March 29, 2017, 1:01 am
Aaron Kaufman is the mechanical genius behind Gas Monkey Garage's massive success. And after this season of Fast and Loud, he's leaving. If you've been paying attention, you know this is one of my favorite shows, and initially, I was concerned.
But the truth is, Fast and Loud doesn't depend on the prowess of its mechanics to be a good show. It's really a show about the relationships that create a growing business, and as such, it won't suffer from the departure of Kaufman.
He wanted to do more in-depth builds than the tight TV schedule would afford him, and I totally understand that. Richard Rawlings, the owner of the garage, wants to keep doing the stuff they've been doing that has made them successful for 12 seasons. I understand that, too.
In the first season, he was fretting over ten thousand dollars. This latest season, he's dropping a million on cars, half a million on real estate, another half a million on an Indy racer and half a million more on other marketing. The show and his business ethics have made him a massive success, and that's what keeps me watching the show—the relationships he forges while building an empire.
So, though I love the artistry of Aaron Kaufman (Kaufmann? I'm too lazy to check), I will keep watching the show, because I think it's bigger than him. Also, if he does a show with in-depth builds, like he's talked about doing, I'll watch that, too.
March 23, 2017, 5:17 pm
OK. A state representative in my town was on the floor of the state House and another representative asked him "do you believe rape is the will of God?"
The representative from my hometown said "there are instances in the Bible of that happening." Then the other rep asked him if incest was the will of God. My representative replied, "Same answer."
So I reported on it. Headline was "State Rep: Rape and incest are the will of God." Because that's what he said. Not in a direct quote, obviously, but he answered questions about whether rape and incest are the will of God with affirmative answers.
People lost their minds on Facebook, calling my site "fake news" and saying I was posting clickbait and twisting his words around. Mind you, I'm friendly with this representative, even though I don't share his views. So I texted him, during which he confirmed that what I wrote is EXACTLY what he said:
But people persisted in telling me what a piece of shit and liar I am. One even told me I was a fool and clearly a "non believer."
What pissed me off more is the two people in the image at the top of this post are friends of the family. Hell, I even got the woman's husband a job.
They were mad at ME for reporting what the dude said, and even though the dude confirmed to me that it was EXACTLY what he said, they insisted on supporting him by saying he didn't say that, and if he confirmed that he said that, it surely wasn't what he meant, and how dare I report on it!
And this, dear Whoever Reads This, is why we now have these two words to think about: "President Trump."
If facts are no longer facts simply because they disagree with your worldview, then facts no longer matter; only worldview matters.
That is a world where made-up stories about one candidate murdering people can actually influence an election, where one candidate can be investigated for hosting emails on a private server and that investigation become top news all over the world — while the other candidate is under investigation for, oh, I dunno, ENLISTING THE AID OF A FOREIGN POWER TO RIG THE ELECTION, but that investigation doesn't become public knowledge until four months after the election.
So our world has come to this: If I don't agree with it, it's "fake news", and if I agree with it, it's the truth, no matter what facts exist to say it's not.
March 21, 2017, 11:23 pm
So, if you've read the entry below, you'll know I blew through two vehicles this week. After today, you can probably increase that number to three.
See, when Geico asked if I needed a rental car when they started working on my Mercedes, I said, and I quote, "Nah, I have plenty of vehicles."
And the universe laughed.
As the entry below chronicles, I trashed my truck while driving down the highway.
So today, as I'm driving my wife's Jeep Wrangler, smoke starts pouring out the sides and the temperature gauge starts heading toward the right.
Blown radiator or a busted hose, I figured, so I headed to a radiator shop. Sure enough, my radiator was blown, as the guy from whom I've bought like five radiators in the last two years told me.
And this is funny. The radiator shop had put its last Jeep radiator on a Jeep Wrangler not 10 minutes before I showed up. Can't get one until tomorrow, he said. It would cost 125 dollars, plus another 200 for installation. But in the meantime, I'd be stranded. Because my last mode of transportation, my motorcycle, was at home, 30 miles to the south. And the MGB in my garage needs a water pump.
So I called around. O'Reilly Auto Parts had a radiator, for 230 bucks. That left me with a radiator, but no tools to install it. So I called one of my advertisers, and they agreed to install it if I would cancel their bill for this month (and buy the radiator).
A total of about 550 dollars later, the Jeep is running again, and my Mercedes is supposed to be done tomorrow.
But the point is, I've had three disabled vehicles in the last month.
The moral of this story: never get cocky about how many vehicles you have.
March 17, 2017, 6:18 pm
I have a lot of vehicles. I have a Mercedes Benz, a Jeep Wrangler, a Ram 2500 MegaCab, an MGB and a Kawasaki motorcycle.
I said all that to say this: Never feel like you're safe from breakdowns.
My tragedy starts last month, when I was returning from Oklahoma City with my wife after the funeral of my cousin's grandson. A bit of debris from a semi slammed into my Mercedes, shattering the windshield, breaking the bumper, ripping up pieces of the air conditioner and other bits inside the car and generally costing Geico a lot of money.
