Kings are beating the Sharks, and I’m rambling on the blogthing

I have been quiet lately. There are a couple of reasons for that, mostly the fact that I’ve been playing gigs the last couple of weeks, and just been here and there and everywhere in between. I talked to a friend about it, an old music buddy of mine, and he put it well when he asked, “What are you doing, saving it up for Friday night?”

It’s a part of a Dire Straights song, and has to do with how you can exhaust your creative juices if you use them up too much, or too frequently. You don’t want to pull the best solo you’re going to pull all week, in your living room while practicing. You want to save that thing for Friday night when you’re on a real stage! In this case, I haven’t written because I needed to clear my mind from all the Puerto Rico entries. I’ve saved it up, and this is my Friday night. Really it’s Tuesday, and I’m here watching the Kings beat the Sharks, really feeling the writing groove, and ready to throw down an epic ramble.

One of the gigs we played this weekend was at La Cuevita in Highland Parque, a sweet little spot with good margaritas and tons of people for a Sunday night. Even for a Cinco de Mayo, it was an awesome crowd for a Sunday, and we tore it up as best we could.

The door guy at the Bar recognized me from an old band I was in, and we talked about that. I found out that my old guitarist in that group, J, was no longer in it. I asked why, he didn’t know. Someone who was with us told me he quit the band because he had a baby.  They didn’t know whether it was a boy or a girl, but I was just really surprised that he hadn’t at least dropped me an email. Oh well, I thought. He’s a dad, and you can’t ever fault a dad for being a family man. Especially J, who had always worked, was married, owned his house, and was probably one of the more ready and responsible characters I know (knew).

I drank my sorrows away, and ran up a ninety dollar bar tab. The bartender loved the band, and cleared my tab for me. She told me to come back on a Thursday when it was quieter, and I may do that one of these days, after some pupusas at Las Cazuelas, which is right across the street. $5 pitchers of good beer at happy hour, and the best Salvi food anywhere. I think I’ve dropped there name here before, but I’ll be damned if that will stop me from promoting them again. Anyway, good place to drink your bready absorbtion meal before a show or drink-a-thon at La Cuevita.

Yesterday, exactly one Sunday later, we performed at the Huntington Beach Surf Museum for a great crowd and everybody who happened to be passing by as well. One of the promoters of the show, Big Tiki Jeff, asked us to keep the bass down, as I had my cabinet set to stun. I turned it down, and someone said “We need to keep the neighbors happy”

Someone in the crowd spoke up and said, “I’m a local, and I’m happy!”  I laughed, but still turned down my bass. No need to blow the woofers out and drown out the guitar.

We played an hour and ten minute set of instrumentals. It’s a good thing we’re an instrumental band too, because the PA went out in the middle of introducing the band, so I was forced to scream, and holler I did. I felt like a town crier calling out songs. It was a hell of a lot of fun, and we tore through our set like we always do. In between songs it was fun to crack jokes in a full yell so the crowd could hear me. Nothing like yelling at about 50 people all around you and playing music in between.

Come to think of it, we forgot to play the new song in the set list, “Holley”. Awesome and true story here, I received today, an audio recording of my project car running for the first time. This was the first time I ever heard the engine turn over, and the first time the car has had an engine fire up in the engine bay in about, hmm, 10 years or so? The carburetor is a Holley, and the song is about that carburetor, and how I’ve been just dying to hear her breathe. . .The song feels like that, it has that aggressive desirous groove to it that drives the song along and makes you anticipate the changes.  Power is nothing without control. This song is a reflection of that philosophy to me, at least.

I’m excited! The car is a beast, and she’s gonna be fun to drive. I still haven’t named her. I’m a firm believer in the earning of one’s own name, and I’m sure it will come to me somewhere on down the road. I can’t wait to put some thought into it, while putting some miles behind my car. Maybe by then I’ll have Holley recorded, and put it on the stereo to help the contemplation along. . . . .

Another crazy thing that happened was that my little brother moved out. He moved to Highland Park, which seems to be all over this entry, actually. I was super worried about him at first, but after sleeping on it a couple of nights, it really makes sense.

He’s a successful guy. He makes good money, has a girlfriend of many years who he was already living with, and the apartment he got is fairly nice for the price and neighborhood.

