Friday, February 27, 2009

NBA proposes $1.9 B-B-B-B-Billion arena plan/Cal Expo revamp


(Kings beat writer) Sam Amick quotes the independent economist as calling the NBA's cost and revenue projections "optimstic" and saying that "this particular project has problems in terms of feasibility ."

Somebody pass the Cuervo

Shit to do for 2/27-3/1

TGISF. I'm pretty busy so this will be quick again. Sorry, I know you guys really like my commentary on bands I've never heard of.

Sexy Friday 2/27

The Great Oglee Moogle Blues Band plays tonight at 9 at the Matinee. $5

Saturday 2/28

Fuck, you try and decipher this. I'm only able to tell that the Plea for Peace Center will be putting on a Ska show (I know, surprising) at 7:30 on Saturday. $8/$10

Sunday 3/1

And for you mandatory Blackwater show we have The Black Horde, the Lobstrosities, and the Outlaw Dance Society playing and afternoon show at 2:30. $10

Quick Links for Feb. 27th

Holy shit, is it Sexy Friday? Fuck yes! It's Sexy Friday! Let's knock out some Quick Links while I nurse this wicked hangover and remind myself that this is why I stopped staying out 'til last call on weekdays. The things I do for incredibly hot bartenders who bend down and unwittingly give me a quality downshirt view. And can somebody turn the dimmer switch down please? That lamp is like the fucking sun, and it feels like it's piercing a hole into my forehead. (Note: This part was written at like 9 AM. I'm slightly less hungover now. Although my mouth still feels like I ate a down pillow after smoking a pound of Grandaddy Purp.)

I've got a fever, and the only cure is more live blog!

I guess David Siders loved interacting with us so much yesterday that he's ready for round two. It's nice to see the Record finally embrace a technology that most blogs have been using for at least 2 years now. It's like their website is the midwest, and the rest of the internet is California. I can't wait until they find out about CafePress. Because deep down, who doesn't want to rock a "I went to court and all I got was a picture with Scott Smith's soul patch" t-shirt.

Really? That's the best you got?

We didn't really expect much out of the State of the City speech. It's usually pretty boring and panders to the business folk in attendance. Real Stocktonian Ed Chavez tried to bring some pizzazz to the event by announcing useless shit, we all know how that worked out. Ann Johnston said she wasn't going to make some big, costly, showy announcement, and she didn't. She just took away the costly part! What was her big, not costly, showy announcement? She's calling on you! Yes you! And you! You! You! You! You! Yes, apparently Ann Johnston used her best pyramid scheme sales pitch skills to say that you (yes, you!) can help bring Stockton out of this economic crisis. And it'll only cost you an initial $300 investment time! You can volunteer in the unfortunately named VISTAS program (seriously, who thought that was a good name? Even the STARS people think that's lame) and work at the library or something. Hopefully this is just the first step towards a citizen volunteer police force where a band of ragtag misfits go through the police academy while wacky hijinks ensue. I call dibs on being Guttenburg.

So ummm, checkmate?

I don't really have much to add to this. At least without sounding repetitive. You know what? Fuck it. THEY DON'T WANT YOUR STUPID FUCKING STORE WITH IT'S LAME ASS PRODUCE DEPARTMENT. THE CURRENT WALMART IS FINE AS IS! JUST GIVE IT THE FUCK UP! Man, that felt good.

Maybe we can find some common ground

We've had our fair share of fun at the expense of Mike Fitzgerald, and don't worry there will be plenty more to come. But we'd like to put that all aside for a second. In his blog he wonders why the Arena couldn't book a band like Poison. While we wonder why anybody would want the Rock of Love Bus to head to Stockton, it's still in the realm of my love for horribly over the top 80s music. And if Fitzy also wants an 80s band to play the Arena, then maybe we can all get along. Even if just for a little while.

So what are we proposing? Well, first of all, fuck Poison. They're playing the county fair because nobody would pay just to see Poison. You gotta throw in a bunch of exhibits and a funnel cake to get me to pay to see them. But you know who would sell out the Arena? Journey. It makes perfect sense. For one, they're fucking badass. Second, Journey has localish roots. Lights notwithstanding Steve Perry once lived in Banta. I say that's a local enough angle, even though Perry isn't with the band anymore, to warrant making a push to bring them to the Arena. And we think Fitzy should help make that push. If he does, we promise to not make fun of his tree fetish for a whole month. In fact, we'll even plant a tree and take care of it in my backyard. You want to save the urban forest? Bring us Journey. Then you can do all the tree loving, touching, and squeezing you want.

Who do I just feel there is more to this?

I know this broke a few weeks ago, and when it did it reeked of foul play, cover up, and whatever else you can throw into it.  But in the end we still have the same result of a girl dying due to drug overdose.  Oxycodone, Valium and Xanax?  And thats just the preliminary findings.  Now I'm sure this is going to have more coming, but here's what we know so far:

1.  It involved high school kids, booze, and illicit drugs.
2.  Someone died.

With most of the participants being in high school and underage a lot of this is being played close to the vest.  Understandable, yes.  But, and here is the big but, (hehe) someone needs to teach or remind the kids weed is still available.  Those kids of prescription drugs are and should be used on the women I'm picking up at the bars, not high schoolers.  Somewhere they totally jumped the gun and got into prescription drugs hot and heavy.  Gross.  Weed gives munchies  and a lazy attitude.  

It still stinks of more to come. 


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kings Kolumn: Fear

I'm not afraid of much. I'm not saying that to sound tough, there are just very few things that truly instill the fear of God into me. Sure, there are things that scare me. I get uncomfortable around cops even though I generally obey the law. Some days I'm afraid I'll drink myself retarded but that usually subsides after a jack and coke or five. But those are nagging fears, something that I can usually push down inside and worry about later. I'm not here to talk about that kind of fear.

I'm here talk about something that I've been running from for nearly 8 years. Something that slowly eats away at my soul just thinking about it. Even now I'm having a tough time writing about it. It's something I've refused to acknowledge, even though I actually maintained a blog about it for a while. I'm deathly afraid of the possibility that the Kings will no longer be in Sacramento.

I know, it's irrational. It doesn't make any sense to worry about a group of pampered millionaires who play a game. Especially when half of them were just shipped off to other cities in exchange for what amounted to increased monetary flexibility....for a couple of billionaires. When billionaire team owners are making blatant cash driven moves, that's a real "Fuck you" move. Yet I still care. Sure, sports are an escape. But I care about that escape, basketball is my escape dammit. And to be completely honest, that's why my fear is so deeply-rooted.

Yes, I'm well aware that the Warriors are right there. But I don't want to be a Warriors fan. It's nothing against them, I'm just stubborn. My dad's a Warriors fan. Way back when the Kings and the Warriors would scrimmage at the Spanos Center, my dad took me to watch the game he loved growing up. But instead of cheering on the team my dad cheered for en route to an NBA title in the 70s, I fell in love with the Kings.

I honestly can't remember what it was. I couldn't have been more that 10 at the time. But for some reason, I made a choice and that choice was that I was a Kings fan. It's one of the earliest decisions I can remember making on my own. Thankfully my dad didn't try and change my mind. He didn't push me towards the east bay. In better financial times he would even spring for those mini-season ticket packages, even waiting with me outside the parking garage while I stood out there with a sharpie hoping one of my heroes would stop and sign my basketball. Yeah, I have an awesome dad. He respected the sports-related decision of a 10 year old. Considering we live in an age where one hears about overbearing little league parents on what seems like a monthly basis, I don't want to ruin that. As stupid as it sounds, part of me fears I'll have let my dad down if the team leaves. We bonded over becoming Kings fans. I don't want to lose that.

But it's more than that. More than the "If I had known back then that 20 years later you were going to leave me, I may have taken a second look at the Warriors" thing (I said "may" so it's not blasphemy). It's also something that developed a little later on in my Kings fan experience. Hope. During the 90s the Kings were the loveable losers. I remember losing my shit when they snuck into the playoffs as an 8 seed. Now, people are saying "championship or bust". I'm not in that camp.

It goes without saying (yet, here I go saying it) that 2002 changed everything. It wasn't like I was cheering against the team before, I just knew not to expect a long playoff run from the Richmond-led Kings. But 2002 made me think for the first time that perhaps little ol' us could go all the way. NBA Champion Sacramento Kings. It used to be a joke. KHTK even had it as one of their rejoiners that ended with "Sorry, we just wanted to hear how that sounded". But after '02, it was possible. Not only was it possible, it needed to happen. While 2002 brings up a lot of emotions that I'm still not entirely ready to discuss, the one thing it did was give us the hope that a championship wasn't just some silly joke. The Kings, our Kings, could be champions.

Of course it didn't happen. After watching Game 7, there were many thoughts running through my head. One of them was "We fucking need to get back there." But then Webber's knee went kaput and it all fell apart. But things had definitely changed. I was no longer content with just having my team to follow. I need a championship. I'm more patient than most fans nowadays but I still need that guttural, cathartic yell of victory that I was denied 7 years ago. I want to crack open that high end bottle of brandy Bris and I bought and sip the sweetest drink I'll ever taste.

