Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Well, my scheduled posts have long run out. If anyone’s actually following this blog, sorry about that. I’ve been super busy. I may have mentioned this a while ago, and I’m incredibly inconsistent, but I’m taking a long break from writing fiction and have dived into my first nonfiction project: a band biography of the Swiss tech-thrash band, Coroner. “Tech-thrash” might be the best overall description, but it’s more than that.

So far, it’s been great, but a tremendous amount of work — much of the press is non-English, so everything has to be first transcribed and then translated. It’s very time consuming and doesn’t require a ton of thought. I spent 5-6 months doing that until we ran out, but just recently, three more folders have been located, so I’m gearing up to get back into that.

It’s an unusual perspective to have — to look at all of these interviews, features, and album reviews that span about a decade, get them in chronological order, and see how the land had lain. Plus, all the shows/tours, the various releases — the studio albums, the singles, the video, etc. Not to mention keeping track of what was going on with their record label at any given time. It’s a big ol’ puzzle and a lot to line up. The text language barrier, frankly, is the most time-consuming part, but once I start really digging into the information, that’s when it begins to become slightly overwhelming. But…it will all come together, and bits and pieces are, so that’s encouraging.

Two members are currently working on a new album, so contact is minimal, but what’s really pushing this forward is the engagement of the third, who is no longer an active member (though actively into his own excellent project). He photographs and sends each press piece, which is a massive amount of work on his part, and I would have little to work with otherwise. It also helps that he’s enthusiastic and uncommonly kind. I’ve found a lot of fanzine pieces on my own, but his efforts have absolutely quadrupled my reference material. At least. And I’m so, so grateful.

I’ve also commenced actual Zoom interviews — well, one, with him (that helps!) — which is really very anxiety-inducing, as I’m usually pretty terrible with real-time human interaction. He made it very easy, and that’ll go a long way in making me more comfortable to move onto the rest (which is a lot).

So, at this point, I’m still piecing everything together chronologically in order to get some kind of actual, workable outline together; will be returning to transcribing/translating more press; and moving forward with more interviews. Oh, and all the background reading apart from band-specific press. It’s a lot — I just took a week and minimized what I was doing every day just to get some headspace, which I should do now and then, but otherwise, it’s 5-6 days a week, 8-10 hours a day. I think I need to accept that this will take longer than assumed, which is fine, really. I just like to see progress. And I really do need to carve out my weekends — I’ve got plants coming to put in the ground. I’m all vaccinated and the weather is getting nicer — I should maybe think about seeing other human beings in person. And I need sunlight. Hahaa…

One unrelated thing going on is this: A couple of years ago I bought this sweet-ass Iron Maiden Spitfire with the idea that my brother — who puts together military plane models in his spare time — would put it together for me. I finally dropped it off to him a few weeks ago and he’s super into it, which is great! The idea was to get it done and hang it in my office as 1) a commemoration of that tremendous 2019 show, where I finally got to see them live and the almost-scale Spitfire for Aces High blew my mind; and have a nice thing that my brother will have basically made. He’s going all out, doing Battle of Britain research — he’s actually changing up the bottom design to be more historically accurate, and he just suggested the other day to get a ME-109 Messerschmitt to create dogfight in my office (and so he can play around with various model-building techniques!), which I absolutely approved. So, eventually, I will have Eddie in his Maiden Spitfire taking out a Nazi flying above me while I work.

Good times!

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If I Had Some Crack

William John Lee and his accomplice Dana Ruth Valentine were arrested after they were seen breaking into three Delray Beach vehicles while driving a blue Nissan. They faced three counts of burglary, criminal mischief, and two counts of larceny. Lee was recorded by the in-car recording system of the patrol car as saying: “If I had some crack, I wouldn’t be out here stealing [stuff].” Bonus fact: Lee has a tattoo on his left foot, as described

By one correctional facility or another: “Lil Bad Boy Men,” and has a career stealing steals—among other things—that stretches back to 1990. This is Ms. Valentine only recorded offense.

