The thoughts, reflections, rants, raves, on my life; The life of a Christian, black, gay, male.

On January 16 the San Francisco Chronicle turned 144 years old. Today; only a month and a week later talks of selling or a possible shutting down of the institution have been made public.


I can not say that I was an avid reader of the Sf Chronicle but I am sad to see it disappear. In these uncertain and unforgiving times were long established traditions and institutions are looked upon for guidance; to see them tossed away or buckle under the weight of their own inflated importance (and in most cases arrogance) does cause one to question (if maybe only in the quiet and private recesses of the mind) the order of things which one has come to know.

With such one time or sometime contributors to The San Francisco Chronicle like Mark Twain and Bret Harte one would again reason that not seeing in on laying on a BART train seat or the man in front of K-mart soliciting you to purchase a year subscription is very unfathomable.

As a little boy growing up in Oakland. I would pass the Oakland tribune building and look upon the old style of the structure and its green pyramid top and take notice of how different it was from the rest of down town. When I was older and did decide to become a patron of the many printed words and letters I felt a true disdain for what I found to be a lax in the average Oaklander (or bay area for that matter) point of view. My mother and I would some time would play a game and see how many spelling and or editing errors we could find in a single article and by the year 2000 well lets just say that we both canceled or subscriptions. (Saying that I realize I open myself up to the fullest of scrutiny and the label of hypocrisy. I will answer that now by saying I am not "paid" to write any articles and everything I write is of my own free will and time. When one is "paid" to do a job the level of quality should match such.)

I then turned across the bay to the Chronicle. I did find that its views did (at one time but no longer) seem to echo mine. Also, reading it was not some laborious Sisyphean task that made me break out my grammar book to see if I or this nationally syndicated thing was wrong in its usage of the English language. That too did get put to rest when I purchased my first computer and then my first cell phone. There was no need to "buy" the news when it was readily available and more often than not up-to-date. It was (back then) the way of the future. You could get the latest, more accurate, and even differentiating views at the push of a button or click of a mouse. This I believe was one of the biggest steaks to be driven into the heart of all newspapers everywhere. Once back when "The Paper" was thee only source of local and international information people could not even think of a day when it would not be such. With the on set of the twentieth century The Chronicle had already survived and reported on major events such earthquakes, fires, stock market crashes and the changing from nineteenth to twentieth . Now, this time, almost ten short years after reporting (yet again) earthquakes, fires, stock market crashes, and the changing of twenty to twenty one the Chronicle might have to take its final bow.

"The way of the future" as the ancient saying goes. The average person probably does not even have the time to sit down and read a full an entire news paper anymore when they can read the two paragraph blurb while checking their e-mail. The classifieds are of little use when there is Craigslist, monster, hotjob, and e-bay (lest we forget amazon). The business section is said to be out of date the minuet it is printed just by the ever quicken nature of its name sake. Even the comic section does not print the classics of childhood nor the interesting quirks of today (we have you tube for that).

So farewell SF Chronicle you will be missed but nothing not even the mountains and the sea last forever. The things of old must make way for the things that are new so, "C'est la vie".

©Christopher F. Brown 2009

WOW what an episode. I know some will say that I have a bias in my rating of this episode but I give it five stars anyway.

Normally Television does not move me to write about it as I am doing right now but this was such and episode that the writers and the actors need some accolade (even if it is from little ole me lol). Tonight's episode of Law & Order SVU was entitled " Transitions";


the short of it: a prepubescent boy transitioning to a girl and his fathers attempt to stop it who is subsequently attacked outside a strip club.

I somewhat take a little bit of pride in being able to figure shows like "Law & Order", "Without a trace", and " Cold case" out rather quickly because lets face it if you apply logic to the fact that this is a story; a work of fiction from a team of writer then it apply a tad bit of psychology to the mix it all unfolds before your eyes the way you thought it might. I normally figure it out before when the episode is in its mid way point as well (which is when they try and do something to throw you off your original theory). Tonight's episode however was a shining example of writing and acting at its pinnacle. My original theory was that the boy (who was on her way to being a young woman) had something to do with the attack on her father because of obvious reasons. I though that she would not have attacked the father directly but maybe an over sensitive, over zelous boyfriend may have done the act in an attempt to prove his valor .

The episode unfolds and sure enough there was a love interest but it was very unrequited (and the only unrealistic part I would say). The young boy transitioning to a young woman heart lay with a bit older woman transitioning to a bit older man. Being a gay man myself and knowing a few people going threw (or have gone threw the process) this seems highly unlikely (however I have met a guy who is transitioning to a woman whom identifies himself as a lesbian. I KNOW but that's another topic.) Time is swiftly winding down and my original theory seems not to be panning out so I've become very intrigued to see whom the actual culprit is when the schools guidance counselor tips her hat (and in retrospect I do now believe that hindsight is always 20/2o). She in one of her sessions with the young girl said to her that her father was a low life for always being at strip clubs. This was a fact that ONLY the police and the father knew so bamb the killer. They posse up to confront the rampaging school worker and sure enough she readily hands over the bloody jacket(a key missing peice of evidence). This is when I turn my head and scratch it not because the facts did not add up but the "why" the "motive" did not make any sense.

