27 December 2009

Too much of a good thing?

More snow = more pedaling.
Feels like I'm constantly climbing.
I'm spent.

19 December 2009

You say you like Star Wars?

I wish all movie reviews were this insightful.

Winter Blues

Saw the temps would be low enough to pedal if I got my ass out of bed early in the am, but when that time came around, I had lost any sense of motivastion, so surfed a lot of couch this week.

Finally watched The Cove last night & that was nasty. Traditional Japanese culture my ass!

Fun Fact:
Too many to just be a coincidence, did you ever notice that
Dischord Records catalog numbers that are even multiples of ten
(i.e. Dischord Records #10, 20, 30, etc.) are all releases from
bands that the label's founder, Ian MacKaye, played in? Here's
the list:

#10. Minor Threat "Out Of Step" 12"ep
#20. Egg Hunt "S/T" 7"
#30. Fugazi "S/T" 12"ep
#40. Minor Threat "Complete Discography" CD
#50. Skewbald/Grand Union 7"
#60. Fugazi "Steady Diet Of Nothing" LP
#70. Fugazi "In On The Killtaker" LP
#80. Fugazi "Instrument" DVD
#90. Fugazi "Red Medicine" LP
#100. Teen Idles "S/T" 7"
#110. Fugazi "End Hits" LP
#120. Fugazi "Instrument Of Sound" LP
#130. Fugazi "The Argument" LP
#140. Minor Threat "First Demo Tape" 7"
#150. The Evens "S/T" LP
#160. The Evens "Get Evens" LP

Not all of Ian's bands' releases on Dischord follow this
formula, however, as there are a few of them with catalog
numbers that don't end with zero, such as the Minor Threat
"Salad Days" 7" (#15) and the Embrace LP (#24) but it is
enough to make you wonder what Dischord 170 is going to be.

12 December 2009

I like big jugs & I can't deny.......

After over a week of inhumanely cold temps, I was able to step foot outside Friday afternoon, then again Saturday morning.

Bolted outta the house a few minutes after logging off for the day & headed south to see what the conditions were like on Stonehouse. 36° was the reading as I rolled out, but it was late afternoon, so I expected the temps to start dropping quickly. My urban section was slicky, but as soon as I entered the single track, I had only packed snow to contend with for the rest of the ride. Checked out everything creek side on the way to Fox Hollow & all was nice.

Had a message from the goat when I returned, so we set up a morning meet w/spike & Steve. Started around 22° this time & warmed up as the sun raised its head. Getting to Fox Hollow was again a bl'ast!, but as entered the connector trail to BCLP, our thoughts of an easy day were dashed. Very bumpy snow, 6" or so deep made the going rough at times. Ended up being out for 4hrs!! BCLP & back is a normal 2hr run.

The 2 high points of the day: pedaling across the frozen lake

....and warm hands the entire time.

Political Rant time:
Words by Margot Kidder, from CounterPunch

The Democratic Party needs an intervention and then it needs to be sent to rehab. The lunacy behind the thinking of many traditional Democrats that any Democrat in Congress is better than no Democrat at all needs to be exposed and treated for the infectious disease that it is. But there is no 12 step program for corrupt politicians, and turning the problem over to God is just not going to cut it this time, no matter what Sarah Palin thinks .

The absence of democracy in a congress whose votes are bought, sold, and traded like pork bellies by big corporations in exchange for highly profitable votes and amendments on bills is a bi-partisan infection. And the pus is everywhere.

Give me a nut job for an enemy anytime. You can take aim at the obviousness of the problem and roll a strike 99 times out of a hundred. But if your enemy is disguised as a boring but harmless friend, and wears the same logo on his sweatshirt as you do, then landing a punch is like trying to slug mist. There’s no connection, no delicious smacking sound, there’s no obvious win. The fact that 20 to 25 percent of Americans support policies and politicians that are bat shit crazy is not as much a concern as the fact that 50 to 60 percent of Americans support politicians whose policies are for sale to the highest bidder, and exist independent of any underlying morality or consistent philosophy of government. Arlen Specter calls himself a Democrat for God’s sake. And so does Ben Nelson. And Blanche Lincoln. These are not Democrats; they’re Republicans in Donkey suits. And somewhat tasteful donkey suits at that. None of them would have strings of tea bags dangling from THEIR cowboy hats, you can bet the ranch on that. They are much more dangerous than Rush Limbaugh could ever hope to be.

And oh how they bray, and the bray is as bad as the bite. With each snort and hee-haw the party trembles defensively and gives them whatever they want. To hell with traditional Democratic principles, its all about keeping the guy from leaving you, so what if he’s hit you so many times that your face is no longer recognizable? Keep that man. Get more numbers on your side of the aisle than they have on theirs and pay no attention to the actual quality of the people who make up those numbers. If they say they are Democrats, if they will wear our label, they must be on our side. Democrats can’t hurt us. Can they?

