June 25, 2013


So with all the issues some Native Americans have with the nicknames of sports teams, why is it the Chicago Blackhawks, logo and all, are actually favored by the same groups?

It starts with Blackhawk being a person, not a derogatory or slang term for a people or a group. Chief Blackhawk was a real guy and is considered a hero to native peoples around here. Not to mention hockey having its historic roots in North America long before the Europeans came.

Plus this...

June 22, 2013

Truth About Chicago

It's what we let the tourists eat. It's what you order in for delivery when Aunt Martha and Uncle Edmund are visiting from Hartford or something. I've had it once or twice and it's okay but when Chicagoans eat pizza when the out-of-towners aren't watching it's thin crust and would be recognizable anywhere. I don't know what the big deal is, and I don't like it when Chicago is identified as the place that either invented it or is THEE place to get it. I think the whole thing is stupid and, the truth is, so does most everybody I know here.

 2. LOU MALNATI'S PIZZA (deep dish or thin)
It's touted as the best in Chicago. It's overrated and can't hold a candle to any local, small chain, or Mom & Pop pizza joint you can find throughout the city or the suburbs.

When the Cubs won their last championship they didn't win it at Wrigley. Tinker to Evers to Chance happened at West Side Park. The fact of the matter is that ever since they moved to Wrigley Field they have been zeroed out in the World Series, and that was over 100 years ago. As a White Sox fan I eternally hope they stay there. If you're visiting and your team is in town try to go see the place. You'll get some nice scenery and your team will get a win. Win-win.

Yes they dye it green for St. Patrick's Day, but it's mostly green anyway. It does, actually, flow the opposite way than all other rivers in the world - in from the lake rather than out to the lake.

It really isn't any more or less corrupt than any other big city in America. There aren't any "river wards" that bring in late votes to steal elections and haven't been since probably the 30's. There is nepotism and an old boy's network - that's how they crammed in Rahm Emmanuel as mayor even though he didn't live here long enough to qualify - and maybe that's done to a larger degree than most places. But under-the-table and bribery and skimming off the top or the bottom or anywhere else isn't any more prominent than other places. It mostly has to do with a long-ago reputation and sometimes we like to let you think that's how it is so you leave us the hell alone.

Another thing we don't tell you if you're not from here is that, though we have a reputation for brutal and awful winters and torrid, humid summers, May and September are absolutely the best times to visit and the best times to be here and live here. Moderately warm, fresh days with cool nights ("good sleeping weather") are just about the law during those two months. Nobody tells you that because though we're proud of our city too many tourists are a pain in the ass. Yes winter can get dicey and August can be oppressive as hell itself. But really not that much worse than other places.

Nobody gives a shit anymore. Like deep-dish pizza. It's for the tourists. He lived in Cicero anyway so wtf?

You call it the Loop. People who live here just "go downtown." I've never heard anybody who lives here ever call it "The Loop" unless they're, again, talking to a tourist. You know, we try to give you your money's worth.

Doesn't happen in places you would ever visit anyway. That doesn't mean it isn't a problem. But it really isn't related directly to poverty alone, unless you want to go great-big picture I guess. Mostly it's gang related. The tragedy is that the gangs around here can't seem to shoot straight and a lot of innocent people in their neighborhoods pay the price for it. People keep saying it's the police department's fault. I don't know. Maybe. But a little parenting before all this shit went down might have helped. I mean, y'know?

There's things here that are maybe hard to appreciate unless you live here or stop looking like a visitor from out-of-town. Like any big city we have our special things. Stuff that might interest you are things like
Resurrection Mary. A better and less-exploited ghost story that the stupid old St. Valentine's Day Massacre. There really isn't anywhere to go see, but it's a creepier story is all.
Portillo's  though most noted for it's Chicago-style hot dogs (A "Chicago-style" hot dog is all about the ingredients, but to locals old enough to remember it is also the entire comparison to the hot dogs sold in the summer by neighborhood street-vendors - now illegal - of yesteryear. Of which Dick Portillo himself understood because he basically did that when he started), it is also the home of the single most underrated cheeseburger I've ever known. Flame not grease. Red onions not white. And you are not hungry after one.Because Portillo's is known as the hot dog place, its cheeseburger may be the best kept secret in town.
Main Street - Museum of Science & Industry  It's not a big display, but for freaks like me you walk down this street inside the museum, go see a silent picture in a narrow little movie theater and then have an ice cream sundae at the soda shop. Great to take your kids here.
There are a few other things we keep from you. Like the weather in May and September. But you probably won't hear or experience them unless you worm your way into our world.

