Alas, Poor KROQ

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I saw this article in Variety about the death of KROQ.


I’m really sad that Post Malone is on KROQ. You might think I mean “that’s not KROQ music!” And I do think that- but I probably don’t think it the way you think I think it.

As I said above, I am an old man. I’ll be 54 in two weeks. I’ve started listening to KROQ at the start of the eighties, when it sounded like a college station that liked to get drunk and fight with its best friend, pirate radio. You might hear Van Halen, you might hear Devo, you might hear the theme from The Jetsons.

You would almost certainly hear the theme from The Jetsons. It wouldn’t have sounded like this though; it would have sounded like someone recorded it by holding a mic up to a TV.

DJs would have a loose playlist, but they really played whatever they wanted to play. They brought in their personal records (remember records?). You could call and make a request and it might actually get played. They played some mainstream music, most of what they played couldn’t be heard anywhere else. And new, weird sounds showed up all the time.

Not all of the new sounds were good ones.

I loved listening because I knew I’d hear things that were only on KROQ. I’d probably hear something I’d never heard before.

But then radio shifted, and KROQ shifted with them. “KROQ music” started moving onto more conventional stations. KROQ started to sound like New Wave Oldies. How many times can you play the Red Hot Chili Peppers in a day? A lot, apparently.

Somewhere along the way I stopped listening. The old music was old, and I owned any of it I wanted to hear. The new music didn’t appeal to me, and I thought that was a good thing. I’ve always told my students that every generation needs music that the previous one doesn’t like, or at least doesn’t understand. KROQ was never about appealing to older people, and I had become older people.

So you might think I’d be fine with Post Malone on KROQ, since he clearly fits the “not for old people” profile. But he’s not weird and new. He’s already a pop star. And he’s pretty mainstream. You can’t be an outsider and write the theme to a Spider-Man cartoon movie. Even worse: I like some Post Malone stuff.

It’s probably time to let KROQ die. Radio stations can only adapt so much before the world passes them. Online sources make even early KROQ look stodgy and professional. The current format will get played with, shuffled, adjusted, rejiggered, and eventually – probably soon – they’ll abandon the whole thing and start over. It happens. When it does, KROQ will join stations like KMET, KDAY, and KNAC as wistful memories of old farts like me.

SPECIAL BONUS: I used to be a big enough fan of KROQ that I would make KROQ-specific websites. Here’s one. It might look bad now, but at the time it looked terrible.


End of the Year!

I posted about how hard the last few weeks have been. It’s time for a little counterbalancing. Here’s the end of the year video I put together with the help of our staff and students. Enjoy!

COVID work

Two Hours

I did something today I haven’t done for two months: I worked at school. First I shot some video of our principal, then I helped clean out lockers.

It was hard.

Dr. Macias and I talked a bit about this year, and about the next. Next year’s kids will almost certainly be going to a school where they are rarely on campus, and never all on campus at the same time. Electives and physical education are particularly impacted. I teach digital media, and there is simply no way to be socially distant in a computer lab. I do not know how (or what) I will be teaching in August.

After the video, I went on locker duty.

Every locker is open. Most of them had school locks that were opened with a master key. Some had personal locks; those were opened with bolt cutters. Every unchecked locker has a profile page of the student to whom it’s assigned. It was the first time I had seen most of those faces since we closed.

The lockers are weird little ghosts of the students that once used them. Some students are organized – their lockers are usually empty. Some students are a little less focused. Their lockers look like mine did when I was their age: messy and stuffed with whatever weird trinkets I loved that week.

I know the kid who owns this backpack. He thinks it’s hilarious.

One of the lockers had a big pink and purple button that read “I REALLY WISH I WEREN’T HERE RIGHT NOW!” It was absolutely right and completely wrong. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to be throwing student treasures into plastic bags. But I wanted to be there. I wanted to be making jokes with students, complaining about “that kid” to my friends at the lunch table, working out final grades, watching students get ready for high school and beyond.

Is it a Spongebob thing? It looks Spongebobian.

Our eighth graders always have a big promotion ceremony. Family and friends fill the PE field. Awards are given. Crowds shout and applaud. Friends hug. Summers together are planned. Students get one last moment as a single group before they get split up and absorbed into larger schools, before they really make the first steps from adolescence to adulthood.

This year they will get a video they can watch at home. Teachers are working to make that video something special, but it will always be more isolated and distant. Next year will probably be even more disconnected.

I’m not in the center of this thing. I spent two hours bagging belongings, not two months bagging bodies. But if my tiny actions on the edge of this pandemic hurt this much, I can’t imagine what it’s like at the epicenter.

Take care of yourselves.

I really wish we weren’t here right now.

