Category Archives: Nightlife

Mercury Machinewerk (Capital Hill/Seattle, WA)

The Merc
Mercury @ Machinewerks * 1009 East Union, Seattle, WA 98122 ~
~ *

One of Seattle’s last strong-holds of the Gothic/Industrial clubbing and music community as a central hangout most famous for such in the Pacific Northwest on the American side, it is a volunteer operated private club down-set underground in the Capital Hill Neighborhood of Seattle. They offer some of the regions best Gothic/Industrial and Electronic music DJs and dancing venue. As a private club, membership is mandatory for attendance, and guests can only visit under sponsorship of a member. To become a member, a visitor must be recommended for membership by a current member in good standing … and has to attend via 3 to 5 signed visits within a 6 month period before a member can sponsor a visitor for membership which costs a mere $10. They essentially have something going on every day, ranging from club nights – smoking and smoke free, themed parties, karaoke, and a oddities market. They have a great dance floor, pool room, and a fully stocked bar specializing in Black Orchids.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Disney California Adventure

Disney’s California Adventure

The Americanized cartoon-famed Adventure Park by Disney is one of my more recent Theme Park tromping grounds I’ve had the pleasure to go to thanks to my brother being Technical Director at Disney and him being able to guest in family and friends. This is a favorite of my son Prince Cian as well. One of my more favorite sections is “It’s a Bug’s Life” where one can imagine themselves shrunken to insect-size walking around the blades of grass based around Disney Pixar’s Film of the same name. The Ant island is pretty cool as well in the Bug’s Life Theater. The Jumpin Jellyfish lets you sour into the sky above Paradise Bay on a jellyfish on a parachute-style ride. The the all time favorite Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure has a music filled adventure in her underwater world. Exploring the land of “Cars” was my son’s favorite where he could race in a race-car through canyonlands and meet Lightning McQueen and Tater the tow truck. Good fun different than Disney across the lot.

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Family time at Disney’s California Adventure (, Los Angeles, California. “A California Adventure” – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken April 8, 2017. To read the adventures, visit To read reviews, visit: All photos and articles (c) 2017 – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Family time at Disney’s California Adventure (, Los Angeles, California. “A California Adventure” – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken April 8, 2017. To read the adventures, visit To read reviews, visit: All photos and articles (c) 2017 – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Continue reading Disney California Adventure

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Glastonbury Backpackers – Crown Hotel

Glastonbury Backpackers at the Crown Hotel
~ 4 Market Pl, Glastonbury, England BA6 9HD, UK +44 1458 833353 ~

Currently Closed. The summer of 2011 I visited this indifferent hostel and stayed a couple of nights. While staff were friendly they were short and seemed too busy to handle guests. The Price however at the time was decent and it fulfilled my needs. I did not completely feel safe there at the time and it may have been a location where my internet use was hacked and one of my credit cards compromised causing much frustration and necessities to save loss of funds.

Within a 16th-century coaching Inn above a local pub called “The Crown”, this was a popular backpacker’s hostel with budget twins, doubles, and dorms – some en suite with male and femal dorms, and six private rooms. Most of the rooms have showers and toilets, others are shared.

It is a popular cheap lodging option for those visiting Glastonbury and quite over-accomodated during festivals and events. The bar below is lively and hosts DJ’s, music, and events. Closed down and proclaimed closed permanently in July 2016. A January 2018 article states it might re-open summer of 2018.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. Visited 8/1/2011. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at

Continue reading Glastonbury Backpackers – Crown Hotel

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Mission Inn (Riverside, CA)

Historic Mission Inn
~ Riverside, California ~

Along Highway 395 and the Riverside Downtown/Street Mall is the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa one of Riverside’s most notable Historic Landmarks. It boasts numerous architectural styles but is considered the largest Mission Revival Style Building in the United States. It is currently owned by Duane and Kelly Roberts. Originally it began as a Adobe style boarding house called the “Glenwood Cottage” built by engineer Christopher Columbus Miller on November 22, 1876. The Hotel was purchased by their son in February 1880 and created a full-service hotel by the early 1900’s taking advantage of the Citrus boom, warm weather, and wealthy travelers coming to the area from the East Coast and Europe. In 1902 it was re-named “Glenwood Mission Inn” and that was when various architectural styles were incorporated into its style based on Miller’s vision for eclectic structure drawn from various revivals, influences, and styles including Spanish Gothic, Mission Revival Style, Moorish Revival, Spanish Colonial Style, Spanish Colonial Revival, Renaissance Revival, and Mediterranean Revival Style. The hotel is complicated and intricately built with narrow passageways, exterior arcades, a medieval style clock, a five story rotunda, patios, windows, castle towers, minareets, a Cloister Wing with catacombs, flying buttresses, Mediterranean domes, and a pedestrian sky bridge. Miller was also a world explorer and over thirty years of ownership brought back treasures from around the world to add into the hotel.

The St. Francis Chapel has four large stained glass windows and two original mosaics created by Louis Comfort Tiffany in 1906 that were salvaged from the Madison Square Presbyterian Church. The “Rayas Altar” is in Mexican Baroque style sitting 25 feet tall x 16 feet width made of cedar and covered in gold leaf. There is a Garden of Bells with over 800 bells from all over the world including one dating to 1247. In 1932 he opened the St. Francis Atrio hosting the “Famous Fliers Walls” commemorating notable aviators including Amelia Earheart. Today it has 151 fliers honored on the wall.

After Frank died in 1935 the Inn was run by his daughter and her husband Allis and Dewitt Hutchings. They died in 1956 and from thence forward saw various ownership changes including some of the rooms converted to apartments and used for dorms at UC Riverside. It was almost purchased from St. John’s College for a western campus but lost the bid when John Gaw Meem donated them land in Santa Fe. It was then acquired by the Carley Capital Group and saw massive renovations in 1985. In December 1992 it was sold to Duane Roberts who completed the renovations and reopened it to the public. Today it offers a hotel, spa, outdoor pool, museum, and fine dining. They now host annually a Festival of lights, Pumpkin stroll, and Ghost walks.

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

To Tip or Not To Tip: That is the question – Tipping

To Tip or Not To Tip – That is the Question of the Day

by Leaf McGowan / Technogypsie Productions

I’ve always been on the border about “tips”, “gratuity”, and “tipping”. I never in my younger years saw it as “required”, “mandatory”, or “expected”. Even when i was a bartender I never expected it nor thought I should get it. After all I was just doing my job and I was paid a fare wage for it. It was nice to get a tip when it happened (and it happened often), i just saw it as a “hey thanks for doing an exceptional job”. Its true I was brainwashed by regulars to recognize them as good tippers and pouring extra liquor or giving them extra attention because I knew they tipped. But I was fair to all. I always saw it as a practice to thank a worker for being extra nice, going out of their way, or high performance. I wouldn’t tip someone who did a poor job. But these days, you’re expected if not required to tip a service worker regardless of doing a good job. The percentages have raised from the normal 10% to 15% to 18% and 20% in some cases. Really? That’s not only obnoxious, but criminal. The criminality of tipping, no tipping, less than minimum wages, etc. didn’t sink in until I became a delivery driver and experienced first hand the angst and stress than a customer who doesn’t tip causes a worker … especially when it affects their livlihood, wear and tear on their vehicle, or when that tip teeters the ability to cover the gas it took to deliver said food.

When my ex-family member became rapid about no tippers as she works in the food industry, it was definitely a flag seeing how hostile she got on the topic. It was definitely a clash between us. I tried to explain to her my thoughts about it, how it was meant as a gift for exceptional service, and that it should never be expected. In fact, many countries find the act offensive and many foreigners don’t do it. She shouldn’t get hostile on a bunch of Germans at her table who don’t tip her. They might not know the American custom or requirement. But she would just get seething angry. It was that seething anger and dishonesty in her persona that made her my ex-family member in the long run.

