A sick, sad world.

Something really ridiculous just occurred to me after listening to a documentary on the Synanon cult and it’s one of those “glad that didn’t go anywhere” moments, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

For various reasons I’ve suffered with anxiety and depression for a long time. I don’t know how much may be brain chemistry, how much may be environment (a LOT of it is definitely environment!) and how much may be dealing with past traumatic incidents. Back when I was attending Florida International University, they actually had a pretty good student health system that included mental health services that helped me out a lot for a while.

That is….. until the psychologist I was seeing was arrested due to involvement with Cuban espionage.

I mean— this was Miami, so could anyone be surprised? That’s a hell of a gray area. As various federal agencies came in performing parts of the investigation they COMPLETELY TRASHED the counseling and psychological services department of the student health and wellness services. Student and employee files were all seized and never returned, employees AND PATIENTS were all placed under ridiculous amounts of surveillance (yes, to the point that patient confidentiality was compromised), and most of the staff quit over it. This all basically happened over a summer semester when I wasn’t taking any classes at the university, and I came back not too long afterwards to try to see someone.

Well, that didn’t go great.

I was invited instead to join an “experimental, unstructured group therapy” model they were working on.

So this is where Synanon comes in, sadly. One of the tools the Synanon cult used for mind control and “treatment” of their members was something they called “The Game”*. This was a system of attack therapy in which participants were encouraged to confront one another and target weaknesses in an attempt to ……. improve aspects of their personalities and thinking? I don’t even know. I’m sure someone must have some bullshit non-peer-reviewed academic preprints on how this is actually supposed to *work*, but all it turns out to be is a massively traumatic experience, at least how we came out from it.

I remember of the two sessions I attended, there was no attempt whatsoever to guide the direction away from this – it was pretty much me and four other people in the group eventually just wanting nothing more to do with it as three others got very confrontational and the rest of us wondering what they were even there for.

One of the unusually bizarre aspects of this was that we were required to have no contact outside of these sessions, and it was quickly proven that we were being observed outside of them by other members of staff and clients who had been put to the task… so those of us who actually did feel any sort of connection and tried to speak outside of that first session were torn down for it at the next.

And this shit happened in a public university, of all places, which was trying to branch out into being a school of various medical disciplines. Glorious….

Needless to say this was a COLOSSAL failure, but worse, it made me feel like I couldn’t turn to anyone for help in the next few years because I was seeing a lot of private practices around the South Florida area turning to group sessions…. primarily because they were, unsurprisingly, more profitable to run. I couldn’t really imagine this going much better.

I’ve had pretty much zero luck with trying to seek any assistance since then. Usually I’ll find someone whose private practice is covered by my insurance, wait a number of months, and find that either they decide to stop accepting new patients and cancel on me, or I’m able to go in for an initial consultation after 4-7 months only to have the practice cease to exist shortly after that initial consultation. The best to date was the practice in Jupiter, Florida, which blinked out of existence due to Donald Trump’s “Winter White House” claiming its office space for Secret Service detail and a failed office move to an abandoned tapas bar. You can’t beat that for being a classic South Florida Sucks tale, can you? Unfortunately I’ve had nothing but similar false starts since I moved to California, it just seems to be the normal state of healthcare services in America.

* Not to be confused with a particularly annoying and content-free meme from a few years back. Trust me, it’s dead and you’re all free from it now.

20 years in the toilet

So, my thoughts on the past 20 years of life in America…

First off I wish to mention that I in no way am unaware or intending to downplay the tragic losses of life that occurred as the result of the September 11, 2001 attack on New York City. It’s just unfortunate that this was allowed to negatively affect so many more lives than necessary.

That being said…

This is just a weird set of disjointed observations I felt like putting in writing so I could get them off my mind and go back to thinking about cats and video feedback.

Read more “20 years in the toilet”

Piss Off, Ye Olde Wankstain

I saw this on the “Inhumans of Late Capitalism” Facebook page and… yes, it rightfully pissed me off, in part because I’ve actually gotten this before.

