apparently Fitzy couldn't settle on a column idea so he went with the quick hits format. Which is fine as long as it doesn't become a cructh. (Because we're currently using that crutch.) It does help if the hits contain something resembling humor. Telling people to check out your blog for more info isn't a column, it's an advertisement.

There's a $5,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Mayra Lopez's killer. No funny comment here, just passing along important information.

For some sick reason we find stories like this to be hilarious. Note to the World: If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Especially if that sound is coming from a Canadian.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Breaking News! Al Davis might not have all his marbles

I don't know if we've said much about this yet, but we find the Record's Sports pages to be totally useless. Mostly because unless it's about our minor league trifecta or a local school, the story's going to be written by the AP. Which was fine 10 years ago before the internet was thrust into our everyday lives.

Now that there's an entire generation that can't possibly fathom what life was like pre-internet (which makes me feel fucking ancient by the way), sports news can be digested almost immediatly after it happens. Which means that almost every AP story the Record prints is a story I read about 12 hours ago. Or if I haven't read it, it's because it's mind-blowingly insulting to even the most casual of sports fan. You bet your ass I have an example.

The featured front page story is a preview of the upcoming Raiders/Bills game. (I would link to it, but that would mean recordnet.com would actually have to post every story in the paper. Which makes too much sense to actually happen) And by preview I mean it focuses solely on the ongoing Al Davis/Lane Kiffin saga. The article goes on to tell us that Al Davis is controlling and possibly insane. I know, I had to sit down after hearing that too. You think you know a guy...

Point being, Oakland is 45 mins away depending on Tracy traffic and driving speed, you're telling me the Record can't send one fucking reporter out there once a week to put together a decent football preview? I'm not even a Raiders fan, but original reporting about any professional team would make my day. Considering this town is pretty much bursting at the seams with fans of the silver and black, one would think sending a reporter out there would generate more sports page views than say, having them write a front page story about why nobody went to the horse races. (Answer to the horse race question: We can't afford our homes, let alone play the ponies. What the fuck did they think was going to happen?)

Your quick guide to the General Plan

The General Plan of 20fucking forever has been in the news a lot lately. A lot of legal wrangling and posturing has gone on during the past 685 years they've been trying to hammer this thing out and it can get fairly confusing pretty easily. (We're still not sure what Morada's beef is if they've already agreed to not go east of 99.) We thought it would be nice to try and put all the info on it in an easy to navigate place for people who search the intertubes for more info on it (since recordnet.com is decidedly not easy to navigate.). Plus we've added all the bias not included in the Record since we're not a respectable news organization like them and can do stuff like that.

After God knows how long, the City Council approved the General Plan of 2035 near the end of last year. It was a fairly shitty plan that presumably gave Alex Spanos' wallet a boner (Yes, his wallet has a penis. It's a Greek thing.) and pushed Stockton's boundries even further outward, therefore stretching Stockton's public services even thinner. But hey, the City Council agreed on something, party time.

Then the hippies decided it wasn't good enough. They (somewhat rightfully) claimed that Stockton's plan was too ambitious and the construction of all that housing would be too harmful to the environment. Not to mention it possibly would have pushed Stockton's boundries so far north that they might have run out of farmland to pave over. The city tried to promise it'd think about the environment. Nobody bought it (because let's face it, it was said by a city official.) so State Attorney General Jerry Brown got involved. The city then hemmed and hawed for a little bit, presumably to gage what their chances of winning the lawsuit were. Then finally relented and amended the plan.

But wait! There's more!

Where's my pudding?

Everybody's favorite old, crusty Greek guy took some time from dealing with getting royally fucked on Sunday to say there was a royal fucking going on in Stockton! Who's getting fucked? US!? Oh shit! But I'm Joe Taxpayer, I demand more jobs and I want them now! Give them to me Mayor Chavez!

In actuality A.G. Spanos Cos is just pissed they/we were left out of the discussion about the settlement. (Even though they were the first to ask about the settlement at a meeting a couple of week ago.) Plus if Stockton decides to impose the green standards they're required to consider under the new plan, it would cost them a shitload more cash. So what do you do when someone tells you "No" for a fairly decent reason? File another lawsuit of course.

It also helps to take a full page out in the paper (because god forbid that ad space be filled with actual news). Plus, it helps to give yourself a buzzword-filled name like Alliance for Responsible Planning to show you really care about us. Then make wild claims like the new hippy-friendly plan means less jobs for Stockton, even though nobody really knows exactly how many jobs will result from the General Plan.

We could go on. Jesus Tapdancing Christ we could go on. But you should be up to speed on what's going on. The Recordnet blogs also have really stepped up to the plate in General Plan coverage. David Siders (who was the writer for like every story we just linked to) has some interesting shit about the plan in his blog if you're not too overloaded on political posturing. Fitzy's also been on top of things as of late (and by "as of late" we mean he started yesterday. But we suspect that's more a result of his practice of writing follow up blogs about columns he just fucking wrote), including a post about a chat he had with ex-Mayor Podesto (who we hear knows a thing or two about referendums).

