Texas Vacation 1999

May 1999: Colleen, Emily and I drove to Rockport to see Evilcal. First visited San Antonio for awhile, then Round Rock to see Jeff & Monica. Pictures below…

Emily & Knight in San Antonio Feeding the birds in Corpus
Stopping for gas My new PLA hat, purchased in San Antonio Lots of tornado damage driving through Moore, Oklahoma
Emily and Colleen at Ripley’s Believe it or Not. San Antonio, Texas Emily at the hottub EvilCal, Emily and Brad in Rockport, Texas In some hotel room

A few 2600 meetings, 1999

Friday, January 1, 1999: 2600 Meeting. Well, I had actually planned to make it to this meeting but it snowed all day and the news put out a major weather advisory telling everyone to stay indoors unless it was absolutely neccessary to go outside. Of course I wimped out and didn’t make it to the meeting but I guess that was a good thing since the mall closed at 6:00 because of the weather.

April 2, 1999: 2600 Meeting. Okay we have a major problem now – Fazoli’s will no longer give away free breadstick refills without buying an entree. What the hell is an entree?? Does it seem right that we should have to pay 34 cents for every breadstick? Oh yeah about the meeting. Nothing interesting happened. Phusion sat at another table to hit on a couple of pre-teen girls and security came over and harassed HIM. The guy asked to see Phusion’s ID because he was smoking. When Phusion showed proof that he was 18 years old the security guard made up a new rule that you have to be 21 years old to smoke in the mall. Hahahaha, you suck Phusion. Mall security guards don’t like you, you must feel like shit, eh?

PhusionBYTE Being hounded by security. god of dirt, rbcp, fade & xenomorph
god of dirt god of dirt, rbcp and fade hiding

Friday, May 7th, 1999: 2600 Meeting. I got my usual order of breadsticks from Fazoli’s today but they weren’t light and fluffy like they usually are. They were kind of burnt and crispy and tasted a little stale. You might think this would be an isolated incident, maybe a new cook in the breadstick kitchen or something but the thing is that I was at the Fazoli’s in Alton just a few days ago and the breadsticks were the same. Could Fazoli’s have released a memo to all their stores with a new breadstick recipie? Say it isn’t so! I would try to organize the 2600 meeting to hold a ralley demanding the return of good breadsticks but for some reason everyone at the meeting thinks I’m a moron. I just don’t understand…

2600 Meeting, December 1998

Friday, December 4, 1998: 2600 meeting. I only stayed at this meeting for an hour because I had other important things to do like go to the watch store to replace the dead battery in my watch. I had planned to go back down there but my 2-year-old daughter insisted that we go to McDonald’s immediately and of course she won. Kinda sucks because I missed meeting bumr by only an hour or so. Ah well…

2600 Meeting, November 1998

Friday, November 6, 1998: 2600 meeting. Even with Phusion dragging along a big gang of Highland, Illinois guys, today’s meeting was kind of small and nothing really all that great happened. I think we managed to tick off the manager of Fazolli’s by getting our free breadsticks over and over and over with a different person each time. Security kept their distance like they’re supposed to, probably because Vampyre stayed home. Damn, that guy is bad luck. Now that I think about it, it was probably a really great meeting but I left at 7:30 for fear of missing my bedtime so I probably just missed out on all the fun.

2600 Meeting, October 1998

Friday, October 2, 1998: 2600 meeting. Spuds doesn’t show up so of course bad things happen. About 45 minutes into the meeting, a young security guard walks up to our group and stands there for a few seconds. “What’s going on here?” he asks. Everyone stares in silence. This is a weird thing because our group has always been rather tame and security has never seemed to bother us before except the incident two months ago where one of the older guards came over and politely asked us to stop pointing our laser pens at the people on the escalators.

“You guys can’t be sitting here like this,” he says. “Like what,” we ask. He tells us we have to sit at the tables and can’t have our chairs pushed away from the tables or out in the isles, although I glace around the food court and notice that we’re not the only ones breaking this rule. Everyone complies and the result is about 4 little miniature 2600 meetings instead of the usual big 2600 meeting. No big deal, nobody complains and after he leaves we have a good laugh about it. Then a few minutes later, the guard comes back with reinforcements.

