Monday, April 15, 2019

I drove over The Great Bridge in Long Beach, and I'm back in San Antonio preparing for Fiesta

I neglected to tell you that I drove over The Great Bridge - also known as the Vincent Thomas Bridge - several times during my recent trip to California.

I actually visited San Pedro, the community across from Long Beach over this bridge, hoping to find a filming location for the William Friedkin film To Live and Die in L.A.

IMDB lists many filming locations in the Los Angeles area for that movie. The one address I really wanted to see, unfortunately, was not listed there. I'm referring to the property the Secret Service informant lives in, with the fantastic view of that bridge from her window.

It's hard to tell from this photo if the property is on the San Pedro or Long Beach side of the bridge. I've always really liked that movie. It's sort if cool to see how these areas have changed (or stayed the same) years after they served as a filming location.

I arrived back home early this week to find San Antonio just beginning its Fiesta celebration. This is considered one of the city's premier festivals, taking place every year over a period of a couple weeks. There are numerous events all over town to choose from during that time. This is my first Fiesta as a resident here.

I've decided on attending an event called A Night in Old San Antonio, because I really wanted to find something hosted downtown. One of the really cool things about San Antonio is that some of the best places to visit are either in or near the downtown area. I'm looking forward to heading out there April 24 to see what all the Fiesta excitement is all about.

I'm also heading to the Houston area later this month to attend an event my dad has helped organize the past few years, the San Leon Oyster Fest on April 27. I may spend much of the weekend in the area, which would likely put me at Numbers that Friday night.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Things in Los Angeles progressing pretty nicely during visit, movie night tonight

I really have been trying to get out and about a little bit in L.A. this week. There is so much to do in this city.

What a fantastic outing I had my first night here. I drove over to Santa Ana and saw that Peter Murphy show at the Yost Theater. There was a good crowd there, and he and the band sounded great. I enjoy the Bauhaus tracks, but I'd like to see him perform his solo material live sometime. The Bauhaus material was before I actually became a fan of that kind of music. I discovered the Bauhaus music as a result of his solo work during the Deep and Holy Smoke era. Cuts you Up is fantastic in a night club with the girlies dancing.

His opening act, a San Francisco-based artist named Jill Tracy, gave a good performance as well. I found the recollection of what she described as her one "Goth Diva moment" quite funny. Due to ingesting a wrongly prescribed medicine for several days, she had to be carted away by ambulance one evening in a black-sequin dress after passing out right before she was to go on stage before Peter Murphy.

I blogged about wanting to visit Griffith Park years ago, but previous attempts to actually get up that hill and see the place had been met with large crowds of people that made doing that difficult. Here's a tip if you plan to visit: Go during the week, and in the morning. The crowds were much smaller, and there was much more parking available along the road up the hill. As an added bonus, parking along the road is free before noon during the week. The site offers a great view of Los Angeles from up in the hills, although yesterday was a bit cloudy and hazy.

A lone, well-dressed Asian warrior seemed to stand watch over the courtyard in front of the observatory. I just had to take a photo of him.

The drive to Huntington Beach brought me to a home I lived in briefly as an elementary school student. I found the address in a box on some material published by the Huntington Beach Rams, my pee-wee football team. The house is still there and looks much like I remember. There was a huge lava rock that used to sit near one of the pillars in front.

The most significant change I noticed in the neighborhood is this park that the city has placed on the corner. The park is two or three houses down from the home pictured above. In 1978, this site was a huge dirt lot. This is where the neighborhood kids would meet to play baseball or kickball. What has been done here is definitely an improvement, but I actually expected to see homes built here.

Dodger Stadium was Dodger Stadium, a very nice place to go. Lots of cool people. Although I don't condone fighting in public, there was a pretty good scuffle in our section that saw several people ejected during the game. Nothing serious, probably just a few guys enjoying a little too much cerveza. And the Dodgers beat the Giants, which is always a good thing.

I stepped out a little early because it was so chilly up there, and I didn't want to break out my Bank of America hoodie, awarded free to the first 40,000 attendees. I want to list this as New without tags, which means I can't pull it out of the packaging just because I'm freezing my ass off and didn't bring another jacket.