Thing is, when my sister got married and moved out, it was fine. She married a cop, and at first she moved in with him and his parents. Now they have their own house in a nice neighborhood, and everything feels nice and secure.

My brother on the other hand, I worried about for the first couple of days. He’s a lot like me, and we both have this bad side of ourselves that we hate, and have dealt with in our own ways. He is now the “responsible” one for his household, as his girl doesn’t work, is a student, and he basically supports her. As far as I can tell, this is the case. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

Anyway, it freaked me out for a coupe of days, but I feel mostly over it now. He’s plenty responsible, and if anything, this experience will be valuable to him in the future. I hope he’s ready, and I feel like he is.

I’m cutting this ramble semi-short to go watch the third period of the Kings game, and I need to read up on the Preakness, and whether or not I should put a little scratch on Orb again. Also need to follow up for details on a  Vegas trip upcoming. THAT should be a fun post. . .. . Until then,


– Fred.


Los Angeles Dodger Stadium Fireworks, As viewed from across the LA river. April 26, 2013.

Went out back to the hill I live on, known as Mt. Olympus hill on some maps, but Flat Top hill to us.  This was a couple of Fridays ago, on April 26th. My friend Amber was on her way down from San Francisco, and she had gotten there RIGHT before the fireworks started.

We hiked out back and found a good spot, bringing my dog Samson along the way. There was a nice full moon, so there was plenty of light on the hill. Light is good, cause there are rattlesnakes and hole in the road to twist your ankle on, so you have to be a little careful.

Anyway, here is an album of pics. You can zoom in on these pretty well, and the skyline looks good because it was particularly clear this night. Feel free to use any pics, just let me know BEFORE you do.


– Fred.

2013 Kentucky Derby!

Betting notes for the Kentucky derby 2013

Never mind. I wrote my betting notes on the wrapper of a tarragon and chicken salad sandwich I picked up at trader joes on the way over here.

Now I’m at the big bar at the Santa Anita race track, with $100 in bets riding on the Kentucky derby. I know I bet that Gary Stevens would win, and also on a horse named Verrazano, and on my favorite jockey, Raphael Bejarano. The rain made everything a wild card, so I’m just betting on hunches and favorites to sweeten any potential winnings.

I’m also having a margarita on ice, no salt. This is a little tribute to Hunter Thompson, as today is the Kentucky derby, and in his infamous story about the derby, this is the drink you are absolutely not to have at the derby. So naturally I ordered one.

I want to preface this with a “I’m not racist/sexist.”

I do have to say though, there are a lot of Asians here. Tons of Filipinos, lots of others too, but mostly Asians. What’s up With that? Why the prevalence? Do they have a weak resistance to gambling, like the natives alcohol tendency, and the Mexican’s love for orange chicken from Panda Express? Maybe I’ll never know.

One interesting bet I made was on Rosie Napravnik, who hopes to become the first female winner of the Kentucky derby. If she wins, I win, feminism wins, everybody wins! Maybe this will get more than 29 attractive females to come out to Santa Anita to bet on the derby next year, and mix it up with these 5,000 male bettors. The ratio here isn’t even worth talking about. I’m surrounded by the older, burnt out men that make this late 30something nervous. Makes me wonder exactly how much I’m assimilating to these guys. Of course I tell myself I only popped in to make a few choice bets.

Another bet I’m excited about is on Kevin Krigger. If he wins, the jockey would become the first African American to win the derby in over 100 years. Since 1902 to be exact. That’s pretty exciting stuff, and in a W.A.S.P. dominated sport like horse racing, this is the kind of thing I’m ALWAYS rooting for. Not only an underdog, but upsetting traditions, making people question values, etc, all in the venue of sport. Exciting stuff to be sure.

Looking at he screen, I see that my favorite pick, the 3 horse, revolutionary, has gone from a 10-1 good bet, to a 5-1 front runner in no time, the brings the value of my bet down, but makes for a more exciting, harder to call race, in my opinion.

Either way, I’m here. This morning I was watch I the coverage from my couch, but it was just too much. I had to get out here. Then someone weeded the Hunter Thompson article, and that as the las straw. I had to get out here and see some of this stuff for myself. I’m glad I did, and If I win any of these bets, I’ll be leaving a super happy man.

Wish me luck!