Smogranch is moving……

Hey Everyone,


I’m giving notice. Not a thirty-day notice mind you, more like immediate, fleeing the country with NSA on my heels notice. Only I’m not fleeing. Just consolidating. I’m going to start posting my Smogranch stories on my site under the “Read” Category. I can’t just sit here and play on the dolphin all day. I’ve got work to do. Same stories, same style, just in one location instead of two. Shifter will be undergoing changes in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that. I’m sure you will all be anxiously awaiting….okay, probably not. Get your asses over there people!


Addicted to Change

Our house is currently being shown some love and care by our friend and favorite contractor. Subsequently I had to take evasive action with nearly everything in our diminutive home. A few bits and pieces ended up in the shed, a few others in the garage, but most of the “good” stuff ended up crammed in my office. Right behind me actually. I mean RIGHT behind me.

At first glance this room reminds me a squatters shack, or even crack house. It’s that disheveled. And yes, I HAVE been in a crack house. Research people, allllllllll research. Crack makes you whack!


The author, Southern Wyoming, 1980’s.

Last night when I finally reached over to turn off the light, which was now resting on the floor next to an old fur covered trappers backpack, a stack of framed photographs and a space heater I felt a strange sense of calm. I allowed my eyes to adjust to the semi-darkness and remained motionless on the bed, which was also sitting directly on the floor. The room was filled with strange light, coming out of things and off of other things, all of which I normally didn’t interact with in the dark. Light spilled through strange windows and the minute sounds were different from my normal room down the short hall.

It all felt so damn good. Good? Yes, good. You see, what all these new experiences, sights and sounds meant to me was that change was near. Again. I realized I’d been living in this house for approximately ten years, and this was, BY FAR, the longest I had lived in any one place. It’s easy here, really easy. No weather really, little trouble with those things we have to deal with living in cities, and for these reasons I CAN’T WAIT TO GET OUT OF HERE.

Leaving will be a royal pain in the ass, it always is, but I need it. My soul needs it. And guess what? I’m probably going to have to move a place, Los Angeles, a place that I promised myself I would NEVER live in again. But I don’t care. I need the unknown, I need the change. Static isn’t me. Easy isn’t me. Directionless isn’t me.

The problem is I know what’s out there. I don’t know the details, only the meaty parts. Unknown. Adventure. New faces. Frustration. Voices in my head….just kidding.

I printed a map of Central London. I looked around the room. I printed a hotel reservation. I looked around a little more. I packed my passport, my F6 and twenty rolls of TRI-X. I closed the door and sat on the floor, breathing in the history around me. As they say “the journey is the destination.” Wait, did I just use that cliche? Oh God no. Did I? Please don’t hold it against me. I take it back. Seriously……DO OVER! Never happen again.

Whew. Breathed it all in. Tried to find a truth or two. Change is in the air. The winds of change are fast approaching. “The pitcher is into his wind up…it’s a change-up.” More cliches. I’m rambling.

When I close my eyes and daydream I see vast expanses of nothing. Dust and sunshine. I see no permanent address. I see fluidity.

Moving On

mid move, Orange County, circa 2009.

Dateline 1975ish

Our house in rural Indiana, in the fancy room that we never used unless something serious was going on.

“We are moving to Texas,” my dad said, as the rest of us, mother, brother, sister all sat a attention.

My very first thought was of a barren moonscape, blowing tumbleweed, and our family huddled around a dim campfire, a light snow beginning to fall.

I had visions of marauding bands of Comanche, and that I might have to kill and eat my horse if things got really bad. We would stick together, but when the ammo ran short I would live by my mantra, “Keep your powder dry and save the last bullet for yourself.”

I was in fourth grade, so give me a break here. Texas was nothing as I had imagined, but I had tasted the thrill of the unknown, my life forever changed.

I remember the move. The trucks coming, the idea of sizing up one’s belongings, trying to determine if something was “worth it” or not.

I had few personal possessions at the time. I kept my weekly allowance, $.25, in a deer scrotum at the head of my bed. It was the first thing I packed.

I had my trusty bike, a plastic egg of Silly Puddy, some arrowheads, a red and white polka-dot hat, a few pairs of Toughskins and my White Freightliner trucker t-shirt. That was it. I was living free and could move at a moments notice.

I was particularly enamored with the moving boxes, which were about my size, sometimes even larger. Although I had other toys, mostly strange devices with small pieces that were easily swallowed, the cardboard moving box became my favorite.

The box could be a jail for my sister, or a hardy fort to protect from outside forces. The box could be a boat, adrift on the Indian Ocean, or a 4×4 vehicle careening over the open lands.

Today, nothing has changed, and when people move we still use those same boxes. So recently, when some friends packed up to move, I went along to document the endeavor.

I can imagine the excitement in their minds and imaginations, and also what their new life will hold for them. And decades from now, they can look back on these negatives and relive this time of transition.