Repost: The New Jim Crow: Prisons, Racism, & The War On Black People

Shamelessly reposting this excellent post from Petey posted in The Something Awful Forums. Post can be located here If you have an account. Continue reading



check out forgetmewhatnots on etsy!

we just set up this shop so we can sell vintage stuff we don’t want to keep for ourselves so we can make money to buy more vintage stuff for ourselves. all in all, this shop is totally selfish.

we have clothing!

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Repost: Why Is Gas So Fucking Expensive ?!? The Answer May Surprise You.

Copy Pasted From: If you have a something awful account.

Petey posted:

If you drive a car, carpool, or even occasionally go outside for a nice walk, you may have noticed that gas prices are through the roof right now. While oil is not quite as expensive as it was before the Great Financial Crisis (GFC), it is getting close:

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birthday vegan sushi

march 8th, our resident black mage’s birthday! after a bit of indecisiveness, it was decided… there would be sushi. and a whole goddamn lot of it. boasting a filling of tempeh, carrots and cucumber, clad in brown rice and nori, dipped in tamari and dressed up with some wasabi and pickled ginger, and accompanied by a light side salad with cashew dressing, the meal was decidedly a success.

national pancake day

in honor of national pancake day… we made our favorite pancake recipe, which can be found here:
thanks, moby. i don’t know who you are, but you sure make some fucking good pancakes. (however, i took the liberty of adding some vanilla extract, cinnamon, using exclusively buckwheat flour, and exchanging the blueberries for blackberries. hope he doesn’t mind.) then we smothered them with raw creamed honey, paired them with some figs on the side, a hot cup of coffee, and national pancake day was off to a great start.

EDIT: also it ended on a really freaking awesome note because WE HAD PANCAKES AGAIN. aww yeah.





2/18/2011 Power Axe, Marnie Stern, Tera Melos

It was a Friday.  Los Angeles. Marnie Stern and Tera Melos at the Echo.  The desire to proceed was unprecedented and undeniably real.  Into the great wide peerless sky catapulted like dead skin born and freed from the lays and attachment of body, accompaniment, response and responsibility;  three approached a new kindle of aural magnitude unseen.

Blistered in rain the journey began.   Smog skies waved us onward.  A blind vestige of impenetrable waves batted again and again.  Streaking and streaking by and by. Pavement gripped at cautious speed. Danger ever present,  weaving through cascading downpours and shitty drivers. A dense ball, liquid to the touch,  impossible to trek without the weathered assault on high,  pulsating droplets unceasing, Los Angeles shifting endlessly like a homeless man in high mental failure.  The streets held no meaning.  Narrow corridors threatened to swallow us whole.  But beyond all reason we arrived…

At the gay bear’s night? What the hell is this shit? Unforeseen circumstances.  The show was not at the Echoplex but at the echo upstairs. Fuck. We all enumerate our frustrations vividly and loudly. fuck fuck fuck. The rain continues like a cold shower set to “no where to hide.” Making our way up a hobo piss staircase we race drenched but spirited.

The Echo at last.  Recovering as we make our way in tickets in hand,  the familiar bursting bass of a live show pounds the air molecules.  We enter.  Pretentious, righteous, musical, ridiculous, nerdy, random, intelligent. The crowd shares many shades of fandom.  An air of smugness.  My kind of crowd.  At the center of bar/ venue, the tiny stage would meld both musician and listener into one.

POWER AXE.  Only half way into their set but they had something unreal about them. Having only seen and heard poor recorded videos of them, I could only expect the least of anything.  Instead, an internal combustion engine of a band thumping at the burrows nerding within greeted.  Reminiscent of an NES dungeon hulking out of an old wooden 80’s television to destroy the world of man, Power Axe kicked all sorts of ass.

MARNIE STERN. Holy shit. What amazing talent. What soul. What beauty.  I have always loved Marnie Stern’s music every since I heard

This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That.

