Monday, May 15, 2006


Newer update: Circa last night.
I'll cut and paste this morning's email trail. You will be able to connect the dots. I am on the clock right now so I can't add too many bells and whistles. Just the facts, mang.

The Salinas Van is in the shop AGAIN because the retarded guy at LOVE CHEVROLET
who put in our fuel pump bent some tube in our gas tank when he re-installed it (for $900). Don't even get me started on the fact that you need to DROP THE FAKKING GAS TANK in order to get at the fuel pump. Back in the day, I would do that stuff on my Chevy 1-ton work truck with one hand and a pair of pliers.

So we were given a backup van. I loaded everyone up and the BATTERY WAS DEAD.

Here is the email trail:

Santa Cruz Vanpool,

Thanks all kinds for being patient with us and jumpstarting us out of the lot yesterday afternoon. Frustration was high and so was disappointment. I know that it cramped your schedules to do this and I really appreciate it. I hope that someday in the future the Salinas Vanpool will be able to return the favor somehow. Perhaps I am making a big deal out of nothing, but it really warmed my blackened heart to know that we were all working together to get home.

Peter Demmon
Salinas Vanpool Driver

Jason, could you forward our thanks to your other riders please? I really appreciate the fact that they were patient with us in our time of need.

Here is the wicked response from Jason. Steve Bawls is becoming more and more of a reality, as this thing was copied to Mount Olympus itself.

I can't speak for the rest of the Santa Cruz vanpool, but I was just glad that Steve Bawls didn't show up and forcibly displace us Santa Cruz folks and tear off in our van with cries of "Long live Salinas!!!"

In all seriousness, I was just glad that we could help. As far as the delay, with a little help from my lead foot we managed to get home on time - all is well that ends well. I'll send your message on to the other SC riders.

I'll touch this blog up later when I get a minute.

the legend of Steve Bawls continues on.
If you have no idea what I am talking about, then read the blog entitled "The birth of an existential badass or How to get to work and kick ass at the same time".

For the record, Annie is the sh*t.

Check out the email that I got the other day:


I am writing to express my deep concern over your email regarding Steve Bawls. As his direct report, I feel it my duty to confront your defaming email regarding my much beloved employee. In the months I have worked with Steve, he has been only an angel. He brings me my coffee in the morning, promptly completes his work, always wears a smile, is always quick to help. Steve is the ideal [certain place] employee, showing copious evidence for his drive for results, his habit of leading by example, of delighting the customer, and showing expert knowledge and skill in everything he does. For example, we had a deliverable due with a two-day turnaround, a deliverable that meant a $12 million contract. Steve worked through the night for the entire 48-hour period to get the job done. He then showed up the next morning, cheery and ready for the next project. Given this information, you must be horrified by your own mean-spirited email. Steve Bawls has balls - and a sweet, kind,hard-working heart to boot. As for your alleged mishaps with Mr. Bawls, I suggest you troubleshoot your own brain to make sure that you have not fabricated these events in a delusion brought on by extreme jealousy. Really, I think you have Bawls Envy. I hope that this conflict does not require formal intervention. Sincerely,

Sweeney McMurphy
Steve Bawls' Manager

We are going to start pressing Steve Bawls fliers later this week.

It is ON.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


"I'll sleep when I'm dead."


"I vomit on the south." - Me, back in the late 80s.

Sleep is my least favorite escape artist. The escape artist works best when I am away from home. The idea of comfort and leisure at a hotel are nonpoint. I cannot sleep in those places. This comes as an absolute fact when I am on a business trip in the south. It was presented to me that Missouri is the midwest. That MO held its ground during the civil war. That these people aren't from the dirty southern mentality. That didn't change my internal mechanism as I loaded up last Feb to go to MO for a week. Sleep was still the unseduceable harlot that she has always been.

