On the KGO in SFO.

A few weeks ago, my friend John of Lower Chicken Heights fame (that's his hair in the above photo), who is a producer at KGO radio here in San Francisco, asked me if I would like to sit in with him at the KGO studios for one of his shifts. Now, those of you who really know me realize that I would rather be sitting in a radio studio, in front of a console, in a production booth, especially at the #1 rated, award-winning radio station in the #4 radio market in the country. Screw going out to some skanky bar while getting skankily drunk with a bunch of skanks (no offense to those with which I've gotten shitfaced and skanky in the past...I'm no saint).

John came over at around 5:00, and we headed out the door for an especially nasty slice of pizza from some dump on Broadway. Since I only live 4 blocks from the KGO radio and TV studios (and 3 from KPIX-TV 5 and the SF studios of KNTV-11...go figure) we walked down the hill, enjoying the crisp, cool November evening. When we got to the studio, I signed in as a guest, and up we went to the mystical wonderland that houses the second-largest west coast ABC radio and television affiliates.

They weren't that glamorous inside, but had a cool view of the city nonetheless.

Now, I actually listen to KGO radio, and my clock radio is usually tuned to it. I grew up on AM radio, especially AM talk radio (when my dad was driving, it's pretty much all we ever listened to until my mom had her fill). At night, the KGO signal travels much farther than it does during the day.

You know what? I'm going to digress for a minute and explain why and how AM radio signals travel farther at night. I aim to inform others while entertaining myself with this blog. Feel free to skip through this part if it bores you.

You see, the Earth's atmosphere is divided into several layers, the troposphere (the bottom layer where all the weather takes place, the stratosphere (where spy planes, the the ozone layer, and weather balloons can be found), and the ionosphere, the uppermost layer that contains several different layers, the exact names I won't get into here (I get really nerdy and rambly with this stuff...bear with me). For the sake of simplicity, we shall refer to them as the D, E, and F layers.

From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website:

The E-layer was discovered first. In 1901, Guglielmo Marconi transmitted a signal between Europe and North America and showed that it had to bounce off an electrically conducting layer about 62 miles (100 km) altitude. In 1927, Sir Edward Appleton named that conducting layer the (E)lectrical-Layer. Later, discovery of additional conducting layers were simply called the D-layer and F-Layer.

Since the ionosphere existance is due to radiation from the sun striking the atmosphere, it changes in density from daytime to nighttime. All three layers are more dense during the daytime. At night, all layers decrease in density with the D-Layer undergoing the greatest change. At night the D-Layer essentially disappears.

Got that?

It means at night, some thug can stand in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, hold a transistor radio to his head, and listen to a 50KW AM station broadcasting from the middle of the Pacific Ocean. See?

Get it? Got it? Good.

I've always been fascinated by radio and how it works...it's a big reason why I was a radio and communications troop in the Air Force. You might as well like your job, right? When I was in Cleveland as a kid, I used to have a log of stations I'd pick up while hiding under my covers with my Tom & Jerry transistor radio. I remember excitedly logging WOR, WABC, and WMCA from New York, WBZ out of Boston, KYW Philadelphia, KDKA Pittsburgh, WLS Chicago, WLW Cincinnati, CJMR Mississisauga, Ontario, CFRA Ottawa, CHWO Toronto...my list went on and on. I even picked up CBK out of Regina, Saskatchewan...and laughed at the pronunciation of both "Regina" (reh-GY-nuh) and "Saskatchewan" (sahs-KAH-cheh-wan). Just like now, back then I was easily amused. One night I was picking up KMOX in St. Louis (the "Voice of Mid-America") and tingling with excitement...I finally heard a real "K" station (P'burgh and Philly didn't count as far as I was concerned) because all the Cleveland stations started with a W. I could go into that, but I won't...just click here if you want to know more about that. These stations...the voices, the accents, the different languages (I got a lot of stations from Quebec), the commercials, and especially, the jingles ("Newww York Ci-tyyyyyyy" sounded beautiful to me). As far as I was concerned, these were beacons from outside my world, which suddenly felt confining. These distant voices beckoned me, taunted me, and made me dream. At this point, I knew there was an exciting world outside Northeast Ohio, and vowed to myself to explore as much of it as I possibly could, as soon as I possibly could.