But she’s no different than many in the service industry – if you don’t tip or are a poor tipper, you can easily become the scum at the bottom of a barrel and seen as a disgusting, unappreciative, vile individual. There are servers and delivery personnel who have been known to create databases recording your details so others can avoid you, or worse yet, target you for pranks, discrimination, or mean revenge. It really is a problem. Some pizza joints have been known to have comments and notes about customers who don’t tip. The common thought is that if you are a bad tipper for any reason other than bad service then you are stealing from the server and are consequently a thief so should be held up to public ridicule. So various staff have made facebook databases, web sites, and public forums “outing” the bad or no tippers, sometimes including their names, addresses, and/or phone numbers obtained from delivery apps, receipts, or credit card slips. Even if there are no physical databases active on the web, darkweb, or a businesses’ computer system … there certainly are mental notes and staff who will remember your face, name, or address and may avoid serving you or giving you proper service. Its always best to be safe and tip – be considerate of the individual who is serving you. There is the Uber Eats drivers forum on “No Tip for Food Delivery? Boycott them.”; (currently down); the Lousy Tipper database; NFIB – Should you publically shame a bad tipper?; Shitty Tipper Database; (currently down);; the Shitty shitty tipper database; Bad Tippers Suck; and Bitter Waittress.

Then there is the facts that suggest tipping was born out of racism. Should you not tip because it was originally a racist act? Certainly not – because you’re not hurting the industry that is the wrong-doer, you are hurting the server/driver/staff that is struggling on less than minimum wages their employer are giving them with expectation that your tips will make up the additional missing income. This is detrimental to those workers and really damages their livelihoods, especially in America and the tourism industry. Unfair? certainly. The only way this can change is to attack the industry and get companies to pay their employees proper fair wages.

So what exactly is a tip? or gratuity? Gratuity is another term for “tip” which is a certain amount of money that someone “gifts” to another for excellent service. It is additional funds above and beyond the fees or pricing for a item, service, and/or food. It has become a custom in many of the world’s countries. In some places its simply just the extra change to round up to the nearest dollar amount, other times it is a sizable sum often left on the table to thank the server and/or staff. The amounts that people give varies from country to country, and in some countries it is considered insulting. Other countries discourage it. Some countries require it. Originally it became 10%, and more recently has increased to 15-20% of the bill’s total. Some employees are prohibited from tipping if paying for food or services on government payments – government workers in some areas would break the law if they tipped. Unfortunately the practice has become an important part of the income for various service workers like servers, bartenders, delivery drivers, uber/lyft/taxi drivers – and failing to tip the can be a detrimental effect on their livelihood. This is very common in North America. Some restaurants will automatically add a service charge/tip on the bill especially when there is a large party at a restaurant.

In most places, it is illegal for government workers to not only give tips, but to receive them as it can be seen as bribery. For companies that promote tipping such as restaurants, the owners see the act of “tipping” as a incentive for greater work effort. Some abuse the custom by paying lower wages to their employees expecting the tips to make up for the difference. This is where the process has become criminal and abusive of the lower class in the United States. It is in this regard that tipping expected or not, is actually quite arbitrary and discriminatory, adversely affecting livelihoods and lives. It has been proven that amounts of tips can vary based on age, sex, race, hair color, breast size, color of skin, and appearance rather than quality of service.

The etymology for “tipping” and “gratuity” dates to the 1520’s from “graciousness” or the French “gratuite” in the 14th century. The Medieval Latin “gratuitas” or “free gift” or “money given for favor or services”. The practice appears to have begun around 1600 C.E. and was meant as a “small present of money”. It was first attested in 1706 according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. It was first practiced in Tudor England. By the 17th century it was expected that overnight guests in private homes should provide sums of money called “vails” to the host’s servants. This spread to customers tipping in London coffeehouses and commercial establishments. London in the 1890’s also had “crossing sweepers” who cleared the way in the roads for rich people to cross so that they wouldn’t diry their clothes, and they were tipped for this action.

Etymological differences in various languages can also translate the terminology to “drink money” such as “pourboire” in French, “trinkgeld” in German, “drikkepenge” in Danish, and “napiwek” in Polish coming from the custom of inviting a servant to drink a glass in honor of the guest and paying for it to show the guests generosity amongst one another.

Customs in varous Countries:

Africa/Nigeria: not common at upscale hotels and restaurants because the service charge is usually included in the bill although the employees don’t usually get any of it … this has been changing as establishments have begun to coerce customers to tip in the Western world manner even to the manner that there have been reports of security guards asking bank patrons for tips.

Asia: China – there is no tipping. Some hotels that serve foreign tourists will allow it, especially tour guides and drivers. Hong Kong – tipping is not expected at hotels or restaurants because a service charge of 10% is already added to the bill, but taxi drivers sometimes charge the difference between a fare and round sum as a courtesy fee so as not to make change for larger bills. Japan – tipping is very discouraged and seen as an insult (unless masked in an envelope). It also has created confusion. Indonesia – common in large touristy areas like Bali or Lombok where there are a lot of Western visitors. 10% is expected at full-service restaurants, and bar tipping is discretionary depending on the style of the bar. Pubs don’t expect tips, restaurants 10-15%, massage parlors 10-20%, taxi drivers 5%, bellboys $1 a bag. Malaysia – tipping is not expected, restaurants often add a 10% service charge, and if tips are left it is accepted and appreciated, but often is just rounding up. South Korea – not customary nor expected and can be seen as inappropriate behavior. Hotels and restaurants often add on a 10-15% service charge already embedded into the bill. Singapore – not practiced and rarely expected, though bars, restaurants, and some other establishments add in a 10% service charge compounded with the 7% goods and services tax – the staff rarely receive any of this. Taiwan – Not customary but all mid-high end restaurants and hotels have a mandatory 10% service charge which is not given to staff and made out as revenue to the business.

Europe: Tipping started in the United Kingdom and spread throughout, but not all parts of Europe accept it, some will be offended by it. Albania – It is expected everywhere and performance will vary based on requests for tips. Tips of 10% of the bill is customary in restaurants, and while porters, guides, and chauffeurs expect tips – duty-free alcohol is usually the best tip for porters and bellhops, but others may find it offensive (such as Muslims). Croatia – tips are sometimes expected in restaurants, but not mandatory and are often 3-5% of the bill. Clubs and cafe its common to round up the bill and its not common for taxi drivers or hairdressers. Denmark – “drikkepenge” or “drinking money” is not required since service charges must always be included in the bill according to law. Tipping for outstanding services is a matter of choice and never expected. Finland – not customary or expected. France – not required but what you see on the menu is what you are charged for. The French pay their staff a livable wage and do not depend on tips. Some cafe’s and restaurants will include a 15% service charge in the bill as french law for tax assessment requires. “service compris” is a flag that the tip has already been added to the bill but the staff may not get any of it. Tourist places are unofficially accustomed to getting tips. In smaller restaurants or rural areas, tips can be treated with disdain. Amounts of the tip are critical sometimes, such as at least a 5% for good service, and unless tips are given in cash, most of the time the staff won’t receive them if on credit card. Austria/Germany: Coat check staff usually tipped but tipping aka “trinkgeld” is not obligatory. In debates about minimum wage, some people disapprove of tipping and say that it shouldn’t substitue for living wages. It is however seen as good manners in Germany for good services. Germany prohibits to charge a service fee though without the customer’s consent. Tips range from 5-10% depending on the service. While Germans usually tip their waiters almost never the cashiers at big supermarkets. The more personal the service, more common to tip. There are often tipping boxes instead of tipping the person, and rounding up the bill is the most common practice as “stimmt” for keep the change. Tips are considered income in Germany but are tax free. Hungary – “borravalo” or “money for wine” is the tipping there and is commonplace based on type of service received, rounding up the price is most commonplace. Various situations will vary with tipping as either expected, optional, or unusual since almost all bills have service charges included. In Iceland, it is not customary and never expected except with tourist guides who encourage the practice. Ireland – tips are left by leaving small change (5-10%) at the table or rounding up the bill, and very uncommon for them to tip drivers or cleaning staff – it is the tradition thanks for high quality service or a kind gesture. In Italy – tips are only for special services or thanks for high quality service, but is very uncommon and not customary, though all restaurants have a service charge but are required to inform you of said added charges. Norway – service charges are added to the bill so tipping is less common and not expected. If done its by leaving small change 5-15% at the table or rounding up the bill. The Netherlands – it is not obligatory and is illegal and rare to charge service fees without customer’s consent. Sometimes restaurants, bars, taxis, and hotels will make it sound like tipping is required but it is not. Excellent service sometimes sees a 5-15% tip as in 1970 regulations were adopted that all indicated prices must include the service charge and so all prices saw a 15% raise back then so that employees were not dependent on tips. Romania – Tipping is close to bribing in some instances where it is used to achieve a favor such as reservations or getting better seats. tipping is overlooked often and rounding up can be seen as a rude gesture if including coins, otherwise one should use paper currency. Russia – its called “chayeviye” which means “for the tea” and tipping small amounts to service people was common before the Communist Revolution of 1917, then it became discouraged and considered an offensive capitalist tradition aimed at belittling or lower the status of the working class and this lasted until the 1990’s but once the Iron Curtain fell a influx of foreign tourists came it and it has seen a comeback. Slovenia – most locals do not tip other than to round to nearest Euro and the practice is uncommon. Tourist areas have accepted tips of 10-20%. Spain – while not mandatory it is common for excellent services. Tips in the food industry depend on the restaurant and if upscale, small bars and restaurants the small change is left on their plate after paying the bill. Taxi drivers, hairdressers, and hotel staff may expect tips in upscale environments. Sweden – tipping is not expected, but practiced for high quality service as kind gestures, but often is small change on the table or rounding up the bill mainly at restaurants and taxis. Hairdressers aren’t commonly tipped. Tips are taxed in Sweden but cash tips often are not declared. Turkey – “bahsis” or tipping is optional and not customary. 5-10% is appreciated in restaurants and usually by leaving the change. Drivers don’t expect tips although passengers often round up and small change to porters or bellboys. United Kingdom: England/Scotland – customary when served at a table in restaurants, but not cafes or pubs where payment made at the counter often between 10-15%, most commonly 10% rounded up. Golfers tip their caddies. Larger cities may have a service charge included in the bill or added separately commonly at 12.5%. Service charges are only compulsory if displayed before payment and dining, and if bad service, customer can refuse to pay any portion (or all) of said service charge.