Milian, Jorge. “Boynton Man: “If I Had Some Crack, I Wouldn’t Be Out Here Stealing…”The Palm Beach Post. Gannett Media Group. December 24, 2015.

And Happy New Year! Here’s your New Year Bonus Florida Man (holy shit, Florida Man, that’s a little much)!

Read Florida Man: Battle of the Five Meth Labs: A Love Story here.

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I initially thought this would just be a neat little thing to blog about. I’m not a collector of Cold War Atomic Age Civil Defense paraphernalia — this came from the house I grew up in; my step-father’s family home, where he grew up. It was distributed by the Uniontown Automotive Council, presumably to auto shops and such for folks to pick up. I can absolutely imagine my grandfather bringing this home from whichever shop he was in. Someone — probably him — did a little light math in pencil on the cover. There’s a word I can’t decipher. So, yeah, just an item from the ol’ homestead in rural southwestern Pennsylvania. Anyway, the more I look through it, the more ironic it became.

Why ironic? you ask. Well, let me tell you what’s inside.

After a local and national Civil Defense preamble, we get right into it. Every home should have a “refuge room,” preferably in the basement, with more than one exit. It tells you everything this refuge room needs, such as canned food, cots and blankets, certain attire should anyone have to leave the refuge room, and, of course, chamber pots, toilet paper, and a screen (for the ladies). Outside the refuge room, one should be prepared for a fire, and this “fireproof housekeeping is important.” Then, should an attack occur, the first instruction is “Don’t get panicky,” followed by the statement: “The first warning of an air raid might be the blinding flash of an atomic bomb.”

Well, shit. Who’d panic?

Then, presuming you haven’t been instantly incinerated, it moves on to a laundry list of other instructions to, you know, “keep out radioactive dust.” If you’re out and about, get behind something. Good luck. If you’re at home — once the atomic dust has settled — you’re to keep the children inside the refuge room (not a great time to let them outside to play, apparently), put out small fires, give first aid, keep the radio on, don’t use unapproved water or food sources, don’t use the telephone (emergency calls to be kept to one minute), and just stay the hell home. You’re to get out of clothing contaminated with radiation and “bathe with lots of soap as soon as possible.”

Lots of soap. Noted.

In all caps: “DON’T SPREAD RUMORS.” Man, that’s like asking people not to breathe, especially — especially — when folks don’t know what the hell is going on. The human brain just can’t deal with more than thirty seconds of not knowing what the hell is going on; we will immediately just start making shit up and telling others to make it more real for ourselves. I mean…nice thought, Civil Defense, but…

It then goes on to describe the “three destructive actions” when an atomic bomb explodes. “1) Blast — much greater than an ordinary bomb. 2) Heat rays — much more intense than an ordinary bomb. 3) Atomic rays — not present in ordinary bomb explosion.” Yeah, you’re kind of sleeping through the first two, but “Atomic rays” sure gets your attention. It continues: “The most damaging action is the blast. In Japan it was the cause of more than one half of the total deaths and injuries. Heat rays accounted for nearly one third of the casualties. Least destructive were the atomic rays which caused only 15 percent of the total deaths and injuries.”

“Atomic rays are what most people worry about because their effects have been greatly exaggerated through rumors and unofficial sources of information.”

(“Unofficial sources of information” I’m pretty sure means “Sci-Fi flicks”.)

So, you know — no worries, bruh. The blast and heat rays are more likely to decimate your ass, so don’t stress about the atomic rays. If you survive the blast and heat rays, then you can worry about atomic rays, but they’re not nearly as bad as you’ve heard.

They never exactly tell you what atomic rays do.

So, yeah, a little more information on blast zones and then it wraps up with some “preparedness can mean survival” stuff.