Time to check in on the reclamation efforts

A couple of days ago we saw this update on recordnet.com. We read it and came up with one pressing question. The same question we ask when we see an article about the NBA and don't see a Kings mention (which is often). "That's nice and all, but how are we doing?" Yes, we're horribly vain.

Considering the FBI isn't going to even compile that information for a while, we won't find out until next year. But what that article did do was give us the itch. That kind of itch you get when it's April and the NFL draft rolls around. It's not actual football, but it's something. And I'll be damned if we weren't all holed up at Chitivas watching the draft coverage while the rest of the city enjoyed the Asparagus Festival. (The dollar beers helped)

So without any real new information coming out, we have to make due with what we got. This site helped for a bit. Right up until crime stopped cold on August 19th. (Who runs that site? El Duké?)

Fortunatly, the man that drove a grand total of 7 unique hits (as of last night) to us, Christian Burkin comes to the rescue. While we're amazed the Record has to figure out the violent crime rate rankings themselves (Note: Journalism degrees and math don't mix. Or so all our degree having friends say), we're also amazed at how fucking glorious this spreadsheet is. (Note: Glorious to nerds like us. [Note: How many notes is one sentence allowed?])

Never before has someone so easily visualized our violent crime rate title reclamation efforts. We're working on bringing in Ron Jaworski to break it down for us. But until then, let's hit the basics.

The defending champion Oakland averaged a little bit more than 19 violent crimes per 1,000 people. While Stockton averaged just a skosh more than 14 per 1,000.

Fuck. That's a bit of a difference. I guess I now know how Raider fans feel after they read training camp reports. (Sorry, couldn't help myself. Although to be honest, we knew that feeling the second we saw "J.T. O'Sullivan named first week starter" scroll across the news feed.)

So if our math is correct (which it isn't), we need 5,000 more violent crimes in order to have a shot at reclaiming our title. Cue the Rocky theme.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What the fuck Recordnet?

Sorry for the weird posting time, but we have to post this. For kind of a preview of what we got planned for tomorrow, we're going to try and put together a quick guide to the whole General Plan fiasco that's been going on since the dawn of time. When we research shit for stories (I swear we do research sometimes), we usually use Google's advanced search to search for articles on the Record's website because recordnet's search is fucking useless. And I think we finally found the perfect example of it's sucktitude (a mashup of "magnitude of suck").

We typed the search term "'General Plan' sierra club lawsuit" into both search engines to try and find the original article about the Sierra Club filing a lawsuit against the city. Google gives us 99 results. The Record's own search engine? Fucking 3. We're not super tech savvy so we can understand a little bit of difference, but the Record's own website is missing ninety fucking six search hits? That's inexcusable.

UPDATE: About 6 seconds after posting this we saw the link that said "In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 3 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included."And magically the results jumped to 254. There were 251 entries that we so similar they were omitted? They all seem remarkably different to me. (well, not all, but most) Cockasses.

Agreeing with Fitzy and now this? Consider our touch lost

As a former college newspaper editor, one of the most annoying things I had to deal with was letters to the editor. Why are they so annoying? (Besides the question of who writes letters to the editor to a JuCo paper) Beacause 99% of the time those letter are...what's the technical term I'm looking for... oh, retarded. Letters to the editor for the most part are self serving piles of shit that have no business being printed. Mostly because these letters are either overwhelmingly reactionary and are written and sent almost instantly after the story is read or they're written by journonerds who write in to correct AP style or allege bias.

The biggest downfall letters to the editor have is that journalistic rules dictate that you can't respond to the letter directly. Even if what they wrote was really really stupid. This is when we feel sorry for the Record's editors. Sometimes they get complete morons writing in. A classic example would be the lady who complained they weren't talking about Queen Emily enough, even though they did a front page story about her 2 days before she appeared in the America's Got Talent playoffs.

Luckily for this place, the rules are a little bit more flexible. And since I got such a kick out of helping Slick dole out some real advice yesterday, I figured I'd give the concept a shot with the Record's letters to the editor. Today's letter? "Quick picking on poor Bryan Bjork." This should be good.

"Rodeo organizer deserves support

I am appalled at the bashing that Brian Bjork has taken in The Record regarding the Stockton Rodeo. It does not matter if this rodeo would make more money than the Neil Diamond concert ever did for Stockton.

Brian and his family had a dream to bring a rodeo to Northern California due to the difficulties the Cow Palace has had. Stockton seemed the logical choice due to its history and great events center. But now due to circumstances beyond his control, the rodeo has been canceled.

