By: joealaska , 2:49 AM GMT on January 16, 2014

Dateline 5:30 PM Las Vegas, Nevada. Not on the strip, but close enough.

OK. Flew out Wednesday. The highlight was flying past LAND BETWEEN THE LAKES in far western Kentucky. That Ohio River is very nonchalant in the route it takes. Many bends. Many
tugboats and barges dealing with that.

First stop Houston. I hit a BBQ place there, just OK. Texas knows BBQ, but kinda forgot there.

The next leg from Houston to Vegas was bad. I had a window seat, but still had to sit sideways with a big guy next to me. My back hurt , my knees hurt, my feet hurt. I could not move.

Got to Vegas and had to walk forever to the rental shuttle. There I discovered that shuttle would take me to the REAL shuttle, a secondary shuttle, to FOX renal cars. The FOX sucked. AVOID!

It was well after dark I took off and tried to eat up a little of the next day trip. I got to Boulder City, Nevada and got a room. I had been thru there many time in the past. I also knew there was no more hotels after that until Kingman, 100 miles south.

I never sleep late. The reason is, if I know THAT will be a problem, I do not sleep more than an hour or so. But I had to get up early and drive two hours or more to the interview. So I went to bed around 11 PM, and woke up 4 or 5 times before I wanted to.

I left at 6:45 AM for a 2 hour + ride. When I plugged in the GPS, it told me I would arrive 45 minutes late. Trouble. It suddenly hit me Arizona has their own rules with TIME, and as I crossed the state line into Arizona I was late. When I got a signal I called the main office and told them, and they were not very concerned. Then there was construction on the last few miles of road. The dirt and gravel section was being paved. At one point just a couple miles away I was stopped for about 15 minutes where they let two way traffic use one lane.

Eventually I arrived. I was given a tour of HUALAPAI RANCH, where I would be working if hired. Originally I was told Grand Canyon Ranch, WRONG. Not sure how that happened, I just write down what they tell me. Grand Canyon Ranch is owned by Nigel somebody, not an American. The Indians hate the guy. He owns a sliver of the road to the Hualapai Reservation. Not that long ago he set up a road block and started charging 500 bucks to get a tour bus thru. And he gave no receipts. The Hualapais got around it for a while by shuttling from a different direction. Even the individual employees were asked to pay 50 bucks toll. This all lasted just a few days, but it established how neighbors would treat each other in a remote area. The tolls have ended, but NIGEL is not welcomed at The Grand Canyon West.

I took a tour of Hualapai Ranch. It sets an old west ambience with various activities. Horseback rides, cowboys, lassoing, quick draws with a gun loaded with blanks, wagon rides, stagecoach rides, etc. There is an old west town set up. I heard most of the guests are Asian. If you want a helicopter ride, you have to take a shuttle a mile further down the road to Grand Canyon West. That is where the Sky Bridge / Sky Walk is located. There were 5 or 6 helicopters buzzing around all the time.

The interview went well. At the end they asked me if I had met the Deadliest Catch guys. But I am not real happy with the living quarters. There are none, at least nothing special. I could have a bunkhouse room where I share a bathroom with 6 people or so. Or I could buy an RV an park it there. OR, I could arrange housing elsewhere and make a long commute. I do not see it happening.

Tonight I am just off the Vegas Strip. Thinking about playing a little poker across the street at The Hard Rock. Back late Thursday via Cleveland.

When I was packing up for the trip Tuesday I was stunned to hear one of my old best friends had passed away. Everyone knew he was sick. It started out as the flu, but turned into double pneumonia. They even put him on life support. Then we heard the doctors thought he was over the hump and doing better. Next day he was dead. He was a great guy. Family guy. I mentioned him some time ago in this blog. He was the guy who was in our band during our YOUNGER days. Now he was playing solo here and there. He had a group of fans. My sister and I were going to go see him a couple months ago, but I was getting sick and weather was coming in. So I passed, thinking I could see him next time. There was no next time. On the day he died there was an announcement on facebook about him playing somewhere that day.

It has been three days and I still am getting choked up as I write.


