Friday Fives – Autumn magic edition

Image result for doug henning mandala

Do you have any special rituals to welcome the approaching season, such as cleaning or decorating?

Not really.  Only concern about this transition is winterizing things around the property.  One of the biggies on that is shutting down the swamp cooler for the season… draining it… etc.  What sucks is this is an era where I like heat AND cold.  Example?  Yesterday, Sept 26th, we have an historic high temperature > 90 degrees!  So I never much need the swamp cooler cranking out chilly goodness.  In the early mornings, though, it is 40 degrees.  That is COLD mister!  I still have Phoenix blood, I guess.

I am a thermal coward, though… I admit that.  I used the heat and seat warmers today on my way in.  On my way home, I’ll be using AC in the truck.

Thermal Coward ® – that is a very good line.  I like that.  I now patent thee!  I am getting more and more like Rufus as I get older.  Anything over 71 degrees, and I am uncomfortably hot.  Anything under 60… and I am pretty much freezing to death.  Rufus, my hound, is VERY specific about 71 degrees.  It’s quite odd.  I follow him around to his sleeping places around the house and property.  I have a cool little pointy temperate gun thingy.  He finds a 71 degrees spot to sleep in.

Do you welcome the approaching season or despise it?

LOVE IT.  Fall is the greatest in Colorado.  I tell my fam to always visit in October.  It is the perfect month.  The weather is cool, and stable.  What I mean by that is the weather in nice and April and May, too… but that is also when the blizzards hit.  Oct is just nice.  The wind finally dies down and the trees change.  I don’t need to tell you that growing up, I did not have seasons.  YES > this is truly a first world problem.  But, Phx doesn’t have 4 seasons, or changing leaves, or a romantic chilly breeze that prompts your best gal to wrap her arms around you.

I have to tell you, this is not compelling writing, is it?  I bet every fall for the last 15 years I have been answering variations on that.  Reader, you deserve better.  Not today, though… but soon!

What has been the high point from the preceding season?

Is that fancy talk to say ‘what was your favorite part of the summer?’  That would have to be finally getting to see Penn & Teller live.  I have been following them for about 30 years (they have been together 45). I have their books, watch their shows… etc.  I just haven’t made the pilgrimage to Vegas yet to see them.  Last month, though, they did a short tour and Denver was on it!  I am such a fan of them, I knew most of the tricks.  It was like a greatest hits setlist.   Now, doesn’t mean I know how they do them, but I have scene these tricks often.

This may sound a bit dramatic, but seeing Penn & Teller live was very high on my ‘bucket list’.

What has been the low point from the preceding season?

Nothing, it was a lovely summer.  Wifey and I have firmed up this nice little tradition.  Every night we sit on the porch and listen to some country music,  We have a few drinks, and watch the sunset together.

What are you looking forward to in Autumn/Spring?…

Going to Peru very soon.  Two weeks in South America to see the jungle, and Machu Picchu.  I don’t know a lot about it, but I think we are going to climb the Cadillacs.  It’s a special spiritual and metaphysical thing.

Friday Fives – basking in celebrity goodness edition

bono and i

What was your last interaction with a famous person?

Well, we have to mention my run in with Bono… even though it technically doesn’t count.  So, let’s start there.  I was in San Fran a fall or two ago for a very very big business conference (Dreamforce) and they had bought up the whole town.  Huey Lewis literally played right in the middle of the street they shut down.  Sean Penn was there to get into fights with hotel patrons, and they bought up the baseball stadium to have Green Day come and play for everyone for free.

As I was walking through one of the big conference thingies, I spotted Bono.  Not someone who looks like Bono, mind you, but motherfuckin Bono his goddamn self.  I love U2, and I love Bono.  Bono gets too much shit for being overexposed… and he IS… but he uses that literally to solve the world’s problems. I have seen them a lot, and I think they may be the best rock back in production right now. Not saying they are my favorite band, or that I saw them on their last tour.  BUT…if someone comes to America and wants to know what a big production of a great rock and roll band us… you give them U2.  Given that I was rubbin’ uglies with Huey Lewis, Billie Joe, and Sean Penn… it was not too much of a stretch to think I was within the same breathing air as his Bono-ness.

Shit, I already told this story, didn’t I?

Spoiler, it wasn’t Bono.  It was Pavel.  Pavel, btw, is a good dude.  I have corresponded with him.  I posted this anecdote on Facebook and my buddy Eddie had the greatest comment.  He said “you met the Pavel?  In person?  That is huge, and everyone knows ‘Bono’ is just a big Pavel impersonator!”

So… we can’t count that one, can we?  How about Dave Barry?  Up for a Dave Barry story?  We chatted about dogs, and he was thrilled I had not only a ‘regular dog’, but a ‘small emergency back up dog’ as well.  We were taking selfies and he looked at my blackberry (so yeah… that kinda dates me.  Maybe this was about ten years ago?) to see our pictures.  My wallpaper was my doggies, so we talked about that.  Am I boring you?  Why don’t you tell me your Dave Barry story?  Exactly.  I am CERTAINLY not telling you my Johnny Depp story.  Not with that attitude.  After I am done not telling you my Depp story, you will next NOT get to hear about hanging out with Ralph Steadman.

  • was that boring to you?  Did you want to tell your Dave Barry story?  How about your Johnny Depp story?  Do you have one?  Well, I do… and I ain’t sharing it now!

You know that girl in your elementary school class that was really obsessed with horses? What is she doing with her life now?