The rodeo is still a vision that would benefit all concerned. The Stockton Rodeo Association is a professional organization that could benefit Stockton on a yearly basis. With overwhelming budget concerns that face all cities and a great avenue to promote events, you would think there would be overwhelming support. Instead of bashing a man for his dreams, you would think that there would be support for a vision that would bring people to the city.

Brian is an upstanding individual, not a swindler, and he deserves none of this criticism. His and his family's only passion is to create an avenue for people to experience the rodeo. They don't need the PRCA to do this, and I salute Brian and Dale Yerigan for sharing this vision of producing a great rodeo for all to enjoy.
Candace Briskey

There's only a couple of problems with that letter Candace. For one, the Arena could book me shitting in a hat and trying to put it on a drunken Bris Isaak's head while the Benny Hill theme plays in the background and it would make more money than the Neil Diamond concert. Using that abortion of an Arena opening as the standard is a horrible fucking idea.

Second, if Bjork is such an upstanding individual, then why didn't he put the money in escrow like he was supposed to? Why didn't he actually get the full backing of the rodeo organizations tha he said he had? Actually, scratch all that. His dream was to bring the rodeo to Northern California? I haven't gone by Oakdale or the Altamont lately, but don't we already have a rodeo?

And to get to the main point of the letter, The Record (who I can't believe I'm defending) did a surprisingly measured job on forming an opinion on the rodeo. Or did you miss the part where they spent a day trying to talk us into the minor league rodeo? (Synopsis of that editorial "Hey, at least something's gonna be there.")

I guess what I'm trying to get at is Bryan Bjork royally fucked us. (And by "us" I mean people who give a shit about rodeos.) And when you do it as blatantly as he did, people are going to say something about it. Writing pissy letters to the editor about it only serves to remind us that the city got swindled by some douchebag in a cowboy hat. And I'm pretty sure that's our job.

Quick Links for 9/17

Well, that was a fairly impressive fall from grace. On a scale from 1-10, 1 being Tank Johnson, 10 being Rae Carruth, this one's about a 7. Which is not quite a Maurice Clarett, but a little better than Rampage Jackson. Have fun playing for the Lightening when you get out of the pokey. Although there's always the Bengals.

I'm disappointed that The Record didn't go with the obvious headline of "Lodi man gets baked on pot" for this story about a guy who accidently set himself on fire while making "THC oil" in a bathroom. Yes, our services as headline writers are available.

As much as it pains us to say this, Fitzy's right. The Alliance for Responsible Planning is trying to play us for fools. They claim they're for more jobs in Stockton, when really they mean more jobs for them, not us. What's really sad is, if the petition outside the Pacific Ave Safeway is any sort of indicator, people are actually buying into their shit. At this rate, the General Plan should be done by 2050.

Oh, and thanks to Christian Burkin for the endorsement on the Record's crime blog. So far it's driven in 2 hits. Behold the power of Recordnet.com. And no, we weren't surprised that the day we get daps is same day the crime blog decided to post twice in one day and bump us down from prominence. But it does beg the question, weren't the firefighters at the Board of Supervisors meeting instead of Houston?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What does the Pacifican have against drinking?

We're admitted journonerds over here. While we're not slaves to the AP style guide or even proper spelling, we are fans of the whole journalism thing. We try and keep tabs on local papers but, as you can probably tell, we tend to keep the focus on one paper. Mostly because the other papers in Stockton are college run student newspapers, and we just feel wrong making fun of kids who barely know what they're doing in the first place. But UOP's paper The Pacifican has raised an important question that we feel needs to be asked. Namely, what does The Pacifican have against drinking?

We first began to question The Pacifican's objectivity when we saw the front page teaser about UOP's new alcohol policy. It touted it as the "New and Improved Alcohol Policy". While no one here is trying to argue the newness of the policy, improvement is in the eye of the beholder. If you ask the group of students who have a fondness for White Russians what they think about the banning of mixed drinks, they probably would object to the inclusion of the word improved.

While that's not nearly enough to prove bias, the next edition of The Pacifican irked us a little bit. We had written off the teaser as somebody throwing in an often used phrase without realizing that they were saying the policiy was an improvement over the old. It happens, trust us. But then we were tipped off to the story that graced the front of the Pacifican last week. It visits the whole college presidents signing a letter story we talked about earlier, and then decidedly comes down on one side. Which would be fine if it wasn't presented as a news story. It's not a news story, it's an opinion story where UOP VP of Student Life gives us the cold, hard facts.

Facts like "The National Highway Safety Administration estimates that more than 1,000 lives are saved in traffic crashes each year with the increase in the legal drinking age to 21 from 18."

Estimates are facts? I could have sworn they were just educated guesses, but I'm sure all estimates end up being fact. Just ask the Delta trustees.

