Monday, February 22, 2010


Per request of an unnamed Root Down reader, here it is. Just click on the image.

Sorry, I've been such an absentee blogger lately. We'll say I'm in the field working on a story. Went to see Texas Tech ultimately lose to the Longhorns down in Lubbock this weekend. Good game, but Tech ended up losing by a mere four points. You gotta play all 40 minutes.

Met our new doc. His name is Miles Davis. Odd thing is that he's not black and he doesn't even like jazz. Guess it's not really him. Actually, it's Lon Miles Davis, but he the "Lon" is silent. Good guy. Got a sonogram done. The nameless he/she baby looks kinda like a gummy bear. Best news is everything appears fine at this stage. Second best news is there's only one of 'em.

So, on top of everything else, I'm trying to wrap up this zombie mix, shirts should be delivered today to me so I'll be mailing them out soon, gotta review with the board up at work on Thursday morning, going skiing right after that in Taos where they have close to 80 inches of glorious snow, training seminar the week after skiing, heading to SXSW in mid-March, need to get started in painting my office for a genderless baby, listen to Wu-Tang and decide whether or not another mix is worth it, continue training for the Warrior Dash (which is almost sold out for the second day now--insane), do the Warrior Dash, continuing selling my CDs to raise money for a new computer, ugh. It never really stops. Before you know it, Sox will be starting up against the Yankees on opening day. Results may vary.

Yes, I've been watching the Olympics. My new favorite event is skeleton, I believe. What an insane sport. I used to think bobsledding was, by far, the most freakishly insane sport. Then it was luge. Then it was going headfirst to almost 90 MPH with your chin about three inches from the ice. Yeah, that's ill.

No time to chat, kid. Gotta go make the donuts. Be safe.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


(sits down with third cup of coffee, slightly lightened with a tablespoon of soy milk)

Saw Zombieland last night. Yeah, about time. The opportunity never really came around after I failed to catch it in the theater. It was badass. Everything I was hoping for. Thanks to Tim E. for the lender. My lovely wife even watched all of it which is commendable. Never thought that was going to happen after the blood in the opening credits alone. Of course, she was sunk in the first sequence in which narrator says, "That's me and this is Garland, Texas. It might look like a zombies have demolished it, but that's just Garland."

She said, "I like this movie already."

From there on, it was just a matter of enduring all of the gory and bloody creative killings of zombies. Some of them were brutal, but you can certainly see the appeal from a zombie lover like myself. Good flick. Worth the wait.

Still in the process of going through my CDs. I'd say that I'm probably somewhere between 75-83% complete. It's been an difficult process. I'm nearing about 1,000 CDs gone and think I can probably lose somewhere around 500 more. That'd take me from about 3,700 to 2,200. A lean 2,200. That might be a little high still. It honestly feels like I'm giving everything away. Once I decide that I want to set it aside and confirm that I want to give it away or sell it, it's difficult to even listen to it. I'm sitting here looking at a Nicole Willis and the Investigators CD thinking that I need to listen to it and make sure I don't want to keep it, but the energy it would take to even make that decision is too expensive to me at this point. I just want to see it go away. It's the same thing that happens on "Hoarders." They get to a point where submission to the process is easier than fighting it and they start throwing away their prized thimble collection and teacups they've been holding onto for three decades. I'm kinda at that point. I've been deligently pulling anything into iTunes that seems meritable, but even that seems hardly worth it.

The feeling of giving it away is incredible. The other day, I set the entire remastered set of Creedence Clearwater Revival on someone's desk and they approached me later and told me how much it meant to them because they love CCR (and, well, I don't). Felt like Christmas morning. The trick is making sure that they make it into the right hands, but eventually, you just gotta start tossing them like throwing stars. I can't obsess too long on making sure that I give the right CDs to the right person. I'll never get it done.

It's amazing how short my loyalty is, though, once I get started.

