Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Year of Presidency

September 7, 2014

This has been an eventful year, 2014.  I've been to Anaheim for the CAFOP biennial conference as the President of the SFBAFOP17.  I've been to Columbus Ohio and I've returned the President of the S&WCA, and I've been the President of LSdC being sworn in at the January LScC meeting.  It's been eventful as I lost my motorcycle collection to a fire, and my truck & trailer and every tool I've collected since I was in high school auto shop. 

I have been extremely busy and have not posted here in some time.  Give me a chance to catch-up and I'll be back.

You can see the easy stuff on my Facebook page(s).  Yes, there are three of them and they're easy to find.

Same house, same car(s), same pretty-much everything other than the days and weeks and months and years that are gone forever.

My cemetery project of many years is now maintenance free.  You will be able to follow that project soon as well.


Right now, I have a 52 year old car that I'm driving to vintage car shows (1959 Edsel Ranger parked out at Mom's) and a 29 year old car that I just can't release, as I wanted it as soon as I saw it and the story of acquisition is historic (83 Porsche 944 also parked out at Mom's) and my daily driver right now is a 27 year old car (1986 Cadillac Sedan de Ville parked out in front) and when I need to carry things, it's my truck & trailer (2003 Ford F-150 HD 100th anniversary commemorative & Logan motorcycle trailer, truck out front and trailer parked out at Mom's). I still have the "Breadtruck" and it's "non-op'd" and a 24 foot Wilderness trailer parked out there too (to sleep in as my little cottage out there is filled to the brim with "stuff".)

With ten motorcycles registered and insured as well, my insurance bill and vehicle registration costs might actually be able to buy you one of those cars, although probably not the Audi R8 which goes for about $125,000.00 or so, but maybe the Lotus? Anyway, I'm living the life of a Spartan these days to just be able to keep what I have, as I have fully retired from all of my "retirement" jobs and now just the maintenance costs must be covered by my "less-than-adequate" retirement pension.

So, I'm glad that I got everything I wanted (or needed) in the past and now, it's the next twenty years or so of just basking in whatever accomplishment I've been able to attain.

Oh yeah, by the way, we've learned that the Quail Lodge Motorcycle Gathering will be once again held at Quail Lodge (yeah, how about that?) May 4th (setup) and 5th (show day) 2012. We will once-again be trying to get in and show off our American Sport Bike Night motorcycles. We hope to be able to include you.

Thanks for the race,


This post was scheduled for publication in April 2014

2014 and the Presidential Year it has become...

As 2014 starts off and it's actually before my January birthday I'm humbled and pensive about the year to come.   It's been a while since I've posted here and it's easy to say "I've been busy" however as the years seemingly fly by and the months and days get shorter as the calendar pages seem to be driven by the wind, maybe an update is in order.

Since my complete retirement from my post-retirement jobs as a security person, a bartender, a business owner, and several other revenue generating attempts, I've been engulfed in some very rewarding volunteer activities.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Frank Sinatra... 12-12-12