Another "fact" from Griego, "Lowering the drinking age will have the effect of increasing drinking overall and will push problems with drinking to even younger ages."

Any of that sound familiar? Well it shouldn't because that quote directly contradicts the study we linked to in this story. Those facts, they're stubborn things.

While that story may have just suffered from a writer who didn't do research and didn't even bother to find the other side of the story to reamin somewhat objective (which again, happens in college journalism more than we'd like to remember), what made us finally think that the Pacifican had a vendetta against imbibing was an advice column letter. It reads:

Dear Jane,
Last year, I never went out to parties or did anything "fun." This year, I seem tohave already started out on the wrong foot. I have begun to consume alcohol almost every other day, and it's getting too much to handle. There is so much peer pressure and I don't know how I can stop without getting made fun of or kicked out of the group of guys I hang out with. What should I do?
Frank the Tank

The advice given is something along the lines of friends who pressure you aren't your friends. And if someone hands you a cup, nurse the drink all night.

In other words it's a bullshit answer. I gathered the braintrust together to give some advice with hair on it's nutsack.

Frank, quit being a pussy. Oh no, you drink with a group of friends every other night. How about you write in when you're drinking every night alone! And if your biggest fear in quitting drinking is that you're going to be made fun of, then let us all cordially invite you to grow a set of balls because if the guys are going rip on you whether you drink or not. It's what guys do. In conclusion, we're beginning to question whether or not you're even a real college student or just a giant gaping vagina that roams around campus.
Sincerely, Reclaiming the Title

Wow, sorry. Got off an a tangent for a sec there.

In reality, the Pacifican probably isn't biased. It's probably just like every college newspaper, a bunch of kids learning how jackasses with too much time on their hands can critique every word they write to question their ethics. The bias question does need to be raised, but in all likelyhood it's not an intentional bias. Although we still seriously doubt Frank the Tank exists.

Meanwhile in Lodi...

Meanwhile in... is an idea we just thought up where we take the focus off of Stockton and take a look at the stories coming out of other cities in San Joaquin county. Like the quick links only focused on one city. Today's city? Lodi.

It seems like we've been hearing about downtown revitalization since the dawn of time. Before Stockton got the itch to reclaim the youthful memories of the 60s when one could roam the streets of downtown, laugh, drink and smoke a joint while crime stayed the court ordered 30 miles away in Modesto; another city decided they needed to put more money in their dilapidated downtown district.

It's hard to believe it's been so long since Lodi started it's downtown revitalization. First came a brand spanking new movie theater, then a parking garage. Then came businesses who successfully flourished in the vacant space made available around the theater and parking garage. Or not.

While the businesses surrounding the movie theater have been an impressive revolving door of failed franchise attempts (we blinked and missed Slices' tenure in the current Starbucks spot), the parking garage's available space has been surprisingly consistant. Unfortunatly that's consistantly empty save for a "World of Wonders: Coming Soon" sign. Looks like "soon" actually means "about 8 years".

The lesson? While downtown Lodi has improved drastically, it's still just barely getting it's shit together and following through with it's downtown plans. Stockton's should take a little bit longer, like forever.

Oh hey, that Grape Festival thing happened. The Grape festival is one of those events you look forward to because, as we've stated before, there's absolutly nothing to do in this area. Which we assume is why so many people buy into the whole wine thing. It's like heavy drinking for classy people. But for those of us who didn't watch Sideways, it gets kinda boring pretty fast. We were supposed to go see Foghat but Bris got distracted by Ohio State's sucking and Duke opted to go to Deja Vu's. Presumably to also be distracted by some sort of sucking.

Speaking of sucking, you may have forgotten that Delta College sucks at spending money. Lodi's pissed that Delta's pretty much completly scratched the proposed Lodi satellite campus. They're calling it a "huge miscarriage of justice" which is probably overselling it just a little bit.

Everybody's known this bond measure has been on shaky legs for a while, so it's kind of a stretch to hear Lodi squawk shit like "it would be a very long time before another bond measure would be passed in Lodi if we were passed over." Guess what? The rest of SJ County reached that point at least a year ago. Catch up with the times and quit acting like the Canada to Stockton's America. Delta has spent all but $66 million of the $250 million they were given. Mountain House is going to cost $90 million just to complete. Yet you still held out hope for a Lodi campus? Come on, nobody's that fucking gulliable.

The Mountain House campus is/was their baby and they don't even have enough money to finish that. We get it, you feel fucked over. Welcome to the club. But crying about future approval of bond dollars isn't going to make much of a difference when us real cities have already decided that Delta's not getting nay bond money unto 2025. And President Rodriguez's "We're still looking at all of our options" is just a nice way of saying "Fuck you Lodi, we only picked you for the abundance of farm land that Spanos has yet to pave over."

Ummm, what?

