The day after

There was a movie in 1983, a TV movie, called The Day After. At the time, it was a big TV movie event, not as big as Roots, but big enough to warrant a bunch of stories and fear about what life would be like after a nuclear attack.

From Wikipedia: The film postulates a fictional war between NATO forces and the Warsaw Pact that rapidly escalates into a full-scale nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. The action itself focuses on the residents of Lawrence, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, as well as several family farms situated near nuclear missile silos.

The cast includes JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, John Cullum, Jason Robards, and John Lithgow.

The one scene I remember without looking at the trailer is someone looking at the mushroom cloud that was forming miles away and getting blinded by the heat/shock wave.

Right now, as I type this on Saturday night/Sunday morning, it is the fresh new era of the Orange Orangutan Administration (aka the Celebrity Apprentice guy before Arnold Schwarzenegger). And all I can recall is a TV movie about the day after a nuclear war between the U.S. and the USSR.

So, take that for what it is – a rare political rant here. In the future, if there is funny to pass along, I will, but very few rants.

Aziz Ansari hosted Saturday Night Live, which is the new favorite show of the Orange Orangutan Administration, and did a great job with the monologue. Below, I’ve also added a trailer from the TV movie.


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Writing is hard

Tough to keep your momentum going when you don’t have much to write about.

So, I’ll see if Twitter posts are able to come up here. I know Instagram does, which is good.

And it looks like it does work. Nice.

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A minor flashback

While watching a bit of postseason football, I scanned Instagram briefly and saw this photo of Johnny Knoxville, of Jackass fame.
And yes, it brought back a few memories.
There were a few times when I lived in Calistoga where I’d take a few days traveling, mostly because I had vacation time I had to use and I didn’t want to just give them up.
On one of those trips, I drove up I-80 past Reno and Sparks and dove down I-95 to Las Vegas – one of the loneliest highways I’ll ever drive. On the best of times, these trips would be frugal affairs, just enough money for gas, food and a place to stay for a day or two.
This, however, turned out to not be one of those best of times. It didn’t come from bad luck or gambling or theft or anything nefarious – I did a poor job of planning.
After a long day of driving, I was sitting in the lobby of Caesar’s Palace. And, the money just didn’t add up. What was supposed to be enough money for gas, food and two nights at one of the cheaper casinos turned into just enough money for gas. Even to this day, I can’t sort out where I miscalculated.
So, a three-day stay in Vegas was now a survival test. Well, no. It would be a one-night survival run before leaving.
Hey, I just got there. I was going to stay for a bit. I walked around the casinos. I sat at the slots to get a free beer or two. I slugged a lot of free water. I talked up a few ladies, but none of them took me in for the night (even for a bit of sleep).
All of the walking and the drive and the stress pretty much wore me out. I fell asleep for a few hours in one of the casino lobbies and was woken up by a security guard asking me to move on.
And, in the morning, I did what Johnny Knoxville did in the picture – I grabbed a bit of breakfast from the room service left out at Caesar’s, where my truck was. I’m not proud, but it worked.
I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. One lasting sensory memory from that experience is my aversion to ketchup – so much ketchup poured onto eggs and potatoes and even on a streak.
So, the takeaway is this – make sure you count your money to survive a trip and never, ever put ketchup on a steak.

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A very special episode, er… post

Nothing special, really.
Just a chance to try this again.

Pregame before the Seattle-Detroit playoff game on Saturday.

A photo posted by Rob B (@robrvr) on Jan 8, 2017 at 10:32am PST

Rainy day in the #NapaValley and all points beyond.

A video posted by Castello di Amorosa (@thecastello) on Jan 7, 2017 at 12:27pm PST

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You just need a little bit of help.

Sometimes, you just need a bit of help. #nationalanthem #badsinging #sorryitissideways

A video posted by Rob B (@robrvr) on


Instagram / National Anthem

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366 Days: The Act We Act (Aug 14)

This poor guy is a blue-ribbon winning pig at the Grays Harbor County Fair in Elma. I saw him on Sunday, really noticed the picture on Tuesday, posted it for posterity. Poor little guy… (Photo credit: RobRVR)

Tuesday, Aug 14 — It has been nearly six weeks since I’ve sat down to write upon this space. It has been a mildly eventful time frame, but only a tiny bit of it has been worth writing about.

The beginning of this summer was marked as an introspective one, a time to sit down and go over the mental notebook and read the tea leaves/writing on the wall/insert clever “see into the future” colloquialism.

OK, really. Nothing really interesting happened over the past several weeks. There was a lot of work, a quick trip to Seattle when the schedule allowed it and this:

*A moment of silence*

There were a lot of little things that happened. Like the top picture. Poor pig has a cock-shaped eyebrow. I didn’t realize I had the picture until I went through them off my phone earlier. Now that’s funny. He needs a name, though…

On Saturday, a quick trip to Seattle for the Seahawks preseason game was a good reset. The game wasn’t that bad for a practice game. Downtown, especially in Pioneer Square, was lively. You saw a lot of interesting people and ticket scalpers for the game on every block. Every bit of the street corners were used to hawk their wares:

The free market at work in Seattle. Supply (extra tickets to the Seattle-Tennessee preseason football game at CenturyLink Field) met demand (fans looking to get in) on a street corner in Pioneer Square on Saturday. (Photo credit: RobRVR)

Also, I saw a walking bottle of Rainier beer. The beer’s handler was a cutie, but I did a poor job of getting a picture of the two. (Out of focus) With that in mind, visit Restore The

An out of focus shot of a Rainier bottle handler and her bottle in Pioneer Square on Saturday. Sorry about that, but I had to post my mistakes sometimes, too. (Photo credit: RobRVR)

I have hundreds of shots of Qwest Field/Century Link Field in my archives that I could put any of them down and call them from Saturday, but I won’t. I’ll try to get a shot or three from different vantage spots over the season.

