Friday, May 29, 2009

You gotta fight! For your right! To Parrrrtayyyy!

This is our last day at this URL. We're over at If you come here next week we'll be updating less than usual (aka not at all). So please join us at the new digs, and enjoy this last post on the original site. Appropriately it's about racist, rich white people.

We haven't commented on this yet, let's remedy that. Maxim's is suing to stay open after a group of Brookside residents successfully lobbied to have it's permit to be pulled despite the fact that they were the only group of people to really oppose Maxim's. And when we say only group we really mean the only group. This wasn't even the official Brookside association of stuck up old white people. It was just a bunch of people who were pissy because it wasn't the upscale expensive restaurant owner Bobby Dhillon said it was going to be. Because, as we all know, someone's already got a stranglehold on the expensive, upscale restaurant market.

Since the whole restaurant thing wasn't working out, Dhillon made the savvy business decision to switch formats at night and turned the bar area into a nightclub. Because when business goes sour you make changes, instead of bitching to your friends about unfair imaginary boycotts.

So an out of town businessman opens up a business in a vacant building (in this case the old Mallard's) and finds success after some initial bumps in the road and strengthens the local entertainment scene while he's at it. It's a fairy tale story and exactly what the city wants, right? Everybody wins!

Oh wait, this is Stockton. It can't be that simple. Especially because the key to Maxim's success apparently involved playing (gasp!) hip-hop (or as a Recordnet commenter referred to it "annoying boom boom noises")! And, I don't need to tell you that hip-hop is a form music that's usually popular with (whispers) black people. Brookside's track record with minorities is well documented, so they proceeded to complaining about noise, lies, and increased crime.

That last one is interesting considering Stockton PD straight up said the restaurant hadn't caused an uptick in crime. And they should know, the highest concentration of cops in all of Stockton is in Brookside. All they had to report was a single stabbing in the parking lot in the whole year Maxim's has been doing business. They must have missed the "gun battle" Recordnet commenter PeterChu witnessed (and apparently didn't report) involving what he assumed were Maxim's patrons. Why did he assume they were from Maxim's? Unless he was directly involved in said gun battle, it just takes us to the point of this whole issue. He judged a book by its cover. Its dark-skinned, hip-hop loving cover.

Racism has been at the center of this issue since it started. Even Maxim's lawyer, David LeBeouf, straight up said it was because Brookside folk don't like black people in their neighborhood. Lawyers are supposed to dance around the issue and put things diplomatically, but hey, wild accusations of racism work too. Mostly because it's totally true. LeBeouf even offered to amend the permit to allow certain types of music, but disallow hip-hop/rap. Now, most normal people would say "Hey, isn't that kind of racist?", but not Brookside. They don't like it because it's unenforcible, not because it's totally racist. Although I would totally have joined the committee responsible for deciding what music was acceptable and what constituted hip-hop had the City Council accepted that proposal.

Of course, if they had accepted that proposal, Brookside's claim that the loud music is a nuisance would be exposed as bullshit. Loud hip-hop isn't ok but loud jazz is? That makes no sense. Loud is loud. Plus, there are plenty of house parties thrown in Brookside on a weekly basis that feature loud music (and occasionally hip-hop!). The difference between that and Maxim's? Well, Maxim's isn't a bunch of entitled white kids.

So yeah, we've debunked Brookside's claims that Maxim's attracts crime and pointed out that their noise complaints are total bullshit, so that leaves only one more problem that they have with Maxim's that doesn't involve race. The "Bobby Dhillon lied to us and said this was going to be a family restaurant!" part. To which we say, grow the fuck up! This is the real world we live in, people lie all the fucking time. And the thing is, Dhillon didn't lie. As far as I know, Maxim's is still a fancy family style restaurant during the day. It's just that occasionally at nights the bar is really hopping and it resembles a night club. You're going to fault a guy for running a business? Like we said earlier, business plans change. It happens. Sorry if you wanted an upscale family joint, but if you wanted it that bad you should have gone there. They're a business, not a fucking charity, they have to turn a profit. Trying to limit how they turn a profit by limiting the music they can play actually is a violation of their first amendment rights. Sure, it might be a very loose translation of the firt amendment, but if they want to use it to tell the world (or at least their bar area) "Awww skeet skeet!" then by all means it's their right to do so.

Luckily, Maxim's isn't going to take this lying down. They're challeneging the City's ruling to deny them an entertainment permit (which may have already been ruled on by now, news is moving slow). So hopefully they get an injuction or whatever and get to keep on partying. Because with publicity like this, you can imagine the amount of people that are going to show up this weekend to give Brookside the proverbial middle finger by loudly partying their asses off. Brookside wanted a fight and it looks like Maxim's is prepared to fight back. They've only been here a year and they got this Stockton thing down pretty good. So fight on Maxim's. Fight for our right to party (We're pretty sure this song would not be banned due to the color of their skin).

Best Crawl Ever

So I guess I've been charged with retelling the tale of our Pub Crawl drunkedness, which would be easier if I could remember it all. Hell, it'd be easier if I could remember most of it. Luckily I have our Twitter feed, pictures, and the memories of the soberer (aka everybody else) to help jog my memory. Without that we'd be completely screwed.

Regardless, we started off the night early because we always enjoy an opportunity to drink while it's still light out. Misaki's was fairly uneventful, mostly because all of us (sans Bris, the ultimate pregamer) were soberish still. After a quick round of Sake Bombs to remedy that situation we headed towards the Miracle Mile portion of the festivities. Centrale and Alder Market didn't participate this go around, which seems strange considering the only reason I even know about either of those establishments is because of the Pub Crawl.

The bars that were there stepped their game up and embraced the Crawl for all its drunken awesomeness. Valley Brew once again changed its menu from the last time we'd been there (surprise!) and for once, I was disappointed by their deep-fried mushrooms. I'm not sure if we just got an off batch or if they intentionally made them less crispy for the free grub vouchers, but they left a lot to be desired. Luckily ranch fixed that.

Next I'm told we headed to the back of Taste of Brittany, also known as Moulin Rouge. The name brings up memories of a horrible Australian musical, but it's actually a pretty cool place that serves a nice variation of one of my favorite drinks, the screwdriver. We chatted with the owner Dan a bit, he seems pretty cool. We all make a note to come back to next morning for some crepes. None of us make it.

The Matinee earned our derision last crawl with their lackluster Jungle Juice. This time wasn't that much better, but we did get a piece of alcohol soaked fruit to go with it. They packed a decent punch.

After jumping on the trolley towards the Waterfront Warehouse, we noticed the crowd had picked up considerably. While the crowd was still of the slightly-to-considerably older variety, it was still a pretty fun group as everyone was pretty hammered by now. So it was against our better judgement to chug the slurpees masquerading as premixed maitais that they call Hula Girls at the Sunset Grill (nee Waterfront Grill, Boiler Room). Granted, they were delicious going down. But mix all that sugar with the Long Islands, Jungle Juice, sake, beer, vodka, mushrooms, and deep-fried asparagus and the results aren't going to be pretty the next day. But for that night they were fucking awesome. Sunset Grill even had Samoan dancers for some reason.

After that it gets kind of hazy. If I remember correctly we made a quick Chitivas stop and then headed to Beach Hut Deli via trolley. As usual, Beach Hut had the best deal of $1 pints of any beer. A deal which I promptly wasted on Pabst because there was no way I could handle thicker, qualitier beer with all that sweet shit in my stomach. Sadly, Bradley's drink special was also the Orange Lazarus of alcoholic drinks known as Hula Girl, so I stuck around Beach Hut and ate some of their kickass nachos. Because, fuck it, my stomach's already going to hate me, might as well throw in some chips and salsa. Eventually, a band broke out in the corner by the door, which occasionally happens at the Beach Hut.

Eventually we all chugged our beers, and decided we were going to see what was up with ol' Paragary's. You may recall that at the last Crawl we didn't receive the best treatment when attempting to drink there. We drunkenly thought that surely they had come around this time in these hard economic times and take any comer and treat them as royalty. I mean, he's supposedly hurting for customers, right?

Well, we walk in and are immediately shot a dirty look and told that they're closed. Now, mind you the bar is about a quarter full as she tells us this and that it's 10:30 at night on a weekend. An hour and a half before the Pub Crawl ends and well before when any self respecting bar attempting to turn a profit would close. Naturally we ask "Closed? It's 10:30. Why?" and are told that they are in fact, out of drinks. Of course, seeing the full stocked bar behind her, a confused look comes over our face. We reason with ourselves that she means that they're out of the free Hula Girl candy drinks and I go "No, I have money" and proceed to whip out my wallet and display my impressive $45 wad.