It is basically shredded Italian beef on a big french bread roll, sopping and dripping with grease and loaded with sweet or hot peppers. It can be ordered "dry" so that there's less grease, but it won't be totally dry. The best of these are in one-up shops, not usually chains. Neighborhood carry-outs and such. If ordering and eating there there is a proper stance taken in order to eat. Standing up, belly away from the counter, elbows supporting your weight on the counter, both hands on the sandwich, and bite. It is a Cryin' Shame (oh... that used to be a local rock band years ago). That we are more known for the stupid deep=dish pizza than this concoction is a living travesty.

Yes it's true, but it isn't anything like "Da Bears" or "Da Coach" crap they did on Saturday Night Live. That was a parody of the real thing. Besides, it would be DUH Bears or DUH Coach. But whattayagonna do? Like the proper way to say "Chicago." It's like AW. Chi-CAW-go. It isn't Chi-CAH-go. People who live here but aren't from here can be easily spotted because they can't shake the CAH.

The truth is it's better than what you've seen on TV. Here are a few examples...

"Jeet?" - It means "did you eat?" It's a way of saying hello because if you come for a visit we'll feed you before anything else.
"Grahjkee" - Someone is talking about the key to the garage. What?
"Tree." - This is the number 3.

I've done this before so I won't go further. But the truth is the farther out into the suburbs you go the less prominent this is.

In recent years there are constant disparaging remarks made between the two communities (city and burbs) but after looking into it a little I find it to be a false argument. It seems to be more prevalent among young people. But most of the young people who live in the city who make disparaging remarks about the suburbs were born in the suburbs and moved into the city. Likewise most of the young people who make disparaging remarks about the city are transplanted from there to the burbs. Beyond a certain age - say 40 or so - it isn't even a subject. So that whole thing is one big false flag.

Not something you should miss.

May 13, 2013

I Don't Always Reveal TMI

but when I do, everyone wants to hear more.

Okay so a couple months back I was talking about my dentist phobia. I no longer have a dentist phobia, and as i write this I have just returned from The Chair where the home stretch of something like $11k worth of work was done this morning. That's 2 1/2 hours of oral slobbering and wheeeee-ing little motors and such. On June 3 I will have the entire top row completed and I will be Joe Hollywood so watch out. But this makes 2013 so far a marker year for me. I went from 197 to 170 and my weight varies only between 169-173 ever since. I cut the grass yesterday and could have cut it again because I still had energy and wasn't wheezing and snorting slobber all over myself because of all the weight I no longer carry. On June 9th my youngest daughter is getting married and if I smile too broadly people will have to wear sunglasses just to see their chicken, fish or vegetarian lunches. I don't have a before or after pic because I rarely post pics to begin with anyway, and if I am to be completely honest there are very few "before" pics I've even kept around. So you can just use your imagination. But let me just say that this is what happens when you don't take care of yourself. You end up spending it anyway one way or the other. The reckoning is inevitable. So if you re on the verge of doing something about a condition and it is doable (admittedly we couldn't be doing this without my wife's insurance) then do it. I did, and there was a moment in my life when I would rather writhe in two days of pain before i would admit I needed some work done - that's how afraid of The Chair I have been all my life. So go, therefore, and do likewise. The surge of self-worth and confidence (not that that was particularly a problem in my case) is remarkable.

March 16, 2013

200th Post: All Your Base Are Belong To us

Brian writes:

"I think you should have a bottle of absinthe, invite a couple of worthy conversation partners over, let it rip well into the night, and commit the proceedings to wax cylinder (or whatever medium you use for these sort of things), and transcribe the best bits into an epic 200th post."

My ideal. Conversation, I'm afraid, is a dying art form. The raconteur, the wit, the perfect phrase and impromptu remark, subtlety and erudition, the long story and the delight of engagement seem to have gone the way of the dodo. That's not to say it doesn't exist somewhere, just that I can't find it. We seem to live in an era of fast track soundbites, gotcha and pedantry. So I hesitate to schedule any kind of gathering I myself would probably ruin.

b.e. earl talked about the picture that led off the challenge post (previous to this) and then went on a Sherlock Holmes jag, it seems. That picture, earl, was Jeremy Brett. yes... the quintessential Sherlock Holmes.