I'm a pretty laid back guy to the point where people think I'm completely unmotivated, that I have no fire and that's not the case. There's a fire that burns deep inside me that can only be put out when I see Kings jerseys covered in champagne (Note to Mom: This is not my only passion, swear. I also love bacon.). One of my biggest fears, is that I'll never get a chance to extinguish that fire. That the team will move away and I'll have this incomplete part of me. A part that can only be filled when the Kings validate my choice to support them for pretty much my entire life and hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy over their heads.

Again, I know this is entirely irrational. I don't expect you to understand because frankly, I don't understand it myself. It's just there.

Why do I bring all this up? Well, tomorrow the NBA and the State of California present their plans involving Cal Expo as the site of a new arena for the Kings. Which is conveniently 2 days before the deadline for teams to file for relocation for next season. If it's good news, ignore this whole post. If it's bad news...well...there's always tequila. Lots and lots of tequila.

An open letter to the Delta hippies

Dear hippies that protest the war in front of Delta,

I don't know if you heard, but Bush isn't President anymore. I know, shocking. You'd think somebody'd have said something about it by now. But yeah, it's true. You know that guy Barack Obama? Black guy, the one running that didn't kind of resemble Skeltor. Only one who ran a competent campaign. Any of that ring a bell? Well yeah, anyways, he won. So he's President now. And well, and you may have missed this since you apparently think we still have a pro-war President, but he's bringing the troops back in like 18 months. So, you know, we won. Go the fuck home. And stop waving at me to honk while I'm stuck at the light. That's why I flipped your old , wrinkled asses off today.

On a related note, now that it's out that you're old people who have actually left the house Lori Gilbert should be calling you any day now. So be ready for that.

Fuck off,

Reclaiming the Title

Quick Links for Feb. 26th

Take me down to the Paradise City where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. Oh won't you please take the Quick Links!

When did the Record learn how to use technology?

Today's State of the City address is apparently being liveblogged by the Record. Ian Hill's at it and David Siders should show up shortly if he's not there already. Mayor Johnston's also allegedly coming by, because if there's one voice that she needs to hear, it's the voice of the biased, racist commenters on I'd pop in and participate, but I have work. Somebody tell us how it went. (Update: Ok, so I poked my head in for a sec. I couldn't help myself. It looked about as exciting as a liveblog about a speech would. Plus the SaveStockton guy was there. They were using Cover It Live! so all the comments had to be approved. Which was probably the reason there were so few reader comments. But that's probably a good thing.)

We're gonna need more than this if we want to land Robocop

Christian Burkin breaks down a brochure advertising the Stockton Police Chief job in his latest blog post. Suspiciously missing? Any mention of our violent crime rate. They also say the budget is just over $100 mil when in reality it's just under $100 mil with more cuts coming. Either way it's an interesting read. One would think the search for a new police chief wouldn't resemble a Cragslist personal ad so much.

On a side note, we'd like to ask McClane to say hi to Carl Winslow for us. Now there's a guy who should be police chief. You could pay him in Twinkies!

Ok, so we lied Lori. There won't be any pie. This is an intervention.

Lori, we're here because we love you. Ok, we don't really. We wish you would disappear forever, but we're here to help you. You have a problem, and it's hurting the people around you. Not just your family, friends, and co-workers who have to deal with the constant questions of "Why did Lori write about a dead person turning 100?", but you're also hurting old people. You're making them believe that their stories are interesting, and giving them false hope is mean. Plus, they might start blathering on about their life story to random strangers because they now feel that since they made it in the paper, everybody wants to hear their life story. And we don't. I don't even listen to my Grandpa's stories and he's talking about people I actually know.

I know, it's going to be tough, but you have to get help. This fetish is getting to be too much. I don't think you've written about anybody under the age of 50 since we pointed out your affinity for the elderly. And while we appreciate your efforts to prove us right, frankly we worry about your mental health. Of course being somewhat close to SF, we've learned to accept people for who they are despite whatever weird proclivities they might have. So maybe, instead of quitting old people cold turkey, you could get a job writing the newsletter for a retirement community. Perhaps you could take some time off and write a book of stories old people tell you. Like Tuesdays with Morrie minus the inspiration and anything remotely interesting.

But whatever you do, for the love of Wally stop writing this shit for the Record. It's nowhere near the realm of relevancy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A soft journalism piece in which we reveal the raging alcoholic within us

Generally, we hate soft features. Whether it be an article on healthy recipes with a tiny connection to New Years resolution so it doesn't seem totally random or another article about some old guy that basically says "Old people can be useful". Stories like those aren't news. They're boring filler.

But we also understand they're a necessary evil. It's not like news organizations can just make news happen. If shit don't go down then shit don't go down. We just wish the Record would print more interesting features. Especially because jack and shit went on yesterday. We would write about Fitzy's flood map column but none of us knows shit about insurance or flooding. Plus we suspect the source of his FEMA-rage is because he's probably one of the people affected by the higher insurance rates. I guess we could tackle it stylistically considering the first word in it is the letter "I" which is a big no-no. It does seem like a very bloggy column. Thing is, as much as we crack on the guy, he's actually a pretty good writer. It's his choice of topics and opinions that are in question.

Or we could write about the pending layoff delay, because Obama didn't just tell us last night we need to deal with these problems head on instead of putting them off until later.

Or we could say something about how if the past is any indicator we'll probably lose our slice of the stimulus pie before it even gets here. Completely fucking over our poor urban forest.

But instead, we're taking this opportunity to show that soft journalism can be interesting. It can be more than just reprinting recipes from some lame cookbook to fill space. It can be more than "Hey! Remember Chris Isaak!?" Features can still be *gasp!* informative! And we want to show that not all features have to appeal to fatty housewives or depressed old people. So what will our first exercise in soft news be about? Drinking of course. Namely, drinking on the cheap during the recession.

Now, we hate recession trend pieces as much as the next guys, but hopefully some of the knowledge we drop will be helpful. If not, then somebody leak a document revealing gross government misconduct so we'll have something to write about tomorrow.

Drinking on the cheap is fairly easy, especially if you're willing to part with that nagging part of your soul called dignity. Without dignity, the world is your inexpensive oyster. If you're a woman, just slap on a low cut top and you're set. Those titties are like two fleshy credit cards with no bill. Use them while they're still hovering well above your belly button.

If you're a guy, it's admittedly a little harder. Mostly because guys aren't too big on dignity to begin with. Bris Isaak will drink a dipping cup of ranch for $10, and that was before the economy cratered. So for dudes (or a flat-chested or fat chick), it comes down to being less picky. Don't like going to a bar like the Circus Room or Winchesters because they're shitholes? Well guess what? Those places are dirt cheap. If you don't give a shit about hitting on a member of the opposite sex that's still desirable when you're sober and just want to get good ol' fashioned shitfaced then dive bars give you the most bang for your buck. They're usually cover charge free and you usually aren't paying more than $3 for a beer. Plus you're not surrounded by douchebags trying to impress some hot broad by acting tough and starting a fight because there aren't any hot chicks to impress. So, bonus.

If you've got too much dignity to hit up a shithole then your other option is to pick a bar and plant your flag. Find a bar that you're comfortable in and patronize it regularly for months. This won't pay off immediately, you gotta spend money to make money after all, but eventually you'll befriend the bartenders and achieve "regular" status and you'll get all sorts of crazy drink hookups. Just remember to tip well, just because they're your friends doesn't mean you don't hook them up for hooking you up. And if you are going this route, don't show up every Friday at 10 and expect to have time to shoot the shit and befriend bartenders. They're busy serving other people. At least, if they're a good bartender they are. Nobody wants to wait 20 minutes at the bar to get a drink. That's the exact reason I don't drink at Brandenburg's/Touche, if you don't have tits or personally know the bartender it takes a half hour to get a drink.

Of course, if you really want to maximize your drunken fun then we've got one word for you. Pregaming. Why spend $20 to get a buzz going when you could down a 6-pack before heading out for a third of the price? You have to be careful though and not go overboard. Just ask Bris. You drink too much and you're the guy who's sloppy drunk at 8 hitting on sober women while trying to convince them your name is Houston Mandolph. Then everybody thinks you're a lush. My general rule of thumb is to down a tall can while you're in the shower. Kill two alcoholic birds with one stone. That way, you get just the right head change going before you head to the bar for an all out assault on your liver. Just make sure you have one of those rubber shower mats. We don't want to be responsible for MADD creating a shower drinking branch.