This pamphlet came out in the early 1950s. This was before, you know, Nixon, so people still trusted their government to a probably-unreasonable extent, and some even took this seriously enough to build fallout shelters (the Ferrari of refuge rooms). I’m not positive there was no cultural push-back against this kind of thing, but we never hear about it, and we do know that it merged pretty thoroughly with American culture for decades, so we can probably guess there wasn’t a huge revolution against refuge rooms, at least until the 1960s when the counterculture stopped pussy-footing around the damage “atomic rays” can do and started insisting we’d all die terribly “if we are bombed.”

So, about that irony. This year, August 6th, marked the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Nagasaki was bombed three days later. The estimated death toll of both bombings combined range from 129,000 to 226,000 people. That is appalling. As of today, the death toll from Covid in the United States sits at. 311,000 people. Meanwhile, look at these idiots. I mean, I get it — Nixon happened. And then every other repulsive thing about the government that came to light from then to the present. Sure, our government is garbage and untrustworthy. But it doesn’t change how viruses work — you know, they way we’ve known they work for a long time now. The digital age hasn’t changed that. The consequences of unregulated social media hasn’t changed that. Viruses do what they do and some of them will kill us if given have the chance. Like, what can you say about a society whose fear of the government, or shadowy organizations (members of whom they’ve never set eyes on), or even their neighbors is so great that it bypasses its basic survival mechanism against a known and viable threat?

Answer: You say: “Well, this is done. Probably overdone. In fact, it’s inedible. Let’s just throw it out and order Thai.”

311,000 dead folks, today, and there will be more tomorrow. And no one even asked these people to build a fucking fallout shelter. No one asked them to “removed all readily flammable materials from the attic (furniture, boxes, rags) and from around the outside of the house (leaves, boxes, crates and paper trash), make sure all parts of the house are easily accessible. Place buckets of water or sand and fire extinguishers at strategic points in the house.” (Seriously, this isn’t even, “Hey, bomb’s coming,’ this is just in case. Like fender-bender insurance.) Just to wear a mask, social distance, make a little social sacrifice. I’m not. even talking about businesses, etc. Just regular individuals going about their business. No, we have to trick people into putting on a mask.

And I bet if you asked any of these people how scary a nuclear war would be, they’d answer: “Ooooo, dat scary!

So…yeah. There’s my little bit of Atomic Terror History, and it looks very different to me now, sitting here typing in December of 2020.

Oh, by the way, no, no one in my dad’s house carried out any of these recommendations. I don’t know, maybe someone put a bucket of water by the door for a while. Maybe they cleaned out the attic crawlspace. But there was definitely not a fallout shelter anywhere on the property (much to me disappointment — pretty sure I’d have claimed that as a bedroom). I bet, though, if you’d have asked them to social distance and wear a mask when they left their immediate household for a year or two, they’d have done it, and they would have survived, not just Covid, but having to social distance and wear a mask. Yes, they’d have survived.

One more thing, in case you didn’t have enough stress:

Despite progress in reducing Cold War nuclear arsenals, the world’s combined inventory of nuclear warheads remains at a very high level: roughly 13,410 warheads as of early-2020. Of these, nearly 9,320 are in the military stockpiles (the rest are awaiting dismantlement), of which some 3,720 warheads are deployed with operational forces, of which about 1,800 US, Russian, British and French warheads are on high alert, ready for use on short notice.

Enjoy your day!

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I have a hashtag on Instagram called ShitInMyStudy, where, when I’ve got nothing better to do/say/etc., I post a picture of an item in my study. Hence, shit in my study. Thought I’d use that same basic gameplan over here on the ol’ blog, except I’ll actually tell you about the shit in my study. I will also — if anyone is reading this — answer questions about the shit in my study. This, however, is not to be mistaken as an invitation to swing by and take a shit in my study, as has been suggested on Instagram by more than one of my stupid friends. Just to be clear.

I have a bunch of shit in my study that is weird, and no one ever sees it because, well, it’s in my study and that’s where I work.