Yes. Fucking awesome album. Anyways.  What could be said about this performance can hardly be said because well you had to be there.

TERA MELOS. The concluding band.  Firstly I have to say, Tera Melos is unlike anything I’ve previously heard.  This band is a like a group of lost time travelers, far beyond the scope and worth of this age.  Seriously its like listening to something so constantly ahead of the mental process it immerses and permeates the neuro kinetic barriers trying to sway the hypnotic delivery that surgically stalks the brainial hemispheres; striding towards the cortex.  A virus. subliminally unstoppable.  Only the clinically unresolved invalid capsule of humanity wonders “what?”

Akin to a million childhoods, reruns, and wierd moments, Tera Melos has no comparative equal.

And thus ended our night.  Astoundingly wet.  But gratified by what was. what will come. A paradox circling like wolves ready. hungry. Wide eyed without thought, driven by instinct. Running on pure adrenaline.

native foods / palm springs

pat’s day off, where to go? what to do? after going through palm springs on the way to the hike a few weeks ago, we decided we wanted to spend the day walking around and windowshopping. so, alas, it was an easy decision! the local vegan reataurant, Native Foods, also helped convince us. we got there a little early, walked around, ended up not being able to wait, and got a seat at the restaurant. Cameron and Kevin got the gandhi bowl and the hollywood bowl — along with sides of steamed kale and sweet potato fries — with the intention of sharing, as well as some hot tea. pat got a burger (noticing a trend here…) and watermelon juice.
the drinks arrived first:

tea! mmm.


after a bit of a wait, it ended up being just time to eat when our food was served, so we were quite happy we showed up a bit early.

and then it was chow time.

after eating, we walked around and checked out the shops, pat got some snide comments about his hair, and we found a starbucks. coffees in hand, some serious windowshopping ensued; it was a very nice day.

we headed out just as the evening snuck in.

The definition of being Vegan

Lately I’ve been asked what being vegan actually encompasses.  Of course its obvious traits include a plant based diet (whole foods optional) and also taking on a non animal product stance if desired (planning on doing over time, so poor). That includes clothing, make-up, whatever.

But thats its official meaning.

Every word, I believe, holds its own precious meanings to the person expressing it. Its associations in experience, usage and interpretation.

Vegan. Its a word that holds alot of weight nowadays.  It resembles something so extreme. so powerful. Religious you could say. But to me its more of a promise. Yes it is a lifestyle in every aspect in basic terms, but its deeper effect that ties into everything we do gives it momentum.  From our daily meals to the sustainability of the environment to the very fabric of a our moral and existential consciousness that weaves us together as a whole. Being a vegan is more than just being healthy, its more than just being morally right, its more than being human.  Its a response to the injustice in the world that have been perpetuated generations long.

A promise.

Its a promise to the children of tomorrow that they might have the chance to live a better healthier life full of the diversity of nature.

To live guilt free of the burdens of man made extinction, environmental exhaustion, human corruption, animal abuse, and lethargic living.

To have a world full of beauty that lasts and lasts.  I think that is the epitome of being a vegan. A standard that holds no nationality or origin but blankets humanity as a whole. A promise not to live better, but to give better lives for those to come.

Yes the picture above has no relevance to anything.

-red mage

tahquitz canyon

clouds roll in wistfully on the morning of our planned hike; we greet the weather with appreciation… and coats. brr.

we cook up some quick and easy pita sandwiches.

