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I first met Bill&Co around 1998 during one of Chico’s famed St Patricks day celebrations. I had recently moved to Chico and was working at 106.7 Z-Rock as their newest DJ. I think we were doing shots of whisky on the Rileys patio. Or was it the teas at Panama Bar? Or was it the Palmolives (FINISHAS) at U-Bar? No matter, it was like 7am and these Synthesis kids were FUN. They acted and thought like me. They knew how to have a good time. What, we were young, drunk, and didn’t know shit. Didn’t stop us.

In the following years I was brought in to the Synthesis family as an honorary member. We were this collective of misfit toys. I had radio, they had print—it was something of a perfect match of jackassery that resulted in many successful promotions and regrettable mornings after. In 2003 I started producing radio spots for Synthesis/SynMedia clients, and in 2005 I joined the team full time to help with their venture into a national magazine and this new fangled thing called podcasting.

I wish I could reflect more on the 1998-2007 years but in all honesty it is a blur; we drank all the things and did all the drugs and thankfully didn’t have Instagram to document it.
I do know I have met some of the most beautifully talented/high-functioning alcoholic persons ever. Matt Hogan, Max Sidman, Bill, DT, Rene, KPot, Prado, Barone, Jake, JJ, MadBob, Corey, EJ, Zooey Mae, Shaner, Scribles, ‘Dirty’ Jim, Bibbo, Wendt, Mandy, R-Dub, Spencer, Dubs, Lelania, Kelly and I need to stop otherwise I will just wind up name dropping the whole fucking town of Chico. We have ALL been a part of, or had a hand in Synthesis—or is that we all have been touched by the hand of Synthesis?
Everyone gets a touch.

I suck at writing. This much should be obvious by now.

Sure, I did a food column, Unapologetic Omnivore, and the totally stupid Sexytimes with Balls McPhearson, along with occasional reviews and offensive blurbs—but I mainly lurked in the shadows as the Network/Server Admin for Synthesis/SynMedia.
Scribles taught me what he could, I had to improv the rest. I had no idea how Active Directory, SMB or LDAP worked. I didn’t even know how to make net cable. Now, 10 years and assloads of school later, those things are a giant part of my day at CSU, Chico.

Much like the writers that have been submitting reflections how their time with Synthesis allowed them to hone their skills and graduate to even grander pastures—I have so much gratitude for Scribles and Synthesis for giving me the tools to transform myself from a farting, dysfunctional, newly sober, quasi-geek into a decent (still sober, still farting) IT professional.

Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

Amy and her current crew of writers and volunteers are deserving of a giant ovation. These past two years they have reformed Synthesis to glory and produced some of the greatest content the paper has ever seen—important content and not just dick and fart jokes. Please go to synthesisweekly.com and read through it. They truly are going out on top.
Print is fucking dead. The written word and human experience are alive and well.
I urge everyone feeling left out in the cold to step up and start creating.
Write blogs, take pictures, document shit. Tell the story. You don’t need ad revenue for that.

Let’s all raise a beverage and remember the times we shared these past 21 years­—it was an extremely rare, perfect alignment of magical fuckery that just could not happen again in today’s world.

Dain Sandoval is a Cisco Certified Network Associate and takes care of the wires and blinking lights at Synthesis. On the Ones and Zeroes, Droppin' packets like it's hot.