The Blog In The High Castle

Peter Quaife Goes To Sleep, Forever.

Posted in The Real World by CMO on Sunday, June 27

Peter Quaife, bassist and founding member of The Kinks died of kidney disesase this week at the age of 66.

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My Apocalypse Team: Rocky Mountain Rambo Gary Brooks Faulkner

Posted in My Apocalypse Team, The Real World, The World Is Effed by CMO on Friday, June 18

I’m starting a new column on the Blog In The High Castle (BITHC) called My Apocalypse Team.

A couple friends, my brother and I have loose agreement if society collapses and we are left to fend for ourselves, a lá Mad Max, we’ll meet at a predetermined rural location and form a little group and set off together to survive. We’ve chosen each other because we think we each possess a trait that will be useful to surviving in a feudal, lawless, wasteland once known as North America, and maybe Asia, via the Arctic ice bridge.

An A Team. Where the A stands for Apocalypse. So far, we’ve got a doctor, a weapons specialist, a captain, and me.  I’m the Wildcard: Scams? Yes. Disguises? Hell Yes. Popsicle stick knives? 25 years experience. Making light of horrendous situations? Especially.

I can also kill. But ONLY if I had to. Then I’d throw up, and swear to never do it again. Until I had to do it again.

Anyway, the point is… I have decided to write a column where I highlight people I would accept onto my Apocalypse Team. People who may or may not have katana training, but who have  the unmeasurables, the intangibles, giving them the ability to thrive in the surreal hell world it would be.

My first inductee is Rocky Mountain Rambo Gary Brooks Faulkner. This ex-con is on a mission from God to cut Osama bin Laden’s head off, having made six trips to Pakistan looking for him.  Initially I thought he was just a Coot, caught in the woods of Pakistan with among other things, night vision goggles, a sword, some christian texts and a small amount of hash. But the more I read, the more it sounds like he may not have been so crazy.

From The Denver Post:

With his long, bushy beard and passable language skills, Faulkner was able to get weapons and move around the countryside with relative ease, his brother said. It’s not surprising that he purchased a sword.

So in summation:

  • Night Vision Goggles
  • Swords
  • Disguises
  • Language Skills
  • Small Amounts of Hash

These are all reasons to include him on My Apocalypse Team.  Plus every group needs an older christian ex-con, to tell you stories from the 70’s while while teaching you how to make a rabbit snare.

Thanks Dangerous Minds.

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Got a minute and a half for a lesson on Extreetress Strials?

Posted in Comedy Gold, The World Is Effed by CMO on Thursday, June 17

On Travel: ‘I’m going on this trip… we’re going to like Arizona or something and figure something out.’

On Area 51: ‘Air Force One, where they found all that stuff…. I’ve got pictures of war. I’ve seen gravesites’

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Riding That Pony Solo

Posted in Kidz These Days, The Internet, The World Is Effed by CMO on Friday, June 11

These videos and more can be found at Dancing Alone to Pony, which as you can see, is people doing some solo grinding to Ginuwine’s 90’s club banger Pony.

Nevermind he’s in a kindergarten classroom at 4AM.

I’m still trying to find a way to sync up all the videos so they dance in unison.


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Beverly Hills Ghost

Posted in Kidz These Days, The Real World by CMO on Thursday, June 10

I had a moment in my busy schedule to sit down and read an OK! Magazine from cover to cover in the magazine aisle at Safeway last week. Not really, but I’ve see too many people doing it. Laying in the magazine aisle reading Details or Easy Rider. I know it’s a recession, but come on people! Read it on the toilet, like I do.

I digress….

Last week, Ok! Magazine reported that Vanessa Hudgens moved out of her mansion and back in with her parents. Why, you ask?  Apparently, her HOUSE IS HAUNTED! So says OK!:

This was the actress’ first home on her own. But now, after hearing doors slam shut and footsteps in an empty guest bedroom, Vanessa, 21, is back to crashing with her parents.

…and she’s taking the chandelier.