I ain't gonna lie, I have struggled with the south. Historically and even more recently, when I lived in east Texas for a several year stint. My grandfather was killed in the south. My grandmother died in the south. I have been called a nigger by more than one white man in the south.
My job requires that I go to Missouri once or twice a year. Shoot, I am going to have to go to Oklahoma here pretty quick. I have got to start working on these internal southern issues.

Yes, for my job I make the tests that you fail. This time I had to sit at a table and explain to some people who thought that I was some upstart hippie that it is good to fail my tests. One guy at the table admitted that he would fail the test. He basically said that he was ignorant and that he understood why students would struggle with such a thing. I had to be very polite as I reloaded my verbal cannon with his very own words and fired them back into his FACE. It was the most professional headshot I have ever done. I'll bet he wakes up in six months and realizes how hard I schooled him. I did it with a smile. I talked to him like a pal. But the underlying message was that he needed to invest in a dictionary if he wants to understand my test or me, the person behind it. As a professional man of color, my guard is always up when I am away from the coast. When I have to explain myself in Deliverance country, I make sure I slap these people down with the multi-syllabic attack so that they don't start up the dueling banjos.

Do you read what I am saying here? I have a problem, a deep down problem with the south. I know this. I require a revelation. I knew that I required a revelation when I went in these past two times. Dare I say, something along those lines is beginning to take place within me.

In February, I flew into Springfield Missouri with the team and drove a few hours to the Lake of the Ozarks for a presentation. One more time, I am going to make it clear that I can't sleep when I am on the road. You would think that this trash would be fun. I fly out of state, I go to a hotel room. I have a king-sized bed all to myself. I get to eat whatever I want. I get to keep the hours that I like. I get to watch whatever television I want. NOT QUITE.

I broke it down to the teachers/administrators at the table that I was working when I quoted NAS.

"I never sleep/'cos sleeping is the cousin of death."

I said this in reference to the three hours of bitter shuteye I'd had the night before. Those three hours were fraught with waking moments focused on a complete lack of trust for the room or resignation for the sleep.

Sleep is impossible when I travel. It doesn't matter how tired I am, or how clean me+the sheets are. It ain't working. No juice. I just lay in bed. I toss and turn.

Sleep is only one part of the travel issue though. The food in the south will stop your clock. We all have a clock. I hope that yours is a daily clock. You know about when you are going to have to go...and you handle your business. I don't need to get forensic here. I am talking about the basics. I am talking about functioning as a human being. The bowels. The colon. The ease of the lower stomach tension. Excreta. Well, from what I can see, MO residents do not function like this. There are no fruits or vegetables in their regular diets. How the hell are their bowels ever going to let go of all of the starches that they pack into them? These people must excrete mirconium once a week.

At the end of the February tour, we went to this greasy spoon in Springfield called ZIGGY'S. It was an Act of God to get an orange in that place. The "veggie omelet" contained cheese, green peppers, mushrooms and onions. The "fitness omelet" contained roast beef and tomatoes. I am telling you, they basically served you whatever starch they could find in the back and then you were turned loose to sculpt it into whatever you wanted it to be on your plate. One egg, one sausage and a side of hash browns for a buck ninety-nine. That is how you get down in downtown Springfield. The night before, we went to a cool Mongolian Beef restaurant called "Incredible" but the veggies were few and far between there too.

Time change is also a beast. I called Casson in the Bronx one morning and Anna remarked that I was "up early". Damn straight I was. I never slept for more than three hours in a row during my entire time on the road in February.

In February, I was working a table with three men and one woman. The sexism was in full swing. The woman at the table was tough, but no match for the sexist barbs that were flying her way. That is just how they do it in the south. MO people respond to things that here on the west coast get you NOWHERE. I mentioned to Bill (more on him soon) who was at the table that some of his statements could bring about a serious reprimand if done in CA. He was shocked.