flask thinks I'm uncanned. Or seem to have a sixth sense about what to say at just the right moment in her life. In point of fact I am most grateful - and interested - in people who have discovered the blogs out of pure chance. It makes me wonder if there is such a thing as pure chance. A subject for more depth than my poor intellect could develop I'm sure.

gino - a Chicago boy who lives in California and always likes to rub in the weather thing but can't help being obvious that he wishes he lived here when all is said and done, wanted to talk about the Chicago Bears - a traditional team based for a century on tough, brutal defense and "three yards and a cloud of dust" offense - and how they would fit into the modern era. And I'm glad I waited to respond, because in the last week the Bears have gone after a couple of offensive weapons - one a Pro-Bowl offensive lineman - that has the local media here in Chicago talking about how "you can't call the Bears a team built on defense alone any more." I'd say new coach Trestman, an experienced quarterback coach - was brought here to infuse the modern era thinking on offense into the storied, albeit identity crisis prone, franchise. It is romantic to wish to see the Bears hold on to the original concepts of football and somehow win it all using the time-honored methods. But I think football has moved past it. Defenses and offenses evolve year to year, all trying to over match and outweigh the other and come up with an answer to the current innovation. And so it goes, ever onward. Probably in ten years we'll discover that the answer to all the modern twists of the game is something called the "quarterback sneak." And what's new will be old. Hell, I still remember when they didn't call it a "blitz," the called it a "red dog." But  have to admit falling out of infatuation with the game the last couple of years. Since the inset of my dotage I've returned to my roots, and baseball is the thing for me these days.

dave2  threatened me with fodder when we had our meeting the other weekend. I fed him some cacio y pepe nd my wife made him a cake. So his threats were minimized and he left full of wine and song. Well okay maybe just wine.

sybil law wanted to hear more about my "hatred for Scientology" and about how awesome she is. I have little to add about the ongoing fraud of the cult that hasn't already been exposed by Anonymous and other good people on the planet. But did you know that Scientology's latest "ally" is Louis Farrakhan? Yes it's true. The Church of Scientology and the Nation of Islam have drawn closer together in the last two years and "minister" Farrakhan is actually taking courses and getting "auditing." For whatever else it may look like, Scientology views the NOI as an income stream and has had to hide the racist rants of L Ron Hubbard in order to seem friendly to them. I would like to save everyone the trouble, and the $400,000. Here is what you learn deep into the sessions and your pocket. You'd have to be drunk or stupid to buy it, but here's what you'd pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn... OTIII  The other thing you should know is that at the highest level of achievement and your spending curve is the "revealed truth" that... are you ready?... the big secret of the entire universe is that you made your own problems. That's it. See what I did thar? I just saved you all a fortune. Oh, and sybil is awesome. No, she really is!

Mocha (aka Mocha Momma aka Kelly, which is what my wife and I know her by best) wanted more talk about absinthe, but from what I recall she  didn't want to try it when offered lo these many moons ago. But she wanted to. But she didn't. But she should have. Well, kelly, they still have these bottles around and you can always get them. And if you need someone to show you the technique I can be right over! Kelly... I mean Mocha... also wanted me to talk about my convincement as a Quaker. I was an attender since the mid-80's and only became a recorded member about five years ago, I think. Quakers try to find "that of God' in everyone. Even the lowliest and the meanest of the mean. They seek to "remove the occasion" for conflict and war. George Fox, the first Quaker, sought to return men and women to the innocency that existed before the fall from the garden, and that this is seen as the best a human can become. That's from the 1600's. Fast forward to today and the idea that the Bible is NOT a closed argument, and that revelation continues because "the still, small voice (conscience, God, the native understanding between good and bad behavior, whatever you want to call it and from wherever it comes from)" still speaks to men. It is also understood that the Bible, and indeed all "holy writ" comes to be considered and called "holy writ" on the belief of humans. The fact of the matter is that Christianity is great... until Paul gets a hold of it. Then he contradicts edicts from his own "teacher." But, more than biblical references, the important thing to understand is that your personal journey - no matter where it takes you - is VALID. And religion, when it serves best, is experiential. Not dogmatic. The Faiths have caused more strife than anything else except the struggle for resources between peoples. It's also - I think - important to know that women have had a role of leadership from Day One of Quakerism. There were women ministers among us in the 1600's, and they were in those leadership positions from the start and still are. We were against slavery, against the death penalty, for the reform of mental institutions, and founded Johns Hopkins. We count Joan Baez, Ben Kingsley, Betsy Ross, and Mr. Cadbury of the candy fame among our members. And yes also Richard Nixon and Herbert Hoover, but we don't talk about them much. And nowadays you can find Quakers who have a Christian slant, a Buddhist slant, transcendentalists, spiritualists, and agnostics. Fundamentally the sect is officially known as "The religious Society of Friends." And it's important to note the words society and friends. I'm  what's known as a "Christ-centered Quaker" because I believe that's the source of my Inner Light. The cohesive aspect that holds us together is the idea that there is an Inner Light in all of us. The definition of it can vary widely. But is that part of each of us that is intrinsically good. I enjoy silent meeting. Everyt Sunday we sit in meeting in silence, only occasionally opened if someone is led to speak. Sometimes the whole meeting is in silence, sometimes there are many "messages" and many speakers. There's much more. We welcome same sex couples, and married them in our meetings before any state gave it a nod or a shake. The byword is grace. That's what we try for. I have a long way to go. You're welcome to come to meeting anytime. You can just walk in.

