May 2015
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Amazon Metes Out Corporate Punishment

Amazon Spanking Seattle Rex

The last article maybe wasn’t exactly the last Amazon update for awhile.  It was close, though.  I just found something out, so bear with me …

So, when Amazon cancelled my order, I figured it was a ploy to reneg on my compensation.  After all, I’d already conceded to wait, how hard would it have been to stick my order in another box and ship it back out?  Or just let the order that was on its way, continue? Just why, exactly, did I need to start over from square one, and take time out of my day to

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Amazon Takes One Last Shot at Me

Amazon Logo

After ignoring my emails all day yesterday, Amazon finally agreed to make my order good this morning.

Since my deadline for the gift orders were actually tomorrow, they told me to re-place the order with overnight shipping, send them the order number, and they would credit me for the shipping.


I went back to the website to do exactly that, except oh no, what’s this, there was no overnight shipping available for my order.

I replied to the service agent to explain this development, and ….

“Wait, are you saying that after all you went through, they

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Suing Amazon

New Amazon Tower


• I placed an order and paid extra for, and I quote, “Guaranteed Two-Day Shipping”.  (I’ve never had anything arrive in 2 days from Amazon via second day shipping, but I guess I’m an optimist.  Plus I got tired of waiting two weeks for deliveries, a time artificially extended to extract $99 more from customers.)

• 3 days later, it had not arrived as usual, so I contacted Amazon.  After a couple of bad interactions, I also left negative feedback.

• “For my inconvenience”, Amazon apologized profusely and seemingly sincerely (they weren’t), and they agreed to compensate me. They gave me

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Breakin’, Boogaloo Shrimp, White People, and Hip-Hop History at EMP

Boogaloo Shrimp at EMP

From a musical perspective, I’ve lived through interesting times.  Although I was but a child during some of them, I’ve been alive to witness the birth, or early years at the very least, of such diverse genres as heavy metal, progressive rock, funk, glam, disco, punk, hardcore punk, hip-hop, new wave, electronic, house, dubstep, trip-hop, noise/grunge/alternative, and whatever the fuck the last 15 years have given us (shit?).

I’ve witnessed the rise of a few of these genres first-hand, most notably hip-hop, hardcore punk, alt/”grunge”, and a regional music genre known as “Go-Go”.  The latter is a genre which

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Sky City

Lunar Orbiter Ice Cream in the Space Needle Resturant

I’ve got this thing where I want to eat at every restaurant in Rexville Seattle (basically the extended boundaries of my neighborhood), regardless of cuisine, price, or quality.  I’ve been talking about doing this for years, which means I’ll never actually do it, but we all need goals.  Were it not for goals, I never would have snorted an eight of meth in an Aurora Avenue motel room while being blown by an ambiguously gendered prostitute.  Setting the goal is always the first step toward completion.


In furtherance of said goal, last night, I chose the Space

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Scenes from the 2014 Bite of Seattle

Dancing Man/Woman

The 2014 Bite of Seattle is upon us, and yesterday, we walked over to the festivities to check it out.

It was crowded, a little too crowded at times, but fun nonetheless. I ate more stuff than I care to remember, about twenty percent of which was actually edible.

The real draw, as usual, was the music, which, although I never happened to be present when the band names were announced, was really good.

Fortunately, the temperatures cooled off a bit, sparing me from both food poisoning and a nose full of B.O. Fine, I wasn’t really “spared” from either,

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Buzz Osborne … Unplugged?

Buzz Osbourne @ Neumos - June 20, 2014

World’s Worst Photo of Anything Ever

Buzz Osborne. King Buzzo. Guy with the greatest hair in … well, the greatest hair anywhere.

As a prototypical member of what became known as “Generation X”, I hold a certain reverence for Buzz.  When the music of my generation was being molded, Buzz was there, spinning the pottery wheel, yelling “Loosen the top string!  Yeah, the fat one on top!  Alright, now slow it down a little!”

Oh sure, it had been done before, but when Buzz began experimenting with drop-D noise, it just sounded better.  It made me want to try

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The Dahlia Lounge & $1 Donut Holes

Salmon & Filet Mignon

Dahlia Lounge Exterior

I’m probably not what you would call a “foodie”.  In fact, back when I was but a wee lad, I would get punished for not eating.  Even today, I generally only eat when my blood sugar gets low enough to be a hinderance.  I eat to live instead of the other way around.