"We ain't beating no dead horses" was Bill's main quote. He was the table leader. I had to get through to him. I had to land this fish, or my work in MO was going to be a goner. So I told him that I would meet him in the bar at 10pm that night and we would have a few drinks and talk about life in general. So I broke camp and went to my hotel room and made an important call or two. I had to meet the team for dinner at 6:30 or some trash, so I had a few minutes to iron a shirt and watch some Flava's House of Love on VH1. Trashy brain food as well.

At 10ish, I made my way to the hotel bar. At the bar I had a double Dewars. Then another. I was schmoozing with Bill. I was making the man laugh. He is a wine-drinking, Harley-riding Republican. It was work, I tell you. We now had our hair down, and f-bombs were flying, but we were still talking about work. I pounded down a scotch and soda, then another.

We eventually talked music. He and I could have been raised in the same town. I am sure that if I'd been a kid and been near this guy when he was a kid, we would have become really good friends. He even sold me on PANTERA, which is a redneck metal band I have steered away from for YEARS. I told him my disappointment with modern music, how it was all the same and it wasn't making the big ten year shift that everyone predicted for 2002. He told me that the shift had happened in country music. A real shocker. That piece of news dropped me. I don't think that I will go into country music for a variety of reasons, but I had a new appreciation for what was brewing in the dirty south.

The race issue never surfaced. Now I have been in many similar settings in the south and the race issue ultimately surfaces. It didn't happen here. This (white) guy was relaxing in my presence, and he was relaxing some more. I am convinced that the race thing wasn't an issue with him. For me it was a southern/midwestern first.

Then the music jargon shifted to something ultimately more disturbing: new porn terms. I was aware of the "Dirty Sanchez" but not the "Candy Cane" or the "Donkey Punch" or the "Rusty Trombone". Bill was taking me to a school that I didn't know existed. We hashed this stuff out. We talked about it and joked about it and talked about it some more. He helped me to understand this new wave of depravity that seems to be blossoming with the bible belt. Since coming back, I have asked a few choice Californians if they knew about the rusty trombone. I have gotten nowhere. The south is on the cutting edge of some serious nationwide trash here, folks. But on topic? Bill and I forged a solid foundation for a relationship that I didn't think was possible...nor was I looking for it.

That is about the height of my trip in February.

I just got back from my May trip.

I had a good time. I met up with Bill at the bar one day after work. I pounded two double Dewars down and talked shop. Bill is getting out of the position he currently has and will be settling down as a Vice Principal at some little school somewhere. I am going to sorely miss him. The f-bombs were flying again and we were swapping ugly teacher stories. An ugly teacher story tends to be the story about how you got away with cuffing little Mikey upside the head and didn't wind out in jail. I never cuffed a kid, but if you know me, then you probably know how I pimped football players out to do my cuffing for me.

But the sleep still escaped me. The first night I was up until 2AM. The second night I was up until 4. The third night was another 2AMer. My last night there was a one o'clocker. I had some experiments that I ran through in order to achieve sleep. I have come up with some bonafide solutions. None of them are pretty.

#1. Drink till you are drunk.
I did this in Feb with Bill. Not good. You sleep, but then the next day you are a mess. Fortunately they had free water bottles there. Fortunately there was also a bathroom near the tables I had to work, because I drank 11 12oz waters that day. I was useless.

#2. Shoo housekeeping away.

I learned this on my last round. When the housekeepers come and toss your room, they toss your spirit with it. Everything that you have done that says that the place is your space is deleted. That is what they do. They crack out your room and you are nowhere to be seen in there. Your personality has been control/alt/deleted from the room. For myself, it shatters whatever headway I have made in feeling comfortable in a space. I got to know my housekeeper pretty well. I would drop off my dirty towels and ask for fresh ones. I would get new shampoo/conditioner/lotion from her. That was it. The unmade bed stayed unmade and the clothes stayed on the floor. The first night I did this, I gained an extra two hours of sleep. The next night I gained 5. If I was still there, I would be as soporific as I normally am.