Finally sligo, my high school friend from (&TYTG:*T years ago put forth the issue; "I'd like you to recall how you felt about yourself in your twenties, and what you think about that now." This is easy. I was an idiot. Now I'm just a fool. In my twenties i was never wrong. Now I usually am. In my twenties I was going to live forever. I turn 60 this year, and expect to live much longer - but I can count my reign in finite time. In my twenties I was often alone and miserable. The funny thing was everyone seemed to think i was always busy and engaged, so they never rang me up. I spent a lot of time alone because everybody thought I was all up in he world's face and too busy for them. Now I have a small cadre of friends and family I love. What's the line, paraphrased, from Man For All Seasons"? The guy was concerned about living in obscurity, never to be "someone." Thomas More suggested he be a teacher. But the guy said "hmph, if I was a country teacher who would know?" And More's answer was something along the lines of "You, your friends, your students, God. Not a bad public that.'

In my twenties I was dissatisfied with everything. Now I like cigars, peace and quiet, and books that go for 600 pages.

Thanks everybody.

Happy 200th post to ME!

March 04, 2013

My next post...

...will be the 200th of this series. It's not the 200th post of all time, more like 2000th as there have been three or four blogs before this one.

There was a political blog that was a team thing I can't remember the name of. I'm no longer a libertarian (ever since it stopped meaning "get the government out of my life" and started meaning "survival of the fittest" I quit it) so I'm glad that one has been deleted.

Then I did "Chasing Vincenzo" and that was where I met most of the people on the internet who have remained a big part of my life. That was a fun one because it was based on the fact that my wife and I kept running into this chef named Vincenzo who was constantly working at new restaurants. We were so familiar with him he would make my wife this one dish even though it wasn't on the menu. So we did restaurant reviews and how to shave your damn face and stuff like that called "Chasing Vincenzo." But I deleted that one as well, after I exposed my ex-boss as a petulant, neurotic little spoiled twerp. Figured it was a wise move.

One blog I did that attracted a lot of strange people that I didn't publicize too much was called "Tourette's Cat". I signed on as a solitary but schizophrenic person named 'Kieffer and Emo' and he would talk to himself and write a lot of weird stories. If you missed that, sorry. It was a lot of fun but seemed to attract some unsavory folks, eventually, who were into some weird stuff. And those days were OVER for me. So I blotted that one out too.

Then I did one that had the painting of "Nighthawks" on it. The people in a late night diner in like the 50's or something. I'm not sure what that one was called anymore. Nor do I know why I deleted that one too.

And I think there was another one. But I'm not sure.

Then there's this one. Version 53 (because, like, I was born in 1953... duh!). It isn't as good as some of the past ones and probably comes up being the last so far as I can tell.

But anyway... who cares. Listen...

My next post at Version53 is going to be the 200th.

What do you want me to write/answer/talk about. clarify or do?

You call the tune. I'll leave this up here for a long time to get everything people want to say - in the comments or through email - and we'll see what happens.

Ten points to anyone who knows what the picture above is of.

February 25, 2013


I'm not going to link anything mentioned here. If you have any intellectual curiosity on your own, you'll look it up. I'm not going to do your fucking work for you... This is going to be a hard, but I'm sure a therapeutic, post to write.

