Yet Another Blog Restart plus Email Marketing Totally Bites

Welcome to the refresh of my blog. It’s still named the Locker 17 blog after my book, which is rapidly on its way to becoming a trilogy, but It’s not going to be one of those blogs that is only about promotion. So if you are looking for a blog where every post is about how you should buy my book, you’re at the wrong place. You should subscribe to a mailing list for that. Oh, wait I don’t have one. I’m going against every writing expert’s advice on this, but the truth is I loathe email marketing. Sure, I’ve subscribed to the occasional writer’s newsletter, thinking I could use the occasional tip, who hasn’t? The thing is it’s never the occasional helpful tip. It’s a barrage of unwanted messages flooding my inbox 10 to 20 times a day. Even if it is only weekly or monthly, it piles up behind the 10 to 20 a day emails and gets lost in the promotion folder I never look at.

Oh and one more thing about email lists, once you are on them you are a commodity. I see posts that say looking to trade lists of email subscribers on marketing forums all the time. So once you are on one you may end up on 20 without your consent. So you’re going to unsubscribe, then I’m going to freak, out why is everyone unsubscribing? Do they hate me? Do they hate how my newsletter says the same thing over and over, buy one of the books I have out? Are they even looking at them? Oh, wait of course they aren’t. Lots of people hate email marketing. If they are that interested they will seek out the information themselves. So while I will probably go over to the dark side and start email marketing one of these days, that day is not now. You can relax, sit back and enjoy this blog and all of its new goodness.

Okay, now that we got that out of the way I’m sure you’re wondering what this blog is going to entail. What’s its new direction? Okay, the short answer is I dunno. The long answer is if I limit myself to one specific niche, I will never keep the blog up. I know I’m supposed to position myself as an expert in something and blog about that, but I’m not. If I was then I would be too busy, doing symposiums, and lectures, and creating snappy power point presentations to even have a blog. So this blog is going to feature nostalgia and news. It will also have tips, tricks, and brilliant ideas. There will be random rants about pop culture, tangents that have nothing to do with anything, the occasional confession, and random bits about things only I find funny. There will be no clickbait slideshows, I swear.

So sit back enjoy, activate the RSS feed deal if you are so inclined, and get ready for fun.

Oh and one more quick thing. I should inform you that I have a new book: Beyond the Music out, and I have a new edition of Rock’n’Roll in Locker Seventeen out. The kindle version now has a table of contents. (FYI: The Smashwords version is not the new edition yet)

I’ve also tweaked my website a bit. It’s not a complete overhaul but a work in progress because I ran into some complications. You can see it here.


Stuff I Miss: Toys Edition

Welcome to another entry in the ongoing series about stuff I miss.


It was a Saturn looking ball you jumped on that was all the rage in 1988. It was a good way to burn off all that junk food energy you had stored up from your diet of Oreo Big Stuffs and Chicken Littles washed down with a New York Seltzer or some 7up Gold.

Tabletop Arcade Games

All of the rich kids had one of these circa 1983 and they would bring them to school to gloat. I never had one and I still want one but they are crazy expensive on ebay. My parents should have bought me one. It would have been an investment!

Scratch N Sniff Stickers

Do they still make these? I especially remember the little round ones and the ones that were fake products.

Trapper Keepers

They sometimes make newer versions of these but I like the old school 80’s versions with kittens, or unicorns or hot air balloons. I would cover parts of it with vintage scratch and sniff and puffy stickers then I would totally take it on job interviews and pull my resume from it. If they don’t hire me then I would be better off because who wants to work at a place that doesn’t appreciate the awesomeness of a trapper keeper. These are also expensive on ebay. I should have kept all of mine.

The gift Bags at Sanrio Stores

Yes there are still Sanrio stores but now they are crazy expensive places with Hello Kitty purses for 80 bucks. What? Back in the day they had these gift bags for 5$ and if you were lucky you would get some erasers, a puffy pencil box, some pens, some shoelaces, some hair stuff and a purse. All in one bag. There were also boy versions of the bags but I don’t remember what was in them.

 I miss Big Wheels

Nowadays every time you turn on the news they talk about childhood obesity and the fattening of America. I don’t remember ever hearing about this growing up and it’s not like 80’s children never ever consumed any sugar. (See all of the above stuff I miss) The whole childhood obesity epidemic came directly after one thing. The introduction of those powered wheel cars where kids would just sit in them and they would drive you around. Back in the day you had to actually pedal your big wheel and burn calories. I can’t believe I am the only person who has ever made this correlation. Maybe someone should give me a Nobel Prize for this observation or something, because that would look good on my resume and I need all the help I can get. I guess the big evil toy corporations are trying to keep their secret from getting out.