Apparently though, this report is false, and has been categorically denied by Vanessa Hudgens publicist, who says she is staying with her parents during renovation of the house.  Uh huh… more like exorcism. Now, I’ve actually seen a ghost, AND I’ve been to the Winchester Mystery House three times now, so I like to think of myself as an expert on ghosts, and I gaurantee that it’s probably haunted… with the ghost of those nude pictures she put on the internet.

That being said… Good for  you, OK! Magazine.  I’m glad you’re finally speaking my language.  Sure, you can do your ‘Who Wore It Better: Baby Edition’ spreads week after week…

Suri for sure, Violet’s trying too hard.

Or you can start covering famous people with haunted houses.  Make ghosts chic again. Beverly Hills Ghost you can call it. Headlines? Don’t get better than: River Phoenix seen breaking mirrors at the Viper Room or Michael Jackson spotted in a restroom in Disneyland. Both of which you could never use otherwise. Well, the magazine is all about pictures, you say? Seriously?  If the paparazzi can take this photo of lady gaga, imagine the ghost photos these guys can get.

In the next September Issue.

Ghosts can be a great accessory, too:  What kind of ghost do you have?  Me? Well I found my ghost in a small village in the south of France.  She hung herself when her truffle pig died.  She’s pretty quiet, only moans at night, overall very quaint.   What about you? None other than Phil Spector’s wife. Wow! She’s always turning the television on, and once she possessed my daughter.

If I had to choose anyone to haunt me… it’d probably be WC Fields. He’d probably drink all my booze and break my chairs, but it’d be worth it. Maybe Chaplin, he’d be a lot more quiet.

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Angels with Milk Covered Faces

Posted in Kidz These Days, The Real World, The World Is Effed by CMO on Wednesday, April 21

Breast Milk Offends

A Billboard in Cleveland has caused quite a stir. Pictured above, it promotes breast feeding, depicting a satisfied baby with breast milk dribbling down it’s chin, with the headline, ‘Breast milk satisfies’.

Apparently, the offense lies not in the word ‘breast’ displayed or the inference that this cute little baby just got done breast feeding, but rather the picture of the breast milk on the baby’s face.

“When I first saw it I thought, you know, I agree with breast milk, it’s fine but then I saw it with the milk around its mouth and I though that was so unappealing. The baby’s cute, but I did not like the milk coming out of his mouth” said Stephanie Swan.

I think this is absolutely ridiculous, but who am I to say what people should and shouldn’t be offended by though? On the internet, no less.

Instead, I offer a rebuttal, in the form of a series of portraits by the Iranian born artist Ashkan Sahihi entitled CUM SERIES:




Seems to me, people have better things to be up in arms about than a little breast milk.

Ohio Billboard Promotes Breastfeeding, Offends Some

Ashkan Sahihi

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Mystery Solved: Chinese Food & Donuts in California

Posted in The Real World by CMO on Wednesday, March 17

Having lived in California for the past 7 years, something that has always intrigued me is how many Donut & Chinese Food places there are around! There is nothing more comforting than finishing off a raspberry filled powdered donut and knowing that you could have some beef with brocolli or some chicken chow mein for desert.

But where did this odd pairing come from?  Katie Robbins asked that same question in a recent article for The Atlantic:

So why Chinese food and donuts? Chan had some answers, and it seemed that for many owners of such establishments, donuts came first. When he first emigrated from Cambodia in 1980, Chan, like many Cambodian immigrants, found a job in a donut shop. It was a trend begun by Ted Ngoy, who immigrated in 1975 and after learning the donut trade opened his own chain of shops. Ngoy went on to train the wave of Cambodian immigrants that followed. By the mid-’90s, 80 percent of California’s donut shops were Cambodian owned and operated. Chan says that when donuts stopped being sufficient to keep businesses running, many immigrants added Chinese food to their repertoires.

Makes sense. A quick scan of my neighborhood shows the chinese food as an interloper, sometimes crammed onto a temporary sign next to the permanent donuts sign. Sometimes they don’t even bother to change the sign from a previous business either.

Read on Chinese and Donuts: A California Mystery

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Keep an eye on Helsinki

Posted in Kidz These Days, The Real World by CMO on Friday, March 5

Buster (18)

I’m wearing my grandfather’s old stuff. Shoes are Filippa K. I’m not comfortable with new, modern clothes. I like classic, anonymous style like school uniforms and marine clothes. I like to think that I can dress old-fashioned but keep my mind fresh.