And it's not like I gotta short fuse, but ultimately, I'm getting rid of CDs to provide for some storage space so that I can clear some furniture out of my current Boom Boom Room so that we can turn it into a nursery for a little baby because, well, my lovely wife is pregnant.

Yep, you heard it here first. Well, unless I told you already. The office space as it's currently known will be dissolved into the guest room (vinyl goes in with the guests...I'll do inventory after every visit). My clothes go in the guest room. The desk, the chair just go. The computer is simply too big for any other space in the house so I'm raising some cash to replace it with a laptop so I can, essentially, make any space an office. The tower's in excellent shape and has never given me any trouble. It's got 250GB of storage and, I think 6GB of RAM. It's a Dell. If anyone's interested, holla. I'll be selling it. Would like to do it locally, but not tied to the idea.

The CD project has been telling, too, of what kinda dad I want to be. Man, some of the questionable CDs of my collection (or, rather, CDs of questionable taste) become quite obvious when you're browsing for CDs to get rid of. I really had very little standards of taste and decency for a while there. Some of them would be like stashing a gun or a collection of porno mags in the house. Like I'd never feel safe with them around. Problem is that most of the guys that I'd like to give them to have also disappeared from my life. Well, that's not really a problem, I suppose. I wanna be a good father. To start, I better get to cleaning up my act a bit.

Getting rid of all of this CD weight (and book and DVD weight too) has really been a liberating tasking as it is. I even put a autographed copy of Snoop's last record into the giveaway pile. It's like the golden ticket. Someone will find it. Unless they see it, question it's authenticity and then throw it away. Trust me, I saw him sign it. It's real.

Some days I hope that this means I can finally get a minivan because I so badly want one. That's probably far in the future if at all. We're only expecting one at this point.

Warrior Dash training is on like Donkey Kong. Got a little behind last week with all of the audible sensory and the three-day belly ache that followed Sunday's Super Bowl. Man, you put a package of Girl Scout Thin Mints in front of me, they're as good as gone. Throw in a couple of bowls of frito pie (one in the fourth quarter which was the one that inevitably did me in) and you pretty much wipe out the first half of your week. Now that my stomach, intestines and bowels are back to normal, so follows the training.

Had a nice jog with Mason the other night. Somehow thought that dressing in all black for a night jog was a good idea. The weather's starting to warm up nicely, but looks like we're about to get another blast this weekend.

To my fellow warriors, keep that training up. You don't grind, you don't shine. Looks like the second day of Warrior Dash Texas is selling out wave by wave. Those dudes are making cheddah hand over fist. Shirts will be ready soon. Hopefully by the end of the month.

Holla atcha boy.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


On A&E, they call this "hoarding" and they have an hour-long show dedicated to it. So it might be a little unfair and inaccurate to call what I do "collecting." I'm a hoarder of music. I've been this way for about ten years now. To me, music in it's physical form are like artifacts that will be invaluable in mere decades from now and, for that reason, it's important for me to stow them away in every nook and corner of my house so that I can one day expose them to the world and say, "Look at my freaking collection. Isn't it awesome?"

Reality is that I have CDs in my collection which aren't even opened. I have CDs that people have professed to be one of the greatest recordings of the last fifteen years that are unopened and sitting in my shed next to the fertilizer. I have three copies of records and it wasn't unintentional. I have close to 4000 CDs in my collection and I only listen to about, uh, 20 CDs within the year. If you're doing the math. That's about a 200-year supply. If I'm unlucky enough to live that long, I might listen to all of them if we still have CD players that long. By then, music will be implanted into our head.

I've been privileged to work in an industry where music is free and in ample portions. If you want something, you can likely get it. That was always a dangerous arrangement for me. When I first started working in it, I kept every CD I could get my grimy hands on. I figured even if I didn't listen to it myself, I would give away to someone who would appreciate it. And I did it. Often. I would give 30-count boxes of CDs to friends, relatives, my lovely wife. I'd give boxes of CDs to my neighbor. I figured it was a perk to the business so I would exploit it for all it was worth. I was taking home CDs by the handfuls every day. And one point, I hit an overflow and couldn't keep them all under one roof so they started to flow from closets and in plain view to the garage, to the shed. Anywhere I could get cubic inches, I would take it.