I gave recordnet.com a quick glance before work and here was one of today's most clicked stories. A year old story about that shitty bar next to BJs that used to be the Backdoor? That one bar that started the horrific Euro dance club fad in Stockton? Someone actually found that story using the Record's search engine?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Time for some basic definitions

When this site was started, we were operating under the assumption that we were the only real classically-defined blog that wrote about local stuff. We didn't look around for evidence to the contrary because we live here, and we're 98% sure nobody besides us knows what the hell a blog is. Well, after doing the bi-weekly duty of checking what the Record calls blogs, Fitzy reenforces that sentiment. For about 3 or so minutes we were surprised we had never heard of SaveStockton.org, then we visited the site.

Fitzy, that's not a blog, that's a message board. We're a blog. But thanks for making us think we had some competition there for a second. But hey, congrats on being the oldest peson to not know what a hedge apple is.

Not quite what we meant by reclaiming the title, but we'll take it

While it continues to amaze me that the A's can have such a good farm system but still somehow blow goats at the pro level, it still doesn't take away from the fact that one of the city's minor league teams is good at something. The Ports are Pacific Coast League Champions. (I'd like to extend a hearty "fuck you" to whomever at recordnet.com decided that the Ports winning the title should be buried to the point that it's not even a featured story in the sports section. Bang up job.)

Congrats guys, now let's see if we can transfer that winning attitude to the other minor league teams and see if they can at least be only a few games under .500 this year. (I have realiztic expectations. Although even a barely sub-.500 season from any of them seems borderline unrealistic.)

Crime never takes a day off...except for when it takes a day off

One of the services we try and provide to you, the reader, is skimming the Record's website for anything interesting. About twice a week one of us checks the Record Staff blogs. It's a fruitless job. Notice all those links to the interesting blogs they post? Yeah, me neither. But there's a first time for everything.

From the Record's surprisingly quiet crime blog, we get an update on the city's title reclamation efforts. And what do we learn? Well, besides the fact that the crime blog has a penchant for big fancy words (What the fuck's an erudite?), we learn that crime occasionally does take a day off. We're guessing they all went to the Grape festival.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Does the Record have something going on today? I couldn't tell based on the 307 references to it in the Record this week. (OK, Google search only brings up 5, but look how god damn organized the results are.) They even invaded the fucking sports page! Funny, I don't remember the Record mentioning that same Slamson and Kings Cheerleaders when they came to Fats last year. EliteXC wishes they had gotten this kind of steady publicity. I don't exactly remember a full page feature for them. But thanks for the added meaning to the "shit noone will read" tag.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Shit to do for the weekend of Sept. 12th

Festival season continues...

All weekend:
The Grape Festival has always been one of my favorite festivals. Any festival built around the production of alcohol (even if it is wine) is OK in my book. Plus they always have one passable classic rock act every year. This year it's Foghat, or at least the drummer of Foghat plus a bunch of other dudes. Plus, they have pig races. I'm going just for that. The festival runs through Sunday. $8

Friday 9/12
209Vibe's putting on and event called The Art of Hip-Hop this afternoon at 5 by the downtown move theater. I've always enjoyed the artistic aspect of hip hop and it's good to see that get some attention considering the negativity usually associated with the art form. Free

Saturday 9/13
Hooliefest hits the Sonora Fairgrounds Saturday. I know it's kind of out of the way, but we can only asusme a Celtic fair is going to involve a lot of drinking and cubby chicks with the tits hanging out. Which means Bris Isaak will more than likely be there. $25

Sunday 9/14
Origami Ghost, St. Pierre, and Little Gaza will be at the Blackwater Sunday at 7. I'd say something about these bands but I've never heard of any of them. So go see them and tell me about it. $5

Thursday 9/18
I'm insanly glad that the H2O Poetry Jam is back. Back in my Delta days I used to follow it from venue to venue and it's always entertaining. The city never really supported it (probbaly because they didn't think of it themselves) so it had kind of a nomadic quality to it. Luckily it's now found a home in Tracy at the Grand Theatre on Central Ave. Tell Radio we said what's up. $5

Quick Links for 9/12

Next month isn't going to be a good month to get hurt or die. It continues to amaze us how we can't even manage to have the most basic of public services without some sort of political bickering or infighting. Granted government shit so it has to be political but we're fighting over who gets to respond to emergencies? How about whoever gets their first? And the cemetary's problem has to be one of the stupidest things we've seen since...ok last week. But still what's the difference between spending money or only spending the interest that money accrues? Bullshit apparently.

Back when the 76 over by In-and-Out dropped gas prices below $4, the Record promptly lost their shit and gave them a week's worth of coverage. At the time I said "I know gas prices are bad, but the "look how low the gas prices are!" story should be saved for at least sub-$2 gas. And even that seems kinda high." Well, guess what? See, we're making progress.

