Archive for November, 2011


Shortbus to the Gates

Since I’d read page 6 of the book, Demon Squad: Armageddon Bound, I have been a fan of Tim Marquitz’s series. It is a dark, gruesome tale laced with biting sarcastic humor. I’ve enjoyed the first two books with tremendous zeal. Here is a link to the review I gave of the first book.

Tim also read it. Back in July, after I’d posted it, I sent him a link. The Shortbus deleted everything soon thereafter, but I kept that review since it was one of the few things I’d written that wouldn’t get me sued for a gazillion dollars. Tim must have liked the post– I was one of the lucky ones to receive an advanced copy of his third in series, At the Gates.

At the Gates is going to be released on December first; here is a link to his page. There, you can get all his books if you are interested.

Here is a little background to bring you up to speed. Frank Trigg is a half-demon who resides on Earth. Being from Hell, he has a little insight to the supernatural and he informs us that recently, God and Lucifer have called a truce and have left our dimension to sort out their ills. The angels in heaven are quite confused and the more powerful demons in hell have made land grabs, cutting out pie-pieces of Earth, expanding their own territories. In Armageddon Bound, two major demons by the name of Baalth and Asmoday are going for broke. Asmoday wants to become the new Lucifer and Baalth wants the world to remain as it is since he’s got a nice cut of the pie already. (That isn’t exactly it, but it is simple and close enough to the target.) Add a couple crazy angels and you’ve got one hell of a supernatural thriller.

In book two, Resurrection, there is a rotten necromancer and his gang of stinky-slimy undead with a reckless need to return a previously dead anti-Christ. In Tim’s clever creation, historically, there has been more than one anti-Christ, and the one possessing the greatest potential Lucifer killed in a bout of jealousy. Handsome devil was sleeping with Lucifer’s girl — whoops. So the second book is about stopping the return of the Anti-Christ. Oh, and there is sexy Lilith too. Let’s not forget her.

Book Three, At the Gates is his best yet. The descriptions are vivid and colorful. The cast of characters are better defined than they ever have been in the series. And the tension– the tension is almost over-whelming. Frank, how are you going to get out of this one?

As a reward, Frank has been imbued with a little bit of magic for doing a big favor for Baalth. It comes in handy as soon as the first chapter is half-told. Scarlett, who is his angelic-cousin, has barely escaped Heaven. Heaven is under siege by a faction of crazy angels who’ve blamed the non-crazy angels of betraying God in his absence. Scarlett escaped through the Gates of Eden and three nasty aberrations called the Nephilim had taken pursuit. Frank gives them a taste of demonic magic that sends them packing.

But wait, it gets worse, not only are all the good angels (save Scarlett) locked-up within the Garden of Eden, but the Tree of Life is getting sick from all the violence and as some warped consequence, clouds of acidic death are materializing on Earth, destroying everything they contact. As if that isn’t enough, there is a pesky Werebear named Grawwl and his gang of Vampires adding a royal pain in the ass.

Again, as we expect with Tim’s stories, this is a bloody, twisted, roller-coaster of carnage and mayhem, coated with a justly film of sarcastic irony. Tim’s Hell is certainly a lot nicer than Tim’s Earth. Perhaps the Shortbus is heading in the right direction after all.


Alcoholic Fantasies

We had gone to the Alexander Valley region in wine country California. I realize Temecula is famous for their wine, but where we went was north of San Francisco. C-Jane went for a half-marathon, I went to drink; something should be said about my German/Native American genealogy. Ah, yes, and now my constant anger has a feasible explanation.

What C-Jane looks like

Like that? That is what C-Jane’s shadow looks like at the beginning of a 13.1 mile race. She finished in 3 hours and 10 minutes. That is less than 15 minutes per mile — very nice.

Yup, that's me

Since I’m showing off shadows, here is one of me. I look like Big-J the pin-headed fat-ass wearing a spy vs. spy hat. I was thinking of putting this pic in the back of my next book. I hate pictures of me. Imagine a balding Tonto with an Adolf Hitler mustache. Yuppers — but for the grace of God, there go I. Not just ugly, but fugly.