Bike Mortal Enemy ridesfv


My Mortal Foe, Daniel Quinn: VANQUISHED!

Peep this:


TWENTY FIVE POINT TWO PERCENT. Pity poor Daniel Quinn, for his paltry 25.02% of the Valley has been crushed.

This is me:


At this point, the only way he could possibly catch me is if he rode SEVEN MILES. IMPOSSIBLE! NO MAN CAN RIDE SEVEN MILES AND LIVE TO TELL THE TALE.

My glory will never be surpassed!

The killing blow:

Now go and tell the world of this glorious day!

(maybe don’t tell Daniel)

Bike Mortal Enemy ridesfv

Closing in on my Mortal Enemy as a new foe appears

As you know, Daniel Quinn is my mortal enemy – but my campaign to defeat him is working!

At the start of this month, I had covered 18.66 percent of the San Fernando Valley. Quinn had 24.9 percent, the cruel coward! But the tides are turning, old friend. This month he has only added a PATHETIC 0.7 miles to his Valley total.

Now check this out:

Oh, yeah- unreadable maps are my jam!

Including today’s ride to Tujunga & Sunland, I have added 88.3!

I now have conquered 21.16 percent of the Valley, more than 40 percent of the gap between us. If I maintain THIS EXACT PACE (which seems impossible to deny as possible) , then I will best this cruel tyrant on May 6th, and there will be much rejoicing!

Unless he rides his bike in the Valley between now and then… just the kind of decietful trickery I have come to expect from this blackguard, this lout, this contemptible scoundrel. I MUST BE VIGILANT AND WARY!

And then there’s Hunter Baoengstrum. He is not my foe…YET.

It is only a matter of time.

Why do I say this? Because Hunter Baoengstrum is systematically riding all the streets of Los Angeles County. He hasn’t started the Valley, but it’s only a matter of time. And look at the ride HE went on yesterday:

He is a mindless biking machine.

FIFTY-FOUR NEW MILES. IN ONE DAY. Sure it took him six hours, but HE DID IT. One day he will cross the Santa Monica Mountains and begin his attack. When he does, Daniel Quinn and I will face a true challenge. A challenge that will probably require Daniel and I to enter into an uneasy truce to defeat Hunter. A truce that the nefarious Daniel will break when he reveals that the two of them have been secret allies all along, plotting my destruction. BUT I AM ON TO BOTH OF YOU. Your plot is doomed to fail! I SHALL TRIUMPH AGAINST ALL ODDS!

Also: Here’s a fun little video showing today’s ride:

50ish Recent Songs

50ish recent songs

50ish recent tracks, mostly picked by my phone.

I listen to some goofy stuff.

Eraserhead Serenade – RIAA

Are You a Magician? – SoKo
Candy-Coated Popcorn, Peanuts and a Prize [Crackerjack commercial]
The Ties That Bind – Bruce Springsteen

Museum of Idiots – They Might Be Giants

How Now (ft. Feist) – Snowblink
Remote Control – Beastie Boys

Love Me Or Leave Me – Ella Fitzgerald

World Of Shit – Eels
Garden – herbal tea
Hard to Handle – Otis Redding
Shrooms – Interlude – The Lonely Island

Squalor Victoria – The National

True Love Ways – Buddy Holly
Try It Baby – Marvin Gaye
Got No Heart – The Paper Hearts
A Fine Romance – Billie Holiday
Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel
Country Sad Ballad Man – Blur
Dream TV – The Sugarcubes
Who’s Mess, Who’s Tears – Made-Up
Wild Situation – Dennis Wilson

Hour – Porches

Funky Boss – Beastie Boys
Beside You – Van Morrison
I’m Gonna Let My Heart Do The Walking – Diana Ross and The Supremes
People Are Like Suns – Crowded House
Breakers – Local Natives
Calling Miss Khadija – Freddie Hubbard & Woody Shaw

The Marvel Superheroes Have Arrived – Marvel
Okay, here’s a creepy thing I never noticed before: Sub-Mariner is described as “exotically erotic.” Just what kids are looking for. Ew.

Oldest Story In The World – The Plimsouls
For Baby (For Bobby) – Peter, Paul & Mary
Jet Boy, Jet Girl – The Damned
Hey Ya – Outkast
Turn Away – Beck

Metropolis – The Pogues

In Dreamed Lives – Tender Tones
April Come She Will – Simon and Garfunkel
I’m Looking Through You – Ted Leo
Apartment – L I P S
I’m Telling You – CAPTAIN SCOTT
You Bowed Down – Elvis Costello
Champagne & The Starlite – Theya Hermann
Disappear – Beyoncé
Slow and Low – Beastie Boys

Bowling With Bedrock Barney – The Dickies

Captions – Dog Traders
Less – Ben Harper
Beggar’s Bliss – Luna
I Hate Myself For Loving You – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Honey Power – My Bloody Valentine
Taneo Dance Fever – Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra
Digging For Clams – Almonds, Cohen

COVID Photoshop

Social Distancing Magazine

COVID Photoshop

Corona Cover: Cindy

CINDY: The Nurse Who Craved PPE
At least give her a t-shirt or something.

