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
Continue reading Coming Up Short
Being an American consumer is a lot like being anally violated on a daily basis.
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
Continue reading Updated: Amazon and Adorama: Life in a Third-World Consumerist Shithole
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
Continue reading PUSAfest 2014
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.
I headed up to Neumos last night to catch a gig by the space dudes (or astro-dudes), and wouldn’t you
Continue reading Fuck California and Anyone From There
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
Continue reading McCready & Friends
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
Continue reading Mark Arm Loves People
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
Continue reading These Streets
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
Continue reading Soundgarden at The Paramount
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
Continue reading Grunge Lives
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 like to see population
Continue reading The Seattle Aquarium
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
Continue reading A Night at the Lo-Fi
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
Continue reading Flying The 787
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
Continue reading Capitol Hill Cuisine
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
Continue reading My Bambaloni Has a First Name …
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,
Continue reading My Big 10″
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
Continue reading Moon Over Mike’s Tavern
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
Continue reading Apple vs. Microsoft: A Tale of Two Stores
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
Continue reading Love Battery, Live at The Mix
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,
Continue reading The Kindness of Pearl Jam Strangers
My never-ending quest for the best, cheap food in and around Downtown Seattle has caused me to stumble upon a new reigning champion. Something only a local could discover.
Now, when I reveal the source of my new culinary delight, some of you will laugh … but before pretentiously dismissing it out of hand, I urge you to try it before you scoff.
Yesterday, I went grocery shopping at Kress at 3rd & Pike Street. I split my grocery shopping trips between this store and the QFC on Broadway & Pike (I live equidistant between the two), and yesterday Kress
Continue reading Cheap Eats: A New Favorite, and a Couple of Old Ones
After the Bite of Seattle on Saturday, we decided to do some tourist stuff, and what Seattle attraction is more touristy than riding The Ducks?
Duck Ride and The Space Needle
Juggler Entertaining Folks in Line
Juggler Entertaining Folks in Line
Ticketing Near Space Needle
Ticketing and Portable Toilets
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, nothing ever goes 100% smoothly for yours truly.
After paying for our tickets, a lady at the base of the duck insisted that some of our folks line up for a shot. I politely declined, choosing instead to
Continue reading Ride The Ducks
Since I am going to be away from my main computer this week, I decided to download all of the local Seattle news apps onto my Galaxy Tablet this morning.
I grabbed King 5, Komo News, Kiro 7, Q13 Fox, and the Seattle Times — then I went about testing each app to see which would take the coveted upper-left-corner position on my news page.
King 5’s app is nice, and has a great deal of features, but it only uses a fraction of the tablet screen. This is not a deal-breaker, but if I wanted to look at a
Continue reading The Seattle News App Shootout
About an hour ago, I was walking through Westlake Park when I noticed a crowd gathered near the corner of 4th & Pike.
I walked toward the group, and when I arrived, I found that a brand-spanking-new eatery had opened up on 4th Avenue. It’s called “Potbelly Sandwich Shop”.
Downtown Seattle – 4th and Pike
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
I entered the store, surveyed the scene, and even though I was not hungry, I realized that I had a quasi-journalistic responsibility to sample the new eatery. At least that was my excuse for negating the “healthy” chicken breast I
Continue reading Potbelly Sandwich Shop
I grew up eating pizza. A lot of pizza. Tons of pizza.
I also grew up on two distinct styles of the food.
Not a lot of people realize this, but “DC-style Pizza” does exist. It can be found in places like Trio Pizza at 18th Street & Columbia Road. DC-style pizza is pizza which has little or no uncovered crust at the edges, has a thin-yet-firm crust underneath, and is generally heavier on tomato sauce and toppings than other pies.
The other pizza I grew up on is NY-style pizza. We all know this one. Paper-thin, chewy crust, greasy,
Continue reading Pagliacci Pizza on Capitol Hill
Because I am so fond of Pike Place Chowder’s clam chowder and seafood bisque, I often don’t bother to try other soup offerings in the Pike Market environs. Yesterday, however, I decided to expand my horizons a bit.
Market Grill in Pike Place Market
Market Grill in Pike Place Market
Market Grill in Pike Place Market
While walking through the market, I decided to get a 16oz cup of clam chowder ($6.50) at the Market Grill, and I am certainly glad that I did.
Like most Seattle offerings, the Grill’s chowder is New England-style (creamy white), and
Continue reading Clam Chowder at the Market Grill
Before Donkey Kong, before Asteroids, before Pac Man … heck, before Pong … there was pinball … genesis of mainstream electronic gaming.
Few people are aware of this, but ever since I was a young boy, I played the silver ball. From Soho down to Brighton, I must have played them all. However, I’ve never seen anything like it in any amusement hall — this deaf, dumb, and blind kid I encountered … sure played a mean pinball.
One day, I may write a song about it.
On second thought, maybe not. Nobody wants to hear about that kind of
Continue reading Seattle Pinball Museum
Late Saturday morning, before heading up to Cal Anderson Park, I decided to snag a couple of slices of pizza.
Since it had been a long time since my last visit (I think the last time I ate here was sometime in the 90’s), I decided to re-acquaint myself with Hot Mama’s Pizza on Pine Street. I tried to have lunch here a couple of weeks ago, but when I walked through the door at 11am, the man behind the counter told me that they had just opened and that the pizza would take awhile.
Come on, fellas, rise
Continue reading Hot Mama’s Pizza
For lunch yesterday, I decided to patronize two businesses on Broadway … one of them new, one of them brand new.
Z Pizza opened up on Capitol Hill last August, and I finally got around to checking out the joint myself.
zpizza on Capitol Hill
zpizza on Capitol Hill
zpizza Lunch Special
I ordered the lunch special consisting of two slices and a fountain drink for $6.26. My first slice was a pepperoni, and my second slice was a tomato basil creation. If you care, my beverage was root beer.
Z Pizza is mostly self-serve. You go
Continue reading Z Pizza and Yogurtland on Capitol Hill
From 1991 to 1994, Nirvana ruled the airwaves, Seattle became the capital of the universe, and the world hasn’t been the same since. In my opinion, it’s been all downhill from there.
A video at the EMP this weekend said something to the effect of “There hasn’t been another geographically based music genre to emerge since grunge. We’ve all been waiting for one for the past 20 years, but it hasn’t happened. Seattle was the peak. The culmination.”
If you think about it, it’s true.
Before Seattle, there was Motown. There was Liverpool, Athens, Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York, DC, and
Continue reading Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses
Over the past two days, I have consumed the best donuts I have ever eaten in my life. I say this without an ounce of hyperbole. I like Krispy Kreme, and Dunkin’ Donuts are just fine, but both Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts and Mighty-O Donuts are true “gourmet” doughnuts that stand head and shoulders above the national chains.
Top Pot Doughnuts vs. Mighty-O Donuts
After eating both, I realized that they do have a subtle difference. Top Pot is more fatty and “filling”, while Mighty-O is more sweet and “lean”. I’m not sure if this makes any sense, but
Continue reading Top Pot Doughnuts vs. Mighty-O Donuts: And The Winner is …