For everything I've done - and believe me when I tell you I have had some shit happen to me that has made my life worth living (coming face to face with Bill Veeck, Abbie Hoffman; being the guy Lorri Jackson sent her death story to the night she died of an overdose; getting a tattoo in Corpus Christi Texas the day after I was in the same room with a guy and the guy who killed him; and that tattoo = which after 40 years looks like a KKK symbol, now getting me strange looks, all that and so on)... Despite publishing people in an old magazine I used to run who have gone on to be icons (including the guy who helped start the Pushcart Prize) in the small press world, and even if you - some of my loyalest readers - for all your connection to me - have never looked in on my story magazine for whatever your stupid ass reason may be... & for the biggest things that ever happened to me - my wife, my daughters, my granddaughters...

Nothing, and I mean nothing, has been as constant a story as something so banal to most of you that you wouldn't believe it. No matter what else has happened to me, as weird or strange or cool as it might be, the fact of the matter is that I enjoyed it half as much as I should have because of something so silly you may even recoil and think the worse of me.

So be it.

 For most of my life my teeth have been so bad that even when something was so funny my sides would hurt, you would never - in a million years - see me grin right out. For the sake of being self-conscious about it, for the sake of my own embarrassment, whatever you want to say. I'm sure there are at least a thousand things I didn't enjoy as much as I could have... if only I'd let myself smile. It seems so silly, I know.

The big gormand, the fancy chef, the big talker, the political gadfly... is actually a miserable wretch with a dim, crooked smile that would turn you off your dinner if ever I let it go full bore.

 People have said, and could make a case= I suppose, that my parents were neglectful people and that my sister and I are lucky to have survived our childhoods with some semblance of decent humanity. But my response to these folks is - if you want this to be your last day on Earth, criticize my Mom and dad one more time. Go ahead. It's true that neither of them graduated high school, but that was because they grew up in the Depression and had to help their families. My dad played in the same infield as Hall-Of-Famer Phil Cavaretta in High School (Lane Tech) and  was scouted by the Browns and Indians just as hard as cavaretta was scouted by the Cubs. But he dropped out to help his mother.

So don't anybody ever say my parents were neglectful. I don't care. They did the best they could. And I'm not one of those guys who you will EVER see using them for an excuse for my own dumb shit.

The fact is that I've been alive and independent longer now than I was when they were alive and taking care of me. The problems I have, dentally, are of my own making.

Plain and simple. I may have not have been given the basic fundamentals of personal care given to me when I was a kid. But I've been on my own for forty years. So I have no one to blame but myself. There's a point at which you have to take responsibility for your own self and stop blaming everybody but #1.

So last month I began the process of turning this around. I got a dentist who tells me "I'm gonna put a Ferrari in there" and - mostly thanks to my wife's insurance - I have the wherewithal to finally do it.

 Last visit I had three extractions and bled like a stuck pig for two days. Today I had another procedure that is the basis of a sound cleaning and diagnosis process.

Sorry - but this is what happens when you don't take care of shit. It hurts. It's expensive.

And - if you are a man - you need to tell yourself "I did this to myself" and just go with it.

So that's where I've been the last three or four weeks, and more to come. I have no idea why I'm writing this down. But there it is. He said Fararri, baby. You know how hot I'll be then? Well, maybe not hot, but happier. That's for sure. happier like when something is funny I can actually laugh...

February 02, 2013

Toys? You Want TOYS??

I have a lot of guys I've come to know on the internet (Dave) and not a few of them are really big into toys.

They will wax poetic about their LEGOS and the infinite variety of extras and add-ons and expansion sets now available. they will go goofy for their Star Wars figures, and basically tout all the great kits and sets that represent everything that modern toymaking has to offer.The 21st century, if you listen to these fellows too long, has been the ultimate in toys.

But I feel sorry for them because even considering that modern toys are somewhat cool, they were unfortunate enough to miss the Golden Age of Toy Sets. This was basically from the mid-1950's to the early 1960's.

In this glorious pantheon of toy sets there were endless scenarios and possibilities that a little boy (yeah, sorry, this is a boy post) could wrap himself up in. And when we got tired of recreating the standard plots, we went nuts, combined all the sets, and invented this crazy, wild, magnificent, hodgepodge of a mess that had everything flying in from everywhere.

But that's what we did with things back in the day. We had building blocks to do it with, though. And I don't see the same possibilities with any of the toys I look at now. Not, at least, in the intimate, visceral sense that these things were played with in olden times.

Regardless of that - we could argue the merits of today/yesterday all you want and that of course will never be resolved.

But you guys didn't have these. And I can see the holes in your imaginations and personalities because you were so deprived.