Look at Max Baucus, the most anti-charismatic Montanan in the state. How is it possible to recognize such a surfeit of blandness as dangerous? Talking with Max is like talking with drywall: he nods at whatever you say and he’ll smile vacantly at you for hours on end, but you’re never quite sure if he’s home or if he’s just had one motorcycle accident too many. I say this because I believe that those of us he purports to represent have a right to know who the person behind the mask really is.

The hideous truth is that this empty suit-person almost single handedly took the reform out of health care reform, has introduced and somehow passed more legislation to abet the cornucopia of crime that is our banking system than anyone else in congress, and has stalled the funding of any, if not all, modern programs that would give financial lifeboats of one kind or another to families in need. He did it by pretending he was a Democrat and by hanging in there long enough to get appointed, almost by default, as chair of the banking committee. And he gets elected in a state with the fourth lowest per capita income in the country by consistently “bringing home the pork.”

Billings needs a baseball field? That’s no problem for Max. Stick it on the nearest bill, regardless of relevance. Missoula wants a biking path? Easy as spitting. But you poor souls who are being screwed by the credit card company that got you so deeply in debt and then raised your interest rates so high that you had to sell your house to make the payments? Tough titty.

Max voted against a ceiling on credit card interest rates. You’re going bankrupt and about to lose your house because you got laid off and missed two payments, you deadbeat you? Max voted against allowing bankruptcy judges the leeway to lower interest rates or principle on mortgages in a way that would allow families to stay in their homes.

Can’t afford health insurance at today’s exorbitant rates? Max devised a plan whereby if you DON’T buy from one of the existing health insurance companies who trade your health for their profits you will get smacked with a whopping fine by the IRS, and they get to charge you whatever the hell they please. Hey, it’s your own fault; you should better manage your money.

Have to choose in the winter months between your medication and your heat? Max made sure that no pharmaceutical company will ever be asked to put ceilings on their profit margins, so if you can’t afford that one hundred and forty seven dollars for the only antibiotic that will work on your systemic sepsis, well, die baby die, you should have learned the rules of unregulated capitalism.

Everyone who is anyone donates huge sums of money to Max. It’s like landing on the social pages of Women’s Wear Daily. But Max is from Montana so its doubly chic, macho wilderness chic, with just a hint of cowboy. Here in Montana the corruption is as fresh as this morning's manure. No company with their shareholders interests at heart would dare forget mailing in their “Max Baucus for Senate” checks come election time. You’re guaranteed a lot of bang for your buck, and if your check is big enough and Max has to choose between the interests of his scruffy and often poor Montana constituents and the freshly facialed, Armani-clad CEO’s of Aetna or Goldman Sachs or Anaconda Mining, trust me, he’s going to go with the high-end set – they pay a lot of money every summer to learn to light campfires at Camp Baucus at the Big Sky Ski Resort and Max has become addicted to their donations.

The mainstream media calls Max Baucus and other Democratic blackmailers “centrists”. As compared to what, Chiang Kai-Shek? “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,” said Yeats, but that was in 1919 and he was referencing the Russian revolution. America’s centre has been tap dancing to the right since Ronald Reagan was loosed upon the world and it hasn’t taken a backwards step yet, so our centre is way out in right field and has no intention of coming back of its own accord. It’s up to us, unfortunately.

In the big D.C. high school known as congress, “practical” politics is all the rage with the in crowd these days. It’s Rahm Emmanuel speak for accepting the system as it is and playing the game better than anyone else. Get all the dough you need from huge corporations - and what’s a concession or two or twenty compared to several million dollars of fuck-you money in the campaign chest that will ensure you can four wall the country with television ads in 2012 and thus get Obama a second term? It is essentially a philosophy of “anti-change”, no matter what system of logic you apply to it. Rahm must have been out of the room when the campaign was going on last year. But wherever he was, he is demanding an ossification of our dreams. You want “Hope” back? Hope, schmope. The world doesn’t work like that.

And protesting will just get you are accused of idealism, that nagging little worm that lives in the hearts of nerds everywhere. And idealism is just not cool. It’s not practical. You must abandon childish notions of hope for a better world and look the corruption square in the eye and accept it. Work with it. Look at Max. He’s arguably the most powerful guy in the Senate.
So get with the program and shut up. Call this mess of health insurance backed suggestions “reform” and let’s move on. No one will really notice that it’s a ferocious defense of the status quo, so who are you to make a fuss? Be a good little Democrat. Say we passed an historical health reform bill. Lie, OK? Lie for the greater good of the party.

Sadly, the hard truth is that it’s hard not to feel like a little baggie of leftover peas in the face of the seeming omnipotence of these corporations, these dictates from above. Inertia and depression are logical responses to such an enormous monolith of corruption. And fighting for anything remotely resembling a just society, or expressing severe disillusionment with the fact that your own senator has been bought by JP Morgan Chase and Blue Cross/Blue Shield is just not done and is frowned upon.

