Disaster!!! (prep): What You Need In Your Earthquake Survival Kit!

Disaster is coming. In Los Angeles, it’s probably going to be an earthquake next week.

Evidently, we are supposed to have a 6.4 earthquake disaster on Monday…

disaster - a tsunami IS unlikely

Highly unlikely we will get a tsunami, but I’m ready!

If you’re like me, and you should thank your particular God that you are not, then you have a weird love of disaster. From monster snowstorms and tornado season to hurricanes and the inevitable zombie apocalypse, I am a sucker for The Weather Channel and “The Walking Dead.” With the recent “swarm” (a great term for engineering fear into the locals) of earthquakes in the LA area, I’ve found a great site that is a wonderful source for keeping people in fear of The Big One. And I’ve taken it upon myself to come up with a disaster preparedness kit and disaster plans to not only survive but THRIVE in the post apocalpytic hell-scape. Continue reading

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What is it about tattoos?

holy tattoos

Mom? Can I come home?

I went for a bike ride with my friend last night just before dinner along the strand here in Hermosa Beach up through Manhattan Beach and just past Dockweiler Beach before turning around and coming back. As we headed back south, entering Manhattan Beach, I saw this beautiful young girl coming back from surfing and hitting the beach shower to rinse off the salt and sand. She was in great shape with curves in all the right places and a cute face that could only have come from growing up in LA. She unzipped her wetsuit and I immediately lost all interest in watching her take that shower.

Once upon a time, tattoos were relegated to sailors and bikers. And toothless biker chicks. They used to say “Mom,” or the name of some far off destination that the sailor had visited. Sometime in the mid 1990’s, tattoos became en vogue. Seemingly everyone has one these days. The tribal tattoo. The barbed-wire bicep circle. The “tramp stamp.” The Chinese figure that secretly means “I’m with stupid.” Anything that screams, “Hey, look at me!”

The girl from the beach in question had a new, popular style of tattoo – the scripted words tattooed on her rib cage. Although I am not a big fan of tattoos in general, I think that this is quickly rising to the top of my least favorite tattoo types, just behind full sleeves or angel’s wings. There are some tattoos that I probably COULD deal with, but like the Disney Corporation, I’m not big on seeing them all the time.

Tattoo types (top 5 in order of how much I dislike them)

1.  Scripted words – First, if you’re a petite female, the script you are using isn’t large enough for me to read. Second, if you’re going to write something like a Bible verse, PRINT IT SO I CAN READ IT.

tattoos2. Angel’s wings – Angel’s wings on a woman’s back are becoming popular. It’s ironic that the women who get these tattoos are probably not going to get a set of their own when they die…

3. Barbed wire – The original badass tattoo, usually around one’s bicep, it is now passé to showcase this antiquated piece of art.

4. Chinese characters – Do you ever wonder if the Chinese secretly changed their written language when tattoos became popular so that when they take over the country, they can just round up and separate the people by tattoo type? Douche bags over there! Dumb asses over there! Women with loose morals… over here!!!!

5. Guns, bombs, swastikas, etc. – Stay away from these people. Just stay away.

Tattoo area placement, again “bottom” five

1. Full “sleeve” or leg – I’ve seen this on women and let me tell you, it’s just as ugly on them as it is on guys.

Tell it to me. Don’t write it down.

2. Ribs, torso – Again, popular place for scripting, but when you’re at the beach and you look that good in a bikini, you’re instantly knocking yourself down three to four notches when people see this. Stop it! Just stop it!

3. Face – You can link this with guns/bombs and swastikas. Really, really, really, just a bad idea. How do you go into a bank for a loan or take wedding photos with ink all over your face?

4. Neck – Back of the neck, under the hair or covered up by a collar is something I can understand. But the ones that are on the side of the neck scare me. Even the butterflies.

5. Tramp stamp – One of the most popular placements, this tattoo type can be big or small and composed of flowers and/or any chain of barbed wire, etc. I’ve even seen full script as well. Most of the time you can’t see it, but as my buddy Trey once said, “Even if she’s boring in bed, it will give you something to concentrate on…”

So, if you’re looking to get a tattoo and you’re thinking of dating me and you just HAVE to get a tattoo, shoot for the small, decorative tattoo on your ankle or shoulder. Or if you really want to intrigue me, get it somewhere it will take me time to find it…

And don’t eve get me started on body piercings and ear lobe stretching earrings.

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What Is Your Real AGE?