He brings another guard with him, points to Vampyre and says, “That’s the one.” This is Vampyre’s first time to a 2600 meeting and we’re all wondering what’s going on. The guard makes him stand up, then tells him he needs to put his coat on because the back of his t-shirt has foul language on it. This is true so Vampyre puts his coat on and that’s the end of it. Security kind of left us alone the rest of the night but they kept walking by and giving us evil looks every 15 minutes or so.

Other than that, it’s your average boring meeting. Lots of people show up, a bunch of gang bangers walk over to one table and tell Wraith, “You the ugliest motha fucka I ever seen” and informs us all that halloween isn’t until the 31st. Everyone immediately whips out their Day Runners and organizers to jot down this bit of useful information as the gang bangers leave. I go home around 9:00 so if anything interesting happened after that, I sure missed it.

St. Louis Trip

One day, in 1989, my parents and brother left for the day. I forget where they went, but a couple of friends and I decided to make a full day vacation out of it. At 5:30 in the morning I could hear everyone outside of my room getting ready to leave. As soon as they were out of the house and pulling out of the driveway, I was calling up Shonna and Casey and getting ready to leave. We came back to my house for a few hours and performed a bunch of karaoke with my brother’s sound equipment. Then we decided on an all day trip to St. Louis. We took my brother’s car and visited the zoo, the science center, the Arch and some kind of museum. We returned at some point in the afternoon/evening. Here are a few pictures from the day…

Before leaving for our trip, we spent a few hours at home. Me and Shonna – click this one to see the promotional Ghostbusters 2 Hardees cup! We were in my brother’s room, using some of his sound equipment to perform songs. This is Casey doing Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train.
Casey running down the steps in front of the Arch Me, Shonna and Casey – we probably asked some stranger to take this picture. Casey under the Arch
Casey and Shonna in front of the museum fountain Me and Shonna Shonna and Casey – I think this is at the St. Louis Zoo

Note: I listed this entry as 01/01/1989, but really I have no idea which day it actually was.

Top 40 Countdown

One apparently lonely Sunday in 1988, I decided to sit around, writing down every song on Casey Kasem’s top 40 countdown as they were played. And then, even stranger yet, I ended up keeping the list for about 15 years before scanning into my webpage and throwing it away. You can click on the image below to make it bigger. 103.3 KHTR was once my favorite St. Louis radio station until one night, completely unannounced, they switched to an oldies format. I went to bed listening to rock and woke up listening to oldies. This was very devastating. The copyright on the bottom of the page means “Weird Ideas Incorporated.”

Rubicon 2002 Wrapup

April 2002: Here are all of my pictures from Rubicon 4. You’ll have to excuse the blurriness of some of the pictures since I have a crappy digital camera. This year I managed to drag along 4 other people with me to Rubicon – EvilCal (who actually drove up from southern Texas just to go), isotek (known as Wraith in the pictures from last year), Green God (a friend of mine from the St. Louis 2600 meetings) and Adrenaline (another from the 2600 meetings).

Me and EvilCal drove to St. Louis on Thursday afternoon to pick up isotek, green god and adrenaline and brought them back to my house. The next morning we wake up at about 5:00 AM, pack everything into EvilCal’s car and we’re on Interstate 55 by 6:00 AM. We only make a few stops and we end up at Rubicon at about 3:00 PM.