Tonight is movie night at the New Beverly Cinema. As long a Quentin Tarantino is alive, and as long as he's rich, there are going to be double-feature screenings of old movies at this theater in Los Angeles. I have another $10 for him tonight. I get to see a John Wayne movie AND a Jack Nicolson directed film, both from the early 1970s.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A week in L.A. area includes visit to my third-grade home, Dodger Stadium, Peter Murphy show

Greetings to you from the air between San Antonio and Santa Ana. I'm taking a week or so to head out west to kick back and do some relaxing.

I'm once again staying in Long Beach at a familiar location. Later this evening I'll see the legendary Peter Murphy performing his Bauhaus tunes at the Yost Theater. I saw the show in San Antonio several years ago at the Korova Bar (a venue I wish was still open). I'm looking forward to later this evening.

I also have tickets to the Dodgers-Giants game at the ballpark tomorrow. I've got to get my hands on one of those free hoodies. Should I hang on to the wonderful garment or list it in my eBay store? These are the difficult decisions I face all the time in my life.

I'll probably head over to Hollywood Boulevard during this trip. I don't think I've done that my last couple visits to Los Angeles, and I always enjoy walking down the street and seeing the sites there. One time I stopped to grab a sandwich in a small deli and looked up to see a sign indicating Clint Eastwood filmed a scene from one of his movies at that spot I was sitting. You never know what you'll discover on Hollywood Boulevard. You may even see some people dressed like Spider-Man or Edward Scissorhands.

Another thing I'm really looking forward to doing this trip is driving over to Huntington Beach and seeing the home I lived in briefly during the third grade. Though I was young, I have many memories of that house, the surrounding neighborhood, and the elementary school I attended there. It will be cool to see how things have changed (or stayed the same) in the area.

I read somewhere that Quentin Tarantino purchased a historic movie theater in Los Angeles where they run old films from time to time. Maybe I'll see a movie this trip. I'll do more research on the Internet machine and find out where the place is and what is showing. In the past, I've caught my old movies at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood (one night I was lucky enough to walk up on an evening they were screening an Akira Kurosawa double-feature).

Other than that, I'll play this trip by ear. Keep an eye here or on my Twitter for updates.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Flying from San Antonio this weekend, the next journey takes me to Denver, Colorado

Have you ever noticed how everyone who lives in Colorado, or has visited Colorado at some point, has a glowing review of the place? I get my first glimpse when Southwest Airlines delivers me to Denver this coming weekend.

I have relatives in the city I hope to visit with at some point (please DM on Twitter or send an email to john@pinnaclecreative.net. I'd love to meet up during the week sometime). Other than that, I've spent some time reading up on places to go and things to see, as well as educating myself by watching YouTube videos on the city.

Initially, I'm just looking forward to seeing the place my plane lands. According to the Internet, the Illuminati built the airport and they have special landing strips for spaceships and aliens invaders. They've also painted pictures of World War III or some sort of nuclear holocaust on the walls, while creating runways in the shape of swastikas. If that wasn't enough, a giant horse statue that looks like an evil Denver Broncos logo was erected on the premises, just in time for it to topple over on the artist who created the thing. He was crushed and killed right there at the airport by his own piece of artwork.

1) Sunday playoff football - I didn't realize until after I booked the flight that the AFC and NFC championship games are both played this Sunday. I fly in early that morning, so I'll need to find a place to watch the games. I'll probably just find a good spot near my hotel. Incidentally, I'm pulling for the Los Angeles Rams to win the Super Bowl this year.

2) Rocky Mountain National Park - I think I'd enjoy a short road trip to visit a national park in the midst of some beautiful mountains. Apparently, an hour or so outside Denver is this national treasure, which according to a local newspaper is partially open despite the current spat in Washington D.C. By partially open, I mean I can still get inside the park and enjoy the scenic beauty. I don't know if I'll be able to use the restrooms there, though.