That said, I definitely like some foods more than others, and as I grow older, I’ve made an effort to appreciate some of the finer foods in life.  I’ve also endeavored to eat in every, single, solitary inner-Seattle restaurant.


There are a couple

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Flight to Mars 2014

Paul and Tim

Last night was Mike McCready’s annual benefit concert at the Showbox.  This was the 12th Annual benefit show for the CCFA (Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America) and my 2nd in a row.

So far, these shows have been fairly consistent, and always excellent.  After an opening act, followed by an always-excellent jam session with local musicians, Flight to Mars takes the stage for a 90-ish minute set.

For those who may not know, Flight to Mars is a local band which mostly plays covers from classic English metal band “UFO”.  While this may not sound terribly compelling on paper, believe me

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Fool Me Twice, Adorama Camera!

Battery via Snail Mail

I guess it really is my fault.

Last month, I had an online “disagreement” with an Adorama Camera representative. When I explained to her that Adorama’s shipping choices were deceptive, because I was charged more for 3-Day “Expedited” shipping than for the faster “Two Day” option, it took her awhile to understand what I was talking about. Frankly, I’m not sure that she ever truly understood my issue, but I appreciate that she tried.

Since that time, however, I have shied away from ordering merchandise online, opting instead for brick-and-mortar purchases, in the case of camera equipment, at Glazer’s

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The Seattle Aquarium

Goldfish Swimming with Sea Anemone

The Seattle Aquarium

As a season pass-holder to the Seattle Aquarium, I spend quite a bit of time at this attraction.

For a city of “only” 600,000 people, ours is an aquarium befitting a significantly larger city. For the most part, we have it all.

We’ve got touch tanks, seals, sea otters, an octopus, and all kinds of weird things I wouldn’t even try to pronounce.

I took a few photos on my last visit, the results of which are on this page. (photos from a previous visit are here)

The Seattle Aquarium is open from 9:30am – 6pm

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Coming Up Short

Bald Eagle and Space Needle

For the last month, I’ve been putting off buying a new zoom lens.  My inner-conflict sounded a little bit like this:

“A thousand dollar zoom lens, or a ho of solid Seattle 9 (LA 6) quality?”

“A thousand dollar zoom lens, or ten minutes of face-time with a Seattle politician?”

“A thousand dollar zoom lens, or an ounce of the pinkest biker crank that money can buy?”

While I would really value a new zoom lens, as you can see, there is a lot of competition for the roughly $1,200 it will cost. That said, I may have to switch

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Updated: Amazon and Adorama: Life in a Third-World Consumerist Shithole

Amazon Cornholes Seattle Rex

Being an American consumer is a lot like being anally violated on a daily basis.

Strike that.

Being an American consumer is EXACTLY like being anally violated on a daily basis.

If the past two years have taught me anything, it’s that America’s glory days are so far behind us that not even the Hubble Telescope could see the last of them.

There used to be a saying, “You Get What You Pay For”, but no longer is that saying even remotely true.  Instead, no matter what you pay, what you almost always get, is shit.

Folks, without the

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PUSAfest 2014

PUSAfest 2014 - Seattle

Like most people, I’m often conflicted over how to spend President’s Day Weekend each year.

Part of me feels like I should spend the day doing what our government intended … learning about and celebrating the life of our first president, George Washington, but that can be difficult at times.

For instance, did you know that when George Washington was twelve years old, he inherited ten slaves, and by the time of his death, 316 slaves lived at Mount Vernon, including 123 owned by Washington, 40 leased from a neighbor, and an additional 153 “dower slaves” … servants for

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Fuck California and Anyone From There

Man or Astro-Man at Neumos

Man or Astro-Man at Neumos

Are they man? Are they astro-man? The venerable group from Sector 7G (or Auburn, Alabama, depending on who you believe).

The sarcastic question never got old last night. Or rather, it did, and I just didn’t particularly care.

“Hey, is that beer, or astro-beer?

Even today, a full 24 hours later, I’ve somehow managed to keep it running.

“Hey … is this dinner …. or astro-dinner?” BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I’m so clever it hurts.

