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October 7, 2009 - Give 'em hell, Bobby.
My credentials - I'm a graduate of Florida State University and die-hard Seminole fan. I'm a lifelong member of the Alumni Association and have faithfully maintained my membership in the Seminole Boosters. I held season tickets while I lived in Tallahassee, and have enough FSU merchandise to make Gene Simmons and the KISS marketing department feel inadequate by comparison.

I hate losing football games, and am growing weary of sub-par seasons, obvious weak spots, and losses to teams that couldn't beat good high schools most days. In reading sports columns of late, the criticism of head coach Bobby Bowden has reached a fever pitch. He's too old, the game has passed him by, we can't keep looking at the past, everything wrong with FSU is because of him and his reluctance to go off somewhere and die.


Bobby Bowden built Florida State football. Under his direction, FSU went from an opponent's homecoming game to a national powerhouse, racking up 14 straight top 5 finishes, 2 national championships, a 10-game major bowl winning streak, and the first team to go wire-to-wire as number 1. Granted, these accomplishments were several years ago... But nonetheless, they are directly attributable to one coach Bobby Bowden. And it's unlikely that they'll be duplicated by another team anytime soon. Regarding the "sub-par" seasons we've had the past few years... Do you have any idea how many college football programs would KILL to have a 8-4 "disappointing" season with a bowl victory?

How quickly we forget...

First, some simple truths. Bobby Bowden is not the one dropping passes. Bobby Bowden is not the one throwing interceptions or fumbling the ball on the goal line. Bobby Bowden has never missed an extra point. Bobby Bowden is not the one blowing coverage assignments. Stop blaming him for FSU's problems of late. If anything, his tendency to delegate more and more control to his assistant coaches might be a bigger factor. Bobby Bowden isn't the one calling plays most of the time. Perhaps we should call for the resignation of some assistant coaches and require Bowden to assume MORE control.

Second, these same criticisms were levelled at Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who also suffered through several seasons of mediocrity. As I write this, Penn State is once again a top 20 team. And Florida State is a team rich with young talent. Not only that, Bobby Bowden's contract essentially requires him to no longer be the head coach after the 2010 season, lest we pony up $5 million to head-coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher, that might be tough to come by.

Even former players (Darnell Dockett, Deion Sanders, have expressed support for coach Bowden, and I'm proud to join them in doing so myself.

So, as we prepare to make another contribution to the Alumni Association and the Seminole Boosters, please consider this - Do we really want to squeeze out the namesake of our entire program, the man after whom we've named the field, and in the process show the rest of college football's major programs how incapable we are of handling our business?

Get your asses back onto that practice field and learn how to cover receivers, pressure quarterbacks, hold onto passes, and for the love of God, make extra points. THAT'S what Florida State needs right now.


October 1, 2009 - Return of the Happy Hour Chef!
Buy some lotto tickets, cross the street against the light, and toss out whatever piece of crap you carry around for good luck. Your good fortune knows no limits, for today I received a new recipe from the Happy Hour Chef and have posted it for you. Enjoy, and as always, designate a driver.

No one ever believes me when I try to explain that this is more than just my stupid solo website - it's a collaboration by a group of people, I just happen to be a total control freak and rule it with an iron fist. Granted, my grip has loosened significantly over the past few years... But I still rely on the staff here to keep things moving forward. Believe it or not I've even got a research team now! You should see how many people have turned me down for interviews, or refused to continue when they realized they weren't dealing with just some idiot fanboy. I do my homework, and the research team digs up more dirt than I ever could in three lifetimes.

That being said, we're accepting interview requests again, and even have some slots on FJ Radio to fill up. If you're interested, interesting, or can't get press anywhere else, send me an email.


September 12, 2009 - OK Democrats - convince me.
Here's the brutal reality - I'm a statistically average kinda guy. I'm not rich, but I'm not out turning tricks for rent money or eating dog food. I'm just like every other dirty-white collared, working class, mac-and-cheese eating dude trying to get by. I go to work, I pay my bills on time, and save whatever I can, whenever I can.

I've got health insurance through my employer, but to be honest, it kinda sucks. I'm on the hook for a significant portion of my costs, and my copays are high. But since I'm a generally healthy person, I only pay my $100/month premium to give me some protection in the event of a catastrophe. At my rate of pay, with my housing and lifestyle costs I just can't afford the next level of coverage, which more than doubles my premium. Again, I repeat - I'm not rich - my "lifestyle" involves driving a car with 100k miles on it that could use some repairs, clipping coupons and shopping at WalMart, and skipping out on a lot of luxuries. Minor league baseball games on dollar beer night are my biggest spending thrill. I own my home, but mortgage payments, taxes, and property insurance take a pretty big bite out of my paycheck. And it's certainly no mansion - just a regular house.

If I were to add my wife to my policy, my premium would rocket up to over $400/month. That is not an option for us. With the job market the way it is, especially here in Florida where the housing collapse pretty much devastated our economy, the chances of her getting a full time job, even a crappy one, are not great. Skipping out on my subsidized coverage through work and buying a family plan elsewhere costs dollars that I don't have.