Hey Mom, now you know one of the reasons why I was constantly roadtripping with my friends from the age of 17 until I left for basic training.

Okay now, where was I? [pushes thick glasses back up onto nose] Oh yes, hanging out with John while he produced Karel on KGO. Sorry, once a nerd, always a nerd.

So anyway, John gave me a quick tour of the station. It was cool standing in front of the racks of electronics that ARE KGO radio, that send the signal to the transmitter. There were many different studios, and I was salivating at the control boards, Shure microphones, little blinking lights everywhere, speakers mounted on the walls, and lots and lots and lots of little buttons and switches. You see, I LOVE buttons, blinking lights, microphones, and switches. I find them inherently fascinating, and it's why I used to get into a lot of trouble when I was a kid. I won't get into the Mobile Ham Radio Out In The Driveway Incident when I was 8.

Let's just say I broke a lot of laws, and won over my uncle's heart (the owner of aforementioned ham radio).

So there I am, in the KGO studios, completely in my element, with my body absolutely vibrating with excitement. "Screw those drunk skanks out at the skank-o-terias," I thought, "I'm sitting here in KGO with John."

He showed me how he screens calls, the systems they use to communicate between the studios, how the phones worked, how the console worked, and introduced me to the engineer on duty and another talk show host who came in to prepare for her show and bounce ideas off of John and me. Karel was broadcasting his show from his house in Long Beach, so I didn't get to meet him per se, but we got acquainted through the console board while John twiddled with knobs and switches.

I was jealous. I wanted to touch the knobs and switches. And make some lights flash. And talk into the microphone. And hear my own voice in headphones. Arg.

The Karel Show started, and John did his thing. I was helping him screen calls, and helping decide which ones got to get on the air first (it's not neccessarily the order they're received, you know). If you're a total idiot, chances are the producer won't let you on the air, or will keep you on hold forever. If you say, "Karel is an idiot who is completely off-mark, and this is why..." and explain intelligently your counterpoint WITHOUT profanity or racial slurs, you're bumped to the front of the line. John and I had fun screening those calls...and shunting them all to Karel. BTW, if you want to know more about him, click on his photo.

Karel started out his show with a monologue about how he feels about the so-called Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, apparently. The best line in the monologue: "You can just turn on Home Shopping Network any time of the day or night in your...trailer...sittin' in your Barcalounger...with your beer that's got its crocheted cozy around it...eatin' your mac and cheese...Swanson...[and you can] log into [Home Shopping Network] and buy any Capo di Monte figure you want at 3am...that's your business! I don't care!"

Here is Karel's rant about Black Friday. I kinda agree with him...Black Friday shopping behavior is getting out of hand, it's tacky, it's embarrasing to me as an American, and I, for one, refuse to be any part of it. Mama raised me right...I avoid stores on Black Friday. I made the mistake of walking through Union Square the day after Thanksgiving, and it was MOBBED.

Mobbed with people who don't watch where they're walking, crash into you and stare at you blankly. People who insist on DRIVING TO UNION SQAURE, THINKING THEY'RE GOING TO FIND A PLACE TO PARK. People who, after discovering there ARE NO PARKING SPOTS LEFT, create gridlock because they don't know how to drive in a city and get stuck in the intersection because the light changed. People who saunter 5 abreast along the sidewalk like they're in some suburban shopping mall, blocking those of us who Actually Have Important Things To Do. At one point, I was walking towards a group of people who were all walking in a line across the sidewalk, oblivious to the people behind them who wanted to pass without stepping out into the street. I thought to myself, "Let's play Red Rover, Red Rover, let CHAD COME OVER!" and I aimed myself at the biggest one, presumably the father. He saw me coming, panicked, and accidentally tripped his teenage daughter, who tripped the mother, who tripped 2 other people doing a balancing act on the curb because the Tons-O'Fuck Family wouldn't stop hogging the sidewalk. (Hint: smartly step to the side, and walk 2 by 2 instead of a single row of 5.) Keep in mind this all happened when I was still approximately 10 feet from them, so I am not responsible for the tripping of this group. Well, maybe a little, but still.

