Road Trip!/Concert Review: Dogstar at Gold Diggers, Los Angeles.

Tonight was a rare and once in a lifetime event. We were cordially invited to the “record release party” celebrating Dogstar’s new – yet to be named – album.

Dogstar, back in action!

Full Disclosure: Bret Domrose, the guitarist and vocalist for Dogstar is my best friend. He and I came up together, learning the ropes of playing live shows, song writing and being serious, professional musicians. In fact, the very first band Bret was ever in – The Laters, circa 1984 – had me as the drummer. He and I went on to form several bands afterwards, culminating in a record deal with an indie label that went bankrupt just prior to our record’s release, and from there our lives took very divergent paths.

Bret, doin’ his thing!

There is a good chance if you’ve heard of Dogstar at all, it’s because of their infinitely famous bassist, Keanu Reeves. It is true that they got a lot of breaks that most bands wouldn’t have received if it weren’t for Keanu, but bottom line, Dogstar is a great band with a lot of really fantastic songs.

Tonight they played their first live show in DECADES, playing their recently recorded album, in its entirety. And let me tell you, it’s going to be a great album if this gig was any indication!

There is evident growth in the songwriting, and Bret’s guitar work has never been better. Keanu is a solid bassist and really held things down with his playing. Drummer Rob did something I’ve never, and I do mean NEVER seen, playing a harmonica solo while playing drums!

It was a great set, the band was in good spirits, the sound was great, the energy high and the crowd was all smiles!

It was an awesome night. We were able to see a bunch of old friends that we haven’t seen in ages and I was able to introduce our daughter to Keanu finally after hearing about him practically her entire life. (When she was only 2 years old, I went on tour with Dogstar so she’s heard the stories about my times with Keanu and Uncle Bret many times over the years!)

Our kid in the foreground, Mr. Reeves in the background…

It was so good to see Bret on stage again, and I’m really proud of the work he’s put in and the really stellar songs that came out of the project. He’s an extremely talented guy and I feel lucky to call him a friend.

The Boring Old Man and Bret Domrose.

Thanks for a great night guys. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new record!

Thanks for stopping by!

Road Trip!  Los Angeles/Hollywood, CA

Into the heart of Darkness…

Unlike the late Randy Newman, I do NOT love LA.  It’s been a few years since I’ve been here, and I was in no hurry to return but one of  those “once in a lifetime” things popped up, and here we are!

Our lodging for the next couple nights…

The trip took us roughly 5.5 hours, not too shabby!  On the way we made a pit-stop for fuel and restroom facilities and found an Arby’s,  so we had to stop there too.  Say what you will about Arby’s… People seem to love ’em or hate ’em, but we love their sandwiches.   All their locations in our neck of the woods have closed down, so this was our first time in one for years and we were quite happy with our decision to stop in!

We checked into the Roosevelt Hotel,  which has quite the history: the first Academy Awards were held here, Marilyn Monroe lived here for some time…many Hollywood legends have stayed here over the decades.  Some say a few are still here, haunting the joint but so far we’ve seen nothing unusual.

The view from our room…

Today we’re just gonna kick about and do some touristy stuff until it’s time to get ready for tonight’s event.  More on that later…  For now, we’re gonna take our daughter to see the Hollywood  Walk of Fame stars and the Chinese Theater with all the famous people’s handprints and what not…  But first, breakfast!

Thanks for stopping by!

Road Trip! Gold Beach, OR.

Today we ventured further north to Gold Beach, Oregon. The town is small and not unlike many other sea-side towns, but we’ve been enjoying it very much.

The view from our room.

After checking in to our spot for the night, we actually took to the road again, driving up as far as Port Orford, OR, just for the heck of it, to see what’s what.

Today is out actual anniversary – 31 years ago today, we tied the knot – so today is the day we spoil ourselves. Very swanky accommodations, unbelievable high end dinner (so good, words fail me) and just cruisin’ around enjoying each other. There are much worse ways to spend the day, let me tell you!

Tomorrow we’ll goof off a bit, then we’ve got a long haul ahead of us to get home. Sadly, both of us have to work in the morning (and I, this weekend also).

Oregon has been delightful, it most certainly won’t be another 40 years before we return!

Thanks for stopping by!

Road Trip! Brookings, OR.

This is a trip looooooong overdue! I haven’t been to Oregon in roughly 4 decades, but it’s a place that I’ve held a strong fondness for since the last time I was here. The Mrs. had NEVER been to Oregon, but finally we’ve made it, and it couldn’t be more breathtaking!

