August 20, 2014

So Long, Farewell,Auf Wiedersehen, Good Night.

Motley Crue Farewell Tour
March 17th, Tampa, Florida

The Raskins, Alice Cooper and the Crue

*Don't mind the broken video monitor*


Praying To The Saints of Los Angeles

I'm going to get a little nostalgic for a moment. I'm good at that. I got to see Motley Crue this past Sunday on their final farewell tour. Though I had seen them once before on their Dr. Feelgood tour, this tour was special. When it's over, no more Crue. Of course, members will still do their own thing.

Growing up on the metal of the 80's and 90's, I always gravitated to the coined "Glam Metal." Mainly, because I was at a point in my life, that there was always a weekend party somewhere and there was booze and girls! And be it Whitesnake, Poison or Crue, you were always making out to one of their songs. Whether it was In The Still of The Night, Every Rose Has Its Thorns, Home Sweet Home or Without You, someone was getting lucky while others were standing around drinking and making asses of themselves.

There are memories we wish to forget and those that we will always carry with us. And it's those memories of the sounds of sex, drugs and rock n' roll that will stay with me forever. Be it getting turned down (which happened a lot), or the times that I was making out with a girl in a corner somewhere. There was always a Crue song to be heard via radio or CD. The "first time" came in the ways of Shout At The Devil! That's what you call irony.

So Sunday night, along with a really good friend and his wife, I stood there watching them perform the last show I would see of them. I sang along with all the songs, probably better than Vince did. Every song they played, with the exception of a few newer ones, brought me back to when I was younger. Every song had a special memory. A special or not so special someone.  At first, I was just enjoying the show. I was seeing true legends of the rock world yet once again.

It wasn't until their encore of Home Sweet Home, that it hit me. It was really over. The mini stage in the center of the crowd, the blue lights, the piano. I knew right then and there, that a part of my life was coming to an end. And all I have left are the memories of a kid looking up to a bunch of long haired freaks living a life of bright lights and debauchery. The memories of being sad and alone, listening to the Crue for a pick up. And memories of just plain old fashioned good times, And as I stood there, a tear did escape. And as Vince said goodnight, it rolled down my cheek, a smile escaped my lips and my stomach fluttered.

The saying goes, "If it's too loud, you're too old." It wasn't loud enough! But more importantly I think, comes the adage of, "You're only as old as you feel." I try to always feel young. Sometimes my mind says i'm still young but the body says otherwise. And Sunday night, I think it also added to the feeling that I wasn't that young kid anymore. I guess, as long as I keep going and keep thinking, I will always be young. And never too old to rock!

So, I just want to say thanks to Nikki, Tommy, Vince and Mick for 31 years of mother fuckin', ass kickn', ear splittin', lascivious music.

Come to think about it, out of all of the bands of that era, the Crue are truly the Saints of Los Angeles.

Just take this song, and you'll never feel left all alone.......


August 17, 2014

25 Years Ago This Weekend

It's hard to believe, that 25 years ago this weekend was the Moscow Music Peace Festival. Actually 8/12-8/13. Those of you from Generation X understand the meaning of what took place. Not just in the music world, but in the world in general. It was shortly after, that the Berlin Wall fell and a sordid history was reformed. Some days it feels like only yesterday and some days it feels like a life time ago.

Twenty five years ago, the music scene took foot hold in the USSR's largest venue, Luzhniki StadiumAmong massive turmoil going on, the music world stepped forward with the help of the of the Make A Difference Foundation and rocked to the would be crowd of some 100,000 plus fans. I remember watching on MTV (when it actually stood for music), and wishing I could have been in attendance.

The bands that played were, Cinderella, Gorky Park (good band too), Nuance, Brigada-S, Scorpions, Skid Row, Bon Jovi, Ozzy and Motley Crue.

Tonight, I get to go see a band that I grew up on, that is calling it quits. One who played the legendary festival and one who personified the whole sex, drugs and rock n' roll attitude. Motley Crue. The last performance I saw live was the Dr Feelgood tour, over 20 years ago.

Some days, it's funny to look back at the past and see where we came from. The trial and tribulations of the world. Then to see what is going on now. One has to feel that in part, sometimes it feels, as if the world has gotten worse rather than better. Maybe it's time for another form of the Moscow festival? Something to being the people of the world together.


June 21, 2014

Drumming to Boredom

It's been awhile since I've posted anything. A lot that I've wanted to write, just haven't gotten around to doing it. SO much going on right now. Depression of sorts has set in. Job search is miserable. You know the drill. But this isn't about that. It's about being bored.

For sometime now, I've been wanting to get another drum kit. What some people don't know about me is, I'm kind of an all around musician. Mediocre at best. But none the less. Growing up, I played the guitar and drums. When I got to college, I started playing with the keyboard. Dabbled with the bass, trumpet and flute.

Though, throughout high school, I mainly played guitar in the bands I was in. I was never really that good. I took the role of rhythm guitarist. Even back then, I couldn't get my fingers to move as fast as most to play lead.  Even with all of the hours of practice, they wouldn't co-operate.

Once I bought my drum set, I knew I had something that fit me like a glove. Besides, growing up, I was always drumming to music instead of playing air guitar.  It was a $400 5 piece set, bought at the same music store I bought everything else. So the owner gave me a deal. First song I learned was You Give Love A Bad Name...

It only took me a few hours to pick it up and I was happy. Then I started branching into other music. Though Hard Rock and Metal were my first choice of music, even back then, I listened to everything. So I broke out some of my moms cassette tapes and started learning some of the classic 50's and 60's like Woloy Bully, Louie Louie, That'll Be The Day and many more. Even took to some country at the time like Randy Travis, Travis Tritt and more.

