Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And If You Don't Have Real Friends...

Ontario, CA

There's a saying that goes, "Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies."

The little known corollary to that is, "And if you don't have real friends, toss the body parts into a trash can and wheel them around for a few hours until you get to your cousin's house and hope they don't turn you in."

And that's exactly what 51-year-old Carmen Montenegro did in Ontario yesterday. It kind of broke down after the cousin said no.

No word on which body parts were inside, or whose they are. Besides it being a man, details are sketchy. Presumably when they find the rest of him they should be able to... piece things together. *rimshot*

Thank you everybody, I'm here all week.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Screw Wisdom

Morro Bay, CA

When I get old I don’t want to be the guy people come to for advice, the one folks think of when they have a problem to solve, or need the kind of insight that age and experience can bring.

No, I want to be this guy.

The Geezer Bandit has been knocking over banks from San Diego on up since 2009. Described as a 60 - 70 year old man, he walks in, brandishes a gun, gets the money and hobbles out again.

And now he’s hit bank number 14, a Heritage Oaks branch in Morro Bay, his first that far north. He’s been pretty quiet since January when he knocked over a bank in Goleta. If this keeps up he should be in Santa Cruz by July.

Now some suggest this might be the work of a younger man in a special effects mask. Hardly a new thing. Back in 2010 a white guy in Ohio was hitting banks in a mask so good it had the cops looking for a black man for six robberies.

I hope it’s not a mask. I hope it's not some pissy twenty-year-old who's figured out how to game the system.

I want this to be some guy who’s hit his twilight years and finally said, "Fuck it. I'm robbin' me a goddamn bank."

Maybe the government fucked his Social Security. Maybe he's got a sick wife. Or a mistress who's got a taste for furs and diamonds. Into some guy in Atlantic City for twenty thou and this is the only thing he can think of to clear his debt.

Or maybe he just likes fucking with people.

Whatever it is he's really got to be pissing off the FBI. Fourteen bank robberies. Seriously, fourteen.

Old just means you've got a lot of experience. And in this case it's experience at not getting caught.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Halloween In The Summertime - With Zombies And Such

Deadly Treats, the Halloween anthology edited by Anne Frasier containing my zombie short story WORLD'S GREATEST DAD, is up for pre-order over at Amazon. It comes out this August.

There are some hugely (Is that really a word? Because it sounds really weird when you say it 10,000 times. Or even once. I keep wanting to pronounce it huggly.) talented writers in that there antho. Bill Cameron, Daniel Hatadi, Paul Brazill and lots of others. Anne's got the full line-up over at her blog.

Zombies! Witches! Vampires! Serial killers! Arsonists! And other such things that should be followed by exclamation points!

Make with the clicky and check it out my sexy, sexy minions! You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why Social Media Needs A Psycho Button

Los Angeles, CA

Friend used to mean someone you knew, someone you liked, hung out with.  Now it's a meaningless tag for a random stranger who's real face you're never going to be sure about.

Or whose intentions you can never really know.

A 14-year-old girl is in the hospital after being kidnapped from her North Hollywood home and raped by a man she met on Facebook.  She was found by a family friend and rescued.  When police went to pick up the suspect at his home in South Los Angeles, he'd skedaddled.

Odds are good that he's on the run.  But most of these guys never run far, so crossing fingers they nail him soon.

The internet's great, sure.  But how many of the people on your Twitter feed or on your Facebook friends list do you really know?  Unless you know them in real life, I'm going to say none.  Responses can be tailored.  You only get what that person is telling you with no real context.  When they go on about their personal life woes, how do you know they're telling the truth?  When they agree with your opinions, how do you know they're not manipulating you?

Well, you don't.  The best you can do is watch out, be careful and don't do things like give your address.  Especially if you're a woman.  This sort of thing is happening more and more.

I'm not blaming the victim or social media, here.  I'm blaming the psycho fuckwad who raped a 14-year-old girl.

Used to be a parent only needed to tell their kids, "Don't talk to strangers.  Babies come from storks.  Daddy's gone to live with that whore down the street with her ankles round her ears and if you want to live with him, you little bastard, well, fine!  Go ahead, be that way!  Leave your mother alone in tears and desperation and..."


Anyway, now you have to explain to a kid that a stranger is a bunch of words on a screen and that the picture they see may not be the person they think.  That's not an easy concept for a kid.  And balancing that out such that they aren't afraid to take risks but still understand the dangers?  That's really tough.

