Yosemite Day Trip

It’s easy to forget how close we are to some of the best National Parks in the country, one of them being Yosemite. It’s only about 130 miles away, but takes a little over 3 hours to get there. For Mother’s Day we took a day trip over to one of my favorite places on earth. There’s not much else to report, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Bear Trap strategically placed by the backpacker's campsite.
Bear Trap strategically placed by the backpacker’s campsite.

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Shoes and boots

Whether it was combat boots, brogues, or sneakers, the choice was critical in completing the rock uniform. While Bob Mould and Paul Westerberg still sound great, one is wearing street hikers, the other cross-trainers.

Granted, neither of these artists were ever stylish, but they still knew how to dress for their milieu – if you will. The sensible shoes, just reminds me that we’re all getting old.

Take a look…

At least Dave Grohl had the good sense to wear Vans.

Tommy Stinson still knows how to dress.

Innovation Fatigue

TED Talks, Green Ketchup, and now this. There’s a Kickstarter project for something called a smart water bottle. It’s not stupid products that bothers me, it’s the fascination “inventors” have with themselves that’s wearing thin. You don’t need all this fanfare for cranking out something that’s ultimately going to end up on a shelf at Kohl’s or mall kiosk.

Action versus progress

More often than not, people who say they have a bias for action really mean they have a bias for activity. Don’t get me wrong, I get the difference between analysis paralysis and execution. It becomes a problem when you place a higher value on action than progress.

Replacements concert rundown

So I went to the Replacements show at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco last Monday. I was not disappointed. It was as good a show as when I saw them in 1991. In fact, they seemed to be enjoying themselves a lot more this time. They played close to 2 hours, and mostly old, old stuff. They did get in all the best stuff.

The crowd was full of superannuated hipsters who totally forgot how general admission works. There was a lot of pinched faces when you stepped into the gap to get a better look. I managed to weasel my way up to the front row and to get some pictures. Sorry to say, I was one of those guys for a couple moments. You know the ones, the stiffs who stand there and film the whole thing instead of experiencing it. I couldn’t resist getting a couple pictures.

Up close, Tommy Stinson looked like Cloris Leachman. Not aging well, but at least he's still alive.
Up close, Tommy Stinson looked like Cloris Leachman. Not aging well, but at least he’s still alive.
They were tight and nearly sober.
They were tight and nearly sober.
Opening act, John Doe was decent.
Opening act, John Doe was decent.

 

 

Sea Otter Classic 2015

This past weekend, some of my Chicago biking buddies flew in to join me and my son down in Monterey, CA for the 25th annual Sea Otter Classic. It’s the biggest bicycle show in the country, if not the world. And if you’re into bikes, it’s the place to be.

We took the Westy down and camped inside the grounds of the Laguna Seca raceway, which is also where it’s held. We arrived around lunch time Friday and spent the afternoon meandering around the show.

I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking. It was one of the best times I’ve had all year.

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Going to see the Replacements tonight

I’m not a big fan of reunion shows. Like many guys “my age”, I was a huge fan of the Replacements, so I’m making the exception.

The last, and only time I got to see them was at Foellinger Auditorium while I was  at the U of I. The rumor leading up to the show was they couldn’t stand each other anymore, AND they had cleaned up their act. For years, I had been dying to see them, but they never came to the towns where I lived. Since their last album was a little stale, I had lost some gumption.

1991-02-09 A1I was working at this show as part of the student-run concert organization called Starcourse. Surprisingly, it hadn’t sold out right away and to promote it at the last minute we had signs saying “come see them before they break up.”

On the day of the show, I got to be on stage while they did their soundcheck. It was like getting a private concert – with their backs to me. I got that chill down my back when you hear a song live that you’ve only heard recorded.

I’ll try to write more, I have to get going.

In Case of Fire

 

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In case of fire, hotel becomes a nightclub.

I loved this sign, it was by the elevators at our hotel in San Diego.

Spring Break ’15, San Diego

I love traveling up and down the West Coast. Everything is within a 90 minute flight. We went down to San Diego this past Spring Break and stayed at a resort on Coronado Island. It’s a cool little town, definitely different than Santa Cruz.

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Everyone had a chance to work on their tans poolside. We did a good job of getting around. We went up to La Jolla to check out UCSD, had lunch in Old Town, and of course, took a trip to the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

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Giant Panda eating what looks like crap, but is actually bamboo cakes.
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Look closely, there’s a Koala Bear in there.

We tried going to the zoo first thing on Monday and it was a complete shitshow. The lines were an hour plus just to get in. We went back Wednesday in the afternoon. It was the perfect plan. We waltzed right in  fresh as daisies. The rest of the crowd looked like the walking dead and were moving to the exits. We didn’t quite have the place to ourselves, but we weren’t waiting in huge lines. They’re one of the few zoos in the country with Giant Pandas. So it was a pretty cool getting to see those in person.

The other highlight of the trip was surfing lessons for the kids. We wanted to take them too, but my knee isn’t ready.

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Surfer Girl
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Coronado Surfing Company van. Chris, was a great instructor.

Coronado Island is a great place to stay if you want to get away from the bustle of the city. They’ve got a decent little downtown built up around the famous Del Coronado Hotel.

Interesting factoid, Tina Weymouth of the Talking Heads is from Coronado Island. 

’65 Cobra?

Spotted this guy around town. Not sure what year it is, I think it’s a ’65 or ’66. If you look closely in the window shot, you can see that it’s signed by Carroll Shelby.

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