If none of these ideas will work for you, chances are you're way too poor to even think about heading out to the bar. We feel your pain. It's tough to decide whether you should spend your last $10 on hamster food or dollar beers. We hope Nibbles' ghost will forgive us. The solution, again, lies with your dignity. If you must stay home and drink, then hard liquor in plastic bottles is the way to go. Sure, $6 vodka tastes like pure gasoline, but you can barely taste it after your 10th shot. If you're too much of a pussy for the hard stuff, then we'd like to introduce you to your new friend Natty Light. It's ridiculously cheap, it tastes like ass watered down with ball sweat, and it gets you drunk. It's like Pabst Blue Ribbon without the lame punk/hipster stigma.

We could go on, but this thing is getting ridiculously long, and it wasn't nearly as informative as we'd have liked it to be. I guess that means we failed. So I guess that means Soft news/features really are totally useless except as a means to fill space. And we filled a lot of space today. Hopefully tomorrow this space will be filled with actual news.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quick Links for Feb. 24th (aka the beginning of Mandolph Mania!)

Hey, what's that over there? (Points behind you) Quick Links!

So what you're saying is this crazy old man is a crazy old man?

Don't you just love contentious old people? This guy gets caught with a stockpile of guns that would give a trailer park a boner yet he's still hootin' and hollerin' like the feeble gun nut that he is. I'd try and use reason but, let's face it, that crazy old coot doesn't dwell in the realm of common sense. He had 600 guns on a ranch (which we will from now on be calling a "compound" to make him seem crazier.) out in the foothills. Why? I'm assuming "gun collector" is code for "secessionist" and he's preparing for the South to rise again or something.

But that's not the point. The point is his lawyer knew damn well how batshit crazy this guy was. He's claiming he can't afford a new attorney yet he owns a fucking compound (see? Works, doesn't it?) in the foothills! You knew what you were getting into when you took that old dude's $15,000 Mr. Foley (sadly, not Mick Foley). Shouting, being combative and belligerent, making derogatory statements; these are things old people do! You try shooting sunshine out your ass when you turn 80.

My grandpa is a cantankerous old religious fart, do I fault him for that? No. He's like 1000, he gets a pass. For all Buller knows he's just breaking some balls. His quote said he thought he and his lawyer were friends. I don't know what you do with your friends, but when I'm kicking it with Bris Isaak I break that fat fuck's balls pretty much non-stop. Old people are notoriously lonely, and if you don't believe me go sit at the counter at Denny's for about 20 minutes and you'll know what I mean. Buller just wanted a friend to crack on while sipping cognac and shooting at paint cans with the gun that killed Lincoln. Is that too much to ask?

Ok, this can't be real

This is probably too soon, but I'm going for it anyway. Plus, we're pretty sure it's a typo. But either way, Houston Mandolph is the awesomest porn star name ever. When I'm on vacation next week I'm totally introducing myself to random bar strange as Houston Mandolph. Even if it does kind of sound like a name for an actor in movies with all male casts (like Glengarry Glen Ross, but reimagined kind of like The Wiz). Oh, and condolences to the Mandolphs.

I wanna die with dignity, the way God intended. By falling down in the shower and getting found three weeks later so swelled up they won't know if I'm sofa or man.

Ok, what the fuck's going on. Black guy in the White House, euthanasia debate, shitty alternative bands raping my ears via the radio, a sub-10,000 Dow Jones, outrage of the closure of See's Candies; was I magically transported back to the 90s or something?

I'm a huge supporter of euthanasia because I believe people should be able to go out on their terms. El Duke says the most consistent advice he got from the elderly while working in medical supplies was "Don't get old." At first he would laugh it up as if they were joking, but he quickly realized it wasn't a joke because he heard that bit of advice literally every day. Getting old blows, and if you look to the other side of the A1 section, you'll see it's fucking expensive too.

Why spend a shitload of money to spend the rest of your life sitting in your own feces while mustering up the courage to yell at those darkies to stop selling drugs on the street corner. They won't listen, they never do. They just say "Fuck you old man!" and then threaten to beat your ass. Then, before you know it, your only friend is your stupid Jew lawyer who will eventually stop representing you because you called him your stupid Jew lawyer one too many times That sound like a rich, fulfilling life to you?

Of course that's for other people. Me? I'm going to enjoy getting old. I'm spending my formative years living through the New Depression. No generation that will be alive while I am will have it harder than mine. "Oh, you think you have it so tough having to pay 10 cents per view to watch fuckable hologram porn? Back in aught nine porn was in 2-D and you had to cut your own hole in the magazine! And we had to walk 9 miles in the snow uphill both ways to get it!" It's going to be awesome.

This is getting way too easy

I didn't even have to read this article to know subject was old. I just skimmed the article for his age and name. He's 60. That's old. Keep that streak alive Lori! But, in an example of the shitty journalistic standards that graced her sports column, she neglects to find out "Cowboy's" real name. I actually had to go back an read the entire boring, completely useless column to see if I missed it. I didn't. She finds out where he's from, how old he his, who his wife is, and where she works but she refers to him as "Cowboy" throughout the entire column and it's distracting. Not to mention just fucking stupid. I guess they can't all be Mandolphs.

Rumors of grand, showy, empty gesture at State of the City address...wait, I thought Chavez left

The State of the City address is Thursday, and it promises to be the non-event it always is. Times are tough, we can pull through, take responsibility, blah blah blah . But wait, what's this in the comments?

"Feb-23 - w84urma — According to a City Hall source, the Mayor is going to announce the council has agreed to forgo their council pay and take the lead in the budget crisis. Bravo Council!!!!"

Oh hey! A savvy but largely empty PR move! Awesome! That's how a Real Stocktonian would do the State of the City address after all. Of course, rumors started by internet commenters should always be treated as "probably false". But I figured I'd pass it along. If for no other reason than to get you over to Siders' blog. Which is loaded with interesting posts as usual.

Oh sure, it may help lay the groundwork to stabilize the economy, but WHAT ABOUT THE TREES!!!???

Nevermind the fact that we're $30 mil in the hole, every other house seems to have a for sale sign in front of it, or that businesses are closing every week; why didn't Obama think about the trees!? Yes, while everything else is fucked 6 ways til Sunday, Mike Fitzgerald wants to know why the stimulus package does jack shit for our "dying urban forest". Yeah, he tackles the important issues on his blog. On a side note, are we the only ones who think Ann Johnston's "We blew it" was meant to be sarcastic but Fitzy didn't notice because he was too busy renewing his subscription to Sunset magazine? They're fucking trees, and we live in California. Big Trees is an hour away. Fuck the urban forest, try a real forest. That's why it's federally-protected and the trees in Stockton aren't.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Quick Links for Feb. 23rd. (aka, the part where I apoligize for the 50th time for cutting out early last week)

Hey, sorry we kind of crapped out at the end of the week. I was admittedly fairly burnt out by Thursday and that was before I had to spend the weekend moving (thanks to El Duke and Bris for helping by the way). So I could probably use a weekend from my weekend, but I'll power through because shit's been going on and we haven't covered it. I'm working on finding more writers to help lighten my writing load, I've put some feelers out to some people and as always you can e-mail us if you feel like contributing. Now let's work on some backed up Quick Links.

It's official, nobody but Forbes thinks Stockton is miserable

All together now, Don Blount saw reader responses! I'm conflicted on this one. On one hand, I'm so God damn tired of hearing about this obviously flawed Forbes list. We get it, rankings of subjective things such as misery levels aren't ironclad. But on the other hand, I don't have to read that much of Don Blount's poor excuse for prose. Which was a nice bonus.

Not that the reader reaction is any better. One guy wonders how Stockton can be both #1 in misery and an All-American City (hint: it's because AAC is also a flawed award, and we last won it 5 years ago). That same guy also says our "nice churches" are another reason we can't be miserable (What? No opera and theatre?). Ignoring the fact that some of the most miserable times I've had have been in church, the Christian Life Center on West Lane would like to disagree with that "nice" claim. Also, shouldn't scoutmasters like camping? Using it as an example of true misery seems to be counterproductive to the job description.

But anyways, for a paper that's had two people pretty much call the Forbes list an abomination to journalism, they really won't just let this story die.

Oh no! Not the Encore section! Wait, what the fuck is the Encore section?

The Coozer made an appearance in Sunday's Record to announce that the Record will ax the TV Guide section that appears in Sunday's paper in yet another cost-cutting measure. If that section was anything resembling useful we'd probably have a stronger opinion on this. But considering it was wire shit with barely comprehensible TV listings thrown in the middle it's kind of surprising this didn't happen sooner.

Although, we gotta say, if shit's so tight economically for the Record, why are they doing random special inserts like the "Outlook" special section from a week ago? It was pretty much saying "Stockton's future is going to be OK, don't kill yourself! See, not miserable." And then there's the infamous 130-page Cleveland School shooting special section from last month. It's like as soon as the Record decided to contract they decided every Sunday should be a special commemorative Sunday. We await their "Gas prices craziness!" 3-part series revisit. And somebody please tell us why the even more useless Parade magazine survived this cut.