So when hearing about proposals for "public options" and "mandatory coverage", even if not connected, I'm intrigued. How would either work, and who's supposed to pay for them? If health insurance coverage were ever to become mandatory, like auto insurance for drivers, who pays? Do my premiums come down? I can't see how that could happen when more people are suddenly eligible for preventative visits, and the insurance companies find themselves paying out more claims. Or would I just then be required to put my wife on my policy at work (or buy her one of her own)?

Same with a public option. Suppose I can keep my plan the way it is, but my wife hurts herself and needs treatment. Would she be covered under a federal program, and if so, how is it funded?

Essentially, what I'm asking is this - How many minor league games am I gonna miss, and how much dog food will replace $5 pizzas in my diet under current proposals, AND just how do I go about getting my wife illegal status so I can drop her off at an emergency room now and ignore the bill?


September 8, 2009 - Ummm... I've got nothing.


August 31, 2009 - Is this tacky? Good.

I submit that Hawaiian shirts are like dollar bills and days off - you can never have too many. But what's the cutoff for acceptability? I submit that it's $10.

Thanks Wal Mart.


August 30, 2009 - Not to jinx things...
...but I'm loving hurricane season so far. Here we are in the heart of it, and... nothing. Thanks to everyone for dumping trash in the ocean, burning plastic, and doing whatever it is that you're doing to make the storms shy away from Florida and go on their merry way to Canada.

Apologies to Helix...

Gonna do another major overhaul to FJ Radio. Make sure you check it out. Forget iTunes, don't reach for the cd player. Let ME handle your musical entertainment while you're online. It's on 24/7, and it's totally free. If you subscribe to the service though, you can skip the ads. Then again, a quick ad makes it possible to take a quick bathroom break without missing anything... Whatever you do, check it out. Pass it around. I'm not making a dime off of it - this is strictly a labor of love, and a celebration. If you were hanging out at my house, grilling up a giant cheeseburger and enjoying a few cold drinks in between trips to the beach, this is what would be playing.

And if you could be convinced to keep a few cans of Aqua Net handy in case hurricane season takes a turn for the worse, I'd also appreciate that.


August 29, 2009 - Some things that rule.
First up, just found a sample from the new Danger Danger album, slated to be released next month. My only criticism is that it came 20 years late. If it were still 1989, this would be a double platinum album for sure. Even for now, it's still super catchy and a candidate for summer fun record of the year - even if summer is almost over. Regardless, check out FU$, my favorite song from it:

Not to be outdone, Wal Mart is readying a clearance section for a new supply of KISS Krap. In related news, Spencer's is finally profitable, having dedicated their storefront to items that people might actually buy...

Seriously though, KISS has leaked samples of their new album, which sounds pretty good to me. The cover art, not so much. The song, "Modern Day Delilah", sounds to me like a cross between "Love's A Deadly Weapon" and "When Your Walls Come Down", with a more retro-sounding production. Check it out for yourself:

And just in case you might have thought the snowballs in hell might be an optical illusion, Ace Frehley has finally finished his album in a time frame that makes Def Leppard and Boston look productive by comparison. Here's a sample of his cover of Sweet's "Fox On The Run":

Hey Axl Rose, THAT'S how you handle a decade-long wait between albums...


August 26, 2009 - Moving Forward, To The Past
I personally checked out FJ Radio tonight. I put it on while I was doing some other work, and I have to say - it rules. I couldn't stop listening. I got so much more work done that I had originally planned. Well, if by "work", you mean "air drumming", that is...

Anyhow, in a matter of an hour I heard stuff from Diamond Rexx, Crimson Glory, Tesla, KISS, Ratt, Saigon Kick, L.A. Guns, Poison, and plenty more. It's the perfect soundtrack for cranking up with the top down while driving to the beach, discreetly playing air guitar at your office desk when the boss isn't looking, or doing lines off of a model's naked body in a hotel room just before you trash it. But even if trashing hotel rooms isn't your style, I did hear a Stryper song in the mix too...

Speaking of cranking up old good songs...

Caught another show by the newest in a long line of official FJ.com house bands - Metalucious. Best show in South Florida - anyone who's been hanging around here should go see it. It's a total retro trip, and a blast to see. There were lots of cameras, so it wouldn't surprise me to see something pop up on YouTube or something. Check 'em out - you won't be disappointed.


August 25, 2009 - Strange Bedfellows
Far be it for me to EVER defend Bank of America. I hate them with every fiber of my being, and pray that one day a mattress that gives credit and pays interest will be invented so I'll never have to deal with them again.

But this article struck my interest. For anyone not wanting to leave the friendly confines of this site and venture out into the real world (and I can't blame you for that), it's the story of a 20 year old dumbass who unwittingly overdrafted his checking account. 11 times.

