Guaranteed to be Vain & Vapid™ or double your money back.

Retail Doom

September 26, 2023 at 6:00 pm | No Comments »

The Washington Post published a poorly-reported article that’s just another example of retail executives who over-expand and otherwise fail at being merchants then use shoplifting as a convenient excuse for closing stores that should have never opened. The reporting is incredibly sloppy. The sub-head stating three San Francisco-Oakland stores closing is a lie. It’s one in SF, one in Oakland, and one in suburban Pittsburg, CA. The accompanying photo actually is my neighborhood store that’s not on the list.

The SF store set to close is a cursed space. It was originally a Sports Authority that failed ahead of that chain’s larger issues because there’s little foot traffic thanks to the location being under the city’s sole freeway. Worse, there’s a tiny parking lot that’s difficult to access due to the surrounding streets being a confusing maze of one-ways and no turns.

If you can’t tell, I have a great deal of contempt for how Target has been run of late. I was in my neighborhood store earlier today yet walked out without making a purchase. Unbeknownst to me, the item I needed had been on sale so the shelves were bare. So typical. Half the time, I walk out empty handed because they’re out of stock, the item is in a locked cabinet and employees don’t respond to those annoying buttons, or the in-store price is significantly higher than what’s offered on

I’ve taken to wondering if we’re seeing the tell tale signs of a long-term strategy to strangle brick and mortar. Certainly seems like a convenient way for executives to get out of expensive leases without admitting to Wall Street types that their expansion strategies were doomed and should have never made it past the PowerPoint stage.

Eldorado: Everything The Nazis Hate

June 30, 2023 at 9:13 pm | No Comments »

If you’re LGBTQIA, any other queer letter I’m too out of it to include, or an ally—especially allies—you need to watch the Netflix documentary Eldorado: Everything the Nazis Hate that dropped this week. It’s a crucial history lesson on just how quickly hard-fought freedoms can vanish. Particularly relevant given the disastrous opinion issued by the regressive US Supreme Court today.

Trans Panic

May 2, 2023 at 5:04 pm | No Comments »

The GOP’s demonization of trans people and drag queens makes me increasingly uneasy. You don’t have to be a history scholar to realize the tactics are ripped directly from the Goebbels playbook. Seems pretty clear that they’re trying to distract from past GOP policy failures that have made gun violence a fixture of American life, created another banking crisis, and of course allowed COVID to become the worst pandemic in a century. Americans who continue to support Republicans in 2023 have all the morals of Germans who supported the Nazis in 1923.

Tweet No More

October 28, 2022 at 7:16 pm | No Comments »

I stopped using my Twitter account when Musk announced his bid to buy the service. And I deleted it as soon as I saw the news that said deal closed yesterday. I will not support anything that madman touches. You should delete your account also.

Kids in the Hall Again

May 14, 2022 at 9:47 pm | No Comments »

A new season of Kids in the Hall appeared on Amazon yesterday. Do I really have to say anything else? Just go watch it.

Dave Returns?

April 26, 2022 at 12:02 pm | No Comments »

Have you noticed the new life over on Dave Letterman’s YouTube channel? Clips from both NBC and CBS shows started appearing at the end of January for the first time since 2015. Then in March, new bits from what appears to be Dave on The Barbara Gaines Show debuted. So far, they’re averaging one per week. Definitely worth a sub for these gems.

Goodbye. Hello again.

April 25, 2022 at 5:34 pm | No Comments »

I’ve posted for the last time on Twitter. If you know me, you probably aren’t surprised. I loathe Elon Musk and all that his brand of swaggering self-promotion represents. If you disagree with me, save your keystrokes. I’m just going to delete your comments because this is my sandbox. There’s no such thing as free speech when I’m paying the bills.

Let’s Try This Again

July 1, 2020 at 9:42 pm | No Comments »

I meant to take a break sure. But not almost three years.

Some background. I started this site to familiarize myself with the web. That turned into a blog. All hand coded. (You can still find the original, early 2000’s site where I ranted about Bush 2’s mishandling of the Sept. 11th attacks and aftermath deep in the archives somewhere.) I felt good about it.

Then CMS became a thing and I switched to Moveable Type before settling on WordPress. Updates were regular and varied. Next, I decided to build my video skills (instead of paying others to shoot/edit) and I jumped into vlogs. About the same time, social media came along. I dived into Instagram early while it was still independent. Tried Facebook and hated it. Avoid Twitter but finally gave in and sort of fell in love. Bit by bit, this site became little more than a repository for the YouTube videos. Kind of pathetic.

I always intended to get back to writing and photo posts here but the next video kept looming. Finally we arrived in the Fall of 2017. I was in the middle of editing videos documenting our Helsinki and Vienna trip. Then I hit the motivation wall. I just couldn’t face the thought of opening the video editing application. I decided to take a few weeks off. That turned into months. Then years.

So now it’s 2020. The world seems be unraveling before our eyes. But I haven’t been silent. All my output has been at Twitter and Instagram, where I’ve been documenting our shelter in place adventures with a daily photo. This site sat forlorn. Almost forgotten save the periodic, unsolicited message from domain vultures hoping to purchase the name for a song.

In June, #StopHateForProfit got my attention. I’ve toiled as an advertising creative for several decades so seeing names like Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Target vowing to pull ad dollars and/or go dark on Facebook-owned properties, I paid attention and started thinking about my own uneasy relationship with the social behemoth.

As I said a couple of paragraphs up, I don’t like Facebook. In fact, committing Facebook suicide a few years ago remains one of my favorite accomplishments. I’ve hung onto the Instagram account because I like photography and follow a number of interesting creators. Still I’ve been uncomfortable with the platform since the Facebook takeover years ago. I don’t like stories and never post them. I have scaled back on filters as iPhone cameras have improved. And I hate the algorithm for the way it garbles my feed and tries to push the most popular content down my throat.

All of which is a long winded explanation to justify my decision to join #StopHateForProfit and go dark on Insta for at least the month of July.

I’ve got thoughts about continuing my daily photo posting here. Maybe I’ll even move the first 100 over from Instagram. I might even finish the Helsinki-Vienna videos. Not sure and based on my recent track record, I’m not making any promises.

Stay tuned.

Helsinki 2017 Part 2

October 2, 2017 at 8:24 pm | No Comments »

Second part of our Helsinki adventure. We started with the Lutheran Cathedral, just four blocks from our hotel. It dominates the central Helsinki skyline and all the guides call it a must see. It’s a big white church that seems to have a crowd outside constantly. Not sure what else to say. Yeah, I was kind of underwhelmed. But that didn’t slow us down. We headed to the Kiasma contemporary arts museum and Ateneum. Both impressive. The next day, we took a ferry to Suomenlinna—a historic fort and World Heritage Site. It’s spread across several islands and a bit overwhelming. The wind also managed to spoil a lot of footage we shot. Oh well. Then Monday we hit the Amos Anderson Art Museum and caught a show of emerging artists. All in all a spectacular cross section of Finish art and culture.

Helsinki 2017

October 2, 2017 at 8:11 pm | No Comments »

It’s time for another travel adventure. We decided to take advantage of the recently-added Finnair nonstop between SFO and Helsinki. Turned out to be an easy flight and we felt comfortable in Helsinki almost immediately. This is just part 1. Stay tuned for more.