#3. DRINK A 40
Drinking scotch is wayyy too intelligent for what needs to transpire. I needed beer. Not just any beer, but the kinda beer that gives you what Ian and I fondly referred to as a "street buzz". While drinking a 40, all of the latent ignorance within your brain surfaces. Then sleep comes upon you with the sickness. I believe that this sleep that arrives is truly the sleep that is the cousin of death. If you don't sleep, you will be out breaking laws with a belligerence that is truly overwhelming.

Furthermore, the "post-40 haze" (another Peter and Ian coinage) is enough to keep you in your bed long after the alarm has blown its sprockets. The day after a 40 is a day where you never really hit your full stride. Some sort of preservative or retarded hops hinder complete brain functionality.

I went into the 40 ozer in an act of desperation. It had been close to a decade since I had drank one. But I obviously need to buy some stock in Old 8, because that was the solution right there.

This is me without a shirt on, no word of a lie.

I used to think it was just "hit the irons" but that doesn't work. Hitting the irons in the evening hypes me up almost to the 40-oz street buzz stage. However, this last trip, I had the opportunity to go down to the hotel gym and BUST IT OUT HARD in the mid afternoon. That is the way to go. I have only recently gotten back into the swing of the irons, but after this trip, I am BACK, BABY. I took the opportunity to push the iron that I had left at my peak almost a year ago. I was curling 70s and benching 225 with no spotter. I was squatting close to 400 and I was doing serious stomach reps inbetween it all.

Am I bragging? Yes I am.

Is it several days after the fact and I am still sore? Yes it is and yes I am.

My muscles have been twitching ever since. But damnation, I slept hard when I finally allowed the cousin of death to violate my consciousness with violence.

Overall, on the business tip, the trips were successful. But I have read somewhere that all sleep that you lose is sleep that you will never get back.
When I got back from the February trip, I crashed hard. 12 hours or something. The next morning I went out and bought PANTERA'S GREATEST HITS. I have been rocking it ever since. So much so, that when I went last week, it was the only CD that I had. I played it everywhere. The two women who I travel with (lets just say that their kids are close to my age) suffered through "DRAG THE WATERS" the whole trip. They would ask from time to time "What that sound is" and I would just say that it was the radio. It wasn't until we got back to SF that they finally saw the CD case. I still had to drive them home with it pumping ever so slightly though.

I am not dead, and I think I have more of an understanding of the dirty south. Tomorrow I go back into the office and I now know what a rusty trombone is. Funny though, I don't feel like vomiting on the south anymore. My eyes are still shot to hell, and my bowels have finally unlocked. But you know what? My connection with Bill may have been my salvation. Pantera may have proselytized me.

Forget a Rebel Flag. Forget all of the history. But something is softening within me. For all of its ugly bluster and history, I have to say that my dirty southern wounds are finally beginning to heal.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The birth of an existential badass or How to get to work and kick ass at the same time

Today at Starbucks, I laughed hard with someone about the validity of driving a Hummer; specifically, the one parked right outside. Those things are ridiculous. With gas at 3.19 a gallon, I mused that it would cost them two bucks to get out of the parking lot.

The glory days of the SUV are over. It used to be a reach to mention those big fat vehicles as something that were a total waste. They used to have some sort of power over the masses.


That fool driving that Hummer is tossing his cash in the commode. He should be rolling in the Salinas Vanpool.

So since I started working with the company that helps me make the tests that you fail, I have become an avid vanpool rider. It started with the purchasing of a punch ticket. The next thing I knew, I was riding home every day through Monterey's wasteland, Fort Ord. I purchased an Mp3 player and proceeded to black out on subsequent trips. I would ride Ferdinand in once or twice a week, but the vanpool became my central mode of transport. I became a relief driver, and then I didn't even have to pay to ride. You know what? Bottom line is that in a lot of ways, the vanpool is fun.

There were issues when I started. Put a grip of people together in a close space, and you will have these issues. Someone will fart. Once we had to pull over so someone could puke. We were supposed to leave at 4:30 every day...but someone was always late. Some days we wouldn't leave until 5. There was an extremely talkative woman who would get in the way of my sleep. She had a little bit of ranking in the company, so I suffered her noise because she brought the good gossip.

