Jan 1st, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

I can reasonably state that I wasn’t the only person in Seattle who wanted to personally witness 2013 go bye bye. Certainly, the bottom of the Space Needle had even more than its regular yearly throng of fireworks watchers.

Before the blast, the Needle was bathed in a very pleasant plum-esque lighting scheme.

Then, right on time, the big kaboom began.

By the end of the seven minute spectacular, the smoke had failed to disperse, leaving the whole tower looking like, as one KING-TV commentator called it, “internally illuminated cotton candy.”

Dec 16th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

Due to some wonderful donations from you loyal readers, MISCmedia.com lives for another year.

And it’s time for our annual tradition, unmissed since the pre-online days of 1986: Our annual In/Out List. As always, this list predicts what will become hot and not-so-hot in the coming year, in any category you can imagine (except the really boring categories such as drugs and porn).

Get your suggestions in via our handy dandy comment thread or by email to clark (at) miscmedia dot com.

May 30th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

Most of you know about the horrors inflicted on May 30, 2012.

About the crazed disgruntled customer who strode into Café Racer and shot five people, four of them fatally.

Who then got on a bus to downtown, where he killed a woman to steal her car.

Who then drove to West Seattle, where he killed himself as police closed in on him.

For a lot of people around the Seattle music, art, and nightlife scenes, it was a day of shock and devastation.

For me, it was just the start of the worst two weeks of my life.

While all the mourning was going on around me, I had a little birthday, gave one of my semiannual Costco Vanishing Seattle book signings, and visited the Georgetown Carnival. Racer owner Kurt Geissel was at the latter, essentially showing concerned friends that he was surviving.

It was there that I got the cell call from my brother.

My mother had gone into the hospital, for what would be the last time.

Two buses and two hours later, I was in Everett.

She had stayed un-sedated long enough for me to arrive and pay my respects, along with seven or eight of her closest friends.

An hour after that, she agreed to take the morphine.

She passed on 54 hours later.

She had always been there for me.

Now I was truly on my own.

It was, and continues to be, a struggle.

Only now am I beginning to get something of a life back together, thanks to the help of many of the same people who kept one another together after the Racer tragedy.

Dec 26th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

'he-man and she-ra: a christmas special,' part of the festivities at siff film center on xmas eve

And a dreadful sorry for not posting in the last 12 days.

What I’ve been up to: Not much. Just wallowing in the ol’ clinical depression again over my first mom-less Xmas, trying to figure out how the heck I’m gonna pay January’s rent.

(For those of you who came in late, I’m not independently wealthy despite the old rumors; a few little local photo books don’t earn anything near a decent living; and my eternal search for a little ol’ paying day job has gone nowhere slowly.)

But I have vowed to stay at it. And there will be new MISCmedia products in the new year.

And, as always, it’s the time of year for MISCmedia’s annual In/Out List, the only accurate guide to what will become hot and not-so-hot in the coming 12 months. Send in your suggestions now.

On with the accumulated random links:

Aug 19th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey


  • The images used to sell prog-rock LPs are often more intriguing than the noodle-y music itself.
  • Jonah Keri at the ESPN/McSweeney’s site Grantland lists 27 notable things about Felix Hernandez’s perfect game. That’s one item for each out.
  • And here are some clips and GIFs of Hernandez’s feat, and a video compiling all his 27 consecutive outs.
  • When Metro Transit dumps the downtown “ride free area” next month, ride times and congestion could get significantly longer/worse. That’s in addition to the impact on people of all economic castes getting around in the city’s center.
  • Tuition at Washington’s major colleges and universities more than doubled over the past 20 years, while average incomes stayed flat.…
  • …while state-government employment dropped by more than 15,000 people this past year.
  • Bill Maher says outright that “voter ID laws are racist;” while a Republican Senate candidate in Missouri suggests repealing the Voter Rights Act.
  • Unknown artists spent a lot of time creating a big installation piece using stuff found inside an abandoned Detroit church.
  • Tony Scott, 1944-2012: The director of Top Gun died from a depression-inspired suicide, just like too many of our real-life troops.
Jun 22nd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