The Best B-n-B ever

C-Jane loves B-n-B’s. The Old Crocker Inn was where we stayed. It was very remote, tucked away and off the beaten path. That means I liked it too. Every morning we’d get up and go for a walk just past dawn. We’d see mule deer every morning accompanied by a young buck. We also saw a gang of silly-little quail that looked like miniature dorks running on swift feet with necks propped high and bobbing. We also saw a skunk, yikes! Luckily, that time we were protected inside C-Jane’s car, but it was a harrowing experience all the same.

Mmmm, Venison

The proprietors of the Old Crocker Inn served the best breakfasts. One morning was Belgian Waffles with fresh berries; another day was Eggs Benedict over home-made polenta. Yummy.

As for wineries, we went to seven. Sadly, I cannot remember all of them, and we already drank all the wine we’d bought so I can’t look at the bottles. Most memorable was Preston Winery. Their selections were very diverse, from a super-tasty Viognier, to rich Red Zinfandels. (Alexander Valley/Sonoma is known for some of the best Red Zins in the country.) They also had big healthy chickens and pigs roaming freely on their vineyard.

View from Sbragia

Sbragia Vineyards had the best view. After buying a couple bottles, we opened one on their patio and shared some crackers with lavender goat cheese and salami (not C-Jane, she mostly eats plants. Weird, I know.) Here we bought a couple bottles of Chardonnay.

There was the FREE tasting at the Raymond Burr winery. Raymond Burr Memorabilia filled the tiny tasting room. K-Dog, C-Jane’s brother-in-law, was quick to ask how Mr. Burr was associated with the winery, and they informed us that his name was on the bottle. That’s about it. Did I say FREE tasting! We bought a bottle of Petit Sarah.

C-Jane's best pic

The Disneyland of Sonoma was the Coppola Vineyard. It was giant! It had a pool, a couple restaurants, and a gigantic bar-space for the masses to taste Francis Ford Coppola’s wines. (Blaugh, not the best wines on the trip.) But the immense Disney-like structure had the coolest movie memorabilia in all of northern California. Thank you for Apocalypse Now! but please, you can keep your wines.
(Disclaimer- Coppola has some great wines, but I sampled the cheap pour instead of the premium pour.)


Congress Created Dustbowl


Don't suck it.

Define Bakersfield


Notice in this pic where it says, ‘never syphon by mouth’ — That describes Bakersfield to a T.

In the past, I’ve talked mad-dog trash about living in Las Vegas, but the above stated line about ‘syphoning by mouth’ says everything there is to say about Bakersfield Ca. If I had been born there, I’d have blown my own brains out years ago just to get away. I’d rather not tell our entire story about Bakersfield, I’d just become angry again. For this post, just know that Bakersfield is the new definition of suck.

I had intended to use pictures to simplify the dustbowl story, but having just downloaded them to my computer, not one of them is a good enough picture to tell the story of how bad the agriculture system is suffering in central California. Here is the best picture, and it still doesn’t describe how bad things are for the farmers in the area.


The Dustbowl

Signs of a very hungry future


All across the land, from Bakersfield to south of Oakland, the farms look built upon a desert. This used to be very rich land. See how the sign tells us that water prices are leaping, and this is why food prices are spiking. That makes sense.

Promises of inflation

Why Food is so expensive


There were other signs promoting the ‘Congress  Created Dustbowl,’ and another one calling-out Pelosi, Boxer and some other dude I don’t know as being the masterminds behind high-food costs. I don’t usually come to the defense of Congress, but California is having a drought. Water is scarce. So, water goes up in price – for everybody.


I don’t have all the facts to defend the farmers or congress, I can only make an opinion from a narrow view given while driving on Interstate-5 and seeing an entire county filled with outraged farmers. It is no secret that I never liked Prez W. Bush — not at all — but I never blamed him for Hurricane Katrina.