As a school counselor realistically she would have had children coming to her that would have been experiencing wide range of things like, rape, gang violence, incest, drug addiction, why was this young boy entering womanhood so special (not mentally paying attention to the show the woman playing the D.A. was asking the same questions while the school counselor was on the witness stand). That is when the bomb (and how mad I was for not seeing how predictable it was) drops and the school counselor reveals tearfully that she had once been a man as well. During "her" time as a man a person had to spend at least 3 years as the opposite (inner) sex before a doctor would consider surgery and there were no pills to take only duct tape and padding. "She" then reviled that she was mutilated in a back alleyway there by revealing the true motive for her actions. Like I said WOW.

Every now and then they slip one in that goes above the normal writing bar and it throws me of leaving me astounded and when they throw in a message as well I become fully impressed; kudos. In hindsight I should have (and maybe my bias as a gay man and transgender friendly prevented me) seen that when the guidance counselor kept covering for the young woman after throwing books at teachers and many fights in school and NOT being expelled that something was up with her. This was an amazing episode and very well acted Kudos to the writers and actors of this episode; you got me.

©Christopher F. Brown 2009

This little event in history might seem inconsequential but it has shown me a pattern about AT&T and well I had to put it out there. It starts way back on January 28, 2009 my aunt (the nosy one whom I will now call inquisitive) was evicted from her home because her landlord (like so many other people around California and the nation) had the property foreclosed upon. At that point she had service with AT&T for about a week (the whole package deal: internet, cable, and all) On that day I stood there and watched her call AT&T and tell them to switch service to next door (my place) and here my friends is where the story begins.

My aunt was told by AT&T that someone would come out between 8-10 am on February (Friday) 13 and just switch the service over. The date came and at 9am a man was next door knocking at the door. The walls of this old house are not thin so I don't know how we heard the man knocking upstairs next door at my aunts old apartment; maybe I was already on the cusp of awakening. My aunt and I tell the man that he has the old address and that he is looking for here. The poor man looks at his paperwork and makes the mistake of telling my aunt that on his paper work it says that he is to install everything at her old address (poor guy). My aunt flips her lid and unleashes hell asking the man "what the hell was his problem?" and "can you idiots not get simple numbers right?” I had to come to the mans rescue; you could see in his shirking eyes (and stature) that he clearly had no idea what was going on. I told my aunt that it was not his fault that he is just an installer and only following orders to which he quickly nodded his head in agreement. I told the man to call his office and explain to them what was going on and we can go from there. This seemed to appease my aunt and gave the man back a few inches.

Ten minuets latter the man comes back with his supervisor on the phone and he explains to me (notice not to my aunt lol) that there had been some mix up. There had been an order to "install" service at her old address next door over again and there was no mention of setting up service at the new address. I tell the man to go and I would inform my aunt (It was safer that way). My aunt flipped her lid again but this time there was not poor installation man for her to spew her wrath upon. She calms down calls AT&T and sets up a new appointment for today. (Sadly) this is where things again plunge back into the netherworld of customer service.

Around 8:45 am this morning I hear my aunt opening the door (along with thunder sounding like it was renting the sky in two). The installation man was not here. 9:45 turns to 10 and the installation man is still not here. She calls AT&T and they assure her that someone is on their way. 10:45 comes around and she leaves me her phone telling me that she must wash a few cloths but the "people" should be here in a bit. 125pm comes around along with my aunt asking if the "people" came and in hesitated to inform her that they hadn’t. She quickly got on the phone to curse out any (and maybe everyone) that worked at AT&T.

The first person she got she told what happen and they did the whole thing and apologize and left her on hold for 20 minuets (which was the right amount of time that it took for her phone too lose the signal). The second person stayed a little longer but I think insulted her and told her that she would have to pay some sort of fee for "re-installation" to which she replied "I not paying a damn thing let me speak to your supervisor" I heard the woman say "you know what we are done here" and she hung up on my aunt. The third person she talked to was a man named mike. She went through the whole process again and this "Mike" was very informative. He told her that when she initially called to have her service switched the woman she talked to cancelled the service (at her old address next door) but never sent out a work order so the service was still active next door. Mike also told her that he has a record of her order for today and it is in the computer and someone should have come but for some reason no one ever did. By now my aunt has turned a deep burgundy color and is having a glass of wine. "Mike" tells her that he is going to try and figure out what is going on and he would give her a call back that way she would not have to stay on the phone (as of 4:33 "mike" has not called back)