Of course, the consequence of spending money you don't have is being charged more of it. Perhaps an illogical paradox, though not completely unjustified. Unable to grasp this simple universal truth, our Rhodes scholar did what any red blooded, responsible, upstanding young man would do - he bitched over the phone and asked to have the overdraft charges reversed.

Of course, his complaint was given the attention it deserved.

Our story ends with the newspaper writing an article on how much banks make by charging deadbeats fees for being deadbeats, and our hero standing in front of a Bank of America branch holding a sign in protest, which compared his overdraft fees to how much money he'd earned over the summer. Way to kill your own argument, genius. What are you thinking? "Hey world, let me show you how many times I swiped my card and tried to buy things, DESPITE having earned very little money!"

I can sympathasize with people who might have mistakenly missed a payment somewhere, or forgotten to check a balance before making a purchase. But it's your responsibility as an adult to know how much money you have before you offer it to someone else for goods or services. It's also your responsiblity to man up and accept your role.

Perhaps instead of standing in front of Bank of America with a protest sign, he should have been standing in front of Burger King with a job application.


June 30, 2009 - I'm starting with the man in the mirror and not giving a shit.
Let me first state that I really liked Thriller. I liked a lot of other Michael Jackson songs over the years too. Couldn't really call myself a big fan, but I could never deny his talent as a singer and performer.

Like many, I was a bit surprised at his passing. Well, not really - the guy's blood will probably read like a pharmacy student's senior notebook when all's said and done. And let's be honest - can anyone really imagine an 80-year old Michael Jackson?

Anyway, my problem isn't necessarily with the guy himself. I'm seeing people line up to deify him. Calling out sick from work to mourn. Ranting and raving about people calling out sick to mourn a "kiddie fiddler". Being sad, angry, and/or cheerful that God smited him. Hell, even giving two shits about another celebrity death, a celebrity that only a handful of people could ever really claim to have known. All completely unnecessary.

It's in this spirit that I say, in all sincerity - Shut The Fuck Up. There are only a few people that really should have any kind of reaction to his death. I'll address each by reaction:

1) Anger. The only people that are entitled to be angry about the death of Michael Jackson are ticketholders and creditors. Not one? Zip it and find a better cause.

2) Sadness. The only people entitled to be sad about the death of Michael Jackson are his family and close friends. Didn't get a Christmas card from him? Couldn't catch him on his cell phone? You are officially not entitled to share the grief his mother is feeling, so show some respect and put it in perspective.

3) Cheer. While I've never really understood celebrating the death of anyone, with the exception of Easter, I'll allow just a bit, for a very selective bunch. The only people allowed to celebrate the death of Michael Jackson are children molested by Michael Jackson. Not one? Can't describe his speckled genitalia in detail? Let it go.

So stop with the Facebook fan pages, the Twitter overloads, the plans to make a pilgrimage to a public viewing at Neverland, the joke about a plastic Michael Jackson being turned into Legos so kids can play with him for a change, and the moments of silence.

Then again, please keep up the moments of silence. At least then we can let his friends and family work through their own grief and keep the media channels open for something more important.


May 29, 2009 - By popular demand...
METALUCIOUS plays tomorrow night at the Mojo Room in Port Saint Lucie, FL. It's just a quick trip from the FJ.com regional headquarters, so I'll be there. You should too - you never know who else might show up...


May 28, 2009 - Things I have learned.
As of today, I have officially been married for one year. I'm celebrating by being online. My wife is also online in the other room. We have an understanding - a sacred coven, if you will. I've learned a lot of things in the past 12 months, and would like to share some of my newfound wisdom and experience with my readers. Those of you contemplating entering the world of matrimony might want to save this.

1) Socks seem to appear everywhere. I never knew I had so many until I realized that half of them on the floor weren't mine.

2) You can be right, or you can be happy. You can't always be both.

3) Ice cream is no longer an acceptable breakfast unless you're ready to dish out two bowls. Should you fail to observe this, the few extra pounds you might've put on will be brought up.

4) Your Florida State and KISS stuff is tacky. But my unread "House Beautiful" magazines on an entry table and dead sticks in a vase make the hall look good.

5) A meal can no longer consist of just meat. There has to be a meat, a starch, a vegetable, and quite possibly, a salad. Even though you've only doubled the number of people in the house, you will quadruple the amount of dishes you will need to wash.

6) Don't even bother taking anything home in to-go containers. They will only be thrown away in a week to make room for another one.

7) Any question asked will need to be rephrased in the form of an answer. "Babe, has the dog been out?" translates to "Take the dog out".

8) I have the most wonderful wife in the world and couldn't be happier that she actually agreed to marry me. Happy Anniversary, I love you babe! And yes, the dog has been out.


May 27, 2009 - Let them eat cake.
Watched the drama in California unfold this week, and was asked what I thought about it. Even though it hasn't been fashionable for the greater part of 8 years (reasons for which can be saved for another update on someone else's website because I don't really care), I still tend to lean to the right on most political issues. I'm one of those Christian teetotalers who believes in morality, family, law, and order. But before I start getting pink-fonted emails with "HATEMONGER!" in the subject line, let me also state that I have many gay friends and coworkers, work in retail, and lived in Northern California for a long time. I own a Cher album. Hell, I'll even admit to occasionally going to salons for haircare, owning a flat iron, and knowing how to use it.