North America:
Canada – similar to the United States, tipping is common, expected, and in some cases required. Quebec provides alternate minimum wage for all tipped employees, other provinces do so for bartenders. Servers tend to share their tips with other restaurant employees called “tipping out” or a “tip pool”. Ontario made a law in 2015 to ban employers from taking cuts of tips that are meant for servers and other staff as that became a bad problem until recently. Tips are seen as income and staff must report the income to the Canada Revenue Agency to pay their taxes on it. Caribbean – the practices vary from island to island, such as the Dominican Repulbic adds a 10% gratuity on bills in restaurants and its still customary to tip an extra 10%, St Barths it is expected tips to be 10-15% if gratuity isn’t already included in the bill, and most of the islands expect tips due to being used to it with tourists from the mainland. Mexico – In small restaurants most workers don’t expect tips as the custom is usually only takes place in medium or larger high end restaurants, and when it happens roughly 10-15% not less nor more as a voluntary offering for the good services received on total bill before tax is added (VAT – value added tax). Sometimes VAT is already included in menu pricing. Standard tip in Mexico is 11.5% of the pre-tax bill or 10%. Sometimes tips are added to the bill without the customer’s consent even though its against the law especially bars, night clubs, and restaurants. If this service charge is added it is violation of Article 10 of the Mexican Federal Law of the Consumer and Mexican authorities recommend that patrons require the management to refund or deduct this from the bill. United states – Tipping is a strong social custom and while by definition voluntary at the discretion of the customer, has become mandatory in some instances and/or required, very commonly expected. If being served at a table, a tip of 15-20% of the customer’s check is customary when good service provided, in buffets where they only bring beverages to the table, 10% is customary. Higher tips are often commonly given for excellent service, and lower ones for mediocre service. Tips may be refused if rude or bad service is given and the manager is usually notified. Tipping is common for hairdressers, golf courses, casinos, hotels, spas, salons, bartenders, baristas, food delivery, drivers, taxis, weddings, special events, and concierge services. Fair Labor Standards Act defines tippable employees as those who receive tips of more than $30/month and federal law permits employers to include tips as part of a employee’s hourly wage or minimum wage. Federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13/hour as authorities believe they will make up the difference in tips. The federal minimum wage is still only $7.25/hour. 18 of the 50 states still pay tipped workers the 2.13/hour. 25 states as well as the District of Columbia have their own slightly higher tipped minimums, while the remaining states guarantee state based minimum wage for all workers. Some states have increased this such as Alaska, California, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Guam require that employees be paid full minimum wage of the state they are working in. Tip pools are used as well but the employer is not allowed to take any, nor any employees who do not customarily receive tips such as the dishwashers, cooks, chefs, and janitors. The average tip in America today is 15-16% with tipping commonly expected regardless of how good service was provided. A few restaurants and businesses in Amrica have adopted a no-tipping model to fight back, but many of these returned to tipping due to loss of employees to competitors. Service charges are often added when there is a large party dining and to catering, banquet, or delivery jobs. This is not to be confused with tips or gratuity in the U.S. which is optional and discretionary to the customer. Some bars have started to include service charges as well – but including these require disclosure to the customer. Until the early 20th century, Americans saw tipping as inconsistent with the values of an democratic egalitarian society, earlier business owners thought of tips as customers attempting to bribe employees to do something that wasn’t customary such as getting larger portions of food, better sittings, reservations, and/or more alcohol in their drinks. After Prohibition in 1919 alot of revenue was lost from no longer selling alcoholic beverages, so financial pressure caused food establishment owners to welcome tips and gradually evolve to expecting them. Tipping never evolved from a server’s low wages because back in the day before tipping was institutionalized, servers were fairly well paid. As tipping evolved to become expected and mandatory servers were paid less. Six states (mainly in the south) however passed laws making tipping illegal though enforcement was difficult, the earliest of which was passed in 1909 within the state of Washington. The last of these laws were repealed in 1926 in Mississippi. These states felt that “the original workers that were not paid anything by their employers were newly freed slaves” and “this whole concept of not paying them anything and letting them live on tips carried over from slavery” (according to Wikipedia article). Tips are considered income and the entire tip amount is considered earned wages except for months wehere tip totals were under $20. The employee must pay 100% of payroll tax on tip income and tips are excluded from worker’s compensation premiums in most states. This sometimes discourages no-tip policies because employers would pay 7.65% additional payroll taxes and up to 9% workers compensation premiums on higher wages in lieu of tips. Tax evasion on tips is very common and a big concern of the IRS. While tips are allowable expenses for federal employees during travel, U.S. law prohibts employees from receiving tips. Tip pooling is also illegal if pooling employees are paid at least the federal minimum wage and don’t customarily receive tips, but was repealed in 2018 so workers have more rights to sue their employers for stolen tips.

South America: Bolivia – Most restaurants have service charges included in the bill, but tips of 5% or more are sometimes given to be polite to the worker. Paraguay – Tipping is not a common part of the culture, there are often service charges included in the bill.

Oceania: Australia – Tipping is not part of Australian customs, so it is not expected or required. Minimum wages in Australia has an annual review adapted for standards of living. Many still round up the amount owed to indicate they were happy with the service as “keep the change”. There is no tradition of tipping someone who is just providing a service like a bellboy, hairstylist, or guide. Casinos in Australia prohibit tipping of gaming staff so its not considered bribery. New Zealand – like Australia, does not possess the tradition though it has become less uncommon in recent years especially with fine establishments and influx of tourism, or American tipping culture. It is expected that employers pay their staff fairly and that minimum wage is raised regularly based on costs of living. The only real tipping is for far and above normal service.

The varying degrees of gratuity around the world causes much problems internationally, as American tourists may continue to tip when travelling to countries where it is not custom, thereby setting precedent that evolves into expectation of Americans travelling abroad. Likewise, tourists from countries that find tipping rude or non-customary, may not tip when in the U.S. and infuriating staff that expect and/or depend upon it. Some Americans have been known to become aggressive, rude, and vindictive when they don’t get tipped and they may not realize the non-tipper is a foreigner who comes from a culture that doesn’t tip. The key is to know the culture you are travelling in. There is a high level of discrimination embedded into tipping culture, and many think the custom should be banned. According to Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt’s Freakonomics blog “Should Tipping be Banned?” they point out from Michael Lynn’s research that “attractive waitresses get better tips then less attractive ones. Men’s appearances, not so important.” “blondes get better tips than brunettes, slender women get better tips then heavier woen, larger breasted women get better tips than smaller breasted ones.” Hooters, an American chain has monopolized on looks for their waitresses and get away with discriminating upon those who don’t fit the look, and therefore the tip. Many will flaunt wealth by distributing big tips, and others do it to demean the worker to make them feel beneath them. After the abolishment of slavery, restaurants and rail operators embraced tipping as a way of getting free labor – hiring newly freed slaves to work for tips alone.