Best way to get paid in Stockton? Stop working

Wow, this list was just unfortunate. This hasn't exactly been the best month for the city timing-wise. This list couldn't have come at a worse time as Gordon Palmer (#5!) works on negotiating paycuts to avoid police layoffs. Especially since the Fire Department accounts for 40% of the list.

But the most damaging one has to be #3, man of a million ideas Steve Pinkerton. He left the city halfway through the year! A guy who punched 6-7 months on the clock in 2008 still earned the 3rd highest civic paycheck. When reached for comment Pinkerton advised that we "revitalize our downtown." We're pretty sure he was coming on to us.

Not a good week for the homeless, and that's not a foreclosure joke

While the country works to prevent more people from losing their home, the state was figuratively buttfucking those who are currently homeless. First Cal-Trans broke up the homeless encampment under the crosstown freeway downtown, making the homeless somehow even homelesser. And then, if that weren't enough, they increased the number of homeless sex offenders by changing housing assistance limits. So not only do assloads of bums have to find new park benches to nap on, but another pederast hobo might come by and fondle their junk. What's a pederast you ask? Shut the fuck up Donnie.

Saving the best and most important for last

I first heard the news about the closing of the Miracle Mile See's Candies from Fitzy's blog. In it he talks about his fight to help save the store from closure in the 90s using his column as a jumping off platform. It serves as a fond reminder to the halcyon days when newspapers mattered.

Now? See's doesn't give a fuck, losing money is losing money and a standalone store on the Miracle Mile doesn't come cheap. Of course, since this is the Mile, all the Record's old white readers are flipping cookies. You mean, they'll have to go to *gasp!* the mall to go get expensive ass chocolate? But there's black people there! And Mexicans! You really expect them to drive a whole mile and a half down to Weberstown Mall to shop amongst common minorities!? At least make them something exotic, like Tiger Woods' kid or something.

In case you couldn't tell, we don't see what the big fucking deal is. The ambiance of the Miracle Mile died when the Stockton Royal did. And if that didn't do it, turning an awesome place like Bull-n-Bear into the douchetastic Back Bay certainly did. Nobody's even getting laid off, they just have to add 5 minutes to their commute. Stockton didn't need three See's Candies, and cutting the one that probably had the highest overhead made the most sense financially. Mileheads need to get over themselves and realize that it's OK to patronize places that aren't on the Mile or in Lincoln Center. You probably won't get shot, honest.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shit to do for the weekend of 2/20-2/22

Sorry for the laziness again today. We're all helping Slick move. Here's some shit to to for the weekend.

Sexy Friday 2/20

The Blameshifters, The Secretions, Jaked on Ridicule, and Bastards of Young play the Blackwater tonight at 6. $8

Saturday 2/21

Stooges in Lodi is having their Mardi Gras party Saturday night so hooray tits.

Also, the 209 All Stars play another free show at the Beach Hut Deli at 7. Free

Sunday 2/22

Miss football.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sorry for the unscheduled outage

Sorry, no posts today. I've been fairly busy and my brain is slowly turning to mush. There's stuff to write about today and I did try and squeeze some in but it was not very good and somewhat repetitive. Hopefully we'll be back stronger tomorrow. But yeah, sorry. Weird day.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Quick Links for Feb. 18th

God damn I hate being busy. And this is a busy ass week. Hopefully this week goes by fast, but I kind of doubt it. In short, moving is awesome. Quick Links time.

Just in case you needed a reminder, the City Council in the early 00's was incredibly shitty.

Did we do anything legally to redevelop downtown? We used questionable legal practices to prevent the building of new movie theaters, we overspent to get shit finished without proper approval, and now we didn't even go about obtaining the property for the part of the ballpark legally. And this is all before we get into the whole trying to find the common sense in putting all our eggs in the downtown basket. These buildings used to be an example of our impending/eternal prosperity. While doing research for this I found an LA Times article from 2006 calling us a cutting edge city largely because of our efforts to revitalize downtown (you'll never guess who they quoted in that article. Ok, you're right, it was Fitzy). What a difference a couple of years makes.

In that LA Times article they cheer the Podesto City Council as being able to cut through all the political bullshit and get shit done. They actually cast Mark Lewis in a positive light! Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and now we know that Podesto pushed all this shit through using questionable practices and we're still wading through their downtown shitstorm. That same council that was lauded by the Times was absolutely destroyed in the press by the current council. And those Thunder games that were sellouts in 2006? Yeah, notsomuch now.

We don't mean to pile on. The ironic juxtaposition was just too good to pass up. (Plus those Fitzy quotes are fucking golden now.) We just want to point out the obvious that while cutting through the bullshit is awesome and manly and all, you still actually have to wade through that shit. That's what government jobs are all about. Strapping on your highwater boots and wading through as much bullshit as you can (Note: This is why they're compensated so handsomely Senõr Fitzgerald). When you try and cheat and cut through it, you're really just fucking the future. Don't believe me? Ask these guys...

Oh no! 30 more steps and that degree from Delta will be useless! OK, well, uselesser

Oh hey, a list of what's wrong with Delta. This should be entertaining. Let's see shitty trustees, check. Lack of long-term planning, check. Shitty counseling services, check. Lack of diversity...really? Sure, all of my teachers at Delta have been white dudes with a few white women sneaking in there. But I never thought that was too big a deal. One of my teachers was South African so technically she was an African-American. Plus the students are plenty diverse. Hell, most of my minority friends are people I met at Delta. I'll give the Accrediting Commission their other points, there are plenty of issues that Delta needs to deal with. But diversity is not one of them. SJRTD deciding to bottleneck Yokuts into one lane during Christmas and the beginning of the semester is a way more pressing issue. (Seriously, what's the deal with that? They pick the time that area's the busiest to build a bus transfer station?)

With support like this, there's no wondering how she won

From the "How did we just find out about this now?" files: Ann Johnston's Mayoral Campaign MySpace! There's honestly not much to it and it was apparently ditched in July. But it is kind of interesting to see that local politicians are slowly realizing the potential of social networking in relation to campaigning. Of course an idiot could have realized how helpful places like MySpace could be after seeing how Barack Obama's net savvy campaign.

Ok, and we posted this because Ann Johnston only having 3 friends, one of which being auto-friend Tom, is hilarious. I now officially feel like less of a loser.

So Ann Johnston is an introvert then?

And when politicians have figured out social networking, that can only mean one thing. It's a trend! And no trend is complete without it's very own trend piece. Granted, social networking was a trend like 3 years ago, but this is The Record. We're pretty sure their sports staff thinks MMA is fixed like the WWE (you got a better reason as to why they don't cover it? Let us know.), so figuring out social networking is big for them.

Since Fitzy's on vacation or something, Alex Breitler and his bright red Mr. Roger's sweater are tackling this one. And I gotta say, it's a pretty decent read. Nothing particularly interesting, just a column about how social networking can help introverts stay in touch with people they otherwise wouldn't. But something seems to be missing in Breitler's column. Like an entire paragraph. The offending passage from Page 2:

"The study may well be true, seen in 15 years popped up out of the blue and announced he'd named his son after me, at least in part."

Doesn't make much sense does it? How is it supposed to read?

"The study may well be true, but it doesn't have to be. An introvert can find social satisfaction, minus the angst, on social networking Web sites.

Consider my adventures over the past two months:

A high school chum I hadn't seen in 15 years popped up out of the blue and announced he'd named his son after me, at least in part."

A chunk fairly important to sentence continuity is missing. Where did it go? It's actually still there, kinda. Journalism lesson time!

Really, it all has to do with layout (Note: Layout programs can be different, we're just going off of our personal experiences). I'm not going to get into the boring specifics of column inches but, needless to say, each story has a certain amount of space they need to fill. If for whatever reason it doesn't fill that space, you fill it with ads or pictures or pretty much whatever fits that doesn't look totally awkward. In this case the picture on the right-hand side filled some space as well as Briefcase Breitler's byline/picture. The byline is where the editor got in trouble.

Breitler's head is just barely below the headline, so one would presume that when it was placed there, it displaced the headline and had to be moved down a tad. When it did so, it cut off the missing sentences. That can be easier to miss because they're not the only part in a large font. It's easier to see misplaced or missing words when they're in a 20-point font. When a picture covers just a couple of sentences in a sea of words, it's harder to catch. So the words are still there, they're just covered by Breitler's Mr. Roger's sweater.

Either that or they accidently got deleted. Either way, the real pressing issue is who brings a totebag instead of a backpack to school? He's lucky they just called it a briefcase instead of a purse. A briefcase makes you seem smart and organized. A purse makes you a chick or queer. Which one would you rather be? Hey, at least it wasn't a fanny pack.

Oh shit, I'd better get my hipster glasses detailed now before there's a wait!

As an admitted fan of quasifolkishalternarock, I gotta say I'm pretty stoked for this announcement from the Plea for Peace Center.

via P4P MySpace
"Working on the line up for what I hope will be an annual event.
THE NOT QUITE FOLK FESTIVAL. If you are interested in being involved please get in touch. It will be on Saturday July 18th at the Plea for Peace Canter 630 E Weber Ave Stockton Ca 95202."