God did it. Governor Perry prays for rain in Texas, and God says no. I don’t know if California prays like Texas, but God is again saying no if they are praying. I’m gonna blame God.


If Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi truly control California’s rainfall, then they totally suck. I still think the farmers are blaming and petitioning to the wrong source. City people need water too, and people who are not farmers are paying higher water costs as well. The real problem isn’t a lack of water; the real problem is there are too many people in the world.



(I really wanted to be on the side of the farmer when I first had the idea of writing this blog. I doubt our government is intentionally damming the flow of water. Congress might not be the villain for once.)


Viktor the Wampire


C-Jane and I realized we were true mates at the time of our first road trip. Then, we’d left Vegas nervously knowing that trip would either seal, or break our budding relationship. Our first stop on that trip was at a motel in the middle of nowhere, south of Bakersfield.

The night clerk at the motel kept his hair long, and greasy, tied behind his head. He smiled a lot, and was very friendly. As he wrote the number of our room, we saw the long unkempt nails. “Enjoy your evening,” he smiled, nearly sinister. The name-badge leaped out at us, ‘Viktor.’

Hurrying to our room, we entered and locked the door behind us. C-Jane asked, “Do you think Viktor is a vampire?”

Rubbing my chin in deep thought, I answered, “Could be. We should smear some garlic around all possible points of entry.”

C-Jane, always resourceful, pulled a couple cloves from her purse, saying, “You never know when garlic will come in handy.”

It was a good thing too, because that night there was a bumping at our door, then what sounded to be an ugly hiss and a scratching on the door. Then silence. “Was that him?” C-Jane asked softly.

Peeking out the window, the lot was empty. “If it was, he is gone now.” The next morning, we had our complimentary waffles and left, putting distance between us and nowhere.

More than three years later, C-Jane and I are on a road trip again, this time to meet Sister Calamity and her husband K-Dog in wine-country California. We’d left the Atomic Museum before dusk, and by 9:30, we were approaching nowhere.

“I’m going to be scared if we run into Viktor again,” Jane said.

“Balderdash!” I exclaimed, a common word in my vocabulary. “That night-crawler is long gone by now. We should stop at the same hotel to dismiss our silly fears.”

We did. This time we were met by a very friendly man with short hair. He wore a suit and a smile, “Have you ever been here before?” the man asked as I checked out his hands. His nails were trimmed.

Relieved, I replied, “Once, several years ago.”

“Many things have changed over the years.” Hypnotic eyes gaze upon me as C-Jane’s hands trembled while signing the registration bill. “Yours will be room 211.”

Rushing to the car, C-Jane informed, “It is him!”

“Are you sure?” I doubted while pulling suitcases out of the trunk.

“Didn’t you see the placard on the desk, it said manager Viktor!”

“He tricked me. His claws were retracted, and his hair was clean.” I realized it was all just a disguise. I patted my pockets with frantic hands, “Oh no, I ate all my garlic on the bus at the Test Site!”

“Don’t worry, I got breath mints and some holy water in my make-up bag.”

“But you don’t wear make-up,” I acknowledged, sounding a lot like Shaggy, “we are doomed.” C-Jane doesn’t wear make-up. Everyone says that make-up makes women look younger, but if that is true, C-Jane would look twelve. At thirty-two, C-Jane is always carded wherever we go drinking. If ‘make-up’ made C-Jane look any younger, I’d go to jail for pedophilia.

She replied with a wave of her hand, “I keep the bag to hold silver bullets, holy water, gypsy tears …you know, important stuff.”

It didn’t matter, Viktor never came. The next morning we met Viktor’s wife. She yelled at me for being retarded. It seems I broke their complimentary waffle-maker, and we barely escaped the wrath of Viktor’s harpy. No wonder he left us alone at night — she was really mean.

We had a long day of travel. My next post will be The Congress Created Dust Bowl.