The newest industry being affected by tipping is delivery drivers who get paid $3.25 or lower for a delivery, don’t get paid to wait around for orders, sometimes are given some fees for mileage, but not wear and tear, nor reimbursement for the highly increasing cost of gas. So not only is a drivers time affected when someone doesn’t tip, but their vehicle, cost of gas, and expenses. As a delivery driver, I have gone on deliveries where what i received from a non-tipper and the company didn’t even cover the gas to get to their place and back. Remember that when considering if you should tip or not.


  • Oatman, Maddie 2016 “The Racist, Twisted History of Tipping: Gratuities were once an excuse to shortchange black people. In fact, they still are.” Mother Jones News. website visited at on 7/17/18.

  • Wikipedia 2013 “Tipping”. Website referenced at on 7/17/18.

  • Video: The Racist History of Tipping :

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

16th Street Mall (Denver, Colorado)

Wandering the 16th Street Mall (

16th Street Mall
16th street, Denver, Colorado

The iconic “Main Street” that most think of when thinking of the center of Denver. This foot traffic and shuttle bus strip dotted by upscale stores, chain restaurants, and entertainment avenues is one of the hotspots for tourism to Denver. It is a central drop off location for those staying downtown. It offers a lot of activities for its patrons and visitors. It is a central location for entertainment, festivals, fairs, shows, events, flash mobs, street performances, and zombie crawls. It boasts a free transit mall ride or shuttle bus called the Free MallRide. I’ve had many memories of this place from the Denver Freeze to the Denver Zombie Crawls, to late night and daytime activities. During the summer, the center strip was dotted with free pianos to play, lounge chairs, games, chess, bean bags, rolling chairs, and local performances. ~ Leaf McGowan. Visited 8/5/17 – 5 stars out of 5

The tree-lined pedestrian and transit mall runs approximately 125 miles across downtown Denver from Wewatta Street at the historic Union Square to the Civic Center Station at 16th and Broadway. There are over 300 stores dotted along the corridor ranging from chains to locally owned shops. As costs become over the top, more chains have replaced local businesses through time. There are over 50 restaurants and the Denver Pavillions Mall. The Mall opened in 1982 as a pedestrian strip running from Market Street to Broadway but has since expanded to Wynkoop Street in 2001 and to Union Station in 2002. It was designed by Pei Cobb Freed and Partners.

Directory of Services: Please visit web site linked above. As we review various places and events, they will be linked here in the near future.


Past Events:

  • Denver Freeze Flash Mob
  • Denver Zombie Crawls: 1st Annual, 3rd annual

      Wandering the 16th Street Mall (, Denver, Colorado. Scenes from the Streets. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit To read reviews, visit: All photos and articles (c) 2017 – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

      Continue reading 16th Street Mall (Denver, Colorado)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Denver SantaCon 2016

Denver SantaCon 2016

Denver SantaCon 2016
~ Begin Union Station to Black Shirt brewery via Rail to Thirsty Lion to La Boheme to Wazee Supper Club, Denver, Colorado ~

Story coming soon …

Denver SantaCon 2016 ( – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 23, 2016. To read the adventures, visit To read reviews, visit: All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Inn of the Mountain Gods, near Ruidoso, New Mexico


Inn of the Mountain Gods
* Mescalero Indian Reservation near Ruidoso, New Mexico * *

Fond childhood memories of this resort as it was a place that my mom and dad took us to often when we were children. I supposed when dad wanted to go skiing, gamble, or golf was when we lodged here before he built a cabin in Ruidoso. It is highlighted as one of New Mexico’s premier mountain resorts. It is located just outside of Ruidoso, New Mexico near Mescalero and harnesses picturesque mountain surroundings, views, and clean mountain air, snow capped mountains, lake and championship golf course. They boast easy access to the Ski Apache Sierra Blanca ski resort, a golf course, and a scenic lake. The prices were good and discounted when we arrived, and we even stayed a 2nd night as they offered it half-price of the discounted rate as was. We however were surprised of a $12 resort fee they snuck on the bill. The lobby is large, warm with fireplaces, and modern Native American art displayed. (it does lack history) A very modern lodge and casino, with 273 luxury rooms and suites, with all you can eat buffets. They offer 40,000 square feet of meeting spaces, a 38,000 square foot casino, non-smoking poker room with 9 tables for play, a indoor pool, large hot tub spa, gym, gift shop, Starbucks kiosk, discounts and shuttles to the skiing and snowboarding sites, an 18 hole championship golf course, big game hunting, skeet shooting, horseback riding, fishing, and gondola rides. It is owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache tribe. Kid friendly. We certainly had more fond memories of the resort as kids, but found it comfortable and a pleasant stay. Visited 11/19/13-11/21/13 – Rated: 4 stars out of 5.


Continue reading Inn of the Mountain Gods, near Ruidoso, New Mexico

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Dracula Experience, Whitby, England

Dracula Experience
Dracula Experience

The Dracula Experience
* 9 Marine Parade North Yorkshire, Whitby YO21 1EA, United Kingdom * 01947 601 923 *

How could one come to Whitby? the home of Bram Stoker, without thinking about peeking one’s curious head into the “Dracula Experience”. Well, bother not. It’s a chain horror shop that can be found throughout the UK. Very cheesy, kitch, and boring. Of course i did his when no live actors were running around, so I got in for only a few pounds. Still, i can’t imagine the live actors justifying the price they are asking. It was a quick walkthrough. They do attempt the tale of Dracula in this creepy town with its famous Gothic abbey with animated scenes, electronic special effects, and live actors. Not impressed. 1 star out of 5.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Holidays

* April 23, 2011 Concert @ The Transit Bar * Downtown Canberra * ACT * Australia *

While exploring downtown Canberra, I popped into the Transit Bar, underneath where I was staying in the Canberra Hostelling International for a night out downtown. The Holidays, a local Australian band, was just returning from their first ever tour of the United States. Set to go on stage by 8 pm, they had a bit of a late start but rocked the house with some great Indie, Pop, Alternative tunes. They were kicking off their Seven Million Mornings national headline tour beginning with this gig, moving on to Melbourne, then around Australia, and on to Europe. Opening for them were their guest Gold Fields. Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pretty Vacant Club, Dusseldorf, Germany

The Pretty Vacant

The Pretty Vacant Club * Mertensgasse 8 * D-40213 Dsseldorf * Open 8 til late (5 am) *
Saturday nights: The Sound’s of Swingin’ London.

A great little hole-in-the-wall club and bar in the heart of the old town district of Dusseldorf. Around 10 pm, this little bar becomes infested with the Brit-pop crowd of Dusseldorf piling down into the bricked basement for a crunchy sardine-packed dance night to some of the cities best post-punk, brit pop, UK indie, and electropop. Fabulous time. The music was great and the drinks were good. Service was great as well. Spinning great tunes by the DJ’s: 1. sa: POPMISSILE F1-11; 2. sa: POP GOES MY LOVE; 3-4. sa: FISH’N’CHIPS. For any Brit Pop / Post Punk junkie … this is the place to be in Dusseldorf. Excellent! Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Kas Bah, Dusseldorf, Germany

Kas Bah

Kas Bah * Rheinort 2 * 40213 Dsseldorf, DE * Telefon: 0211 / 8693888 * .ffnungszeiten: Mo – Do, 12:00 – 01:00 Uhr; Fr – Sa, 12:00 – open end; So, 12:00 – 01:00 Uhr; .Happy Hour: Mo – So: 17:00 – 20:00 Uhr *

A great little Morroccon cafe in the heart of old town Dusseldorf. My visit to this decent-sized place was with some local friends I was visited as we were looking for a quiet place to chat and catch up before making a night out on the town. Some of the cities finest cocktails, desserts, and bar-time snacks can be found here. An incredible ambience, hospitable staff, and a great place to hang out while visiting this famous city. A must visit location. While I can’t comment on the food as the only item I personally ordered was the hot chocolate with a shot a bailey’s Irish cream, I’ve been told the menu items here are fabulous. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

DC’s 11th annual Goth Prom

Thursday, 22 May 2008
Washington, D.C.

