Monday, August 1, 2011

Wild Mountain Honey

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, the weekend was pretty awesome. I woke up a little earlier than expected on Saturday morning (just couldn’t wait, I guess) so I headed out around 7 AM… and even with a half-hour wait for a breakfast burrito in Placerville, I made it to South Lake Tahoe by 10:30 AM. It was actually a route that I had never taken before too. Highway 50 isn’t bad at all… but I could see how traffic can be a bit of a pain (over 5 hours on the drive back yesterday). Still, just as beautiful a route as I-80 up to North Lake Tahoe really. Anyway, you don’t care. I met up with my stepsister and three of her kids (stepbrother & 4th at a Boy Scout camping trip) and we headed to the beach. The kids were really excited to see me… which is awesome. I played Frisbee in the water with the boys, played with little plastic safari animals with Hallee, they showed me all the wonderful things they could do on the playground (“Uncle $teve, look what I can do!”), it was all kinds of fun… and this was actually my first time swimming in Lake Tahoe. I know… I lived there for over a year… and never went swimming in the water. In my defense, most of the year, the water is like 34 degrees… and the rest of the year, it’s snow runoff… so it was chilly… as it was this time… but definitely refreshing… and crystal clear. I thoroughly enjoyed myself… once I got over the first minute or so of “oh f**k me this is cold on the dangling bits” and the like.

Sigh… now for the reason that I don’t have amazing pictures to show you about this time in the sun with family. You see, I didn’t bring my camera… but I brought my cell phone to snap a few pictures of smiling faces, picturesque mountain beauty… and maybe a firm backside or two. However, having three young kids, we carried a lot of stuff out to the beach – umbrella, toys, food, towels, bags of sunscreen (which did NOTHING by the way), etc. Well, after establishing base camp, we immediately went right into playing in the water & having a good old time. A few hours later, I was wondering what the time was… and then it hit me. I could check my phone for the time… except that it was in my pocket… and had been for about the last two hours… while I was in Lake Tahoe… literally IN Lake Tahoe. My keys were in the other pocket… but apparently they’re waterproof steel alloy. My phone is not. It’s more like… jumping into a lake with a laptop. Not a good idea. So yeah… it’s done. Have to go get a new one… and call people expecting to hear from me to let them know that I was okay… just stupid. It happens.

Anyway, after a few hours, I hugged the kids bye & went back to the hotel to get ready for STEVE MILLER BAND!!! The concert started around sunset in the outdoor venue at Harvey’s Casino (normally a parking lot… but not a bad setup). While waiting for the concert to start, I met a guy named Paul near the beer stands. He was a gentlemen in his late forties or so, born & raised in Glendale, Arizona… and his girlfriend had some last minute family things pop up, so he was there by himself too. We chatted, talked about the good music from back in the day (rock & roll, blues, R&B, etc) and it was just a good time. Of course he made the comment… “What are you, 23? 24 maybe? Were you even alive when Abracadabra came out?” “I’ll have you know that I was two years old when that song came out… and my parents made sure that I know about good music growing up.” “So… you’re 30, 31? Really? Dude, what’s your secret?” “Fairly clean & always fun living… and not having a girlfriend for years at a time helps keep me distressed.” “Cheers to that, buddy!” Clink.

As the concert approached, storm clouds started to gather… and there was a change of showers… but then, as Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason (of Traffic) opened up… there wasn’t a cloud in the sky… and it was simply the perfect setting for Steve Miller Band. I’m pretty sure I mentioned this… but for the first few months when I was living in Tahoe, I had Steve Miller Band’s greatest hits in my CD player every day. Listening to that every morning when me & Gretchen were tredging the snow to get to work, discovering the new wonders of my mountain home, around the pristine lake, all over… and it’s basically the perfect soundtrack for the kind of living found up there. Laid back, full of love, peace with nature, skies fully of stars, good times. This concert was a throwback to that. Listening to “Wild Mountain Honey” & “Fly Like an Eagle” at sunset in the Sierras, surrounded by gorgeous Northern California women while hearing “Keep On Rockin’ Me”, “Jungle Love” & “Abracadabra”, under a sea of stars while he riffs out “Space Cowboy”, “Lost in Space” & “Livin’ in the USA”, everybody getting up and dancing, a dash of blues thrown in to keep the crowd from having a heart attack (seriously, I was the youngest by a good decade at least, except for one little girl Kadence who liked me) and of course… finishes everybody off with “Joker” to end the six-song finale. It was a great four hours of concert. They still now how to rock… as well they should having done it for 45 years or so. Here are some pictures…