At any rate, bless their little Black Friday hearts. They made me laugh a little bit to myself.

By the way, during a commercial break, Karel asked me (through the console board) if I'd be his date to the KGO holiday party at the home of Gene Burns, whose show I listen to on KGO. I accepted...he sounds like a genuinely nice person and I think it'd be a lot of fun.

Now I need to figure out what the hell I'm going to wear.

After Karel's show was Edie Sellers (click on her photo for her bio), who decided to open up her show talking about the wild turkeys that are wreaking havoc across Northern California. She started off her show with her opinion of the turkeys, hoping to churn some interest in the listening public ("Churning" callers is a talk radio term I learned last night...and now you, a reader of STMF, have learned that as well). I love the fact she said "pooping issue" on the air, which made me laugh and laugh and laugh. Milk came shooting out of my nose, which was remarkable since I was not drinking milk at the time. John was convinced I was possessed by the devil, and made his "Jihad Noise" at me until I stopped my hilarious convulsions.

Okay, I made that last part up, but she really did say "pooping issue" and I did laugh, but it was more of a titter than a guffaw.


The people who called were mostly bores who wanted to rant about how much they hated turkeys, or about people who hate the turkeys, or turkeys' rights compared to those of people. Typical whiney Bay Area crap. Now, before you label me as some conservative, keep in mind where I come from. If a bunch of wild turkeys took over Cleveland, there would be no debate as to what would happen next. The Cleveland Police Department would shoot every single one of them, and before you know it we'd have the First Annual Cuyahoga County Barbecue Gamey-Ass Turkey Burnoff (with ribs and pierogies on the side with lots of Gennesee Cream Ale). It's not rocket science, people. But this being the Bay Area, folks think a little bit differently. Hey, turkeys are people too. Out of all the callers, one sensitive San Franciscan and a gravelly-voiced Sonoma County woman stuck out from the crowd, and John and I decided they should go on first.


First was Garrett, from San Francisco. He sounded so...sensitive and strange on the phone; we thought there is no way we should prevent him from voicing his opinion up and down the West Coast (we were getting callers from Vancouver, BC to Riverside, CA). Listen to him tell us about his feelings on the turkeys, and ruminations of his childhood with his sister taking turns locking each other in a turkey shed. It's just a little bit creepy, albeit wistful, and the look on Edie's face was priceless when he started talking. He even says "crap" at one point, a word I learned has been banned by Disney, the parent company of KGO, during the daytime.

Next came Donna, from Santa Rosa...Sonoma County wine country. As soon as she started to speak, Edie looked over at John and me with a look on her face that said, "WHY did you give me this caller???" John and I snickered, convinced this woman was smoking a cigarette when she called, and was speaking through a stoma in her neck. I imagined her sitting in a chair, puffing a Winston Light 100, a glass of vodka on a table next to her, in her comfortable Santa Rosa home she shares with 400 cats. Watching Edie try to have an intelligent conversation with this woman AND keep a straight face was hysterical. When she hung up with Donna and went to commercial, she got on the PA system and asked, "So which one of Marge Simpson's sisters was that?"

I, for one, liked Donna. In fact, she provided me a final moment of zen for the day (a la Daily Show) that I will share for you here.

Click here for your moment of zen.

And that's about enough typing for today. I'm going to the Beer Bust at the Eagle. Anyone want to join me?



North Beach, Saturday night.

I decided to stay in last night, simply because I didn't feel like leaving my neighborhood. I was kind of hungry, so I walked over to the Blanca Cafe on Grant Avenue for my favorite sandwich in the ENTIRE world...the Blanca Pollo Bocadillo. It has tender slices of grilled chicken, tronchon cheese, red-leaf lettuce, thin-sliced fresh tomatoes and red onions, and parsley aioli. I have yet to taste a sandwich as divine as the Blanca Pollo Bocadillo...and that's saying a lot.