Though my mom would sometimes complain about me playing so loud, she actually enjoyed it. Not long after all of this, a cousin of mine sold me his drum set. Another 5 piece set. So I combined the two to make a 9 piece set. Double bass, four rack toms, two floor toms and the snare. Two crash cymbals and two different side ride cymbals rounded out what would be my stress reliever and love for the next few years. Until college.

Now that I had the double bass, some friends and I started some weekend jam sessions, that eventually turned into the band Xonthodus, which you may have seen in some of my mock album cover art. We played everything from Metallica, Anthrax, Iron Maiden and Megadeth to a lot of our own stuff. Thing is, we never played clubs or dances. We just jammed and wrote and played because we liked to. I switched from playing guitar to playing the drums. And things took off. None of us really wanted to be mega superstar musicians. Though we always like to pretend we were out favorite artists, it was all fun and games.

Anyway, When I went off to college, I took my guitar, amp and drum set with me. After all, I was going to school for Music and Video Business. And I got to spend A LOT of time in the sound studio.

I would have the occasional jam session in my apartment, which sometimes the neighbors bitched. But it was all good. Class mates would come over and we would play for a few hours. One of my roommates was a DJ. So a friend brought over an extra small amp and we started mixing hip hop with metal in jam sessions. Some amazing work came out of those days. Sadly, we had no recording stuff in the apartment so it was as it was.

Fast forward to a semester off. After earning a little money during that time away from school, I got a call that morning I was to head back to school. They told me, I had to pay "X" amount of money before I could start class again. After the ensuing argument about the loans, etc, I called the music shop where i bought the drum set from originally. After about a 30 minute call with the owner, I took the original set I bought over and he gave me the full $400 back.

As my mom and I walked into our house after this, I just caught the phone. The lady on the other end of the phone was from the school. It seemed they made a mistake and I in fact did not owe any extra money. The look on my moms face when I went off on that lady. My vocabulary was that of a well seasoned sailor. And I'm honestly surprised they let me come back after that phone call.

It wasn't the fact that I just sold half my drum kit. But prior to leaving school for the semester, I had a conversation with a representative from Mercury Records. A very good friend, and soon to be roommate were being very creative in the sound studio one weekend during graduation for previous groups. The rep who had picked up talent before from the school was standing in the studio booth while my friend and I were in the studio itself using the schools drum set, keyboard, my guitar and a portable 16 track recorder.

We did not know anyone was in the main room, as we left the lights in there off. He had been watching us apparently for about an hour. It wasn't until my friend went in to get something, I forget what it was, that the rep came into the studio with us.  He stated he was impressed with what we were doing.  To us, we were just messing around. The sound was more along the lines of Danzig meets NIN, with a lot of strings in the background for a heavy melodic gothic sound.

After about a 30 minute discussion and some input and re-recording of  a few sections, he had offered us an opportunity for what he called a developmental contract. Basically it was to record a few songs that he could pitch as filler music in clubs. The amount wasn't a lot, but as college kids, you're always broke as hell. We had never heard of anything like this, especially since our teachers had worked in the music industry for years. And our one teacher was the current manager of the band Rusted Root, which he eventual sold the contract to Mercury Records.

According to the rep, there was a thing that Mercury had with some of it's artist. When they played gig's or events, sometimes they would take other label artists and play their music between sets, prior to the show or after the show. And he thought that the two of us were doing something amazing.

However, with me taking the upcoming semester off, we did not want to agree to anything until I came back. Much less sign anything. And I am soooo glad we did that.

Seeing how I had sold the drum kit, It really left me with a hole in my heart. When I got back to school, my friend and new roommate showed up the next day, I had told him what had happened. He was a little pissed. Not because of what we we're going to loose out on. But because of the mistake by the school.

It was that time, that I lost my love of playing music. Shortly after, I ended up selling off my amp stack, both my guitars, my effects and the other half of the drum kit. I just couldn't play anymore.

Fast forward to now. I so want another kit. I find myself everyday, drumming the beats to all my music. I want the feel of pounding the skins again. The feel of loosing myself in fluid movement. The escape of the everyday stress.

But no money, no space, ugh!!!! Was looking at electronic kits. But those seems to be more expensive than an analog kit. But in the end, one day, I am hoping to once again own a 9-10 piece Pearl White drum kit with full rack.


March 23, 2014

Affordable Healthcare My Ass

This is why I am skipping the new government health plan. Money!!! Though I need to go the doctors and the dentist, I have no insurance at the moment. However, with an infected tooth, I need to do something. So I decided to have a look at the govt health plans.

First, None of them include adult dental. Only 19, based on my income, which is nothing at the moment, and less than about $20,000 for the year, include child dental. And you have to confirm your health plan BEFORE you can see the dental choices.

So I went through, filled out all the information they wanted as accurate as possible, then I compared the two cheapest plans. The Bronze and the Silver. (See attached images)

First, that's a lot more per month than what I was paying for when I was working full time and for less coverage.  Second, the amount of of the deductibles is too damn high. Especially for one person. And a person who goes to the doctors about three times a year for check ups. So, that being that case, I pay more out of pocket with these plans than i did previously. And since the deductibles are so high, i'm better off not having the insurance and paying the same price for visits anyway. It will save me upwards $275 a month that can go on other bills. 

Each of these "cheapest" plans come out to more than $1,000 more a year than what I had, have a massively higher deductible, with an even more gouge cutting Out of Pocket maximum.