But we can’t give in to the easy seduction of lying in bed with the covers over our heads hoping this whole thing will somehow pass of its own accord. Its not going to go willingly, and until we get really, really feisty and turn back to all that anger that Obama managed to tamp down with all his lovely speeches and turn it again into a force to be reckoned with, there is no hope for any kind of future worth having. The Democrats aren’t going to save us – we have to save them.

We can target every one of these fake Democrats and expose the hypocrisy that is running like a deep aquifer of sludge under their public personas. And we can, if we’re smart, soften them up for the blows of the more polished and hopefully “progressive” politicians who will remove them from office.

Will the forces who replace them be infinitely better than them? Who knows? They might be worse. But until we flex our muscles and show we mean business, it will be business as usual, and business as usual benefits no one. Until we get all our little homemade slingshots out and relentlessly whack at this destructive Goliath of our own making, nothing is going to ameliorate the ruthless destruction of what is still naively called a government of the people, for the people and by the people.

Margot Kidder is an actress and activist living in Livingston, Montana.

05 December 2009

Next week....

I am gonna survive this cold weather one way or another.


02 December 2009

Cold, colder, coldest

Spike got me out tonight to make some 1st tracks.

Fortunately it did stay in the double digits, just barely. The ride didn't start out so good - a NiteRider failure, followed by painfully cold fingers about 2 miles into it. Spike saved my ass - he brought an extra light & loaned me his pogies for the rest of the ride.

I'm thinking at about 25°, I'm gonna play it smart & stay inside from now on. Been experimenting with clothing & I think that's my minimum temperature. But then again, if I could grow a cool enough beard, I could make another layer........

29 November 2009

Ain't nothin' but mammals...........

In search of dry dirt.

Decided to go south-north & link up some hopefully dry sections of singletrack today. As predictable as I am, you know I went down to Stonehouse & took it west to Fox Hollow & wound through BCLP. Along the creek from Wads to the golf course was the worst of the day. Tried to hit as many options in BCLP & ended up hitting a little section I've never before encountered....cool!
Next is RR: I rolled up by the chapel, then up the road, where I happened to catch some nature (about to be) in action. As I rolled to the top I noticed some deer hanging around in the parking lot.

Off to the side is a doe, along with a buck standing nearby who is ready to get it on w/her. Anytime she walked away, he'd be right behind & doing his best to greet her rear end with his nose. They continued this for a while, across the lot & down into the bushes across the street. Good on ya, dude!

I decided to get pedaling again & rolled outta there cuz I believed MW was soppy. Roadie time: up to the service road to DR, popped out on the road & rocked back around the bottom of GM as sun was getting really low.....and really cold.......just before a 3-mile DH on the road. Which got me even really-er colder.

The numb toes & fingers are now all better.
The joy.

28 November 2009

'Tis the Season

Tofurkey day & the Iron Bowl have passed. T-day was good. Iron Bowl was not so good.

Got out for a mellow spin to BCLP Wed night to see how my back felt & all went well, except for the fact that I ended up walking a climb or 2 that I always fly up.... & I haven't even gorged myself on Tofurkey yet!!

Noticed that one of my batteries wouldn't power the head, so did some checking & found that one of the batteries no longer took a charge. Bummer, but still have one left, which I used. I used it up in under 2hrs, so my nite-time pedaling has been cut down.

Friday evening brought another installment of the T.I.T.S. ride, back to its roots at GM. While getting ready to roll, I had an issue with my remaining 'good' battery. Hooked it all up & the light flashed on quickly & disappeared. Lucky for me, all the Amoeba's here, with Scar & PBR. Quick velcro to the head & I'm ready to go. Six of us rolled outta IW & wound our way to the top, then down the Rooney Valley trail.

Almost headed to Bo'R, but judging from what we saw on the south, we thought best to avoid the sippie hole that exists near the bottom, and instead took the lower to middle route. Only 1 incident to speak of, arrived to see the goat lying about 10' offtrail, his bike with handlebars facing the wrong way & a huge divet in the trail preceding this mess....

All's well that ends well. Since we ended back at IW for beers, it all ended well. Just playing around with my batteries/heads/cords & found my newest battery is still in action, & I may have a blown bulb in 1 of the heads. Amoeba is again on the back burner..........but not for long.

We are #1....in waste.

24 November 2009

Dirt on southern slopes looks good

Got off my back over the w/end...barely.
Boomer showed Saturday night & stuck around till Monday morning. I finished early Sunday, so we headed out to one of 'those' trails & I spectated, while he & a huge crew gravitated to the bottom several times over.

I got about 3 somewhat viewable pix out of the day.

Yes Virginia, smooth singletrack does exist in CO...they just have jumps built-in.

21 November 2009

Laid up

My back hurts. That is all.

18 November 2009

Black Ice

COMBA is now part of IMBA, cool beans!