Hey, it’s our money even after we give it to you, here’s where to piss it away!

Back when I worked for the station in Miami, I got this exact statement from our director of engineering. Never mind that I had to park across the street because the TV station itself didn’t have sufficient parking for its employees, he took offense to the fact I didn’t have a fancy-ass Mercedes-Benz like he and one of his personal favorites on staff did. There was one day I came in late because I had a flat on the way in to work and that set him off thinking somehow this would never happen if I had a nicer car, as if a Mercedes floats on four magical clouds or some shit. Who knows, maybe they at least used a tire size you could locally obtain.

I did have to use my personal vehicle for some work related tasks (not reimbursed, of course), but nothing in which its visual condition would have affected anything. He insisted that I was never to attempt to get to and from the station by any means other than driving my own personal vehicle, as I was expected to be able to drive just about anywhere for them on a moment’s notice.

Yes, my car looked pretty beat up, from the road debris damage and from being rear ended FOUR TIMES in the two years I worked at that station, three of which were hit and run. I had no plans of replacing it unless I actually had to, as I’d finished paying it off and it still worked, though it ate tires pretty often due to a positively terrible rear suspension design.

I don’t even know how I’d describe that suspension design. It was a take on the Short-Long Arm suspension, but with a terrible bump steer characteristic and EXCESSIVE camber. It’d prematurely wear the inner shoulder of the rear tires with every one of the millions of enormous bumps in the road. The bump steer wasn’t really that bad since I was mostly driving it at 4 mph or less, but it still managed to murder the tires even at that speed.

It was a 2009 Mazda 6i Sport, which was worth approximately *nothing* due to the fact that it had been hit hard by the Takata airbag recall (who would guess that putting an ANFO explosive in the occupants’ faces is a bad idea?) but Mazda dug in their heels and held back on making parts available for the repair. I remember seeing descriptions of the resale value being in the range of $400. Still ran, though, and it still mostly stayed together, so I drove it up until I left the area. Parts were almost completely unavailable for this car because Mazda goes out of their way to claw back all the parts for their vehicles beyond about 4 years of age. For anything that’s not available aftermarket from third party manufacturers (from which you usually had to order the parts online straight out of China or South Korea!), you were stuck with trying to find them from a recycler.

And now, I’ll explain another reason why SOUTH FLORIDA SUCKS HOT DONKEY CRAP.

I’m not sure if  he was aware of this, but I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford the insurance if I did have a car that was newer and worth carrying comprehensive coverage on. I was paying just over $400 a month for insurance through Geico, and no other company would even give me a quote – they said I was too high risk. The reason was not due to my driving history which is totally clear, or my credit rating or anything – it was a demographic issue. The problem was that I lived in zip code 33009 as a male between the ages of 30 and 40, which was solidly REDLINED! The reason for that was, in short, the city of West Park. 33009 was shared between West Park, Pembroke Park, Hallandale Beach, and a few other municipalities. Nowadays it looks like Pembroke Park, which was the *better* side of the street back then, actually has a worse crime rate. This may be partially a statistical fluke though, as when I left, about half of the residents of West Park had left – many of whom simply walked away from their worthless properties that nobody would buy! It pretty much just became part of the collective area that I thought of as Zombietown…. that place where one simply should not enter, but sadly, one usually has to at least travel through regularly. I had been in contact with a fellow ham radio operator around that time who pretty much packed up a couple of suitcases and left one night fearing for his life, and considered this one of the best decisions of his life. Last I heard from him, he’d settled back down somewhere up in Washington State.

I asked a Geico agent at one point if I would even be able to add a new vehicle to my policy. They informed me that comprehensive coverage would not be an option – only liability, at the same $400+ a month.

I was told by a customer service agent from Allstate that they were refusing me a quote because their own internal statistics showed that approximately 90% of their policies that they wrote to males in the range of 30-40 living in 33009 led to liability claims after the policy holders committed a violent crime or vehicular homicide involving the use of their vehicle, and that’s why they dropped the redline.

