My Robot Is Pregnant theme song!

tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

September 29, 2010

bad finances

Some experiments take so much work to complete you don’t want to throw out the evidence even though it proves you wrong. I’m not talking about big experiments, like democracy, a two party system, going to war to stop drug use – I’m talking about using thin metal fence posts for curtain rods.
These are the kind for stringing barbed wire on. Basically an iron bar in the shape of a T. Small hooks jut out of the flat surface and that catches the wire. You pound them in the ground like a stake rather than digging holes and setting posts.
Mr. Sunshine had some nice old rusty ones and I improvised some cleats to hold them out from the wall. It took a lot of work finding the studs behind the lath, nothing seemed to be on center since the windows took up most of the wall. And shouldn’t studs run alongside the window for installation?
I got all three hung. Found the largest round hangers I could find. They just don’t slide well. Shutting the curtains means standing on a chair and pulling fabric along in short jerks

Rough and bent fencing is not a good alternative to store bought curtain rods. But it’ll be years before I do anything more. I want to get my money’s worth out of a bad investment.

September 28, 2010

corey hart

The guy came into the bar holding sunglasses cradled in his hands, held close to his heart. We all know the smile as someone approaches that says, “I have a question for ya.”

His was, “Can you give me two bucks for these sunglasses?”

No. It’s night time.

“how about can you spare 50 cents?”

That’s a no as well.

Dogboy, a guy I met awhile back on the folding boat adventure, turns and says, “Who does that? ‘Hey bad-ass, you look like you could wear sunglasses in the dark. Give me two bucks for these.’”

I miss fold-a-boat.

September 27, 2010

Will is back in town. He quit the Flagpoles to move to Alaska. After he went north Collin started school. We didn’t even practice for three months. Doug wanted to be a comedian. Jeff was in his final semester. Nick was in two other bands.
Yes, this is a Flagpoles lament. Where are the dudes? Why isn’t anyone coming to visit?
Will and I fixed a leak at his sister’s place, then she bought us drinks.
Everyone thinks I broke up the band. I just brought everyone’s guitars back to them. I knocked on doors and said “Here’s your amp.” I’m the only one in the band with a vehicle, btw.
The Flagpoles were half masted and I wanted to watch some VHS tapes in my living room. So bottom line: I’ll play if called. Meanwhile I got Real Genius on queu.

September 25, 2010


This looks more like a blowtorch than a wood burner. I like it. On the wall at Tokyo-a-go-go in The Mission.

September 24, 2010

wood burners

Found these dinner plate sized carvings in a clean out. “Mrs. Landwent, Fancy Wood Burning” is stamped on the back. Didn’t find anything about her on the internet. Nowadays every small time stick whittler has a website. She must have been operating in the 1970′s.

What’s happening in modern wood burning circles? An image search brings up lots of photos of logs burning in a fire place. Enhance your search to wood burning artist. Then you get the eagles flying in front of waving flags and horses agalloping across fields. But that’s not modern.

This guy Daniel Crosier wood burned his vision of The Swamp Thing. But what’s an artist gotta do to bring it to a whole new level? I have a wood burner in the garage. If only it wasn’t filled with old furniture, magazines and mixing bowls bound for the flea market I could get in there and try my hand at expanding the wood burning universe.

September 22, 2010

you’ll have to save a different one

A 47 foot half eaten dead whale washed up on the beach last nite. By morning it had been tagged by taggers, multiple people had climbed on it’s back and pretended to surf it for photo opportunities and I myself considered how I might make some money from it. Do whales have a penis bone?

September 21, 2010

where does a bearded lady go when she ages?

She is a beautiful truck,even after I scraped her nose along a cement wall last week, tearing off the chrome trim.

The bearded lady doesn’t like the cold and damp of western San Francisco. Her sideview mirror rusted out and fell off in my hand. The rear end has a center bolt that keeps the axle straight and I broke that. I drove all the way to Woodside sideways.
The hardworking circus freak F250 is in Rusty’s hands now.

September 19, 2010

indoor skydiving

My lady friend is an online shopping addict. She says it feels good to add to cart. Heard of Groupon? She gets a random deep discount offer once a day. She bought us a trip to an indoor skydiving joint. Weird huh?
It’s a giant fan that blows 160 miles an hour and you bounce around inside a tube. But first you lay down on a backless chair and an instructor tells you the proper body position. Then you put on a helmet, goggles, ear plugs and a flight jacket and step into the wind tunnel.

mexican pepsi

September 18, 2010

is this the space age?

In unrelated news I’m finally able to blog from my phone and upload pictures in portrait format like the good old days. I had to download a wordpress app and that was that.
The inconsistency of posting lately shows how much I rely on this phone to get it done.

san bruno tragedy

This home is around the corner from the PG&E gas explosion. When I turned the corner on an otherwise normal neighborhood all I could see were brick chimneys footed in burnt timber. Trees with limbs scorched off looked like bonfire remnants. Cars parked by the sidewalk were burnt down to gray metal. The news reported four deaths but many more people must have been badly burned. A whole block is gone.

September 17, 2010

beauty school drop-in

Mike has only a few months left until he walks down the shampoo aisle at Walgreen’s. Due to budget cuts, that’s where this year’s graduation ceremony takes place.

this one’s for oggy

September 15, 2010

to dream of happiness is in itself a grief

I’m pretty darn happy with life lately. Working a lot, getting repeat customers and lots of referrals. Everything’s word of mouth. I’m seeing the world a little bit differently too. When you work the trades you never escape the father/son role. That’s how the trades survive. Pass the knowledge from father to son. Here’s how you lay brick until a church emerges. Here’s how you bend wood to make a barrel.

Everyone else goes to college and it’s whoever can remember anything monday morning after blacking out friday and saturday. Each man for himself. No continuity. I am the missing link. I care about people even if they aren’t blood. I look at a man and I wonder, “Can I help him get to the next level?” I don’t have sons, I have bandmates. And friends.

There have been some, like Collin, who reminded me of myself so much I couldn’t handle it. How many first time father’s get dealt a cripple? Not many. 100 years ago Collin and I would have been thrown in a small bucket of water. Problem solved. Humans didn’t have thirty years to figure it out. I’m one of the first generations to be so indulged. Now that I’m almost 40, I can finally do some things right. People see me as someone who can get things done.

I can’t do it alone of course. I hire people to help. Hiring your friends can be tough, because they are your friends and don’t want to be in a father/son dysfunctional educational experience with you. They want to hang out and do some work and have some laughs.

It’s amazing how much the years change us. Collin is making his own way through the haze of youth and I’m cheering him on. I’ve gone from inexperienced muscles that didn’t know how to hold a wrench tight enough to turn a bolt to having guys come up to me at the coffee shop and ask me for work. Because I’m always working, always needing help. I’m also seeing that I need to learn to be a better mentor. To take the Dad role more seriously, to understand how much my words can hurt someone who is just starting out.

I’m not dreaming of happiness anymore. I’m dreaming about what truck to buy next. The happiness is here.

The title of the blog comes from a poem called The Lady Hou, by Emperor Yang of Sui written about 615 AD.

September 12, 2010

worst garbage ever?

If you get bed bugs, do wrap your mattress in plastic so as you drag it through the apartment complex you don’t spill the critters everywhere. However, ditching it on the sidewalk along with bags of junk on the curb doesn’t help stop the problem. It only spreads it out.

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