OK, so now that I've gone from "HATEMONGER!" to "FAGG LOVER!!!1!" in that subject line, I should probably start my commentary...

I would first like to point out the obvious - most people are idiots. That's why we have a representative government and not a true democracy. Our founding fathers could foresee everything from Florida screwing up elections to the travesty of voting for Kris on American Idol. That's why popular votes should never be relied upon as the best outcome and what's right for the people. When the people speak, they drool excessively and are often hard to understand. Most people cannot comprehend complex issues that can't be summed up in a 10-second soundbite and posted on YouTube, sandwiched between piano playing kittens and guys getting kicked in the nuts. Hell, just ask 10 average Californians if pot is legal, dude.

Most companies recognize domestic partnerships, and provide benefits as such. Life insurance policies, health care plans, and even employee discounts are awarded to gay couples by companies, without issue by the general public. Gay couples can own property together, manage bank accounts, designate each other in wills, and co-sign loans. They can live a life just as "normal" as any straight couple. And to think, this hasn't even seemed to negatively affect the sanctity of Britney Spears' first marriage.

It all seems to come down to sex. Unless it's really hot lesbians on the internet, straight people just don't want to think about gay sex. I think I have the solution for them.

If the state of California really wants to stop gay people from having sex with each other, they should be ENCOURAGING them to get married...

So I hear...


April 27, 2009 - Anyone?
I was walking along the beach the other day. Yeah, I know, my life really sucks. Anyhow, I noticed something in the sand:

I didn't know what it was, so I walked a little closer. At first glance, I thought it might have been the remains of an unlucky snake. I picked up a stick - after all, the first rule of unknown items involves poking them with sticks. So I picked it up and:

Noticed that it wasn't skeletal at all - in fact, it was solid and perfectly sliced:

So I'm stumped. Anyone know what it is? I'm guessing some sort of ocean plant or seed pod. But googling "Long Weird Thing" doesn't really produce the kind of results I'm interested in...


April 25, 2009 - Whore Out Your Children In The Name Of Self Righteousness Day.
Yeah, it happened on Thursday. But I was sitting on the beach, NOT participating.

This is the single dumbest idea in the history of dumb ideas regarding children - second only to actually having them in the first place. It has absolutely nothing to do with job training, mentoring, shadowing, or family time. Can anyone honestly tell me that they've had any influence on a child based on a single day of excessive coffee breaks? First, no actual work gets done in the presence of a child. No child sat on an actual board of directors, negotiated an ad rate, changed a fan belt, built a bridge, split an atom, or solved the financial crisis. Maybe a child served as CEO for Bank of America for a few years, but certainly no real work was done.

So who does actually participate? Simple - the same people who plaster their whole offices with family pictures. The ones who have to leave early every Friday to drive little Suzy to soccer practice, and can't be bothered to cover a shift on a holiday or a weekend because Joey's recital is three days prior and he has to have his rest. The same ones who bring hundreds of overpriced, undertasteful chocolate bars and push them on every coworker because "you need to help the children go to Washington D.C.". .You know what, I've been there. If the parents really cared about their children they'd be taking collections to send them anywhere BUT Washington D.C. They only thing they're learning by following you to work is how to get out of a day's work - and if you think anyone other than a kid knows how to do that, you're sorely mistaken.

If you really think your children need to learn the value of work, pull them out of school and get them jobs. Otherwise, let them be kids and stop wasting everyone's time. They'll be taking excessive breaks, ducking real tasks, and running up their credit cards soon enough.

Maybe parents should go back to school for a few days instead.


April 23, 2009 - Technology is stupid.
But for those of you who just can't get enough James, I'm on Twitter now. Just like everyone else...

Strange to think that individuality these days has to start with doing the same thing that everyone else already does. Oh well. Stalk me here - twitter.com/FamousJames.

Last week's METALUCIOUS interview has been updated a bit to add some photos, courtesy of JUAN CANTU PHOTOGRAPHY. Check 'em out. And don't forget to add METALUCIOUS on MySpace. Best party in Florida.


April 16, 2009 - Interviews updated!
METALUCIOUS is our most recent victim. Click here to see what they had to say about, well, nothing really. They kind of blathered on about strippers and blow. But hey, they're still a fun band and one of my favorites of late, so show 'em some love.


April 15, 2009 - An open letter to Ken Lewis and Bank of America
Fuck you. No, seriously - fuck you.

I've been a Bank of America customer for 20 years. I've held checking accounts, savings accounts, CD's, and credit cards. I'm also a stockholder who's taken quite a bath in recent years, thanks largely to your inability to understand the phenomenon of broke people ceasing to pay their bills. But how would I expect you to comprehend that? After all, in your world broke people can borrow billions, and just to preserve the tradition of multimillion dollar bonuses at year's end, all for fucking up the company's bottom line and dragging down the world's economy with it. Unbelievably, this is not an option for Joe Average.