11th annual D.C. Goth Prom “Under a Milky Way” * Town Danceboutique * 2009 8th Strett NW | Washington, DC 20009 *

11th Annual Goth Prom, Washington, D.C. 5/22/08

After the National Geographic Live and private reception, I headed over to my ‘first’, while DC’s 11th, Goth Prom which is apparently the longest running Goth Prom in the United States. They even had a Prom King and Queen contest. Prior to this event, I was under the impression that DC really didn’t have a sizeable Goth community (based on last two years fly-ins to D.C. and checking out the scene) but I have to say, after this event – the population exists and the support for the night appeared to be pretty phenomenal. I might have to add this one to my annual calendar of events I go out of my way to attend (of course given time off work and funds). This year it was held at the Town Dancboutique, a two floored club with large levels and plenty of room to dance and move about. The event was $15 advanced tickets or $20 at the door, and that didn’t stop the place from filling up. A wide assortment of DJ’s were spinning on both floors – such as Scary Lady Sarah (Berlin, Chicago – Nocturna); DJ Spider (Charlotte, NC); Kelowna (Toronto-XM Satellite, chiarOscuro DC); Liebchen (DC Midnight, XUBERX); 2501 (Chronos DC, Alchemy DC); Dirty B; Shade (Spellbound DC, Alchemy DC); variety acts such as Cheeky Monkey slideshow performing her Amazing Trinket and MabJustMab acts (including glass walking); bellydancing and gothic tribal upstairs including Cerastes (tribal/industrial dance), Romka (tribal fusion bellydance), and others. Vendors ranged from custom made prom corsages and boutonnieres by Lost Moth; to custom art pieces by Arty4ever, wire jewelry by Eleanor Justice, horror kitsch illustrations and paintings by Frozen Charlotte, clothing and accessories by Dry Tear, Creepy home decor by Morbid Decor, Kilts by The Kilted Nation, custom latex/rubber clothing by Slyx, John Holmes of Bloodrose Industries fashion photography, custom hats and accessories by Peacock Blue, handmade beaded jewelry by Camille DeWalder, and custom t-shirt dsigns by Mind Jacket Designs. The music, talent, decor, acts, and performances were incredible. Drinks a bit higher end priced. Excellent job Lori Beth and all who put this on!!! Plus it was excellent to see my new friends from earlier this year Sarah and Alex who as usual, made me feel right at home as if I lived in D.C. Thank you. Goth prom are slowly putting up pictures in their Gallery here. Rating 5 stars out of 5. Visited 5/22/2008.

* apologies for the lack of quality of pictures for this evening. These were taken from my cell phone camera (no flash) as my camera was out of commission for the evening.

Continue reading DC’s 11th annual Goth Prom

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Chrome: Transit Bar, Canberra, Australia

Chrome Goth Night
* Transit Bar * * 7 AKUNA ST *
Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * P 02 6162 0899 * * ?

Eager for some darksome and divine music, I hunted out what could lie beneath the underground of Australia’s capital city … Canberra. A Google search provided promising tales of “Chrome” but came to realize upon arriving it’s night at the “Holy Grail” had vanished without a trace. Knowing that echoes of chatter that it was still located near the corners of Akuna and Bunda streets, we discovered it moved down the street to the infamous underground club … the Transit Bar, located underneath the Canberra YHA. From 9 pm until 5 am, Canberra’s only goth night raises the dead with their EBM, Industrial and dark elektro tunes with some goth on monday nights (instead of the previous saturdays). Video projections, laser lights, and good music was had. Oddly though, the bar was still quite normal with their casually dressed local bar patrons, but up towards the stage in the dance floor were alitter with some finely costumed gothy and cyber dressed dancers. Coming from North America and Germany goth clubs where everyone usually dresses up in their finest black garments, it was a little difficult getting used to the mix of color and normality into this cache of a music club treasure grove one is used to finding when searching for it in most cities. Oddly though, the music was not so industrial and gothic, but more darksome Burning Man raver music. Enjoyed none-the-less and eye candy galore, me and my host had a splendid time. Realizing the night has setup shop in this new location from their fabled old locale, not 100% sure if the night is still happening at the transit bar … could be completely “transit”-ional. Rating: 2.3 stars out of 5. ~ Leaf McGowan, April 25, 2011.

For more photos, tales, and information: Continue reading Chrome: Transit Bar, Canberra, Australia

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Phoenix Flea Market (Canberra, Australia)

The Phoenix Flea Market
* Phoenix * 21 East Row * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * * 2601 * (02) 6247 1606 * *

The Irish ultra-cool hip hangout in Canberra, Australia known as the “Phoenix” celebrates its connection with the arts and alternative culture by hosting a sunday Flea Market where vendors can come and sell their art, creations, wares, used goods, and treasures. Its a definite trendy move for alternative bars and establishments today to have a market once in a while, monthly, or even weekly. I’ve become a great fan of these moves by venues as I think it is an extroadinary motion on their behalf – supporting the arts, community, local culture, alternative subcultures, and home based merchants. I feel the Phoenix has a great potential with their market and idea. During our participation in the market, unfortunately due to a bus strike during Easter sunday weekend, we were the only participating vendors and clientele was at a minimum. We still had a blast, good time socializing, and face painting. Visited 4/24/2011. Reviewed 11/15/2011 by Leaf McGowan,

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Phoenix, Canberra

The Phoenix
* 21 East Row * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * 2601 * (02) 6247 1606 * *

Although this amazing Irish Pub is one of the few bars/pubs I visited while in Canberra, it is by far my favorite. Introduced to me by Sir Bluey, the place was like home to me when I wandered Canberra on my own, and while hanging with Bluey in downtown Canberra. The Phoenix has been serving Canberra for over 16 years and undoubtedly has the best pints in town, a great festive atmosphere, and a unique decorated environment. It has a very home-like hang-out feel and charm, with real character and art within its dark interior and welcoming couches, chairs, sofas, and tables to relax at. Unlike many Irish pubs, the Phoenix doesn’t buy into the plastic leprechauns and tacky green icons that so many do, it has its own style and decor with odd antiques, mysterious art, and historic wooden furniture. They have a wide selection of beers and ciders, from foreign to local brews, including Kilkenny, Guinness, Magners, and Murphys as well as a stocked bar. They also host quite a few bands and local entertainment. They have stand-up nights called “Bootleg Night” and on various sundays, have a arts and crafts market. What a wonderful pub! Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 4/21/11, 4/22/11, 4/23/11.

Continue reading The Phoenix, Canberra

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Brethrencon 2010

Brethrencon 2010 ~ A Pirate’s Life For Me!
* Denver Airport Marriott * 16455 E. 40th Circle * Aurora / Denver, Colorado * * Phone: 720-841-8959 * Email: *

A first ever Pirate Conference in the Rocky Mountains’ Metropolis “Denver, Colorado”. Hosted at the Airport Marriott in the suburb of Aurora, pirates and scallywag’ns gathered together for debauchery, mischief, merrymaking, networking, and frolick on Saturday, 18th of September, 2010. $25 pre-sale, and $30 at the door gave the guests a myriad array of vendors, merchants, workshops, and panels to select from such as “Dragon Lair’s Armory”, “Southwest Enterprises”, “Marty Melville the Author”, “Katie and Ally”, the Masseur Miguel Alchandro, Charicture by Rigel, “Most Things Fantasy”, “Odd Child Underground”, “Cabachon and Peranic Kitty”, our own “ Leaves Oracle/Pirate Relief, Ghost Cat Designs, and R.J. Whetstone Images. Workshops varied from Jasper’s Foul Tongue, Medicine and Health During the Golden Age of Piracy, Midnight Omen Deja Vu, Period Pirate Games, Pirate Insult Fight, Pirate Myths, Pirate Relief, Salamagundi Grog and Other Piratical Vituals Yearrghh!, Talk Like a Pirate, Voodoo 101, 17th Century Clothing for Lady Pirates, A Clean Pirate is a Sissy Pirate, A Crew Full of Jacks, A Shanty Sing, and Zombie Self Defense. Pirates vs. Zombies attack battle and dancing / drinking to the merriment of Pandora Celtica, DJ BilgeMunkey, Mondragon, and The Widow’s Bane. Hosted by the infamous Sunken Bones Society for their celebration of international “Talk Like A Pirate Day” and as an evolution of their 4th annual Buccaneer Bash. Games, contests, Liar’s Dice Tournaments, never ending Pirate flicks upstairs, a snack room, chill space, and many exciting panels were had. Rum Runners, Breakfast Buffet, The Tavern, and a Dinner were served and setup. Donation proceeds were sent to the New Orlean’s Foundations’ “Gulf Coast Oil Spill Cleanup” to assist in cleaning up and restoring the sea coastal environments affected by this year’s tragedy. After Hours hotel room parties kept the activities rocking throughout the night. For a “first” time convention for this crew, it was well done, especially for a “con” or “convention”. Fun was had by all. Get amped up for next year’s bigger and badder convention “Brethren Con II: September 17-18, 2011“.