  • 2 whole wheat pita
  • 4 (or more) mushrooms
  • 6 (or more) thinly sliced strips of tempeh
  • a few thin slices of diced tomato (optional)
  • paprika
  • mixed herbs
  • bragg liquid aminos
  • red leaf or romaine lettuce
  • red pepper hummus

wash and slice the mushrooms, slice tempeh, (and tomato, if you wish,) and place in a pan over medium heat. add a dash of paprika over top, and whatever herbs you like, and cook until everything softens. spray generously with bragg liquid aminos (to taste).

in a separate pan, (or in the same, if it’s large enough,) heat your pitas up until they are warm. wash lettuce thoroughly, pat dry, set aside. open pitas, spread with about 1 or 2 tsp of hummus per pita half. stuff with the cooked mushroom/tempeh, and then some big leafy pieces of lettuce. (the more, the better!!)

they fall apart a bit, nature of the whole wheat pitas, i suppose. but they sure are delicious, and good warm and cold.


so with food on hand, and cameras gathered and loaded up, we head out. tahquitz canyon is located right in palm springs, so it’s not a far drive at all… however, still quite difficult to locate. eventually, we find it.

the clouds and burned off, and the weather is comfortably warm, so we shed our coats and equip ourselves with cameras. a brief stop at the visitor center, and bathrooms, and we’re on the trail.

we look down upon the valley from which we just ascended.

the river is full from snow run-off, we flank it as we continue along the trail.

we cross it multiple times, walking upon both its banks.

we sit by the water to eat our lunch.

the mountains tower above us, as if erected to humble the clouds with their caress.

the sun peaks higher yet over the crags.

we found relics of old waterways further down the path.

kevin finds a gnarled piece of driftwood; some sort of magic wand? scroll down to see its cameo.

our meandering trail turns suddenly into stairs.

creepy grottos of trees act as sentries, motioning us in with outspread arms.

the river grows deeper and louder, it roars past us in a hurry to get to an unbeknownst destination.

a rickety metal bridge extends out over the river, warnings aptly posted.

the path curves around a bend, a sheer wall of rock hugs the right side of the path, water seeps from its cracks.

the desert air gives way to moisture-laden breaths, the sun departs somewhere behind the walls of granite; the temperature drops, and the trees are clad modestly with leaves from the year passed above our heads.

the waterfall sits before us, going contentedly about its business.

rocks built up like dams around us, polished smoothly by years of swells.

it’s not long before cameron has her shoes off, trying eagerly to brave the icy waters of snow run-off.

after about 5 minutes of hopping, splashing, and skittering around, the water is not getting any warmer, and cameron, cold yet satisfied satisfied, but having enough of this masochism, decides to get her shoes back on.

kevin walks out upon the rocks over the water, having the common sense to, of course, not stand in it.

we linger, tiredness remedied by the rhythmic repetition of the crashing water.

it grows darker yet, and we must begin to head back.

we chase the hurriedly receding sunlight.

we spend not a moment neglecting to take in the beauty of this place.

the canyon parts outwards towards the valley, however it is unimpressive in retrospect to what we have seen that now lies behind us.

we head back on an opposite trail; new sights are seen, the sun at our backs.

late light paints golden the mountainsides; the water slows, its voice now only a whisper to the evening.

magic stick cameo… looking quite limp in this picture, but truly, its quite impressive. the driftwood.

the canyon lies behind us now, the sun set in its embrace.

we make our way back to the car.

the clouds blow in, and on the way home, it begins to rain.

ultimately, a lovely conclusion to a lovely day.

music and real food… daily

january 29, deerhoof, the echoplex.

we head out in the afternoon, making sure we have enough time to grab lunch. we aren’t sure if we’ll still have our hunger with us after having to sit in pat’s car the whole drive (little microbial forests grow inside the cupholders) but we somehow manage. an average amount of traffic later, we find a parking a bit away and walk over to real food daily. it’s not too busy in there, and the crowd seems a bit more down to earth than the last time we stopped here. the locals must have other things to do on a saturday night?

regardless, we had our expectations set high after experiencing the wonder of their pooh bear and christopher robin last time around; another amazing monthly special salad.

boasting curry sauce, baby greens, cashews, spiced tofu, currants, apples, and basmati rice, the road to new delhi seemed like the obvious choice. we got the 10-piece nori maki for the three of us to share, and pat got the burger with the works. (they took no chances with misnomers on this burger.)

our drinks are up first; pat gets a rootbeer and kevin and cameron get the house blend kukicha tea. mmm… starting the meal off right.