Hey, a music festival in the downtownish area, what a novel concept. Now if only 209Vibe were still alive to cover this.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quick Links for Feb 17th (and hopefully the last time we'll have to mention Forbes and their stupid list)

(Insert questionably witty banter here)


Does anybody really think Stockton is miserable?

Let's face it, if the guy who's job it is to report on crime in Stockton doesn't think the city is miserable, then Stockton's not miserable. We made the argument that Forbes' miserable city list was flawed last week, but Christian Burkin does it a lot better than us (and without cussing!).

Plus he points out something we've been harping on for months. Stockton's too focused on becoming something it's not. We're never going to be that ideal city because the ideal flat out doesn't exist. If our slogan or whatever is "Celebrate Stockton!" then fucking celebrate Stockton. Unfortunately before rolling out that campaign the city neglected to find out what they're celebrating. Are we celebrating Stockton or Fat City? Contrary to popular belief the two aren't one in the same. And until we figure that out the taxpayers are just giving city leaders an unbearably long Dutch rudder. And that's the truly miserable part of Stockton

Don Blount saw that Forbes list too!

Just when that stupid list was leaving the news cycle, Don Blount saw it and decided to give it some more life. Even though pretty much everybody's calling the list bullshit, Don has to run in at the last second and yell "Yeah! Bullshit! Me too guys!" And he does so in typically horrible fashion. At one point he actually says "Central Valley represent!" This is the editor of a newspaper mind you. Not, you know, us.

But if that wasn't embarrassing enough he also wonders out loud with Larry Ruhstaller as to why Stockton didn't get credit for having the Thunder, Cougars, Lightening, and Ports. Pro sports is part of the criteria. Let me say that again pro sports. We have the minor leagues. You may notice a difference in quality between the teams on TV and the teams in Stockton.

I could actually spend a while dissecting Blount's latest offering, but we're weary of giving this stupid Forbes list any more press than it already has. Let us know when a bullet-proof accurate list comes out, like the best beer cities.

It's a good thing they use the AP so much or else we wouldn't get such quality analysis on the Thunder (tickets still available!)

One of our main issues with the Record's sports pages, besides their apparent inability to use Google, is their overwhelming dependance on wire stories. They use wire stories for all the local pro teams (aka the important teams) and concentrate all their efforts on high school (Well, St. Mary's and Lincoln) and the local minor league teams (aka who the fuck cares). The only time you can really twist their arm to write about shit that matters is when a local kid makes one of the pro teams. You may remember Must B. Highfill's blatant fellating of St. Mary's product, Taco King, and Tampa Bay Devil Ray Jason Bartlett from last year, God knows we do. Which is why we're surprised that they settled for an AP article on Stagg graduate Dallas Braden. Granted, we're not totally surprised. As the Record's outsourcing of high school games to other local papers have shown, if it's not about St. Mary's or Lincoln, they don't give a shit. If somebody else can write it, then they'll let them write it. The Record's too busy trying to force us to care about the minor league teams. In other words, much like the city, they're in a futile struggle that can't be won.

The only way we as a city are going to care about the local teams is if they win. Something only the Ports have done so far. You remember how much support they got? Yeah, it wasn't much. And they're the most popular local team. The ceiling for these teams isn't high, so hey, maybe we can spread the coverage out a little bit.

No word yet on when President-Elect Obama is taking office...oh wait

We've made fun of Bob Highfill in the past, but this time we're here to help him out. Bob, this is Google. It is a search engine on this thing called "the Internet". Google searches this inter-connected web of sites ingeniously called "websites" for information that you deem valuable.

For instance, let's search (or "Google") two words that seem to be very popular lately, Stockton and miserable. See, loads of information/articles about Stockton's dubious/bullshit ranking as our nation's most miserable city. I know it's supercomplicated, but you'll get the hang of it.

Flawed rankings based solely on data is kind of our thing though, let's try something in your wheelhouse Ol' Bulletpoint. Say, the words Stockton and sports. Hey look! Info about sports and shit in Stockton! And look on the second page, it's the Record's sports section. And what's this? Why, it's Ol' Bulletpoint's weekly lazyass bulletpoint column. And, by God, what's this part?

"No word when Charles Barkley will return to TNT's "Inside the NBA" studio show. Ratings have dropped 38 percent since the Hall of Fame forward took a leave of absence following his arrest for DUI in December."

Wow, 38 percent? Where'd you get that info? You used that newfangled Google thing didn't you? You know, I wonder when Chuck is coming back too. Let me also use the Google to check out if there's any information on the Round Mound of Rebound's return. Of course, being an editor of a Sports page, Bob Highfill's already done this sort of research, but just for fun we'll type "Charles Barkley return" into Google.

Oh, well will you look at that. The first fucking story is from a week ago saying that Charles is coming back after last Sunday's All-Star game. So there is word on when Chuck is coming back, and it's Thursday. Unfortunately, Bob "Must Be" Highfill couldn't be bothered to search Google to make sure a statement he made in his column was true.

In short, do your research.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Shit to do for Valentine's Day weekend

I'm beat. Sorry it's so late. This is a sorely needed 3-day weekend.

Sexy Friday the 13th

This Friday is both scary and sexy, scary sexy if you will. And in honor of that, and to make up for the lateness, here's some Sexy Friday goodness (from the linked KSK post).

Ok, so tonight at 8 Novacain, Odessa, Sandra D Jay and Dave, and Soul Simple play the Blackwater for the California Innocence Project. Which kind of sounds like a fake charity, like the Human Fund, but I'm pretty sure it's real. That website looks legit. Plus Novacain's pretty funny. $6

Saturday Feb. 14th (Valentine's Day)

I suggest heavy drinking, but if you insist on staying sober then head on over to the Plea for Peace Center at 7 to see The Shivers, Alitak, and Dim City Lights. Plus there's an art show. So yeah, Alitak. $5 (plus $2 yearly membership fee if you haven't been before)

Sunday Feb 15th (Or as married people call it, 364 days until your next blowjob)

Nothing's happening Sunday. Miss football yet? The NBA All Star game is on, so hey, meaningless basketball!

Quick Links for Sexy Friday the 13th

Damn, this week went by fast and slow all at the same time. Is that even possible? Either way I'm fucking beat and can't wait to sleep in until 3 in the afternoon tomorrow, followed by drinking myself silly and trying to pick up the hottest depressed chick at the bar for some lonely, Valentines Day "I'd pretty much fuck anything" sex. God I love the holidays. You know what I also love? The Quick Links.

The generation will be shaped by the events that affected them!

Wow, I'm really glad this economist came by Stockton to tell us this important, startling information. Who know that the shit that happens to us affects what we do?

It's shit like that that makes me hate rich, white people. Here we are, ground fucking zero for pretty much the whole shebang, and they need to have a seminar at the Country Club of all places to find out that people are altering their spending habits because of the recession? The worst part has top be his examples of the changes the recession has forced us to make. Like this nugget:

If they are staying somewhere less than two years, he said, they will probably just rent instead of buying a home.

Are you fucking kidding me? Besides our former mayor, who does this? If I'm buying a home I'm pretty much planting a flag and saying "I'm in this shit for the long haul". But please Mr. Economist-guy, continue. What do you think is the root cause for this economic downturn?

"Housing and credit are at the center of this cycle," he said.

Wow, you can only get that kind of sound financial analysis from any TV that gets MSNBC. Our spending habits are changing, don't buy a house if you plan on moving in 2 years, housing and credit are to blame for the recession; man, with this kind of quality advice one has to wonder how he's doing financially.

Mitchell admitted, to laughter from the audience, that this is an amazing time for an economist, who gets up every day to another major round of economic news. "It doesn't get any better than this."

No wonder his advice is so generic and obvious, he's not experiencing a recession, we're the ones experiencing a recession. Then we pay the guy to tell us so. Can we put retardation at the center of the cycle too. Fuck, I should become an economist.

Oh sweet, elevator music!

It took me a second to realize that "Time Out" wasn't a new album Brubeck was debuting, it's an album released 50 years ago. So we gotta ask, what's the big fucking deal? Dave Brubeck, again, doesn't even fucking live here. He's not a famous Stocktonian. Shit, he's not even a Stocktonian. He just went to school here, stop blowing his wrinkled, old cock for once and realize this isn't anything resembling news. If this were any other band, say, The Who deciding to perform Tommy it's entirety, it would maybe make it on the 3-Minute Record. And The Who are like infinity-times more awesome than Dave Brubeck. Way to cater to old fogeys. Hey, speaking of old fogeys...

Lori Gilbert's just making this way too easy

If she's not writing about old people, she's writing about old people movies. I thought that Dave Brubeck thing from above had questionable newsworthiness but this has absolutely none. It's pretty much "Hey, the Hope is playing old people shit like usual" with the history of the movie thrown in to make it seem like an actual article.