Let's get to the point. I've held an American Express card from you for 15 years. In that time, I've managed to pay off every balance I've ever run up. I'm a lowly retail manager and have been for most of my professional career, which means I don't really earn an impressive salary. But over the years, even when I was young, stupid, and broke, you were bending over backwards to increase my credit limit. At one point, it was over $50,000 on just one card. And this was way before I knew how to use credit responsibly - but you helped teach me by charging an interest rate in excess of 20% until I finally knew better.

We'll skip over the parts where I found myself in a bit of trouble - though you couldn't really call it trouble because my problems paid your salary. Long story short, I dug myself out of each and every hole, enriching you in the process. But that was years ago. Regardless, every time I've ever run up my credit card, I've managed to pay it off - always on time, and never missing a payment - even when it was just interest.

So when my wife needed some dental work done, I called and asked about having my credit limit increased. She doesn't have insurance, so I knew the procedure could be pricy and just wanted to make sure I could swing it if need be. I was told I would have an answer in a day or two. When I logged into my account a week or so later (sans call, email, or letter in the mail I might add...) I noticed that you CUT my credit limit. Not only did you cut it, but you reduced it to the point where I had to make an immediate payment to avoid being over my limit. Then I received a letter a few days following informing me that my terms had been changed, and that my interest rate would double.

By doing this, you threw my debt to credit ratio out of whack, reducing my credit score from over 780 to under 700. Because of this, I no longer qualify for prime rates to refinance my mortgage.

Nothing has changed - my salary did not change, my employment status did not change, my history of paying bills on time has not changed, and certainly, you can verify that last part. But because I may have appeared to be in trouble again by asking about more credit, you decided to turn the screws on me and attempt to line your pockets by increasing the time it would take to pay down my balance, and the interest charged to it. Under your plan, I would have been in your debt for 10 years, and each payment sent would hardly reduce my principal at all. I am still the same person I was a month ago, but thanks to your actions of late I am now perceived as a risk by other financial institutions as well.

Again, I repeat, FUCK YOU.

I have restructured some personal finances, and sold my Bank of America stock to ensure that my balance will be paid in full by the end of the next billing cycle. And rest assured, I will no longer pose a risk (or a PROFIT) to your precious, public money-wasting company. Being debt free again, I am sure my credit score will go back to it's rightful place, which means you will probably again try to increase my limit and decrease my APR. Thankfully, so will other financial institutions.

So I wish you an especially itchy chronic venereal disease, and pray that I live long enough to see the day when you have to apply for a car loan yourself. In closing, please consider fucking yourself one more time.




April 10, 2009 - At least I wasn't driving...
I'm not much of a sleeper. It's not often that I get more than 5 or 6 hours in a night, and I'm not so good at turning off my brain even when I do try to rest.

But based on what I just read, maybe my brain shuts off before the rest of my body... When I woke up this morning, I left my wife in bed and went into my office to get some work done. I checked my email and noticed something that my wife must have sent from her cell phone:

You just asked me if I want you to go get me more of my soap... I asked what soap and you said "or just flush 20 dollars down the drain" I asked what you were talking about... You said "the dishsoap because we needed to get the stain". LOL You're stupid in your sleep.

I'm thinking that I really need a vacation...


April 8, 2009 - Movin' right along.
Got a few interviews out, we'll see who steps up and gets them back in first. It's a lot of fun for us to do, and I'd like to think the artists have a good time too. I can tell you the research team at FJ.com has been working overtime to ensure that historical accuracy is a top priority - and that enough dirt is available to be able to blackmail the shit out of anyone who fails to be truthful!

In the meantime, I managed to have a night off and caught my new favorite band play a show. I've plugged them here before, and will again until you're all sick and tired of them - METALUCIOUS. Might have to make them the official house band of the site. Summer's coming, and the annual FJ.com Global Warming Appreciation Party is always more festive with background music. Anyhow, check out some of the pics from that night here. Gotta say, I'm disappointed with the pics. I used a digital camera for only the second time in concert history. But the action on it is so slow, by the time the shutter popped, the moment had passed. Much like music, camera technology is best when disposable, cheap, and easily confiscated by security.


March 28, 2009 - They call me Dr. Pepper?
It should come as no surprise... Gene Simmons shilling something. I just can't imagine why the execs at Dr Pepper would think that having a KISS reference in the year 2009 would help them sell overpriced sugar water. Besides a dwindling handful of nerds, who really cares about KISS anymore? Didn't the abundance of Klearance Kiss Krap at Spencer's prove that?

And second, even if it could somehow be proven that KISS is still culturally relevant enough to have any kind of impact on marketing, isn't it a detriment to the band as a whole to have them painted as out-of-touch and unhip? I mean, here's the God of Thunder, surrounded by hot chicks and flashpots, drinking a soda and then being lectured on relevance by his son. It's almost like sitting on Santa's lap at the mall, then seeing him taking a leak in the men's room on his break.