I feel I should break here to note that this is probably a milestone in Downtown Stockton's redevelopment that a pessimistic native Stocktonian like myself would willingly open their wallet without fear of ramapercussions in the middle of the night. I mean, this is exactly what they want right? For us to open our wallets to downtown to generate revenue. I wasn't even doing it figuratively, I was doing it literally. And what do I get? I get a "No, we're out." So my friend and I go on a drunken rant about being a paying customer and Paragary's is losing revenue for this reason, and not for any lame subsidy excuses because, well, fuck Paragary's. So the next time Mike Fitzgerald tries to lament the fact that we're petty dicks with a hard on for subsidies, and that's the reason Paragary's has to sell, you can tell him he's dead wrong. It's because shit like this happens. Twice.

After this it gets incredibly hazy as we hiked on over to the Hippo Bar, which is massive, and drown our sorrows in they're late night drink specials (which I hear they have on a weekly basis) that extended past the Crawl. Around this time our group got separated, because that's always a good idea when you're completely plastered. I ended up on a trolley back towards Bradley's that was so packed that some chick came up to me and sat on my lap and then turned to me and said "Don't get hard." Yup, it was a Stockton kind of crowd. It was pretty awesome. Frankly, if downtown concentrated on more alcohol-centric ideas like this to get people down there on the warm summer nights (because, let's face it, booze one of the few things that we can all agree on), that whole revitalization thing might actually catch on.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Quick Links for May 28th

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is the last day for this URL, we're over at WordPress now. So update your bookmarks (all 12 of you) for

Sorry for the missed day yesterday, we've been busy with our real jobs. That's not to say we haven't been working on the site, we have, we just haven't completed anything yet. The first half of El Duke's Pub Crawl rundown is fucking gold, hopefully that'll show up later this week. But until then, let's knock out some Quick Links for this...really? It's Thursday already? Bad fucking ass. Let's do the damn thing and anticipate Sexy Friday.

Enough is enough Dino Sauro

Look, we get that people have different musical tastes than us. We get that Dave Brubeck was a fairly influential jazz musician. We get that Tony Sauro likes jazz, but for fuck's sake, the deification of Dave Brubeck has to fucking end. It's not that we don't like his music. We're not the biggest jazz fans in the world but we can appreciate what he did and "Time Out" isn't too bad of an album. But for the love of Christ quit making him out like he gave a virgin birth to Miles Davis.

We understand why it happens, people are passionate about things and tend to write about their passion. We love Stockton, sports (although, ironically, not Stockton sports), drinking, and journalism so we write about that shit. Tony's very passionate about jazz, so passionate that when you Google "Sauro Brubeck" on the Record's site you get 228 results, a alarming number of which aren't repeats.

Now, we're not faulting Tony for his volumes of writing about UOP's most famous graduate. Hell, if I could write 200+ columns on getting shitfaced I would. The problem we have is his glowing, almost masturbatory praise for anything the man touches. His columns are as if he pops a Viagra, flips on "Take Five", and starts punching the porpoise only, you know, in written form (apologies for any mental images derrived from that analogy).

Again, we're not saying Brubeck isn't a good jazz musician, it's just that the praise for him should only go so far. It's not like he's this big jazz titan that all hipsters (the original hipsters with the turtlenecks, berets, and fingersnapping. Not the Weezer-glasses variety) bow down to. Even the most dedicated local jazz fan has to admit that they probably wouldn't have known about Brubeck if not for the way Stockton and UOP shove him down our throats every spring.

I guess the point of this rant is that while we understand Dave Brubeck is an importantish figure in jazz and an important figure locally, but we have to keep it in perspective. Not every article/column about jazz merits a Brubeck mention. And if it does, remember he's just some dude who went to school here and not...ummm...shit, I'm out of super popular jazz musicians to liken him to. Yes, I only know one jazz musician. What of it?

How the weren't we consulted for this?

So the Record did a feature on recession drinking, which was a great idea when we did it months ago. But, being the Record, they had to take a good idea and fuck it all up. Sure, the piece was informative, but who wants to hear about the drink specials at Paragary's? I don't want to spoil Duke's Pub Crawl run down but fuck Paragary's. If you show up for happy hour there's a chance they'll run out of alcohol. And Le Bistro? Really? Did they discount drinks so it only costs you and arm instead of an arm and a leg? Fucking Applebee's!!!!???

Although my favorite featured special is the Matinee's. $4 tall cans. That's right, four bucks for a tallski (of domestic!) at what's allegedly a martini bar. Or you can buy 2 tall boys for the low low price of $7. Or if you're smart, you'll run around the corner to the Hi and Bye and grab a tall can of Coors Light for two bucks.

So, since the gauntlet has been thrown down, allow us to come back with out suggestions for the real good drink specials out there for those looking for some cheap, drunken fun. For one, if you're going to drink downtown nothing beats the dollar pints on Friday nights at Beach Hut Deli. The atmosphere is laid back and they usually have a pretty good acoustic band playing in the corner. And if you really want to throw down you have to check out Beer Pong Thursdays. Sure, the competition's a little thin with all the college kids out of town, but just consider this a training period for when they come back in the fall. Nothing damages their frail egos quite like getting schooled by a townie in a game invented by college kids.

If beer's not your thing then we highly suggest hitting up the happy hour at BWDW Fat's Bar and Grill. It runs all the way 'til 8 and you get $5 Long Islands $5 Jagerbombs and other assorted stiff drinks. But don't worry, it's not some sort of alcoholic haven, Tuesdays are actually family night and parents are encouraged to bring the kids to belt out some kid friendly karaoke tunes while Pops gets sloshed on drop shots. And, as the bonus, the family shit ends at 9 and then the hardcore drinking begins with $2 well drinks (although sadly this is only for Tuesday). Like all well drinks. Which, let's face it, is pretty bad ass. And is also why most of my sick days fall on Wednesdays.

Although if you're really intrigued by the prospect of drinking canned beer in a bar, you should head on over east of 99 to Morada landmark Koe's for their Budget Thursday specials. For only $1.50 you can enjoy a 12 oz. can of Pabst, Hamm's, or Olympia. Haven't heard of those last two beers? Go open your grandpa's garage fridge, there's a 50% chance that thing is packed with them.

So there's a couple bars that have excellent happy hours that are actually cheap. And we even included on that involves the family! Plus, we didn't even have to bust out El Torito's legendary happy hour pricing (half off appetizers and specials on margaritas from 4-8. Not to mention Tacos Tuesdays).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WTF Recordnet?

Earlier today I was working on a post about Don Blount's latest offering (which will probably be up tomorrow, sorry for the slacking) about riding the late night bus and came across something curious. The column can be found here, but occasionally, links older than a day do not show up on the main news page (if at all) so I have to use the Google Advanced Search options and just enter an exceprt of the article I'm looking for. Yes, even with the improvements the Record's site is a bear to navigate. Not the animal kind, the big gay hairy dude kind.

Anyways, out of habit I did that with this column. I entered a passage from his column and Google spit back this. Now, one should note I'm using site search, so the only website that should show up should be Yet Google kicks back that site and only that site. Other stories show up fine, but Blount's continues to show up only on this TMCnews site. It appears to be a word for word reproduction, and the column is also on so theoretically it should show up under the Record's site on Google, but it don't.

So does this mean Google is trying to deny the rest of the world the musings of Don Blount? I sure hope not, that would be mean. Almost as mean as not loaning out your cell phone. But, as usual with these things, it leaves us asking the age old quesiton, what the fuck Recordnet?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

That big announcement thing

Sorry we disapeared the last couple of days. We've been having internet problems. But hey, I promised a big announcement, so here it is.

For various reasons (mostly boring technical shit), we're swtiching over to Wordpress. It's still a move in progress but I've imported all of these posts over to so go check it out. The template is different and not as customizable as Blogger is, but in general my short experience with Wordpress has been better than with Blogger which can be annoying at times to say the least.

So consider this the soft launch of our move. As you can see not all the posts on here on on Wordpress (including this post), all of Bris Isaak's posts say they're authored by me because he hasn't accepted the author invite yet. and I personally think the wording is too small. But let us know what you think while we work out the kinks. We'll probably post both here and there for about a week before completely abandoning this site for the new one. So update your bookmarks.

Also, to make up for our sudden absence, we'll be covering tonight's Hula Pub Crawl live. How? Via our new Twitter. You can follow us on Twitter and our updates will show up on the sidebar of the WordPress site too.

Now, I gotta go pre-game.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

An open letter to the Miracle Mile

Dear Miracle Mile,

First of all, sorry for your loss. Losing See's Candies must have been hard on you. I'd suggest medicating yourself with excessive amounts of chocolate but, well, you know.

That being said, fuck you in the goat ass with a red hot fire poker. Who the fuck thought it was a good idea to close off half the side streets for repaving at the same fucking time!? Driving the Mile is already about as enjoyable as a Lori Gilbert column, taking away the escape streets is like taking her column and printing it on the front page every day of the week. I mean Jesus, was my drive down Pacific Ave not slow enough for you? Can't you just be happy with the old people who patronize the Mile driving 3 miles per hour and stopping at the light if they even get a premonition that it might soon turn yellow? Were you not pleased with the roughly 246 crosswalks that fucking stretch of road has slowing my commute down? You just had to seal off all my escape routes so I'm stuck behind Gladys for a half hour while she waits for there to be absolutely zero cars in sight (including mine) before she makes that left turn?