The only upside to each one of these is, they both have my stomach meds, which I have been with out for almost two months now, on their included list. Currently, with just the Pharmaceutical paying for a portion of the cost, it's still $118 out of pocket each month. So right now, I have to double and in some cases triple a days dosage of OTC, which only cost about $48 a month.And it will last me a full month, maybe an extra week.

They give you the option of doing finer filtering on the available plans. However, There are none readily available to lower the cost for me.

And this was supposed to be affordable? IF it is, then they've hidden all the little things that can make it affordable and I can't find them. OR it's only affordable to those making upwards of $40k+ a year.

If I was getting 40 hours a week and making what I was making to get me to the $30,000 a year mark, then this would be viable. But it's not. So I guess I go without. It also looks like I will be paying a penalty. Unless I can land a new job that actually pays me. 


February 27, 2014

Forget the KY, I like it rough!

So, I went back to H&R Block to finish up my taxes. I had to drop off my papers from my stock account last week. Due to the fact that I was on unemployment for a few months last year and had to close out my 401k so I could get bills paid, also the fact I have stocks (though i'm no where close to being rich), I figured I would have to pay in more than I was going to have to prior.

However, the lady was able to go through everything and find me a loss of $300. So in actuality, i'm getting a refund of $39!!!!!! But i owe H&R Block $214 for doing my taxes. Only reason it's so high this year, compared to the hundred something the last five years, is they had to go through all the stocks and unemployment.

So I asked the lady, should I have been able to at least claim the bitches two kids, since they've lived with us for almost a year again. She said yes. And I should be able to claim the bitch as well. HOWEVER, and i know she did this on purpose, the bitch had her father claim the kids. Which is illegal on all grounds, unless they are living with him and he is providing for them 50% of the year. But since they only go over maybe one weekend a month for a few days, that hardly counts. She knew she was not getting any of that money back out of me.

With all the money we spend on utilities, gas, and everything else, it doesn't even compare to what she buys in food in this house. Not to mention the fact she doesn't even pay her own damn phone bill.

So after some minor calculations, with out redoing all the tax forms, I would have gotten back close to $3-4 thousand.

And being as typically predictable as she is, when she was told this, she came up with an excuse that me paying them so much to do my taxes wasn't right. That SHE would have told them to fuck off. Not one word of, i'm sorry, or let me talk to my dad and see if i can get some of the tax money.

Nope, completely ignored it on all levels.  Then proceeded to go back on FB where she spends about 97% of her waking time on. The bitch has no sense of responsibility. No sense of commitment other than to Facebook. No priorities, nothing.

There's a difference between helping when someone needs it and supporting someone who is just down right fucking lazy.

Told, well didn't tell, more or less blurted it out to my fiance, that I'm not married to the bitch, her kids are not my kids. I am not supporting them. And when her other kid comes along in the next few weeks, she can get the fuck out. I don't care where she goes or how she gets there. I'm done.

She can go to a shelter or a cardboard box. She let her dad claim the kids, she can go live with him for all I care. She's better off, giving this baby up for an adoption. She is so self centered and egotistical it's not funny. I feel real sorry for this baby. Instead of being helped to strive for the best she can be, she will be taught it's okay to live of others, that other people will support you. That you really don't have to be responsible. That it's okay not to have goals and priorities.

I maybe sounding mean or inconsiderate, but guess what. I DON'T CARE anymore.

I was always called lazy growing up. But I could never hold a candle to this bitch. I've always tried to be nice. Socialize, say nice things, keep my true feelings hidden. But god damn. How much ignorance can one take?

I've never despised anyone as much as I do her. Even the people that used to beat on me all the time and harass me all the time growing up. I don't even do Google Hangouts as much as I would like on occasion. As her loud fucking mouth can be heard two rooms away over my mic. And she isn't that eloquent with her language.

So in the end, I made a hair over $23,000 this past year because of loosing my job. Closed out my 401k, which gave me an extra $3,000 for a few months. And yet I am still getting robbed.

And voicing my opinions in this house are fruitless. As they are ignored anyway.

Here's the spiked club. Forget the KY, I like it rough!


February 22, 2014

No Repsect

I always try and respect people. Give them respect, get respect. But there are times, that one does not deserve my respect.

So I spent all year busting my ass helping to support 5 people. Only one of those people is my equal half. The others, FREE LOADERS. And it will soon be six, as the niece will have her kid anytime now.

So I spent all year working, lost my job in September and have to pay in on my taxes. Even when I made $23k, I pay in. So the niece, who sat on her ass, mooched and everything else, not to mention got knocked up by a guy who not only stole from her kids, but OD'd on the synthetic shit, twice, get's a shit load of money back.

So she turns over $400 to us. She just got home from her baby shower and find out she bought her kids new tablets from Best Buy. Bitch doesn't even have her license or a car. So why is this money not going there? Why did we get $400 when a years worth of electricity, water, garbage, gas, car trips add's up to well over $400. Not to mention all the other monies spent for various things beyond the occasional situation.

My words keep falling on deaf ears. I understand you want to buy yourself something when you get your tax returns. We all do. But most of us also use it to pay bills.

So yet again, I get shafted like a lot of others and the lazy fucks in this world get to slide by.
Can you hear the violins playing your song bitch?


February 16, 2014

The Written Word

Poetry has always fascinated me. Be it simple on line rhymes, or epics on a grand scale. I even put out a small poetry book, which a new one will be out soon.

I really don't have a favorite poet, nor have I ever "studied" poetry. I just like it. I do own some books from some famous authors like Yeats and Whitman. But there's stuff from others that I adore just as much.

Though Whitman seems to acquire some degree of taste, I do like a lot of his work. Especially Fields of Grass. But then, most people know of this book and have read it or owned it at one point in their life.