Either way, check it out:


March 27, 2009 - Steel Panther kicks ass.
Remember the old Discover commercial with washed-up has-beens Danger Kitty? Well, they're actually a real band. They went by the name Metal Shop, and did a tribute/parody of the whole LA 80s metal scene at the Viper Room. They had a few legal/management issues to resolve, and changed their name (and home club location) to Metal Skool, where they played for years at the Roxy. Yet another name/management change, and the result is as follows: (don't click if you're at work, they're not kidding about the explicit lyrics part...)

A full length album is slated for release soon. I'm pretty sure that's awesome. In the meantime, check them out here.


March 26, 2009 - I'm terminal.
First, the feature story: Some hope for retail execs. Just goes to show how incestuous retail life can be - so much of has been homogenized with any trace of individuality trained out of it. So it's no surprise that retail managers can often adapt more easily when their industry faces challenge. The catch is, retail is still perceived by the general public as the professional home of the slacker. People who can't succeed in other industries choose retail by default, and we all deserve to be paid less than our counterparts in other industries. We're all either too stupid to do anything else, or we're Al Bundy, stuck in dead end jobs and meaningless existence while pathetically clinging to former glory. I've been working for many years to combat that misperception. But alas, I'm still a longhaired guy who likes Hawaiian shirts, so there probably aren't many other places I can go for work. Unless of course, Weird Al someday needs a replacement...

A favorite quote from the article: "Retailing is like a disease. Either you have it in your blood or you don't,".

I should probably go see a doctor about it, but our health insurance plans don't usually cover things like that.


March 22, 2009 - The Sky Is Falling.
When I checked my email this evening, I noticed there was an asterisk alerting me to the possibility of severe weather. Florida has seen it's share of Mother Nature's menopause-related symptoms over the years, so I assumed she must have been having a hot flash. When I clicked for "details", this was my warning:

If anyone needs me, I'll be stocking up on canned goods. It's gonna get down to 61 tonight and be partly cloudy tomorrow.


March 18, 2009 - Yet Another Modest Proposal
Like many Americans, I find the idea of million-dollar bonuses completely justified. Performance enhancers and supplements to income are obviously warranted, as the excellent results delivered by senior staffers of AIG really speak for themselves. After all, these are the people who put themselves on the front line, aggressively working to stabilize and secure our insurance industry, lowering costs for all by maintaining adequate capital, managing risk effectively, and yielding such huge profit margins that future generations of hardworking Americans need not worry about their finances.

They've done such an excellent job, our government could hardly pass up the opportunity to get in too.

But sadly, there is still a small faction of angry people who do not understand this. Nor do they fully comprehend how big business and corporate finance work. So I'd like to present an idea that may just demonstrate how huge bonuses for failed taxpayer invested businesses could work.

First, a precedent. We gave them $25 billion dollars. Of course, they're not really using the money very well. The next logical step in fiscal responsibility would to outsource the entire senior staff. At present levels in India, the current bonuses being offered to senior AIG officials would provide lifetime incentive for dedicated, responsible, and ethical decisionmaking, that a million bucks American just can't provide anymore. A million bucks in Palm Beach is weekend mad money, hardly worth the effort of even mailing out the checks. Just ask Bernie Madoff.

AIG got $170 billion. Imagine the leverage we could initiate by investing that into top-level Indians! The savings would be almost instant, as even automated phone answering services and outsourced call centers have not only shored up the bottom lines for countless American institutions, but the customer service and satisfaction have increased at immeasurable proportions as well! I'm certain we could scour the parking lots of Home Depot and find some equally talented visionaries, folks who've dared to attempt the true American dream - to work, then send all the money somewhere else and retire rich. It's an idea whose time has come - outsource AIG to India. I'm sure HR in Calcutta would be happy to process the applications for the current executives upon their succesful relocation, and would surely give their resumes the attention they so richly deserve.


March 17, 2009 - The Difference Between Me and Most People
I'm having coffee today. This morning. The 17th. Sober.

A lot of other people will eat a disgusting mash of sheep intestines, or overcooked beef with a side of tastless slop, and wash it down with syrupy, foamy, room-temperature beer. I'm thinking this is about where St Patrick's Day was first associated with the color green. Now I'm not bagging on Ireland as a whole, or the Irish as a culture. After all they gave us U2, red hair, and dirty limericks. At least one of those things still has merit, and I refuse to discount the relevance of the others out of respect.

But suffice it to say, this website will not be be renamed Famous O'James.com for the day. I will not partake of finer Irish culinary delights, whatever they are, provided by the host of lousy restaurants looking to capitalize on subtle prejudices exploited by those seeking to advance the alleged luck of the Irish.

If the Irish were really that lucky, they'd be American. And the banks would be closed.

Happy St Patrick's Day everyone!


March 15, 2009 - The Famous James Diet!
Having a hard time losing those last few vanity pounds? Finding yourself with a sudden inability to see your own feet? Been on a junk food bender for the past few years? Have I got the plan for you!