BOOM! – a Prelude to our 2nd Anniversary

I had forgotten to bring my glasses, but it is okay – I’m far-sighted. From where I stand, I’m looking into a 330 ft. deep crater with a diameter of 1,280 ft. That is like sitting on a goal post on one side of a football field and looking to the other side straight down. It was not made by a rock falling from outer-space, but a nuclear bomb.

The ‘Plowshare Program’ was one of the experimental ‘peaceful’ studies of nuclear power performed at the Nevada National Security Site; A.K.A. Nevada Proving Grounds.

Ever see the old footage of Korean-War age American soldiers walking toward the mushroom cloud? Yes, that is what I am talking about. C-Jane and I were there last week, stomping around, checking stuff out.

Yes, where they used to explode nukes, north of Las Vegas.

C-Jane had figured out how to get us on a tour. I can happily inform everyone that the Govt. I’m always so paranoid about – like, all the time – isn’t looking for me. Not at all. They aren’t even a little bit worried about me. I had to apply with the Dept. of National Security and they let me go to their once ‘super-secret’ testing area.

Isn’t that effin cool?

God, it is nice to know I’m not on their list of trouble-making artists. Still, I suggest that I not rattle cages anyway. I am still my own keeper – all in all.

Back to Plowshare; but first, a 46 second movie.  Click here!

The 1962 Sedan plowshare bomb was first buried over 400 ft. into the earth, which upon explosion displaced 12 million tons of earth. Ka-boom! Blowing nuclear fallout 3-5 KMs into the sky, and coming down everywhere over Iowa; Sedan rocked the desert like a 4.7* earthquake. BAM! Get Down! And today, there is a giant pockmark in the ground the tour-guide warned us against falling into.

A gang of about 20 antelope rule the test site. We nearly slammed into them in our bus as they taunted the driver while casually crossing the road. But for the exception of super-antelope intelligence, not one of them had any obvious mutations, no third eye, or an extra head growing out of it. Radiation is dangerous in only about 10 sq. miles out of 1350 sq. miles of test site’s total ground. In addition to the antelope gang, there are free-roaming wild horses to spy if the viewer is lucky enough to see them first.

I feel it is my duty to let you know that if you are a terrorist, or a national of a terrorist nation, you might still be able to get a tour. The test site is now letting everyday-people look around since it is against the law to explode nuclear bombs. There are rules to being allowed to see the old test site. No phones, no cameras, no PDAs, no binoculars, no explosive or incendiary devices are allowed on the bus, and there is only one opportunity to get off the bus, and that is at the giant crater. Who wants to blow up a giant crater? It is already blown up. Too late.

If you come from a known terrorist country like Paki … oops, I mean someplace that United Statian’s trust as far as they can throw – you can still come and see the site. Citizens of the US can get in with the tour from the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas regardless of ethnicity. If the Govt. doesn’t like your background, you may get an extra-guard – or ten – to join you on your tour.

The tour is best for techy-dorks. I am a dork – for real – but I’m not a techy-dork. I enjoyed the tour, but I need a little more action. Seeing 2-ft. I-Beams warped from a nuclear explosion is super-cool in my book, but understanding the science of it is a little above my head. C-Jane is smarter than me and it all made more sense to her, I’m sure.

The only real action was when we were at the gate and the guard came on to check our badges. Six months ago I’d written about being fondled by pretend cops before seeing System of a Down in Irvine. (That post was up before I had a book deal so it got removed.)

The ten guard-wannabes at Verizon Amphitheater I could have beaten by the dozen – but the guard coming on the bus could beat down a dozen Big-Js’ with one hand tied behind his back. He was polite, quiet, and capable of taking down our entire bus all by himself, and no one on the bus doubted that fact.

That is called ‘security,’ TSA; you are a joke.

And that was the kickoff for our 2nd Anniversary, looking for car-sized ants and glass-scorched sand dunes. My next post – Viktor, the Wampire!


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