lindsay lowe, kplu

  • It’s like Animal Planet’s Whale Wars, only without the whales. It’s Greenpeace submarines trailing Shell oil-exploration rigs in the Arctic.
  • There’s a “celebration of life” service for my mother today in Marysville.
  • Huge swaths of Wash. state exist in a “rural information ghetto,” with little local news media, little or no broadband access, and even spotty or no cellphone reception.
  • Local bands in Spin‘s all-time greatest-band-names countdown include Mudhoney and Bikini Kill. But Motorhead as the #1 greatest band name of all time? Sorry. Do over.
  • Speaking of which, Duff McKagan will be this year’s Seafair Grand Marshall. Still waiting for Mark Arm’s equally deserved official recognition.
  • Online Media Shrinkage Watch: Salon.com, one of the pioneers of web-based punditry, is bringing in exactly half the revenue it needs to survive.
  • Who owns the rights to the classic series Route 66 and Naked City? Hard to tell. What’s more certain is that the two shows’ exec producer had some very rough final days.
  • If the producers of The Looney Tunes Show had wanted to effectively depict Bugs and co. in a domestic setting, they should have perused old issues of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies comic books.
  • Tired of stick figure construction workers? Then look at these animated .GIFs in which the moving objects tend to be graceful women’s skirts and hair.


Jun 12th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

My mother did so much more than simply make me. She was my anchor, my unconditional “home base.”

Others will talk about her as a tough lady of hearty eastern Washington pioneer stock, sturdy support system to friends and strangers, a bulwark of the Snohomish antique-shop strip, and a valiant survivor of condition after condition (breast cancer, macular degeneration, chronic bronchitis, two fractured vertebrae, and finally a series of heart attacks).

But I will think of her (always) as a gentle heart within a tough-as-steel soul.

Jun 11th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

I spent much of the past weekend at Providence Everett Medical Center. My mother, who would be 82 next month, is in a medically-assisted unconscious state following a relapse from her third heart attack. Her condition is currently stable; when it changes I’ll let you all know.

Feb 14th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

Last June, I wrote a piece entitled “Notes to a Potential Girlfriend.

That piece was all about me.

This time, I’m fantasizing/riffing about who I would like that potential girlfriend to be.

She would be, more or less, as follows:

  • Any adult age; though if you’re much younger, be aware that I don’t stay up ’til 2 as often as I used to.
  • Any ethnicity, skin color, or hair color.
  • Won’t try to convert me into becoming a Christian, a vegan, a stoner, or a Libertarian.
  • Will let me keep my “room of one’s own;” will let me keep it messy.
  • Will let me hold, more or less, to my odd (but never deliberately so) tastes in food, music, apparel, and entertainment. Will let me continue to own and use a television.
  • Believes in gender equality, in BOTH directions.
  • Allows my needed daily work-at-home time.
  • More into soul-melding, intimate lovemaking than porn-style fucking.
  • Progressive populist, not alt-culture elitist. (i.e., not a square-basher.)
  • Not a female me, which couldn’t exist anyway. A complement rather than a clone.
  • Notices things I don’t notice. Knows things I don’t know (which covers, I admit, a LOT of ground).
  • Has an open and voracious mind.
  • Cares about people and the future and stuff.
  • Sees the heart and humanity in other people, no matter what their niche or lifestyle.
  • Has eyes that light up the night, and lips to melt into.
  • Equally at home in social and private situations.
  • A “city mouse.” (I’m not moving to Bainbridge.)
  • Preferably not currently married. Preferably.
  • NS/LD.
  • Preferably without preteen kids (but that’s not a requirement).
  • Preferably without implants (but that’s not a requirement).
  • Isn’t looking for a guy with money (goes w/o saying).
  • Isn’t looking for an “enabler.”
  • Doesn’t need to conform to others’ standards of “nonconformity” (ideology-wise or fashion-wise).
  • Tells me what she wants; doesn’t just expect me to already know.
  • Relatively free of psychotic episodes.
  • Centered, self confident, and comfortable in her self.
  • Believes love is more important than self righteousness.
  • Believes in herself, in others, and in me.
Jan 18th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

Without any further ado, the big new product announcement promised here on Tuesday.

Actually, it’s an old product.

But a new way to buy and enjoy it!

It’s The Myrtle of Venus, my short, funny novel of “Sex, Art, and Real Estate.”