Gorgeous, just gorgeous.

We’re staying at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast, right on he water, for a couple days, then heading slightly further North tomorrow.

So far, it’s pretty much been perfect. The weather, the beach, the inn…honestly couldn’t be more content right now.

The waves have not been conducive to surfing, but I don’t mind in the least. It’s been a minute since I’ve been this relaxed, and I’m just gonna soak it in!

Thanks for stopping by!

Road Trip! Trinidad, CA.

This week the Mrs. and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary, and we decided to go somewhere we’ve never been just for the adventure of it. Our first stop, Trinidad, California is roughly 6 hrs north of home, so not too bad of a haul to get there.

We got a late start, and it was well past sundown when we arrived, so we didn’t get to see much of anything upon arrival. However, we were greeted by an astounding chorus of sea lions hooting and hollering from the shores below.

As it turns out, that was kinda the highlight of our stay.

Foggy but gorgeous here.

The area is stunning and if we had time to dilly-dally, there were several places worth exploring but this was just a layover…

On to our next stop. To be continued…

Back in the water!

Today was a monumental day- my first time back on a surfboard since December of last year! (That’s right, us crazies out here on the west coast still surf at Christmas!)

2022 has been a rough year for me health-wise. Not only did my 5-day a week gym routine go out the window, but my surfing came to a screeching halt. Over the past couple months I’ve been making strides at the gym, but still haven’t felt I had the strength for surfing.

The conditions weren’t great, but then again I’m not a great surfer, despite my passion for it. But it felt incredible just to be back in the Pacific, paddling out under squadrons of pelicans. And in the end, I did catch a nice wave and managed to get upright for a short but sweet little ride.

It was glorious. I hope to do it again tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by!

Road Trip: Manresa State Beach

The Mrs. and I woke up and realized we didn’t have anything pressing, so we threw some cold drinks, some mixed nuts and beef jerky in a cooler and hit the road to the coast.

We didn’t have a specific destination in mind, we kinda let traffic lead our decision making, and we ended up at Manresa State Beach in La Selva Beach, CA – about 20 minutes south of Santa Cruz.

Manresa was one of my haunts as a teen, first learning to surf. Later it was a family favorite where we often took our daughter. But today was the first time back there in a dozen years at least.

It was a little overcast when we first got there, but it burned off by 11:30, and was just gorgeous after then, a perfect day at the beach!

I’m inclined to head back tomorrow with my board, for old time’s sake…

Thanks for stopping by!

Road Trip! Home Away from Home…

The Mrs. and I took off for a couple nights.  We didn’t want to spend too much time traveling, so it was back to Half Moon Bay, our home away from home.

The weather was overcast, a little chilly and windy which is perfect as it keeps the crowds at bay.

Aside from soaking in the delightful crashing of the waves, we also took a spin down the coast to Pescadero to visit one of our favorite places; Harley Farms.

Peace and quiet, a deserted beach AND goats?  What more could you ask for in a weekend getaway?

We came back Sunday, Mother’s Day, and spent the evening with our girl, and went to a really nice dinner in Saratoga.  The perfect ending to a pretty much perfect weekend.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Now, back to the grind!

Thanks for stopping by!

A Day in the Park

After missing the festivities for the last few years, today the Mrs. and I ventured out to Kelly Park in San Jose for the 37th Annual VVCA (Vintage Volkswagen Club of America) Spring Meet, and what a great show!

I’ve been mad about VWs, since long before I could drive. My first car was a 1973 VW type III Squareback, later I had a Superbeetle and a ’71 type II bus. The first and only new car I ever purchased was a watercooled VW golf in 1990. So you could say my relationship with, and love for, VWs goes way, way back! I haven’t had one for a while now, but the craving never really leaves. After today the craving for a new aircooled plaything is especially strong!

Today we lucked out and had beautiful Spring weather and an awesome turnout of vintage German automobiles with some great restorations and even more custom, creative rides.

Here are a few highlights:

Gorgeous Single-cab Type II
One of the finest Things I’ve seen in a long time.
Very clean and modern look on this Bug
This Ghia was the Mrs.’ favorite car of the day. Simple and beautiful.
Ultra rare right hand drive Notchback. The first one I’ve ever seen in person…
A stunning interior
This pretty thing wasn’t quite finished and the pic doesn’t do it justice, she was truly dazzling in person

My thanks to the sponsors and the fine folks running the meet, we had a great time and look forward to the 38th annual!

Thanks for stopping by!


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