Further fame beckons!

Longtime hangarounds at this here hogwallow will be quite familiar already with our friend TL Davis, whose work I’ve linked to and excerpted many times over the years. What y’all might not be aware of is that, in addition to being an accomplished blogger and novelist (I’ve recommended his novels before here, especially the great Shadow Soldier saga), TL is also a screenwriter. As it happens, in the course of a discussion of his next film project with him, TL proposed doing a documentary on my old band. So we’re off and running with that project now, kicking things off thusly:

With our first documentary Lies of Omission finally making its way to Amazon (not quite yet released) and other streaming services, we are encouraged to take the next step in filming a more mainstream documentary about the Belmont Playboys. How this rockabilly band came to our attention is a story in itself, but suffice it to say that we had other interests in common and the revelation of their talent and resiliency as a top performing band was indeed a pleasant surprise. 

From the rural North Carolina countryside, the Belmont Playboys quickly created a sound and an energy that captured the attention of a New York Times music reviewer by the name of Kathy Schoemer in 1989 as the band played the old Delta 88 club in New York City. From that moment on they were able to build a career out of doing what they loved. 

But, why do a documentary on the Belmont Playboys? First, it is in line with promoting those who believe in capitalism and freedom. That will always be a prerequisite for who we want to work with. While that may not always be possible, we will seek it out at every opportunity. Next, it is an all-American tale of talent, drive, perseverance and humor that even the folks at NPR would appreciate, creating a wider audience for the film and distribution opportunities a lot more available.

I’m thrilled to death and flattered as all git-out about this, I must say. TL is crowdfunding the trailer for the film, as a first step on the road to pitching and completing the project. As he says:

The fact is media will be forever changed by this pandemic. They are already talking about the end of theaters, which I not only doubt, but would hate to see go, but it puts companies like 12 Round on fairly even footing with big studios. Now, while they will always be able to out-spend us, the idea that they would make 100 million dollar movies that they can only stream is not a viable business model. This brings everything down to a common sense budget  and when all of those financiers no longer have to hold huge funds in reserve for big productions, more of that money will be available to smaller production companies making smaller movies that we can make. 

So, this is the first project in the new paradigm. If you like the idea, help us start getting it put together either through Fundrazr or directly through editor@twelveround.com.

Difficult as these times have suddenly become, with worse to surely follow, feel free to hit him up with some good ol’ palm-grease if you can anyway. We’ll both be grateful for it. I’ll leave this post up top for a few days, to further encourage public generosity.

Quickie restoration report

All the Greatest Hits and Leatherballs archives are now back up and running, as well as the first of the other Outlaw Biker feature-article additions to the Leatherballs section: my interview with rocker Joan Jett. There’ll be more of those coming as and when etc; for now, I’m going to shift focus to restoring the CF post archives. Work on Ye Olde Blogrolle will continue intermittently, also as/when. I’m not too sure how much work remains to be done there, since I’m now leaning towards keeping it kind of lean and mean, you might say. Thanks for your patience in this trying time, y’all!

Site recovery update

Okay, just finished rerebuilding the Greatest Hits pages, reachable via the navbar right under Angry Guy above. Do note that the dates these things were first posted is NOT going to match the one on the new pages, since I had to create ground-up new replacement documents. It’ll be the same with the Leatherballs content too, I’m afraid.

Ye Olde Blogrolle is gonna stay the way it is for a while yet, I think. Yes, there are more worthy blogs out there that I want to put in, but right now there are way too many other things that I think are more important that need doing.

Hopefully all the new comments-section plugins are working okay for everybody; alas, I haven’t been able to find a comments-preview plugin that works with the newest version of WP, and the old one we had before the Great Crash just…doesn’t. I’ll keep checking for one occasionally; if any of y’all run across one in your travels feel free to let me know, aiight?

In the next day or two, maybe even later tonight, I think I’m gonna attempt cutting down the ginormous WordPress export file to a more manageable size and import the old archives piecemeal. Over than 18 years of posts adds up to a file size more than double the acceptable limit the WP export/import plugin can swallow, so needs must. Haven’t even begun picking through the old CF database tables yet; as I already mentioned, that daunting task is going to take months, and no way am I gonna try re-importing them into the fresh, clean new one without a VERY thorough scouring of any bogus code lurking therein first.