So my car is in the shop getting all that junk fixed. No problem, I have a pickup truck. An enormous, gas-guzzling pickup. And I've been driving that for a couple of weeks now. Last week, my driver's side front tire exploded on the highway and ripped out the fender well, also ripping out my head light and denting up my fender. Sorry, Geico. So I decide to keep the truck out of the shop until my car is done, because the MGB is old and needs a water pump, and the weather isn't quite consistent enough for me to ride my motorcycle yet. And the Jeep is my wife's transportation.
Today, I pull in to Walmart to get a few things, and when I get back, the truck won't start. It'll crank just fine, but it won't fire up, even though it tries a few times. So now I'm thinking maybe the blown up tire has done something to a fuel line that I wasn't anticipating.
Whatever. I have the truck towed home and I can't figure out what's wrong with it, so now, vehicle-rich me is down to stealing my wife's Jeep until I can get my car out of the shop so I can take my truck to the shop to figure out what's wrong with it and get it fixed.
Everything just cascades. You think you're safe with a deep bench of vehicles, but you're really not.
I blame the Obama White House for wiretapping me.
March 16, 2017, 9:21 pm
Just when I really start to get weary of my business (journalism), A day like today happens.
I went to court for a hearing for one of our local molesters, and surprisingly, the judge said to him, "I have a problem with you, and I just can't be fair in this case, so I'm recusing myself."
For Sean Spicer: "recusing" means backing out.
So the case went to another judge, and when the molester and his attorney left that judge's chambers, I asked the attorney, who I've known a long time, what happened. Before he could respond, the molester spun on his heels and yelled at me:
THAT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!
Of course, it is my business, since I Am the Media© and it is a public court case. But I didn't have time to say that before his lawyer told him to shut up.
Things like that really rejuvenate me. I love getting yelled at by the right people. For instance, if you're a perverted piece of shit who gets his jollies by coercing underage boys to have sex with you and then brags about how you'll never go to prison for it, I'm perfectly fine with you hating my guts for reporting on it.
March 15, 2017, 10:10 am
You might notice the banner at the top of the page, unless you're reading this after May 23, 2017. The gist of it is this: If you pre-order Robby the R-Word before its May 23 release, you'll be entered into a contest where three readers will receive a signed copy of one of my other books, Minister of Justice or Deadly Vows.
And honestly, if you live close enough to me, I'll probably sign your copy of Robby, too.
It's the first salvo in the marketing for Robby the R-Word, which, as I think I mentioned, is due out May 23.
Robby will be out in paperback, hardcover and e-book, but it's only the paperback that qualifies for the contest.
Have fun! I look forward to signing a book for you!
Extra incentive: There is a lot of fun stuff in Robby the R-Word, including serial killers, methamphetamine, wheelchairs, Catholic priests, lesbian sex, lot lizards, gentrification, Weeble Wobbles and even a tire thumper or two!
March 9, 2017, 11:23 pm
I haven't even gotten halfway through sending out query letters to agents for Father of Malice. Not only that, but Robby the R-Word is coming out in two months.
I should be working on getting those query letters out. I should be working on doing my part to market Robby. Instead, I have a new idea, and I'm writing on a new book, Slipstream Echo. It's ridiculous. The plot isn't complete in my mind, but it's pretty well developed.
Not going to share details here yet, because they may change, but it's combining two ideas I've had for a very long time, and I think it will end up being a really good book. Which is crazy. Working on a second book before my next one even comes out.
I honestly don't know what's gotten into me. It may be the availability of my WriteEverywhere platform, which means I don't have to be restricted to writing while I'm isolated in my office.
That reminds me, I just watched the most recent episode of Girls on HBO. I have to tell you, other than seeing Lena Dunham naked WAY TOO MUCH, Girls is an excellent series. But this final season feels like they're phoning it in. The characters have become two-dimensional, the plots not at all interesting. But they did have a fun tidbit where two female writers were talking about how male writers need complete quiet and calm to write, which is the exact opposite of me.
I write in the midst of the chaos of a five-year-old and a three-year-old running amok in a house full of dogs, cats, spiders, chickens, a fox, several horses, cows and probably a bunch of stuff I've forgotten. Chaos helps me focus.
And I think I'm writing a book even better than Father of Malice, which I believe is my best book since Robby the R-Word, which I believe is better than Minister of Justice, which I believe is better than Deadly Vows, which I believe is better than most of the crap I've read out there. But I'm humble, you see. Humble, I tell you.
I knew an old lady, who swallowed a fly. I don't know why she swallowed the fly.
March 8, 2017, 8:20 pm
I was barely 18 the first time someone threatened to kill me for something I wrote.
I was "stringing" for a local newspaper (stringing is a word used for those who write articles but are not employees of the paper) in my spare time. So I wrote a crime story about a guy who had smacked his wife around in public.
