First Impressions

I *think* I signed up for an Instagram account so that I can simply post pictures without resizing, etc., but I haven’t quite figured that out yet. I’m so old.

In the meantime here are a few snaps gleaned while getting to know the area where I’m staying (a fairly central shopping district with other swanky hotels) and getting over my jet lag.
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Taken For A Ride

*white* knuckle bus ride to Logan
A Literal WHITE Knuckle Ride From Portland to Logan Airport Monday En Route To The Tropics

Yes, I *know* that it’s SO annoying to hear that Eric and Alison are traveling to some exotic location to learn about exotic food. Again. That said, most of you have heard that Alison was selected as an artist in the US State Dept. Arts Envoy Program and sent to Doha, Qatar to spend a week teaching painting. THAT will have to be the subject of another possible set of posts by Alison — I’ve seen only the photos she’s been emailing around, and occasional TXTs checking-in. Her trip brought her within an easy flight of India, which triggered my suggestion to finally have a look at The Jewel.

On Thursday Alison will leave Doha on a direct flight to Bengaluru/Bangalore (local/English names which appear here interchangeably (admittedly I’ve stuck to the western friendly areas so far) but I will call it Bangalore from now on) to join me on yet another food adventure. We will spring-board from this new MegaTechCity to the West through Karnataka toward the intersection with Kerala and Tamil Nadu states at the paint drip end of the Indian sub-continent.

I have just arrived after quite an incredible journey (from the perspective of how a modern system of amazing logistics in the era of terrorists targeting travelers operates more or less efficiently) from Boston through London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 Habitrail then on through the night to land in Bangalore where my fun “Welcome To India” story begins…
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Maine Hops by Eric

Eric planted hops at the new house in Maine.
The hops vine climbs up two thin wires as an ornamental screen in front of our windows.
The hops are perennial plants, so they’ll be back with vigor next year.
Here’s what they look like in September.

Reno Artown Murals

Last July — that would be 2014 — a hubbub took over several pages in the RGJ. Circus Circus is promoting a contest to paint murals on the Virginia Street side of their Casino in a 24 hour Marathon. First, a competition was held to select 8 artists to paint 14 feet high by 30 feet long murals in each of 7 structural bays of the building. Circus Circus is providing the artists a $750 stipend for paint and other materials. On Saturday at 10am, brushes are be put down, the murals judged and the winner awarded a $2,000 First Prize. $1,000 goes for Second and $500 for Third and your mural will be on prominent display for one year along with the others.

Recently, my senses perked with the announcement in the RGJ for the 2015 contest. I clipped the RGJ and dusted off my camera. There’s a story here for RectorSite.

standby for new murals

 

blah blah
we all predict there will be enough paint and talent
I got to Virginia Street just at the right time on Saturday afternoon. Deadline past, Judging just completed but the street still closed for cleanup and tidy-up.
here we are, looking north on virginia street; left to right as you face circus circus
… and the first mural encountered just happens to be the winner of the SECOND PRIZE: Owl Be Waiting by Bryce Chisholm,
Yellow Bird by David Cherry, Reno NV

Tom by Stephane Cellier, Virginia City NV
FIRST PRIZE: Ascension by Anthony Padilla, Sacramento CA
Untitled by Asa Kennedy and Derek Miller…            the dry grass to the right and the pedestrians to the left seem to fit right in to this composition
Evolition of Man by Danielle Rumbaugh

Nice job… and they’ll be up all year, go take a look for yourself.

 

 

Wendell and Carol and Eric visit Carol and Marcus and Brian June 2015

They drove from Las Vegas to Reno after their “Germany Reunion” in Las Vegas. That occurs every three years with more than 200 folks attending. Who knew? I thought it was like 20 or so of the people they worked with at their school in Wurzburg. No. It’s everybody ever at that school, students and faculty alike.

Never mind, it gets them on their way here. Driving on Sunday they arrived a bit after 4:30 — good time and set about chatting us up as we waited for Eric to pick up Brian from the airport, returning from Kyiv. Brian’s plane due to leave Seattle (from Kyiv via Amsterdam) but delayed. So we had a chance to sit on the back terrace and catch up on the past many years… EZ… who changes.

So… B and E arrived, I threw lamb chops on the Big Green Egg, we opened a few bottles of wine and commenced the evening. Rosemary potatoes accompanied the chops, along with two versions of Eric’s Gazpacho. YUM.