I don’t have any kids yet so I don’t know if these are still around but I haven’t seen any at Target or anything. Anyway the sit’n’spin was pretty much the best toy made ever in the history of the world. The whole goal was to get on and spin until you got sick or tired of spinning. I never got sick. You were the one who actually spun using your arms again burning calories. The faster you moved them the faster you went the goal being to fall over or try and get your sit’n’spin to magically hover somehow. If they made sit’n’spns today they would probably put some lame motor in them and make them go really slow so no one would ever get sick, fall over, or have any actual fun. That way the big corporate toy company wouldn’t get sued.

 Hippity hops

I never had one of these; I only occasionally rode my friends. I miss them though. Are they still made? My kids are going to have awesome toys. That’s all I’m saying.

Check Out my pinterest, There are tons of nostalgic pins for you to enjoy there.




It’s the coldest day of winter so why am I running the car’s AC?

It’s the coldest week of winter we’ve had in a while. So cold that it’s been the lead story on the news for a week straight. So cold that everyone who got stuck on the BART train that filled up with smoke had to see that their story was placed after the countless man on the street interviews where Joe Average moaned about it being cold, and Bob the last farmer in the silicon valley had to talk about covering his plants so it wouldn’t freeze.

I am getting over a cold and I probably risked pneumonia walking around my neighborhood trying to find the mostly outdoor neighborhood cat who I adopted. She doesn’t like being inside once her bowl is empty and she really doesn’t like my other cat who is an indoor loving cuddle fiend.

I like weather like this, because I can finally wear my winter stuff and not look like a fool. I can wear a scarf and maybe a cute hat and pretend that I actually live somewhere snowy and romantic. For a few days every winter I let myself believe  my childhood dream of snow coming to me might come true. Real snow, not trucked in snow or a snowflake that lands on your car in the rain and melts 2 seconds later. The kind of snow where there is sledding and  making snowmen and snowball fights and snow angels and hot cocoa and ice skating on a lake and riding around on a horse drawn sleigh that just magically appears and doesn’t have an admission of 52 bucks and line of 35,000 people in front of you. There will always be a part of me that believes in all the stuff countless childhood Christmas specials sold me that never came true. Every time it gets this bone chillingly cold I believe that this might be the year the mythical white Christmas finally happens.

The closest I’ve ever come to a white Christmas is stopping in a pit stop of a town called Fraser Park just off highway 5 in the Grapevine on the way to LA. My brother and I played in the snow beneath a giant sign that said EAT for as long as we could, but it wasn’t long enough. Soon we had to get back on the road to Los Angeles where all the white Christmases are made of potato flakes on movie back lots.

So why was I running my car ac on the coldest day of winter? Because I made a silly decision to shop. After all it is the season of shopping and it’s so darn frosty out I might need more cute scarves, and hats and mittens, and sweaters, and maybe some earmuffs, or maybe even a new coat. I didn’t have time for the mall so I shopped at a store whose name rhymes with moles. I was wearing a jacket and a scarf, not my winter coat. I decided to look at coats inside, and scarves, and hats and gloves and all the other winter stuff I usually ignore until it’s marked down to $1.95.

Then I stepped inside. It was 85 degrees, or maybe 90. Suddenly all my dreams of cute sweaters and cozy jackets vanished. Who would want to try on more clothes in this tropical climate? I wandered through the jacket aisles but none were on clearance. I glanced at some sweaters but they looked like they needed to be tried on. No thank you. The only thing I bought were bras. Bras and tanktops were the only items that held any appeal, given the temp in the dressing room.

Once I finished shopping and got my car I just wanted to cool off as quickly as possible. So I found myself using the AC on the coldest day of the year.

Why do stores always crank up the heat in winter? Is there one master climate control for every store located in Duluth Minnesota? Don’t they know that when it’s cold out we are going to already be wearing stuff to keep us warm and it’s a pain in the butt to walk around a department store carrying a heavy winter jacket, while all the employees are giving you the stink eye because they think it’s merchandise you are going to walk out the front door with?

Maybe stores like JC Penny, and Sears and all those others pundits keep predicting the demise of will learn they can save millions if they just turn down the damn heat. Plus they might actually sell a jacket every now and then. At full price even.