3) Red Rocks - This place always makes me think of U2. The band was brilliant to record a live album there. I owned the cassette as a youngster and always figured Red Rocks was somewhere overseas. This is another location that is always lauded for its natural beauty. I've also heard the acoustics are great there, but I won't see a rock show next week. I look forward to wandering around in there.

4) Coors Field - I wish it was baseball season right now. I'd love to see a ballgame in the place, but for now I'll settle for a tour.

5) Molly Brown House - The Denver socialite survived the sinking of the Titanic. Remember Kathy Bates character in the movie? This is her actual home from that time period, which has since been transformed into a museum. I'm sure I'll take the tour there as well. Incidentally, I saw the movie Titanic on Christmas 1997 in Pasadena, Texas with a current resident of Denver and my wonderful mom, who we miss dearly. As I recall, the movie was interrupted by a theater manager and the Pasadena Police Department because someone had opened fire with some handguns and shot up a van in the parking lot. Anyway, it'll be cool to see Molly's house.

6) U.S. Mint - They make coins in there. I heard a rumor that the U.S. government might stop making pennies because the cost of the metal plus the labor required to make one now exceeds one cent. That's fraud, waste and abuse. However, if we stop making pennies we'll never be able to purchase something that cost $4.67, or $11.56. I guess we have to keep making pennies. It'll be fun to see how that stuff is made.

7) Larimer Square - Looks like a fancy shopping and dining area with Christmas lights strung all along the street, sort of like the Riverwalk without the water. Visitors on the Internet really seem to like the place. This appears on most Denver tourism "must see" lists. I'll likely walk around out there one day or evening.

8) State Capitol Building - This is where the important people work. I have a special reverence for important people and the places they congregate, because I always envisioned myself potentially doing something important one day. Until then, I'll just visit the places where important people go. I also like historic buildings, so this will be a lot of fun. As a tourist, you wouldn't visit Austin without a trip to the capitol building, so I can't see myself going to the capital of Colorado without walking through the halls of power there. I'm looking forward to that.

I'll keep you posted here, or you can follow me on Twitter for updates.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

A message to U.S. government: DO NOT abolish ICE, it makes us feel more silly

There's been talk recently about the possibility of our government making a decision that would seriously damage this country and our quality of life. Some people, it seems, want to abolish ICE.

That would be a huge mistake. ICE makes us feel much more silly, and represents a refreshing way to conclude a week or even to watch football games on Sunday afternoon.

We will not stand for any misguided decision in Washington D.C. that affects our ability to pick up a six-pack of ICE tallboys at the convenience store. Anyone unfortunate enough to vote for the abolishment of ICE will certainly lose the next election and be forced to go home and get a real job or start a business.

I know what you're thinking. With all these strong ideas, why doesn't John get involved with politics? I don't get involved with politics for the same reason I don't purchase Kindergarten Cop on Blu-ray. It sucks. I won't involve myself in any pursuit, or any expenditure of time or money, that sucks. That's why I'm not afraid to spend $6.48 on ICE tallboys from time to time. ICE doesn't suck, and it makes us feel quite silly.

On another subject, I just wanted to let y'all know that the move to San Antonio has been a positive one for a number of reasons. Such a wonderful place with wonderful people. I'm completely alone here, but really, wasn't I completely alone over the last decade or so in Houston? There are great places for me to shop for elegant clothes to resell on the Internet, less traffic on the roads, and I feel happier here.

I've been waiting on this great weather to visit some of the usual San Antonio sites following my move here, so I finally visited the Riverwalk and the Alamo this weekend -- although I'd obviously seen those places previously.

I visited Numbers in Houston for Halloween, but now it is time to find places in San Antonio to hang out in. The Houston chapter of the story is now closed. The Princess, if by chance she was in the Houston area, has a door she will need to knock on in San Antonio for that continue. I won't hold my breath, but I will accept that everything in life that doesn't happen doesn't happen for a reason. Maybe I'm ugly or undesirable. Maybe I have nothing to offer. I'll take a good look in the mirror and try to figure all this out. Maybe I'm not meant to marry (and I'm finally okay with that). Whatever the reason is, I'm here now and gratefully so. I am staying in San Antonio.