Next project is finishing up with rebuilding the Leatherballs archives—and, as I mentioned the other night, creating new pages to house some of my Outlaw Biker feature articles too. That might get somewhat tricky, since the originals are InDesign files with a fair number of images embedded in each page. I DO have backups of all that stuff, though, so I got that going for me at least. I really do want those up here, if only as a sort of historical-record type thing; I’m rather proud of the work I did on those, and I think even the non-biker types around here might find them of some small interest. Don’t know why it never occurred to me before, really.

Annnd…that’s about it. Now back to the saltmines for me. Betwixt time spent A) searching for items I give enough of a shit about to write up, researching them, and then posting on the one side, and 2) restoring a malevolently-wrecked website containing almost two decades’ worth of skull-sweat on the other, then iii) carving out time for the young’ un and scraping out my shamefully inadequate living, it’s quite the steely set of dilemna-horns I’m perched on here when it comes to prioritizing, scheduling, and just finding the energy to do it all. But what the hell, things are no doubt the same for you folks, I’m sure. We all just keep sloggin’ on the best we can, right?

My humble thanks to the two or three of you who tossed some coin into the ol’ PayPal pot last week to help compensate for the work I’m confronting here; it’s very much appreciated, I assure you. Equally sincere and humble thanks to each and every one of the readers and commenters out there too, as well as highly esteemed fellow bloggers like Fran Porretto, Bill Quick, Concerned American, and of course Aesop. Without the lot of you rogues, rapscallions, and rascals being present and accounted for, all this effort would be completely pointless.

Publick Notice

Another progress report: as y’all have surely noticed, the restoration of Ye Olde CF Blogge continues, although we still have a deuced long way to go yet. I’m wading through re-fabricating the Greatest Hits and Leatherballs sections currently, which just like everything else is turning out to be way more work than I first hoped. For those who never paid it much attention, the Leatherballs section consists of my regular columns for the late, (un)lamented Outlaw Biker ragazine, for whom I worked as ad and website designer for a good few years. Along the way, in addition to doing Leatherballs I also wrote a fair few featured articles, and I’m considering tossing them into the Leatherballs mix as well, just because.

An aside: I was crowned Leatherballs in the first place years ago by a close friend of mine (supposedly), who never explained just what it was supposed to mean. I was too alarmed to ask, but in due course the handle proved something of a blessing, I guess. Biker rag scribes always use several different names to write under; every biker mag I ever did hear of only had two or three people on staff, and those lonely souls wanted it to look as if they occupied a big office just a-buzz with writers, editorial staff, photogs, and the like.

The lone exception to that rule was the once-great Easyriders back in its 1970s heyday; they did have an unusually full staff complement, and employed freelance writers for their biker fiction pieces as well. Even so, mainstays like Spider and Doc Twat also worked under a cpl-three other fictitious noms de pen themselves.

An interesting note about the biker fiction: I’ve been a huge fan of Larry Brown since his first short-story collection was published. Brown died much too young; he was hands-down one of the best writers I know of, period. As it happens, he kept body and soul together until his book-contract ship finally came in by freelancing for Easyriders back in the day.

Now, I subscribed to Easyriders for years, until in the 80s it morphed into a horrible yuppie-biker dumpster fire. They abandoned truly righteous, beautiful old-school chopppers and bobjobs for godawful, completely unrideable contraptions by builders like Arlen Ness, the nekkid biker chicks for professional models*, and I lost interest entirely. But my immediate thought on reading the interview wherein Brown confessed to the ER gig was “I bet you I could go back and pick out which ones he wrote, whatever the pen name.” A lot of that biker fiction was pure dreck, almost physically painful to wade through, but some of it was actually pretty good. And there’s just no way a writer of Brown’s caliber could ever dull the brilliance of his star, no matter how hard he tried.

I have no idea of when I might be able to get all the old archived posts back up. Looks like I’m gonna have to export the old database and then re-import it into the new, clean one in order to accomplish that, and the truth is I do NOT trust the old one enough to do so without giving it a very thorough going-through first. Which means minutely examining eighteen-plus years of posts for snippets of bogus code; no minor task, by any standard. It’s going to take weeks at best, given that I also have to work seven days a week, pick up the young ‘un at school every day, along with all the other daily duties that can only be put off for so long.

All of which is to say that the post archives will be back eventually, but don’t expect miracles in a hurry here. Big, big thanks to The Sage for suggesting the Wayback Machine as a source for the restoration. That didn’t occur to me at all, and it’s been indispensable in retrieving the Greatest Hits material and other things, all of which I thought I had local backups of, but…umm…uhhh…well, sadly, NO. Chalk that up as yet another lesson learned the hardest of ways.

And now, onwards!