next up… eats! food is brought over in a timely manner, and it looks amazing. pat assembled his burger, and kevin and cameron start with a roll of nori maki.

then jump to the salad.

then comes the food-ADD, when everything is so incredibly and unfathomably flavorful that you aren’t sure what to eat next, so you just jump from one to another, too determined to talk about it, but sharing lots of “mmm”-noises, because one can still make those without ceasing chewing.

pat becomes territorial of his aptly named burger, and denies cameron a picture…

but she manages. really, it’s under there… somewhere. this is just a pat-sized potion of food.

surprisingly, we actually made the meal last, and it was delicious. we paid, and tipped, and drank the rest of our tea, and were off. the rest of the evening involved periodical reminiscing about dinner while strolling around awaiting the doors to open for the show. a little after 8:30, they open the doors, and we enter, cameraless. (denied our press passes)

regardless, the show was awesome; ben butler and mousepad opened, a synth and drum duo, which ended up being pretty crazy. deerhoof followed, and it turned out to be a very awesome show, and a very awesome night, all in all.

Respect. Responsibility. Peace. Why the fuck not?

By Red Mage

Alright. So this has been on my mind for a good couple of weeks. Its something that ever since I’ve turned to vegan-ism has been haunting me more and more. I ask, should I feel guilty about the actions of others? specifically speaking here, I’m talking about the abuse and use of animals. Food. Clothing. Product. It seems like they are our eternal tools, slaves to our grand scheme. Their backs and bones, bodies obliterated in rending machines, the structure of our diets and liveliness. Its been around for thousands and thousands of years. human carnivore-ism. But today’s world, where we want peace and equality, justice for all, freedoms and what not, stands ridiculously hypocritical when what we eat and wear is imprinted with death. The foundation of eating and wearing animals is grossly morbid and considerably despicable almost to the point where it could be considered evil. Yet here we are where the entire populous eats affluently, not seeing, hearing, or smelling the things they put in their mouths. Not even questioning the cleanliness or value of it. Or even it’s origin.

As Americans we have always depended upon animals. Culturally our American lifestyle has been rooted in the flesh of others. Eggs. Bacon. Milk. Thanksgiving diner. Christmas diner. Mcdonalds. 49c tacos. Carne Asada. CHICKEN NUGGETS. It’s all very appetizing but all so morally objectionable. I want to believe that others have the sense and intelligence to question their daily processes. Overwhelming evidence of Factory Farms pushing unsustainable amounts of meat. Farmland spanning acres and acres to grow crops to feed those whose sole purpose is to die. Calves killed so that their milk can be our milk. Chickens overstimulated to grow abnormally big. E.coli infested beef. Animals drowning in their own shit and butchered still covered in it. Its nothing new, but from these eyes, this mind, I’ve only recently realized the futility of man’s greed, man’s folly.

‘And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’
Genesis 1:26

And here I am quoting the bible. Some would take that interpretation and call it God’s Permission for us to take whatever we want. I don’t understand that. Animals have been around long before Mankind. What? Where they waiting for us to come and devour them? Are we some sort of locust, some sort of expansionary invasive species set to plague the Earth? Perhaps. But in optimistic terms we are the keepers of the Earth; heralds of nature. What exactly makes us better than the dumb, stupid, or ignorant? Nothing at all. We all move, we all feel. We don’t consider newborns lesser people. Indeed like newborns, are those weaker and lesser than us to be taken care of? Is it not our responsibility? OUR DOMINION? OUR FAMILY?

Responsibility. It’s something that’s only recently become a global need to do. Demands for true democracy in the Arab states. Bipartisanship(I guess lol). Health care. Financial Reform. Gay and Lesbian rights. And I think most importantly of all dietary and moral awareness and responsibility. Sure veganism and vegetarianism is a very tiny tiny percentage of the western world, but so was Christianity, scientific thought, cleanliness, women’s suffrage, civil rights, and others at one point.