And don't even get us started on that bullshit "Hollywood terms" wire story that's on the front of the LENS section. Remember when Friday's usually meant there was something informative about local shit? Yeah, it was nice, wasn't it? Now? We get shit like "Musician uses Web as springboard". Holy fuck! You can use the internet to network and help bolster your image? I thought it was just there to do research and look up porn. It's not like the Record has its own website who's specific purpose is to act as a springboard for local musicians.

Can we just rename the LENS section "Bullshit features plus the comics"? It's beginning to rival the Sports section for most useless section of the Record. Which I guess isn't saying much since it's only a 3 horse race now. But still, doesn't the "E" in LENS stand for entertainment? Write about something entertaining! We know you know how because of the aforementioned 209Vibe and the fact that half the online-only stories on Recordnet's entertainment section are local show previews and reviews.

In short, fuck the Record. Thank God It's Sexy Friday.

Lodi Unified Called Failure, District Execs Laugh into their Six Figure Salaries

This battle has been hilarious to watch, and now its only getting nastier.  School districts are desperate to cut major budget gaps, but Lodi School Districts $20 million budget gap is just incredible to watch.  Its not a small school district, but its not large either.  

I like to point to having people in charge who think like this.  If you are talking about costing people jobs, shutting down schools, and moving kids to a new school, dont you think you should do the math on the back end, on, I dont know, the cost incurred by the new school to house more students?  

So we've established that people in the position to spend the money are total morons.  But where is the rest going? A Hoosiers replay?  Fat-Catting?  Hiring to help hiring?  The sheer stupid is just mind boggling.  And in the end, everyone gets screwed.  Dumber kids make dumber adults.  Expecting someone to take on additional workload with no compensation pisses off employees.  And handing out these decisions while making $8000 a month from your cushy office makes people want to riot.  

Quit playing out this soap opera in front of me.  If you cant handle money for a school district, you need to back away from the table.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It took us a while to see this since we admittedly skip most of the Sports section, but Steve Roberson's article about realigning/rejoining the two high school athletic associations (TCAL and SJAA) is an interesting read. All of us attended local high schools and were pissed that they split the leagues. Mostly because it separated our alma maters from their traditional rival. The sad thing is that you can't even decipher which schools we're talking about because for some God forsaken reason they separated almost every rivalry (Tracy-West, St. Mary's-Lincoln, Tokay-Lodi, Bear Creek-Anybody who would play them).

Now they're discussing a possible recombination of the leagues that would realign them into one huge super-league broken up into two divisions not unlike the way the SEC works. It really seems like the perfect option. Only nobody in the SJAA wants it to happen. Why? It would mean they'd lose to St. Mary's in pretty much every major sport because St. Mary's is a Division 3 school while the rest of the schools in both TCAL and SJAA are Division 1. Plus, St. Mary's is, unless this have changed since I went to school, a private school that's allowed to recruit while the other schools are forced to take what school boundaries give them. Shit, women's TCAL teams only play St. Mary's once because the talent level discrepancy. So much for competitive equity.

So that got me thinking, how could we solve this problem? And the answer seems simple enough only it'll never happen because the rich, white people in this town would set fire to the CIF offices. Oh and because of money obviously. But here goes anyways....

Fuck St. Mary's, tell them to go find their own league of private school douchebags (or a league of D3 teams). Having a high school following a different set of rules than the rest of the league is bullshit. If they want to compete with other area public schools then they should follow all the rules public schools follow. If you're going to ding Franklin for bringing players in from Samoa then ding St. Mary's for having players from Lodi or Morada. It's unfair that St. Mary's boundaries are "Whomever can afford our tuition or received a scholarship from us" while McNair or Ceasar Chavez are stuck with the immediate vicinity of their schools.

High Schools sports for the last few years have been boring as shit. Why? Because all we hear about is either St. Mary's or Lincoln (Which kind of negates the CIF's whole competitive equity argument, you know, more than St. Mary's already has). You don't hear about the big Tokay-Lodi games for the league title anymore because they're not in the same league anymore. You ever been to a rivalry game that fucking means something? It's electric. Now? Nobody gives a shit because it's an exhibition game. They took some of the area's biggest rivalries and turned them into fucking preseason games. If I may channel Peter King for a second, that's the definition of a traveshamockery.

So yeah, reunite the leagues and tell St. Mary's to go fuck themselves on that big ass statue of the Virgin Mary.

Quick Links for Feb. 12th. Happy Birthday Lincoln! (And Darwin)

Damn, that rain came out of nowhere yesterday didn't it? One second it was just sprinkling and then the next it's hailing (yes, I saw hail yesterday). Fucking intense. Ok, I'm no good at idle small talk. Let's just get to the Quick Links.

He's gonna be California's new governor whether we like it or not!

Fresh off of inadvertently killing any chances of Prop 8 being defeated (Everytime I've talked to somebody about this meeting they've mentioned the "Like it or not" line in a negative fashion. Even though, you know, he was right), the mayor of Hippietown is coming to Stockton to promote his image in the largely and unfortunately conservative San Joaquin Valley.

We'd love to go to this but they're retardedly holding this event at the new University Center at UOP in a conference room that holds like 500 people tops. Considering the fact that UOP contains most of Stockton's liberals and that the event is open to all of Stockton, not just UOP, this event should be a crowded debacle. Especially since the Record forgot to note that this is an RVSP-only event.

So don't be surprised if there's a last second venue change to the Faye Spanos Concert Hall or something. Sure, it's not a green building (probably the reason it's being held at the DeRosa Center), but it's better than packing 500+ people in a room with folding chairs. So yeah, we suggest arriving around 5.

Ironically his breast implant procedure doesn't involved any titty touching.

We're not going to pretend that we know what it's like to be in this situation, but how the fuck do you go back to the same guy after he fingers your vag during a tummy tuck? Granted, we're nowhere near experts on the situation. Personally I've only been put under once and most of what I know about it stems from that one youtube video of that kid after the dentist, but I can imagine that if even I just thought somebody was messing with my shit while I was incapacitated I'd ask for a new doctor. But then again we can't really fault the woman for going back because, again, we really have no idea what it's like to be in this situation and don't mean to offend anybody with the above comments. It's just a shitty situation. And we really hope the victims get justice.

Oh, and that doctor is ballsy as hell to ask to be allowed to continue practicing medicine. Who the hell would go to him after these allegations?

Not that this is saying much, but I'd hit it

In other inappropriate touching news, a few more details have been released in the McNair student/teacher sex scandal. The mug shot is out. It was revealed she was an English teacher. No word on whether or not the student was in once of her classes. The fact that they intercepted her on her way to a late night rendezvous was pretty funny. Hopefully he had his homework done before he went out. Oh, and McNair students apparently echo our sentiments from yesterday since their quote about the teacher was that she was "Nice."

We have to ask though, a 24-year old high school teacher? How could anybody think that was a good idea? The age difference is just way too close. It shouldn't be possible for both teacher and student shouldn't be nursing hangovers. All my English teachers in HS were old and dudes. Yet McNair, being a fairly new school, has an assload of young teachers. Like younger than any of us (although not by much). Something like this was inevitable. Although it really does beg the question, how old is 16 really?

Quick Hits

Who's ready for "Reclaiming the Dry Bean Festival"?

I thought the Guerrero family creed was "lie, cheat, and steal" (or "Cheat to win" for you WCW fans). I don't remember anything about stabbing. Uncle Eddie's going to be pissed.

And Don Blount sees errors and explains the highly complicated corrections process!

Going Mobile

We're slowly discovering what's slight redesign entails. We'll have more about it tomorrow, but if you're really jonesing for a breakdown the Online blog on Recordnet recaps some of the changes, complete with a side-by-side comparison and promises that the site will be easier to navigate. While that's not setting the bar very high, we're still skeptical.

One thing we did notice about the change was that the new dropdown menus don't translate to mobile browsers very well. We do a fair share of mobile web browsing for those times when a computer isn't readily available (i.e. Long lines at the supermarket), and the new menus tend to extend down and cut off the top parts of stories and blogs. It's pretty annoying.

But for once, the Record thought of that! Yes, in a rare instance in which the Record considered the consequences of their actions before acting them out, sometime late last week the Record rolled out a mobile version of their site.

We just found out about this yesterday but so far it seems fairly decent. Sure, some sections are empty (like myRecord), but it's still fairly new so we'll give them time to work the kinks out. They appear to have just started adding stories yesterday so it's still in its infancy. We're still shocked that the Record would do something this tech savvy. It's a step in the right direction and frankly we're flabbergasted. Young people might actually visit the Record's website now!

Although we do have to point out that it's kind of funny that the Record's website seems to be moving in the right direction towards establishing a younger readership base while the print edition seems to be heading in the opposite direction.

Now can we work on getting a mobile version of the Recordnet blogs?