Other than Oh Captain, My Captain, here are a few of his that I really like.

O You Whom I Often and Silently Come 
O you whom I often and silently come where you are that I may be with you, 
 As I walk by your side or sit near, 
or remain in the same room with you, 
 Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is playing within me.

Sometimes with One I Love 
Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse unreturn'd love, 
 But now I think there is no unreturn'd love, 
the pay is certain one way or another, 
 (I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return'd, Yet out of that I have written these songs.)

O Me! O Life! 
O me! O life! of the questions of these recurring, 
Of the endless trains of the faithless, 
of cities fill'd with the foolish, 
Of myself forever reproaching myself, 
(for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) 
Of eyes that vainly crave the light,
of the objects mean, 
of the struggle ever renew'd, 
Of the poor results of all, 
of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me, 
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, 
with the rest me intertwined, 
The question, 
O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life? 

 Answer. That you are here—that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

Only themselves understand themselves and the like of themselves, 
 As souls only understand souls.

Hypocrisy's Queen

Not sure what my deal was tonight. I guess it's the day in and day out of dealing with the loud mouths, yelling, hypocrisy and just plain bullshit. When I cam home tonight from work, the bitches daughter was sitting at the table, nit-picking through a can of tuna she had opened. Hadn't even fully drained it. Just picking this piece and that one. I wasn't even in the house for 10 minutes and she had gotten up and thrown the whole can in the garbage. She hadn't even eating a third of it. So I pulled it out of the garbage and set it on the counter. Not sure who, but someone put it back in while I was outside.

Bad enough, the bitch doesn't make her kids eat well and buys so much junk food, any 3rd world countries kids would die from a sugar explosion with the shit she brings into the house. Yes fruits and veggies are good. But the occasional snack cake or small bag of chips doesn't hurt either. But i'm talking like 9 boxes of snack cakes, 3-4 large bags of chips, 9 different makes of cookies.

So when good food is thrown out like that, it pisses me off. Hell, all they do is eat junk food all the time, that come dinner, they're never hungry. So a lot of food gets thrown out.

So I decided it was still early enough and with enough light, I could get out to the pool and start working on it. Seeing how the last two weeks, it's rained on my days off, I really couldn't do much of anything with it. So I went out and pulled the leaf netting off, added more chemicals and started the process of removing the mass algae that has built up of the last few months of winter.

With the bitch being pregnant, her moaning and groaning has gotten worse. Especially with her due any time. But she is one of the biggest hypocrites I've ever met. And in all honesty, I've never met someone who I have despised so much in my life. And I have had harsh feelings for others in the past.

She always tries to put on a good front, but the way she mouths off about others behind their backs, sticks her nose in others business, or has to make others business her own and about her.... Pure white trash. I would really love it for it to be out of the house. But my say falls on deaf ears most of the time. With the shows like Jerry and Maury on all day, every day, her life would fit in there without scripting. Honest truth.

Anyway, While outside, I heard yelling and screaming coming from inside. I figured she was just yelling at her kids. But still, i was at the back on the lawn which is about 50 feet from the porch door. All doors and windows were closed, yet it sounded like I was standing right next to her. As I approached the porch to grab the remainder of the pool chemicals, here she was sitting in the chair on her phone bitching and screaming to whom ever it was she was talking to. At one point during the next 15 minutes, I walked around to the front of the house and could still hear her. So I know damn well the neighbors could too. Not like she cares anyway.

By time I got done in the lawn with the pool, Vicki had come home. She was sitting at the table when I went in. Here's the bitch still in the chair. But now she's laughing and carrying on about this person and that. Saying, "Oh she's online. Shits going to happen now." All with a childish laugh. It's like this all the time. Fucking drama queen extraordinaire. Someone get this bitch her crown.  I mean, how can one be so ignorant?

I really feel sorry for her new born, and the kid isn't born yet.

I was trying to watch the new season of House of Cards last night on my PC. I had to keep turning up the volume, because she was carrying on and on. I mean Jesus, the house is small enough, you don't need to raise your voice when everyone's 10 feet from you.

I'm very far from perfect or an angel. But at least I try to provide for Vicki and I. But for the last 2 1/2 - 3 years, i've been providing for her and her two kids as well. Now it seems it will be 3 kids. And I ain't even married to the bitch, nor are they my kids! I also try to do the best I can for Vicki and I. But i'm so worn out. I do my best and try to be friendly. I do what I must to bite my tongue. As if I don't people will get hurt. And i'm not one into hurting people.

Shit needs to change and change fast. I'm on my very last thread. And results won't be very pretty. For anyone.


February 14, 2014

What's In A Dream?

We all have them. Good dreams, bad dreams, nightmares and even wet dreams! Yup, I went there. But really, how much of our dreams do we really remember? And why is it, only the bad parts we seem to remember. Or in most cases, tid bits of the bad parts?

Dreams come from all sorts of things, but as a lot of professionals say, mainly stress. Guess that would make me, like a lot of you good candidates for research.

But what about those dreams that seem so realistic, that your body is damaged when you wake up? IE; bruises, scratches, and in some rare cases, blood.

I use to have very lucid dreams as a teenager. Chalk it up to hormones I guess. But as I've gotten older, a lot of those have disappeared. The only time I dream now it seems is when i'm under heavy amounts of stress. And in some cases they are nightmares. Or what should be, but nothing compared to what I had as a young one.

I wake up with headaches all the time. Have switched  through hundreds of pillows, mattresses, etc, but I guess I just sleep in odd positions. And the headaches are normally in my neck to the base of my skull. So where is this going, dreams and headaches?