Today’s shit in my study is this book, Monsters and Nightmares by Bernhardt J. Hurwood, published in 1967 when my father was 25 years old. This is relevant. My dad was a relatively conservative, no-nonsense sort of guy. So, the fact that he procured this particular book at any point in his adult life is notable. Sometime in, I’ll guess, 1985, my father gave this book to my older brother (not this book, this is another copy I bought much later — the original is fragile and in a box, yes, in my study). Very shortly afterward, my brother passed it to me.

Bernhardt J. Hurwood was a weird dude. Here is the abstract for the Bernhardt J. Hurwood Collection at Bowling Green State University:

The Bernhardt J. Hurwood Collection, 1926-1987, is comprised of fifteen linear feet of correspondence, research files, literary productions, printed materials, photographs, and audiovisual resources chronicling the eclectic career of this popular writer of sexual and supernatural literature. Portions of the collection were first donated to the Browne Popular Culture Library beginning in 1974. After Mr. Hurwood’s death the remainder of the collection was transferred between 1989-1990, by his wife Marci Vitous-Hurwood. Eric Honneffer processed the collection and finished preparing the finding aid in April 2014.

You can imagine my delight in learning that there was, indeed, a Bernhardt J. Hurwood Collection at any university; I would love — love — to write a biography of Mr. Hurwood. A “popular writer of sexual and supernatural literature.” What’s not to love? With titles like Vampires, Werewolves and GhoulsGhosts, Ghouls and Other HorrorsHaunted HousesVampires, Werewolves and Other DemonsChilling Ghost Stories, and Eerie Tales of Terror and Dread — some of which I own. And The Girls, The Massage, and EverythingThe Sensuous New YorkerJoys of Oral Love, and The Whole Sex Catalogue — none of which I own, regrettably. But I’m always on the lookout for Hurwood titles. He also dabbled in fiction, one of which I own, a vampire novel called By Blood Alone.

So, anyway, when I was about ten years old, my brother gave me the book our father gave him. Reason: It was “too scary” for him. He was apparently reading it one evening, went to sleep, and was hassled in the night by a particularly vivid werewolf-related dream, the details of which he declined to mention. There are some things that are too “too” for my brother. One was this book, and another was a couple years later, when he handed me a cassette — Metallica’s Master of Puppets (single best version of this song, hands down)– and said “This is too heavy for me.”

Lucky for my brother, I was only too happy to take both off his hands.

I mean, look at that table of contents. You can’t go wrong with a book that opens up with something called The Monstrous Maggot of Death (not to be mistaken for the Mongolian Death Worm, which is obviously where your mind went…obviously). That’s a favorite, along with The Legend of the Screaming Skulls, The Horrible Legacy of the Cannibal Chef (not this guy), The Demon Drummer of Tedworth, and Voluntarily Buried Alive. And really, The Necrophile Who Did a Good Dead? The Holy Prepuce and the Miracles? (Best band name ever.) One simply cannot go wrong.

No joke, when I was a kid, and well into my teens, I’d return to this over and over. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read these stories, and I still love them. The cover is awesome, too.

That’s it. That’s the story of this book. No, not riveting, but it’s some…shit…in my…study.

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Jayson Laughman, of Deltona, believed his mother’s boyfriend, Michael Airhart, stole a can of shrimp. The inside verbal disagreement turned into a physical altercation, where Laughman threatened Airhart with a statue of undisclosed shape. When Airhart thought the matter had been resolved, he and Laughman’s mother retired to their bedroom, but soon Laughman broke down the door with a samurai sword. They calmed him down again, but he later returned to throw kitchen knives at Airhart, who escape through a sliding glass door. When police arrived, Laughman blamed his low blood sugar, complained of chest pain, and was taken to the Florida Fish Memorial Hospital. To be fair, this is just three years after he lost his kids. To be fairer, they were removed for dangerous living conditions featuring free-range prescription meds and hypodermic needles. He won a bonus charge for possession of a firearm as a convicted felon (who knows what for).