Lori Gilbert: Senoir citizen fetishist

Lori Gilbert needs to be stopped. I don't know if we need to get rhino tranquilizers or if we just need to lure her into a cage with the smell of Bengay and unclipped coupons, but this has to end. Lori Gilbert's fascination with old people needs to stop.

If she wants to live out her days chronicling the stories of the county's incontinent that's fine, just go become a biographer. This shit is boring as fuck. If I wanted to read about people who smell like death I would read the obituaries. I understand the Record's readership is mostly the people Gilbert writes about, but shouldn't they be writing stories to help expand the Record's readership? I hate to be the one to break this to the Record's marketing department, but contests alone don't bring in new readers. Interesting stories about interesting shit does!

But I would like to thank Lori for only waiting 2 days to prove my point. She is officially 1 or 2 more stories away from making this a full blown fetish.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Quick Links for Feb 11th

Do do do do , do do , do do . Do do do do , do do do . Can't touch this. Do do do do , do do , do do . Do do do do ... Stop! Quick Links time!

Why does this look so familiar?

Oh hey, because it's basically my "Potentially Miserable" post from yesterday. Complete with all the hope and Stockton being tough speak! I'd be mad they totally lifted my idea but anybody at the Record who supports our notion that this town is full of tough motherfuckers who won't quit is ok with me. Slowly but surely we're developing that fighter reputation. Next thing you know we'll start reading editorials about how we can and will defeat El Guapo. And that's when we'll start asking for consultant fees.

We gotta find this kid immediately to give him his "Luckiest boy in America" medal

Details are scarce since this story is still developing. So we only really have once thing to say. Niiiice. (Note: We reserve the right to rescind this "Niiice" if the teacher ends up being some fat hosebeast.)

This is how a blog is supposed to compliment a print story Fitzy. Not cut and paste jobs

We've made it no secret that we think David Siders is 50 types of awesome. His blog is a big reason why. Aside from linking to us, his awesomeness is derived from the fact that his blog is actually informative while others seem to use their Record blogs to push their stupid pet issues.

Today's example in excellence comes in the form of recounting the events of the city's influential budget and finance committee (Note: Whenever referencing the budget and finance committee or committee chair Dale Fritchen you must note how influential the committee is). The blog post offers insight to the subtle nuances of the meeting that didn't make it into the story for probable bias reasons. Not that we're saying Siders is biased, it's just that he can't include his own opinion/observations in his stories. But blogs are fair game! Isn't journalism awesome? So long story short, highly recommended blog.

Hey! That guy looks familiar

Fuck, Siders is on a roll today. It's former City Manager Mark Lewis! You may remember him from such debacles as the Arena! And the ballpark! And for liking "Sweet Caroline" just a smidge too much (personally, I think "America" is better). Well, now he's following in Steve Pinkerton's footsteps and pitching the same ideas that failed miserably in Stockton to other cities! We look forward to the venue's opening night concert featuring Boz Scaggs. And to think I thought the recession was going to mean the end of publicly funded arenas/stadiums.

In which Mike Fitzgerald continues his quest to piss off every city employee ever

You know what? Fitzy's column today is pretty bad. So bad that I'm going to FJM it. Something we haven't done in a while. Let's just dive right in to the horrible goodness.

Today: items.

We warned you it was going to be bad didn't we? And with this...umm..sentence(?), Fitzy warns his readers too. Anything that starts off with some variation of "A few items" is like code for saying "I couldn't shit out a whole column on one topic." I know it's the pot calling the kettle black here since the Quick Links are like 70% of our posts. But again, I'm an unpaid blogger. Fitzy does this for a living. But anyways, let's check out these items.

1. A budget-busting deal

Oh this should be rich.

One of the last things the Ed Chavez City Council did was bullet-proof the Stockton Fire Department from budget cuts the city desperately needs to make.

Oh hey, Fitzy's smarter than the Recordnet commenters. He realizes that the City Council mostly responsible for this mess isn't the current one. But, something seems off about his claims that the budget's fucked because of SFD. But I can't quite put my finger on it. Let's continue, I bet it'll come to me.

On Dec. 16 - when the city's budget tsunami was already crashing down - the council approved an amendment to the Fire Department's labor agreement.

"There shall be no layoffs, alterations in total daily staffing, or company closures" until June 2011, reads the agreement.

Can somebody send this part to the Police Department? This is why PD has to deal with layoffs. And why FD's sitting pretty. I guess this means Fitzy agrees with us, which just makes us feel dirty. Wait, what's this...

The deal, yet another instance of insufferably bad city negotiation, was cut two weeks before most council members left office. The turkey has been handed to the new council.

So wait, Fitzy's pissed off pretty much every government worker by bitching about their paychecks and their pensions. Now he's going after FD because they can't be laid off? Is this part of his grand scheme to piss off every public worker ever? Next thing you know he's going to be bitching about coffee breaks or some other petty bullshit. But what does this mean for the city? Let's ask the City Council's resident Fitzy stooge Dale Fritchen!

"It completely gave away any flexibility the city has," Fritchen lamented. "As it stands, the Fire Department can be $6 million over budget, and there's not much that the city can do."

Oh, so we're fucked? If there's one thing you can say about Fritchen it's that he's consistent. We have yet to read a quote where he hasn't said something about how completely fucked the budget is. So unbending union enjoying a sweetheart deal from the Chavez Council. Next verse same as the first. Tell me something I haven't heard.

(Fire Chief Ron) Hittle predicted the union would further renegotiate in the interests of the city.

Oh, so they're going to be flexible. That's refreshing. Hey wait, that nagging feeling is coming back. What's this over here?

"We will make no further concessions - we've made plenty - until every other labor group in the city has matched the concessions we've made," (FD Union President Capt. Dave) Macedo said.

Snap! RACE WAR!!!!! Ok, well, PD/FD war. I thought this only happened in movies and on Reno 911. Wasn't PD just bitching about FD's lack of cuts? Wish you had taken cuts last year when the Council was passing out promises it had no intention of backing up don't you PD?

But we've been talking about all these layoffs way too much lately. Plus, it looks like they're finally realizing pay cuts are better for the public than layoffs. So let's check Fitzy's next item that will assuredly be another great idea to cut excessive government spending.

2. A mountain of Folgers Crystals

Oh shit. Are you fucking kidding me?

I asked the city to account for its coffee intake, mindful that in most offices employees buy their own coffee.

2008 tax dollars spent on coffee, etc.: $34,938.24.

I could make some sarcastic joke about how that's some crack investigative journalism right there. But I have a bigger bone to pick right now. You can bitch about pay rates, you can put a hit out on pensions, but you do NOT fuck with the java dude. Especially over 35 grand. We have a $30 million budget shortfall. 35 grand is a drop in the hat. That pays for what? Half a cop? It's just not worth pissing off every city worker ever. Apparently Fitzy doesn't mind waiting 6 hours any time he wants to use a city service. What do you think's going to happen next time you call the city to help you cut a particularly big branch that's up too high on one of the trees in front of your house Fitz? Or what about the next time you need a permit? Fuck that, what about the next time somebody from the Record needs to go to a source working for the city? They're going to say "Fuck you" while they struggle to keep their head up because some pompous fuckshovel brought their coffee budget to the attention of the public.

I want my city workers to be as alert and awake as possible. If that means paying so each office can have their own Starbucks barista on call to Irish up their coffee then so be it. But pointing out a small perk that really has a microscopic affect on the budget just seems short sighted and stupid. Not to mention it's a blatant violation of coffee code. Coffee drinkers look out for each other. Considering Fitzy's in the journalism field we can assume he enjoys a hot cup of mud from time to time, so he should know better. If I don't get my cup or two in in the morning you'd better not talk to me because I will punch you in the face. I don't care who you are. Coffee is the fucking lifeblood. You don't fuck with the lifeblood.

I can't even continue. I'm just too pissed off at this blatant, petty violation of common decency. I'm too angry to talk about the fact that half this article is just a word for word reprint from his blog. What a lazy fucker. I bet if he had coffee he'd put enough effort into his job to not just republish old shit. Plus, the 3rd item is just cheesy and weak. Also it's not funny. Ok, the "Misery Loves Company" one was pretty good, but still, don't fuck with coffee.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Holy Schnikes guys! Super very important breaking news that will have an affect on your wallet!

OMG guys! Biiiiiig fucking news today! Gas prices are going up again! What the fuck are we going to do!? 12 cents in one week!? Twelve!!!!. For the average gas tank that's like a buck fifty more to fill 'er up! That could buy a McDouble! Or a McChicken! How is McDonalds going to survive these horrific economic times if nobody can afford the dollar menu because of gas!? This is an important story people! Not just a pet project/obsession! Swear! What the fuck will we do without 2 hot apple pies!?

When did Lori Gilbert join the senior tour?

In slightly less miserable news (but only very slightly considering the subject matter), we have a question about Lori Gilbert. Gilbert was removed from the Sports section earlier last year in what can only be described as a mercy killing and shipped off to the obscurity of the LENS section to write soft features. Because if there's one thing the Record needed, it was another feature writer.