This seems like an appropriate reaction.

While none of us here are big fans of soft news, we do believe in the importance of getting Stockton's large immigrant popularion involed in the voting process. Except for when it turns into a front page political advertisement for Ann Johnston. Here's hoping they give equal time to Clem Lee, Sanchez, and Ralph Lee White. (Those are the mayoral candidates right? We've been in an "absolutly no election discussion" bubble since McNerney got elected)

Speaking of conflicts of interests, we understand they're the only real paper who can cover this event, but it's not really newsworthy. Plus they put an insert in about it the day before, did they really need to hog up the entire front page of the LENS section and have that glorified ad attempt to resemble actual news? If you have to quote your boss for the article, you probably shouldn't write it.

Has anybody sen El Duke since last night?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How to make a Stockton minor league team relevant and newsworthy: Compete for a championship

Congrats to the Ports for beating the San Jose Giants last night and making it to the California League Championship Series. Please don't take their advancement as an indictment against our psychic abilities. We have it on good authority that somebody traveled back in time and messed with the past. Game 1 of the series against the Lancaster Jethawks starts today at 7:05pm. No word on if the Thirsty Thursday promotion includes the playoffs. The Lancaster Team has a Papelbon brother (Josh) pitching in relief. Which gives us an excuse to post this video of his brother getting his "Dirty Dancing" on:

Why special elections suck

(Ed. note: Sorry for the late-ish start. I pulled a Duke and thought I posted this. We also promise this is the last time we'll talk about this, unless of course the recall actually happens. Which if it does, we're moving to Reno -Slick)

I know this was touched on earlier, but as the plot starts to thicken, more info comes out...

It's crazy to think that 2007 was the first time in 5 years California did not have an election. And here we go again with a prison guard union trying to recall Arnie. What really blows my mind is the fact that its going to cost the union somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 million dollars to get the required signatures needed to get a special election. Um, what?

My math might be off, but if you are pissed about overtime, as well as working without a contract, I would think that's money better spent on, I don't know, your guards?

I'm sure the people crying about this are enthralled their union dues are going out instead of back in.

And on just a side note, being one of those people who has been associated with our local jail, I know guards starting off make ballpark 65K, and with OT, can make 100K their first year. I just can't think to feel bad for those guys.

Previously on Reclaiming the Title: Just what we need, an extended election season

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quick Links for 9/10

I get the feeling that this isn't the last time we've seen the "Detla abandons (fill in blank here) plans" headline.

We've all taken a crack at reading this article, and we're still not sure what the hippies accomplished. The city council has to consider imposing green building standards on new homes and commercial buildings, reduce greenhouse gasses stemming from the General Plan, and build 4,400 homes downtown? (3,000 of which would be approved in 12 years!?) Ignoring the fact that none of us know a single person who would want to live downtown, where the fuck are they going to find room for 4,400 homes? Don't get me wrong, we're huge supporters of the green belt between Stockton and Lodi, but I'd be pretty scared if I were a historical landmark right about now.

The Ports are headed to a deciding game 5 against the San Jose Giants for California League Northern Division dominance. In future news, the Ports blew the game in the 9th inning again and their was no joy in Mudville. (You didn't know we were psychics?)

Still want Arnold to be more Gray Davis? Remember, Davis is responsible for this.

The Record (again, the actual paper in the byline) informs us that out of 600 cars that passed through a DUI checkpoint Monday, only 2 were legally drunk. Way to earn that raise guys, really.

William Maxwell's hilarious letter to the editor (very first letter) reads like a laundry list of topics we need to get to sometime, like Lodi.

Man, Duke's on a roll. Hey Record, can you say scooped!? I read both pieces and speaking objectively, his was way better. But we're allowed to swear, which is kind of cheating.

Top 5 things recordnet.com needs to do to actually be eligible for an award

First of all, please join in in welcoming Bris Isaak into the fold finally. We're expecting his second post in approximately 4 months.

When Duké told me Recordnet.com had won an award I thought he misspoke and was actually talking about 209Vibe.com, which is an outstanding site. Then he showed my the half page ad they took out to blow themselves over it and I still can't believe it. Something's fishy. Why? Because as we've stated time and time again, Recordnet.com sucks a bag of dicks. But instead of focusing on the negative like we tend to do, we got the brain trust together and came up with 5 basic things Recordnet needs to do to actually be mentioned anywhere near the word "award". Unless it's an award for frustrating unnavigability. (Yes, this list is still painfully negative, but at least it's constructive criticism this time)