Party time at Wrigley's bar in Golden last night.
Good group showed up to show their support for our local MTB advocates & they in turn handed out loot to lucky ticket holders.
It was a chilly ride there. The ride home wasn't as bad as we thought, plus it was shortened a bit thanks to Spike.

You know what to do.....

12 November 2009

Another sweet day to get down to BCLP on the Peug. Finished early, so headed south to meet up with e for some mellow dirt on the 'cross' bikes.
e in action.

Changed out the freewheel on the Peug to a 20t, so let's see how it goes next time out. Today while out on the bike, my latest piece for the KM arrived.....the Monkey is looking blingy now.

10 November 2009

Pixburg Stillers a'nat

I watched a little football last night.

08 November 2009

It's mid-November!?

What a great w/end!!
After seeing the soupy conditions at GM Thursday night, decided to skip the Pint-to-Pint & instead roll to Buff Creek, & that was a good call! e & I planned on meting up w/Spike & rolling around 9am. Got to the lot & Jerry was there. While getting ready 'The Chad' & his buddies, Gavin & Kevin showed up. Hit up the ole' standby route & had perfect trails/temps for the next 3.5 hrs. Finished a little after noon-ish, so we rolled by mateo's after to throw some dirt around the pump track, as well as throw in a few laps. It's getting there, should be FUN when it's all set.

Had dinner plans to meet some friends & hit Saigon Bowl for the 1st time. Packed to the gills when we arrived, which was a good sign. The menu is big & has lots & lots of tasty-looking dishes listed. Went for a seafood curry & it was excellent! Sorry, Pho 555, got a new place that'll be calling my name for quite some time.

Sunday morning, we packed up & rolled north, past the Republic of Boulder, to hit Heil-Picture Rock-Hall. Eric kept mentioning that it was so nice to roll at a leisurely pace, but I was on full race pace to keep that crew in sight! I am NOT a fan of that climb out of Lyons to get back to the top of Heil!!!

Listen up sports fans, did you know that swine flu is as much a killer as leprosy? Panic panic!!

06 November 2009

Title Goes Here

Took out the knobbied Peugeot for a spin on pavement/dirt last night & had a bl'ast, till we hit the soup at Green Mountain. Got some knobbies from Eric to try out & found that 2 of them fit fine, at least 7mm of free space to shed mud! We met on the dirt just south of the house & pedaled to BCLP & hit a few trails there & the old beater held its own. Sun was starting to get low, so we headed up to IW to meet w/the T.I.T.S. crew to let them know of our findings.
Several of the usual suspects were there, along with Greg on his sweet new Lynskey. We rolled up to GM to take the lower loop around as a test & found out quickly that it sloppy wetness. Brought my wheels to a complete stop more than once, so we hopped off at the next intersection with Alameda to hit something drier. I decided to head home along Jewell & e went withe boys to BCLP on his way home.
Saw I had a voice mail when I got outta the sower - e caught a flat leaving the dirt & was trying to Lance it home. Easy for him to do as his weight hardly makes an impact on a deflated tire.

Listening to some old-school jams by Warlock Pinchers, so now some punk history......

A Concise History of The Vandals

* Jan and Stevo start the band in Huntington Beach and play several shows at the Cuckoo's Nest among other places.

* During this period a number of original songs are written by Jan and Stevo and performed by the original lineup of the band. Their sets include WANNABE MANOR, URBAN STRUGGLE, THE LEGEND OF PAT BROWN, Elvis Presley's HEARTBREAK HOTEL (with Stevo's reworked lyrics), and others.

* A long list of drummers and bass players join and then leave the band.

* Stevo, after dating Joe Escalante's sister and learning that her little brother is a drummer, recruits Joe to join the Vandals sometime in late 1980 or early 1981.

* A few weeks later, Joe recruits Steve 'Human' Pfauter, the former singer for a garage band Joe was in, to be the Vandals' new bassist. This forms the original recording lineup.

* The band plays around town and gets a bit of a following.

* The band is approached by Brett Gurewitz of Epitaph Records (and the band Bad Religion) with a record deal.


* The songs the band decides to record include WANNABE MANOR, URBAN STRUGGLE, THE LEGEND OF PAT BROWN, HEARTBREAK HOTEL (with Stevo's reworked lyrics), PIRATE'S LIFE, and ANARCHY BURGER. All of these songs were written before Joe or Human joined the band, with the exception of PIRATE'S LIFE and ANARCHY BURGER.

* The lyrics to PIRATE'S LIFE are written by Joe, and the music is written by Jan, with passages cribbed from Disneyland.