“You’re only as old as you feel.” So, what is your real age?

real ageLately, I’ve been accused by a few friends of  becoming vitriolic, hateful and prone to ranting on topics better served up by an old man with shorts cinched up high above his waist while wearing dark socks and screaming at kids to “get off my lawn.”

(Just for the record, I DO own dark socks but wear them with PANTS, and I don’t own a lawn. However, if I DID own a lawn and kids were on it, I’d pull an Eastwood on them to “learn ’em some respect.” Damn kids these days…”)

I’ve also been accused of having something against those over the age of 50. Nothing could be further from the truth. I treasure my friends over 50 (truthfully, I didn’t know anyone of my friends WAS 50. I am under the impression that we are ALL swimming around in the “late 30’s/early 40’s fishbowl). I’m in a sweet spot in life where age has no concern for me personally, nor for those around me. I live in an area where a lot of the people who look like they are in their 20’s are actually in their teens, and those in their late 40’s and 50’s who look to be in their 30’s and 40’s. It’s all very confusing sometimes. And don’t even get me started on how some of those people act…

To be fair, if society had subscribed to the idea of Logan’s Run, I wouldn’t even be writing this blog right now, and those over the age of 21 who were still alive would be called “runners.” But, we don’t live in the future where people over the age of 21 are forced to go to “Sleepshop.” (Which would be kind of a huge bummer actually. You get your first chance to use your real ID, and you’re forced to commit suicide! That’s a reality where you DON’T want a fake ID!!!)

Real age, up until “adulthood”

When you’re born, until the time that you can start articulating how you old you are yourself, your parents usually refer to you in months. “Oh, he/she is 17 months; 22 months, etc.” Sometime around 24 months, your life is then measured in years. You’ve become marginalized.

If humans lived to be 200 years old, we’d probably switch to decades, as in “I’m dating a seven decade old!!!”

Those teen years, boy do they suck. There is no doubt about that. But, at 16, you can drive! Someone, somewhere has subjectively decided that this is an appropriate age to let less than fully-formed, easily distracted humans take control of a 2,500 lb metal missile of death!  And when you are 18, you are somehow considered “more responsible” to do even more things like vote, buy cigarettes and sign up to be shipped off and kill other human beings you don’t even know. But, you can’t drink. Apparently, you need three more years of experience “living” to understand the concept of drinking and making decisions regarding alcohol.

Look, there are people who could be more responsible imbibers of alcohol at age 19 or 20 than MANY people I know twice that age.

So, REAL AGE apparently is a poor indicator of one’s ability to make decisions.

Why should you act your “real age” as an adult?

Anyone who knows me, knows that I rarely act my age. I’ve been called juvenile, immature and a victim of arrested development. Check, check and check. Look, I could ACT my age, but why should I? When I was growing up, 42 seemed old. 42 was how old I thought my teachers were in Junior High or High School (actually they were fresh out of college…) 42 was like some far off age where I was going to be telling MY kids to act their age and to get their homework done and do their chores. Someday, I may have to yell those things at my kids, but UNTIL then I am going to act less than 42. As I get more and more SPAM correspondence from the AARP and OurTime dating, it reminds me that the clock doesn’t go backward, and that recapturing missed opportunities isn’t going to happen. Sure, my hair is greying and the salt-and-pepper look is taking on a more “salt” look, but I still have a full head of hair! And I plan to keep it as long as possible.

I know some people in their late 20’s and early 30’s who are way more mature than I am and act like they are in their 40’s. You know how I know this? They’re uptight, have wrinkles, are losing their hair and have ulcers. They’ve been told to “act their age” over and over by friends and family. Even here in the beautiful climate of Los Angeles, they are starting to look older and act older than I do.

Remember: it’s just a number

real age is something besides a numberYour real age IS just a number, people. Remember that. If I acted my age, I’d be looking to work on “honey do” lists and go to Bed, Bath and Beyond on Saturdays (“I don’t know. There may not be enough time…”). Instead, I play beach volleyball on Saturday mornings with a group of guys who are in their 50’s, 60’s and one who is 83. You’re saying to yourself, “That’s old.” But, let me tell you, that 83 year-old blocked me a few weekends ago. Nothing can make you feel like a child than being blocked by an 83 year-old man…

My ex-fiancee was 6 years older than I was; most immature woman I’ve ever dated… I acted way older than my 29 years of age at that time and let me tell you that I don’t want to do that again.

