Aug 162014

Friends of mine are working on a pilot for a teevee show that’s currently being called Monster girls.

Because friends, and because – well, what’s not to like about Monster Girls – I got involved in a Kickstarted to help fund the production.

One of the thank-you gifts was a portrait by production artist Stephen Siemens, and I think really that it turned out rather well; it really captures my true self, don’t you think?


Thanks to my dear friend Salome Strangelove for doing the treatments on this (refining colors and prepping for web use). Salome is a fucking peach.

Apr 102014

Ok, now that I’ve had some time to research the whole story and reach out to family, I know a little more about the situation.

Details of Brandon’s death are private by family request; I respect that. If you knew Brandon and want to discuss privately, let me know (comments or email).

Suffice to say it was sudden, and unexpected, and accidental.

Which leads me to the status of blog and web site hosting.

I host quite a number of blogs – some locally at, and others at other sites. All these lived on Brandon’s server, which is hosted at This is aside from Brandon’s other businesses and hosting, which I have nothing to do with directly.

For those I host, or have hosted, the status at this time is this: The vendor has kindly allowed four months free ride while we sort out ownership and access. This means we have four months in which to find alternate hosting, if needed.

Meanwhile, I’m working with Brandon’s next of kin, and with the extremely kind folks at Digital Ocean, to assume control of Brandon’s server.

I do not yet know if this will succeed; I’m hopeful, but it’s not a done deal. If I do, I’ll keep it for at least a year, and help as I can to restore access, and help people copy data elsewhere. I may keep it after, if things work out well and the pricing makes sense; I may not. We’ll revisit that later.

If I do not succeed in getting control of teh machine, we have 4 months to copy blog content, and then the old server will go away, and my adventure in blog hosting with it.

Either way, will survive, and (if desired) any hosted blogs with it (Ray’s blog, for example).

My profound thanks to Brian Dawson, Brandon’s cousin, for support in this effort.

Mar 302014

I just now learned – 3 fucking months later – that Brandon Dawson, my friend, my business partner, and the guy who’s provided hosting for me all these years, passed away xmas eve 2013.

I’m crushed. He was the guy I came to for web help, and he never failed me, no matter how rough things got. He was more a family member than just a friend; I’ve helped him out of jams, he’s helped me keep my life afloat emotionally for years, just by providing this space.

I don’t even begin to know how to process this.

Dammit Brandon, what happened? Was it that bad you could even reach out?

The world I’d a poorer place; I’m fucking sorry I didn’t know it.

Feb 072014

This is just the most beautiful thing ever.

I’ve long been a fan of Doves, a band with amazing lyricism. Honestly, it was Jimi Goodwin that first caught my attention; who plays bass upside down, without re-stringing it? It’s just wrong. But then I heard him sing, and that was it.

Doves have been on some sort of unofficial hiatus for ages; I’ve waited and waited for new music. Turns out Jimi’s been making his own.

He recently released the first single from an upcoming (march) solo album, Odludek. And it’s a thing of beauty – listen below.

But then – he released a video to go with it. And it’s even MORE stunningly beautiful.

Listen. Watch. And in march, go buy the album.

Dec 052013

I have this dream of writing a western.

Not really – you know, a whole novel (because hell if I can finsih anything anymore). BUt at least a short story.

In concept, it makes complete sense. My fiction is all tough-guy, man of action, violence, loneliness, and heartbreak. Bikers, cowboiys, private eyes; noir of the old west.

I have it in me, because – well, I can fucking write.

The trouble I’m having though – aside from the never having a fucking minute to myself problem – is that I just can’t find the form. I can’t quite internalize what a western really is, what it should be. I’ve attempted Loius L’amour, larry McMurtry, Zane Gray, Jack Schaefer, Cormac McCarthy. It’s not that I don’t like them – some, anyway. But it’s that I can’t find that onw voice that resonates enough to do it myself.

With Noir and hard-boiled crime fiction, i have it; I’ve read enough Dashiell Hammett, enough Raymon Chandler, enough Ross Macdonald and Dennis Lehane and John MAcDonald, enough James M. Cain and Elmore Leonard. I get it; I speak it. I can write it.

But the western isn’t resonating with me yet; I’m not hearing it in my head.

I’m currently reading Hondo by Loius L’amour. I have a real weakness for Loius L’amour, because my grandfather used to read him, and I’d find the paperbacks around our house, and pick ‘em up and read. I like L’amour’s masculine, strong prose. But I struggle with the cliches, the tendancy to tell us over and over, that Our Hero is A Hero; repeated referneces to strength, hardness, squinty eyes.

It’s not my prose, as a reader, or as a writer.

Maybe it’s the mode problem; I am always most comfortable working in first person, and I’ve yet to read a western that’s not third-person. Maybe I can’t find the voice to narrate in the voice of an 1870’s westerner. Sure, I can get around it; I could narrate as the side-kick, or push myself to write third person; but perhaps I just can’t hear the narrative because I have yet to read any in that mode.

I tought myself to write by reading; I have an ear for narrative and dialog, and know when something sounds right; when it’s clean and sharp, when it’s awkward. I know it by feel, not because I learned the rules and follow them. Rules and I have an uneasy relationship. So I need a model, a sound, a structure. Not to follow, but to measure against – Does This Sound Wrong.

So my search continues. Maybe the form is more appealing in concept than in fact; maybe, really, I just do not love the western. But in my head there’s a rough, damaged man in faded denim and worn-down boots; a man who’s fraught and lost, who’s running from his past, or himself. A man who’s got a last battle to fight, before he goes down and dies in the dust, or finds himself in the wild lands and the struggle for some greater good.

I have a character, I can see him. I just have to find a story and a voice.



Nov 272013

My friend Ben Prisk just dropped this wonderful thing on my Facebook wall.

He’s an amazing artist, and an amazing man; I have yet to meet him, but one day soon.

I love this drawing.



…And yes, day-after-tomorrow (Thursday) is my birthday.




Nov 242013

I got myself blocked from my own website somehow – I couldn’t possibly explain how (because I don’t know), but thanks to Brandon, who is a gentleman-and-a-scholar, and keeps this site and many others up and running for vastly inadequate pay, I’m back in and can resume inaction voluntarily, rather than enforced inaction.

So there’s that.

Meanwhile, there’s this: you know you want some.

Shot in Mexico – Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Jul 302013

A couple of quick Skull Ring notes.

First, Tony Creed has a new site that looks pretty slick. Go visit him at!

I love Tony’s stuff; my first skull ring was my ELVIS LIVES ‘riffman’. Tony’s still the original badass in the industry and his stuff is stil as cave-man-biker as ever.

Second,another favorite designer, MT Maloney, has just released this brillian, HUGE ring: the JUPITER:


MT’s awesome, and this is really a statement piece. He won’t even be offering this in small sizes; you need Big Old Man Hands to wear it.

I want it.

Jul 242013

I just wanted to push a particular favorite artist of mine, Adam Franklin.

Adam was the lead guy in one of my favorite bands of all time, Swervedriver.

He’s been a significant solo artists for some while, and has released a number of excellent solo albums, both as Adam Franklin as as Toshack Highway

He’s just released a wonderful new album, Black Horses (buy on iTunes or Amazon).


This is a bit of a departure for Adam; where Swervedriver were hard, loud, driving music with a sometimes shoegaze feel, his solo work has been more varied; sometimes more basic rock, sometimes shoegaze drone. But this album has a softer feel, and an oddly 60’s vibe. Often acoustic, It almost seem like a more intimate, personal version of Adam Franklin.

It tool a little time for me to get to know this one; it’s growing on me with each spin.

Give it a try.



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