I’m not gonna go preaching the benefits of a vegan diet. Or how Humans are natural Vegetarians and not carnivores or even omnivores. Because that’s hardly the point.

THE POINT IS. where do morals lay in all this mass slaughtering? because it is mass slaughtering. billions every year. What peace is there when our stomaches are lined red with gravestones? The double standard of having death everyday on your plate but not wanting death. It’s unnervingly frightening what we do daily, all the more so because it is entirely UNNECESSARY. The effort it takes to kill is less than to grow. Why kill when you can grow? Why cut when you can pick? Why destroy when you can create? It’s the very basis of an advanced spiritually civilized people transgressing, transcending past the vices of ignorance and hatred. Non-violence. constraint. humbleness. acceptance. understanding. PEACE. peace for gods sake.

why are we killing ourselves? Because killing comes naturally; breakfast, lunch and dinner. A subconscious dive into accepting the right to have death every day. So why shouldn’t we have it wherever we go? on the go? against who we want or what we want. Its like respect doesn’t mean anything anymore.

Respect. why not? why not give it a go. It’s the only thing that makes any sense in this world. Respect begets respect. Yet many fail to respect the life that’s been taken; no longer anything but “meat” no more an animal. horrible yet true. The same vein goes for killing humans. No longer human but a corpse. whats the difference between a corpse and meat?

And I ask Internally again. Should I feel guilty about the actions of others? The answer is yes. The systematic world holds no outsiders. The dead hold no words but speak through their absence. Neutrality brings nothing but sorrow and tragedy for the victim and the victims to come.
And that is why I am posting this. Respect. Responsibility. Peace. Why the fuck not?

the salton sea

the afternoon of january 14th… plan for cameron’s birthday are yet undecided. the hike to goat canyon trestle in anza-borrego proves impossible, upon further reading, without the use of a jeep or off-read vehicle. what to do? web page after webpage, we search vigilantly in hopes of a breakthrough; nothing, so far, stands out. a few clicks later and we are directed to a page on some shabby desert hiking website devoted to an old 1800’s farm in anza-borrego. seems interesting enough! we try to find it on google maps.

zooming in, it seems to be… wait. there it was, that familiar great body of water; seen every time we open google maps, yet completely neglected. the salton sea.
cameron had wanted to visit for a good while, but never had she — or any of the rest of us — gotten around to it. its name conjured up images of decrepit motels, half-sunken boats and long abandoned trailers; a place all but stripped of its former glory. little did we know what awaited us, and while those were all valid in their existence, there were things far less glamorous that we were to encounter.

january 15th, early morning; kevin is off work and bearing coffees. mmm. starting the day off right!
we prepare our favorite ezekiel bread, baked tempeh, grilled bell pepper, lettuce, and avocado sandwiches, in… well, not so record time, and then we are off.
the drive is lovely, albeit windy, and the slightest bit less green then when we traveled it not so long ago on the way to julian. summer, should we be expecting you?
a long stretch later, and we turn, hugging the mountain, and its bend presents us immediately with a spanning view that humbles one greatly in stature; the desert stretches endlessly out in front of us. the hazy distance can’t cloak our destination; the salton sea spans its lowest regions. a standout beyond miles of desert; it beckons us forward. a hawk soars below us.

we mosey down the ridge and we descend from the craggy high desert and alight at its base, and we may as well have just stepped foot onto mars; the deserts’ expanse is indiscernible from ground-level. a bathroom and snack stop in anza-borrego later…

and we further hug the mountain in search of the inland ocean. red rock and brush cling nappy to the sand; rugged mountains soon give way to fissures, gaping from the ground like the mouths of hungry animals; their gullets fall away what looks like miles as we stand on their cliffsides; a shadowy wash looms beneath our feet, its floor a deadly fall below.

back in the car; soon, we arrive. a harbinger to what this trip will bring stands, decaying, before us.