Anywhat …

I headed up to Neumos last night to catch a gig by the space dudes (or astro-dudes), and wouldn’t you

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McCready & Friends

Mike McCready

Mike McCready once ruined a friendship of mine.

This was a shame, because the friend in question was an interesting guy. He wrote a book about his experiences teaching in inner-city LA high schools, worked as a writer/producer on several television shows, and he even won the game show Jeopardy several times in a row. On most Sundays, he and I would grab breakfast at a random eatery while arguing about the news of the day.

Convinced that he was a hardcore cynic, he enjoyed dining with me because as he put it, “you’re the only person I

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Mark Arm Loves People

Mudhoney at Neumos

Mudhoney at Neumos

Last night, hipsters stood stoically, pointing gently above the stage, careful not to spill their PBR’s, while across town, their fathers were stage-diving and crowd-surfing like twenty-somethings. Such is the state of affairs in 2013 Seattle.

What, exactly, got the Gen Xers so riled up last night?

I’m glad you asked.

You see, Seattle’s favorite sons, Mudhoney, once again took the stage … this time at Neumos … and they spent nearly two hours screaming through one of their best sets I’ve personally witnessed in damn near a decade. It was as if Mark finally

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These Streets

Women of Grunge Proclamation

When I first read the proclamation above, I rolled my eyes.

“Overshadowed by male-dominated bands”, I said, “oooh, sounds sinister.”

I couldn’t help but wonder, though … what exactly is a male-DOMINATED band? Were the Beatles a male-dominated band? How about Simon & Garfunkel? Were the Go-Gos a female-dominated band? How about Destiny’s Child? They seemed pretty dominating to me. I once saw a video where they were wearing short-shorts and walking these big doberman pinschers, and I gotta admit, I was a little intimidated. My wiener moved, but I was still kinda scared. So scared that I

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Soundgarden at The Paramount

Soundgarden at The Paramount

Soundgarden at The Paramount

“You know that thing about punk rock being freedom?”, I asked rhetorically.

“Yeah”, said the guy who fronted a band that many would call punk.

“Well, it’s a load of shit. Punk rock isn’t freedom. Punk rock is privileged white kids rebelling against daddy’s money.”

He stared into the distance for what seemed like an eternity, finally said, simply, “yeah”, then flicked his cigarette into the distance.

Growing up in Dischord-era D.C. meant adhering to a lot of rules. Rules about dancing, drugs, politics, and especially … especially … about what music you could and

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Grunge Lives

The Sonics at the Show Box

This was the marquee at the Show Box last night:

Here are my tickets, so far, for February’s shows.

What year is it again????

A few months ago, Love Battery’s Ron Nine was interviewed by The Stranger, and in the article, he was asked for his thoughts on the “g” word.

“Speaking for myself, I always kind of rebelled against the word ‘grunge.’ Now I embrace it. It comes to mean that scene at that particular time, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”, said Ron.

You know, perhaps Ron has a point. Perhaps it’s

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The Seattle Aquarium

Rosie O'Donnel

The Seattle Aquarium


It’s a term that is invoked quite often in Seattle, and it’s a term that draws equal amounts approval and ire from the city’s inhabitants.

Most of the approval comes from real estate types, Chamber of Commerce boosters, and assorted carpetbaggers who are more than eager to turn whatever goodwill the city may have into cold, hard cash.

Those disapproving of the term tend to be long-term residents, the socially conscious, the pretend socially-concious, and pretty much everyone who lives on Capitol Hill.

Obviously, I lean more toward the latter camp than the former. I’d

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A Night at the Lo-Fi

Love Battery at Lo-Fi

Love Battery at Lo-Fi

Love Battery played Lo-Fi last night, and of course, yours truly was in attendance. Now that the ringing in my ears has finally begun to subside, I’ll try to pen a few paragraphs about the show.

The festivities kicked off shortly after 10pm, and first up was Summer Babes. This band had kind of a pop thing going on, complete with matching white uniforms for all band members and an attractive girl on keyboards. The latter sort of reminded me of Veronica from the Archies.

When they first took the stage, I had no idea

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Flying The 787

Flight Simulator Game

Yesterday, I took Boeing’s new flagship airplane out for a spin.

