What The Hell Happened To...Brandon?

Posted by Brandon |

I had big plans for this "What The Hell Happened To..." week, but they were derailed by a power surge and the fact that I have to get up in five hours to catch a plane to Seattle for the weekend. I'm going home to visit the family for the first time since July, which by my mom's standards is way, way, way too long.

Unfortunately my parents still have the only remaining dial-up connection known to man so blogging will be sporadic at best, probably non-existent. The good news is that I will probably come home with a gently used laptop that I can lug around and take advantage of all the free wi-fi spots that have popped up around where I work.

I also will probably return home with my original Nintendo and Super Nintendos and all the games that I once loved. I'm really looking forward to coming home from work next week and playing me some Tecmo Bowl.

Anyway, here's to good Seattle restaurants and hopefully some gloomy ass, rainy days. Cheers and have a great weekend!


What The Hell Happened To...Last Night's Post?

Posted by Brandon |

Last night I was busy working away on three different posts, one for Down With Pants!, one for ETA VTA and one for The Sports Logo Pundit. This is pretty typical for me, I usually start a post and then drift off and work on a post for the other blog and go back and forth as things come to me. Unfortunately, I rarely save or backup my work and until last night, it has never been a problem.

But at about 11:30, with all three posts more than 2/3 done, there was a massive power surge that knocked out my computer, my DSL line and my TV and made the lights in the house go crazy bright. It scared the shit out of me because it reminded me of what our landlord described could happen with all of the old, ungrounded wiring that runs through our apartment and I thought that everything was going to be completely fucked.

And the reason for this power surge? A god damned drunk driver. Some jackass crashed his car into a pole knocking power out to over 2,650 people in the area and caused the surge that temporarily knocked out the power in my apartment. Most everybody had their power back on only hours after the crash, but some were without until noon today and it forced Ventura College to cancel all of their morning classes.

There have been reports of damaged appliances from the surge leading to commenters on the Ventura County Star website to charge that the drunk driver story is a cover up since Southern California Edison isn't responsible for damages caused by a third party. This isn't the first time that we have had power surges or lost power this week and some people think that something fishy is going on. Personally, as much as I like a conspiracy theory, I can't believe that the utility company would go to that great of lengths to not pay damages from a power surge.

Luckily, everything in my apartment came back on within a few minutes and nothing was damaged. The only fucked up thing to come out of it was that I lost all of the work that I had done on my blogs that night. Maybe Southern California Edison is trying to cover up their vicious personal attack on me.


What The Hell Happened To...Your Grandma?

Posted by Brandon |

What the hell happened to your grandma? Or your husband? Or your favorite pet? Or that hot chick from Chotchkie's you've been stalking? Whether your loved one has passed away, is overseas or has taken out a restraining order against your freaky ass, there is a company that can help you easily answer that super nosy question.

LifeGem can create a high quality diamond just for you. They use a complicated process of carbon extraction, diamond presses that "replicate the awesome forces deep within the earth" and high skilled diamond cutters to give you that special, individually crafted keepsake to remember your loved one by.

The only thing that you have to supply is...well...the loved one.

At first the company only had the technology to produce these diamonds "by capturing carbon from existing remains of your loved one's standard cremation". So the diamond was only able to be created after the loved one passed away. LifeGem was missing out on a lot of business this way due to people who wanted standard burials or who wanted these for living loved ones.

But luckily for the stalker, LifeGem put their top scientists on the case and discovered a process that can extract the carbon necessary from a lock of hair meaning that "a LifeGem diamond is now available for anyone choosing cremation or burial...or if you purely want to create a symbol of your precious bond with someone you love."

So, "A diamond that takes millions of years to occur naturally can now be created from the carbon of your loved one in about twenty-four weeks."

Personally, if I die early I want to be stuffed, frozen for eternity with a wagging finger and a scowl on my face and put in the living room to watch over my family, especially if I have daughters. All the men in their life will have to meet me before taking them out. I really want to scare the crap out of some teenage boys but if I die too early to do so, in death I want to make my presence known. But making everybody wear little chunks of me around town wouldn't be too bad of an option either.

And when some insensitive clod asks my family, "what the hell happened to Brandon?" or if someone asks you, "What the hell happened to little Poochie?" you can flash them that special bling that you wear on your finger or in your ears or around your neck or in your grill and reply "they are right here, with me, where they belong, forever."