After the concert, I met up with a former coworker & some of her friends… and we hit up Cabo Wabo for a few drinks & some dancing. The ladies were out (and d-runk) but I wasn’t dressed to impress or anything (t-shirt & jeans) so after an hour or so of bumping & grinding with a few bachelorette parties, I headed to the casinos for a few… and then back to the hotel alone. Eh… it’s okay. Slept a few hours, watched a little HBO documentary about New Orleans to put me in a bad mood in the morning (well, good that I got to see a little New Orleans, bad that it was about how they’re basically f**ked again & again both naturally and financially & no government organization seems to care) and then thought I would head back to San Francisco a little early… but was still in traffic for a little bit and it took about five hours to make a three hours trip. Not too bad. Got back in time for my basketball game… and we did okay but still lost. I think we’re starting to get our strategy down. Basically, everybody except me wants to shoot threes… so they’re basically just taking threes and expecting me to rebound them… except there are at least three guys boxing me out or going for boards on both ends… and just one of me. Not exactly sure if that’s going to work. Oh well… at least we’re having fun, right? Anyway, here’s the news…

Don’t Drink & Drive… or Do This - A drunk father allegedly allowed his 8 year-old son to drive his pick-up truck on a southeast Louisiana highway on Saturday while he slept, until patrol officers pulled over the boy, police said. The boy was driving the Chevrolet truck on Interstate 12 near the town of Holden, with his father in the passenger seat AND his 4 year-old sister in the back seat, Louisiana State Police said in a statement. A passing motorist noticed the pick-up truck was being driven erratically and called police. When Louisiana state troopers pulled over the truck in Livingston Parish, they found the 8 year-old boy behind the wheel and interviewed the father, 28 year-old Billy Joe Madden of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, police said. Police said they determined Madden was drunk and that he had been sleeping while his son drove the vehicle, en-route to Dallas, Texas. Yes… we’re talking about a 2nd grader driving across two states and several hundred miles… while the father sleeps it off. Madden was arrested and booked into jail on two counts of child desertion, parent allowing a minor to drive, open container and two counts of no child restraint and no seatbelt (just for good measure). Madden remains in jail at Livingston Parish Detention Center in lieu of $1,474 bail, said sheriff's deputy Dustin Sanders at the facility. Both of Madden's children were turned over to child welfare authorities and were awaiting the arrival of a family member who could take custody of them, police said. Now, I’m always saying… please don’t drink & drive. So I’m glad that Mr. Madden headed to that suggestion. However, I didn’t realize that there needed to be an asterisk or amendment to that statement that included having your incredibly underage son drive you across state lines while your even younger daughter is in the back seat while you sleep it off. Do they still do tar & feathering? I’m guessing not but… not a bad suggestion. Really don’t like that he put his kids in danger like that. How the hell does he have custody of the kids in the first place? You know what… I shouldn’t pass judgment. I don’t know the full story. Let’s hope that we get to hear his side. Maybe the mother passed on… and in his grief he was tying one on… with moonshine… and in a fit of drunkenness he said, “Come on kids, we’re going to Six Flags… but you’ll need to drive, Daddy’s a little drunk” and then… there’s really not just a good way to end this story. Again, no judgment until I get the details though. Besides, it’s not like he’s a publicly elected official or anything.