It started simple enough. There was a TV show starring Buster Crabbe that was called Captain Gallant. And Captain Gallant was this French Foreign Legion guy who had a fort and killed Arabs. Note - you will no doubt notice, as you review these sets, that there was a great deal of killing involved in the play. So what? Don't be such a wuss.

The Legionaires fought the Arabs from inside a fort that was made of heavy-duty plastic that came in sections that was put together. There were palm trees, machine gun posts, camels, horse-charging Arabs, flagpoles, even a replica well. And it looked something like this...
(Clicking should make some bigger)

But that's pretty simple. If that wasn't your cup of tea you could just default to the Robin Hood set. More or less the same principles - only I think the castle and walls were tin segments that snapped together. But in here you had all the classic figures. Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Maid Marian. The works. And it looked something like this...

But, you know, there's a limit to what you can do with those. They made Civil War sets, The Alamo sets, Fort Apache sets, all based on the same model. Good guys - fort - cool equipment - vast hordes of lowlife fodder for the good and noble guys to slaughter. But then in 1960 someone got the bright idea of taking the stuff from a popular movie and making a toy set out of that. One of the biggest - if not the biggest - movie of 1959 was Ben Hur. The one with the chariot race and the Romans fighting non-descript hordes of whatever lowlife fodder that was at the time. So NOW you started to see a whole new realm of possibilities. Which looked like this...

And Ben Hur pretty much was the apex of the craft. It had it all. The chariot races being the big thing. The Ben Hur set, also put out by Marx (which did most of these) was probably the most popular of them all. the grand-daddy. Buuuuuuttt.... None of them held a candle to Rex Mars. In fact nothing you have today is anything like Rex Mars was. I have no idea who Rex Mars was, or what the set was based on, but remember this is 20-30 years before Star Wars. I give you the toy set of toy sets. The magical ultimo. The unbelievably retro, antiquated, and dated space opera toy set that was ever made. You ain't got nothin' on this baby. And at the time, you got the whole thing for 6 bucks. Gentlemen and... er.. gentlemen... I give you Rex Mars...

Ah yes. Thems were the days. LEGO. Pleh...

January 27, 2013

We Want To Do Books

Dave Simmer and I want to expand on the magazine (Thrice Fiction) and begin to move into the realm of books. We've found the guy we want to publish, an expatriate Irishman named James Claffey.

If you've looked in on Thrice you've no doubt seen him in two of our six issues. For me, he is a logical continuation of the phenomenon of the Irish writer with that particular, peculiar Celtic mind, who improves on the English language as he goes along, that the world of literature always seems to call up. Claffey brings a modern vibe to that legacy. His work is lyrical, tightly executed, and incredibly engaging. Hard to stop reading once you start.

I've spoken with James and told him that after I sort through the stories we're going to use in issue #7 (which will be published in March), we'll have time to sit down and work out what he wants to do. It should be a blast. As far as I'm concerned we'll just go with his instinct and work from that starting point.

It looks more and more like we settle on online publishing, pay-per-print, under the Thrice banner. From book design to promotion. Our inaugural title.

I say "settle" because it's probably the only way to do it, but it's not how I would have liked it to be done.

Of course I would prefer physical books in independent bookstores, setting up readings for the author, and carrying an inventory. But I recognize that more and more in this day and age it is very difficult to do.

It isn't as if I haven't been trying and, in fact, I have one more brain to pick this coming weekend when I sit down with an old friend and talk about what she knows relative to book distribution. It's what she does.

 I found a printing operation that is an IWW compliant collective - a prerequisite for me, being a member of the OBU. That even makes the initial physical printing more manageable, money wise. In fact, if we were to form our publishing house as a collective (or co-op) there are organizations that can provide funding and guidance. Not to mention that start-up funding website, whatchamacallit. This would lessen the up front investment that neither Dave or I could probably tackle, going the more traditional route.

The problem is that, and Dave has been very patient as I sort through what he's already sorted through once before, competing with the mammoth that is the online prerogative makes fighting the old school fight that much more difficult. And, to be honest, we can still arrange for promotions and readings and such. After all, it is being done.

I'm finding this all out for myself. As I mentioned, as Dave's already well versed in the whole story. So anyway the last bit of research comes next weekend when I have that run-through with my friend.

Whatever happens, we're doing it. One way or another. And no matter how we get it done - I couldn't be more excited. I'm hoping you all (those of you that are left) follow along. We count downloads of the magazine into the thousands (though we're sure the counts we're getting are not as accurate as we'd like), and Thrice touches several continents through the web. The base is established, as far as I'm concerned. All that's left to do is the work.