Continue reading Brethrencon 2010

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Tree Leaves Oracle & Folk Fellowship

The Tree Leaves’ Oracle and Folk Fellowship
* * 1991 – Present * Livejournal Community * Facebook Group *

Founded in 1991 as an underground Neo-Pagan newsletter, evolving into an arts and crafts wandering business, “Tree Leaves” eventually mutated into a cooperative / collective of folk enthusiasts, folklorists, artists, musicians, religionists, and culturalists who seek to preserve folk and tree lore, culture, ways, religion, art, music, and beliefs. As a cooperative, members network together, share ideas, theories, concepts, art, techniques, and lore to help one another preserve traditions, knowledge, and beliefs that have been generated in the past, present, and future. Tree Leaves sprouted from an entity known as “The Tree Leaves’ Oracle”. (The Tree Leaves’ Oracle started as a community newsletter and grew into a journal. It became an organization, a store, a company, and was reduced back to a journal offered by the Folk Fellowship to it’s membership. From 2007-2008 it became a faerie and art store in historic Manitou Springs, Colorado.)

When “The Tree Leaves’ Oracle” started out as a Tallahassee Florida publication in 1991 it very quickly shifted into a nomadic arts/crafts/oils/ and herbal sachets nomadic peddling business founded at the Saturday Market in Eugene, Oregon that same year. In 1993 a not-for-profit special-interest group was formed for the study of folklore and the offering of folk artist networking as a avenue for drum circles, talent shows, classes, and discussion groups. This special-interest group became known as “The Tree Leaves’ Folk Fellowship”. Tree Leaves soon took off on it’s own and escaped the financial support of “The Tree Leaves’ Oracle”. In fact, as the “The Tree Leaves Oracle, Inc.” collapsed as a corporation, the Folk Fellowship was still holding activities and networking several hundred enthusiasts of folk culture (and a membership base of a couple hundred). The Tree Leaves Folk Fellowship was officially born and founded as a separate entity in November of 1995 with conceptual activities sprouting in 1994. Through membership dues and support, the fellowship offered it’s collective a bi-annual journal called The “Tree Leaves’ Oracle”, a quarterly newsletter known as “Tree Talk”, an annual membership directory, a web site, and a board of Directors and volunteers who actively organized activities, events, and question/answer support for those seeking answers about folk culture. Because of difficulties with volunteer support, The Tree Leaves’ Folk Fellowship closed it’s person-to-person activities and community support on September 1st of 1998. By October 1, 1998 Tree Leaves had mutated into a internet organization that operated on a strictly cyber-basis. (although Tree Leaves’ Folk Fellowship forest groups still held activities in their local areas) The official organization stopped holding events, printing paper publications, and no longer offered telephone or person-to-person guidance & support. After careful consideration of the expenses involved in becoming a non-profit tax-exempt organization, Tree Leaves decided to remain not-for-profit and allow other organizations to donate support and funding for it’s operation and existence. The journal, website and former newsletters were shortly made available for free online. Their folk journal is sporadically still published online for free viewing by anyone with internet access. From 1998 to 2000, Tree Leaves was adopted by the research and design firm known as “Leafworks, Inc.” (a company now defunct). From the death of Leafworks, Tree Leaves operated under the wings of Wandering Leaf Designs. Reproduction of all cyber published materials was available for a nominal printing or reproduction cost through copyright held by Wandering Leaf, LLC. (now defunct)

Continue reading The Tree Leaves Oracle & Folk Fellowship

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Chronicles: 9/4/10: Saturday at the Burn

Saturday at the Burn 2010:
Bodypainting, Dust Storms, Art, Music

Saturday, 4 September 2010
* Burning Man, Black Rock City, Nevada, United States of America *

Awakening with a bit of a hangover, Sir Thomas Leaf set out to open up the Tree Leaves Body Painting Station before setting out for his day. He wandered over to Dr. Mangor’s camp to catch up with his brother and to take a ride-a-bout on to the playa to visit the various art objects. Sir Thomas Leaf and Dr. Mangor spent some time admiring the amazing “Bliss Dance” sculpture. A triple “WOW” Sir Thomas Leaf had echoing through his mind. Dust storms were pretty heavy most of the afternoon. The dust mask and goggles were definitely a required clothing accessory for the day for the duo of mischief makers. An over-indulge of pyschedelic cream soft serve all-you-can-eat ice cream station satisfied the after effects of the dust and sun. More bodypainting ensued for the day for Sir Thomas Leaf, and a late afternoon/early evening tribute ceremony for the passing of Isaac Bonewits with some fellows druids at the Temple of Flux. The ceremony was quite lovely and a send-off to a great man to the Otherworld. Wine and liquor was the focus of the evening as the motley crew prepared for the night of the Burning of the Man. The Burn was spectacular as was the fire spinning performances and fireworks. Afterwards, the crazy duo headed off to a pirate vessel to dance and party atop the rig’s net-pile. Sir Thomas Leaf was a dancing desert faerie all night long stuck in a never ending loop of elecronic trance music. Good times were had by all.

Photos and videos below the cut:

Continue reading Chronicles: 9/4/10: Saturday at the Burn

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Thunderdome @ Burning Man 2010

Thunderdome / Death Guild
* Burning Man * Black Rock City, Nevada * *

Every year many Burners look forward to the infamous “Thunderdome”, the interactive art project of San Francisco’s famed “Death Guild”. It is one of Burning Man’s most famous landmarks and one of its most exciting projects/theme camps. Operating for 6 years straight, Burners come to expect Death Guild every year. Inspired by the movie “Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome” (starring Tina Turner and Mel Gibson as Mad Max), “Thunderdome” is a life-sized replica of the same named structure as found in the film. “Two man enter, one man leave” is not really the case here at the Burn, as only friends and friendly-foes who are looking forward to venting some frustration by battling each other with nerf bats while dangling and swinging off bungy cords. All the audience pile around the edge of the dome and climb the rafters to watch the sometimes extremely hillarious battles that take place. Afterwords, it is often a late night Goth/Industrial dance club. Not much activity takes place during the day, but evening it is a very crowded area of the playa. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Continue reading Thunderdome @ Burning Man 2010

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

DV8 (Vancouver, BC)

515 Davie Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 1N3

A underground-styled hang out joint popular amongst the hip Vancouverite scene. Good food, slow service, but an excellent place to hang out if you are interested in hanging out. Comes with an art gallery which changes every week or two displaying some of Vancouver’s best alternative artwork. With a serving station styled after a djbooth you can find some of the most intriguing and raunchy named drinks you can think of off its menu. The food has the same flavor. It’s an excellent venue.

Rated: **** 1/2


Continue reading DV8 (Vancouver, BC)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Lotus (BC)


Lotus Sound Lounge

455 Abbott Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1C8
Vancouver, British Columbia
Yahoo Maps!
ClubVibes Details

Rated **1/2 by Leaf McGowan.

Lotus Sound Lounge

Continue reading Lotus (BC)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Purple Onion


the Purple Onion Cabaret
* 15 Water Street * Gas town –Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1A1 * 604.602.9442 * *


Vancouver’s only underground Brit Night – radiohead, blur, suede, bowie, clash. DJ Sheriff Fatman and ken Bastard. Real Brit. No Sh*t. 60’s Brit Invasion, psychedelica and soul in other lounge: DJ Lee Modern spins The Who, the impressions, and the Byrds.


