Thursday, October 28, 2010


Why is it that airports provide some of the best people watching experiences of all time? PEOPLE act STRANGE at airports - no question about that. I even act weird once I hit the terminal....constantly checking and rechecking for my wallet, keys, glasses, sunglasses, boarding pass etc..... At the airport, I become a checking machine.

Then there is your stuff; your travel stuff....a carry on bag and/or a briefcase. Yesterday's jaunt to the Bay Area was a one day affair so I just had my leather briefcase but I must have checked a dozen times that I had that sucker right next to me. Don't want to lose that thing to the imaginary thieves and bandits stalking our nation's airports.

Airports are great cauldron's of humanity; people there are all sizes, from all races and religions and have their own built-in quirks.

Like me.

Of course I'm tolerant of myself, so I enjoy watching other people navigate their way through the airport. From the curbside circus of mismatched luggaged to check-in to the security screening area, our airports are a mess. First of all, they are all under construction of some sort so even driving to my own airport is a white knuckle experience. And attempting to leave Las Vegas on a Sunday morning is like trying to cross the US-Mexico border on the weekend: Pure Chaos.

Our trip was a quickie of the business variety and it was a short hop from Las Vegas to Oakland. Of course it took longer to drive to our meeting than it took to fly 500 miles tells you something of the traffic and road maze that exists in the bay area. The bottom line is that the trip was a success.

And that people watching in Airports never gets old.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend Warriors

Janae and I had the pleasure of watching two of our nephew's little boys over the weekend. Trey and Bing are ages 11 and 7 respectively - they play organized football, organized basketball and unorganized other stuff.

Saturday Morning....early.... the sun was just cresting over the horizon and it was time for football. The location of the field required some advance planning and we input the location into the car navigation system so we were good to go. The boys wanted Jack-in-the Box french toast sticks for breakfast so that was stop #1. Within 60 seconds of getting the food out of the bag we had a maple syrup circus on our hands - literally. Stop #2 was at Walgreens to pick up wipes to soak up the Bing's syrup mess which was now expanding faster than the universe. Syrup is one of those things you can have for breakfast and hours later realize you have some on your sleeve or the inside of your elbow. Strange phenonmenon. Overwhelmed by syrup, we had tried our best to clean up Bing and the car in the parking lot. It was hysterical. I told him, "just think how good you'll smell when you get tackled." Meanwhile everything was sticking to him - wipes, napkins....and by the end of the game, dirt and grass managed to cling to him as well. When we got home we tossed him into the pool for 6 or 7 hours.

After 4 hours of football came 2+ hours of basketball. Thankfully Janae spared me that experience - I've never liked indoor sporting events and the noise level at youth basketball games is often louder than jet engines. Grandpa needed a break.

We relied on play station games, TV, pizza delivery and drive through service for most of the weekend except Sunday's BBQ which was awesome.

Since the kids go to a new school Monday morning was an adventure. I wasn't sure where the school was and the kids sort of knew where it was......somehow I managed to get them dropped off on time, with backpacks and lunch money.

My work is done.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beach House A Go Go

On Friday I was supposed to have a 10am meeting and then hop on the I-15 for a trip to Mexico with my new adopted family the Zobrists. Alas, 10am turned into more like 130pm and we didn't arrive in Rosarito until 830pm but since arriving we have done nothing but laugh, eat, laugh some more, play golf, watch football and gaze out upon the ocean. I love Mexico.

The border crossing into Tijuana was pure chaos.

Lights blaring, cars everywhere merging into some 3 lanes. One can drive into Mexico rather easily - no passport check, just a wave and a nod, but coming back across? I'm sure that will be mess and require a xanax. We'll see.

Sure I've been down here before, but this time, spending more than just a 1/2 day, I feel like it's my new home away from home. Had the best taco ever - Yaqui's....the newer one. Apparently there was bad blood between the original owners and there are 2 Yaqui's right across the street from one another. Dining tip: Go to the joint where the people are congregated and not the empty place. We did. GREAT authentic dining experience. I could even hear the dogs barking and cats meowing in the kitchen...

Golf at Bajamar was interesting. The course was in fine shape and the greens surprised me by being in such good condition but the eery thing was this: we didn't see another golfer on the course the entire round. Even though Richie, Mark and I played so-so, we had a great time. The highlight of the round was the bobcat we saw not 50 feet from our carts.

He was hunting the quail that were munching on grass seed on the teebox. Not seeing the fowl, I screeched to a halt, the quail went scrambling and then the bobcat's head and shoulders rose up from the bush.....he was likely pissed that we spooked the quail into scampering away. He looked at us (meanwhile I calculated I could probably outrun Mark) and then we watched him jog off. That was a first. If Garth were there, I'm sure he would have whipped out his knife and gone for the kill adding yet another pelt for his wall.

The trip home was far more adventurous and entertaining. The living theater part was the 2 hour wait to cross the border. Peddlers were selling everything imaginable from authentic Mexican art (?) to authentic Mexican pinatas to food and drink. The trick is to not make eye contact with them or else you're toast. I kept my sunglasses on and stared straight ahead while listening to the Eagles-'Skins game on satellite radio. I'm not good at waiting in line so the 2 hours spent in traffic was akin to a death sentence and quite uncomfortable for me. In fact, my right ankle is sore from braking yesterday. After getting through that bottleneck, we stopped north of the border, near Temecula, and bought a bunch of fresh avocados, peppers and tomatoes to make some homemade guacomole for MNF. This time of year, life revolves around football, that's just the way it is.

The real fun was when we stopped in the middle of nowhere to switch drivers.....unknowlingly my phone fell out of the car, we drove forward 100' when I hollered, "My phone!" Sure enough, not only did I drop it, but we also managed to run over it. Crushed. All this while I was dodging Wal-Mart semi-trucks that were pulling up in the exit lane. Nuts. I shouted the obligatory, "*$()@#*#&$&@!" and after about 30 seconds of that, I was laughing. I just blamed Janae.

The tough part of replacing the phone is the hassle that ATT/Apple will give me. I usually have to make 2 or 3 trips in order for them to straighten out who exactly is supposed to sell me my phone, and then comes the setup hassle. Admittedly, I'm not a tech guy so reprogramming/uploading all my stuff will be stressful and laborious. Uggh....just the thought of having to deal with the ATT people.....Maybe I'll just have Janae do it....

Mexico was great. I even managed, fortunately, to handle the wait to cross the border without freaking out the border guard and requiring a full blown strip search.

Now that we'll be spending quite a bit of time down there....

....expect more stories.

Good ones.