Monday, after breakfasting and chilling, we set off on a tour over Somersett Parkway to McCarran Boulevard and down past and to the University of Nevada campus. We parked and walked around the Green, noted the Excellent mining engineering buildings forming  the green; eased down through town to point out how UNR will ultimately connect with the downtown and arrived early for our reservation at Campo for lunch. Eric joined us.

After, Eric returned to Sparks and we continued touring with Reno Provisions and RENO ENVY where we treated W&C with happy anniversary tee shirts. We drove through Midtown and down South Virginia pointing out the worthy sites.The Peppermill is undergoing extensive remodeling and thrusting forth a new face. Wonder what it will be?

We joined West McCarran and drove around its hilly grandeur to reach I-80 and our way home. It seems like a very short encounter, but we experienced a lot of Reno and unless we ventured to Lake Tahoe or Pyramid Lake or all those other places outside Reno, we’ve had a good visit and it’s nearly time to go to the Aces game.

It was a cloudy, balmy evening at the Ballpark, and not only that, but Dollar Hot Dog Night and Dollar Ribs Night. Who could ask for more. Eric and Brian got seats in our section — and eventually in our row — and we settled back to enjoy the game. It was a pretty good game and ended up 7-2, aces winning before 4,080 lucky fans.

After the ardous effort of posing with us, Archie and the girls chilled out between innings.

the two old guys kept score…
and it was — all in all — a fine evening at the ballpark.

Buckeye Watch


January 7, 2015
The Ohio State Buckeyes will play the Oregon Ducks at ATT Stadium in Arlington TX on Monday, January 12. And the Reno-Tahoe Buckeye Alumni are doing a watching party at the El Dorado.
Be there!

I went to the El Dorado during the week and checked out the Brew Brothers where the watch party will be held. It’s a big room with a long bar and about 30 TVs (C counted). No super-big TVs but you can see at least 3 from anywhere you sit. I asked the bartender about the watch party. “It’ll be mobbed,” he said. “Come early for a good seat.”

I dreamed that if we left at 3:00 for the 5:30 kickoff, we’d be first to snare a seat. That turned out to be true — even though we left at 3:15. We had a long wait, but the ESPN pre-game show was on, so not too boring. And Buckeyes began arriving in groups, shouting “OH,” to which we would respond, “IO.” It was too dark to read the magazines I brought.

“Our TV’s.” Governor wearing white collar in front of us.

We settled at a high table facing three screens; two regular and the center one bigger. We were just behind a table set for 14. Turned out to be Governor Brian Sandoval’s table, he got his law degree at Ohio State and challenged his classmates to join him and root on the Buckeyes. Brian reminded us that Nevada is a small, rather laid back state. Imagine Jerry Brown sitting there? Probably not.

THE GAME
Oregon won the toss (heads) and took the ball, as is their wont… drove for a TD. 7-0.

The Buckeyes scored once, then again with impressive runs by Ezekiel Elliott and chunk yardage passes by Cardall Jones.

Oregon came back to 20-21 in the Third Quarter owing to Jones’ *Jameis Winston impression,* but that was it. When the Bucks turned it over on their own 30 and stopped the Ducks on the 1 foot line on downs, then took the ball and drove 99 yards for their own TD, I said to all, “This game is OVER.”

Indeed. Final score of 42 – 20.

It was a good experience in that sports bar; lots of OH and IOing and high fiveing and carrying on. And Buckeyes are a friendly bunch, many came over to talk. There was plenty of time for that during long commercial breaks. Not tooooo bad, as the commercials were expensive and for the most part new and well produced.

Buffalo Wings
Hog Wings for next time.

Food was good and the menu very interesting. For two, not more expensive than the Buffet (if you don’t stay five hours). Beer was good. We will be back in that place.

But the event was the thing: First EVER, UNDISPUTED CHAMPION of College Football, or so the shirt says. I like the sound of that.

my new shirt
Carol, Governor Sandoval, Brian
Sports Illustrated prediction, result applied
A win for the Governor

Do Sammy Proud

BROADWAY SHOWSTOPPERS at Sammy’s Showroom,

Harrah’s Reno August 18, 2014


about BROADWAY SHOWSTOPPERS (Harrah’s website)