Last night I had a few dreams that interlocked into one. And in the end, I was hit in the base of the skull with a 2x4 a few times, as I fought off someone who had broken into the house. And when I woke, my neck and head hurt so bad, it felt like any movement would split it in two. There's even a small lump on the neck, just below the base of skull where in my dream, the wooden death object had struck me multiple times.

Professionals would just say, "Oh, you just hit your self." Or  that I had banged my head on the head board. HA! not as easy as they claim it to be. Four Excedrin later, my head doesn't hurt as much, but the soft tender spot is still there. Slowly going away. But my back still aches.

So why am I talking about this? Well, things like this always bring me back to a particular dream I had as a teen. One that scared the hell out of me as well as my mom. I don't recall all of it, but what I do recall was a few people in my house who shouldn't have been there. After a scuffle, one of them had shot me in the back with buck shot. Anyone who has hunted, knows what that is.

When I woke that morning, I could barely move. It was if I had pulled all my back muscles. Since it was summer, I never wore a shirt to bed. I had slept in that morning so my mom was already up. When I went down stairs she freaked and asked me what the hell I did.

Across my entire back were little bruises the size of BB's. Some a little larger. The same size of buck shot. They covered from the top of my shoulder blades down to my waist. I went into the bathroom and looked and sure as shit, my back was reader than some ginger hair!

She thought I might have fallen in the night or something, but there was not one thing in the house that could make those marks. There wasn't even a gun in the house. As my hunting shotgun was always at my uncles house, due to my brother being so little at the time. It took days for those marks to disappear. And a few extra days for the soreness to vanish.

So, are dreams reality in disguise? I mean, I've had bruises after a hellish dream that I couldn't even reach that part of my body unless I was double jointed. But not all dreams are bad. But those, you can't know about. They're private! :)

When I was younger, in all honesty and call my weird, crazy, buts, whatever, I used to look forward to these nightmares. The way I looked at it, they let me know I was alive. Heart pounding when I sat up, cold sweats, the whole nine yards. But those nightmares always seemed to be a figment of fantasy or of my fantasies. But as I've gotten older, what few nightmares I have are all to real. Dealing with things that are too close to heart.  No more what if fantasy types.

A lot of time I would think that the whole Freddy Kruger thing was possible. Being able to bring something from your dreams back into the material world. Guess the only thing I have been able to accomplish so far was bringing back bruises and scratches in weird places.


February 12, 2014


Work has been anything but straight forward this last week. They trained me on more colleges to support, taking my total upwards of 40 schools. And it would be easy if they were all the same. But each school has it's own ways of doing things, which makes some of the stuff a little difficult.

The training really isn't more than sitting in a classroom and going over the documentation for that school. Then last night, they told me, I was trained in the wrong schools and started training me in other schools. So essentially in the end, I have been trained on about 100 different schools, as well as internal help support.

I don't mind, but the thought of messing up is always on the forefront of my mind when the phone rings. And trying to keep proper pace with each call isn't happening. And it's starting to bug me. They extended my contract through May. Which sucks, because it means they don't want to hire me full time. But keep me around long enough while these schools go through upgrades. Because they will need people to main the phones.

I'm just tried of password resets. I can understand if you were out of school for quite sometime. But the majority are people who just can't remember a simple password that THEY set.

On top of that, shit with unemployment and my last employer has been blowing up the last few days. And tomorrow I have the first of 3 final exams for my certifications. Which i'm nervous as hell. I've never been one to fair well at tests. Ever. Doesn't mean I don't know the material. But there's always been something about tests. I think it's the way the questions are worded. As my reading comprehension was always off.

All i know is, my mind is like a full box of scrambled eggs. I don't know if im coming or going.

February 11, 2014

Forget Dr Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Tonight, I'm more like Bruce Banner and the Hulk. And the hulk has seemed to start his transformation. What started out as a bad day at work, got a hell of a lot worse when I got home.

So now, months after I got off unemployment, and Centurylink, the company I used to work for tried to appeal it on the first round failed. They are now appealing it again.

So let me explain this situation.  You get what they call an occurrence if you call of of work, if you're scheduled, regardless of the issue. You get one, if you late more than a total of 5 minutes through out the day from being late to work, back from break, lunch etc. Regardless of what the issue was that made you late.

You're allowed 6 of these in one calender year, which used to be 6 every six months, then you get terminated.

Since the buy out of Embarq, which was the company, prior to Centurylink, things were good. Then they started to implement a lot of little changes and it was at that time, some of the best personnel ended up leaving or being let go.

So what happened to me? Well, the stress started to really get to me toward the middle of 2012 and I had been with the company since the start of '07. So much so, I had a mental breakdown in May that year. A breakdown in which I really hurt the one person I call my best friend. I've been through a lot of shit growing up, but this just got the better of me. At that time, I started to develop a small medical issue. I ended up going to the Dr's for FMLA. It wasn't for me to take time off of work or leave early. But to give me a little extra time when i needed to use the bathroom.

First time around, they denied my paper work. Saying it wasn't filled out correctly. So after a half hour or so on the phone with HR, i got all the information needed to have the Dr redo the paperwork. So i stopped in and told him what they had said, as I had it written down. He made the changes per their request, and they denied it again. Now i'm getting a little pissed. So I call again, and ask what's wrong this time. They say this and this need to be changed. I get clarification that, that is all that need to be changed. Dr fills it out yet again, denied. SO now i'm fuming. Getting to the point of saying fuck it.

At my managers request, we try one more time. So I call HR back, and spend a good hour on the phone. I go line by line of the paperwork asking what they want. What he needs to say. And i read back each answer. At the end of the call, i clarify that is it, nothing more? I was told yes. Yet again, he makes their changes and it's denied. By this time, he's pissed off too.

