Sunday, 30 August 2015


Last night's show at the Oakland's Community Centre was wonderful. Thank you to Troy, Tyler, and everyone else who helped to make it such a success. The surprise of the night for me was the band Thick Skull, who opened the proceedings with an amazing set of dark metallic influenced hardcore. Fucking great! Six Brew Bantha and Vile Intent were both intense as fuck, so we probably ended up sounding like fucking green day playing alongside them!  Okay, I'm kidding, but you get the picture.
   Great turnout, no bullshit, and a great night. Let's do it again sometime!

Saturday, 29 August 2015


If you live in Victoria, come to the show tonight. Vile Intent will not disappoint you. And for one night only, we'll be giving our "Garden City" CDs away for free, instead of the whopping 5 bucks we usually charge. See you tonight, assholes.....

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


As I've mentioned countless times before, I know that there is endless criticism of Bob Avakian, his method of leadership, and the RCP USA in general. These jagged and petty criticisms almost never have anything to do with the ideas presented, but are done from the safety and anonymity of a computer. No substance. No validity. No brain.
   Then there are the idiots who write with the air of the pseudo-intellectual, claiming that there is nothing "original" in the ideas presented, and therefore, they are to be dismissed. More bullshit. Capitalism and it's enforcers are killing people, here and around the world, and the system must be uprooted and something better put in it's place. Avakian is an articulate proponent of Revolution, and strikes a chord with the poor and oppressed, from the ghettos to the prisons . Fuck the condescending rats who think they are above the struggle, and are somehow accomplishing something with their endless tirades and "critiques". Useless motherfuckers.

Sunday, 23 August 2015


I am excited to announce that we'll be playing an all-ages show with Vile Intent on the 29th!  It will be our first one in a long while, and I need to thank Troy for not giving up on us. We have had to say no to his show offers on many occasions due to us being old, responsible family men. But not this fucking time! Come out at least to see Six Brew Bantha and Vile Intent!

Thursday, 20 August 2015


One of the things I love about Herzegovina, is the healthy disrespect and lack of trust in the authorities, from the cops to government officials. It is a curious mix of religious conservatism and not giving a shit about the people who are supposed to be keeping the country safe and running smoothly. How very unlike North America, where religious people are frequently telling people to "respect the law".
    This is partly due to having endured decades of rule by the yugo-commies. You would be hard pressed to find a bigger group of self serving corrupted narcissistic assholes than they were. And then practically overnight, they turned into "democrats" and champions of the "free market", once they saw which way the political winds were blowing. Fucking opportunistic rats. So, having been through that, and not respecting the people in power and their enforcers then, people weren't going to start to automatically to respect whoever is in power now. I find that refreshing, even though people can be stuck in their narrow definition of what the country "should" be. But that is the same as here. Except you don't have nasally blowhard assholes talking about it being the "best country in the world".

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


The rest of the trip was amazing, with frequent trips to Mostar , seeing relatives, and a side trip to  Sarajevo for a couple of days, which was fantastic. Actually, we went there a day after a furious soccer riot, which was set off by some fans of a Polish team chanting "This is Serbia" in the stadium, just to get a reaction. And they got one. Fans of FK Sarajevo turned over several police and civilian cars, the opposing team's bus, and tried to get into the hotel where they were staying. The two days we spent there were peaceful and beautiful.
   All in all, it was an extremely successful trip, with the kids bonding with their cousins and my Dad's brother and wife, and my Dad was happier than I'd seen him be in a while. Now it's time to get back to work, and pay this off. But I have no regrets, and would do it again in a second.

Saturday, 15 August 2015


We were up later than we should have been, just happy to be around each other. I slept better that night than I had in a long time, but was still up by 5 am, not being able to wait to go outside to explore our surroundings. My Dad was up around the same time, so we went on an early morning walk together, then had coffee before anyone else was awake. I said before that I can't explain the way I feel when I am in that country. My mind races between immediate family having been there from as far back as anyone can remember, to the  times of the Ottoman Empire , during which the Turks had been there for over four hundred years, with generations passing thinking the occupation would never end, and indeed for them, it did not. The Christian households would have to give up one male child to be raised as Janissaries , with many never knowing who their parents were, and where they actually came from. My imagination would often be in overdrive, but what can you expect?
   Our early morning walks became a daily event, with the kids frequently joining us, and sometimes in the evening also. My routine became one of going to sleep before ten, and getting up at around five. Holy crap, how unlike what I do here!

Thursday, 13 August 2015


As I said in the last post, by the time we got to my Dad's house, it was 9:30 pm ,and like any rural area, totally dark. We go up to the door and knock . My mind is going in many different directions. "What if he's not home?  Is everything okay? We'll have to go to Mostar to find a room for the night". We all go up the stairs to his front door. Just outside the front door, we find large pieces of broken glass. "What is this?" I ask myself. I knock. No answer. I knock again. Then a light goes on. "Who is it?" my Dad asks in Croatian. "It's us" I answer in English. He opens the door, and is clearly excited to see us, especially the kids. He says, " I thought you were coming tomorrow night", and I reply, "So did I !"....