My buddy’s wife’s father is a speed skater, biker and seems to be a man who is certainly not “acting his real age…”

Please understand that although I act like a man younger than 42, I am pragmatic enough to know 1. what that word means and, 2. that I HAVE to act responsible and mature enough when it comes to work, relationships and the generalities of life. Outside that, however, I’ll always be that guy in his late 30’s until the day I die.

So, while the government and some friends may look at you and say you are “X years old,” I say you’re REAL age is actually how old you act and believe yourself to be.


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How To Get What You Want: Shaking Off “Oulda” Bombs

How to get what you want by ridding yourself of woulda’s, coulda’s and shoulda’s

how to get what you want - get rid of the oulda bombI was all set this weekend to begin forming my new company, a social media writing company for those small businesses that don’t have the time to capitalize on their social media presence because they are either too busy or they don’t understand the finer points of writing to market themselves organically.  I stayed out of trouble and minus the late arrival time to my pillow on Sunday morning, I got to bed early. I was full of ideas – names, strategies, topics, businesses I wanted to reach out to, and a schedule; I had it all worked out and was ready to attack!

Then, I opened my email Sunday morning and there it was: One of those emails we all hate to get. It was an email that might as well have been in flashing red letters. It wouldn’t have affected me more if a Western Union telegram messenger dropped it off on my front doorstep. It would end up throwing me off my game all day Sunday and throw me into alternate states of panic and ennui. It was an “oulda” bomb.

What is an “oulda” bomb, you ask?

An “oulda” bomb is anything that makes you reevaluate decisions in your life and distracts you from how to get what you want. It can be as innocuous as friends telling you that they are lucky to have bought that Apple stock back in 2000 at $12 a share. Or a phone call from a bill collector asking at what point they can expect payment on that credit card; you know the card with the balance that has two pages of line items from that weekend in Las Vegas months ago…? Sometimes, they can be of your own making such as kicking yourself for not taking the chance to talk to that woman who was eyeing you at the BBQ – the one who turned out to be the heiress to that real estate fortune with properties in the Caribbean, Australia, and SE Asia…?

But, my “oulda” bomb was just an innocuous SPAM email that was sent to me because I just happened to be on a list somewhere.

Thank you, Ourtime Dating, for dropping the “oulda” bomb on me this weekend

Please note that I am NOT 50 or older. I am however, single. I am on other dating sites and have had some luck here and there with them. I’ve had the privilege of dating some quality women, a few of whom I was actually close enough with to believe that I might marry them, settle down and have kids if I would have if I had done things differently. As I sat on my couch yesterday, I realized that it was yet another weekend without someone to share it. Now, before we all get maudlin at the constantly single Tim, I want to point out that it wasn’t necessarily that I was alone this weekend that caused me to go through the “ouda’s.” I am NOT lonely. I am more alone. But, even that wasn’t the point. The point was that I spiraled downward by thinking of all the coulda’s, woulda’s and shoulda’s that happened in my life to lead me to checking emails on my couch by myself on a Sunday morning. And it wasn’t limited to just dating, I began to doubt almost every decision that I had EVER made that got me to this point in my life. That’s the problem with these little “life fragmentation grenades.”

You can’t stew in your “oulda’s” if you’re ever going to figure out how to get what you want. The best thing that you can do is to learn from them, knowing that you can never change them. It’s history, and no matter how you want to rewrite it, it will never change.

When life drops an “oulda” bomb on you, learn from it and learn how to get what you want

Whenever you are confronted by what you shoulda, coulda, or woulda done, you can only sidestep it or block it off, but remember it enough to not make the same mistake again. If you find yourself kicking yourself for something you might have done once, stop and ask yourself, “What can I do THIS time, here and now, that will help me to figure out how to get what I want?”  Trust me, the “oulda” bomb will make you implode into yourself and leave you as quivering mass of “what the’s?” and “why’s?”

Because they come at you in many forms and you often don’t see them for what they are, it’s especially important to recognize them quickly and remove them from your current life’s equation. Once that is done, you can return to how to get what you want out of life.

Trust me, ever since I learned that “IF is the middle word in ‘Life,'” I’ve learned that you will always ask yourself these questions. But, it’s best to use them to figure out where you go from here, NOT to question your life and how it has turned out.

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What’s Bugging Me! Channeling My Inner “Old Man.”

What’s bugging me? Let me tell you.