So, for now, that’s all.

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366 Days: June 28 (End of Vacation)

This is what happens when you are having too much fun on vacation — you have pictures taken of you having too much fun. This was at the AC/DC exhibit at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. (photo copyright – EMP/Flickr)

Thursday, June 28 — It is raining. It is always raining, unless you are not here.

This was the lesson of the 2012 vacation. For just over two weeks, the rain came down as I walked around the house. The rain stayed away and the sun came out when I left the area for mini-trips. There were three mini-trips, all of them were sunny. None of my days at home have been.

And that only covers the lawn and how big it has grown.

Seattle, Part 1 — Two trips to Safeco Field for game between the Mariners and the San Francisco Giants. They are up here one three-game stretch every six seasons. The last time they were in Seattle, I barely remember it. (Editor’s Note: Somewhere in this computer is a video or two of his time in Seattle in 2006. If I get away, I’ll post it. Ha ha.)

Safeco Field is a pretty nice place to watch a major-league baseball game. The sight lines are great, there are very few bad seats (I found one) and there’s plenty to do once you are inside the ballpark, if you are into that sort of thing. The food/drink, however, is expensive to the point of eating/drinking before the game is preferred and recommended.

Pyramid Brewery is across the street from Safeco Field. The beer, at $4.50 a pint, is half-price to the domestic beer inside the stadium. The food, mostly pub-style meals (including burgers), is reasonably priced and there’s plenty of room to eat/drink/be merry before the game.

On Friday (June 15), I was able to take in the England Euro 2012 match over beers and burgers. Also, met some interesting people there, a lot of them Giants fans coming out of the woodwork to enjoy the weekend.

One guy who wasn’t all that interested in the game was George, a full-time RV traveler from Ohio who was walking Seattle to all of its pubs/breweries before heading up north. He asked for his Pyramid Hefeweizen with an orange slice (which is correct). The bartender didn’t agree, telling him that all of their Hefeweizen beers get a lemon slice. This was a bit of interesting banter between George and the bartender. Truth be told, George was right, but I wasn’t about to get on the bad side of a bartender, especially when I knew I had about 4-5 beers left on my agenda before the game.

I got George to try the Pale Ale, which is a brewery-only tap, and he was happy with that. We talked travel, Disneyland and Disney World and what is needed to hit the road without a home base. By the time I’m typing this, he should be heading to Alaska, with a stopover in Calgary for the Stampede.

Saturday was an early Father’s Day, which enabled me to enjoy the family and go … On Sunday (June 17), I went with friends to the Sunday matchup – Bumgarner vs. Felix – and saw a good, tight pitcher’s duel. The Giants should have won. Took the Sounder train to/from the game, enjoyed the stress-free day.

Yes, there are bad seats at Safeco Field in Seattle. This one was in Sec. 105, with a barrier on your right shoulder that cuts off 1/2 of the field. It is literally in the deepest part of the outfield. Two seats to the left = perfect. (photo RobRVR)

Compared to Friday (photo above), Sunday’s seat was much better, albeit a little higher off the ground. This was in the low 300s section. (photo RobRVR)

Leavenworth, WA — A 2 1/2-day break to Central Washington was just what the mind needed, with beer, German food and no stress. This, along with the three-day weekend of baseball and Father’s Day, was the best start to a vacation since… well, ever.

A little Central Washington hamlet, where you can get your whitewater trips started and where you can lift a stein of ale everywhere, turned itself into a Bavarian village in the 60s. This is what a few people in the Twin Harbors want to do with Aberdeen/Hoquiam. Unfortunately, for that to happen, there has to be a huge change of direction in terms of urban development and mindset. Also, there has to be some leadership to get it started and to move it along.

But focusing on the trip, Icicle Brewery served up some really good beers, especially its Big George, Dark Vader Ale (yes, it is the Dark Lord) and Dirtface Amber. I have a large stein to remember the trip. The Raspberry Wheat was a hit for my wife, who pretty much stuck to that beer the whole trip.

Nice place, good to be there. Will return when we can. That was fun.

This is Icicle Brewery in Leavenworth, WA. Try the Dirtface Amber, Big George and Dark Vader Ale. The sampler (six beers) is a good value as well. Across the street is the main hall where the town hosts Oktoberfest every year. (photo RobRVR)

Leavenworth’s Front Street, facing west. Munchen Haus is in the far corner from this view, where you can get a large souvenir stein that is filled with Icicle Brewery beer. (photo RobRVR)

Leavenworth’s Front Street facing east. Icicle Brewery is at the end of this street. (photo RobRVR)

Seattle (Trip No. 2) — This one was with the family and can easily be broken down into several posts. First day: King Tut. Second day: Woodland Park Zoo. Third day: EMP/SciFi and Space Needle and other stuff.

I’m going to keep this bit simple, because I’d like to talk about the King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center on its own. So, I’ll talk about the Woodland Zoo. Simply, it was great. The Brown Bears were cool, the gorillas were very playful and demonstrative and the penguins were fun. It was a lot of fun and it wore the little girl out. The entire complex reminded me of a slightly smaller version of the San Francisco Zoo, where I learned about animals throughout my youth and where I haven’t walked around in more than 15 years.

This trip was so good, I’m loathe to actually write about it. Everyone had fun and it was nice, just like the rest of the vacation.

Too bad I return to work Friday night, because this break was too good to end.

This brown bear looks depressed, but that’s not the case. He’s just relaxing in the rain. The author, however, will look like this on Friday night on the first shift back from vacation – just down. (photo RobRVR)

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