It’s now out in ultra handy e-book form, for the insanely low price of merely $2.99.

Yes, that link goes to the “Kindle Store.” But you don’t need a genuine Kindle machine to read it. They’ve got free apps for Macs, PCs, iPads, and lots of mobile platforms.

Why should all of this site’s loyal friends and true download it?

Because it’s alternately sexy, hilarious, and poignant.

Because it takes you back to those heady days of the real estate bubble.

Because it’s a rollicking tale of eleven lively characters who combine, clash, and re-combine.

The action all occurs amid the dying days of an artists’ studio cooperative. The artists’ new landlady, the World’s Blandest Woman, wants them out. But the artists have a plan. They’ll seduce her into becoming one of them.

But their best laid plans don’t get her laid the way they plan.

What happens next is as wild as it is unpredictable.

To find out, you’ll just have to get the thing and read it already.

Jan 17th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey


As an entire region continues to impatiently await the promised, wondrous Snowtopia hinted at on Sunday but only teased about in the two days since, here’s some beautiful flakes of randomness for ya.

  • Knute Berger’s found some unused ideas for the 1962 World’s Fair, many of which were rightfully unused.
  • The state budget supercrisis is causing even the state ferry system to consider dropping whole routes. Buh bye, Bremerton. Was nice to know ya.
  • Eric Scigliano raises the battle cry: Save the Phone Book! (The white pages, at least.)
  • One proposal to (partly) stem the state’s fiscal megacrisis: A capital gains tax.
  • Another such proposal is to move all business-tax collection to Olympia, cutting cities and counties out of the action.
  • The city of Seattle wants to shut down outdoor homeless-feeding operations. Is this humaneness, or is it the “disappearing” of poverty?
  • Union-bustin’, vote-suppressin’, billionaire-coddling Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker is really, really unpopular.
  • Now that she’s sold her news-aggregation-site empire to AOL, is Arianna Huffington going to become a Republican again?
  • The fight against sweatshop-made sports merch spreads from colleges to pro teams, including the Dallas Cowboys.
  • Fond birthday wishes to perhaps the greatest living American.
  • If anyone here has ever had any doubts, the most recent race-to-the-bottom GOP debate shows it again: racist bigotry is neither clever nor cool. It’s just stupid.

And finally, I will have a new product announcement in this space tomorrow. It’s something all loyal MISCphiles will want to have for their very own.

Jan 15th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

revel body, via geekwire.com

  • Seattle’s really got some high-tech hardware geniuses. Among them: the folks who’ve taken the same principles behind the Sonicare toothbrush and applied them to create advanced 21st century vibrators! (Really.)
  • We’ve previously mentioned the strong presence of women’s erotica among Amazon’s e-book sales. Now come charges that some of the self-published smut books are stolen from stories posted for free viewing on erotica websites. (These allegations are against the small-time publishers, not Amazon.)
  • Crazy Wall St. idea of the week (thus far): A local corporate-buyout analyst showed up on CNBC and said Microsoft should buy Barnes & Noble.
  • Here’s one way to make money off of the walking renaissance. Make a big venture-funded software thing to help folks find homes to buy in walkable neighborhoods.
  • Our ol’ pal Geov Parrish believes the state budget mega-crisis might, just might mind you, lead to talk, or even actual action, toward reforming Washington’s mighty regressive tax system—by far the principal failing of a local “progressive” politic that never dares challenge big business.
  • On a related matter, state House Speaker Frank Chopp is floating the idea of Wash. State running its own bank, just like North Dakota. Or something as close to a bank as the state constitution now permits.
  • The Mariners lose one really good pitcher, gain one maybe decent-hitting position player. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Who knew the original Ladies’ Home Journal was so prescient? A 1911 list of “What Might Happen in the Next Hundred Years” predicts “telephones around the world,” airplanes used as “aerial war-ships,” automobiles “cheaper than horses,” “trains one hundred and fifty miles an hour,” grand opera “telephoned to private homes,” photographs “telegraphed to any distance,” “cameras electrically connected with screens at opposite ends of circuits,” ready-to-eat meals in stores, genetically modified foods, and even global warming. Writer John Elfreth Watkins Jr. did get a few things wrong, such as “hot and cold air from spigots,” the deliberate extinction of mosquitos, and the removal of C, Q, and X from the alphabet. Watkins also didn’t predict that his magazine would still be in business today, after many of its compatriots went to the great newsstand in the sky.
  • Clever videomakers in Montana have released a thoroughly obliterating parody of a particularly dumb “rebel lifestyle” pickup truck commercial.
  • And a great big thank you for those who attended the Seattle Invitationals Sat. nite, at which I performed what I hope was a respectful, straightforward rendition of the Presley classic “You’re So Square (Baby I Don’t Care).” Since this is the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair, I’d wanted to perform the best song from It Happened at the World’s Fair. But the live band didn’t know it. So here it is for all of you, in the original rendition.
Jan 14th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey


Don’t ask me how or why, but I’ve again gotten volunteered into performing at this year’s Seattle Invitationals, a contest for Elvis Tribute Artists (ETAs). It starts at 8 p.m. tonight (Sat. 1/14/12) at the Experience Music Project within Seattle Center. Be there or be Pat Boone.

  • It was that rare example of a small entrepreneurial outfit thriving within the nesting arms of a global brand. But no more. Raise a pure-cane-sugar-sweetened toast to the demise of Dublin Dr Pepper.
  • What if they gave a gay-marriage debate and none of the “antis” came?
  • A Wall St. Journal essayist believes Eastman Kodak might have survived the film-to-digital metamorphosis if only it hadn’t been HQ’d in the company town of Rochester NY, where management felt too beholden to company-owned factories and U.S.-based union workers. I say bosh. Kodak once had great marketers and designers who knew the shtick of “planned obsolescence,” issuing new consumer film formats every two years (and pressuring local processing plants to re-gear for each of them). The digital realm, where obsolescence is a natural byproduct of rapidly improving technologies, should’ve been perfect for them. But they let Japanese companies out-market them. A shame.
  • Wendy Gittleson at AddictingInfo.org exaggerates a little when she claims Bain Capital (Mitt Romney’s former corporate-raidin’ firm) “owns most conservative and some liberal radio stations,” and that these forces are helping make Romney’s nomination a done deal. Bain is a non-controlling shareholder in Clear Channel (owner of some 1,000 radio stations of various formats, including KJR-AM-FM here) and Premiere Radio Networks (syndicator of many conserva-talk stars, plus libs Randi Rhodes and Jesse Jackson). And many Premiere conserva-talkers have been part of the right’s “anyone but Mitt” crusade.
  • Another state’s Republicans want to force mumbo-jumbo “creationism” down public school students’ throats. And college students’ throats too.
  • In 2006, the Federal Reserve Board fiddled while the housing bubble prepared to burst.
  • Mr. Krugman explains better than I: “America Isn’t a Corporation.” Running government “more like a business” never works. Especially when the model for “business” is today’s dysfunctional, hyper-corrupt corporate world.
Jul 11th, 2011 by Clark Humphrey

Seattlest has just lauded this here MISC project’s recent 25 year anniversary (counting its assorted print and online incarnations):

…Humphrey’s voice (avuncular, humorously and gently caustic, with occasional touches of Harvey Pekar’s cynicism and observation, while remaining entirely his own) is rooted in that time and place. It generally reflects the thoughts of those who were embroiled in the DIY fervor of those early days before the dot-com boom took Seattle by storm and altered its DNA for good or ill.

Jul 5th, 2011 by Clark Humphrey

What I did this holiday weekend:

Walked half way around Lake Union. (Fun fact: Lake Union Park is a great space when there’s an event in it; otherwise, it’s a big empty spot.)

Briefly attended an alley party with live bands (some good) and the usual snacks and beverages. Neglected to drink any alcohol.

Saw the fireworks in person, which I hadn’t done last year. Attempted to shoot pictures; none really turned out.

Only spent an hour on the bus during the post-fireworks traffic. Got home. Crashed.

Was up promptly this morning to witness Seattle’s “the biggest parade ever,” part of the huge Lions Club convention in town. The event was officially titled The International Parade of Nations. (What other kind of parade of nations could there be?)

This event, I did get decent pictures of.

Lions parade Seattle

Lions parade Seattle

Caught part of the parade from Top Pot Doughnuts, which was an especially fun place from which to see the following float.

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