There's no point, just fuck the Miracle Mile. I hope Maxim's moves there so they can complain about all the darkies that aren't actually committing crimes.


Reclaiming the Title

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quick Links for May 19th

Sorry if we seem a bit distracted today. It's a somewhat extremely important day. It's the day some old Jew opens a bunch of envelopes containing the results of a marathon ping-pong ball selection session. Yup, it's NBA Draft Lottery day and our beloved Kings have the best chance (25%) of getting the first pick. Which means we're probably getting the 4th pick. Hell, I wouldn't be shocked if we somehow got the 5th pick. So to say our minds are elsewhere would be an understatement. Text messages between all of us were exchanged before 7:30, which is incredibly early for all of us.

What does all of this mean for you? Well, if the Kings don't get a top 2 pick and you see a depressed Kings fan sulking in his Kings jersey, Kings, hat, and purple shoes, don't make fun of them. There's a very good chance they will stab you in the neck with the nearest sharp object. So, you know, Raider game rules.

But until then Quick Links!

Oh yeah, something else is going on today

It's Special Election day! Which means we get to recall Governor Schwa...wait, what? It's just a bunch of budgetary ballot measures? Fuck that. I'm not voting and getting my hopes up for the future of my favorite sports team. That's just too much in one day. And the voting would get in the way of my pre-draft lottery drinking.

But for you non-alcoholics, check out that link from the Tahoe paper about the ballot measures. And then I'll laugh at you tomorrow for wasting your time voting for measures that have no chance of passing because they're not a charismatic black man. You know, assuming I'm not already in prison for stabbing a Laker fan after we get the 4th pick.

"Now, what do you mean when you say 'We'd have to lay off more city workers'?"

We understand the budget situation can get a bit contentious, but does Dale Fritchen really need to ask what the backup plan is if we don't get the aid that Gordon Palmer's proposed budget is dependant on? David Siders said it himself, Plan B is no secret. It's fucking layoffs. But when you're in negotiation with labor unions, like Palmer is with the city's firefighters union (and presumably the SPOA if they weren't such dumbasses), you try and avoid saying the word "layoffs" at all costs. Kind of like how if you're trying to sell some bonds you don't even think the word "bankruptcy", let alone say it. If anybody should have learned that lesson it's Dale freaking Fritchen. Political grandstanding to gain favor with city employees is fine and all, only those city employees probably won't be employed the next (and first) time Fritchen's up for reelection. So it really just makes him look like even more of a dumbass. Which I didn't know was possible.

And now for a dose of sacrelige

We're not too big on furthering David Stern's God complex by actually praying to him, but we could probably use all the help we could get. Sure, we could pray to that Jesus guy. But he never comes through for me (although I still hold out hope that one day one of my roommates will magically transform into Katie Morgan). Plus, David Stern has a much better track record with influencing draft lottery results.

(Plays "Taps" on kazoo)

It's a sad day folks. It's the last day for Craigslist's Erotic Sevices ads before they switch over to the totally prostituteless "Adult Services" section for good (by the way, did I see the Royal Day Spa in there?). Many drunken nights have been spent trolling the Erotic section of Stockton's Craigslist after one of us sombody shouts "Fuck it! Let's get a whore!" Only to quickly realize we're all you're pussies and don't feel like catching HPV. Plus who can find 100 roses on such short notice?

So we bid you adieu Erotic Services, trying to decipher the sluts from the hookers (You're a hooker!) on the Casual Encounters page will never be the same again. And neither will my cock after that happy ending. I wonder if there's a novena for genital warts.

Ok, that's it from us today. El Duke promised me he'd be around tomorrow with a lottery result reaction which should be epic either way. Our big announcement is coming soon, we're just working out a few more kinks and we'll be good.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quick Links for May 18th

Jesus tapdancing Christ it's hot. Welcome back summer. Luckily summer also brings us women wearing little-to-no clothing so I say bring it on sun! Sorry we're so late today, things have been busy behind the scenes here. We're on the verge of a fairly big announcement but I don't want to tip my hand quite yet. Just know it'll happen sometime this week. But until then Quick Links!

So much for the government harshing our mellow

Last week Mike Fitzgerald was in the middle of getting his Peter Tosh on, he blogged a reader's e-mail about worries that the government's weed would totally suck. Fitzy's argument was that it was better than the alternative, Mexican Tony Soprano weed. And he was right, government weed would be a great alternative to Mexican ganj. Not because of violence, but because Mexican weed sucks, and the feds a hoarding some straight up kill. So yeah, even when he's right, Fitz is still hilariously wrong.

Hey, speaking of The Man, fuck you Steve Moore

Before we get started we'd like to note that this never would have happened if Baxter Dunn were still alive (note: that's a joke, I'm pretty sure he's still with us). That being said, my bulshit detector went off so violently while reading this I thought it was on the fritz. Specifically this line:

"If I were trying to close down Lost Isle, I'd go straight after their liquor license," Moore said.

Which is a fine excuse except that you can't bleed somebody dry by just pulling their liquor license. Pulling the liquor license is an instant kill. If this were Mortal Kombat Steve "Smokey" Moore's fatality would be pulling the liquor license. But he's not going for the fatality, he's going for the green. No, not the green from the previous item, I'm talking about the root of all evil. The county can't get any money out of Lost Isle if they just shut them down. But if they make them jump through hoops to get those extra special permits that always pop up at the last second, fine them, and make them hire extra security (who, spoiler alert!, are often off-duty cops) then they can make some bank. Sure, not as much bank as they would make selling legalized pot and pot accessories, but still enough to make it worth their while. Plus, they'll get them to throw in a special dock just for making them drive out there to do (guh) their jobs.

Look, drunk people are going to fight. Don't punish Lost Isle because there's stupid people. Any bar on any given night can have that one retarded guy with the slutty friendly girlfriend and if she does the wrong thing while dude's got one too many drinks in him, shit's going down. If there's a UFC PPV on, the chances of this happening increases roughly 8000%. Sure, a guy died last year. But hey, Bogey's is still open. I guess what I'm saying is that while security proportionate to the crowd is important, don't ruin everybody's fun because some people are dicks and you're pissed you have to actually work and feel like applying a little political pressure.

And now let's see what Don Blount sa...aww, man. (Still cool though)

Words can't express how disappointed we were when we opened today's paper and saw Michael McCollum's column on photography lighting. Don't get me wrong, ever since I got that digital camera for my birthday I've been taking pictures like I'm some sort of teenage girl going through that artsy phtograpjhy stage (no picture of myself in the morror, yet) , so the lighting lesson was pretty interesting. But, I hate to admit it, but I've grown to anticipate the musings of noted wordsmith Don Blount every week. Sure, sometimes it's boring but sometimes he gives us gems like this:

"However, let's put some other words to Stockton.

Words like: theater, symphony and opera."

I could go on but lists are really more Mike Klocke's thing. But with lofty writing like that, you can't help but anticipate the prose that graces the A2 section only once a week. But hey, cool pictures work too.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Quick Links for May 15th

Sexy Friday is here, and I'm feeling a little Quick Linky today Quick Links!

RIP Wayman Tisdale 1964-2009

Some days just start off shitty. Today is one of those days. Former King, successful jazz musician, 3-time All-American with Oklahoma, bad motherfucker, one of my favorite NBA players, and all-around good great guy Wayman Tisdale lost his battle with cancer this morning at the age of 44. Tis discovered he had cancer 2 years ago when a cyst was found under his right knee after he broke his leg. They ended up having to amputate (!) that leg in August but the cancer returned and we're less one awesome dude.

I'm not sure what more I can add to this but Sactown Royalty's Tom Ziller said it best. Fuck you cancer. Fuck you.

Technology is awesome (via Digg)

Want to go see an IMAX movie on a big fucking screen? Well, make sure to double check whether or not the alleged IMAX movie theater you're planning to go to has one. Someone has complied a Google Map of which theaters have the actual huge IMAX screens and which ones just have slightly better digital quality. And if you missed yesterday's post, Stockton has a LIEMAX.

Congratulations UOP class of 2009. You're officially fucked, just like the rest of us (NSFW Porky's clip at the end)

UOP's graduation is this weekend and I was planning on offering advice to the outgoing seniors entering the real world, but Drew Magary beat me to it on Deadspin. My favorite (and the most accurate) passage:

"Guess what, fuckos? Party's over. You're out of college now, and your parents are now too poor to nurse you through grad school. No more fantasy life for you. No more ice luges. No more intellectual discourse. No more ripe teenage pussy. That's all over now. YOU ARE FUCKED. Your days will now consist of searching for a job in a marketplace where no available job of any sort fucking exists. Your commencement speaker will probably tell you your class "faces enormous challenges," or some bullshit euphemism like that. This is a lie. A challenge is something you can overcome. You, on the other hand, are completely, unavoidably fucked. You're not going to cure cancer. You're not going to stop wars. You're not going to save the planet. If you're lucky, you may stumble upon a $2 coupon for Honey Nut Cheerios one day. That will be about it."