Then Rich started to drive. Rich is a badass. I dig the Richard. He is a guy who put in several years in the Navy, and now he just does reserve work. I now know what it means to cuss like a sailor. Rich got on and was the relief driver, and that is when the attitude kicked in. Forget these late people, they could be left on the side of the road. What is said in the van, stays in the van was another thing. This amped up the gossip exchange. About a thousand people work in my building, so there is always some level of trash to talk. Then Debbie the librarian sent out a questionnaire for all of us vanpool drivers to respond to. That is when I stepped up to let the Salinas vanpool have an edge I could appreciate. Here is a paste job of the infamous email that made its rounds a little over a year ago:


I have held off getting these to you. The reason is that they are all true and they expose the intrinsic nature of the individuals of the riders of the Salinas Vanpool. But I think I am finally ready to tell you what is really going on around here.

What is the meaning of unacceptable behavior on a van?

*If you wake someone up, you could very well find yourself on the side of the road.

What if I am late getting on the van to go home?

*You are getting left behind, POINT BLANK. We HAVE to be the first out of [the lot] and any straggler that can't figure that out is dead weight. I have personally left everyone behind at one time or another. I would expect them to do the same for me. If you can't follow time, then you should be on the side of the road.

What are the rules on using cell phones on the van?

*That is a touchy one. Cell phones are permitted, HOWEVER, the details of the phonecall must be discussed afterward. For example, I am on my cellie talking to this guy about some serious work gossip. Well, everyone is entitled to the gossip after I get off the phone. The deal is that anyone can ask you anything after you get off the phone. This works along with another code that we have which is, "WHAT IS SAID IN THE VAN STAYS IN THE VAN". People who betray the code get tossed out of moving vehicles. They tend to find themselves on the side of the road.

What are the rules for smells on the van? This is not just cleanliness and perfume. This includes people who smoke in their cars before getting on the van and people who eat food that is smelly and causes allergies as well, like citris.

*This hasn't been an issue yet. I am sure someone will come in sometime after a really rowdy, smelly drunk the night before, and that person will probably find themselves on the side of the road.

What are the rules for food on the van?

*Riders tend to black out in the first 5 to 10 minutes of the ride. Our riders are sleeping too hard to eat. If they are eating they had better share. If they don't share they will find themselves on the side of the road.

What are the rules for music on the van?

*There is a subtle level of classical music in the morning. This is strictly for lullaby purposes. I personally use my MP3 player for a jolt of death metal in the morning. If someone shows up with a boombox or something, I really hope they enjoy using it on the side of the road.

Is it true that one of the vans has singing?

*Some fool mentioned bringing a Karaoke machine and a disco ball. That fool now walks to [work] from Salinas every day. We have no time for such shenanigans. If you bust out into song in our van you are likely to get shot, stabbed, knuckled down or find yourself on the side of the road.

Is there internet access on the vans?

*Complete hookup. T1 lines brace the frame of the van. We take our connections seriously. But you'd better share that laptop, or you are gonna be surfing the net on the side of the road.

What happens if there are no seats on the van I show up to ride?

*We haven't had that problem yet. When it happens though, I guess someone will be on the side of the road.

Peter, it sounds like you are running a real tight ship. Tell me more.

*More than once I have had to pull the van to the side of the road and take a vote on whether we toss an obnoxious rider out. If I get to that point, well, you know that the vote is going to be pretty much unanimous. That being said, I have the coolest bunch of people that I have ever vanpooled with PERIOD. These people are soldiers. They are people who know about respect and keeping what is said in the van in the van. There were some weak links, but after they walked home a few times, they learned and got with the program.

Peter, these people that find themselves on the side of the roadÂ…do they fight with you as you toss them?