A little time goes by and I'm asked to try one last time to get the paper work submitted, because the medical issue is hurting my record. So I call the Dr and ask him to submit it one last time. He makes no changes on the paperwork and viola, they accept it. Makes absolutely no sense what so ever.

After being advised that it was accepted, I was told, these occurrences garnered due to this issue would be removed. They never were. I went about my daily business of working.

Now, some of these were related to other things as well, not just the medical condition. I left work one evening early when I got a call from the EMT's, telling me my GF had been involved in a  hit and run and they were on their way to the hospital. Because I was scheduled to work til a certain time, I got an occurrence for that. One came from me shattering a tooth during lunch break. Literally, shattered. Blood everywhere, pin like you wouldn't believe. I have a high tolerance for pain, my dentist will vouch for that. However, this pain was so bad, plus my mouth had swollen, I left a few hours early. Got an occurrence for that. I was able to get into the dentist the next day for an emergency extraction, so I had to call off. Now mind you, I don't take vacations, so I have all this so called sick time saved up. But again, 4 shots of Novocaine, cutting into my gum line to extract that tooth, occurrence! No way, was I in any shape to talk on the phone for 8-9 hours after that.

I remember one occurrence i received the day my GF mother, who we lived with at the time to take care of her, has a stroke at 8am. I was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital with her and called off. Occurrence!

I only lived 15 minutes from work, yet I would leave the house a minimum of 45 minutes in case I ran into traffic. One day, there was a massive accident on the main highway in front of my house. They were routing all traffic through different neighborhoods. I called in and said I was running late because of this. Didn't call off, but was late by 16 minutes, occurrence.

There were a few others that happened, to where I had no control. Like witnessing an accident in front of me on the road,coming back from lunch. Stopping to make sure people were okay. And even getting hit in a parking lot, while my car was parked and off.

But in the end, a majority, 80% of them, had come from my medical issue. So, they put me on a final written warning which I signed. When they accepted the FMLA paperwork, they didn't go by what the Dr had put, but instead gave me four leeway's a month.  So essentially screwing me over. But i did not find this out, until later in the year.

I wasn't one to milk this. IF the issue came up, i dealt with it. I even worked overtime when they asked and in some cases volunteered. If I was trying to milk it, I would have done any of that.

SO fast forward to today. Centurylink now wants to fight my unemployment. I got a fed ex envelope today, stating i had a phone interview TODAY that I could not miss. Nice of them to give me fair warning but whats expected from a company that treats their customers and employees like shit and caters only to their share holders.

I've gone over the paperwork a few times, and it's doctored up.  They have dates on there that don't coincide, they have someone as my manager that was never my manager listed. So because I missed this phone interview, I may loose that unemployment and have to pay it back.

SO I need to see where this goes. I'm a very mellow person. But when you back me into a corner, the stinger comes out and people will get hurt. People have this thing of under estimating me. If you read astrology, even if you don't believe in it, I am a scorpion true to heart, in all sense of the terms.

This company not only got my stress levels to the point of anxiety attacks, but they turned into panic attacks. Something I've never had before. At one point, my actual manager had to take me to the hospital from work. They drugged me up and sent me home about 4 hours later. I was so drugged out, the next morning, i didn't even know who i was. Ended up calling off because i was in no shape to drive. Oh snap, an occurrence!

I'm so glad to be out of that company. I feel really sorry for their customers, as I know how they treat them. I feel sorry for those who work there, because they don't care. Plain and simple. I've seen it all.

All of this has gotten so far under my skin, I want to run away. I want as far away as possible. No kids, so very few if any would probably miss me for a short period of time then get over it.

I'm struggling to better myself and make life just a tad bit easier. And i'm going backwards, faster than I can go forward. I'm tired of living as a puppet. And every time I break a string or two, three more get reattached.

Everyone says, keep fighting. One can only fight so much before they're exhausted and can't go on.


February 3, 2014

Anxiety and Me

I've been so frustrated as of late. I've had 3 weeks of classes, followed by work. Making a normal day into roughly a 17 hour day. As soon as I would get home, I would study for a few hours. Try for about four hours of sleep then start all over.

Now, i'm done with classes for a bit, but I have three exams I have to pass. Each exam requires for 90% or better practice exams before I can take the final for each class. Easy right? I've been doing this for the better part of 15 years. WRONG! I keep failing these practice exams miserably.

So where am I going wrong? Well, it's the little technicalities they want. For example, when building a new PC or server, one looks at the manual or the board specifications to see what is and isn't compatible. The exams want to know the tiny details of the hardware. I've never counted pins and numbers. I just looked at the manual. I've built so many of these, I can do it with my eyes closed. And i've only had an issue once in 15 years.

I don't know the speed of lengths of cable at 300 meters. I just know you're not taking a USB cable 300 meters but you can a fiber cable and an ethernet cable. Like i know most motherboards are a form of the ATX standard and have been for decades. But who cares about the damn size in inches? Either it will fit the case or it won't. That's why you do your homework first.

Finally last night, I got a few passing grades on a couple exams and emailed them in. I need a few more for that test. But then I need to do the other two exam practice tests as well. It's things I do every day but don't know the technical NASA details. And it's getting the better of me. Even the teacher said the practice exams cover more than what the real ones do. As the real tests only give questions on current stuff. Where as the practice exams cover everything that's been out since the dawn of man kind.

And I've been so stressed out, I left work early yesterday. I honestly thought I was done at 6, but I was supposed to be done at 6:30. Doesn't help they changed my schedule and the new hours just started. After taking the exams and passing last night, laying in bed, an anxiety attack hit me. I just zoned everything out and breathed. Took about 20 minutes, but I was finally able to calm down.