* The authorship of ANARCHY BURGER is somewhat more complicated. The title and chorus of the song are taken from graffiti ("ANARCHY BURGER -- HOLD THE GOVERNMENT") written by Todd Barnes of the band TSOL. Todd got the idea from the Sex Pistols' SOME PRODUCT album, whose sleeve art jokingly commodified the Pistols by making everyday consumer products of their punk rock attitudes. The fictitious products depicted in the SOME PRODUCT sleeve art included the 'Vicious Burger' and a soft drink called 'Anarkee-Ora'. From this twice-borrowed beginning, Jan and Joe write music for the new song. Aside from the borrowed graffito as a chorus, there are no lyrics until the band actually enters the studio. Stevo, by himself in the bathroom of the studio, comes up with the lyrics for the song and writes them on a paper bag. The rest of the band hears the lyrics for the first time when Stevo sings them in the recording booth.

* When the subject of publishing credit and royalties comes up, it is immediately and democratically decided that the members of the band will all share equally in any profit to be made from their recordings. Jan and Stevo are very generous in this decision, as the two of them wrote almost all of the material to appear on the album before the others joined the band.

* PEACE THRU VANDALISM is released. The sleeve art lists each musician by name, and credits them collectively ("All songs copyright 1982 The Vandals except H.B. Hotel by Elvis").

* URBAN STRUGGLE, one of the songs from PEACE THRU VANDALISM, becomes a minor hit on KROQ, one of the only radio stations in Los Angeles to play punk rock. The song is one of those written by Jan and Stevo before Joe and Human joined the band.


* Brett Gurewitz begins to pay The Vandals royalties earned from sales of PEACE THRU VANDALISM. The royalties are divided according to the band's oral agreement with Brett and his record company, Epitaph: Half the profits go to Epitaph, and the other half goes to The Vandals. In accordance with their oral agreement with each other, the band's half of the profits are divided equally between the four of them.

* Steve 'Human' Pfauter leaves the band in December, 1983 and is replaced by Chalmer Lumery.


* Possibly due to a personal struggle with drug abuse, Brett Gurewitz tells The Vandals that financial problems are preventing him from handing over the regular royalty payments that are due to them from sales of their album. In spite of this, PEACE THRU VANDALISM is selling briskly.

* WHEN IN ROME DO AS THE VANDALS is released (though not on Epitaph, for obvious reasons). Just as on PEACE THRU VANDALISM, the sleeve art credits the entire band with collectively writing all the words and music.

* In large part due to personality conflicts between Joe Escalante and Stevo, the band has ceased to rehearse or play together. Stevo and Human are regularly calling Brett Gurewitz to ask when they might be paid. Joe is calling Brett as well.


* Presumably sick of the incessant calls and visits from members of the band, Brett Gurewitz decides to make amends and gives the copyright and masters for PEACE THRU VANDALISM back to them. Unfortunately, he hands the settlement to Joe Escalante, who promptly gets greedy and decides to pretend that the rights and masters were given to him alone and that Brett still owes the rest of the band for years of unpaid royalties. This is the first of many thefts Joe commits against his former friends.

* From this point forward all rights to PEACE THRU VANDALISM should have belonged equally to the four members of the band who played on the recording, as this was Brett's clearly stated intent. When Stevo and Human contact Brett again, they are told that the masters and rights to the record have already been given back to them. "Talk to Joe," says Brett. When asked about his meeting with Brett, Joe claims that the masters and rights were given to him alone. In November of 2006, the author of this website contacted Brett Gurewitz and asked him about the settlement made with Joe Escalante. Gurewitz stated very plainly and clearly that the masters and the rights to PEACE THRU VANDALISM were handed over to Escalante to be shared equally with the other members of the band, that the settlement was not meant for Joe alone, and that Joe was aware of this fact at the time of the settlement.

* Around this time Joe Escalante decides to publish both PIRATE'S LIFE and ANARCHY BURGER, crediting himself as the sole author of both songs. This is the second major theft Joe commits against his former friends. Significantly, Joe does not at this time credit himself as sole author of the other songs on PEACE THRU VANDALISM, although years later he eventually decides he can get away with that, too.

* Jan, Stevo, Chalmer Lumery, and Todd Barnes of TSOL fame play a show as The Vandals. Joe is incensed that the two founding members of the band would dare to use their own band name and play songs they themselves wrote before Joe was in the band. First he screams and threatens them that he'll never pay them another dime if they play the show. Then he starts working on an injunction against them to prevent them from ever using the Vandals' name or music. This concert becomes, in Joe's mind, a legal license to steal all future royalties and licensing owed to Jan, Stevo and Chalmer.

* Stevo attempts to play another show, this time as S.N.I.V. ("Stevo's New Improved Vandals"). Joe has him served with the injunction at the club. In characteristic fashion, Stevo doesn't take matters too seriously, and makes the best of it by reading the injunction as lyrics to an impromptu jam. Stevo is later interviewed on videotape regarding the injunction.

* When Joe's injunction is enforced, Stevo doesn't have the money to fight it. Joe wins by default.