Eat a prepackaged salad just one day past the "use by" date. Then go to work in a warehouse with a broken air conditioner. Wow. Can't say much else, some people don't particularly care to hear the finer details. But suffice it to say, my stomach has never been flatter.


March 13, 2009 - This has GOT to be a joke...
KISS Burger? I actually sent an email to Gene Simmons asking for a confirmation, but he has yet to reply. It's not above him, surely he'd gladly sell you an overpriced meal with a KISS logo on it. But it's really too crassly written and dare I say - creative - to be from Gene himself.

I'm surprised the site's still up, the notoriously litigious KISS has been known to throw cease-and-desists to far less potentially damaging ideas. Guess we'll see.

But if it proves to be true, you know who'll be there.


March 9, 2009 - Kingly Blessings!
A lot of things piss me off. Unpaid overtime is one of them. Cold and rainy days are another. But when I hear people complain that there's no good music at all anymore, it really sets me off. Granted, I might be a musical dinosaur, barely clinging to life after my world was devastated by a series of grungy, alternative, overproduced, and manufactured asteroids, but somehow I've yet to cede my existence to the rodents that attempt to dominate the musical landscape.

So I bring to you a few of my favorite bands of late - visit, listen, and enjoy!

Metalucious. Based on Florida's treasure coast, they're pretty much the only tribute band here worth watching. Until of course, more submit requests for plugs... (and they should!) They lose points for having to wear wigs, but then again, it's not like any real 80s metal bands have much hair left these days anyway.

Pleasure Addiction. Hailing from France (but don't hold that against them), these guys are slated to work with Beau Hill (Ratt, Winger, Warrant) and release an album this year. They kinda sound like a powerpop version of Danger Danger. Top notch musicianship and funny accents. You can't go wrong. Check out "My Superstar" from the preceding link

Vains of Jenna. Managed by Stevie Rachelle (of Tuff and Metal Sludge fame), I saw these guys open up for Poison last year. One of the best new bands I've seen in a long time. They channel the sleaze of the Sunset Strip with the decadence of the decade they were born too late to fully enjoy.

Dirty Penny. Take every cliche of every band from the 80s, but do it right - white jacket, ripped jeans, teased hair, check, check, check. I dig these guys. And if the band website doesn't convince you, check this out:


March 8, 2009 - FJ Radio back on the air!
Noticed the worst kind of sin had been committed... Somehow the reader benefit of CD-quality free asskicking rock to serve as background music for site visitors had been pulled. Needless to say I was not happy. So I made sure that anyone who visits here will once again be just a few clicks away from the good stuff. It's always free to listen, but if you subscribe to the service you can listen ad-free. Make sure to get yourself a drink and a can of hairspray - you might need both.

CLICK HERE to listen. And to celebrate the rebirth of FJ Radio, I'm offering bands and musicians the opportunity to submit songs - email me for details.


March 7, 2009 - Interviews updated!
One of the driving forces behind jumping back at the controls of this site was an email I got a few weeks ago:

From: johnny l lust
To: james@famousjames.com
Subject: Attn: JAMES ie; PLAYGROUND "all-star" classic rock band from Las Vegas NV...

Hello and good day to you...

I was told by a friend of mine to contact you in regards to an interview.. Please visit: www.myspace.com/lvplayground and let me know if we are the type of band for your interview...

Thanks and please respond...

JOHNNY LUST , drummer and band rep w/ PLAYGROUND "The Tribute To Classic Rock Music Show"
(Official PLAYGROUND MySpace/web-site)
(Official JOHNNY LUST MySpace/web-site)

It was a surprise to see someone asking ME for an interview! Especially someone with a pretty long musical pedigree, having been there for the entire LA 80s metal explosion. So how I did I show my appreciation?

Click here.


March 6, 2009 - Time for some perspective.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, The economy sucks. Everyone is broke, homeless, unemployed, and resorting to cannibalism. I get it. Things are tough out there, and the "experts" can't seem to make them better.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here.

Stop worrying.

Seriously. Stop it. It's not doing you any good. Just don't run up bills you can't pay, or buy things you don't need - which is what I've been telling people to do for years.

I understand that 20% of homes are worth less than the mortgages currently held on them. I understand that when all is said and done, we might be looking at 10% unemployment. But you do know that means that 80% of homes still have equity and 90% of us still have jobs. And of those 20% of homes that are underwater, most of them are still current in their mortgage payments.

If any of you had listened to me when I first got online and started preaching the gospel of controlled, disciplined, timed, consistent investing, well, you'd be down big time too. Just like me. Again, I reiterate - I have seen my portfolio decline by a HUGE amount. An assload. A metric shit-ton. However you want to phrase it, I am not immune to the financial crisis, I cringe every time I check my portfolio balance and die a little every time CNN posts another negative report.

But investing is no place for emotion.