Sullivan, Jerriann. “Samurai Sword-Wielding, Knife-Throwing Man Lost It Over Missing Can of Shrimp, Report Says.” Orlando Sentinel. Tribune Publishing Company. August 20, 2013. www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-2013-08-20-os-missing-shrimp-sword-throwing-20130820-story.html

CLICK HERE to read Florida Man: Battle of the Five Meth Labs: A Love Story for free on Wattpad!

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Key West’s 20-year-old Orion Breese Jones was arrested following a foot chase with club security and being stun-gunned twice by police for resisting arrest after whizzing on a waitress from the balcony of said club. As of 2019, he is the founder of Share Your Drop on Instagram, an account where he posts DJ drop clips. According to his private profile, he likes Svdden Death, Bassnectar, RL Grime, Eric Prydz, and appears to be a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Listening to dubstep has yet to be made a crime, and we hope he followed through when he told police in the Monroe County jail that he had a “desire to seek help for his alcohol problem.”

Moran, Lee. “Florida Man Arrested for Urinating on Waitress at Nightclub.” New York Daily News. Tribune Publishing Company. January 28, 2015. www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/florida-man-arrested-urinating-waitress-nightclub-article-1.2094717

CLICK HERE to read Florida Man: Battle of the Five Meth Labs: A Love Story for free on Wattpad!

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An unnamed 53-year-old Marin County man—still wielding a baseball bat upon the arrival of authorities—claimed “the men” had absconded with his wife/girlfriend using “holograms to project signals on the walls to get him to do what they wanted and to communicate with each other.” His lady friend was drunk at the man’s aunt’s mobile home several lots away and confirmed that she had been chased there by the hologram-armed men. The aunt said no one had chased her, but that she “was seeing people and animals at her trailer that were not there.” According to the trailer’s owner, this is not the first time police had been called, citing another instance previously when the man and woman were in the road—he with a gun, and she “digging for gold.” As of February 2014, they were soon-to-be evicted.

CLICK HERE to read Florida Man: Battle of the Five Meth Labs: A Love Story for free on Wattpad!

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Race War

This week isn’t nearly as funny as a Klan member fighting Dame Edna, but the idiot level is pretty impressive.

Marcus Faella lead a group of ten members of the American Front—a hardcore white supremacist organization modeled after Britain’s National Front—who planned to “kill Jews, immigrants, and other minorities.” Their training facility was located eleven miles from Disney World. Faella was exploring how to manufacture ricin, a lethal biological substance, before he was arrested on an informant’s tip. Ultimately, thirteen were charged—ten had their charges dropped with no explanation. Faella was convicted on two counts of military training in 2014 and sentenced to six months in jail, with sixty-one days credit on time served, plus two years of community control. As of 2015, Faella wears a suit and has reworked his racist views to better blend in with the more contemporary Alt-Right model of academic hate and stupidity.

CLICK HERE to start reading Florida Man for free over on Wattpad! There’s a new installment up today!

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On Halloween, 2012, Boyd Corbin attended an “epic” party at a gay bar dressed as a Klansman with a tiki torch in Wilton Manors near Fort Lauderdale. While there, he found himself in an altercation with Dame Edna Everage impersonator, Michael Walters. I really wish there was a photo of the entire thing. This incident was followed by two years of litigation and intrigue, culminating in Corbin’s exoneration and his decision to run for mayor. As of 2018, he is still running for mayor. Corbin wants to clean up the drinking water, bring down the water bills, get rid of parking meters, build parking garages, bring down garbage collection costs, stop speeding on Wilton Drive, clean up Colohatchee Park (“Don’t take your kids there!”), and bust myriad corrupt officials.

CLICK HERE to start reading Florida Man for free over on Wattpad! There’s a new installment up today!

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Richard Wells, who often creates under the name Slippery Jack, is an artist whose work is steeped in horror and the macabre. With a fondness for traditional mediums that lends his work a chilling authenticity, his illustrations have made perfect adornments to book covers and heavy metal record sleeves. His TV work includes graphic design […]

via Artist Richard Wells on Folk Horror, TV Work and His Upcoming Book — Vampire Squid

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