Best wishes, mighty ICE warriors, and the best of luck to all of you.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

'Reputable' and 'objective' CNN organization sends confusing messages to viewers on transparency

As if we needed more reasons to question what we see everyday on CNN, an anchor this week seemed to send conflicting messages regarding when people should feel free to come forward and speak the truth.

During a string of what seemed like unending coverage on whether a California professor should come forward and testify about an event that occurred thirty years ago at a high school party (and she should), this "well-respected" and prominent "news" anchor seemed to communicate, again and again yesterday morning, that there are some things we just don't talk about. This happened twice, with two fellow reporters that appeared on air right after each other.

Honesty and integrity, and telling the entire story, is only good when it serves our purposes or our particular slant on the day's events, or so it seems.

Like Regan MacNeil pissing on expensive Georgetown carpet, these clowns keep pissing on the Constitution that gives them the right to share their horseshit everyday under the guise of doing us all a favor.

If you are a female who wants to discuss the high-school failings of a Supreme Court nominee we don't like, you should come forward and speak (and she should). If you have the gall to share the incredible bullshit going on behind the scenes at "The Most Trusted Name in News," you best keep your fucking mouth shut, apparently.

That's the height of hypocrisy, my friends.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Welcome to YesCity, Texas, where a Big, Fat Everything Burger includes avocado and bacon

I'm becoming more familiar with the area around my new residence here in San Antonio, or YesCity, Texas. I need to get out and assimilate in the community.

A tasty burger might even be on the agenda soon. This is the first city I've ever been in where you can purchase both a Whataburger and an In-N-Out Burger. Those are both delicious sandwiches that I should enjoy in moderation, because I've heard they contain plenty of wonderful calories. A big, fat everything burger here apparently includes avocado and bacon.

San Antonio has a minor league baseball team affiliated with the San Diego Padres I probably should visit soon for a good time. They call the team the San Antonio Missions. There are cool places along the Riverwalk to see and enjoy as well. They even have an NBA team called the San Antonio Spurs I probably should check out again. They've been pretty successful. It seems like they've won championships as often as the New England Patriots.

And don't worry. Unlike Kawhi Leonard, I'm an easy man to read. All you have to do is visit PinnacleCreative.net for everything you need to know. I'll keep you posted here. In a world literally shot-through with misinformation and hoaxes, it's nice that we can return here to the blog and my Twitter for some truth from time to time.

I noticed on a concert calendar that Gary Numan and The Crystal Method are both scheduled to visit the city in the coming months. I'm looking for opportunities to get out and about, so I'll keep my eyes open. If you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

My move to San Antonio complete, getting situated in a new home city

Greetings to you from my new home city of San Antonio, Texas. I'm happy to have things getting into a routine as I become situated here.

I'm not completely unfamiliar with San Antonio. As those of you who have followed me over the years know, I lived in an extended stay hotel here about five years ago for a number of months, working for a Houston-area electronics company that installed flat-screen televisions and home theater systems. I visited San Antonio homes every day and was impressed with not only the people here but all the city has to offer. This is a fantastic town, and I know I'll enjoy living here.

Without giving out too many details here about my specific location, I'm once again on the west side of town right off of Interstate 10 (very close to where I lived in San Antonio previously). I spent this past week driving around town to visit a number of locations, sourcing products for my home business. I look forward to continuing that here.

I wasn't aware that this city is now considered one of the 10 largest in the country, even bigger than Dallas by comparison of population. Only Houston is larger in the state of Texas.

Leaving Houston was a bittersweet decision, but it was the right decision. I was born there and will always love the place, but in the past decade or so it has felt like I was always waiting on an eventuality that never came to pass. In short, Houston has felt like NoCity, Texas. The disappointing thing is that the correct answer was always "yes," and I was always surrounded by "no" there. That gets old (and frustrating).

I'm close enough to drive over to Houston for a visit occasionally, but this is a permanent change of address.