Meanwhile…. there’s a little zombie VIN issue.

I have no idea whether that Mazda 6 itself still exists. I sold it to Carmax just before I left, and they paid me $1000 for it, mostly because the parts demand was pretty high. About a year and a half after I moved to California and started paying $65 or so a month to Geico for liability and comprehensive coverage on another vehicle, I got calls from Geico and a police department in Palm Beach County, Florida, asking me to either provide information on a crash that occurred with the driver of it being at fault, or to provide documentation that I no longer owned it. I sent that along to the police department who never replied back with anything beyond “Thank you, you are no longer a suspect” (what?) and to Geico, who sent me some information about the accident and the driver of the Mazda—

Except it was not a Mazda.

It was a 1992 Toyota Camry registered using the Mazda’s VIN number, crashed in a pretty severe injury accident in Palm Beach.

Why Florida allowed the registration of a Toyota with a Mazda VIN, I cannot fathom. I’m told it’s a strange artifact of their third-party DMV services system, in which private auto tag agencies are given quite unrestricted access to do things that make no logical sense. It seems like EVERYONE has that friend working an an auto tag place who will take an extra $50 under the table to Make Things Happen. What a fine banana republic!

It did not stop there, though. Since that first crash, they’ve informed me of two other cases coming up with the same VIN and different vehicles in various parts of South Florida – one was a Nissan Versa in Miami, and the other was a Ford F150 in Pompano Beach.

Sorry for the dumb ramblings, I was just reminded of this crap, and how glad I am that I MOSTLY no longer have to deal with any of it.

Can’t trust you farther than this very short tape measure

you have no idea how many mosquito bites I got trying to capture the perfect long exposure of this with the strobes going off

I found this sitting in my drafts folder and it made me crack up laughing remembering how silly this was— it’s from months ago, likely when I was stuck in Princeton, Florida, needing to measure for the installation of something at A Beautiful Place Out in the Country. 

The store in question is likely the Florida City Walmart Supercenter.

I once formed this theory that this was basically the last tail end of all civilization after arriving there on the tail end of a session of battling Z-Bola and witnessing a late night bus pull up there and the passengers disembark to the tune of its engine shutting down with a long sigh and several dozen empty beer bottles being thrown one by one on the sidewalk.

I guess it’s finally come to this. Walked into a Miami location of a typical big box store that’s slowly losing all relevance to buy a tape measure. Got stopped at the front door by a security guard for a metal detector check.

Wait, what?

His detector never went off even after his forcibly and painfully whacking it into my steel jewelry and he waved me on.

I had to go find someone with a key to a locked cabinet for the tools. He arrived with a police officer in uniform who tailed me until I checked out. The police officer was annoyed with me going over to the grocery section to get a snack and yelled at me to go check out and leave instead.

The store had signs up indicating that they will soon cease accepting cash at their registers citing safety concerns, and will be reducing their operating hours to 9 AM-7 PM come summer. It seemed the no cash policy was already in place as a customer was arguing with the cashier over it. The cashier pulled out the empty drawer and showed it to the customer who was angrily shaking a $50 bill and didn’t seem to understand this meant that not only would they not accept cash, but even if they did, there’d be no change!

This is why we cannot have good things.

There may be a couple of things I miss about South Florida, but this was never one of them. As long as you don’t try to go to the Walmart in Redding, none of the retail stores here are sad warzones. Actually, the Redding Walmart is just a giant box full of sadness, gated off aisles, and locked cases from which you can buy nothing, and it’s a small miracle it hasn’t been closed down entirely. Nobody will miss it when it goes away.

Help Wanted! HA HA.

no you don’t need a hurricane to experience this

In case you’re wondering why I cannot really see myself working in the South Florida area again —

This was a posting I saw a couple months back recruiting for one of my old jobs. Yes, the one where I had to kick the Z-BOLA out of the transmitter every few days.