* Steve 'Human' Pfauter is now Joe's only obstacle. As Human did not play at the concert that Joe uses against the rest of the band, Joe continues to write occasional royalty checks to him throughout the '90s, but often neglects to do so for up to a year at a time. Later, SoundScan data shows that Joe consistently lied about sales of PEACE THRU VANDALISM, and was paying Human a tiny fraction of the amounts actually owed. Meanwhile, Jan and Stevo get nothing.

* In a blatant bit of gloating during a telephone conversation regarding royalties owed to the rest of the band, Joe tells Stevo that he is cashing Stevo's royalty checks and spending his money and there's nothing Stevo can do about it because Joe is a lawyer now.

* Joe reissues PEACE THRU VANDALISM and WHEN IN ROME DO AS THE VANDALS as a double record. The sleeve art now reads "All words and music by Joe Escalante" (the original sleeve art to PEACE THRU VANDALISM, which credits each of the band's members equally, can be seen here. This is pure plagiarism, which Joe justifies by claiming that he owns the rights to the Vandals' music, in spite of the fact that Stevo and Jan later testified under oath that they never transferred or relinquished their rights to the songs they wrote before Joe joined the band (see here and here). Even if Joe had acquired the rights to the songs legitimately, his argument makes no sense. If his argument was valid, the Beatles' entire catalog would have been reissued with "All words and music by Michael Jackson" on the sleeves (Jackson owned the rights to the Beatles' catalog for many years).

* Joe finds out from one of Brett Gurewitz' former employees that Human has gone back to Brett seeking payment for his back royalties from the 80s. Joe is again incensed that Human would have the nerve to try to get paid, and in the process make Joe look bad in the eyes of the more successful Gurewitz. Joe claims that Human is extorting money from Brett and that all the royalties that Joe has paid Human up to that point were extorted from Joe. This is apparently something he's been working on for a while, as the last few royalty checks that Human has received have had odd notations like "non-union studio musician" written in the memo area.

* Joe swears he'll never give Human another dime, thus completing the theft of all of the band's early works.


* As Human starts looking for a lawyer, other things come to light. Joe has sold the rights to URBAN STRUGGLE, a song written and performed by Jan and Stevo before they ever met Joe, to Adidas for a commercial. Joe pockets $60,000 on the deal. Next he sells a line from ANARCHY BURGER to Sony pictures for $20,000. This is a line that Stevo wrote on a paper bag in the studio bathroom just before the song was recorded. In the credits of the Vin Diesel film 'XXX' the song is listed as "words and music by Joe Escalante".

* Stevo, Jan, and Chalmer join forces with Human and his lawyer, Kevin Anderson. Anderson sends a letter to Sony Pictures pointing out that the song they're using is not solely Joe's work, and that his clients expect to be paid their 75% of the fee, and to be properly credited in future releases of the film 'XXX'.

* In response to Kevin Anderson's letter to Sony Pictures, Joe files a six million dollar lawsuit against his former bandmates. Included among the damages listed in the lawsuit is one million dollars for Joe's pain and suffering. This lawsuit is so full of lies, distortions, and errors in grammar and spelling that legal counsel for the defendants have trouble understanding how its author could have ever passed the Bar exam in the first place. Nevertheless, being a contract lawyer and not a litigator, attorney Kevin Anderson is now involved in a struggle that is clearly outside his area of expertise. Anderson brings in Michael J. Emling of the law firm Porter Emling to handle the countersuit.

* In an attempt to recover their share of the estimated $250,000 that Joe Escalante has pocketed from sales of their records over the preceding decade, the former Vandals respond with a lawsuit of their own. Their $250,000 estimate is gleaned from Soundscan, a database which tracks music sales in the U.S. and Canada, and which is the source of sales data that determine a song or album's standings on the Billboard music charts.

* Joe's six million dollar lawsuit is set aside in favor of the new cross-complaint case.

* As the case progresses, it becomes clear that the one thing that Joe has on his side is the length of time that his former bandmates have allowed his blatant theft to stand uncontested. Joe puts a very meager out-of-court settlement offer on the table, and as the statute of limitations is a powerful legal argument, attorney Michael J. Emling of the law firm Porter Emling tells Stevo, Jan, Human, and Chalmer that the case is not worth his firm's while. Emling says that if they do not accept Joe's settlement, his firm will quit the case and submit a bill to them for over six thousand dollars. Their only alternative is to pay Porter Emling an estimated $30,000 up front in order to continue the battle. Backs to the wall, and unable to afford the $30,000 fee, the band reluctantly settles out of court for a fraction of what was stolen from them. Joe has successfully used their own money to defeat them in court, merely by outspending them.

* The band, and especially Stevo, never recover from the blow dealt them by Joe Escalante. Their trust violated, their music and their royalty money blatantly stolen from them, they drift apart. Friends note that Joe and his treachery have become a frequent -- even incessant -- topic of conversation with the former Vandals. Stevo in particular seems beaten down by the experience, and his loss of confidence and happiness is evident to all who know him well.