Mayoral Bar Fight – Sigh… the mayor of a Wisconsin town has been asked to step down following a late-night bar room scuffle, but said on Thursday he would not resign despite a unanimous vote by a city council committee. Bob Ryan, 48, told WHBL-AM radio that he intended to seek outpatient alcohol rehabilitation treatment while continuing to act as mayor of Sheboygan, a city of 50,000 located about an hour north of Milwaukee on the shores of Lake Michigan (also the self-proclaimed Bratwurst Capital of the World… and their Brat Days festival is this weekend… please don’t ask me how I know that). According to a police report, the scuffle occurred early on Monday, when police were summoned by an emergency caller to the Brown Baer tavern in nearby Elkhart Lake, where a man in a blue shirt was said to be causing a disturbance. When the officer arrived, patrons identified Ryan, who was sitting on the curb wearing a blue shirt, as the man the caller had been complaining about. But because the bar owners said everything was fine and no victim stepped forward, the officer gave Ryan a verbal warning, the police report said. The Sheboygan Press newspaper posted pictures on its website of a man it identified as Ryan slumped over a table at the bar. It cited witnesses who said Ryan had been drinking and making rude comments to some female bar patrons, leading to the scuffle with another patron. This is the fourth time in two years that Ryan's use of alcohol has come under scrutiny (that’s right… not once, twice or thrice… but four times). In September 2009, a widely publicized YouTube video showed the mayor making sexually explicit comments about his sister-in-law while he was at a bar (WHAT?). The cell phone video was released shortly after Angela Payne, the former city human resources director, accused Ryan in a letter of making drunken advances on her at a Sheboygan tavern (Is he a single guy? At a bar? Is she hot? Surprise?). Ryan admitted a relapse in July 2010, saying he went out drinking with his brother, but a city council resolution asking him to resign at the time was voted down 11-5. The council committee met in closed session on Wednesday night and voted to unanimously to ask Ryan to resign. To remove Ryan as mayor, a Sheboygan citizen must bring a certified complaint, and the council must vote to remove him, said Alderman James Bohren, the chairman of the committee that asked Ryan to go. The council was expected to take up that matter on Monday night, Bohren said. Obviously the guy needs a little help… and yeah, you probably don’t want the mayor of your town in rehab during his term… but I’m thinking they’re a little looser with that stuff in the Beer, Cheese & Brats culture that is Wisconsin. Damn… if it wasn’t so f**king cold in the winter, I might be up there right now… and 400 pounds. Best of luck, Mayor Ryan! I hope that you get the help that you need… and I’m totally checking the internet for your past discretions too… because that’s why the internet exists… for porn, finding good restaurants & access TMI of complete strangers.

Bra Chain – Everybody wants to leave a legacy. Make their mark on history. This is… kind of one of those moments… involving a LOT of bras. A British attempt to set a new world record for the longest chain of brassieres was called off after volunteers got the lingerie in a twist. Campaigners at "Bra Chain" hoped to hook together over 100 miles of bras in Worcester to raise money for women's charities and beat the current world record of 166,000 linked brassieres, held by Australia. Volunteers, or "hookers," aimed to connect 200,000 bras, but were forced to quit at half that number when the undergarments became tangled in the boxes. "We underestimated the time it would take to get the bras out of their boxes and hooked together - there were bras all over the place," said Launa Walker at Bra Chain. "It does take a lot of time to assemble bras into a chain and after about nine hours of hooking them up we decided to call it a day," Walker told Reuters. The organizers say they will attempt another world record bid in the future and are still accepting donations of unwanted bras. Hell, I’ll take some too. "We are going to try it again -- we've learnt a few tricks of the trade, now all that remains is to set a date," said Walker. The event was organized in aid of UK women's charities Breakthrough Breast Cancer, the Worcester breast cancer unit and Women's Aid, which supports victims of domestic violence. So it’s for a great cause… and of course, you have to love any organization that refers to their volunteers as hookers. God knows I do. Best of luck, ladies! I dream of one day seeing a chain of brassieres as far as the eye can see… all in the name of saving women from cancer & douches.

Well, that’ll do it for today. I’ll leave you with that image in your mind… of bras going off into the sunset. Wish me luck with my new cell phone. Hopefully I can convince them on a decent price for a new one. I did get insurance… but I’m pretty sure they mentioned the one thing that it didn’t cover was water… which sucks. I think I even made a stupid joke when that was mentioned like, “Oh okay, I just won’t go swimming in the lake with it then. Ha ha ha!” HAHAHA INDEED, DUMBASS!!! Oh well, even my stepsister said “You’re handling this really well.” “Well, it’s no big deal. I know my way back to San Francisco, everybody can go a day without hearing from me I’m sure… and it’s not like I can be mad at anybody but myself. It’s all good. We all make mistakes.” Just remember, to keep it all in perspective. Have a great day everybody!!!

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