I hopped in the cockpit of a 787, took off from SeaTac, flew down to Olympia, cut back over Vashon Island, and came in low over Downtown Seattle before sticking a VFR landing at Boeing Field.

Now I know what you’re thinking … Rex is on another meth bender, but you’re wrong. That shit wore off hours ago, and when it did, I downloaded X-Plane’s new 787 model from the Android Market (technically “Google Play”, ick), and I spent a couple of hours putting the aircraft to the

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Capitol Hill Cuisine

City Market Deli

City Market.

Home of the highest prices, rudest service, and most expiredest food in all of Capitol Hill.

Despite it all, however, I love the place. It’s like the abusive stepfather with a heart of gold that I never had. Sure, it slaps me around, calls me a worthless sonofabitch, and makes me scrub the toilet with a toothbrush … but it always makes up for it by giving me the last piece of cake, a new toy, or a pat on the head.

Today, I decided to visit my stepfather. I stopped by City Market for lunch, which

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My Bambaloni Has a First Name …

Michou - Zeppole and Bambaloni

Sunday morning usually means brunch at Pike Place Market, and yesterday was no exception.

Shortly after 10, I headed over to Piroshky Piroshky, and this time, I decided to try something different. While I usually get Oscar’s Star or some kind of breakfast concoction, on this day, I decided to broaden my horizons.

Mozzarella, Broccoli, and Mushroom Piroshky

After eyeing the menu for a few moments, I decided on the mozzarella, broccoli, and mushroom piroshky, only because it sounded kind of weird, and after taking a bite, I realized that it tasted like it sounded. Weird. It wasn’t bad

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My Big 10″

My 10.1" and 7" Galaxy Tablets and EVO

My 10.1" and 7" Galaxy Tablets and EVO

On Tuesday, my 10.1″ Galaxy Tab arrived.

I’ve only had a few days to play with it, but I can already see that it’s going to be yet another life-changing device.

As someone whose life literally revolves around technology, especially mobile technology, incremental updates such as this literally change the way I do everything, from blogging, to working, to coding, to sketching, to recording, to organizing, to playing games, to … well, seriously … everything. The device I carry with me becomes an extension of myself, and because of this,

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Moon Over Mike’s Tavern

Full Moon of Seattle Skyline from Magnolia

Last night, to “celebrate” the completion of a certain project, we headed up to Ballard for a bowl of Mike’s chili.

Some people celebrate with champagne, others with cocaine, but that high-brow, pretentious stuff doesn’t fly with me. If ground beef and kidney beans are good enough for cowboys and hobos, then it’s good enough for me dammit.

On the way up 15th Ave, en-route to the Ballard Bridge, I looked back and spotted a full moon hanging over the Seattle skyline.

“I need to make a quick detour!”, I exclaimed before veering on to the Magnolia Bridge and

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Apple vs. Microsoft: A Tale of Two Stores

The Microsoft Store in University Village Shopping Center

Last Thursday, I went with a friend of mine to two stores, located directly across from each other in the University Village Shopping Center.

The first store was the Apple Store, the second was the newly-opened Microsoft Store.

You see, my friend, a non-US resident, needed to buy a contract-less iPhone, and he could not do it in the AT&T Store in Downtown Seattle. As you might imagine, they would only sell him the device with a contract and a line of service.

This being the case, we took the 15 minute journey north to the U District to procure

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Love Battery, Live at The Mix

Love Battery at The Mix

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … Love Battery is the most underrated band in the history of music. Over the years, I’ve mentioned this group in my various articles a few dozen times, and in the process, I’ve turned a lot of people on to the band. Not once has anyone been disappointed.

Love Battery was one of the best bands in Seattle during Sub Pop’s meteoric rise, and I (as well as a lot of other people) were convinced that they were going to be huge. Had you told me 20 years ago that

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The Kindness of Pearl Jam Strangers

Pearl Jam Twenty

About a month ago, when the Cinerama began selling tickets for the premiere of the Pearl Jam 20 movie, I looked at my late September calendar and realized that my schedule would be chaotic. I might be available to see the show, and then again, I might not.

Because of this, I decided against purchasing tickets. Not so much for financial reasons (two tickets would have been $18), but because I could have been taking tickets from people who would definitely attend. In addition, it would leave a two-seat hole in an otherwise full house.

Yesterday, when 7:00pm rolled around,

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