Post Date: 01/08/2018
Organization Type:
– Radio Station – Non-commercial
Job Title: Broadcast Engineer
Location: Miami, FL
Job Description:

As the Broadcast Engineer, the Candidate will be responsible for all technical issues deemed necessary for the full and complete operation of the Station. That means the Candidate will oversee and ensure that the station is fully functional on a 24-hour basis.

Salary: $25,000 to $35,000
Send cover letter and resume to: (some circle of hell with a parking lot the engineer is also called upon to guard in the evening)


The sad part is, it’s not on that board anymore and the station’s staff page seems to indicate someone filled the position! This doesn’t surprise me – just about everyone I knew doing any sort of broadcast engineering work in Florida has asked me recently if anyone’s hiring over here in California, as the stations there have been downsizing positions like mad, treating remaining fulltime staff like trash, and bringing in random unqualified contractors based on personal friendships instead of actual skills.

Then again I just checked the same job board’s current results for California and this stupid gem appeared from the local TV station that Sinclair Broadcasting is doing their damn finest to run into the ground at high velocity with nitroglycerin in its pockets. Everyone involved and my own freaking DREAMS have warned me about this place.

Post Date: 04/06/2018
Organization Type:
– Television Station – Commercial
Job Title: Director of Engineering
Company Sinclair Broadcasting
Location: CA
Job Description:

We are currently seeking a Director of Engineering. A qualified candidate will coordinate or perform maintenance of computer and broadcast equipment of the television broadcasting stations.

Duties and Responsibilities:

• Oversee engineering staff in separate locations.
• Plan, manage, train, and coordinate technician’s activities
• Oversee Station Master Control operations and supervise the master control operators.
• Operate the station in compliance with all FCC rules and regulations
• Assist and advise in planning of future equipment installations, requirements, and budgetary recommendations
• Supervise maintenance of computer software, hardware, and local area network applications on systems throughout the stations
• Establish procedures to ensure that all IT equipment is operational and secure
• Keep software versions up to date and follow software license compliance, including all corporate directives for IT security
• Supervise preventive maintenance and/or troubleshooting on almost any electronic device or support electronics whether in-house or installed at transmitter; including but not limited to: cameras, video equipment and/or audio switching equipment, processing and monitoring equipment, microwave transmitters and receivers, satellite receivers, and computing equipment
• Supervise and/or perform transmitter maintenance of all transmitters, translators, and microwave systems
• Respond to trouble calls with broadcast or computer equipment (sometimes after regular hours and weekends)
• Other duties as assigned


• A minimum of 10 years’ experience in broadcast television engineering, preferably with prior engineering management experience.
• 21st century skill set, a great team-oriented attitude and a dedication to quality.
• Strong leadership skills and exceptional communication are absolutely essential for the successful candidate to possess.
• A strong IT background.
• A college degree, SBE certification, and A+ certification are preferred.
• Hold a valid driver’s license.

Send cover letter and resume to: man i hope you have your own 4wd truck because you’re going to need it

When headhunters get… fascinating

See also: When Headhunters Strike and When Headhunters Strike, Part 2 for prior hilarity.

picture unrelated. z-bola detection routine in progress. please cross fingers.

I guess I’m still on some curious lists from my job searches back in South Florida, because I was just delivered this beautiful gem along with a voicemail message from someone with SEVERE background noise (sounded like a cross between a call center and a school cafeteria!) and a very heavy Indian accent. I could make out about three words of it. Sadly this will probably be the start of a gradually increasing stream of electronic harassment from them until they exhaust lines of communication I haven’t blocked yet. 😀

For now… enjoy this PERFECTLY written English copy. Worked on anything on the ground that is emitting radio frequency? Bahahahaha.

I’m not including the sender’s contact info because my experience has been that these are nothing but fake offers intended to get people to submit resumes that can be mined, sold, and traded between recruiters like some kind of horrible benefit-free commodity. There are VERY FEW actual tech jobs in South Florida and recruitment is pretty much exclusively handled through H-1B visa program openings, personal friendships and professional connections*. Usually, though, the recruiters throwing fake jobs around at least have someone fluent in English write them up. This is just lazy:



My name is Ankit and I am from Mindlance (Largest Staffing Firm in USA). I got your resume from a Job Board and it looks a perfect fit for one our client’s requirement based in Ft. Myers, FL. Please find the job description below and let me know your interest.