So yeah, congrats. You wasted 4 years of your life on a worthless degree class of 2009. No, our educational system isn't broken at all, why do you ask?

Hopefully you still remember how to bullshit from all those papers you had to write, that's the only skill you use in the real world. And don't bother applying for that bartender job on craigslist to make ends meet. That Asian kid who always ruined the curve in your statistics class just took it. He was really good at bullshitting.

Noone was really fooled by Tony Amato's grandstanding...until Fitzy came along

Fitz took a break from his latest attempt to relate to the common man to praise Tony Amato for fixing what was mostly a clerical error and for pushing more students towards earning almost completely useless degrees. Naturally he ignores simple things, like the fact that Tony Amato wasn't even around for the 2007 Record story that they blew up and then dramatically ripped in half.

Of course the other question Fitzy doesn't even bother to ask is should we be pushing these kids towards college. Is that putting too much pressure on their parents to afford it? Hell, do they even need college? Yeah, yeah, kids are our future, whatever. But there are some kids who just aren't built for that shit. And frankly, I don't want the kid who decided he'd rather hang out with his friends in Oakland than go to school studying to be a doctor. That kid better not be our future. Unless his future is being a janitor.

But on top of all of that, don't we need to fix our increasingly expensive and increasingly useless educational system first before we start shipping kids off to places that don't properly teach them how to bullshit? Why Fitzy, who just last week was predicting a watershed change in the American way of life, doesn't question whether or not this system even works is beyond me. He's too busy praising a guy who just said "Hey, let's enforce the dropout guidelines." Presumably while crying.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

For once Stockton's not the only one getting the shaft

So late last year the downtown movie theater remodeled one of their screens into an IMAX screen. If you've plunked down the $15 to actually see an IMAX movie then you know that Stockton, as usual, didn't exactly get the full IMAX experience. Don't get me wrong, the picture quality is fantastic and the sound system is awesome, but when people think IMAX they think of a huge fucking screen. Stockton did not get a huge fucking screen. To be specific, we got hosed. The screen is just the size of the wall the projector happens to be facing. Sacramento gets a 6-story screen put up on the side of a parking garage specifically built to house a huge digital movie screen on the side. We get something retro-fitted after the fact that's passed off as an IMAX experience. Basically it's a mini-Max without the mini-price.

But for once the problem wasn't totally Stockton's fault! Sure, the movie theater manager claims it was because the city wouldn't give them the permits to tear off the roof and make that shit huge, but the real answer is that IMAX is giving everybody the shaft by spouting off the oft-repeated lie that size doesn't matter.

Aziz Ansari is apparently a comedic actor of some sort who went to go see the Star Trek IMAX experience at a movie theater in LA. He wasn't too pleased to find out that instead of a huge fucking screen plastered to the side of a parking garage, the particular IMAX venue that he had chosen was of the Stockton variety. Yes, the Mini-Max. And while others just kind of make a mental note of it and don't get duped by IMAX again. Not Ansari. He wants he $5 back! It's the principle of the matter!

Well, after he made a big enough deal the IMAX CEO responded by basically saying "I still make money off that shit so fuck you". And just for fun he threw in a shot about Ansari's commenters. Because if there's any group of people known for their measured discourse, it's internet commenters.

Ansari responds with a tongue-in-cheek televised debate challenge and then explains to the soulless trolls of the internet that his original post was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Because the fact that he's a comedian didn't tip any of them off that he might be going over the top with his outrage for the sake of a joke.

What's the lesson learned here? That Stockton isn't the only place getting shafted by IMAX. And that the internet is a horrible horrible place.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The Stockton School Board once again pitches a winner.  Because, of course, when it comes to school boards and children's education, what matters is a $650 a month car and racism.  

My obvious question is why?  What makes the school board so enticing that the director of the Stockton Boys and Girls club was on the board?  And gave him enough motivation to pay for a re-count?

I think the major story here is how everyone is in it for themselves, instead of making the best choices for a school.  Oh wait, schools are meant for education?  I was unaware of that.

This education battle has got to stop.  Amato, Bill Ross, Dan Castillo, Sal Ramirez, Jose Morales, Colleen Boardman, Beverly Fitch McCarthy and Gloria Allen, please do listen.  Racist or not, muck raking or not, constant in-fighting or not, I think race is the least of the issues.  I think the biggest issue is that the school board and Super are rapists.  

Yes, I just said you all have decided to take the well being and education of the local children and destroy their hopes and dreams Deliverance  style.    

Especially now, Mexican, white, black, asian, Punjabi, there are bigger issues to take into account.  If special election budget issues don't get passed, there is a possibility you will have to lay off more teachers, more janitors and more support staff.  Of course, as people lose their jobs, its nice for them to know that the Super is still driving an $80k car.  Because while everyone is tightening belts, Stockton overall has no clue how to do it.  

You pull the race card when you have nothing to stand on.  If you represent the districts you stand for, you will realize Stockton is one of the most diverse cities around.  If you want it, Stockton's got it.  And even though Don Blount believes that Stockton is littered with KKK activists, its not.  

What should be on school board agenda:  improve education for students, pay teachers, offer and create programs that enhance students education.

What is on the school boards agenda:  $650 a month SUV, racism, and an incompetent board president.  

Look, when you don't do your job, the public has a tendency to let you know. Yes, even Stocktonians managed to realize the last board was full of shit and got rid of people, so using this as a chance to jump up and further whatever the hell you are doing might not work too well.

Look rapists, put the kids first.  As your sitting there, making a decision, sit there and think, how does this benefit the kids?  If you cant think of how, then drop it and move on.  

Monday, May 11, 2009

Only Fitzy Can Miss the Point so Badly to Make us Argue Against Marijuana Legalization

Since pushing for the legalization of the demon weed last week Mike Fitzgerald's blog has apparently turned into his own version of "High Times". I guess when Schwarzenegger said now was the time to debate its legalization Fitzy decided that debate would happen on his blog. Which is both very pro-active and very un-stoner like of him.

One post in particular stood out, naturally it's the one where Fitzy puts his ignorance on full display.

A reader e-mailed him coming out against legalization, not because he's a party pooper, but because the man would totally keep the quality of that shit down through their regulations and stuff man! And while that's an interesting concept about one possible outcome of ending the reefer madness (even though I think, if anything, quality would probably increase because it's not like the government would grow it themselves), Fitzy's firm in his belief that quality Mary Jane is an acceptable sacrifice to stop the Mexican Tony Soprano (a term I wish I was making up).

So, because we can, here's the flaws in Fitzy's rebuttal. For one, this is Cali-motherfucking-fornia. And on top of that, it's Northern California. I don't know where or when Fitzy bought his last sack, but nobody smokes that shitty, Mexican dirt weed here. Nobody's smoked that shit since like the 70s. All the grass floating around here is from the Bay Area/Mendocino County, where, as the reader states, they got their shit down. Those "narco-states" that Fitzy finds so menacing realized long ago that they can't compete with the hippies and have moved onto, you know, actual narcotics (hence the term "narco-state").

It's actually kind of funny that Fitz invokes the name of Tony Soprano (mostly because combined with the Godfather and Scarface, that seems to be all he knows about the mafia lifestyle, so it must apply to the Mexicans too, right?), because if he just watched that show a little bit closely he'd see where the real problem(s) with his entire theory lies. For one, the big drug problem isn't pot, it's pretty much everything else harder than pot. Meth, Coke, Heroin, all over the fucking place. How he didn't realize this while talking to those homeless people I'll never know. When homeslice said that most homeless people were just looking for their next high, he sure as shit wasn't talking about some Medocino Greeno.

But let's imagine for a second that the big illegal drug trafficking racket was pot. Would legalizing it stop that at all? Just because it's legal doesn't mean people still won't try and sell it tax-free illegally. You can buy bootleg DVDs at the flea market for fuck's sake. Legalizing something is not a deterrent for illicit sales, if anything they'd benefit because without having to give their slice to the government, they'd have cheaper prices than in the stores. So not only would it not stop these theoretical pot cartels, but the government would still have to crack down on the illegal sales of bootleg weed. So the theory that legalization would save millions on enforcement is short sighted at best.

But let's pretend (yes, pretending within imagining. Just roll with it), that somehow these cartels can't take the heat from the legal competition and give up selling the reefer. Guess what? They're not going away. No, they spent too much time networking and setting up a system and paying guys to go to America and set up the operation. There's too much money invested to pack it up and go home, so they start selling the harder, illegal drugs (you know, the one's they're actually selling in the real world right now).

So even if we did live in Mike Fitzgerald's mythical wonderland where the Tijuana Cartel (which is a fucking ridiculous name, they're the Arellano-Felix Organization and they're fucking everywhere, not just TJ.) is just hucking pot and killing anybody who stands in their way, his solution just ends up where we are now, with the pushers pushing harder drugs.

Look, we're all for the legalization of pot and we're all for the getting the debate started (obviously since we're engaging the debate), but like we said last week the reason all those prohibitionists are so willing to dismiss Fitzy's arguments for legalization is because he's presenting flawed, weak arguments. Legalizing pot isn't going to neuter organized crime just like the end of alcohol prohibition didn't. They're a business with a sophisticated network, they'll just do what other businesses do when someone eats of their market share. They'll adapt and find new markets to dominate. If they just went away, well then they wouldn't be the tough, scary sons of bitches Mike Fitzgerald says they are.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Quick Links for May 8th

*Looks at calendar* Let's see, it's...Oh fuck yes it's Sexy Friday! Let's end this Wally-forsaken week and see if we can't do better next week. But until then, Quick Links!

Legalize it!

It's only fitting that this week ends with me agreeing with Fitzy, who put away his elitist "eat at that fucking restaurant I like you bitter fucking fucks!" sword today and busted out his dirty hippie sword (that's still slightly elitist). He says let us smoke in peace! And I couldn't agree with him more. While I have absolutely no faith that pot's going to legalized and taxed even though it makes boatloads of sense.

Of course, we have to point out some flaws in his argument, even if it pains us to do so. For one, saying the devil's lawn clippings is "unequivocally" safe isn't exactly true. Sure, it's never been proven to be chemically addictive, it's sure a shit mentally addictive. Of course, that doesn't make it wrong, mental addiction isn't really something easily scientifically measured since everybody's different. Some people can handle the awesome calming factor of hippie lettuce and still function without it. Others light that shit, smoke that shit, and pass that shit and then realize that it's ridiculously fucking awesome and want to be like that all the time. It's not something Mary Jane can control. Anything in the wrong hands can be a bad thing, but to totally dismiss that and act like the big green is no more dangerous than a chocolate Easter Bunny is really one of the few things still pissing prohibitionists off enough to keep their fight going.

That's the real problem I have with this column, in typical Fitzy condescending fashion he treats the prohibitionists like morons for not bowing to his wealth of statistical knowledge. If you're truly going to have a persuasive argument you have to understand the other side of the argument. Prohibitionists aren't arguing from the logical, scientific point of view. They're coming from a very emotional angle because a lot of the time prohibitionists are conservatives with ties to religion. Weed's wrong because Jesus says it's wrong. To use stats to point out all the reasons they're wrong is basically saying Jesus is wrong. You ever tell a deeply religious person Jesus is wrong? It's not pretty.

And that's why Fitzy's argument sucks, he's using a rational argument with irrational people. His whole argument is useless because he's not changing their minds. And even if he could, doing so by basically calling them fucking stupid is, well, really fucking stupid.

Really? It took this long to get this interview?

The Cantu coverage has thankfully subsided since the gag order was put in place. We've spent our fair share of time speaking out against the ridiculous amount of coverage the Record gave the story but this story about Jose Franco, the man who discovered the suitcase containing Cantu, is an interesting read. We really don't have much to say about it, just really passing it along. It's a pretty well done story about a guy dealing with realizing his biggest fear. I can't imagine what goes through that guy's head when he can't sleep at night.

And finally, a long overdue link

If you haven't checked out Ian Hill's blog, appropriately titled Ian Hill Media, you really should. It's an interesting look at the constantly changing state of journalism as the internet finds new ways to get news and information out there for free, thus killing newspapers dead. Plus we get to watch as Ian learns new skills for his job as web content producer for Yup, today is "interesting" day. Fucking slow news days/weeks.

I heard a rumor that El Duke make poke his ugly mug in here today in light of Rick Pitino claiming he wants the Kings coaching. So that should be pretty good if it actually happens. If not, have a good weekend, happy Sexy Friday. Let the drinking commence.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Why that last post is horribly, embarassingly inaccurate.

Fuck. I haven't been writing these posts under the best of conditions
lately and it finally came back to bite me in the ass. I won't get into
details as to why these mistakes happened, what matters is that they
happened and I have to own up to them. So here goes.

For one, I misidentified the writer and claimed that the mayor of fucking Oakland wrote it. Yes, I don't know who the mayor of Oakland is, well, now I do, but still, that was inexfuckingscuable and I apologize for it. The real writer was V Smoothe and the post should reflect that now. Again, apologies to Smoothe and you guys. I should know better.

Second, the thought I had at the end of the post that maybe the reporting of planned layoffs was simpler than issuing layoff notices was correct. If I had just read the entire guide that, you know, I fucking linked to I would have known that. I should have read it all the way through but it was fucking ridiculously long and I didn't have the time to do so. I know that's not a good excuse but it's the truth. I was bad journalism and I feel like a dumb fuck. If I had just held off posting until I read it all I would have seen this part:

"Furthermore, agencies awarded will be required to maintain documentation that demonstrates that the scheduled lay-offs are occurring for local economic reasons unrelated to the availability of CHRP grant funds; such documentation may include local council meeting minutes, memoranda, notices, or orders discussing the lay-offs, budget documents ordering jurisdiction-wide budget cuts, and/or notices provided to the individual officers regarding the lay-offs."

And considering I know about the 90 layoffs that would happen if we didn't get the CHRP grant funds that means it was reported in one of those ways. So Gordon Palmer isn't the jackass referred to in the last post it was me, twice. So apologies to him and again to you, the reader, for me being a dumbass. Please don't hold it against me. I'll go back to making dick jokes tomorrow. Promise.

COPS Hiring Program Explained in Terms even Gordon Palmer can Understand

Ok, let's get this out of the way before I get to today's post. Yesterday I said talking about the underfunded courthouse security when a new courthouse was on deck was kind of stupid. Roughly 4 hours after that was posted, this happened. So yeah, they could probably use that money and I'm a jackass. Luckily this is Stockton so there's a lot of jackassery going around. Let's take a look at some of that jackassery, shall we?

I stumbled upon Oakland blog A Better Oakland this morning and I did so just in time apparently as V Smoothe breaks down the requirements for the COPS Hiring Recovery Program that our own city is relying on to balance the budget. It's a highly suggested read considering Oakland's facing a lot of the same problems we are.

In addition to that, it only takes about 2 minutes to realize that the Department of Justice was right, assuming that money is coming our way is a horrible fucking idea. Gordon Palmer dismissed that accusation as political posturing, saying "Of course they're going to say that. ... Until they grant the money, they aren't going to tell any city, 'You're going to get the money.'" And then he went ahead and said "If I were in their shoes, I'd probably say the same thing."

Well, here's the thing Mr. Palmer, if we want to get the money, the guy in your shoes (aka YOU) has to also be saying the same thing. Let me explain:

According to the grant application guide (and this is in the Better Oakland post, I'm just rehashing it for you here) there are three ways, and only three ways, we can use the grant money. We can hire new cops to fill positions vacated by laid off cops, re-hire laid off cops, or retain cops that were scheduled to be laid off.

That last one is where we run into a little bit of trouble. As of today, the city has only sent layoff notices to 55 cops. Those cops are expected to be laid off according to the budget Palmer wants to adopt that relies on receiving at least half of the COPS money we applied for, barring some sort of last minute concessions by the SPOA (ha!). See the problem yet?

The grant money only applies to cops laid off or scheduled to be laid off (and hiring new cops, but try and get that past the union) at the time of grant application (which was April 14th). So assuming the grant money is there and planning layoffs accordingly can't work because we're supposed to act like we won't get that money (even though we totally qualify for and should get it). If we don't get that money we're expected to layoff upwards of 90 police officers. In other words, we're downplaying our budgetary woes when we should be exaggerating them. Unfortunately it's not politically smart to do that locally because of fuckasses like Alan Pettet scaring the town shitless with threats of an armed gang of vigilantes roaming the streets.

So what does this all mean? Frankly, I'm not totally sure. It could be that official layoff notices weren't needed and they just needed to put the planned amount of layoffs in the grant application. But I really wouldn't put it past the city to have fucked this up royally.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The excitement is brewing

I don't know if you realized this, but Stockton cant spend its money right.  Shocking, yes.  But I cannot take the credit for breaking this.  I have to credit Fitzy, wait, Siders, wait, was it Fitzy?  


Writes vague synopsis of data table from CalPers showing employees making over 100k per year.  Tells us people from Stockton are on list (shock!).

Siders does more than just give a link with vague references.  He gives names, monthly totals, and annual earnings from these pension plans in a nice table.  Lets us know how many Stockton employees currently make up that list. 

Fitzy now goes in depth with some hard news an e-mail someone sent him saying his interest had been piqued by the previous vague blog post.  So in doing research, John Beckman, CEO of the Building Industry Association of the Delta is the one who breaks down his findings.

There were three posts in the matter of hours, two offered a little more information, and one is, well, I don't know.  I can appreciate the columnist trying to break news.  Honestly you should get a gold star for this, you really should.  You did some digging I guess, although I still am curious how you magically happened to be looking in the Bay Area businesses for sale and came up with that.  You used your contact, did some digging, left a message, and got a response.  You know, actual journalism, instead of this mess in my Sunday paper that hurt my head.  But if you want to stick with it, then go all the way through with it.  I shouldn't be reading about Stockton and Anaheim having similar numbers of 100k employees on the payroll from a guy whose not involved.  And no, printing his e-mail doesn't count.  You should be the one working those numbers to give actual analysis.  

I know its a rush to see who might be better, or who might break it first.  And I'll assume that the news came across the newsroom in a similar fashion.  But its ok to take your time and make it look professional when posting it, instead of just being the first to post it.

Quick Links for May 6th

Ah Wednesday...wait, it's Wednesday right? I was down shots of tequila and smoking a rare pack of cigarettes in honor of Cinco de Mayo yesterday so my mind's kinda fuzzy today. But I'm pretty sure it's Wednesday, wouldn't mind it being Thursday (or Friday), but it's been a painfully slow news week so I'm no...oh shit! Enough chit chat, Quick Links time!

Cue the training montage!

Wooo! Violent crime stats came out! Sure, if you're a new reader that may not be news to you, but the "Title" part of Reclaiming the Title is specifically the violent crime rate title we lost to Oakland. Sure, we want Stockton to have all titles and be the most decorated champion in the history of cities, but the violent crime rate title is the brass ring.

So how'd we do? Well, the actual violent crime rate won't be determined until later (probably next month) when 2008 population estimates come out, but the preliminary numbers are encouraging. Despite the lowest number of homicides since 1976, the number of violent crimes rose by 2.5%. The culprit? Aggravated assaults. From the linked article:

"'You can see the increase in aggravated assaults; that's really driving it,' said Officer Pete Smith, a Stockton Police Department spokesman."

See, we're totally a fight town.

No word on how Oakland did this year, so let's just hope that a bunch of people moved from Stockton to Oakland to inflate our rate while simultaneously deflating the O's.

Is there some "one vice at a time" law we're unaware of? (4th item down)

We're not going to pretend to understand permit law, but what the fuck does bong sales have to do with someone's ability to legally sell alcohol? Especially in Califuckingfornia. Technically they're for smoking tobacco, dude can't control it if people misuse his products. Other places are allowed to sell blunt wraps and booze and nobody uses those wraps for tobacco. I damn sure don't know anybody who uses piña colada wraps with their Buglers. But selling bongs is crossing a line? Technically they're healthier for you.

We're also massively disappointed with Susan Eggman for insinuating that people loitering out front and a cashier playing cards has any affect on alcohol sales. So what if it's close to a school? To buy any of that shit you gotta be 18 anyways. So how does that affect the kids? It's not like he's selling fucking pot. That's what Victory Park is for.

It is nice to see somebody's still selling looseys though.

Oh, and congratulations on reaching 1000 posts Mr. Siders. Not only is that a shitload of posts, but they were also 1000 times better than anything Fitzy's thrown up on his blog.

As if I wasn't having a hard enough time figuring out what day of the week it is already

Mike Fitzgerald's massive workload of 3 columns a week has been lightened to 2 apparently as Mike Klocke took on the Wednesday columnist duties and for once didn't have to announce changes to the paper. Instead he advocated the need for a more secure courthouse. Which is hilarious because, you know, one's on the way already. That's like us saying the city should layoff police officers to balance the budget. But hey, gotta write about something. So why not argue that the courtroom is dangerous because of one isolated incident involving a crazy meth head?

Of course, one incident isn't enough to be a trend so he included the dubious example of Brian Payne shouting out conspiracy theories. Because, you know, crazy handcuffed cokeheads shouting is totally dangerous.

Look, we understand the courthouse has the potential for danger, but let's face it, everywhere has that potential. And throwing money at a place for temporary upgrades sounds great but, I don't know if you've noticed, there isn't any fucking money. Yes, courthouse security is underfunded, but so is 99% of Stockton (That 1% being downtown Stockton). So yes, we recognize you need money, get in line behind the cops, firefighters, tree trimmers, and pretty much everybody else with outdated shit. Considering the courthouses needs are actually going to be met, forgive us if we really could care less about this "potential powder keg of disaster."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Old man Fitzy misses the way we were

It's a slow news day (again), so it's time to take a look at Fitzy's column from Sunday. And well, there's a lot to look at.

I'm fairly certain it's supposed to be some sort of anti-sprawl commentary, but it gets lost among the old-timey prosey (those are actual words, right?) style he attempts to write in to describe his childhood ride to Gilroy.

I would love to sympathize with Fitzy. I too hate the sprawl that kills the agricultural land that makes/made San Joaquin Valley relevant. But he makes his point in such an old man "back in my day" sort of way that I just can't bring myself to agree with him. The growth he's complaining about, no matter how poorly planned, was needed. Everybody wants things to remain simple in their small town. Lodi's turned it into an art form. Morada's not even an actual town and it actively combats growth. One of the biggest issues at the mayor's town hall meeting in "the SOUTH!" was how shit wasn't like it was back in the day. Of course shit's not like it was back in the day, that's what makes it back in the day.

Everybody likes to wax nostalgic about a simpler time but simpler doesn't necessarily mean better. Things fucking change, it happens. Growth is inevitable, whether it be personal growth or municipal growth it's going to happen. Towns, like people, have and should always have aspirations to better themselves.

The challenges Tracy is facing aren't any different than the challenges every town goes through when experiencing growing pains. They'll figure it out and they'll be a better community for it. Whether you're a town or a person how you face challenges defines who and what you are. Tracy, as Fitz noted, isn't the town it once was. It's grown, and that's not a bad thing. He just presents it as a bad thing because it didn't grow into what he wanted it to be. Same goes for his constant championing of downtown Stockton. They too are going through some growing pains and Fitz is there trying to keep the status quo. He wants it to be some upscale area where everybody's classy and he can feel safe walking around in a smoking jacket while he and Randy Paragary smoke their pipes (sadly, filled with tobacco. Although sometimes I wonder about him) on the roof of the Hotel Stockton. Well, downtown's growing in a different direction. His response? He pretty much called us petty dicks. Twice.

I'll try and wrap this up soon, but I guess my argument is that, contrary to Fitzy's claims, the quality of life is better than it was when his dad was driving him to Gilroy in that symbolic Chrysler-made Dodge Polaris. Towns, people, everything is constantly changing. Change isn't bad, and change doesn't define who we are as a community. Tracy, Stockton, Gilroy, Lodi, wherever aren't defined by shrinking farmland and cookie-cutter communities. We're defined by how we, as a community, react to that change. And I don't know if you've noticed, but there's a lot of change going on right now.

We're not on the cusp of a giant shift or historic change, it fucking happened. The gauntlet has been thrown down. The very real challenges we're already facing and how we react to them will define our generation. We need to tackle these challenges head on, come up with new ways to move forward. Instead, Fitz apparently wants us to got back to the simpler way things were (note: he never outright says so, but the lamenting of growth combined with the whole quality of life thing seems to insinuate as much. So let us assume for argument's sake), even though that model broke a while back and was replaced by the faltering one we have now. I hate to sound like a politician (or the motivational speaker I seem to be channeling today) but we can't go backwards. That's not progress. We have to go forward, fight back if you will.

We're just in a particularly tough fight right now. One of our eyes is swollen shut so we can't see how much time is left in the round and the economy's peppering us with body blows. Fitzy apparently wants us to cry "No más" and go back to a simpler time that he understands. I don't wanna go out like that. We'll figure it out, I'm not sure how, but we'll figure it out. He said it himself, every generation will do better than it's predecessor. Falling back on the simpler days of yesteryear isn't doing better. And frankly, it's kind of sad.

I don't know how other cities are going to react to this fight, but I know Stockton. We're not a town of pussies God dammit. We're fighters. Sure, our opponent knocked out Chrysler, but we won't go down like that. Remember, real fighters are from Stockton.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Quick Links for May 4th

Well, it's Monday. We miss anything good over the weekend? I guess we'll find out in today's Quick Links!

Well, it's official. Swine flu has jumped the shark

It's hard to tell when a story has reached it's peak. We thought for sure the Cantu coverage was going to die down but then some farm workers had to find a fucking suitcase and gave the story another 2 weeks of coverage. That militia story seems to have died down, although we suspect with police layoffs coming in the not too distant future that story may blow up again.