1. Linkback to relevant stories

This has to be one of the most frustrating things they do that's easily fixable. Let's use the recent Stockton Rodeo debacle as an example. Here's the Record's story about the Rodeo being called off/postponed/whatever the fuck they're doing. Now, if you happened to miss the Record's story about the Rodeo coming to Stockton (like Duké did) or perhaps saw the word "Rodeo" and skipped the story completly (like I did), then when you saw the story about it's cancellation your reaction was probably similar to ours. "What fucking rodeo?" The story on the Record's website doesn't linkback to the original story about the Rodeo so you have no idea how some hick duped the city council into giving him $75,000. (Hint: Bring a cowboy hat)

2. Have the search engine organize results in a way that makes sense

So since Recordnet doesn't post a link to the story a followup story is actually following up, your next option is using their search feature. For a story about the Stockton Rodeo it would make sense to just type in the words "Stockton" and "Rodeo". Here's what you get when you do. The first page is all links to the rodeo being called off. Three of those stories have nothing to do about the rodeo. They just happened to contain the link to the story about it's cancellation, so putting quotations around the words "Stockton Rodeo" to narrow the search down to just stories that contain the phrase Stockton Rodeo together won't work.

3. Quit telling us to read about a breaking story in the paper tomorrow

When the rodeo cancellation broke, I found out about it through 209Vibe's Twitter. Ian Hill had an entire story up on the 209Vibe.com. What did the Record have? They told us to come back tomorrow. What's the point of even having a website if you're not going to break already broken news? The reason print journalism is going the way of the dinosaur is for reasons like this. People want their news and they want it fucking now. Telling someone to read about it in the paper on your website is a dickish move to begin with, but at least we understand the reason is that The Record is clearly still dedicated to the pulpy version of news than the current generation of journalism. But if you're going to then post David Siders' story on the website when Ian Hill had already written it a day earlier, that's just spitting in the face of a guy who alrady broke a semi-important story. (We're still debating whether or not anybody should be crestfallen that we'll be denied a rodeo in 08.) And putting that Hill contributed to the story at the end doesn't make up for the fact that Recordnet.com refused to give him his daps.

4. Put your news stories in some discernible order

Let's get away from the rodeo now and focus on something Duké mentioned earlier. (See, a linkback, html isn't that hard. Promise.) He wrote about the story that was on the front page of the Record about the prison guard union trying to recall Gov. Schwarzenegger. Considering our proximity to the state capitol and the amount of time the average Stocktonian spends around prison guards, you'd think this would be a fairly important story. Too bad you'd only read about it if you got the print version of the Record. The story was nowhere in the Recordnet news section. You will however see the stories about the 1-5 crash and Stockton PD blowing up a dufflebag full of clothes (way to earn that raise guys) listed twice! I assumed it was because they only listed stories they wrote and left the AP stuff to the AP. But then I saw not one, not two, but eight AP stories in that same list. The most locally relevant of which was about the morgatge crisis. Go figure. Alright, let's round out this list.

5. User driven content!

This is the most frustrating out of any of the things on this list, it's just not as easily fixable as the first item on the list. It's also one of the simplest ideas of all time. People want to give their opinion on shit to other people. (Hey, I wonder if that'd make for a good website...) The reader feedback used to be a decent feature because it appeared on the same page as the story, made it kind of easy if you needed to reference something in the story. They moved them to the forums probably because most of the time the reader reaction at the bottom of the story was negative towards the Record (Which is actually how I got the idea for this place). Past the forums though, there's no real reader driven content. You can submit photos for them to put up, but you'll only see them if they fit into one of the categories. Look at the rest of the Reader Interaction Homepage. You don't interact worth a shit, it's just their fancy word for "internety" stuff. You can read a bunch of blogs that are updated once every equinox. You can suggest a poll? Buy a photo? Is that really interacting? Buying a photo from the record is interacting like buying a cheeseburger from McDonald's is "interacting" with Ronald McDonald. And it's not like Stocktonians don't want to contribute. 209Vibe thrives off of user contributions and they're run by the Record! (Note: We don't include 209Vibe.com as part of the recordnet.com site's user driven content because for all intents and purposes, it's about as separate from the Record as we are. The only difference is Ian Hill also works for the Record from time to time) In non-San Joaquin Media Group sites, Stockton's creative side still comes bursting out. You ever type Stockton into YouTube? Here, we did it for you. You're saying that can't easily be put into a YouTube channel and put on the Recordnet's website? Hell, I think we might have just done that here with that fucking link.

Now, that isn't all that's wrong with recordnet.com. (#6 would have been "Fire Lori Gilbert", but that's not really the website's domain.) I'm sure if we tried we could find a lot more, but we're starting to feel like we're picking on their webmaster. We don't want to, but we're the audience you're trying to reach, information junkies who get their news mainly on the internet. When print finally dies, all you're going to have is that website. And when it comes to that we want it to be good. Same reason we criticize the paper version of the Record, we just want it to be good.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just what we need, an extented election season

Please allow me this quick detour into state politics, we'll get back to your regularly scheduled "The Record did what!?" later. (Note: We linked to the AP instead of the Record because even though the linked story appeared on the front page and above the fold, it's nowhere to be found on the "#1" recordnet.com. But like I said, that's for later.)