So the next day, when the story came out in the paper, dude calls me up at the paper and tells me how many different kinds of shit I am and how he's going to find out where I live and take my candy ass apart, piece by piece, until I'm a quivering blob of goo on my front porch.
I've got enough of my dad in me that I took that as a challenge, told him my address and said I'd be waiting for him.
He never showed up.
From that time to this, I can't count the amount of people who have threatened to kill me, smash my face against curbs, burn down my house, do horrible things to my wife, slaughter my family, kick my dogs, it goes on and on. I have a family now, so I don't dish out my address anymore, but it doesn't matter, because no one ever showed up to actually do anything.
I'll be 48 years old in June, which means I've endured 30 solid years of people threatening to murder me.
That doesn't include all the crazy names they've called me, all the unethical shit they've accused me of doing, all the things they've said about every possible aspect of my life. After awhile, it wears thin. My dad in me wants to buck up, track them all down and beat the living shit out of every one of them.
Yesterday, I reported the story of a young lady in a neighboring town who protested the government's treatment of Native Americans and women by sitting out the pledge of allegiance. Well, you would have thought I had kicked Jesus straight in the balls.
I won't get into the details, but I banned a lot of people from my business's Facebook page for threatening the teenage girl with horrible things. And they went on the attack against me. So now they've been calling me names again, threatening me, blah blah blah. I'm tired of it.
But like always, I behave professionally, because that's what I do. It's what I've always done. It's what I'll continue to do. Truth is always the answer for lies. Sigh.
February 15, 2017, 9:21 pm
I heard back from another of the beta readers on Father of Malice today. His exact words:
You are a sick fuck! I am loving this book! Great job!
He isn't done with the book yet, but he's clearly enjoying it, so I'm happy.
February 14, 2017, 9:21 pm
I love to write, but I do not at all enjoy writing query letters, which are the thing authors have to write to attract the attention of agents.
Tonight, I wrote one to my swing-for-the-fences agent—the guy I've always wanted to query but haven't because I didn't feel the previous letters or works were up to snuff.
But even though I wrote the entire novel, Father of Malice, in two weeks (90,000 words), I took that long to write the query letter, which is only around 200 words, because I wanted it to be perfect.
I could sit and nitpick it apart for the next year, and I would probably find something else to change after a year and a day, so tonight, I just sucked it up and sent it to him.
I haven't sent this letter to other agents. If this guy rejects me, I will, but everything about him and his representation is attractive to me, so I'm going to sit on the letter until I hear from him one way or another. Even if he rejects my query.
So wish me luck.
February 10, 2017, 9:09 am
I live in Oklahoma. Yesterday, our governor, Mary Fallin, announced a plan to make up some of the nearly 900-billion-dollar deficit the state faces after incredibly low income tax revenues caused a budget crisis.
So what was her solution? Start imposing sales tax on services statewide.
Services are simple things, like someone tattooing you. Or giving legal advice. Or preparing your taxes. Or painting your house. Or cleaning said house.
Generally, service workers are among the lowest-paid people in our economy. But Fallin wants to force them to increase their prices, not for their benefit, but to make up the gigantic deficit her policies have created—policies such as enormous income tax cuts for wealthy taxpayers and large corporations.
Because, see, the whole idea was if you cut taxes on the rich, they were supposed to in turn make lots of jobs and the entire economy would go through the roof because the rich were no longer paying taxes and had all this money to throw around like a rapper at a strip club.
The only problem is, it never happened. Turns out, rich people like to hang onto their money, which is how they got rich in the first place. Instead of spreading the wealth around, they just kept getting richer—and I don't blame them for that. It's smart on their part.
But now, instead of realizing that she and her cronies in the state house were wrong and reversing the very tax cuts that have caused this gargantuan deficit, Fallin's proposal is to get the money from the poorest people in the state. That's right. Can't go back and tax the rich and huge corporations. Instead, let's increase everyone's cost of living by five percent. Utility rates? Going up by five percent. Funerals? Add five percent. Every service you can think of, under her plan, will increase by five percent, just so Fallin doesn't have to raise taxes on the rich people who got her elected.
This is, starkly, the profound and utter failure of supply-side economics. It does not work. If you stop taxing the rich, the only thing that happens is the government has less money to operate, and it ends up hurting the middle class and the poor. Right now, Oklahoma's schools are all slashing budgets left and right because there's not enough money to run them. Our oldest son's school is only in session four days a week. Other schools have closed altogether.
Because supply-side economics doesn't work. This was what I said when they started implementing it here a decade ago, and now I have been proven right.
Fallin and her Republican cronies control the entire state government. They have no one to blame for this but themselves and their clearly failed policies.
It's time for someone to stand up and say: We let you try this out. It did not work. Time to admit that and reverse the tax breaks for the wealthiest Oklahomans and the huge corporations so the burden of your failure doesn't AGAIN fall upon the already overburdened middle class and poor.
Will that happen? No.