Friday, 7 August 2015


The feelings I get when landing in Croatia are almost overwhelming. They are a mixture of joy, comfort, and disbelief, and more intense once we cross the border into Herzegovina. It's certainly a strange mix, but I settle in quickly. I am elated to have been able to bring the whole family, and they are excited as well. My language skills are put to the test, and although far from perfect,  we get by for the entire trip. ( Just a side note: Our luggage didn't get there on time, but to give the airport authorities credit, they sent them to Capljina the very next day).
   The drive down the Adriatic coast is incredible. We are all exhausted, but can't take our eyes off of the scenery. I stop a couple of times to see if we're actually going in the right direction, ( and to eat ) , and it turns out we are on the right track the entire time. By the time we get to the border crossing at Metkovic, it is dark.

This wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that I fucked up our arrival time, and told my Dad we would be there on Friday the 3rd,  but instead we got there on Thursday night.
  I had actually tried calling before we left to tell him about my screw up, but couldn't get through. So the night of our arrival, we tried calling from a nearby gas station, but again could not get through. We ended up finding his village, which is close to the beautiful little town of  Stolac and knocked on his door at 9:30 pm.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015


My Dad had left for the old country in May, and we weren't getting there until July, but he was excitedly anticipating our visit for those months in between. We were too, and we have many relatives who were also eager to see us. The months passed, my Old Lady did ALL of the organizing, my daughter finished the school year, and soon it was time to go.
    I was a little worried about how the kids would be with travelling, particularly the fact that the flight is over 14 hours long. But all of my worries were unfounded, as they were amazing travellers. The one thing that was in the back of my mind was the restlessness of the boy, who is almost 5, and usually quite enthusiastic about life in general. I guess I didn't realize that these days, planes give everyone their own screen on which to watch movies or play games, which the kids did until they fell asleep. No more of the one big screen where everyone is forced to watch some incredibly shitty film together.
   We soon found ourselves landing in Split , Croatia.

Monday, 3 August 2015


As I had mentioned in the previous post, my parents were in the habit of going to Herzegovina every year, but last summer was tragic, as Mom's health had deteriorated considerably.
   So when it was getting close to think about going this summer, my Dad asked my sisters, "What am I going to do in that house by myself?" ( They own a little two bedroom house in a small village over there) , and my sisters asked him, "What are you going to do in the condo all summer?", and talked him into going. I don't think it took too much convincing. He has a brother over there, and he loves his garden, especially since he grows figs, pomegranates, olives, and the usual stuff like tomatoes, corn, cucumbers  and peppers. He also has some great neighbours who look out for him and make sure he's okay.
   While all of this was taking place, I was thinking over the idea of taking the family to visit him while he's there. I do not have the money, but Dad's 83, and if I've learned anything over this past year, it's that life is short. So I mentioned it to him, and he just lit up. That's all it took. We booked our flight, and started planning.

Sunday, 2 August 2015


One of the most difficult things for me was watching everyone else go through their mourning, and the different things that go through your mind during those times. Up to the final day,  my thoughts were consumed with my Mom's condition. I was expecting a phone call any time, but when it did come I was still hit hard.
  Much of what was going on inside my head was the shitty things I had done ( mostly as a youth), and the regrets I felt as a result, especially since all I got from her was unconditional love, when so many parents would have written off a little asshole like me. Of course I know it's pointless living on regrets like that, even more so since she would have told me that herself. But that's the way my mind was working. I'm over that now. The love she gave, especially to my kids, was immeasurable. I will never forget that.


As I mentioned earlier, my parents were married for over 51 years, so of course my Dad was ( and probably still is) feeling a little lost. Luckily,both of my sisters have stepped up and shown overwhelming support to him, and I have done what I can also ( between working 3 jobs and trying to be there for my kids). 
  My parents were in the habit of going to Herzegovina every year to see family and friends. They would go anywhere from 2-4 months, but as time went on and Mom got worse, this got more and more difficult. They actually did manage to go last summer, but my Dad and sisters said it was horrible. I had sort of regretted not going, just in order to be there with her for the last time, but they said it was better that I didn't. Her condition deteriorated rapidly once they got back. It was wrenching to watch, but I'm glad I was there for my Dad........

Saturday, 1 August 2015


Please excuse my unexplained absence of the last month or so. I took my family to Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina to visit my Dad for three weeks, and was nowhere near a computer for most of July. Yes, it was awesome. I missed playing with AK-47, but it was good to be in a different environment for that long. So that being said, my first couple of entries in this here blog thing are going to be a bit more personal than they have been in the past. To begin....


This past November I experienced the single most difficult loss I have ever gone through, with my Mom passing away after a four year fight with bone cancer. She died on what would have been her 73rd birthday. 
   I was happy to have those four years, since I thought she was going to go a lot sooner than that. Cancer is fucking merciless. I have a sister who is a nurse, and I don't know where I would have been without her. She moved in with my parents, and managed to help everyone through the devastating times, and still kept working also. Amazing. She kept Mom from having to stay at the hospital at all.
  As soul destroying as those times were for me, they were 1,000 times more so for my Dad, who was married to my Mom for over 51 years. I  can only imagine how lost you'd feel after spending over half of a century with someone. No matter how prepared you think you'd be, there will always be some denial. I understand why so many people turn to prayer when all else seems to be slipping away, especially when you already have that belief system in place.
   I will continue this.........