You should try the plato de queso with a glass of 2001 Ramon Bilbao Rioja (Spain)...just marvelous.

While I was waiting for my sandwich, a guy I've had my eye on for a while came in to say hello, and ask for some change. He's a bartender at The Magnet Lounge across the street. I know he's straight, but still...call it a little local neighborhood crush. Tall, lanky, blond hair buzzed short.



My sandwich emerged from the kitchen, wrapped up (as I was just going to relax in front of my television with a fire in the fireplace at Club Chad...the most exclusive club in North Beach). I sauntered down Grant towards home, pausing in front of Magnet to check out the large, friendly crowd inside and to see who was bartending. The owner of Magnet is absolutely adorable as well...I met him at Mojito one afternoon while hanging out with a friend of mine who bartends at the Savoy Tivoli down the street. What a bunch of friendly, genuinely nice, cute guys. What else can I say?

Almost home, I passed by Citizen Thai & the Monkey, an upscale Thai place that just opened up on the corner of Fresno Alley and Grant Avenue. I saw a girl I know bartending in there, so I popped in to say hello. Of course, once inside, I decided I wanted some yellow curry chicken, so I ordered that as well. As I sat at the bar, waiting for my food, the cute Magnet bartender I had seen at Blanca came in to have dinner, and sat down at the other end of the bar. Of course, I snuck in a few furtive glances, but otherwise behaved myself. I engaged in friendly banter with some of the people who worked there, finding out something we all had in common in the process. Seems we all like the same Californian herbal remedies on occasion.

At one point, I asked Citizen Thai Bartender Girl to lean over towards me, as I had something to tell her.

"You see that cute boy at the other end of the bar?" I asked her.

"Uh...yeah! He's really hot," she answered.

"I have the biggest crush on him."

She stifled a giggle.

"Seriously...my nipples are poking through my shirt," I said.

She guffawed loudly and went to serve a cocktail to someone.

Cute Magnet Boy saw all of the commotion at the other end of the bar, with me talking to three extremely attractive young women. He finished his dinner, got up from his bar stool, and came over to all of us, where I was holding court at the other end of the bar. He said, "Hey, this seems to be where all the action is!" and draped his long, slender (but toned) arm around my shoulder. Citizen Thai Bartender Girl shot me a look, lips pursed, trying again not to laugh. I discreetly gnawed on the palm of my hand as I sat there with Cute Magnet Boy leaning against me, arm draped around my shoulder, laughing and talking with us.

He introduced himself to me, and started flirting with the women. Alas, he soon had to leave and go back to work, leaving me there with a flushed face and slightly-raised blood pressure. I felt like a giddly little schoolgirl, but soon started thinking of trucks and cars and tools and the San Francisco 49ers and NASCAR and beef jerky, restoring my dashed masculinity in the process.

Before retiring by myself to my apartment, where I put on a comfortable pair of pajamas, lit my fire, put on [adult swim], and tore into my food, the four of us sat on top of Kearny Street hill for a few minutes. We were savoring the downtown view, waving at the police officers a half-block down the hill...and passing the dutchie on the left hand side. We were laughing at people huffing and puffing up the hill...one couple stopped halfway up the hill, sat down, and had some cigarettes. At one point, a wild-eyed guy claiming to be an Army Ranger sprinted up the hill at is (keep in mind this is one of the steepest hills in San Francisco), saying compared to Afghanistan, the hill was pretty flat. He challeneged us to race him up and down the hill...but my chicken curry and bocadillo were calling me, so I bade everyone farewell and retreated to Club Chad, where I was on the VIP list.

Now THAT'S Saturday night in North Beach.

(btw...with the exception of the first photo, which I took from the Vallejo Street Steps at the top of Russian Hill, the night shots were all taken from my roof)



Arnold Schwarzenegger's special erection.

Many of you may know we had a special election here in California, prompted by our Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I'm still trying to get used to that...Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Every time I see him on TV hawking his ballot initiatives or giving a speech, I just shake my head in disbelief.