Have you ever been reading the Kalevala, and find yourself thinking, ‘I wonder what’s going on in Finland?’ I do, so I frequent Hel-Looks, a photo journal of Helsinki fashion. The fashion is stark, the descriptions are charming, and the site is simple. Kind of like the people. More than just what people are wearing though, it’s an interesting view into a culture that I identify with, yet know little about.

Kalle (35)

I’m wearing a party outfit because we are having a small holiday with my family. Before my style was more dandy-like and natty. Now it’s more flexible because of the children.I like bright colours that remind traffic signs. They are so urban and prosaic.

Liisa (20)

I’m inspired by the styles of old French men, dress shirts and clear lines. Material and quality are the most important things what comes to clothes. Lately I’ve worn black jeans shorts with a wide top.

Mikko (22)

Recently I dyed all my clothes black. It was too hard trying to match the colours. Lately I’ve been thinking about Finnish identity and inspired by artist Martta Tuomaala.

Website: Hel-Looks

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Posted in The Internet by CMO on Friday, March 5


Having spent the last year with a pretty much constant feed of the internet, it’s not that often that I stop and think about what I’m seeing.  I’ve gone to the edges of the internet and its interesting what you find out there sometimes. Take Nicolas Sassoon. A True ‘digital artist,’ he creates a lush, atmospheric picture using nothing much more than an animated gif image.

He’s turned this:




Sables (2008)

And This:


Intense Internets, right? It’s like playing Ed Ruscha atari games in the dark…

Check out his website.

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A Novel Idea!

Posted in The Internet by CMO on Wednesday, February 24

In the digital realm, ad-supported content is king. YouTube, Hulu, your favorite blog/podcasts, the scrabble rip-off iPhone app I spend way too much time on. These are all examples of things that are free thanks to ad support. Hell, they pretty much all exist because they have ad support! But this is old news, right?

Well, some people have yet to get that memo.

I’m looking at you, Jeff Bezos.

Here you have this magnificent device in the Amazon Kindle. It’s gonna revolutionize books, save the environment, keep people from going blind! Sure, that’s true but as of lately, I think you’re starting to let that fire go out (if you’ll pardon my pun). Between the plethora of cheaper e-books that have hit the market as of late, and recently introduced iPad, you’ve got to be asking yourself what can I do?

The largest book retailer in the world Amazon has the resources to dominate the e-book market, but due to an unattractive pricing structure, and crippling DRM, the Amazon Kindle has become an unattractive gadget to those of us who guzzle content on a limited budget.  There just isn’t enough free content for me to spend $259 on a gadget that I can’t put my own library on.  Similarly priced, the iphone was no brainer.  On top of putting my own music on it, the majority of downloaded content I can have for free.  Sure, it’s all full of weight loss and body part enlargement adverts, but what isn’t these days? Seriously, have you gone outside?  Watched TV? Opened a magazine? And if I use the app to the point where I’m starting to wonder if ‘Six-Pack Abs truly are only 2 weeks away’ then i’ll probably buy that app, and have the ads removed.

The point is I don’t HAVE to pay for it.  Whether or not I actually will pay for it is irrelevant, because everyones happy.  I (the consumer) get free content, the content provider gets money from the adverts, and the companies get an audience for their advertising. Some people don’t want the ads, and they pay to have them removed.   Problem Solved.

So what’s the solution? Here’s a Novel Idea: Product Placement.   Amazon teams up with companies to provide series of free novels that have that companies products placed throughout the e-books, providing a classy, uninterrupted advertising experience within a novel, as compared to some bad photoshop ads for teeth whitening and hair removal cure-alls.

For this example, Coca-Cola and Amazon have teamed up to bring you three classics.

One Classic Deserves Another

Oh sure, people will argue that product placement will take away from the power and the integrity of the novel.  Just like how Burger King and Nike took away from the latest Twilight movie? And how  the over produced lingerie commercials transport me back from the Island? We’re used to it.  Especially when what we get in return is free.


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