She married me, and we have horses.  It’s much less romantic than they showed in movies.  Our horses have saved exactly ZERO children almost swept away by ravaging flood waters.

What is the most pretentious hobby?

Playing guitar in a rock band?  Is that pretentious?  Or, maybe just sad and middle agey?  hmm. what else do I do?  Oooh, I like to collect aged books.  I would almost just a rather carefully thumb through a 125 year old first edition hard back than look at boobs.  ALMOST.

One day I will tell you the good story of the book I found at goodwill for a $1.  It was called ‘Presidents I Have Known’  How is that for pretentious?  Anyhow, I bought it because it was beautiful.  The book, I mean.  It was a well worn, a hard back, and  a first edition.  Plus, with a title that pompous… I simply had to have it.  This is book porn… especially for 25 cents!  THEN… I get it home and it is inscribed by some dude wishing some dude the best.  For shits and giggles (my fish) I googled the name.  The guy whom is it inscribed to was the wealthiest and most important guy in America at the time.  I wish I remember the name, but I don’t… and I ain’t at home.  And the guy who hand wrote the beautiful inscription was the author his damn self!

I guess you can scratch that ‘one day’ part above, since I mostly just told you that story.

Wait… are you asking my most pretentious hobby?  Or, just in general.  Guess what?  This questions is over now.  SHELVED for being unspecific.

… ok, I thought of something.  The most pretentious thing I can think of is being the prevost of a polo mallet museum.  Really, prevost of anything would do the trick.

What is your favorite debunked conspiracy

Hasn’t even conspiracy been debunked?  In fact, is that not the definition of ‘conspiracy’.  I would have to go with the moon landing.  People not only don’t believe we went there, but they are SUPER vested in their opinion.  At the end of the day, who cares?  Let’s say the govt did lie about the whole moon landing?  How EXACTLY does that impact your day to day life?  Even if the govt copped to it, and even apologized… would you get cheaper gas?  Or a month off rent?  Or a couple days off of work?  No.  So get over it.

I should note I can not write off all conspiracies as the work of loonies with too much spare time.  I am still actively wondering what the hell happened with the Kennedy assassination.  Like most Americans, I am settled about this much  – I am not sure what happened, but I am about 90% confident that the version they fed us as the truth is NOT what happened.  Even went to Dallas to see Dealey Plaza.  That was awesome, and you should go!

I guess what we can take away is if you believe in govt conspiracies you are a sad little man… UNLESS… you believe in the same ones I do.

What is your favorite random Wikipedia article?

Well, if it were my favorite, wouldn’t it not be random? This feels like entrapment.  This question is SHELVED for editorial negotiation!

Friday Fives – music at the movies

What was the first DVD you ever purchased?

Now that I remember well. I bought this DVD before I owned a DVD player. It was the greatest and dumbest and most perfect movie ever: Spinal Tap

Do you still watch it?

Oh yes, I put it on in the background when I am cleaning. Just like Princess Bride, it gets better with each screening. Did you know that whole movie was improvised? I am talking about Spinal Tap, not Princess Bride. In addition, those songs were all written by those guys. The recordings are them on guitar and vocals as well.   Not that is commitment to a role.  Also, like Princess Bride, I know every word to the movie.  Watching either of those movies with me isn’t much fun.  Inconceivable, I know!

Oh, and then… the fake satire movie novelty original music. It wasn’t tied to a movie or anything. They (Michael McKean, Chris Guest, and Harry Shearer) just found after making the movie they really enjoyed each other and making music. After their second CD, they went on tour. So, at this point, Spinal Tap is a real life band… putting out original CDs and touring.

Not only was the whole movie improvised (Chris Guest is the genius behind all that, and several other movies) but when the actors did press, they only did it in character. They were just winging it, constantly. I was lucky enough to see them play live a few years ago. They did a Spinal Tap Unplugged tour. It was amazing. They not only played their hit Spinal Tap songs, but they played songs from their other amazing and improvised music movie – A Mighty Wind. They released a DVD and CD of this tour.

Keep in mind these guys are doing this truly for the love of the music. Harry Shearer is the voice of about a third of the Simpsons, including Mr Burns and Smithers. After 25 years, he is not only a millionaire, he could be a billionaire.  The actors are likely getting about 10 million a year.  Best part about voice over work, no one knows your face.  Bart Simpson is likely one of the most recognized icons on earth, yet Nancy Cartwright could be sitting 5 feet from you and you wouldn’t know it.

If you could only save five DVDs from a house fire, what would they be?

Well, music DVDs, of course. Even though they are all likely totally replaceable, I mostly just buy music concert DVDs, because I can watch them over and over again.  I very rarely feel that way about movies.

Lesse, how about these. These are amazing performances, and you should own them as well:

*** Yes, I understand that was more than five.  What are you, a cop all the sudden?

Have you purchased any Blu Ray discs or do you just rent now?

Oh yes, I only buy Blu Ray now. However, I didn’t go back and re-buy my collection to upgrade from DVD to Blu Ray. When I got my Blu Ray player, though, at that point I began only buying Blu Ray going forward. The best thing about my Blu Ray player is that it is SO much more. It has the wireless internet stuff. So, it is also my Roku box, my Pandora music player, my Amazon pay per view movie player… all of that. Best $99 I have ever spent.

What is the jewel of your disc collection?

I have some really cool bootleg Todd Snider DVD shows, from this wonderful guy. Todd Snider is awesome. Here, just watch this. If you buy a CD of his, make SURE it is a live one. He is seriously more famous for telling his stories as he is for his songs.