Monday, June 23, 2008

Playing in the Desert

Hey, Ya'all... Remember me?
I thought you might get a kick out of my trip last weekend (June 13-15).
My wife's family has a time-share in Palm springs that they all like to go to every year (in the summer for some reason). Well, the family Matriarch decided she's done with it & intends to let go of the time-share. This being the last year, My wife decided to take the kids along with her & her Mother, her mother's friend and My Brother-in-law & his family. Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I agreed to ride out for the weekend. Since I have to work and I already have my vacation scheduled, I had to come home Sunday night. And since my trip was kind of a quick one, I got to take the bike!
My wife decided to wait until after I got off of work on Friday to leave so she could follow me out.
I should preface this by telling you that I had JUST gotten my new Leather T-bag and chaps from Fox Creek Leather... A truly fantastic outfitter if ever there was one. Everything I've bought from them so far has been the highest quality. I cannot extol their service enough. Scarlett, If you read this, You're a doll. The chaps were a perfect fit, no trimming required.
OK, where was I... Palm Springs... How was it? Hot!, Duh!. Rode up the 15N to the 215N, Then to the 60 east... We stopped here at a Wendy's for a quick drink then got back on the highway, Followed the 60 to the 10 East, then to the 111. That takes you right into Palm Springs. We stay right on the outskirts of the city.
After we got checked in, we went to dinner & then back to the hotel to swim for a little bit.
Ya know, that's really all there is to do in Palm Springs... Swim. Too hot for anything else.
I did get up Saturday morning and take Kate for a ride to Palm Springs Harley. I didn't even get a shirt. The only special thing I saw there was a Beautifully painted leather patch. Even that didn't fit me, personally, but it was nice. After that I couldn't WAIT to get back to the pool.
Saturday we had a cook out, with the whole family coming over... Can you guess who got stuck with grill-duty? Alone? While everyone else was chatting in the room, I got to cook for them all on a hot grill in the desert heat. Frankly, I got the better end of the deal. Shhhh.
After the food it was back in the pool. Sunday we went to a local restaurant for breakfast for Father's Day... For sake of interest I'll just skip to the part where I get to ride home...

I Geared up & prepared to leave at about 5 PM Sunday. It only took another half hour to get everything taken care of & leave. I filled up with Gas at Palm Springs Shell at 5:38, Then Hit the road... Thinking ahead, I grabbed the camera.

I HAD to show you...
First off, for those who are Eco conscious, on the highway leading into Palm Springs, there is a HUGE wind farm, where they use modern wind mill turbines to harvest energy from mother nature in a way that is nearly completely nature-friendly. I just think they look cool as hell! So, I stopped & took several pics of Kate with these as a background. This is my favorite...

SHortly after remounting & getting back on the road, I caught the 10W. About two exits down the road there is a place to stop where the (ancient) past comes alive. If you've ever seen Pee Wee's Big adventure, these should look familiar...

Yes, I know, I have to have Kate in all of my Pictures... It's a quirk I have... I don't mind.

After several minutes of taking photos we again got back on the highway. I thought I'd just bee-line home from there, but just a little ways down the 60W I found myself traveling through a pass that gave way to a beautiful view. I had to stop one more time to share this with you...
After several attempts to get this pic without passing cars in the background, I realized how much daylight I was losing and I wanted to get home & get something to eat., SO I got serious & went home.

I pulled into the gas station down the street at 7:34. 1 hour & 56 minutes to ride back when it took us 2 1/2 hours to get out there... & I stopped more!
Not bad, 300 miles in the desert for the weekend.
Now, I'm ready for my next trip. I leave Saturday morning for the 2,000 mile trip from San Diego to Kansas City. Yes, I'm taking my camera... Yes, I'm taking my laptop, and Yes, I'll be posting from the road...
Till then, Keep the shiny side up. I'll catch you on the Road...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hollywood Nights...

You may remember me telling you a while back about a band caalled "Junkyard" and how much I love their music, well a few weeks ago I got to see them perform live in Hollywood. This was the first time I had seen them since 1991, when they opened up for Lynyrd Skynyrd. I spent the ride up there wondering how the show would go and hoping I would get a chance to meet the band.
My wife & youngest son went with me. My oldest had to skip because I forgot to list the date on a conflict sheet when he signed up to crew his High School's musical.

We talked a lot on the way about the memories I have of the band and their music... Funny how music & memories seem to accentuate one another, huh? I played some of their song's for my wife the night I met her... I also played a lot of their music when I was dealing with my divorce...
I cannot tell you how exciting it was for me when we pulled into the parking lot of the club.
When we got out of the car, I looked at the building to see David Roach (Lead Vocalist) and Chris Gates (Lead Guitarist) standing on the sidewalk. As we walked up, I struggled to remember that they were "ordinary" people and tried to keep from staring or interrupting their conversations. I waited and finally got the opportunity to say hello and introduce them to my son. The Guys were great. I easily could have expected them to be a little put off by people getting too excited about meeting them, but they were very gracious people. I asked about taking pictures and was welcomed by both of the guys. So here are some shots of me & Junkyard. David Roach & Me

Big Chris Gates & Me

Me, Pat Muzingo, & David Roach

As you can tell, We also got to meet Pat Muzingo (Drummer) inside the show. Granted, My wife admonished me at least once about embarrassing her by being star-struck by these guys, but you gotta understand. To me, they are like the Beatles, or Led Zeppelin.
I bought 4 of their C.D.s (Two of them I already had downloaded from the band's website, but I wanted to buy Hard copies so the band would get the profit from it. ) and a DVD. I also loaded up with 4 T-shirts.
When the show started, I was a little unsure. I had never heard of the opening acts and had no idea what to expect.
The First was a local band, I don't remember their name, and I didn't care for their music. I didn't particularly like the frontman, as I thought he was a little arrogant, but onward...
The second act was a Band called "Little Caesar" Surprisingly I really liked them. Their music was exceptional and the stage presence was wonderful. They were perfect for the venue and a great opener for Junkyard.

The third act was "Rhino Bucket". Musically, they were actually pretty good, however, I don't think their singer should be allowed to do shows where children are allowed in the audience. My 12 year old son did not need any lessons on the etiquette of one-night-stands. That's all I'm saying.

From the moment Junkyard took the stage I was instantly twenty years younger. I watched wide-eyed and sang along every word of their set. We did move from our table to the stairs beside the stage to finally the floor in front of the stage. Trying to get the best possible pictures.
Mildly put, the three of us had an absolute blast. They could have played all night and I would have rocked with them to the final note.
A couple of days ago I learned that they will be back at the same location in August. This one is on a Thursday, but I'm pretty sure I'll be there... I owe my oldest son a show, and I can't think of anyone else that would be as perfect for his first concert.
Maybe this time I'll get to meet Todd Muscat & Tim Mosher... Oh, and maybe they'll play "Death Kiss Morning"...
One can Hope