There is a whole list of what’s bugging me this week. I think that this is what Eric, Kim and the rest of my friends had in mind after my call-in topic on KROQ’s “Kevin and Bean Show” back in early April (waiting on the link from KROQ). Look, I don’t want to be the “people police,” but if I have to, you know I will.

what's bugging me

Crowds and lots of people on their phones.

Last night, I was in Santa Monica for their summer concert series. As the main act was an Aussie country star named Kasey Chambers, no one was there! Hahaha! Just kidding. It was a light crowd with a mix of non-English speaking tourists, kids, and families that were way too big for whatever income they had coming in. Kind of like a disorganized solar system: Mom, pushing the stroller, was the sun; seven kids, milling about as she yelled at them, were the planets; and the dad, eyeing girls in the crowd, including creepily finding ways to eye my date, was a rogue comet hurtling through the whole system, picking up his kids as they were sucked up in his gravitational wake.

The crowds were not what was bugging me. It was the aimless wandering of the crowd as they looked down at their phones, not watching where they were going. Apparently, there was an earth-shattering text or email they just HAD to read while walking! Not stopping and reading it. No, they were evidently on their way to the situation room at the White House and just had to read that important text. Several times, I just stood in one spot and waited for the person on the phone to run into me. Then these people had the gall to give me a look. Eff you, stupid person on your phone not watching where you are going! Eff you! If we would still let predatory species like lions and wolves roam free, you’d be dead. Next time, I’m dropping my shoulder and then you won’t be bugging me so much…

The Olympics

It’s not so much the Olympics, but what everyone thinks are the most popular sports AT the Olympics that is bugging me. At least in LA, we are all excited to see how Team USA is going to do in basketball. I’m sorry, I thought the U.S. Olympic Team was Team USA, not just the overpaid thugs that call themselves basketball players. Correct me if I’m wrong there, Sandy, but when I read Greek history in school (yes, I was educated BEFORE history had become a subjective topic), I don’t remember athletes competing in team sports. It was a nation-state’s best individual athletes against each other, NOT professional mercenaries competing against the best farmers and fisherman that other countries from around the world can muster whose basketball is probably still made of real leather.

On a side note, it is a damn shame that every medal that an athlete wins is taxed by the U.S. for the precious metals IN the medal as well as the prize money they get from the USOC. It could be as much as $8750 for the prize money and another $250 for the metals. And yet, oil companies and those who make millions of dollars get tax breaks and can afford tax accountants who will help them evade more taxes… Amazing…

Drivers who park their cars stupidly

this is bugging me

Look, I understand that some parking spaces were designed when cars were smaller and more “economical” (and looked sh*tty, because well, it was the 1980’s). But, then the SUV came along and cars got bigger and bigger, because in the 90’s and 2000’s who could have thought that people would EVER want smaller, more economical cars? Oh, yes, the Japanese, the South Koreans, the Germans and everyone else who makes cars in the world. But, I digress… What’s bugging me about drivers, and this doesn’t even take in to the fact that every other driver on the road is just AWFUL, is the way they park. There are two lines! They are parallel to each other! It’s called a parking SPACE. They are NOT guidelines, as in “use this guideline to park your car in the center of the line.” Unless it says, “Compact only,” it’s big enough for your car. There is no reason for you to park ON ONE OF THE LINES, especially if I am already parked there! If you can’t position your car between the two lines, then I have to ask how you got your driver’s license…

And don’t even get me started on the d-bag who things it’s okay to park his SUV in the compact space. I may have to start carrying around tire boots with me…

Coal and “America’s Energy” commercials

what's bugging me

Besides being a lie, Pepsi Clear doesn’t exist anymore either…

There is no doubt that we have literally a ton of coal in the United States. But what’s bugging me is this new push by America’s coal producers to tell me to tell my congressman to repeal longstanding EPA regulations so that they can burn more of it for cheaper energy (cheaper energy meaning bigger profits for the company, NOT lower rates for you, the consumer). This is all done under the guise of “coal can burn cleaner these days.” Ah, so someone HAS found the legendary Pepsi Clear of coal out there!! Apparently, now when you burn coal it gives off a gas no worse for the environment than that of raspberry unicorn farts and a slight mist of fairy dust. Nice try coal producers! I tried lighting a piece of coal on fire last week and all I did was repaint my kitchen with a nice gray dust.

Anyway, that’s what’s bugging me for this week. Now that that is off my chest, I can turn my attention to other things like finding a job or starting my own company or finishing up writing projects. Actually, all of those things are bugging me too…

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