Ladymace decides that this annoying, drunk 14-year-old kid who goes by Spike needs to be shut up by hog tying him up with duct tape. Evilcal puts his arms on the kid’s shoulder, inviting him to our room for a party. Here you see Spike sitting on our bed, just seconds before he notices all the people looking at him and exclaims, “Hey, what’s going on here??”
click on this image for another view
Spike’s questions are answered when several people jump on top of him and begin to tie his legs and hands with duct tape. He breaks free from the duct tape. So handcuffs are used which are reinforced with more duct tape. That holds him. He eventually escapes but for the rest of the con he’s a little quieter than before.
click on this image for another view
Here’s the Rubicon sticker car. It had an empty spot on it so I felt it was my civic duty to slap a yellow Phone Losers sticker on it. Some of you might remember Tunak Tunak by Daler Mehndi (that weird indian-sounding song) being played nonstop on FRS channel #12 all weekend during the con. Here’s our ultra-elite broadcasting setup – an FRS base station sitting next to my laptop.
Since the con was rather tame, compared to previous cons, we decided we HAD to do something. So the best we could come up with was to stack all of our hotel room’s furniture as high as possible against one wall. Here’s a table. With 2 chairs on it. And a lamp. Aren’t we cool? And here’s Green God, trapped behind our creation. We could have done this a lot better. At least we weren’t destructive, just annoying.
A couple of quick pictures before we leave our room for good. Before we left we turned on the shower’s hot water. As we were leaving the hotel (30 minutes later) we opened up the door to our room and peeked in and you could barely see or breathe because of all the steam in the room. Bet the maids loved us for that.
click on this image for another view
As usual, RijilV is always happy to see me. Around the end of the con, some hotel lady asked Jim Tantalo if she could have a word with him in private. Here’s a picture I snapped just as she was angrily saying, “In all my years of working at this hotel I have NEVER seen this amount of damage and you will be held responsible for all of it!”
As we were leaving the con, we noticed some guy wearing a PLA t-shirt so we started interrogating him about where he got it. He easily broke down crying after just a few minutes. 2 of the pay phones survived, 1 of them didn’t. Notice the handset ripped off of the first phone.
Returning our Items of Destruction back to Krogers. We had bought a few items from Krogers on Saturday night, hoping to cause a little confusion at the con since it was turning out to be boring as hell. But when we got back to the hotel later, things were heating up with the hotel staff and police being there. So we decided doing bad things wouldn’t be a good idea. A hotel manager eyes everyone suspiciously on Sunday morning. This is the same lady who was lecturing Jim just an hour earlier.
As we were leaving the hotel for good, we noticed a door with caution tape and a sign from the Romulus Police Department warning people to stay out of that stairwell. I assume that this is the stairwell that fire extinguishers went off in. Isotek walks back to the car, excited about going to Cereal City next.

We left the Marriott at about 10:00 AM and decided to make a stop at Cereal City in Battle Creek, Michigan which was about 2 hours away. EvilCal really wanted to stop there on the way to Rubicon but I refused to pull the car over. As much as none of us really wanted to go, EvilCal won and we stopped there just for him. He was even nice enough to pay for all of our tickets to tour the factory and everyone ended up having an excellent time there. In fact, I think that we all agreed that Cereal City was much cooler than Rubicon. Next year we might just skip Rubicon and spend our weekend at Cereal City instead, saving 4 hours of driving time. Maybe we can talk to the Rubicon staff about holding Rubicon at Cereal City next year.

Kellog’s Cereal City in Battle Creek, MI Look at the pretty cereal boxes stacked everywhere!
isotek, greengod and adrenaline testing out their hacking skills at Cereal City. Adrenaline is mesmorized by the cereal moving around when he spins the wheel.
Redboxchilipepper EvilCal
Adrenaline Green God
isotek It was a hard day at Cereal City – Green God and Adrenaline get some rest on the way back home to St. Louis.

We left Cereal City around noon and drove back to St. Louis. We ended up making a lot of stops on the way back so we didn’t get home until about 9:00 PM that night.

6/24/2002 update: Okay, this is weird. A little over 2 months has passed since Rubicon. When I reserved my room for Rubicon I used my PayPal Mastercard. I did this because I knew there was the smallposibility that we would cause damage in our room and since my PayPal account averages around $3.00 on a good day they wouldn’t be able to bill my credit card for the damages. Good call on my part. A week or 2 after Rubicon, the Marriott tried to charge my PayPal card for about $14.00 or so. It was for the bottled water that we opened and the internet access that we didn’t pay for on the 2nd day. Instead of checking out and paying for it, we just left. We didn’t think it was fair to charge us $4.00 for the water because the sign said, “Your room will be charged $4.00 if you consume this water.” Well we didn’t consume the water, we just poured it’s contents onto the floor. Major difference there. Anyway, here’s the weird part…

This weekend I get something in the mail from the Romulus Marriott. I figure it’s a bill for the $14.00 I owe them. I think “Neat, I’ll stuff some of my daughter’s play money in it and send it back to them.” But I open it up and it’s a check for $9.15.

Attached to the check was a perferated section like you’d get with a paycheck. On that it says it’s a credit because I overpaid. And it’s definitely from the Romulus Marriott. See below:

So is this some kind of evil trick? Are they trying to get me to deposit this check into my bank account so they’ll get my bank account number? Is it an honest mistake where they initially charged us an extra $9.15 when we paid almost $200 for the room? Should I burn the check? Should I wipe my butt with it and send it back? If they really owed me $9.15 why didn’t they take it out of my $14.00?? Should just deposit the damn thing and quit being paranoid? I know I’m just going to lose weeks of sleep over this.

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