All i know is, I need these certifications. Because I've had my fill of help desk. It's morally demeaning. I like to help people, but there is a line and that line is cracking.

So for the remainder of this week, after work, I will be hitting the books still and taking these practice exams so I can get the real ones out of the way. And the messed up part about all of this, these are the easy exams. The hard ones are yet to come. But then again, most easy things I have difficulty with and the hard stuff usually makes sense to me.


January 27, 2014

Tongue Biting 101

So last night, I took the nieces little one to the Monster Jam. He likes monster trucks. So do I. Loud powerful machines, destruction, typical mans world. But we left just as they started, because he wanted to come home. So it was nothing more than a waste of money. Not to mention the $30 spent on trinkets. So in the end, it's too much to have to spend to pay off the credit card.

Then she is all boo fucking hoo, because the crack head of an ex boyfriend left her. AGAIN! She's been moping around, posting things on FB. Who fucking cares. Yeah, she is carrying his child. However, she needs to start to think. But I honestly think that's too difficult for her.

Not only did the guy steal from her two kids, and pawn the stuff for drug money. But he overdosed twice last year on that synthetic shit. But in the end, it's her mouth and her attitude that keeps her from finding good men. She keeps digging for the bottom of the barrel.

Tonight at the dinner table, I almost opened my mouth. But I didn't. Why, I don't know. I guess it's to keep me from really hurting people. The amount of shit that will come out, someones gonna have a stroke. Most likely me. Especially since i'm not taking my meds anymore because i have no insurance.

But I run the scenarios over and over in my head. It's more like a fail safe mechanism for me. Keeps me from actually saying things. I'm not one to hurt people. But damn. So tonight, i just got up away from the table and went back to the front room.

But, one of these days. I don't care who hears what, who thinks what. Who says what. Words will roll like a flooded river.

All Aboard...

So the first two weeks of my classes are down and the third week starts tomorrow. Like my previous post, these certifications have escaped me for years. Mainly due to lack of money. My classes started out with my A+ 1 and 2 and this week, I go into Network+.

After these, I have a few weeks off, then I start my Server 2008 and my Security+. My professor had a former student email him last week. She hadn't been out of classes that long, updated her resume with her Security+ and landed a job with in a few days. Something I am hoping to do.

I know I won't start on anything but the bottom floor. But I am tired of having to talk to the public and resetting passwords all the time. Plus the fact, in my current position, I speak with a lot of faculty and staff at colleges and I have to wonder what one has to do to become a college professor. As some of these people are no more intelligent than the people they are teaching.

I know not everyone is technically savvy. Hell, i'm still considered bottom of the run. However, I have a little bit more common sense than most of these people. Yeah, it could be considered job security. But the more I talk to these people, the less and less my faith in humanity survives. Plus the fact, I'm a hands on person. I like to find the needle in the haystack. No needles found here, unless I want to make a game of it and find the most ignorant persona I can.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to these classes, despite the fact, I have to leave early by about 4 hours, just to make it to work. Then work til very late. In the end, I get about 4 hours sleep a night. Five if i'm lucky. But i'm looking at the end and looking for a better job. I keep getting told, that I over analyze things too much. Things should be simple, especially in this job. So I guess, resetting passwords is too easy for me and I really need to be doing something  more technical.

So here's to long forgotten knowledge and the train to a better life!

January 12, 2014

New Year, New Start

For the better part close to 15 years, I've been busy in the technology industry. Be it setting up small networks for homes or small businesses, to computer repair and server set up. I've taught everything to myself with the help of people I've met along the way in forums and on places like G+.

Out of all these years, I've never had the money to get certifications or go to schooling. Bad enough, I'm still paying on a years old student loan due to taxes and interest, no way I could get back to school.

However, since my being unemployed for the better part of the last few months, I qualified due to my skill sets, to go to school to get my certifications. Even the basics like A+ and Network+ have escaped me because I've never had the extra cash to take them. Yet I could pass any of the practice exams given to me.

For the past 5 years, I've wanted to get into Cyber Security. Mainly because I've always had a thing for it. Though I haven't actively hacked anything other than my lawn mower or stuff in the house in since about 2003, it's never escaped me. I just haven't stayed as current as I should have.

With all the stuff going on in the world of the internet, major businesses getting hacked and loosing customer information, the whole NSA thing, it's time I move forward. I finally have a chance for something that has eluded me. And I will make the most of it. I know I won't be as technically savvy as someone like Snowden, or even members of Anon. That's not where I want to go. I would like to concentrate on small business security. Even contract out to colleges, etc.

So, I start classes tomorrow. Talking with my counselor, we're starting at the beginning. A+ and Network+ first to get it on my resume. Followed up by Server 2013 and Active Directory. Then comes the Network and Security fundamentals. When i'm done, I will be a certified Network Security Engineer with Ethical Hacking certifications.

It's time for the next move in my career. I'm really tired of talking to everyday people, no offense to any of you, on the phone because they don't know their wireless password, don't know how to turn their PC off, etc.  I like teaching and educating people. But that stuff, you should already know or understand when you get your first computer. But sadly, it's a lot form of common sense.

This way, regardless of what job I get, I can put my tinker mind to work. I love breaking things and fixing them. Teaching people best practices, etc. Plus it will be a major jump in yearly pay. And to be honest, i'm past being tired working for everyone else who doesn't utilize my skills and talents for problem solving and analytics, only to get enough money to stay on the border of poverty and hardship.

It's time to get drunk and be somebody!