*Footnote: One of those models was porn-queen extraordinaire Traci Lords:

ER-Traci-Cover.jpg


Remind me to tell y’all someday my story of meeting Traci in, of all settings, Frederick’s Of Hollywood, during the band’s first West Coast tour. I promise you it’s all true. Yes, I have pictures.

Publick Notice

Slowly but surely getting things reorganized around here, folks. Haven’t re-established the old posts yet, because the WP Import tool’s file size limit is less than half what the size of the export file actually is. It’s gonna require editing a certain file on the server side to get that adjusted, so I just ain’t gonna bother myself too much about it right now. Lord knows there’s plenty of other things needing done at this point.

Curiously, the Export archive only includes posts up to mid-December, then stops for some reason. Don’t know why that is; doesn’t really matter, I suppose, since I have pretty much everything archived locally in Ecto, the 3rd-party posting software I’ve been using since it came out. So worse comes to worst, I can just go back and repost the oldies but goodies via Ecto, then adjust the times and dates in the WP admin panel by hand. A pain in the ass, sure, but what about this whole ordeal hasn’t been?

Ye Olde Blogrolle links present another conundrum. Apparently, the WP Export file didn’t include those at all, which near as I can figger means they’re gone for good. In a way that might be considered a good thing, since it’s been a minute since I had time for properly policing them to ward off the link-rot. Looks like I’m just gonna have to start from scratch with those.

I installed a few new plugins for use hereabouts, most of them affecting the comments section: editing, like/dislike, subscribe to, etc. As always, let me know what works for ya, and especially what doesn’t. The right sidebar is going to require updating, since the only backup I had for it was from 2017 or so. Why yes, I HAVE been taught a valuable if painful lesson about doing regular backups of everydamnedthing, why do you ask?

One more thing: with the site having been hacked down for damned near a month during the holidays, donations and subs are running pretty anemic. The site doesn’t bring in a whole lot of cash anyway, but what it does garner me can be make-or-break sometimes, most especially when it comes to covering the perennially-late hosting-service bills. All of which means that if you’ve ever considered tossing a few simoleons over this way to express appreciation for my snarling and snapping here, well, now would be a most excellent time for it.

Hear ye my tale of woe…

Y’all may have noticed another round of the blind staggers going on here at Ye Olde CF websty the last two days. Reason being: I went to change back to the usual theme, locking Scrooge Picard back in his closet for another year, and BOOM! Another of who even knows how many cleverly-concealed Trojan time-bombs blew my poor old hogwallow back into smithereens again. I was up until about 5 AM this morning digging through subdirectories of subdirectories, finding bogus file after bogus file just lying there waiting to be invoked so it could start the whole crash ‘n’ burn cycle all over again. It was damned dismaying. Also infuriating.

So we decided on a real deep-dive, Godzilla-style stomping of the entire site, to include setting up all-new database tables, users, fresh WP re-install, ALL directories removed, etc etc. I’ll be working the next cpl-three days on getting things chugging along smoothly around here; wish me luck, people, ’cause I’m gonna need plenty of it. In the meantime, archives will be screwed, image and links both internal and external will be broken, the site will look kinda retarded, plugins and widgets will be disabled, and such-like. It’s just generally going to be more chaotic than usual in this joint until I get things scoured, disinfected, and rejiggered again. If the posts seem even more surly and bitter than usual, well, you’ll know why.

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Comments appear entirely at the whim of the guy who pays the bills for this site and may be deleted, ridiculed, maliciously edited for purposes of mockery, or otherwise pissed over as he in his capricious fancy sees fit. The CF comments section is pretty free-form and rough and tumble; tolerance level for rowdiness and misbehavior is fairly high here, but is NOT without limit. Management is under no obligation whatever to allow the comments section to be taken over and ruined by trolls, Leftists, and/or other oxygen thieves, and will take any measures deemed necessary to prevent such. Conduct yourself with the merest modicum of decorum, courtesy, and respect and you'll be fine. Pick pointless squabbles with other commenters, fling provocative personal insults, issue threats, or annoy the host (me) and...you won't. Should you find yourself sanctioned after running afoul of the CF comments policy as stated and feel you have been wronged, please download and complete the Butthurt Report form below in quadruplicate; retain one copy for your personal records and send the others to the email address posted in the right sidebar. Please refrain from whining, sniveling, and/or bursting into tears and waving your chubby fists around in frustrated rage, lest you suffer an aneurysm or stroke unnecessarily. Your completed form will be reviewed and your complaint addressed whenever management feels like getting around to it. Thank you.

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