50ish Recent Songs

50ish Recent Tracks, Coronavirus Edition

50ish recent tracks, mostly picked by my phone. Some of these played while I was riding in the wind and couldn’t actually hear them, but I assume they were embedded in my brain subconsciously.

Let’s Fall In Love – Louis Armstrong & Oscar Peterson

Marijuana – Cibo Matto
Don’t Call Me Billy (Demo) – Elliott Smith

Spanish Bombs – The Clash

Instrumental – Richard Thompson & Linda Thompson
Wish – Wyatt Smith
Chango – Ozomatli
Save It Pretty Mama – Louis Armstrong
Higher Ground – Stevie Wonder
Lowell, MA – Death Cab For Cutie

More – Ednaswap

Do It Again – Hysterics
Stand! – Sly & The Family Stone
Severe Tire Damage Theme – They Might Be Giants
Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream
S-E-X-X-Y – They Might Be Giants
Tug of Love – Dennis Wilson
I Desire – Devo
Murder Of Crows – Jamie T
Anything – TOPS
Could You Drive Me Home – Preparation 500
I’ll See You in My Dreams – Django Reinhardt
Life Is Still Sweet – White Hassle

Blowin’ In The Wind – Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – a great song to hear as you’re fighting a 10mph headwind on your bike.

Hyacinth Blues – The Constantines
Temptation Waits – Garbage
polaroid smmr – Detective Deckard
Little Boxes (dirty version) – Kris Gruen
Mind Fuck – The Soft
Centerfold – The J. Geils Band
I’m In Great Shape – Brian Wilson
Runnin’ With the Devil (Van Halen cover) – The Vatican Cellars
Pump-Rama – Killer Pussy
He’s a Mighty Good Leader – Beck
Regrets – Ben Folds Five
I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever) – Stevie Wonder
Go West – Liz Phair
My Guitar – Nader & the Trees
Jalousie – Esquivel
A Horse with No Name (America) – Larrikin Love
Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You) – Nouvelle Vague


Tonight You Belong to Me – Trashcan Sinatras
Happiness – Callum Pitt

Sunday – Sia
I can’t tell if the low resolution is on purpose.

Le temps – Mha
Evil – Howlin’ Wolf
Modesty Plays [Extended Version] – Sparks
Witch Doctor – David Seville
Sky So Blue – Hot Flash Heat Wave
Seven Seas – Echo and the Bunnymen
Ballad – HAMJAM
Love Me Two Times – The Doors

Bike ridesfv

My Mortal Enemy

Today I tell the tale of my greatest rival, my nemesis, my one true foe: Daniel Quinn. Who is Daniel Quinn? I JUST TOLD YOU HE IS MY FOE. MY MORTAL ENEMY, FOR CORN SAKE.

But if you want to know why he’s my foe…

About a year ago I started a project: to ride on every single street in the San Fernando Valley. It fell by the wayside, mostly because of bad weather and laziness, but also because it was hard to figure out exactly where the streets of the Valley ended.

But recently I found, a site uses your ride data from Strava to figure out exactly what roads you have ridden and how much progress you have made. I signed up, went to my map, and saw this:

A map of my rides through the San Fernando Valley.
Guess which corner of the Valley I live in.

Look at that magic! A beautiful map showing all of my carefully planned trips to precisely cover every single street. And now I had a number: 18.66 percent. Only 81.34 percent left.

Then I saw the link to the leaderboard. I had to know if I was on top. I clicked the link.

I was number TWO. Who was number one?


And adding insult to injury, look at his map. JUST LOOK AT IT.

Now guess which corner HE lives in.

HE’S NOT EVEN TRYING TO HIT EVERY ROAD. He just rides so much that he’s picked up tons of streets ON A WHIM.

He is the most dangerous kind of mortal enemy:
the one who doesn’t know he is a mortal enemy.

I will crush him. CRUSH HIM.

In the Valley. Eventually. I hope. Everywhere else he will destroy me. See how most of my rides are straight lines, and how his are all bendy? That’s because he rides the hills. A lot. He could probably knock out the Valley in a week if he tried.

So I must work silently to destroy him. And then, when my task is done, I shall gloat on his Strava page about conquering him, destroying him, humiliating him!

And he will say “Who are you?”

Sort of like this: