Ollie wrote for the Reader from December, 2004 until September, 2011. He wrote the series Remote Control King, feature stories, and installments of Surf Diego and Hometown CDs.

Latest Articles

The Ugly Trailer Park Across the Water

In order to visit a beach community, one must wear ugly sunglasses, so I snatch my chrome Elvis reproduction shades that I purchased in Las Vegas last summer and hit the door. From the 8 ...

Consider the Condo

Almost a decade ago, when I worked in a high-rise office building downtown, some coworkers and I stood at a corner window and counted the mega-sized cranes that dotted the scenery. “One, two, three, four,” ...

My Washing Machine Texts Me When the Whites Are Done

Give me Arduino, the tinkerer’s friend.

Fuzzy-headed and inquisitive after a long night of sleep, I levitate a morning news screen to eye level. The glowing hover-display shows little icons indicating rain; damn, I forgot an umbrella. With a slight gesture ...

Christmas Is Magic for So Many Reasons

The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants

A LITTLE OLD-SCHOOL GLAMOUR “What does he do, this man you seek?…He covets…And how do we begin to covet, Clarice?…We begin by coveting what we see every day.” — Dr. Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of ...

Our Favorite Drinks and Where We Drink Them

You don’t know how to make a Tora!Tora!Tora!?

There are times, sometimes in the midst of otherwise polite conversation, when it comes out that I make my living writing for the Reader. The follow-up to this revelation is almost never “Oh, that’s right, ...

San Diego's Superhero

The making of Xtreme Man, our protector.

A baby wails its first song in an unexceptional San Diego hospital. Doctors notice nothing special or unusual about the child. No clerics have wandered to greet him; no comets or meteor showers threaten Earth’s ...

Share Waves Without Judgment

Name: Michael Janzen Surfing: Tourmaline Lives: Mission Valley Miss work for surfing? “No. Get up earlier and do both.” A few months ago, surfers congregated at Tourmaline Surf Park in Pacific Beach. The mayor and ...


Album: Oceanside Boulevard (2008)Artist: AvitiaLabel: Above Ground RecordsWhere available/price: Lou’s Records in Encinitas for $5.99. Online at iTunes, Napster.com, Emusic.com, Rhapsody.com, and Amazon.com for $4.95.Songs: 1) The Idea 2) Long Gone 3) Mars 5000 4) ...

Scat Daddy's "Lament"

Name: Steve Scatolini (aka Scat Daddy Surf) Age: 32 Years surfing: “too many” Favorite spot: Jocko’s Pre-surf music: “Jimi Hendrix, my own” Post-surf food: Poma’s Deli (in O.B.) Scatolini’s song (below) was inspired, he says, ...

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