an old man wanders up the dirt road for a market not but a stone’s throw away; his lips move, but nothing short of grumbles escape. this hotel is his home, and he spares us not but a glance, continuing on his way. we, too, continue on.

with sand below our feet, and the salton sea stretching out in front of us, we have arrived.

it is not long before the choking smell of decay closes in on us. we walk out along the pier; the water beneath us is black, layers of dead fish float on and under its surface.

how could a place once a paradise be neglected so severely that it has fallen into this state of being?

we are enthralled by what we see.

we take it all in. this place is deeply wrong, yet wonderful in that fact. it is a disaster of magnificent proportions. it is a cesspool. like a rotting carcass in a pond, it poisons the land of which it abodes. it is wonderful.

at this point, we weren’t so sure what would come next. stop #2 ended up being this little beach where a few people in a scarce few trailers were playing “lawn” (sand?) bowling in their yard… and garnering quite a crowd. where do these people come from? they live here? why? desperation?

when now lawn bowling, it appears that they spend their time burning last year’s christmas trees.

wanna go for the swim? i’m sure this water is clean.

down the road a little, this sign made it quite clear where we would be heading next.

so the pack of wild dogs running around was a bit unnerving, but we proceed nonetheless.

there’s a market/time machine here. step through the door, suddenly it’s 50 years ago. step out again, and it’s sometime after the impending nuclear war / apocalypse. or just the salton sea. they’re looking pretty interchangeable at this point.

sit and enjoy the sea breeze?

and then there’s this boat/trailer thing, and we’re really not so sure what it is, but it’s pretty cool, right?

another motel sits on the roadside, stoic, decrepit. pigeons eject themselves frantically from the window frame as we draw near. decomposition hangs heavy on the air near this place; something drew its last breath here.

back up the hill.

it appears gaudiness is the only thing here that stood the test of time.

the moderately less gaudy trailer had a much more sombre fate.

yeah, irrelevancies!

we head towards the shore. broken palm trees overlook the water like pillars of a greek temple long felled to ruin.

the sand crackles under our feet as we draw closer to the shoreline; its density it distinctively less, it pulls deeper yet at our feet.
it, upon closer inspection, is made up entirely of bone. hollow-eyed skulls protrude, the rest was long unidentifiable as anything more than a shore comprised completely of bone fragments. this moment alone was greatly sobering.

the sun falls lower in the sky; we, at this point, were certain that the salton sea is not a place you ever want to find yourself in at night. we begin to scout out where we will eat our lunch; our appetites, however, wavered by the day. we find a nice spot a few miles yonder, and we park the car and eat, far enough that the breeze carried to us no decay from the inland ocean.

indisputably, the salton sea is a debacle.

it is a disaster of a grand scale, it is a horrible cesspool of poison and death and rot.
the salinity levels are rising so quickly that in a mere handful of years, the only fish that will be able to survive in its waters are tilapia. despite their ability to cope with the water’s increasing salinity, however, yearly algae blooms kill an unfathomable number of them, too. the birds eat the fish and are poisoned, their carcasses as well can be spotted amongst the fish. even a cat — not but a week dead — lies on the shore, bloated and seeping into the sand that is not sand at all.
it is akin to walking in a nightmare. it is a throwback to any post-apocalyptic movie you can conjure up in your mind. it is in its death throes; it itself, as a whole, is decaying. formed by the colorado river in 1905, it has been dying ever since it came to be.

yet, it is magnificent. it is unfathomable that something like this could even exist, or be allowed to exist. it’s nearly impossible to wrap ones mind around the sheer grandeur of what it holds, both good and bad.

one thing is for certain… we will most definitely be visiting the salton sea again.

First Person Shooter The Movie

I don’t understand this. Why would an alien race thats traveled nearly god knows how many light years away to commit a ground invasion of a planet of nearly Six BILLION people.  Why not just gas the planet? burn it? flood it? If they’re so smart why not commit to a false peace? they’re looking for resources? why don’t you enslave the populous? barter false deceptive deals? hold the world hostage? they obviously have the technology.