Role: Radio Communications Technician II

Location: Ft. Myers, FL


Business Overview:


Spot light call notes
Need to know how to propagate the antenna;
T1;T3 Microwave BG; Telephony
Networking exp is only needed to connected radios
Competitive company to look for candidate: Harris/ Nextel exp in the field
Good qualified Questions: Do you have a FCC/ GROL License
Biggest challenges: is knowledge/Exp of LMR – Land mobile radio; Know what is Radio Frequency
Exp with LMR Land mobile radio; worked on anything on the ground that is emitting radio frequency
Need to be here every day 8-5 will travel 60 miles in FT Myers
Ex Military; Key words
Communications, Signal, Two way


Performs complex radio communications technical work. Work involves installing, maintaining, programming, and repairing base station and control antenna systems and communications, microwave, control, audio, and associated equipment. Works under general supervision, with moderate latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment.
Installs two-way radio mobile transceivers, electronic sirens, emergency lighting systems, mobile video systems, computer equipment, and associated electronic equipment.
Installs, maintains, and repairs two-way base communications, microwave, audio, control, antenna, transmission line, and associated electronic equipment.
Installs microwave and control consoles at base station and repeater sites.
Tests operational capabilities of mobile installations.
Provides ground assistance for base station, radio tower, microwave antenna, and transmission line installations.
Programs mobile, portable, and fixed radio equipment.
Maintains and repairs radio communications towers, guy-wires, lighting, and associated electronic control equipment.
Maintains, troubleshoots, repairs, and aligns communications, microwave, control, audio, speed measuring, test, and associated electronic equipment.
Maintains, repairs, and adjusts equipment in vehicles and stations to precision tolerances specified by the Federal Communications Commission.
Assists in procuring repair parts and equipment.
May construct special electronic and test equipment.
May train others.
Performs related work as assigned.

Experience and Education
Experience in radio installation, maintenance, and repair work. Graduation from a standard senior high school or equivalent, supplemented by courses in communications and electronics, is generally preferred. Experience and education may be substituted for one another.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Knowledge of electricity, electronics, and automotive electrical systems; of the installation and repair of mobile and fixed radio equipment; of base station antenna, microwave antenna, transmission lines, and associated equipment; of antenna orientation and radiating patterns; and of Federal Communications Commission rules and regulations.
Skill in the use of maintenance, testing, and repair tools and equipment.
Ability to install and maintain radio and associated electronic equipment; to detect and eliminate trouble in radio transmitters, receivers, and other electronic devices; to interpret schematic diagrams and technical reference materials; to communicate effectively; and to train others.
Registration, Certification, or License
May require a Federal Communications Commission General Radiotelephone Operator License (PG)




Ankit Singla |Team Recruitment|

* and you wonder why the brain drain sucks so hard

Salty Ham post.

I’m a little salty, or perhaps just bitter, or both, that the South Florida Hamboree seems to have disappeared again.

A few years back I got it restarted after a long time missing in action, and it was going very nicely. Last year was its first time taking place in a neat venue in Fort Lauderdale, since the Miami-Dade Fair Expo Center would much rather host a far higher paying gun show every other freaking weekend.

But it’s almost December and I saw not a peep from them other than that someone within the club was whining about a financial loss that happened back in two-thousand-and-smegging-three. I guess everyone there would rather just sit around and whine than hold a useful event.

No announcement of a show this coming year, and since the date would have been in late January, it just isn’t happening. The website isn’t even loading anymore.

It may be strange I’m this disappointed considering I now live on the other side of the country but damn it I didn’t put my passion into this to have it just laid to waste again.

Image not related at all: ShitpostBot 5000 template transmitter-594c4f02e4685 in action. One guess as to who created this useless template 😉