Now it's hit a point of intolerance. It's out of control. It's doing no one no good and in the middle of it is me. I started it and now I'm going to end it. I haven't listened to the new Doom record. I haven't listened to the new Felt record. I used to run home and listen to a new Doom record for two weeks straight and I haven't even touched the new one yet. It's sick. There's all of this music that I can share with others, sell online and I'm doing nothing but waiting for my chance to unveil it only to be told, "Dude, you should've sold this a long time ago."

Here's how it starts.

Step 1:

Crack open a box of CDs and take out any CD that visibly hasn't been opened yet or is a CD that you know you haven't listened to in ages. It might also be an artist or genre in which you used to argue until you were blue in the face about how great they were/it was, but no one believed you. They might not have believed you because it might have actually been garbage. Hear for yourself. Place all of these CDs in one massive bin (I filled up a massive washtub in the shed in mere seconds). Ratio of tossed CDs to keeped...approximately 2:5

Step 2:

Everyday, go out to the shed and take a handful/armful of CDs from this washtub inside, in your car or to work. You're going to be in a constant state of auditioning. This isn't about listening to what you want to listen to, it's listening to what you need to listen to. It's your habit, now deal with it. You don't have to listen to all of them. For example, I know I just bought the remastered Abbey Road. I came across another copy of Abbey. The original CD pressing. I don't need it. It goes onto the third step. This has been pretty telling of how much garbage I've been holding onto. Most things, I press play and listen for about five seconds and I'm ejecting and putting in another. It's not that they're necessarily that bad, they're just not what I'm listening to anymore. I'd rather put them in the hands of people who might really enjoy listening to them instead of sitting on top of piles of them like the mean kid in pre-school. There are other things that I see and think, do I really want my kid coming to me one day asking who "Necro" is? So, here I sit and listen. I'm listening to about thirty CDs a day at this point. My ratio of keepers to losers: 1:12.

Step 3:

I put the losers into three stacks. There's the promos. These are things I can't sell because, well, it'd be unethical and in violation of rules and provisions of my work. There's some good stuff in there. This will be stuff that I will find homes for. Friends with taste in music wanted to take some of these CDs off of my hands. The second of the stacks is the stuff that I can sell for a premium on either Ebay or Amazon. Found a few CDs that are showing a used selling price for up to $20. These are the goldmines in my collection. This is where I make money. I'm not promising to make a ton, but it's at least turning space in my shed into cold hard cash. The last of the three stacks is the stuff that I can just go up the road to my local Hastings and sell to them. I'll probably make only about $.70 a unit when all is said and done because, let's be real here, this ain't a stack of Metallica or Pink Floyd. It's stuff they intend on selling for about $3.99.

Step 4:

Stop the bleeding. This is something I've really been doing over the last two years or so. I just haven't been bringing as many home. There's no zeal anymore in getting CDs at work and bringing them home, stacking them in a corner and listening to them only if get to them. We're flipping the script here. It's the new j3...j4 if you will. No more hoarding music. Give it away. Be picky. Only keep the very best. You're not a fan of Elvis. Creedence Clearwater Revival. You know people who are. Share with them. You have no interest on being on the leading edge of every new buzz band or up-and-coming hip hop artist. You like being a source of musical knowledge, but don't need to bury yourself in plastic to achieve that. People deserve to hear your collection.

Don't you like how these conversations happen in the first-person like I've already processed these affirmations? You're right. I do tell myself these things. I have to. It makes sense of the process.

That's it for now. I gotta get back to listening. At the ratio above, I'm looking at quickly shedding about a quarter of my collection...over 1000 CDs. I've got some work to do.