* Having spent the intervening years in a spiritual search to deal with his anger and pain, Stevo dies in Hawaii. Shortly before his death, he is back in touch with some of his old friends, and tells them repeatedly of his continuing bad feelings towards Joe, and his fervent desire to see the truth come out. During his last call to Human a few days before his death, he keeps repeating "Joe's going to get his, he's going to get what he has coming to him." Some good-hearted people believe that this was simply Stevo invoking the law of karma, but those of us who don't believe in karma have to wonder if that's really what he meant.

* This website goes live, and the word begins to spread. Joe makes various threats against the author of this site, and files a bogus criminal complaint with the LAPD, claiming that he is the victim of an attempt at blackmail. This is a familiar tactic from Joe, who since the early 1990s has been known to cry extortion whenever any mention of his bad behavior is made in public.

* Joe sells the rights to yet another old Vandals song, this time for use in the film JACKASS 2. According to the settlement made in the 1990s-era lawsuit, the surviving members of the band's original recording lineup are entitled to only a tiny fraction of what was originally an even split. Joe is currently threatening to withhold even that pittance, on the grounds that he believes this website is written and published by his ex-bandmates. He is now demanding that this site be taken down.

This information is copylefted. You may reprint or republish this article without hindrance, provided you do so in full, unedited, and with the attribution (and this notice) intact. Please note that Joe Escalante is a wealthy and powerful attorney who wants to keep this information buried as deeply as possible, and he has been known to file false police reports and institute frivolous legal proceedings against anyone who dares to disseminate the truth about him.

05 November 2009

Guy Fawkes Day

Time to rebel against something or another. I'm gonna pedal in the warmth immediately after work. My knee survived some spins last w/end, so I may be back in the game!

20 October 2009

A New Me?

So, back from the east coast with my 1st bit of carbon fiber. ‘Twas a bl'ast! Saw the family, hung out w/friends, drank some good hometown brews, pedaled in some VA goodness, got married, ate lots of food, soaked in some hot water, & saw some good sights. We hit VA just a tad early for the full brunt of the fall colors that make Octobers there so great....still looked good depending on where you went.

Headed to Elizabeth Furnace to get back to some east coast trailage: meaning mile-long + rock gardens, and we found it there. I also got to experience the overbearing humidity again. That's something I do not miss at all!

Enough typing, let's look at some pix......

My bro checking out scenery that overlooks the in-law's house.

Appalachian Trail

Todd leading the way, up & down, especially down. I always let him take the lead & am amazed how someone so big can flow so smoothly.

My temporary ride. I noticed that smaller wheels don't roll over the same lines I'd normally use on my big bike. I got hung up a few times trying to plow through the rough stuff. The cushy fork up front was a bl'ast, & it took me a bit to get used to popping the rear end up & over everything, instead of pedaling through it as I'm used to doing.

DrunkinCO wheeling it at Elizabeth Furnace.

Panoramavisionic view of Hillsborough Winery.

Drinking vessels at Bluemont Vineyard.

Backyard at out WV getaway house. The hot tub was put into play many times in the course of our stay.

Timon gets a much-needed refill of some extremely tasty Flying Mouflan - good gods, that stuff was GREAT! (as well as all the other tasty libations we devoured: Nugget Nectar, Mad Elf, Scratch #23, Dead Reckoning Porter, Blanton bourbon, etc....)

20 September 2009

The couch worked me over

Got out on the wheeler again............finally!
Joined up for the T.I.T.S. ride Friday @ BC. & it hurt. Not cuz of BC, but b/c I suck. I was huffing & puffing straight away. 2 weeks off hurt me! Rolled most of it backwards & it wasn't bad a t all - up Sandy Wash, out Buck, climbed up Strawberry, then bombed Baldy. Wow! Baldy is great going down. Got in about 21.6 miles & 2,300' of vert.

Met up w/canyonrat after I finished work today & we rolled up Waterton, then did all of Indian Creek. 'Twas my 1st time doing 800 the whole way & it was a bl'ast!
Sunday afternoon = most crowded time I've ridden there but still not bad at all.

Be careful out there!

16 September 2009

07 September 2009

Finally been getting back on the saddle on a regular basis…………and not falling over.

Last Sunday

Following our late-night adventure at BC, EvilMG, canyonrat & myself headed out for an early Sunday morning jaunt above Georgetown. Grabbed the goat & we met canyonrat to start pedaling around 6:15am. Worked our way up to Pavilion Point via some confusing singletrack, then found our way to the FATS trail. Coming down was much funnner than walking up to it, but it did cramp up my fingers/forearms in that steep, rocky section. Dropped down to Silverdale, and another maze of singletrack to get us back into G-town.