I haven't had much of a problem with her since the move. Her sports writing was awful. The classic example I use is the time she set feminism back 50 years by claiming Mike Gundy was being sexist for tearing into a female journalist for criticizing a college athlete. Something we did to Bob Highfill just last week. But hey, equality schmiquality. We await Gilbert's bitching diatribe about how we're biased against fat, old dudes who's facial expressions never change.

So the fact that she's gone from the sports page made her easier to ignore. Mostly because it was easy to pick her apart based on fact in her sports columns because we know an assload about sports. Notsomuch with her new beat. Which brings me to the question I have.

When did Lori Gilbert get put on the old lady beat?

It's taken me a while to notice this, because I largely ignore her work in the LENS section. But since they've been putting her on the new "Page 2" thingy, her subject matter just kind of falls and can't get up jumps out at you.

Here's a sampling of just the past 2 months. There's the 80-year old Denny's waitress from today's Record which has no discernable point beyond that fact that old people apparently can hold jobs. Then a column about quilting which pretty much speaks for itself. Then there's the time she caught up with a member of the old Stockton chapter of the Mickey Mouse Club. And that time she talked to a 100-year old lady.

She's averaging two columns about old fogeys a month. And these are just the columns I pulled from her Lifestyle columnist page. I didn't even attempt to look at the actual articles she wrote. I'm glad she's gone from the sports page and all, but come on. This is a bit much.

Is Stockton really miserable or just potentially miserable? Plus, a special appearance by hope!

I was at a friend's house playing video games when I found out. Sitting there shooting zombies with my Wii controller and then it happened. It started off quiet at first, but then as always, it picked up. "Raaapppadooo!" That either means that the champ is here, or that Bris Isaak is calling me (What? You don't have "The Time is Now" set as one of your ringtones?). To my surprise, it was both.

"Forbes has named Stockton the most miserable city in the United States."

Wooo! Weeeeeeee are the champions! Nobody's more depressed and miserable that us! Fuck yeah! Then I thought about it for a bit. Wait a minute, I don't feel depressed or miserable. Sure, at times there's enough THC in my lungs that you could probably slap me in the face and I wouldn't feel a thing, but it's not like I smoke and drink to escape being miserable (Note: Valentines Day not included in this statement). I do that shit because I'm fucking bored and need to kill time.

I don't mean to shit all over the celebration, we are called Reclaiming the Title after all. We love this kind of shit. But this list just seems flawed. Well, more flawed than any of these sorts of rankings. They compiled this list by looking at things like violent crime rate (check), taxes (looks at paycheck, check), and...commute time? How did we rank so low in commute time?

I know sometimes driving in Stockton can be fucking annoying because of the high rate of old Asian ladies. Hell, we have a high rate of old people in general who for some God forsaken reason still have their license. But are old people alone really enough to warrant a low commute time rating? These guys have been to Tracy, right? I've hit bumper to bumper traffic on the 205 at 3 in the fucking morning. They're way worse.

But even if you spot Forbes the traffic thing, it still doesn't amount to anything real. It's all statistics and no polls. Sure, we all have our problems. Times are tough right now, but I wouldn't say anybody I know is miserable by any means. What this list shows is Stockton has the potential to be miserable. Nobody could blame us if we all just sat around wallowing in self-pity because shit is so tough. But that's for pussies and emo kids.

We're not the most miserable city in America (and we question the veracity of any list that infers that Miami could be anything but fucking awesome). Are we one of the most afflicted cities in the US? Yes. Do we have a lot of shit to deal with? You bet your ass. Do we let it get to us? Sometimes, although you could have said that before the recession. Will we let it hold us back? Fuck and no. We've said it before and we'll say it again, Stockton is town of fighters. Could we be miserable? Yeah. But shit doesn't get fixed when you're wallowing at the bottom of a fifth of SoCo (and trust us, we would know). If we're going to get out of the slump this city has been in for years, we have to fight. We have to fight the voices in the back of our head that's freaking out about bills, mortgage payments, and job security. That little voice can't win. That's what makes people miserable.

Sure all of the factors Forbes listed help, but Forbes never called anybody from Stockton and asked if they're miserable (save for Ann Johnston, but who listens to her anyway?). Again, everybody gets down from time to time. But straight up completely miserable? Cynical maybe, but not miserable. I think deep down inside, even past that previously mentioned nagging voice in the back of our heads, we all know it's all going to turn out OK. Like the Forbes article says, we were ground zero for the real estate boom and we were ground zero for the real estate collapse. Who's to say we won't be ground zero for economic recovery? Sure, shit looks bleak right now, but as housing prices continue to drop more and more people are able to afford homes. The jobs will eventually come back, and shit will work out.

Some people are fatalists and claim we just need to tap out. Again, those people are pussies. We need to remain hopeful for Stockton's future. Yeah, it's tough to do right now, but if we're going to get out of this we have to keep that hope. Shit can't really get any worse so we have to cling to that hope and fight for a better Stockton. You know, fighting those El Guapos that try and keep us down. The day we stop fighting is the day we truly are miserable. I hope we won't stop fighting. I hope we win this battle. We have the potential to be miserable, but we also have the potential to kick ass. Eventually we're realize that potential. Which one? Well, I know which one I'm hoping for.

We're Number 1!

So it finally happened, and Stockton has claimed a national title. named Stockton its most miserable city to live in!

Number 1 baby!

Number one was determined on a number of factors, such as violent crime rate, personal income tax, and commute time (?).    

Being ground zero for home foreclosures, still topping the list on violent crime, and having what could be a 13% unemployment rate hurts for sure.

Detroit, Chicago, Modesto, you three can kiss my jew backside.  Although on a hilarious note, cities with pro-sports teams that suck (Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills) also made our list.  Do the Cougars count for us? 

I find it amazing Ann Johnston is still trying to shill for volunteering in a national article ripping our fair city.  Maybe some volunteers can post up outside this place I know.  

All in all, I still find this a bit much.  The only place I know that gets crazy with traffic is Delta at 11 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  But at least people try.

We all need to pat ourselves on the back.  Claiming a title is something that can be 86 years in the making.  We just added another one to our trophy case.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Quick Links for Feb 9th

Don't worry, it's not just the misinformed ramblings of pissed off internet commenters today. We just hope that post distracts from the fact that jack shit happened over the weekend. Friday news dumps only work when other, bigger shit happens to overshadow it. And I'll be damned if nothing happened. Oh sure, the Record tweaked it's website a bit. Once we figure out all of what they did we'll tell you it sucks or something. By until then, let's try some Quick Links.

Downtown revitalization set to happen any day now

We could pile on here, so we will. Could somebody please tell us how much longer IFG's contract runs? We'd love to start a countdown clock. The eventual goal being competent booking by 2030! Ok, it's too easy to pile on. Look, the Arena's never going to be a straight up cash cow. The benefit of the Arena is that it gets people downtown whereas before the only way you were getting me downtown involved chains and horses, or a jury summons. It's about getting people downtown and spending money at other downtown businesses. So while it's fun to laugh at the money the Arena has lost, we have to remember that's it's all about how many people come to games. Oh, we're still fucked. Nevermind.

Man unsuccessfully tries to spend as much time away from wife as possible

(Note: We would have loved to have linked to this story, because it's pretty bad. But it's not on the Record's site, at all. Google site searches for both the headline and the lede bring up jack shit.)

There are multiple things wrong with this article. So the fact that it was written by Bob Highfill should come as no surprise. Let's see what we can spot a fairly easily one to pick on. Oh, I know! That convenient calendar on the back page. Highfill claims that "Stockton's Super Fan" Bill Robertson has 20 out of the 28 days of this month filled with events. The first day (the first fucking day!) reads "Alameda Antique Show 9am Super Bowl 3:30pm". Barring a last second cross-country flight to Tampa, how is this a live sporting event? The calendar is titled "Live sporting event schedule for Bill Robertson" after all. The Alameda Antique Show is not a sporting event. Hell, it's not even in fucking Stockton! Do we really need to know this guy's antiquing schedule? It's not like his Feb. 7th entry is any more impressive because he was at the De Anza Flea Market before going to watch women's basketball. Does that mean I get to count my trips to the Natomas Hooters before Kings games as a separate event because I like to stare at tits and drink beer? I haven't seen stats this padded since Barry Bonds.

Don Blount not only sees lines, he sees between them!

Oh hey, it's Monday! Which means the new "Shit Don Blount Saw" came out! In this one he sees an unemployment line! Or a job applicant line! Or...some sort of line, he never really specifies. He also put down Parade magazine long enough to see unemployment statistics. Have you seen these unemployment figures? OMG, I think something might be really wrong with the economy! People are applying for not one, but two jobs! Imagine that! That has to be something new! Luckily, this whole economy thing hasn't reached newspapers, right? Fuck.

Alright, see you guys tomorrow.