Available for private parties.


Freebasing Funk shooting soul with residents Djs Lush and Stephane.


The afterlife entertainment presents pure O2, DJ Ali (Leaf Recordings and Fresh Studios), funky ass house, Vancouver, and a variety of other shows.


Sugar and Spice, blending hip hop, RnB, and Club hits, DJ Relik and DJ LDB with MC Tropiq. DJs Roger Z and Andre Drop the sweet sounds of downtempo house and hip hop complimenting the funkiest in live acts.


Platinum with resident DJ’s Seanski (Bronx, NY) and WAX (DMC Champ) the jams are bumpin all night long. Hip Hop / Top 40 Dance / RnB.


Sanctuary: Vancouver’s Darkest Secret. Etheral Beauty, Downtempo, Experimental electronix, Crunchy Beats, EBM Electro Industrial Synthpop and loads more. DJ Pandemonium and Guests.

Continue reading Purple Onion

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Club 23 West: Sin City (Vancouver, B.C.)

Club 23 West

23 West Cordova, Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1C8
Vancouver, British Columbia
Yahoo Maps!
ClubVibes Details

Rated *****


SIN CITY: description: “Sin City is a monthly club night dedicated to the truly kinky club demons of Vancouver and takes place monthly on every second Saturday of the month at Club 23 West. Cover is $9 without a pass, $6 with passes which can be found at many downtown locations. In addition to the dancefloor, drink specials and antics of DJs Pandemonium & Klaxxon bangin’ out dark n’ dirty retro, electronika, industrial & dance, we offer a seperate play dungeon complete with friendly monitors, lovely sturdy black & cushioned bondage equipment with plenty of couches & viewing space, and a private, outdoor patio looking over Gastown’s blood alley. We enforce a very strict dress code which must be adhered to in order to gain access to the celebration of sin! Absolutely no t-shirts (unless fetish-related) will be admitted, jeans, suits, or streetwear of any kind. Some examples of acceptable dress are: rubber, pvc, vinyl, leather, full uniform, fantasy or period costume, armour, cross-dress, bondage, body paint, and lingerie. Sin City is a cross-over night with all sorts of people and scenes coming together to celebrate a truly sinful party – young, old, gay, straight, fetish veterans, newcomers, partiers, loungers, we all come together once a month to party in high style. “ (Leaf’s virtual tourist page)

Continue reading Club 23 West: Sin City (Vancouver, B.C.)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Element (Vancouver, B.C.)

the Element

Cambie Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Rated ***1/2

Gas Town Inn - Element Pub

Thursday, 11/8/01:
” I hailed down a cab and headed over to the Element on Cambie / Hastings, by the Cambie Hotel. I wasn’t quite sure if I was in the right place, but as I walked in past a restaurant kitchen, back into the dank and dark pub – I saw horror movie and haunted house tacky decor … with a sprawled sign stating I was in “the Element”. I saw Melissa, gave her a hug, and chatted – headed over to Bernie and gave her a hug and wished her “Happy Birthday” as I handed her a gift and watched as she enchanted “the Element” with her dj magic. Chilled out to a couple of drinks with Bernie as other friends appeared and wished her birthday blessings. The element had a intriguing decor of a haunted house with the top pseudo-balcony covered with Halloween stuffed beings and macabre decor. Green fake ferns and air plants sprawled along the ceiling – the evening had great music but lacked numbers of individuals, and at this point, no one dancing. Then came in Jeffy, and two other friends I met previously at a Halloween party – they recognized me without my green makeup and faery wings. We all grabbed a table and chatted away through the night, discussing Skinny Puppy, how we wished we were at the Tori Amos concert, the Survivor series, and other elements of news going on in the world. As I partied with my friend Bernie at the Element and was woo’ed by her dj’ing with excellent 80’s, dance, and Industrial mixes – as the clock struck 12, I decided to head back to Seymour street for a little dancing at my favorite hotspot on Thursdays … Luvafair. The drinks are pricey here but created with pizazz and a good kick. Music was excellent, just lacked the people to fully utilize the dance floor. By the time I was planning on leaving, a handful had started to dance.”

Continue reading The Element (Vancouver, B.C.)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

West Wendover, Nevada

West Wendover, Nevada, USA:
* *

As you enter Nevada coming from Salt Lake City, Utah – the first town you see in Nevada travelling along I-80 is West Wendover making it a very popular hotspot for the loose laws of Nevada with ever-flowing alcohol 24 hours a day and gambling casinos supporting one’s habits that have been squashed when staying in conservative Utah. It is a small town with just under 5,000 inhabitants (2000 census was 4,721) and sits on the western edge of the Great Salt Lake Desert and is contiguous with Wendover, Utah that it is often confused with. It is Nevada’s only official city to observe Mountain Time Zone (though Jackpot, Nevada unofficially does) as part of its ties with Wendover, Utah. Wendover Nevada is prosperous due to the gambling while Wendover Utah is decaying in crumbles with almost no business tax base. Residents in both cities have voted to annex Wendover into Nevada but such has had a permanent halt by the politicians of Wendover Utah who disagree even though the states of Utah and Nevada as well as the Federal government endorse the idea.

Continue reading West Wendover, Nevada

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

State of Nevada, USA

Nevada, United States of America:

Nevada is an atypical “Wild West” state of the U.S. that still embraces its history and outlaw appeal with legalized gambling, prostitution, lenient marriage and divorces, and rustic liberal freedoms. The term “Nevada” comes from the Spanish term meaning “snow covered” after the “snow covered mountains” a.k.a. the Sierra Nevada mountain range that is an integral part of the state. The area now known as Nevada was originally inhabited by the Paiute, Shoshone, and Washoe tribes prior to European contact. Originally claimed by Spain as part of Alta California until the Mexican War of Independence placed it under Mexican control. The U.S. gained the terrority in 1848 after victory in the Mexican-American War and was eventually incorporated under the Utah Territory in 1850. The Nevada Territory separated from the Utah Territory on March 2, 1861 due to conflicts between non-Mormons and Mormons especiall after the Mountain Meadows massacre of 1857 and the Utah War following it. Nevada became the U.S.’s 36th state in 1864. Nevada was dominated by the mining industry until the late 19th century. Nevada moved from its mining industry into gambling, gaming, and labor as early as 1909 though gaming was banned until 1931 but became a focal point for Las Vegas. Nevada however is still the fourth largest gold producer in the world. 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas, in 1951, came the establishment of the Nevada Test Site for the testing of nuclear weapons. The first test was a 1 kiloton of TNT bomb dropped on January 27, 1951. The last atmospheric test was done on July 17, 1962 when testing went underground until September 23, 1992. This locale is best known for the highest concentration of nuclear-detonated weapons in the United States. The Federal government owns over 80% of the state. The remainder of the state had pioneers, homesteaders, and settlers establish their homes near water sources and habitable land. As odd as it would seem since Nevada is quite libertarian with gaming, gambling, and prostitution, it is a very harsh state on non-alcohol drug use. It is the state known for having the harshest penalties for drug offenders in the country. This recently changed in 2006 when voters made it allowable to possess 1 ounce of marijuana for personal use without criminal prosecution and allow its use for medical reasons even though that is still against federal law. Alcohol runs like a river, bars can be open 24 hours a day with no last call and liquor stores, convenience marts, and grocery stores can sell alcohol 24 hours a day. Nevada did enact a smoking ban with the national “Clean Indoor Air Acts” that spread across the U.S. and was effecive December 8, 2006 outlawing smoking in workplaces and public areas. However, smoking is still allowed in bars that do not serve food, and permitted in casinos, hotel rooms, brothels, and tobacco shops. For the last five years, Nevada has been ranked as the most dangerous state in the United States just above Louisiana with a 24% higher crime rate than the national average placing it highest for robbery and motor vehicle theft and 3rd in highest murder rate. Nevada is primarily mostly desert and semi-arid climate regions with summer temperatures as high as 125 degrees Fahrenheit and evening winter temperatures as low as negative 50 degrees. Average rainfall is roughly 7 inches though some areas of the state can achieve 40. Nevada’s capital city is Carson City and the entire state boasts about a 2.7 million population with most of it located in Las Vegas. Nevada is bordered to the west by California, to the north by Oregon and Idaho, to the South by Arizona, to the East by Utah, and the Southeast by New Mexico.