If you went to to the grocery store and paid $4.59 for a box of Cheerios, what would you do if you went back to the grocery store the next week and saw that it's now priced at $3.29? Would you go home, tear up the carton, throw away your leftovers and break all of your cereal bowls? HELL NO! YOU STOCK UP. You will eat again.

If you're in, stay in. If you're out, get in. Sitting on the sidelines only ensures one thing - you will miss the recovery. Did you lose more than 50% of your net worth last year? No? Congratulations. You beat the Magellan Fund, created by one of investing's legends - Peter Lynch. What does that prove? Even the experts don't always know what they're doing. And when those same experts advise you to give up, pull out, stock up on gunpowder and head to the hills because we won't recover until an uncertain, unspecified date in the future..., you should be doing an awful lot of questioning.

If you're investing through your employer's retirement plan, you're probably already receiving a match on your contribution. My employer matches 100% up to the first 4% of my pay. Meaning, if I contribute 4%, I've already doubled my money before the market takes anything away. When you look at it that way, even though the market took a big ol' crap on my plans to buy a boat, I've yet to actually lose anything. In fact, I doubled my contributions this year. Good investments are on sale, and I'm stocking up.

Times like these are where millionaires come from. It's human nature to be afraid and uncertain, but opportunity abounds. Even now.

I'm not saying I have all the answers, but when I log off of CNN's money page and throw the ball to my dog in the backyard, a few things become obvious.

No matter how scary it gets, people still drink Coke, check their email, and wipe their asses. Coca Cola is a publicly traded company and isn't going anywhere. Follow me? And investing is a lifelong, longterm commitment - the money you're "losing" shouldn't be something you'll need in the near future anyway. You're buying stocks for 50% off, and your horizon to sell them is decades ahead, after you've reinvested dividends, capital gains, and adjusted for splits and buybacks. Even the prospect of them dropping a bit more this year shouldn't terrify you - it should excite you, especially when you consider that many stocks bought during the Great Depression rebounded. Another analogy - You're trying to collect as much water as you can, and you've bought a huge bucket. Drought hits and your bucket doesn't fill up as quickly as you had hoped. You turn your back and notice that your huge bucket has been replaced with a handful of coffee mugs instead. But you know, it will rain again and whatever you're using to collect the water will fill up. You don't lose the ability to collect water unless you start breaking your cups. And once you do that, you dry up. BUY MORE CUPS! If you can't grasp that concept, turn off your computer and go to the beach. It's free and it's good for you.

And bring a Coke.


March 4, 2009 - Another year, another redesign
Welcome to the all-new FJ.com! Well, it's not really new... A lot of these projects have been in the works for a long time. But in the spirit of spring cleaning, I figured a site featuring some more professional ventures was in order. A supplemental re-branding, if you will... I'd spent years writing a diary (most of which is still available in the archives), but I'm older, wiser, and a little more busy than I was before, so keeping a daily diary isn't really a practical option for the time being. Of course, posts will always occur as inspiration strikes, and I've had the bug again, so check back. And since I'm still self-financed, self-published, and under obligation to no one, I'm free to ramble on without worrying about losing a contract or an endorsement.

Lots and lots to talk about... It's been a crazy year! Between working, working, and more working, I barely had time to, oh wait, what did I do last year?

Now I remember! Finally tied the knot with The Cute Brunette. She said she'd kill me if I brought the site back without mentioning her... Old readers might remember her from many years ago. In fact, the very first moment we met is actually buried in the archives! I don't think too many people have pictures of the first time they ever met their spouses... Even less have them with CC DeVille's head in the shot somewhere.

I dragged her kicking and screaming out of California, and we're living in a small beach town now. Someday we'll probably move again, but for now, we're just enjoying life and trying to get by.

Started writing a book, nearly finished it, then my computer died. I was stupid and didn't save it anywhere but on my old hard drive, so I had to start over. That new computer didn't have any of the old FJ.com files (some of which are important) either, so when faced with the daunting task of continuing it, I procrastinated. Finally got a little bit of free time, then the devil on my shoulder told me to start writing again. Before I knew it I found myself right back here. And when I saw it, it made me both sad and reminiscent. Lots of old friends, lots of great memories. We didn't need MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, or any other technical plaything to stay involved in each other's lives, nor did we need to recruit friends to support a cause. Yet with the many new channels to keep in touch and methods of delivering messages, friendships seem less personal than ever and so many good ideas get crushed in information purgatory.

Anyhow, I'm back online again and we'll see where it leads. I've got a lot to share, and a lot to say. I've also got a lot to do, so time online isn't as recreational as it once was. But if history suggests, this website is like a dysfunctional girlfriend - even when it's long past time to give up and move on, you still remember the good times and never really go away.


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Coming soon!
Scared Rich - Lessons Learned From A Life of Retail, soon available for pre-order! Inquire about an autographed or personalized copy!


Coming soon!
Going Coastal - Trop rock guaranteed to make any season summertime. Think of it like a postcard from a long-lost friend.

Songs That Mattered - An eclectic collection of blues-based rock songs. Samples coming soon!


Thank You!
New merchandise available!

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