*Note: LifeGem cannot not be held responsible for people getting all creeped out by your creepy ass jewelry...weirdo*


What The Hell Happened To....RATM?

Posted by Brandon |

Welcome to Down With Pants! first "What The Hell Happened to..." week. Each day this week I'll be asking the question "what the hell happened to..." about a certain topic and I will do my very best to find out or at least blather on a while...

What the hell happened to Rage Against The Machine? Actually, it's a question that I lamented back in November, a lament that apparently didn't fall on deaf ears.

Thankfully and excitingly enough, Zach de la Rocha and Tom Morrello have patched up their relationship enough to reunite Rage Against The Machine and headline The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, April 27-29. Which day Rage is going to play was not announced.

I've never been to Coachella: the desert heat, ridiculously priced tickets and general malaise have kept me far away. But a Rage reunion is nearly enough to motivate me to go this year even though the other headliners include Red Hot Chili Peppers (yawn) and Bjork (huh?). Other bands scheduled to play include Sonic Youth, The Roots, Willie Nelson, The Decemberists and Crowded House (another exciting reunion).

Rage Against The Machine's energy and message is exactly what has been missing from mainstream radio for the nearly seven years that they have been broken up. Even though meat heads and frat boys throughout the land "Raged" whenever they got the chance despite the fact that they were "The Machine", the politics were at least put on the table for everyone to consider. No other band right now, or since, has had such a radical viewpoint reach so many people.

One of the most amazing things about this war is that there has been no strong, truly dissenting voice coming from the arts and music communities. Sure, there have been a lot of calculated songs and announcements, but typically they have reeked of glossy public relations campaigns rather than true dissent or they have come from the fading hippie set that nobody will listen to anymore.

Whether or not this one concert will bring these guys back together to make some serious lefty music again is yet to be seen, but you can't deny the importance of Zach and Tom putting aside their differences to play at least one show together. Hopefully, that energy, combined with everything that is currently going down, will fire these two up again and get them creating that hardcore, politically charged music that they were once known for.

Like I said before, If there was ever a time for Rage Against The Machine, it's now.

UPDATE: The full lineup was released on Monday and Rage is playing on Sunday the 29th. Music snobs everywhere are wetting themselves over this lineup (but are pissed about the RHCP and Rage as headliners) and they should be wetting themselves, it is pretty incredible.


Pick Your Battles

Posted by Brandon |

The Rhode Island chapter of the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against Portsmouth High School because a student was not allowed to use a picture showing him in chain mail and carrying a sword (left) as his high school senior yearbook photo. They are seeking an injunction against the publication of the yearbook if the picture is not used.

The school claims that the picture is in violation of the school's no-tolerance policy towards weapons. The mother of the boy is trying to poke holes in the no-tolerance argument by citing an offer by the school's principal to let her use it in a congratulations advertisement in the yearbook, the fact that school drama groups are allowed to use fake weapons in their plays, and that the school's mascot carries a gun (he's a patriot!).

It's hard to figure out who will come out on top in this case, but either way, the fact that somebody is filing a lawsuit to stop the publication of a yearbook because of this photo is totally and completely ridiculous. I understand that this student really enjoys his time spent with the Society of Creative Anachronism but why in the world does he need to have a sword in his senior portrait? Why can't they just split the difference and use a picture of him without the massive weapon.

I hate to do this because I respect the ACLU and what they do in more important cases and I respect them for how much they make conservatives furious, but I have to blame them for letting this case ever come to this point. This is not a free speech issue. This is not an infringing on somebody's rights issue. The ACLU should never have taken this case. They should have told the student and his mother that they are ridiculous for expecting to get this picture published and that they should just move on. Refer them to a commercial attorney if they insist on pushing it further and be done with it.

It is so frustrating as a liberal that feels strongly about protecting our individual freedoms to see the ACLU, a group that we are going to need the help of in the long run, continue to file frivolous lawsuits when they could easily settle the dispute with a little bit of work. Lawsuits like this and the one that Dave wrote about earlier this year tear down any integrity that they have managed to build and help justify the anti-ACLU fire amongst conservatives.

All I ask of the ACLU is that they pick their battles better. Quit diluting your power and wasting your time by helping a spoiled little brat and his mother bully a school into submission because they want to break a simple, common sense policy.


An Abandoned Post Revisited

Posted by Brandon |

I was looking for something on my blog this evening and I started reading some of the drafts that I have written over the years. Some of them were good ideas that I ran out of time to finish, some of them were ideas that just never came together and some were just abandoned for reasons unknown to me. Here is one of those abandoned posts originally started on July 23rd, 2006...