Greg Thompson, who has produced more shows in the fabled Sammy’s Showroom at Harrah’s Reno than any other producer, will return this summer with an updated version to his long running hit show “Broadway Showstoppers”. Thompson, who calls the Sammy’s Showroom, “the best showroom in the business,” has produced over 600 shows throughout the world over his 40 year career. “Broadway Showstoppers” has won the “Show of the Year” in Atlantic City, Biloxi, Reno and Lake Tahoe and was inducted into the “Broadway Round Table Hall of Fame”.
“Broadway Showstoppers” was first produced in 1978 and has played throughout the country for more than 35 years. The show was the first of many shows Thompson produced for Harrah’s Reno beginning in 1991 and “Showstoppers” was brought back to Harrah’s in 1998 and again in 2005. Each time Thompson gives the show a new twist by adding current Broadway hits to the mix of classic Broadway blockbusters. “We will still pay tribute to the classic musicals from the Golden Age of Broadway like “West Side Story”, “Guys & Dolls”, “Grease”, “Chicago” and “Cabaret”, said Thompson, “but we will also be performing the hits from the hottest shows on Broadway today. The hits from Mamma Mia, Motown, Carole King’s “Beautiful”, “Jersey Boys”, “Rock of Ages”, Million Dollar Quartet and more!”

MY TAKE: Wow! Whatta show. The curtain rose to a grizzled fifty-something stage manager chomping a (fake) cigar and admonishing actors lounging at the back of the stage to get their act together. He proceeded to turn to us and tell stories about why they weren’t ready for the show — it’s Monday… we’re closed Monday — he came down the steps at the front of the stage to kibbutz with the audience and warm us up. Soon, two women in tight black dresses were at a dressing rack — rear stage left — fiddling with tidying their costumes. The stage manager was talking of great shows of the past — Sammy is Sammy Davis Jr. who played this room many times — and the Broadway shows that had passed through here. CABARET, for one — he broke into the “Welcome” song in German and was joined by the two women. They sang and danced their way through selected Cabaret numbers and the stage manager noted a well known Broadway story of Romeo and Juliet, set to music by Leonard Bernstein and two men wearing black jackets with JETS in white letters across the back joined the women.

“When you’re a JET
you’re a JET all the way
from you’re first cigarette
to you’re last dying day…”

Now, we have five actors, all with Broadway voices, Broadway dance moves and Broadway looks performing Broadway Showstoppers. And we’re in the FRONT ROW.

I was agonizing over what to do for Carol’s Birthday on Thursday when the Arts section appears in the RGJ. That’s it! ! ! Broadway Showstoppers. I got tickets for Monday August 18 in the VIP section of Sammy’s Showroom at Harrah’s Reno. Planned to do the buffet around 6:30, then the show at 8. Well, anytime you go to a show, or dinner or whatever at a Casino, the first thing to do is get a “locals” card (for out of towners, its called a players card. Good for a discount on the Buffet, at least… and in this case, complementary Showroom tickets. “Show it to the Box Office, they’ll refund your money spent on line and give you new tickets.” What did I know?

Harrah’s Carvings Buffet is pretty good. Good food, good variety, not noisy, a guy promptly serving drinks and picking up dirty dishes and the place is very clean with a clientele a cut above your bargain buffet. And restrooms are easy to find, commodious and clean.

When we gave our show tickets to the Maitre’d at the showroom, he took us to seats in the middle of the General Admission section. I looked surprised and mentioned that I bought VIP tickets on line, but when my “locals” card allowed me comp tickets, I traded them in, I thought for equal tickets. He allowed as how they weren’t packed and maybe he could do something for me and escorted us down through the VIP section to the FRONT ROW CENTER.

Carol — front and center — about 20 minutes before the show… the room eventually filled up.

I know he didn’t expect it, but I gave him ten bucks.

Great show and Great Evening. Everybody at Harrah’s seems enthusiastic about their interaction with customers. And not only that, they gave us a “locals” parking pass to their garage which happens to be right next to Aces Ballpark.

Harrah’s is a grand Discovery.

Go Jump In A Wake

Here’s a regional pastime on the Maine Coast: summer residents — primarily but not exclusively the younger residents — of the outer islands in Casco Bay will often meet the Ferry at the dock in their bathing suit when it arrives for one of its several daily visits. They will patiently wait for the eager visitors unloading, the sad visitors embarking, and for any pallets of cargo to be landed and removed. Then, after the gangplank has been raised, and the ferry captain has nudged the nose of the ferry away from the dock, he will FULL the engines to scoot toward the next stop while a dock load of thrill seekers jumps into the milky turbulence behind the ship. At low tide this can be over a ten foot jump — some increase their decent by climbing on top of one of the piers.

Cliff Island Ferry Jump

Cliff Island Ferry Jump

Cliff Island Ferry Jump

Cliff Island Ferry Jump
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