All these questions completely make this movie seem so pulpy.  Something out of Mars Attacks. Ground war? Why not an orbital bombardment if your gonna get messy. why get close when you can soften up your targets from a strategically valid high ground. Hover ships; fucking use them to your advantage.  why use them as high speed bombers? why no preemptive strikes? Why attack from the coasts?Why are alien invasion movies so formulaic? Aliens win, humans lose, humans gain tech, humans win/lose.

Why can’t there be a political movie with alien contact and an eventual build up of low tech arms. A kind earth is japan and the aliens are america deal. a rapidly developing nation trying to catch up to the galactic stage of “space westernization”  then finds itself becoming an upstart struggling to find its place, but in the end makes the wrong decisions and gets slammed into dust. wait that was Babylon 5.

It all seems like an excuse to put the story into the grunts point of the view. The first person shooter point of view. What this movie is trying to do is to cash in on the adrenaline filled fast shoot em up action of video games.  And similarly they’re trying to duplicate the same inane illogical stories from those games.  ONE MAN CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. CONFLICT ON A LARGE SCALE. THE ODDS ARE AGAINST YOU/HERO.  The tiresome locale of the battlefield has soaked movie making and video games for the past decade.  Is that all we can think of? what next to shoot? what next to blow up?

What happened to the originality of science fiction, the analogs between present past and eventual or distant future where one could look and find a piece of themselves or their lives they never looked at, and relate to it in some meaningful way? It seems that its all been traded away for the working parts of half thought half inspired ripoffs of Aliens.  People want to see things pop and burn with a little forced drama thrown in. No longer can science fiction be thought provoking or slow lest it sink in a black hole of lost profit. Humanity can never be at eyes height with the hordes of alien aggressors lest they be humanized themselves.  We will always be the victim. There will always be a threat. Yet the threat is against our very humanity which we push away with these films.

As pop culture delves into itself, cannibalistic and roundabout, science fiction seems to find itself at a recycled and regurgitated end. No new ideas are spread. No new worlds sought. No frontiers explored or spared. only the wasteland of the battlefield remains much to the viewers delight.

-Red Mage

simpson park hike

early morning, day off, no plans… what to be done about this? solution? a nice, short hike at a very cool place not at all far from home, one too often overlooked when it comes to planning trips.
we get ready and head out, of course, not forgetting the regulatory stop at starbucks! ah, energy.

we park up near the lookout; the weather is more pleasant today than the days before. it’s just around 10am, and we can leave our jackets in the car. looking promising! things got a bit creepy, briefly, when an old man wandered past us, seeming dazed, and… breathing? wheezing? attempting to whistle? did he see us there? was he aware of where he was? he drew closer yet, but thankfully, it was only to struggle into his car. phew. up the hill we go.

the lake looks extra full after all the rain, and it glows in the early morning sun.

the cactus is backlit by new golden light that flanks the horizon, and the grass glimmers with droplets of water from the melted frost on either side of the trail.

every few steps brings more shutter-snapping; the path leads us onwards.

we stop briefly here to assess which path we want to wander down. pat asserts that this rock is a butt, turned on its side… cameron concludes that it seems much more like some sort of rock monster. it even has a mouth! common ground, however, was not found, so we continue ahead.

the trail starts uphill again, and a snow-capped idyllwild sits pretty past the young orange groves.

we are forced to leave our coffees behind; we set them on a rock and hope for their safety. pat satisfies himself with almonds. crunch crunch crunch. kevin and cameron, with hands now free, preoccupy themselves with snapping pictures profusely.