Clerks II made me think about my life. Have there ever been stranger words written? Oddly enough, it's true. Actually, it was more an interview with Kevin Smith that I heard on NPR that started me thinking, but seeing Clerks II tonight brought it back into my mind.

Smith was asked if he thought that Dante and Randal were kind of sad because of their career choices and he started talking about how for many people their aspirations and their ambitions may seem limited or nonexistent, when in reality, they just differ from what is accepted as being ambitious.

I have been told many times that I'm not driven or ambitious, but that's not completely true. I am lazy, it's true, and I've never really chased my ambitions terribly hard. My career ambitions have been as follows: radio disc jockey, sports broadcaster, minor league baseball executive, pizza place owner, journalist. All of these careers require a massive amount of time and energy to be successful.

After flaming out of minor league baseball a few years ago, I realized that my free time, spending time with my wife and eventually with my children is what's really important to me. My true career ambition is to have a job that doesn't interfere with my private life. Even my current job seems to interfere a bit much for my taste, what with the hour to an hour and a half round trip commute (30 whole miles, what a load!) and the sudden encroachment of corporate regulations since our move to a new facility.

I'm lucky that I have a wife who allows me to have an ambition like this since I don't necessarily have to be the breadwinner in the family. Don't get me wrong, I would like to be the breadwinner, as a guy there is a lot of pressure to be that person even with a doctor in the house. But for now, I can have a job that doesn't make a ton of money. I don't

...And that's where it ends. I'm not sure why I stopped, if I remember right, I stopped because I thought it was too personal. I may also have not been able to figure out how to wrap it all up, that plagues my writing every single day. Or maybe I got pissed off at my neighbor and posted this instead.

Whatever, it's still all so true even if I never finished my thoughts.


Smacked Again

Posted by Brandon |

I finally got a re-review from I Talk 2 Much. I got two smacks on my first review back in July mainly because of my crappy Black Template of Death and the fact that my template just happened to go haywire when they gave me my review. I took the criticism, made some changes and now the joint looks pretty good.

Too bad my content isn't nearly as solid as it once was or else I might have shown some improvement over my first review. Avitable, who I would consider a friend of DWP!, gave me only two smacks this time because of my uninteresting posts and sports related content. It sounds like he sure does hate sports.

Personally, I love sports. Hell, I wanted to work in sports for most of my life. But I've tried to keep sports separate from DWP! as much as possible because I know that most people don't care one bit. I even started a blog about sports logos rather than subjecting DWP! readers to logo reviews. However, sports does seep through but only occasionally. It just so happens that out of the ten current posts on my blog, three are about sports. That truly isn't the norm.

I'll openly admit that the content, including the sports posts, haven't been great lately and the lack of comments is a testament to that. I don't really know why I haven't been interesting lately, sometimes the lack of drama in my life is a hindrance. Stability can be a curse for a writer, but I'm perfectly happy with my stability so I doubt that will change anytime soon.

Another big hindrance has been the firewalls at work. I used to see something online during the day and immediately write a post about it during my break or on lunch. I hoped that my Helio would allow me to post from anywhere at anytime, but blogger doesn't work for shit on mobile phones, so now I end up limiting my posting time to when I'm sleepy and ready for bed after 10 PM.

Whatever...excuses, excuses. I know that this could be a better blog and I want to do a better job and be more interesting. But all things considered, two smacks isn't too bad and everything that Avitable said is true. Especially about me looking "like the missing link between Bigfoot and humans". He couldn't be more right on.

UPDATE: I take the whole not posting about sports thing back. I forgot about the DWP! Fantasy Football League that took up quite a bit of space during football season. I can't blame anybody not playing in the league for not liking that.


A Golden Compliment

Posted by Brandon |

Tonight at the Golden Globes, Hugh Laurie gave a compliment to some of the people that work on his show during his acceptance speech that I think I will start using when dishing out the compliments. He described them as "smelling like fresh mown grass". Isn't that a great thing to say about somebody?

Also, if you want to hear the greatest answer to a long winded, bullshit, I like to hear myself talk, journalist question, watch the first few minutes of Sacha Baron Cohen's backstage press conference. He does elaborate and give him an actual answer, but still, what an awful question.