Having said that, if the Princess is out there somewhere reading this you can come anytime for a visit. Park anywhere you can find a spot.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Their name is mud: Older men apparently having a difficult time managing tongues on CNN

How creepy are these people going to get? We've already established that the "news" organization CNN is more entertainment than anything else these days, but apparently finding a grown man who can keep his tongue in his mouth for comment on the network is as difficult as locating an apple in a 10-foot pile of bananas.

From now on, we're going to start calling these people "Mud" around here. Real creepy weirdos are showing up on the "news", friends and neighbors. I have no idea how parents are supposed to explain all this nuttiness to young people. Thankfully young people don't watch boring crap like this anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

But this is a very strange trend, guys. How about some mood music? Something to get you guys turned on.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Yesterday in Washington D.C., in photos

If you plan to visit Washington D.C. this week, don't forget your umbrella.

I didn't have one for the first hour or so walking around outside downtown yesterday morning, and I was quite wet. Thankfully a nice man approached me outside the National Archives with several he had on sale for $5. It was going to be a long day without that.

It turned out to be a long day, even with the umbrella, but I had a good time seeing the sights. The National Archives is a stop I recommend to anyone visiting here. The actual Constitution of the United States is on display inside that building. I was fascinated with all those historical documents. Two uniformed guards stand on either side of the Constitution in a dimly lit room (presumably to keep the documents from fading or discoloring over time). There's no photo here because photography inside the building is prohibited.

I've often disagreed with people over the years who say the U.S. Constitution is God-inspired or that the writers penned those words under the unction of a higher power, but there is undoubtedly something special and unique about that document. I really enjoyed that museum.

Here are some photos from today:

A really cool-looking building, but you have to stand in line behind what looks like a thousand school kids to get inside (in the rain). I decided to take a look at the exterior of the building and and walk to some of the other sites. Who knows, I may get another chance to go inside sometime in the future.

The Washington Monument is tall, but not quite as tall as the San Jacinto Monument in Deer Park, the birthplace of Texas. Unfortunately, this monument is under construction and I was unable to go inside and take an exciting ride in a glass elevator (like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). They need to fix this place because looking out from those windows on top would be fantastic. Just imagine how much you could see from up there!

The Lincoln Memorial is spectacular, and many people were there wanting to see him seated on that big chair. He did such a good job freeing the slaves and being an all-around fantastic president. Incidentally, the National Archives has the Emancipation Proclamation persevered there for you to view, hand-written by President Lincoln.

By the time I made it to the White House in the afternoon, I had walked many miles and was very wet. However, seeing the place in person after years of views on the television and books is quite awe-inspiring.

Two women stopped me by the monument and asked if I knew where the scene in Forrest Gump had been filmed. At first I didn't know what they were talking about, but I do seem to remember Forrest Gump standing here at one point. I stood here long enough to shoot this photo before venturing out to find the Jefferson and M.L.K. memorials, which I saw on a sign but never actually located during my walk.

I had planned on visiting this site on Friday (today), but because my phone battery died I didn't have GPS and was driving out of downtown Washington looking for a freeway sign. I ended up in Georgetown by accident, and pulled into an Exxon gas station to ask for directions. I looked up and there they were! I didn't have battery power to take a photo, so I'm borrowing someone else's picture. These iconic steps from The Exorcist actually end on M Street, practically in a gas station parking lot. Best spooky movie of all time? Quite possibly.

Tonight I'll visit Nationals Park to see the Dodgers and Nationals play for Baseball Night in America. If you are wondering whether Baseball America in America really exists, it does really exist. I saw it on my Twitter page.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The next journey begins: Several days in Washington D.C. start tomorrow morning

I'm looking forward to jumping on some airplanes early tomorrow that will take me from Houston Hobby to Love Field and then on to Reagan National for several days of fun in our nation's capitol.

There I'll see the sights, immerse myself in the history of this great nation, and shack up for several days near Andrews Air Force Base. I always enjoy hanging out in the vicinity of our nation's warriors.