But luckily for us we have a fool proof indicator of when a story is going to finally die, and it's name is Don Blount. Don is kind of famous around these parts for being the last dying breath of any story that gains some sort of notoriety around these parts. He chimed in on Obama a week after everybody else did. He gave us his opinion on Stockton being named the most miserable town in America after pretty much everybody debunked that myth and had moved on (and then brought it up again a week later). And the last time anybody mentioned that roving gang of armed (but not legged *rimshot*) vigilantes was when Blount likened them to the Klan (and then, just for kicks, brought it up a week later. Yes, again).

That's an impressive path of destruction for a guy who's only been writing a column for 4 months. He's like the Ted McGinley of journalistic shark jumping. So it's only fitting that the day he writes about the dangers of Swine flu and what precautions to take against it is the same day major media outlets are realizing they may have overreacted just a smidge.

So for those of you already tired of the Swine flu non-demic, it's almost over. See, Don Blount's good for something.

Something about "Stockton" and "fighting" seems vaguely familiar

It's been a few months since the election cycle ended (the upcoming special election doesn't count since, as the Record pointed out, nobody's going to vote in it), but instead of letting us enjoy an extended break after what seemed like 4 straight years of campaign ads, Susan Eggman's getting her fundraise on a little early this year. Which is fine by me since she doesn't represent my district (or at least I'm pretty sure she doesn't since I don't live in the SOUTH!).

Although we have to point out that the early version of her campaign slogan does seem to echo sentiments we've been pushing since last summer, which is encouraging to say the least. Mostly because we're all for people agreeing with us. So Susan Eggman wants to fight for Stockton, let's hope this results in some sort of campaign event where her and Nick Diaz sing some sort of duet (What? You didn't know she sings at campaign events?). Preferably "Eye of the Tiger".

It's not a race thing, Morada just hates religion

I kid of course, actually it's a traffic thing. But I defer to former Morada resident El Duke for this one:

"Traffic on the Frontage Road east of 99 can get pretty bad at times, but their claim is still bullshit. The area they're considering building the mosque at over by Shippee is at the south end of Morada. The only way it'll really affect traffic is if you have to go down to Weinerschnitzel. And nobody goes to that Weinerschnitzel. Even then the traffic can be avoided by jumping on the 3 overpasses that connect Morada to the rest of Stockton and shoot on down the Frontage Road on the west of 99 to get pretty much anywhere. So really, they're just bitching about a slight inconvenience.

Really it's just that Moradans like to think they live in some sleepy rural town that is immune to growth. They're resistant to any change. They opposed the Harvest Bible Church and they didn't even have to build their building. They just occupy the old Sibbs/Mar-Val/Babe's Liquor strip mall. That's how fearful they are of change. They'd rather let a vacant strip mall sit there and rot than have something disturb their quaint little community."

Translation? Morada's like a mini-Lodi.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Slow News Days Suck!

I hate slow news days, don't you? And don't let bullshit swine flu stories fool you, it's a fucking slow news day. Just look at the front page of the Record today. What's the big news? Mickie Grove Zoo is getting birds! Oh man! So amazing!

Oh, and the police and some other city workers got layoff notices. Not laid off, just notices that they miiiight get laid off depending on the number of people who take advantage of the retirement incentives offered to workers/cops over 50 (those wanting to take advantage have until today to do so). So, you know, more waiting. Awesome.

Oh, and Fitzy is apparently on the restaurant beat now as he tells the tale of Chuck's getting sued for ADA non-compliance by an overly litigious dick in a wheelchair. Yup,lawyers are soulless dicks, that's some crack investigative reporting right there.

But the real sign of a slow news day is how many ads for The Record and its various services appear in the paper to fill space. And good Lord there are a few today. That's nothing really post-worthy, the Record has been slowly turning into a catalog interspersed with news for years now. What makes the ads notable is what they're for. Everybody turn to A13! (We'd link, but why would the Record want these online? It makes too much sense.)

Yes, you too could have a picture of your little one's Kindergarten graduation picture in the Record for the low low price of $40! I don't even think my school had a kindergarten graduation. If we did, years of hard living have erased it from my memory. If only my parents had shelled out 40 clams so they could tell me how proud they are of me for being named "Most likely to continue eating paste" next to a picture of me wearing a paper hat and a bathrobe! It's great to see the Record display such great out-of-the-box thinking like this to recoup some lost ad sales revenue. Because, if there's one section of the community that totally has disposable income in this economy, it's relatively new parents.

Of course, the second biggest community sect with cash just pouring out of their pockets it's people who are getting married! And for the bargain basement price of $25 you can, ummm, announce your wedding in some sort of bride and groom insert the Record's doing next month! Of course (flipping to B4 now), if your wedding was really wacky and over-the-top, you can contact the Record and have them do a feature story on you for free! Did your uncle get too sauced and hit on the bride? Was your bridal party so big the limo had to take people to the wedding in shifts? Did you get to ride the chair at a Jewish wedding that wasn't yours? The Record wants to know! Oh man, the zany stories are endless.

So, to clarify, the Record wants your money for some features they're doing that serve no other purpose other than to make money. See, journalism is alive and well. (Takes swig from flask)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quick Links for April 30th

Sorry about the impromptu day off. BlogSpot/Blogger changed a few things with their site that hinders our regular posting ability. We're back for today, so let's knock out some Quick Links! While I contemplate a switch to WordPress.

Somewhere, Alan Pettet is channeling his inner Mr. Burns and letting out an "Exxxcellent"

So it's April 30th, which means it's the City Council's self-imposed soft deadline to have a deal in place with the Stockton Police Officers Association so they can get their budget in on time. So naturally there's still no deal in place and labor talks have ended. And, as with any milestone in this debacle, the number of planned layoffs has jumped again! This time it's jumped up 9 more officers bringing the grand total of the most optimistic budget plan to 52. The city is presumably waiting until those 9 cops have knocked up their wives or at a loved one's funeral (or in the hospital after injuring themselves disposing of that dangerous looking bag of lawn clippings) before dropping off layoff notices in their mailboxes. Of course, that number will shrink once the city offers retirement incentives to some of the older cops who have higher seniority and the resulting higher paychecks. So really, even though we're just a month away from the hard budget deadline, we're still playing the same posturing game we were playing 6 months ago. Now that's progress.

Fuck, it's always something with Tracy

Well, that Swine Flu pandemic that's claimed one whole life in the US (Note: it could be more by now, but well, I don't care) has finally (maybe) hit SJ County. Where? Tracy of course. Was there really any doubt? God's latest dumping ground takes another hit, and just as they gained a false sense of security after the Cantu case! We assume Tracy resident and one time fill-in poster BaconBabe is devastated by this news. Mostly because she hates media overkill as much as we do. Not to mention everybody hates uppity parents bitching about the safety of their children. Hey, speaking of...

This all makes a lot more sense when you realized the SUSD board of trustees is actually the student government

Ok, well at least they're acting like they have the maturity level of the students they have power over. We'd tackle each of these stories individually but frankly, we don't care. We don't have kids and it looks like all of this is just petty, political posturing. There's the guy (Anthony Silva) who's bitter that he lost reelection by one vote, and he just happened to show up the day another guy presents his case to recall the trustee that beat him out. Yeah, Silva's not bitter/petty at all. Then there's other board members bitching about one guy's vote on a seven person board, which makes total sense. And then there's my favorite story, "Tony Amato shouldn't use the rarely used district SUV that he pays the lease for, so let's pick up the tab for that and pay Amato $650 more a month." Confused? Yeah, so was the dumb broad who brought it up, now the district's out another $7,600 plus $650 a month to Amato. But it's ok, it's not like we're in a recession or anything. It's not like retarded populist sentiment is to crucify any sort of avoidable, non-essential spending, even with private money.

How do you know when your article/column is biased?

When the subject calls you to thank you for its fairness and accuracy when it was anything but fair and accurate. Apparently Randy does great business when the biggest festival of the year is in town, imagine that. He also has 3 potential buyers going through the motions with his broker. So soon, affordable food will be available in that space. But until then, you can continue paying twice the price for half the food! But really, this is all about some petty subsidy boycott. Not affordability, at all.

We're #19! We're #19!

In what can only be described as the most obvious example of link-baiting this side of Politico (a practice we encourage by the way), Christian Burkin has complied 2007's violent crime stats into national rankings in a response to Forbes' most recent list declaring us the 5th most dangerous metropolitan statistical area.

He used the crime stats for actual cities as opposed to the previously mentioned MSAs and lowered the population threshold for list inclusion to 100,000. Basically he used the stats and rules normally used when violent crime rates rankings are made instead of Forbes' lazy way of doing things. The result? Well, Detroit's not even the most dangerous city in it's state. Flint, Mich. beats by a whole extra violent crime per 1,000 people. Oakland is actually 5th behind those 2, St. Louis, and Memphis. And Stockton ranks a low, but still impressive 19th (take that Buffalo!).