So anyway, I voted today, as I always do in every single election. They gave me that sticker, and since it didn't go with what I was wearing, I stuck it to my monitor. But that's not why I'm blogging tonight. You see, since I live on the edge of Chinatown, my polling place is at an elementary school where the vast majority of the students and teachers are Chinese. Now, that in itself isn't particularly funny.


What happened while I was voting WAS funny, even if I probably shouldn't be laughing about it.

When you walk through the front door of this elementary school, it gets a little confusing. You have to walk down a hallway, through another hallway, and through a door that is somewhat hidden from view. Apparently, as I was voting, someone was wandering around the hallway, not sure where they needed to go, so a small, frail-looking Chinese woman got up and walked out the door to direct them to the voting booths.

"EXCUSE ME!" she yelled. "HEY!"

I looked up from my ballot, and the guy in the next booth looked over at me.

"ARE YOU HERE FOR THE ERECTION?" she hollered down the hallway.

I let out a very audible snort, which echoed around the room for a second and resulted in a blob of snot simultaneously flying from my left nostril onto my ballot. I heard a gasp next to me...my voting neighbor glanced over with a "Did I really just hear that?" look on his face.

"HEY! YOU! THE ERECTION IN HERE!" the woman yelled again, pointing towards the doorway, but unintentionally pointing directly at my head poking above the voting booth.

I bit my tongue, trying desperately not to giggle; I ended up giving myself hiccups. The guy next to me had his hand over his mouth, absolutely hyperventilating. The lost voters walked through the door, looking like they were absolutely about to lose it.

I fought the urge to mutter, "ka-BOING!" but my mama raised me better than that.

Anyway, I wiped up the blob-o-snot, finished voting, and fed the ballot into the counting machine. Erection Woman then handed me my sticker, and I walked out the door.

I waited until I was safely out of earshot before giggling all the way back to my apartment.

At any rate, The Song of the Day HAS to be "Lady T" by Crazy Penis. I've been listening to this song and really liking it...click on the picture above to hear it. Go to Shiva Records if you want to buy it.



1968 Shelby Cobra.

If you want to see my latest "cargasm" check out my photo blog if you have the chance. This is a 1968 Shelby Cobra, based on the Ford Mustang. It's extremely rare...and I'd be willing to bet this particular example would fetch over $80,000 at auction.

I'm not kidding.

I know, I've been carcentric lately, but it's just a phase. If you don't feel like traipsing over to fotopages, you can always click on the photos for the full-size view.



The Week in Pictures.

Well, not really. These photos have all been taken in the past few months, but for some reason, they've just been sitting in a folder here on my computer. The photo above is actually posted upside down...it's the reflection in my friend Greg's 1988 Porsche 944's windshield.

So...I figured I'd just dust these off since I really don't feel like writing anything right now, but wanted to put up some weekend eye candy so when I open up my blog I feel somewhat good about it.

So here we go...litle slices of everyday, colorful, surreal San Francisco life these past few months. As always, click on any photo to see it in its full-size glory.

Former Miss Trannyshack Ana Conda at Feather Sundays 2 months ago:

Ana doing her thing:

My friend Heath's gorgeous eyes:

And Heath's gorgeous back tattoo:

Of course, no post of photos would be complete without Daigle. Here's a portrait of the two of us in the shifter of a Chrysler 300:

A quesadilla dinner he prepared one night:

And afterward:

My friend, Derrick Hanson (we go back a long way, actually). You can see more of him here, here, and here:

Another Feather picture:

Don't ask what this was...long story:

And finally, a pavement marking San Francisco had to install at the corner of Columbus and Broadway in North Beach to help prevent Chinese grandmothers from tottering into oncoming traffic:

So there you go. Hope everyone has a good Friday night.



In honor of Mr. Sulu...

...I have this gem, originally taped off of CKFM in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, presented for you here.

To hear these two get it on:

Just click on the Enterprise:


© 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 by Chad Fox. All rights reserved.