Stopped by the car to unload the extra clothing as Mr. Sun had popped out & was warming us up by then…and away we headed for a quick out-n-back on Silver Creek trail. This trail was pure fun, both ways!! About 5 miles of a barely discernible uphill through intermittent rolling or rock gardens, all along a steep, rocky 100’ drop-off. It was easy to keep a constant speed rolling up through the rocks, then turn around & just enough elevation drop to coast through most of it on the way back down. Just be careful, cuz 1 wrong move will make that elevation drop MUCH quicker than you want.


Last week sent me out to Waterton to hit up some Indian Creek stuff. Tuesday, I headed up to Lenny’s, then rolled out ot the IC trailhead where I turned back up to the intersection of 800, Ringtail & Stephen’s Gulch. I chose to drop Stephen’s, which is still wet & as always, extremely rocky – causing my hands to almost go numb by the time I got to the hookup with the little Roxy loop. Door-to-door in 3:20.


Thought I’d head that way again Friday after work, and ran into DWF at Lenny’s. We rolled out to IC trailhead & back up to the big intersection. This time, I chose to bomb down the Roundtop? Trail to hook up at the bottom of the Roxy loop. DWF hten proceeded to school me on the final rocky descent on the powerline trail, which doesn’t often happen. Old dudes know how to rock it! 3:30 this time.


"Duh, where are we?" (pic by spike)

Talked to Spike about getting in a pedal over to Breckenridge & back following some of the route from Spikefest’09 We started out by reversing our Spikefest route by heading UP Gold Dust to Baker’s Tank, then Barney Fife, with a few little changes here & there. Not a bad climb at all, as we reached Boreas Pass pretty quickly, and with not as much effort as I had expected. Spike mentioned that always thinks of stopping in at Breckenridge Brewery to refuel, but never has anyone else that wants to – he didn’t have to twist my arm to get his wish. We got there about 10:50, so we chilled on the street till they opened, were greeted by our fellow SS barkeep Dave. Great bike talk & beer service! At noon, we slung our heavy legs over the top tubes & headed back up, via Southside trail to Blue River, with some worries about the graying skies & occasional claps of thunder. That is one helluva grind up!!

Felt a few drops of moisture as we were peaking out, so we got to hustling our way back down. Made it through the middle section of Gold Dust when the rain started. Going up the bottom section of Gold Dust is sooo much better than 'descending' it, especially when tired, cold & soaked to the bone. Happily made it back to the spikemobile at 3:30.

Felt OK till I made it home, showered, ate & chilled - that's when the ride kicked me in the ass & put me down like a horse with a broken leg..

29 August 2009


Got the new frame/fork back in action & it feels good. As for me, that's another story. During my shakedown cruise to GM after work, I ended up falling over 3 times....on nothing at all. Just cruising along on Summit Loop trail & my front tire hit the high side of the trail cut & down I go, at a good clip. A little bit later, I fall to the left in a slow turn. Then, to cap it off, I fall for a 2nd time on my right side on some flat, straight trail.

Friday night brought about our weekly T..I.T.S. ride at BC. Did OK for most, then came the new section of trail that COMBA just completed at the top of Sandy Wash. Cruising pretty fast & I pull a repeat of my GM manouver - I ride the bike straight into the ground on my right side. Problem is, at BC the decompsed granite does a job on the exposed skin compared to the grass/red dirt mixture at GM. Ouch! Then not 2 minutes later, I take a slow left-hander & fall right into some pointy-ass pricker bush. (came out of it with just one lang slash on my thigh)

I forgot how to ride a bike in that short period of time?!!?

This week, I decided to see if I could stay upright through an entire ride, so Tuesday & Wednesday after work, I shot out to 3 Sisters & hit up most of those loops.

No wrecks, only problem was that the repair job on the rear tire that got slashed during the WE Death March finally started leaking. No more tubeless on that one, so now got a rock hard rear tire, which feels weird.

Friday again sent us out to Pine to pedal the always enjoyable BC. This time, the plan was to have Spike lead us out to the boundary of the LostCreek Wilderness area. Rolled at 6:30, went up Gashouse to Redskin, then CT out to Rolling Creek. Lots of coyotes last night, and 1 of 'em almost got Scar. Hit our turnaround-point, then reversed the route to head back towards Charlie's/Sandy Wash to open the car door at 11:50.

That drive home felt loooooooooong.

09 August 2009

08 August 2009

Surly Rox!

Just got the call from Scotty at Cycle Analyst.......there's a new black Karate Monkey sitting there with my name on it. Having them face the HT & BB before I pick it up.

I was a Surly fan before & now they really got me hooked.

Thanks pieplow!!

I'm so excited!!

03 August 2009

Big Air

Still relegated to pedaling pavement on the Steamroller. At least I got to see someone else riding dirt on Sunday. Rolled north to meet 'e' at Sunset Park to watch.................

Saw some tail whips, 360s, and BIG air going on.

Today also started something more my speed, the CT Race - Waterton Canyon to Durango. Leaders should roll into Durango by Friday.......follow the progress right here.