If you've been paying attention to the news then you know that California's in the middle of yet another budget impasse. That's right, these fuckers can't figure out the budget. Again. Why the fuck do we keep electing these jackasses?

Because of the record-long delay in the state budget, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger imposed a pay cut for thousands of state employees until the budget crisis is over. Yeah, I know, kind of a dick move. But the state controller isn't complying so it's not actually happening yet. (Plus, isn't that threatened when this happens every fucking summer?)

The president of the California Correction Peace Officers Association Mike Jimenez is pissed. Why? They've been working without a union contract for 2 years. Also, under Arnie's unenforced executive order they wouldn't be able to work overtime unless they were (gasp!) asked to by their supervisors. I know, I'm shocked they're not just allowed to work overtime whenever they feel like too. What has the world come to? Oh wait...

If the state controller isn't complying with Gov. Schwarzenegger's order, then his order doesn't fucking matter. Plus, even if it was enforced, it goes away after they finally hammer out that budget that they're just going to butcher up later in the year anyways. So really, it behooves everybody to help out so they can bang it out and only have a couple weeks of supervisor approved overtime.

Instead Jimenez goes to the old standby the Recall election. Because nothing helps move a budget crisis along like dumping a $2 million special election on top of the deficit. (If you really want to fix the budget, might I suggest Barbara Perry's idea? Hint: scroll down to the last letter. Thanks again Recordnet.)

I had to cover the last recall election and to be honest, one was enough. Granted, I don't think Schwarzenegger's done the best job either, but he got legitimatly reelected in an actual factual election. I don't see any energy crisis (OK, there's no electrical energy crisis. Remember the weak ass rolling blackouts?), so what the fuck did he do so bad to warrant us having to vote on him again?

What's that? He won't give the prison guards a fucking sweetheart raise under dubious donation circumstances like his predecessor? Well fuck me ruuning, what an awful guy. What we need is someone who will sign whatever law he feels like since he's obviously on the way out of office. We need a guy who will sign an energy contract for what at the time seems like a ridiculous amount only for it to be a bargin in retrospect.

If you wanted a Governor like Gray Davis, you shouldn't have gotten the asshole recalled in the first place. We've had enough elections in the past 4 years (including Arnie's own special election). Can't we just take a political break? I really fucking need one.

How to tell when it's a slow news day

Slow news days are a bitch. And Monday was a realllllly slow day. How slow? The A section of The Record is about 45% ads. I wish I was joking. I also wish I could link to the eRecord to show you how bad it is. You're just going to have to look for yourself.

There's four-quarter page ads and one half page ad in the A section advertising the paper you're fucking reading. There's 2 full pagers and yet another half pager.

Then there's the front page of the LENS section which is a classic example of using awkward layouts to fill space. I should know, I used to do it all the time at the Impact/Collegian. And that's ignoring the fact that I'm pretty sure yard sale season is coming to an end. Granted, I don't own a yard or have excess shit people would want to buy. But I could have sworn that kind of shit went down in the summer months.

Another sign it's a slow news day? The stories on the front page of the paper and the front of the local section are "Latinos wire money back home" and "Aww, look at the nice church doing service." Stop the presses!

But both of those stories pale in comparison to the claim one of the Record's huge, space eating ads make. (For those reading along, flip to page A8) Their website was voted number one in something besides being almost completely unnavigable?

I'll post one example, because I'm pretty sure we're dedicating a post solely to recordnet.com's sucking later, is Lori Gilbert. Surprise, our first mention of her on here has to do with the Record sucking.

For those who don't follow local journalism politics, the Record had a mini reorganization earlier this year banishing the Sports hosebeast that is Lori Gilbert to the land of Hill, the LENS section. It was a glorious day. Her sports columns were the pieces of corn in the shit sandwich that was (and to a certain extent, is) the Record's Sports page. But this isn't about Lori Gilbert sucking, this is about the website sucking.

Want to see Lori Gilbert's profile and by extension a list of her horrible features from the LENS section? Here's the Entertainment/LENS section of the Recordnet website. Find it, I dare you. Lori Gilbert's picture and a link are right there. But they go to her blog which shows that video of thhat damn Queen Emily again.

So if they won't gie us the direct link to her profile, maybe we can search for it. Why look, there it is right there in the suggested results. Let's click it, shall we? Oh hey, a profile. A sports columnist profile. And all those stories listed in that search? All those aforementioned horrible sports columns. Hmm, maybe that's a relevancy issue. Let's make it rank the results based on the date. First column? A Tiki Barber column.

So remember, visit recordnet.com, #1 in gooch sucking.