*I've got Venkat for that stuff. He is a vicious van bouncer. He is always talking about "The measure of a man is how far I can throw this punk" stuff like that. All I have to do is snap my fingers and fools get tossed. Violence? I call it intelligence.

Peter, I am sure other vanpools will want to emulate your standards.

*I don't see why they would not. Our van OWNS the road. Get the heck out of our way, we have to get to Salinas by 5pm PERIOD. No time for slackers in this vanpool game. And this vanpool game is THICK. If you have any questions about this, email me. But don't expect an answer after 4:27, because I have a van to either drive or co-pilot, and late emails get fools parked on the side of the road.

As you noticed, there was a lot of attitude in that email. Rich and I have fostered this "badass" thing and lately it has gone to the next level. Understand that there are four other vans. Two go to Santa Cruz, one goes to Hollister and one goes to San Jose. The vanpool parking lot is always busy.

There is no reason why I put this picture in here. But damn, it is something to behold.

Enter about a month ago:
One of the Santa Cruz vans beat us out of the gate. One of my superiors who rides on that van called our van cellie and started to talk mess. All of this "Are you on the side of the road?" kinda trash. I started to talk mess back. I told her that she was always on the phone and doing emails and I made mention of the fact that she was pregnant and needed to slow down. She asked who I was.
"Steve." I said.
"Steve who?" she demanded.
"Uhhhh...Steve Balls." I responded.

POW. Birth of a legend.

Now when Santa Cruz calls, my people in my van can't wait for me to pick up the phone and adopt the Steve Balls persona. Steve is getting rougher and rougher.

Fast forward to yesterday:
I was pulling out of the parking lot. We were the first to leave as usual. But hey, I figured that I might as well nudge the Santa Cruz van a few times, so I bounced off of their bumper about 3x. They were rattled and laughing. One new guy even jumped out of the van and pretendes to cite my lisence plate number down. Last night I had a brainstorm. The brainstorm needs context, and here it is:
Rich has had to step down as primary driver. I am now primary. I have Venkat (who was mentioned in the above email) as my backup driver. Thing is that I am going to Missouri on business next week and Venkat is going to hold the system down. I needed to justify my bouncing off their bumper, and I needed to kick Steve Balls into the bigtime. Within the microcosm of the vanpool, we have some terminology that Steve Balls uses when he answers the phone.
"Steve Balls here."
"Steve Balls, how do you like me now?"
and so on. But I feel that there could be more. What I did last night was hatch a master plan that will get our ridership up and bring the existential Stephen J. Balls into reality.
Before reading the email, you need to understand that Venkat was the original vanpool enforcer, and I am warning him. Neal is a guy who always calls you on your cell phone. Hyson is a guy who takes a hike around the building every day at lunch. One 20-punch card gets two punches a day. One for going into work, and one for leaving. Gloria is the sweetest older woman that ever walked the face of the earth and that Victor is serious about his lunch. You also must realize that I copied A GRIP of people on this email. The Steve Bawls name is out there, and I firmly believe that there are going to be some funny ripples as I continue to make this individual a reality.

First thing needed was a name adjustment. He is now "Steve Bawls". The second was that I needed an internal vision of what I think the guy looks like in order to make him work. Its all about Frank Rizzo, Jerky.
This is the email I sent:

Look guy, I know you are out this week from that injury you sustained when Steve Bawls brought his pit bull to work on "bring your child to work day" but I really felt that I needed to get an email out to you in regards to Mr. Bawls.

The man is a complete lunatic. I am not sure what department he works in, but it has something to do with hitting people with a rubber mallet. That is what he told me before he clocked me four or five times in the face with one this afternoon. I was supposed to drive the Salinas Van home today, but Steve rushed me with a mallet, while screaming "Outlook!" and I woke up on the side of the road. Neal Tanna called my cell and told me that the van made the Salinas K-Mart stop at 4:37. I don't even know how that is possible, seeing as I was behind the wheel at 4:32. Neal also told me that Steve threw my unconscious body into the back seat and proceeded to drive into the Santa Cruz van repeatedly for a solid three minutes before he lifted off out of the parking lot.