Ventura 1st....in Fashion

Posted by Brandon |

I realize that lately you've seen a whole lot of me. Whether it's on my new header or I'm giving you a big ole hug, Brandon has been front and center lately. If you are sick of seeing me...tough. I'm so proud of my new basketball jersey, I just have to show off a little bit more.

The Mormon basketball league started tonight and despite the fact that we lost by 20 and I only had eight points, I still had fun because of how damn good we looked. These have to be the most badass jerseys in LDS history. And it's not just the jersey top, no it's also matching shorts complete with number on the leg.

As far as I'm concerned, we could lose every single game this season and still be winners. We are Ventura 1st...all style, no substance!

By the way, in case you were wondering, I am not Mormon, just good friends with them.


The Corner

Posted by Brandon |

When I lived in Bowling Green, Ohio I lived on the corner of Scott Hamilton and Manville Avenues. Seriously. The floor is open for any and all of your snotty comments...


Holy Crap! A Skanky Neighbor Update!

Posted by Brandon |

On my way up the stairs after work tonight, intensely trying to avoid Trixie smoking downstairs, I hear this smoke ravaged, gravely voice say "hi" and "let me ask you something, can you hear my music up there?"

Rather than responding with "what the fuck to you think? Oxnard can hear your music!" like I wanted to, I grunted "yeah, sometimes."

"If it gets too loud, just bang on the floor a few times"


It hasn't been an issue yet tonight, but I think she may be in for a rude awakening when I do start the floor banging. I wonder if her offer applies to her karaoke singing or her yelling at her boyfriends or her loud, nasty sex or her disgusting coughing and snoring.


The BCS is Bogus..Long Live the DWP! Championships

Posted by Brandon |

With Ohio State's awful, putrid and utterly satisfying performance against my Bowling Green State Fighting Falcon's former coach's new team, there is only one undefeated team left in college football - The Boise State Broncos.

Since The People's Republic of Down With Pants! does not recognize the BCS as a valid championship issuing body and it's made for Fox championship game completely bogus, I am proud to announce that the Boise State Broncos have been named DWP! National Champions. There shall be no mention of Florida as champions from this point forward. The Citizens have spoken.

Congratulations Boise State. Enjoy your two minute, crappy photoshopped championship banner!


A Down With Pants! Decree

Posted by Brandon |

Attention Citizens of the People's Republic of Down With Pants! Your President-For-Life, Father of Shorts and King of Culottes, Momar Khadoofy has issued the following decree...

All copies of the album How To Save a Life by The Fray must be destroyed by sundown on Monday. In addition, all digital files of the song "How To Save a Life" must be deleted and your recycle bin emptied, all radio stations are hereby banned from ever playing that song again and all copies of the video must be burned. The Fray have been put on the government's watch list and will subsequently be detained for deprogramming if they ever attempt to set foot into the PRDWP!

As a nation, we must cleanse ourselves of that song so that our whore neighbors will never be able to play it ten times in a row at floor rattling decibels ever again. Citizens, there is but only one way to save a life: destroy "How To Save a Life", turn in anybody who still is in possession of the song and wipe it from your memory immediately. You must do your duty for we are all together in keeping our homeland free of rank bitches.

That is all.



Posted by Brandon |

If you couldn't tell, changes are afoot. The revolution will not be televised.



Posted by Brandon |

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is nice and all and I am still a faithful follower, but I think I have finally found the one true religion for me, Dudeism. I have gone so far as to become an ordained Dudeist Priest...

Thanks to Culture Kills... for spreading the gospel and helping me to discover The Tao of the Dude.


Let's Hug It Out

Posted by Brandon |

Hi! How are you today? Feeling OK? Maybe a little bit down? It is the first week of work after the holidays and I know how depressing it can feel to be back. It looks like you could use a quick virtual hug...

See. Now doesn't that feel better? The day doesn't seem so daunting now, does it?

I am so glad that while trying to update the progress of my beard I took this picture that looks like me requesting a hug. So if you ever need a quick pick me up from a big, hairy dude, please don't hesitate to find this post.


Greatest Game I Have Ever Seen

Posted by Brandon |

Sorry CineRobots, but Wooooo Hooooo!!! The Fiesta Bowl tonight was the greatest game I have ever seen played and I am so happy to see Boise State knock off Oklahoma 43-42 in overtime. That game gave me every possible emotion that one could have during a football game and I didn't even have a true rooting interest other than wanting to see a Pacific Northwest team win and for Boise State to prove that they belonged. Color me blue, because Boise State has made a fan out of me.