Suspicious by their absence is Las Vegas, which is kind of funny considering there's not really a metropolitan area around Vegas, just more desert. But hey, math was never our strong suit so we'll trust CB on this one. But we may have to rethink our wager with Sin City now.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

An Open Letter to the Las Vegas Wranglers

Dear Las Vegas Wranglers,

First of all, nice name. Ass Spelunkers taken already? Name homosexuality aside, I love your town, even if I did drunkenly call every scantily clad woman around me a hooker that one night. Man, that was a long elevator ride...

Anyways, I'm writing you because you just evened the series against our hometown Falcons Thunder team. Now normally, I don't give a shit about minor league hockey, but you guys have something we want.

You may have heard that we're the 5th most dangerous town in America, you may not have heard that we have a reputation as a fight town (or at least that's the rep we're trying to push). We're always fighting to be at the top or near the top of as many lists as possible, this is where you come into play. See, Las Vegas is the 4th most dangerous city in America. Which is kind of crazy since I had no qualms about walking around Vegas at 4 in the morning, but in Stockton if I'm outdoors at 4 in the morning I'm running for the nearest bomb shelter and waiting out the night to avoid roving bands of handicapped militias.

But I digress, I want to put our #1 ranking in affordable homes (a list in which you came in 3rd) against your #4 ranking in dangerous cities, winner take all! Either homes in Vegas become more affordable or we get little bit more street cred. Is it wrong to bet the safety of our city on a minor league hockey team? Probably. But I have faith that the Fresno Thunder Stockton Falcons Stockton Thunder have put together the best team picking the bones of your closest rival can provide and we're going to go all the way to the "whatever the hell the championship is named" Cup!

So yeah, think about it.


Reclaiming The Title

Monday, April 27, 2009

Quick Links for April 27th

Now that I've finished unloading 3 cans of Febreeze into my bathroom to get that asparagus piss smell out of there, let's see if we can knock out some Monday Quick Links!

Oh, so that's how Stockton's population magically surpassed 500,000

Thanks to Christian Burkin's blog we now know how Stockton is considered more dangerous than Oakland even though Oakland has a higher violent crime rate. Long story short, the people who right those Forbes lists are lazy.

Basically, there's more shit around Oakland so they take that into account calling it a "Metropolitan Statistical Area". Because Oakland's in the middle of a bunch of other cities it's numbers get watered down. On our side of the Altamont, we're decidedly more spread out so our MSA is pushed to just a little under 700,000 and just past the 500,000 person threshold needed to make the list. So essentially, it's all Linden's fault.

So not only is the budget fucked now, but it's fucked 20 years from now? Sweet.

We'd be more pissed at this if we understood it, but we're not experts in medical retirement benefits since none of us is currently retired and only one of us enjoys current medical benefits. As far as we can tell, the city hasn't been saving their money for retiree medical benefits so they have to pay as they're billed or something. We basically have the Boost Mobile of retiree medical plans. So the city needs to work on saving some money so in 20 years they'll be able to pay for their own medical insurance instead of having the future/current generation do it...or something. Math's not my strong suit, that's why I got into journalism.

Where's that bottle of whiskey I mentioned earlier?

Sigh. Now that the gag order's in place the Record's got to get more creative with it's Cantu coverage. Now we get stories like "OMG, this judge has emotions!" and the gem of a story linked above. Anybody who's been paying attention has probably heard one of the many rumors flying around this story. The scene of the crime is a trailer park, it's bound to happen. None of them are printable because there's no real way to verify any of them. Although we do find it funny that the one we were able to semi-confirm, that Christian Sinclair is Melissa Huckaby's boyfriend, is the only one we have yet to see in the Record. But the Record can't let little things like fact-checking get in the way of keeping this story alive, so let's take all those little "rumors" and call them "theories"! They're basically the same thing except the second one isn't libel! "Mayyybe she was in the hospital because she swallowed razor blades!" "Mayyybe she's an attention whore!" See, the "Mayyybe" makes it news, not rumormongering. Everybody wins! Except of course for my sanity.

Fitzy's latest love is a "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" kind of situation

We did miss one other thing on Friday, something big. Something that let's you know that spring is in the air, everyone has that little extra spring in their step, birds chirping, all that crap that let's you know it's time for some good ol' fashioned summer lovin'. That's right, Fitzy's in love again! He's now apparently spurned the advances of IFG's Stephen Grossman, on the same day he bought him a Dylan/Nelson/Mellencamp concert too! That bitch!

Yes, he's spurned Grossman (from now on known as the Ex Cannon) in favor of a man who knows Fitzy's true love, downtown revitalization. Yes, in a move not unlike that one girl you know who only dates douchebags in emo bands who wear more eyeliner than she does, Fitzy has fallen hard for Revitalization Director David Harzoff. Whom you may or may not remember from this little incident. He's also known as the guy who replaced longtime Fitz love Steve Pinkerton, who left Fitzy after 12 blissful years to take a better job in Manteca and then blogged about it to presumably rub it in his face ("look how happy I am over here without you!").

What turn of events could cause Fitzy to switch horses so quickly? Well, he was wooed with some pillow talk about downtown housing that got him so hot and bothered he chased down Harzoff after the event at Casa Flores (without paying! OMG this is straight out of a Hugh Grant movie!) and said "Talk dirty to me."

Of course, all that dirty talk was theoretical because we have no money to actually, you know, do anything. But Fitzy was still fascinated and gazed longingly into Herzoff's eyes as he spouted off bullshit for him to report to the masses.

Included in that bullshit is a plan to revitalize the nicest area near downtown (Fremont Street) and tear down a state office building (which I'm sure the state would love) and replace it with more shops and cafes. And then he wants to bring in a developer to turn the B+M building into 4 different things, a first floor family style restaurant complete with it's own gourmet hot dog window, a second-floor dance club (because we don't have enough douchey Euro bars as it is), and a third floor private club (because if there's one thing we've learned from this whole thing it's that the citizens of Stockton love snooty private clubs for the rich). Sound ambitious? Yeah, he's pretty proud of himself. From the column:

"'All of a sudden, that plaza starts feeling a lit more like a district,' Harzoff said approvingly."

Sure, I guess, but this is all just in theory. Like when Bris, Duke, and I talk about buying up Stockton Stooges and opening up our own bar. But, like the downtown's redevelopment district, we're broke so those talks stay just that, talks. David Harzoff doesn't go down as easily. Again from the column:

"This sticking point is being addressed in two ways, Harzoff said. First, he is merging two Port redevelopment districts with the downtown district."

So taking money from other districts to fund even more downtown projects? Yeah, Stockton's voters will love that.

"Merging it with two districts at the port, where business is robust, gives it access to millions. But, Harzoff hastened to add, all these dollars will not be taken from the port, which is generating sorely needed jobs."

So we'll merge downtown's district with two port districts because the downtown district has no money, but we won't be taking money from the port? Makes total sense.

"The second policy shift is balance. A share for downtown, a share for the port, a share for the southside and other districts. Not robbing Peter to pay Paul until Peter threatens a recall."

(Reads that paragraph again.)

(Reads entire column again.)

(Reads paragraph again)

(Downs shot of whiskey)

Umm, what? A share of the port district money? A share of the revenue generated from downtown? A share of redevelopment money in general? A share of delicious pie? What the fuck is he talking about? (Note: We know what he's talking about, he just never actually says it in the column. Which could confuse people who don't know exactly how redevelopment funds work. Which, judging by that town hall meeting last week, is a lot of people.)

Fuck this, I'm done. Fitzy's entire column is a load of bullshit. More championing for the downtown district he's been so fond of. It's like he just ignored the last few years happened, you know, the part where everybody got fed up with the consistent flow of cash into one concentrated area. But instead of completely ignoring that, he just wants to make that concentrated area bigger so we can pump even more cash downtown, yet somehow balance that cash and send it southside as well.

Look, we're all for having a decent downtown entertainment district. We'd love to have more venues for drinking and catching some local band, but for the love of God not now. Nobody's saying let's completely abandon downtown since it's failed, what we're saying it slow the fuck down and let the rest of us catch up. And while we're catching up, concentrate on other areas of Stockton.

Downtown's future was never in doubt, we just don't know exactly what that future will entail. People will come around and downtown will thrive. It may not thrive like Fitzy or others wanted it to thrive (as a hub for the rich movers and shakers of the area), but it will find its niche that's decidedly Stockton and that's when more growth may be warranted. Smart growth, not this trial by error shit Harzoff's spouting (which is what got us in this mess in the first place).

Downtown's going through changes right now, people are realizing that maybe trying to be like other cities is a bad idea (I swear to God the next person who mentions San Antonio's River Walk is getting punched in the mouth), we just need to be like Stockton. Unfortunately those in charge haven't figured out what Stockton is yet. Once they have we can act, but until then shut the fuck up about pumping more cash downtown. We're fucking tired of it.