Venkat, I woke up in a bush in a puddle of my own blood and urine in the middle of some Fort Ord mine field. It is a wonder that I even made it home. I stumbled out to the road in time to see the Santa Cruz van blast by, but that was well after 6:00 PM so I am not suprised that they didn't stop for me.

I guess the purpose of this email is to tell you that Steve Bawls is a menace. During the all-staff meeting last friday, I walked into the men's bathroom downstairs to find Mr. Bawls extorting money from some poor kid who works in technology. This was actually more of an armed robbery, seeing as Mr. Bawls had a gun to the guy's head. On the ride home, I asked Mr. Bawls if the gun was a toy. He cocked the hammer, pointed it to my crotch and told me to "hurry up and get us to Salinas". I have neverstress so much stess in all of my life.

Hyson told me that he ran into Steve while he was out taking his lunchtime constitutional. Hyson said that he greeted Steve with a "Hey, how's it going Steve." and he received the strongest blast of profanity that he has ever heard in his life in return. Hyson told me that while he was down on the ground, holding his ears Steve stepped up and took his 20-day punch card. I have since notified Debbie of the incident.

It doesn't even matter if that lunatic has a card though. Steve throws darts from the local pub at me each time I ask for his card in the morning. I had one stick in my back and another behind my ear the other day. His retort was "I guess I have two holes punched, so I am clear for today." He then promptly went to sleep. I lost so much blood that morning that I am amazed that I remember the story.

Venkat, I am going to Missouri on business next week and you should be back and driving after your pit bull groin injury. I need to warn you that Mr. Bawls is completely out of control and to exercise caution in your dealings with him. Just the other day he kicked open Rich Thorne's new office door and beat Rich within an inch of his life with a tire-iron. Rich told me at Curley's BBQ yesterday that Steve was muttering something about not liking the "Hippo" radio station that Rich has on in the mornings. This is fine, but Rich hasn't driven in the morning for some time now.

Just be careful as you drive the van with Mr. Bawls. The man is completely insane. He tried to rob Gloria of her purse, but she administered such an absolutely violent display of "death-fu" on him that he backed off. He turned to Victor and took his lunch instead. These things are happening WHILE I AM DRIVING, Venkat. You need to be aware of the danger that Mr. Bawls presents.

Steve has demanded that he be the primary vanpool driver because he feels that you and I are "pansies". I don't know what to do about this situation. I feel that it has approached such a level of extremity that I need to call the armed forces in.

Do you know who Steve Bawls' manager is? Is the individual still alive? I need to talk with this person and see if we can get some control on this situation.

Get back to me,


I got some laughs. One person in particular laughed so hard that I knew I was onto something.
I went to Anne who works in research and rides the Santa Cruz van. I asked her if she's seen the Steve Bawls email. She had not, but she mentioned that he's heard of Steve Bawls. It is starting.

I went down to Rich's office to tell him some blistering work gossip, he turned his computer monitor and showed me his project. He was working on getting Steve Bawls an active company email account. It is really starting.

When I get back, I will continue with the creation of Steve Bawls. Ridership is down on the Salinas vanpool. I am going to slather the building with signs that say things like this:

"Since I started riding the Salinas vanpool, I can afford an extra chicken pot pie every night!" - Steve Bawls, another satisfied Salinas Vanpool rider.


"I used to watch Jerry Springer once in a while, but now I get to see it EVERY DAY." - Steve Bawls, media jockey and Salinas Vanpool rider.


"By 5:15, I am in my drawers, my La-Z-Boy and I have already clicked through 126 channels with my remote." - Steve Bawls - TV conneseuir and Salinas Vanpool rider.

I'll keep you posted on it all. I must say that in it all, I am having a lot of FUN. I'm telling you, this is how legends start. 10 years from now, I could be somewhere else...but they will still be talking about Steve Bawls. I am sure of it.