January 10, 2014

Calming Period

I sit n the parking lot at work for a bit before going in.  I usually arrive early so I can "zone"  in and get rid of the anger of the trip.

People just Piss me off while they drive.  The worst,  is waiting until the very last second to go from the far left lane to the right turn lane,  close enough to cause a pile up.  Or people who leave 3 to 4 car lengths between them and the car in front while sitting at a red light.

I mean seriously,  if someone is going to ass end you,  your going to feel it anyway. 

What's worse is people who do 10 miles under the posted speed limit.  It's not like they're tourist.  For Christ sakes,  if you're afraid to drive get off the road.

Had to flow three different people who wouldn't go over 35 in a posted 50. WTH??????


January 9, 2014

To Do Or Not To Do

So, after a few months off of work, I landed a 2 month contract job at a company that does basic support for colleges. Roughly about 160 schools world wide. Groups were formed so each groups covers anywhere from 10-15 schools.

It was a two week training period then on the phones. One one hand, it's easy, but on the other it's a little difficult. Being able to quickly locate the information needed among a few pages of documentation. Making sure you follow that particular schools procedures.

It's always best effort, always is. Yesterday though, it seemed like a bad day. They want 7 1/2 min avg of calls for the day. Whether you take 10 calls or 40 calls. But yesterday, every 10 minutes, someone was over there, "You  need help?" "You okay?" It made me feel like I couldn't handle the job. A job I've been doing for the better part of 10 years.

Slow PC's, slow network connections, slow people. It was all adding up. But it seemed they were getting annoyed that I had some longer than normal calls. But when troubleshooting a PC, it's not a snap of the finger. When someone can't type correctly, it's not a wave of a magic wand.

I was getting frustrated to the point of getting angry. If I needed help because I couldn't locate something that I needed, then yes, I would ask for help. But when you come over and you hear me asking or telling the customer what they need to do, or where to go, don't assume.

One of my last calls last night, was a student who was having major issues with the Black Board site of the school. getting java and Media Player plugin errors. There was nothing really to do, other than troubleshoot the PC. Started out by clearing the caches in both her IE and Firefox. Still having issues. Uninstalling Java and reinstalling, same issue. Tried Chrome, though not supported by the school, same issue. Had a second PC, tried that. Took a few minutes for it to boot up. Same issue. Contacted a lead to see if there was a possible issue starting. Explained why. They said no. The Java on the second PC was out of date. uninstalled and installed the new version. Same issue.

Lead came over a few times during this 45 min call. Wanting to know if I was okay. Each time, I told him what the issue was and where we were in the TS process. He seemed a little agitated because now the numbers were way off. He advised me to power cycle the students modem. If the ISP made changes, it could have an effect. So I did. Same issue on both PC's.

Asked the student when the issue started, she replied earlier that day. last option was a system restore. Knowing that can take anywhere from 15 min to an hour, depending on the PC, i walked her through getting it started and let her go. Advised her that, if it was still happening, to get in contact with other students in her online class and see if they are having the same issue. if so, then it's an issue with the Black Board software. If not, it's definitely on her PC or network. To have it looked at.

I come into this job with a technical background. High customer service skills. I'm averaging about 14 minutes a call. It doesn't help when you get long calls like this either. I know, after the two months is up, I doubt they will keep me on as a regular full time employee, much less a contractor.

Doing what I do best, I try to get what they want. Just sometimes, things are out of our control. And making me feel like I can't do the job, doesn't help one bit.


Metal Covers

Per my last post, I grew up with posters covering every inch of my walls and ceiling from metal music magazines. Each section of a wall was dedicated to a band or solo act. Even had a curtain at one time covering my window in the bedroom made up of posters, all taken from the magazines.

Here, from what I can remember and doing a little research, are my top ten favorite covers. Some were back issue's i ordered, some were current issue. The coves were taken off and put into a folder for keeping. It's been a long time, and I no longer have these. But they were at my moms house some time ago in my art portfolio box.

In no particular order:


The Prince, The Godfather

Every since I was young, and really got into music, Black Sabbath and Ozzy had always topped my list. I spent years, listening to Ozzy's music, lyrically and musically. To this day, he is on top of my music list, despite all of the wonderful artist out there.

Over the course of 20 years however, I've never been able to catch him in concert. When i had ticket in hand, he would cancel shows for various reasons and never reschedule. When I could not afford to go, he always played. Even as recent as the new Black Sabbath album, he played Tampa, but due to money constraints, I could not attend. So i knew, I was cursed, to never see my idol live. I can deal with that. As over the many decades, his music has always lifted me when I've been down. Taken me to new places with each new album.

Over the course of many decades, I've bought every album he had. Even at times, ordered the "bootlegs" from magazines such as Circus and Hit Parader. To this day, I own every US released album. Most of the one off albums over the years disappeared, either to moving too much or people doing a five finger discount.

But, I would would like to list my top ten albums. Taking a look at his career, each album is listened to for both lyrics and music. You may disagree with my list, that's fine. This is my list.

9. No More Tears
8. Down To Earth
6.Black Rain
4. Blizzard of Ozz
3.No Rest For The Wicked
2.Ultimate Sin
1. Diary of A Madman

People have always asked, why I rank the Tribute album so low on the list. Main reason is, Diary is always number one and Blizzard makes the top 5. Where Randy is in my top 5 for guitarist, his two best albums, including those of Quiet Riot fame, are always in the top 5. And the Tribute album is a live recording of the songs already.

Anyway, from Randy to Brad, to Jake, all the way through Zakk and Jerry and Joe and now Gus, the music of Ozzy has been a part of my everyday life.

Up next, My top ten favorite Metal Magazine covers!



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