Please Come Back Soon. This page is being created.

This page is in progress and updates will be frequent in the near future, please come back soon for more content and photos If you are a business or attraction that has been reviewed here and would like to add details, a re-review, or to request an update please email Technogypsie @ gmail . com (remove spaces)
This page was last updated on 8/16/2015


  • Baurley, Thomas 2015 Alternative America: Travel Guide to the U.S.A. Technogypsie Publications, Riverside, California.
  • McGowan, Leaf 2015 Magical America. Technogypsie Publications, Riverside, California.
  • Wikipedia 2015 “United States of America” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Website referenced 8/16/15.

Continue reading State of Nevada, USA

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Burning Man

Burning Man Festival
Black Rock City, Nevada

Burning Man is a week long arts and entertainment, sustainable and self-reliance festival that occurs every year embracing Labor Day. From 1986 until 1989 there was a Summer Solstice bonfire ritual held on Baker Beach in San Francisco by Larry Harvey, Jerry James, and their friends. Here they claimed, not inspired by the “Wicker Man” movie (they state they hadn’t seen it before their party), they would burn a 8-9 foot tall wooden man with his smaller wooden dog, and they did this not for Pagan offerings, but rather as an experiment in art, community, radical self expression and reliance. Apparently Larry’s girlfriend Janet Lohr’s friend, Sculptor Mary Grauberger had been throwing Baker Beach bonfire parties prior to Larry picking it up after she stopped organizing them. By 1987 the “Man” was 15 feet tall and by 1988 at a whopping 40 feet height making it much more of a concern on the beach to the authorities. They eventually called their event “Burning Man”. Because they didn’t have a permit for such a fire on the beach, they had to relocate, and in 1990 a separate event was put on by Kevin Evans and John Law of the Cacaphony Society in the Black Rock Desert on its large dry lake. They billed it as a dadaist event with temporary sculptures and situationist performance art called “Zone Trip #4: A Bad Day at Black Rock”. The Baker Beach Burn “Burning Man” event, after having been kicked off the beach, dissassembled their “Man” and brought it to “Zone Trip #4” just in time for the event. One of the Cacophonists in attendance, Michael Mikel, concerned that the attendees would not be familiar with the harshness of the desert environment, took on the name “Danger Ranger” and formed the “Black Rock Rangers” to make sure everyone was safe. It was here in 1990 that Black Rock City and “Burning Man” was founded. Word spread about the event and people from all over the world started to flock to this desert event. It was assembled of participants only with no paid or scheduled performers/artists, no separation from art space and living space, and no other rules except not to interfere with another’s experience and no guns were allowed in central camp. In 1991 they filed for a legal permit with the Bureau of Land Management evolving to a formal partnership in 1996 for them to own the name “Burning Man”. 1997 Saw the biggest changes in structure to the event when the remaining organizers formed the Black Rock City, LLC after John Law, Kevin Evans, and others left. As the BLM refused a permit for the event, it was moved to “Fly Ranch” that adjoined the Hualapai Flat mini dry lake bed. Since the event moved to Washoe County permitting, more heightened rules and laws were enacted, banning driving of non-mutant or service vehicles and guns, imposing a low speed limit of 5 mph for art cars, a imposed curved grid street structure, no campfires or tiki torches, all burnt art must be on approved burn platforms, bans on fireworks, firearms, and dogs. It was also then that a 7 mile long temporary plastic fence to be erected to surround the event as a 4 foot high “trash fence” to catch wind blown debris. After 2002, no attendees of the event could go beyond this fence. In 2006 was the first time that Burning Man was covered extensively by television, which continued as “TV Free Burning Man” from 2006-2008, and the coverage nominated for a news Emmy Award in 2007.

The man remained 40 feet tall until 1995. By 1997 it reached 50 feet, and by 2001 at 70 feet, from 2002-2004 at 80 feet tall, Then was reduced in size from 2005 until 2008 when it was pumped back up to 84 feet, and at an amazing 104 feet by 2010. In 2007 a well known prankster named Paul Addis set the Man on fire four days ahead of the schedule and was arrested for the incident. The Burning Man crew was able to still erect a replacement effigy in time for the scheduled burn. By 2010 it reached an attendance population of over 51,454 recorded paid participants. Burning Man attendees nickname themselves “Burners”. The festival is based on community, artwork, absurdity, decommodification, revelry, participation, self-awareness, self-reliance, and self-sustainability. In those regards, it has nothing to do with the modern Hippie movement even though the un-knowledgable compare the two as being the same. Burning Man is governed by 10 principles – (1) radical inclusion, (2) gifting, (3) decommodification, (4) radical self-reliance, (5) radical self-expression, (6) communal effort, (7) civic responsibility, (8) leaving no trace, (9) participation, and (10) immediacy. Burning man is a “gifting economy” in like to the tribal potlach ceremony, and relies on the unconditional “gifting” of resources. No cash transactions are permitted between attendees of the event (though the event will charge for entrance tickets (pays for event), daily ice (benefits the local Gerlach-Empire school system), tea and coffee (benefits the event) for those wanting it). The event is clothing-optional and nudity is very common. Once in the event you are highly discouraged from leaving. A re-entry wristband costs a high price if one needs to exit and re-enter. Portable toilets are throughout the event, a temporary airstrip/airport is setup along the event boundary, hospitals and law enforcement stations are setup throughout the city, as is ice stations. All attendees are responsible for bringing their own food and water as none can be guaranteed to be obtained elsewhere in the city. The Event is “Leave No Trace” and all attendees are expected to collet M.O.O.P. (Matter out of place) when observed. All attendees are expected to participate as much as possible, no water is permitted to be drained on the playa and much be either evaporated in a drain field or ported out when attendees leave, no fires without approved burning platforms, and observance of US and Navada federal, state, and local laws. Every year a different theme transforms the event. Art and entertainment, is centered around these themes each year. Numerous registered and un-registered theme camps are all around the city, including over 100 bars, and numerous art or mutant vehicles parade around the playa during the days and nights. Otherwise many participants have their own transportation with bicycles that they bring to the event. Some art is funded by ticket sales through art grants. In addition to the “Man”, a giant “Temple” is constructed and burnt on the last night of the event culminating ritual and interfaith spiritual offerings, prayers, sacrifice, and observance in its participation.

Leaf’s personal photos from Burning Man 2008; Burning Man 2010 (coming soon).

Continue reading Burning Man

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Dominion (Dublin, Ireland)

Dominion Resurrection
* Cellar of Murrays Bar * 33-34 O’Connell Street, Dublin 1, Ireland *
Every Saturday from 9.30 pm – 2.30 am in the cellar of the sports bar called “Murrays” is Ireland’s premiere and only Goth night. Only 3 until 11, afterwards 6 to enter. Darksome and divine, this small little hole is comfortable and roomie for those interested in the sub-culture to gather and dance their night away. I was quite curious how the Goth scene would be in Ireland and was quite pleased to hear some great music. The music was diverse from 80’s to electronic, goth, industrial, to medieval. The particular night I visited on July 3, 2010 – DJ’s Conor, Ozzy aka David Osborn, and Beo aka Christoph Heimann were playing. Good times. Good tunes. However, it was under-attended. There was about a dozen there and they all knew one another. It would appear a bit cliche’ish to those who are shy as I am (until I get to know people I’m actually a shy wallflower) so I’m just as guilty for not having made an attempt to make friends. Having to be at the airport at 4 am, I decided to call it an early night. But I’ll be back. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Pale Pub

The Pale
* 13 High Street * Dublin 2 * Dublin, Ireland * (01) 6773207 * *

A pit stop ino this two-story pub in the heart if the Medieval district for some traditional Irish pub fare. The staff is very friendly, the pub spacious, and for an afternoon/early evening not too crowded on a weekday. The main bartender was quite witty. Some say he’s kissed the Blarney Stone. I sat atop upstairs. Upstairs its decorated like a sportsbar which is not so much of my preference but that was fine. Food was good and service great. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email