At first glance this seems like a regular blip in customer service but this is not the first experience I've been privy to witness with AT&T. When my mother also inquired about their bundle service I went in the store with her. They gave her all the information and I told her not to sign anything and make it perfectly clear to the man that you just wanted information. To make this long story short the man told my mother the only way that he could tell her exactly how much everything would cost would to be to put all her information in the computer but he could easily delete it out. (It would not be a legal and binding contract because A: she paid no money, B: she signed nothing anywhere.) The following week a woman calls my mother to confirm her installation date. My mother told me that she told the woman that she did not sign up she was only getting information and that she did not want the service. My mother said that the woman told her that the contract was in the computer and that there was a note that said she was going to sign the contract upon installation. Unlike my aunt my mother did not blow up she just calmly told the woman that she did not want them to come out and would not sign anything. On that Saturday I happen to be there and an AT&T installation man knocked at her door with a contract in hand saying that he was here to setup service. My mom told him to leave her property (in a nice way mind you) and promptly spent the next hour on the phone with AT&T telling them to "Cancel" her non-existent service.

The moral of this story. I haven’t had problems with them personally (mainly because I can’t afford them) but if the day ever does come when I can I do not think I will seek the services of AT&T. If by chance this kills a future sponsor so be it. In these times when people are not willing to part with their hard earn money for shoddy products/services offering horrible customer service to them is akin (in my eyes) to say I don’t know a company asking for billions and billions of dollars from the government (tax payers i.e. ME) because they are on the verge of going under and taking the economy with it; only to turn around and throw parties costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, hand out million dollar bonus to the very executives that ran the company to the tipping point. Oh and don’t forget taking personal jets to Washington to ask for the money they supposedly don’t have.

©Christopher F. Brown 2009

Ok everyone slit your wrists now (whats even more scary is the fact that I know some people out there are jumping for joy) I just herd about this and I though it was just some bad joke or even a lie but a few google searches later and I find that it is true. I now have to check and see that I am not in someone's horrible twilight zone coma and they have just awaken almost 20 years later to have this as the first thing they see.

Mc Hammer and Vanilla Ice will be sharing a stage Friday, February 27, 2009, at 8:00 p.m. at the McKay Events Center in Orem, Utah. I know this still sounds weird and strange (even a tad bit apocalyptic) to me. I was around when these two where in their hay-day. I remember when Hammer challenged Michale Jackson to a dance off and in turn Mr. Ice challenged Mr. Hammer to the same. Being the proud Oaklander that I am; I witnessed first hand when things got started and when The Mc requested for Pumps and a Bump and to his dismay got his video banned on MTV and the only place you could really see it in its full (frontal) and unedited form was to order on the Box (now I am ageing myself). I dare not forget the " 2 legit 2 quit" hand motions that everybody 30 and up still remembers how to do but wont ever do nor admit to knowing in public

What was more fun was being an eleven year old boy and witnessing the birth (on the large movie screen) of ninja rap

I know people say that sarcasm does not always translate (much like Mr. Ice's acting skills in Cool as ice) when written but WOW; I mean really WOW. If I were a rich man (and not under pressure, I know that was cheesy)I would go to this event just to see if somewhere (maybe playing the drums) a woman named Babylon riding on a multi headed dragon was there as well. Then again as amazed as I am by the "WTF" value of it all I would go (not for longer than 10 or 15 minuets) but I would go. This is one of those rare things in "WTF" history that you really have to be there just to see and be witness to just so you know that in fact it was real and it did happen. I mean its in the same category as when Pattie la bell sung with Cindy lauper and they both hit the same note. Or when some girl threw their bra onstage to one of the Jonas brothers and when he realized what it was acted as if it was something infected with disease and covered in slime and would not even touch it (im side tracking here).

I wonder if they will both bust out the typewriter at the same time? Now that would be worth the $30 alone.

Long ago I posted something about my nosy aunt that lived next door. Well she now lives inside of my house thanks to her landlord suffering (like so other many millions of people) from foreclosure. Things have not been that bad but it is very crowded. The hardest part was convincing her to throw most of her things away. I forgot to mention that in addition to being nosy she is a humongous pack-rat. Yes, yes if anyone of you have a person like that in your family imagine them right up under you nose at all times, fun huh.

Like I said its not that bad though and she is family and I love her so "whadda ya gonna do" right? right.

thanks for reading my blog

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

About this blog

I offer my own unique voice, my own vision. I think the saying goes that writers write because no one else can say what they have to say quite the way they have to say it. That is why I write, that is what I offer.



My twitter