So, good luck moms and dads.  This century's a little more complicated than the last one.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Et Tu, Fat Louie?

Santa Ana, CA

If one guy stabs you it might just be that you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But when fifteen people stab you, it's hard not to take it personally.

A man was stabbed multiple times outside Malone’s Bar and Grill in Santa Ana this morning by a small mob of at least five people and possibly as many as fifteen. Reports are hazy. Witnesses were pretty lit.

Man, what do you have to do to piss off that many people with knives? What, was he about to be crowned King of the Tweakers and his favorite dealer decided to shank him?

"Beware the week after the ides of May!" Yeah, that doesn't really work, does it?

No word yet on whether the man's attackers then ran through the streets yelling, "Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement," though I have hopes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

That's Noir With An E, People

Late last week I was asked if confusion between this blog and the new Rockstar Game, L.A. Noire, was doing anything to my traffic. And at the time the answer was not really. A little bit, sure, but between feed readers, Twitter and Facebook (surprisingly few bots), I get about 200 to 300 people a day. Even when I don't post anything.

That was last week. Over the weekend my traffic went up about 15% with searches about the game, which comes out today? I think? Funny, because before this post I don't think I've ever mentioned it here.

I'm not affiliated with it and I probably will never play it. Not because I don't want to. It looks great. The recreation of 1947 architecture alone gives me a stiffy. But I game on a PC. Not a fan of consoles and, like their game Red Dead Redemption it's not out on the PC.

Anyway, if you've come here looking for stuff about the game, you're in the wrong place. Sorry. Can't help you.

But I do appreciate the traffic if for no other reason than you people look for some seriously weird shit.

Okay, questions about how to arrest people in the game I can understand. And the ones asking about place names, like if Griffith Park or Pasadena are in the game (But Azusa? Seriously? You want to go to Azusa?) But after a while it gets a little... odd.

A lot of you are looking for in game prostitutes. Hey, fine, whatever floats your boat. Not judging.

But really, A LOT of you are looking for in game prostitutes, hookers, strippers, boobs, sex, and porn.

And elephants.

I don't know why, but I'm seeing searches for "L.A. Noire elephants". Are there elephants in the game? And what do you want to do with them? Is this some frighteningly specific new fetish I don't know about?

Because if so, I'm hurt. I trust you people to tell me these things.

Or are you asking about these elephants? The elephant statues that stood outside the Selig Zoo in Lincoln Park are the only ones I can think of from that era. But I think they were gone by the time that the game is set, though the gates were still there until, what, the Sixties?

They're the only ones that spring to mind. Sorry.

The one question that comes up time and again that I think I can accurately answer without even seeing the game played is this: "Is L.A. Noire inappropriate?"

If you're buying it for a twelve-year-old, sure. It's a Rockstar game, people. About brutal crimes set in one of the ugliest, dirtiest times in L.A.'s history.

But it sure looks pretty.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I've Been Through The Desert On A Bike With No Shame

Glendale, CA

A man's gotta have wheels out here. That's the law of the land. You got no wheels, you got no life. So, you gotta jack some sweet ride to get around town, that's what you do.

And if the only wheels are a ten-year-old's pink Huffy, well... I suppose that's okay, too.

Michael Toplin, 31, just released from County lockup and on parole for receiving stolen property, was picked up last Wednesday when police spotted him... standing out, you might say.

He's 5'11" and cops saw him riding a young girl's pink bicycle, which had been reported stolen from a nearby apartment complex about ten minutes before. Seems Mr. Toplin just needed some transport.

On the plus side he was still wearing his inmate jumpsuit so he wouldn't have to change when they booked him. How very considerate of him.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

You Know, My Cable Company's Not Very Fucking Cooperative, Either

Long Beach, CA

Did you know there are different meanings for the same words depending on who's saying them?

No, really. Take "uncooperative". To me that's somebody who isn't willing to meet you halfway when you have a disagreement.

To the Long Beach Police Department that's somebody you can shoot.

Guy was beating on his girlfriend, wife, date-for-hire, whatever. Cops show up, guy gets pissy, they shoot him.

Or, in PR Speak, Long Beach Police responded Saturday night to a "domestic violence" report where a twenty-year-old "gentleman" became "uncooperative" and the police "responded appropriately".

Such is the power of euphemism.