The World Famous Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Washington Nationals Friday Night. I'll park my rear in the outfield for Baseball Night in America. Frank in La Puente, or "Big Bad Frank" as I affectionately like to call him, shipped me a brand new shirt for the event. I think I deposited nearly $11 in his Paypal account for that gorgeous shirt. A fantastic product shipped very fast. Thank you.

I haven't visited Washington D.C. since the early 2000s when I attended some meetings at the Smithsonian commemorating the completion of the human genome. I got around town a little bit back then, but this time I've made a list of places I'd enjoying seeing while in Washington.

Here's where you might have a chance to say "hello" between now and Saturday (other than the ballpark):

1) The White House - This is where President Donald Trump and his wife currently live. When I visited last time, there was a construction project underway that prohibited walking up to the fence line. I'll take a better look this time.

2) The Capitol Building - I have cable news on frequently during the day and there seem to be numerous important people who do interviews in that building, sometimes saying some pretty interesting things. I've also noticed statues that would probably be cool to take a look at if time permits. I'd love to walk into the room where the president gives the State of the Union address, but that looks like the sort of place that might only be open to visitors at specific times.

3) The National Mall - I took a long walk and saw all of that during my last visit, but it's definitely worth another lap around the pool. The statue of President Lincoln sitting on that huge chair is spectacular. I may wander over to see the new (or relatively new) M.L.K monument. That sure was nice of our nation's leaders to give him his own statue and memorial in D.C., but I would have voted to put a smile on his face. He doesn't look very happy.

4) National Archives Museum

5) Washington National Cathedral

6) National Gallery of Art

7) The concrete steps in Georgetown that Father Karras tumbles down at the end of The Exorcist, and the house the MacNeil's rented at 3600 Prospect. One of my favorite scary movies of all time, and one of the most iconic and memorable shooting locations in film history.

For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the place I saw President Obama and Vice President Biden have lunch near the White House years ago on the news. I made a mental note to eat at that location during a visit in the future, as they said the restaurant is a prominent fixture in the White House area. I may have to grab my Big, Fat Everything Burger somewhere else in the city, because I neglected to write down the name of the place and nothing I see online rings a bell. However, I imagine there are plenty of places to grab some tasty chow in that town.

Maybe I'll just bring a Papa John's pizza back to my swanky room and enjoy it with some of that garlic sauce. On second though, I really don't care for that garlic sauce much. Possibly a Big, Fat Everything Pizza without the garlic sauce will do just fine if I can't find the burger place.

I hope to see y'all around town.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Latest Direct TV ad an entertaining break from current slew of boring commercials, CNN is weird

In a time when most advertising firms don't produce the same quality of messaging we once saw on television, the new Direct TV commercial featuring the woman pouring a pot of hot coffee in her lap and the "thumbs up train lady" is a welcomed 30 seconds.

Incredibly silly, and entertaining as a result, the commercial made this Xfinity customer actually think about switching for a moment or two. However, switching is so much trouble. That requires someone coming over to install new equipment (and me having to drive up to the Xfinity office to return electronics), and then I have to learn a whole new cable system. And where would I put the dish? It's easier just to stay with my current cable provider. All I have to do is pay a bill once a month and the channels stay on my TV. I get all this incredible content for only $123 a month. I feel spoiled.

That doesn't make the commercial any less effective or entertaining. I actually thought about switching. That's a big first step for Direct TV. I hope the company's ad agency will continue to produce funny stuff for us to watch.

Speaking of incredible content, I was watching CNN today when they seemed to report that Russia is saying the current hoopla over Flynn is really about someone purchasing a bag of weed. That's a little confusing, but all this Russia news is quite confusing at times.

I'm glad both Xfinity and Direct TV carry CNN so we can see all the weird news about Russia and the sorted cast of characters who wander through the newsroom from time to time. Please keep us entertained (and informed), CNN.

If you have any job openings in that big building on Sunset Boulevard, I can start anytime after the first of the year. I hear there is a little bar across the street that Morrissey used to wander into occasionally. That might be a cool place to enjoy a cerveza after work sometime.