On December 12, 1915, Francis Albert Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was thought to be stillborn until his grandmother revived him under cold water. He was the only child of Italian immigrants Anthony Martin and Natalie Della "Dolly".
Sinatra dropped out of high school at 15 and decided he would follow in the footsteps of his idol, Bing Crosby. In 1935 he entered a radio talent program called Major Bowes Amateur Hour. For the performance Frank partnered up with a singing and dancing trio called the Three Flashes and formed the Hoboken Four. They won first prize and went on to more performances with Major Bowes' traveling show. Within a few years, Sinatra was singing regularly on several radio stations. He got his big break while working as a singer and waiter at an Englewood, N.J. restaurant, the Rustic Cabin. There, trumpet extraordinaire Harry James found the young Sinatra and decided he would fit well as the lead singer for his band The Music Makers.
Sinatra quit James’ band after 7 months and joined Tommy Dorsey's swing orchestra. It was with Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra that the classic Sinatra crooning began and the idol began to form. By the early forties Sinatra had made a name for himself and he bought out his contract with Dorsey to pursue a solo career. Success followed him and so did swarms of adoring teenage girls just to hear his unique phrasing and emotional performances.
The first Frank Sinatra hit song was recorded in 1939 with the Harry James Orchestra. "All or Nothing at All," was actually released in 1943 after Sinatra had left James’ group and signed on with Tommy Dorsey’s Big Band.
In 1946, Sinatra signed a five-year film contract with M-G-M which diverted his primary focus away from music and toward acting. Just as on stage, Sinatra’s charisma came through on film and he went on to star in a variety of films that often featured his songs. The most successful of the early films was Anchors Aweigh with Gene Kelly in 1945 and On the Town in 1949.
The tough times began in the early 1950s. In 1951, Frank left his first wife Nancy and his three children for movie starlet, Ava Gardner. Their five-year relationship was a precursor to the more modern tabloid headline grabbers of today. In 1952, Sinatra suffered a severe blow to his career when his vocal cords hemorrhaged. At this point in his career the music was painful and the movie roles were poor. Professional abandonment came for Sinatra at age 37 when he was dropped by Universal, CBS-TV, Columbia Records and his agent.
The downhill road began to show incline thanks to Ava Gardner’s assistance in securing husband Frank the role of Angelo Maggio in 1953's From Here to Eternity. Sinatra himself loved the role and knew he was born to play it. He fought hard to convince the producers the same and even agreed to take a huge pay cut and take the role for only $8,000. His performance as Maggio opposite Burt Lancaster and Donna Reed showed that he could hang with the big boys of Hollywood. The fitting reward for his dramatic performance was the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in the film.
His acting prowess wasn’t a flash in the pan as Sinatra went on to give a riveting performance as a heroin addict in the 1955 Otto Preminger film The Man With the Golden Arm. He received critical acclaim for his role in the 1962 Cold War psychodrama The Manchurian Candidate. Along with the dramatic roles, Sinatra maintained his involvement in more light hearted, entertaining musical feature films like Guys and Dolls (1955), High Society (1956), and Pal Joey (1957).
The Rat Pack was formed by Humphrey Bogart in 1955. The then "Holmby Hills Rat Pack" was meant to be a gathering of the guys for nights of drinking and fun. After Bogart's death in 1957, the Rat Pack as we know it today was born under the leadership of the Pack Master, Frank Sinatra. The new Pack was comprised of Sinatra's pals, namely Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. Later honorary members included Milton Berle, Shirley MacLaine, and Tony Curtis. Sinatra actually preferred the title "The Summit" for his group but the Rat Pack is the name that stuck. From the late 50s to the early 60s, the Rat Pack was booming. They hammed it up on stage and screen with a huge fan base to feed the growing attraction. They performed together with a relaxed yet intimate humor the likes of which is not often seen today. It was a unique and classy bunch of entertaining friends.
The Pack performed on stage together, partied together and made movies together. Ocean's Eleven (1960), Sergeants 3 (1962), Four for Texas (1963), and Robin and the Seven Hoods (1964) reflected the creative lifestyle of living it up till all hours of the night. More than just a party, the Pack had social influence, no one more than the Pack master himself with his increasing political and cultural power.
In 1953, Sinatra’s musical career was reborn when he signed on with Capitol Records. His collaborations with arranger Nelson Riddle produced some of the most popular albums of the time, such as Songs for Young Lovers, A Swingin' Affair, Come Fly With Me, Swing Easy, In the Wee Small Hours, and Songs for Swingin' Lovers. During this period Sinatra went through a vocal evolution from the crooning heartthrob to the more mature and interpretive artist. He covered the gamut of emotions with his albums and pulled it off each time. He described his bipolar accuracy with the quote “being an 18-karat manic-depressive and having lived a life of violent emotional contradictions, I have an over acute capacity for sadness as well as elation.”
The hit songs kept coming and the persona and success ballooned during Sinatra’s so called “come-back” in the late ‘50s. Yet, it’s hard to call it a comeback when he ended up surpassing where he had been in the first place. It was more like a come back followed by unbelievable yet well-deserved achievement. He was back at the top of the music, movie and even TV world. Entertainment was synonymous with Sinatra. Here the legend took form as a result of the way he handled himself during such fruitful times. Always cool and collected, he carried himself in a way that most in the limelight do not. He worked hard to maintain the standards he set with sold-out concerts, hit records, and popular films and television specials. "The Chairman of the Board" added successful businessman to his resume with many successful deals including the co-founding of his own recording label in 1961 dubbed Reprise Records.
The up and down love affair/marriage with Ava Gardner ended in divorce in 1957. Sinatra the bachelor was back and he pursued such Hollywood sex symbols as Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, and Lauren Bacall. He ended up marrying the little known actress Mia Farrow (30 years his junior) in 1966. They divorced in 1968 and in 1976 Sinatra married his fourth and final wife, Barbara Jane Blakely Marx, Zeppo Marx's widow.
Sinatra announced his retirement from both recording and acting in 1971. He was far from finished, however, and in 1973 released the television special and album, Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back. In 1980 he appeared in the urban crime drama The First Deadly Sin. He appeared sporadically on TV (Who’s the Boss and others) and in film throughout the ‘80s.
In 1988 Sinatra launched a hugely successful Rat Pack reunion tour with Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin but when Dean pulled out due to the strenuous schedule, Liza Minnelli provided a very qualified replacement. The release of two albums featuring Sinatra with other popular artists of the times, Duets (1993) and Duets II (1994), proved his style of music was still in demand. The two Duets albums outsold any of his albums. Frank proved he could cross-generational barriers with as much ease as he sang a song.
Many people overlook the generosity of Frank Sinatra throughout his life. He was a favorite of the media due to his alleged mob ties and the focus usually centered on what he did wrong instead of the many things he did right. In 1971, the Motion Picture Academy awarded him the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his many charitable deeds. He received the Kennedy Center Life Achievement Award in 1983 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985. In 1987, Sinatra was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the N.A.A.C.P. If any of those accolades can be topped, they were in 1997 when Frank Sinatra received the highest honor the U.S.A. can bestow upon a civilian in a Congressional Gold Medal for his countless accomplishments as a singer, actor, and humanitarian.
Frank Sinatra passed away as a result of a heart attack on May 14, 1998 at the age of 82.
Most people wish for success during their lives and to be happy in their occupation. Frank succeeded in just about every thing he attempted professionally. He regretted not being physically able to serve his country but he gave back and served in his own way. He lived a full life that many people admire, whether fans of his music or not. It’s easy for great music or theatrical performances to live on, but for a persona to persist as long as Mr. Sinatra’s shall is a true testament to his legacy.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter

Good Morning, it's the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and also tonight is the beginning of Passover, which commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which is in spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and is celebrated for seven or eight days. It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.

I guess it's a holy weekend, NASCAR is taking the day off. Easter dinners are being prepared, and here, the weather is sunny and bright. I'll be taking a motorcycle ride today and I'm contemplating attending the Easter Sunday ride to Mount Tamalpias tomorrow, however the very early departure isn't attractive at all. We'll see.

Happy Easter, and a Peaceful Passover.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I have a very important announcement to make in the light of the recent non-candidacy of both New Jersey State Governor Mr. Chris Christie and former Alaska State Governor Mrs. Sarah Palin. I too have decided not t0 be a candidate for the President of the United States in the upcoming 2012 presidential election.

I guess this puts me in some very notable company, however I too have decided that, to quote Governor Chris Christie "Now, is not my time".

In 2003 during the recall election of then Governor Gray Davis where if he was in fact recalled the voters were able to elect a replacement, and we remember that Arnold Schwarzenegger won that election (and the subsequent election) I did in fact run for the office of Governor of the State of California. There were 135 names on that ballot and I came in 45th.,_2003

This time however, I have decided not to join the political circus that is (and will be) the 2012 Presidential campaign.

I thank you for your support in the past, however I am still getting situated in this life of complete retirement. I find that my personal life has become so filled with responsibility that I have very little time for recreation, or social redevelopment.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Getting older and wiser

As I get older, and cannot fathom being able to ride some of the new products, I can only find joy in the history of being able to ride the new and best of my day. Now, I find that the upright sport-touring and touring posture is the most comfortable for an old fat guy like me. I wish joy and happiness to the new generation of lucky riders who can appreciate (I hope that they can appreciate) the new technology, styling and performance that they can find now, just as I did twenty-five (more like 35) years ago. The best and fastest motorcycles then are now appreciated as vintage and historical, probably like me.