…it’s a shootout!

kevin used light leaks!

cameron used multiple exposure! (despite kevin’s best efforts, these water tanks prove impervious to climbing.)

light leaks was super effective! the wild cameron fled!

we scrabbled atop a peak of tumbled boulders; the rain left pools in their eroded indentations.

equipped with the power of cowboy boots, pat surveys the land from his perch.

however, scrub brush stretches on as far as the eye can carry, and lunch time calls. (for those of us not chowin’ on almonds.) we conclude it’s time to head back, but not without deciding that another trip to simpson park is in order soon.

ah, coffee. we are reunited at last. the trek back to the car proves not too difficult at all.

a red tail hawk greets us on the way down the hill, but seems to be in quite a hurry. lunch time for you too?

refreshed, energized, and with noon having just barely passed, we head back to enjoy the remainder of our day.

day trip to julian

with zach down and the quaint mountain town of julian having been on our to-do list for months, what better a way to spend the day than an adventure? the morning started off early with a quick stop at henry’s and some hot starbucks coffee, and a call to the site of one of julian’s gold mines to reserve a spot on the train. with our reservations in place, and our brains functioning properly after the addition of some caffeine, we stop back home to get our packed lunch together and we head out. we take the scenic route; an hour or so road trip down down the curiously green sage rd (thank you, rain) culminating in a windy drive through rolling hills and expansive plains blanketed, thoroughly, with wintergrass.

before we know it, we have arrived. after a bit of a struggle finding a parking, we begin our stroll around town. mission 1: get coffee, eat food.

on the way to the cafe! we enjoyed delicious baked tempeh, avocado, grilled bell pepper, lettuce and mushroom sandwiches on ezekiel bread. zach had a bagel and cream cheese as well as a hot apple cider and a giant cookie. (which he had to save for later)

we checked out the town hall.

we bought some snazzy new coffee/tea cups.

we walked around, enjoying the afternoon and got ready to head over to the site of the gold mine, and our train ride.

cameron, bonding with the new cups.

so we head out, and we make it to our destination (despite a wrong turn) about 20 minutes early.

we were greeted by “honeydog”.

of course, zach couldn’t resist checking out the boat, however it wasn’t long-lived; there’s the train, just around the corner!

zach tried to skip some stones… kevin tried to skip some stones… cameron tried to skip some stones. ultimately, no one emerged victorious.

cameron looking for the perfect rock to skip.

after a bit of a wait…

the train arrived. we used our cunning and, of course, ended up in the front.

waiting for the train to leave its station, we enjoyed the pleasant weather. little did we know, it wouldn’t last long.

the tour lasted about an hour and a half, and we were taken around a beautiful property on the train.

we stopped to check out the mine, and zach got to ride in the mine cart, and got a candycane. we walked down the hill, and zach panned for gold, and despite his determination to bag more, ended up with only one piece.

luckily, its weight garnered him 2 pieces of candy, so with that, we was satisfied; he also got some hot chocolate. lucky. no coffee to be found in this place; so meanwhile, the rest of us nearly froze to death.

happy to be back on the train, we headed back to the station. despite the cold, it was a beautiful trip, and a perfect day. the sun slipped below the horizon right as we got back into julian. time for one more coffee stop.

and a locally-grown apple for dinner from this little market.

zach finally got to enjoy his cookie, and after we finished chowing on apples, it was time to head home.

and so the adventure concluded.

something along the lines of xmas…

yeah… you could say we had a pretty awesome christmas. up bright and early, zach tore through his presents from us and santa.

zach dancing with excitement



adventure time toys made by cameron



jake hat from santa


and we opened our own presents to and from one another before heading to kevin’s sister’s to give our holiday greetings, and then over to cameron’s for a christmas dinner lunch.




former gingerbread man made by zach, latter by kevin and cameron


after thoroughly stuffing ourselves and zach talking profusely about footlongs, and letting everyone know that pat has a manbaby, (apparently, a footlong one,) we head out to walk off all that tofurkey. equipt with a bag of relish tray leftovers, and with the afternoon drawing to a close, we made the nearby donkey’s christmas before heading back home.


donkey wants more almonds


deciding to try out one of zach’s presents, we conclude that it’s dance dance revolution time. hilarity ensues.


cameron… dancing?