I fly tomorrow as he has a funeral.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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28. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
4:36 AM GMT on January 22, 2014
joealaska has created a new entry.
27. dotmom
8:23 PM GMT on January 21, 2014
I hate to get political at this late date in my life - but do you think the constant change in the weather is the "change" that Obama promised? "Hope and change." I "hope" not!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
26. ladyhomer
5:09 PM GMT on January 21, 2014
Another heat wave here in Homer, Alaska !!!! We had a high of 50* on Monday this morning is already 43* it is to be in the 40's all week they say ----but we have rain & wind!!! I'd rather have snow. We had the high for the whole state Monday. previous days we had 47 & 48* WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS WEATHER???

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
25. iaotter
4:02 PM GMT on January 21, 2014
Low of -2.6 here. I think I will go outside and blow some bubbles. It is a lot of fun to watch them freeze in mid-air. Just have to have a spot out of the wind so you can see them before they end up in the next county.
It is always sad to have friends and family pass on. Dotmom you are right.
Cherish the people now so there are many good memories and much love to cherish after.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
24. bearpaints
12:50 PM GMT on January 21, 2014
Great words Dotmom!

High of 72 here
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23. dotmom
12:27 PM GMT on January 21, 2014
Miyuki and Lotis2, I am sorry for the recent deaths of family members. 70 years of marriage for a couple is certainly a long time and something to be celebrated. I am finding that as I get older, death is a part of living. It is shocking and sad when it happens. But I have become more realistic and accepting. My friend who died recently (66) had ALS for two years and to see her go downhill gradually with much suffering to her and especially for her husband who had to care for her every need was truly sad and a blessing when the end came. Now, he is trying to pick up the pieces and go on. We are all part of God's plan. Let's be kind and understanding with one another while we can and hope and pray for the best. It is a wonderful feeling when you have family and friends who care for and about you. Not everyone has that. Enough of this epistle.

We are getting snowed on good here today. It is a heavy and beautiful snow. Schools are closed for the day! Keep warm!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
22. miyuki
10:56 PM GMT on January 20, 2014
Thank you everyone for your condolences, I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Mom was 89, and Dad was 93. They both lived a good, happy and healthy 70 years together. We were fortunate to have them for as long as we did.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
21. Rotty3
5:28 PM GMT on January 20, 2014
miyuki: my heart goes out to you and your family. It's not an easy time. Hang in there. I wish for you that time will hurry up and heal your broken heart so that warm memories may sooner than later flourish and bring a smile to you face.

lotis: condolences on your loss too.

dotmom: seems WU is at it again w/ crazy temps (recently it said Lansing MI set a heat record of 116F in January... yea, right... sure... whatever... NOT!)

This is what WU claims: Louisville Bowman, KY set a record high temperature of 78 for Jan 20.

Sounds "off" to me. It's 59F (15C) here.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
20. lotis2
9:37 PM GMT on January 19, 2014

So sorry Joe for the loss of your friend Steve.

Lost my Aunt Corky this past week also.

Good Luck on the job hunt.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
19. Arbie
12:34 AM GMT on January 19, 2014
My heart goes out to you, Miyuki. Talk about adding insult to injury. I wonder if you'll be able to get government insurance that is better once they actually get it together (assuming that ever happens!).
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
18. miyuki
3:34 PM GMT on January 18, 2014
Joe, losing my parents was the worst, but that is just half of it of a bad year.

I had 2 cardiac ablations, a blood clot in my heart, a 2 day hospital stay due to the hospital giving me the wrong medication, yes you read that right, and our private health insurance company that we've had since 1993, raised our monthly premium to 2K.
So yeah, good riddance to 2013!
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17. Skyepony (Mod)
2:23 PM GMT on January 18, 2014
Joe~ Sorry about Steve..

Safe travels.
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16. DHaupt
12:37 PM GMT on January 18, 2014
Osdianna, I'm actually in Livermore's old Veterans' Hall. Friends of ours were celebrating their 50th anniversary. But you are partly right -- the banquet was catered by a new restaurant in town, La Posada which features Mexican nouvelle cuisine -- they served, among other things, a beef tamale in cabernet reduction mole. It was delicious.

But, a few nights later, Muriel and I went with neighbor friends, Raul and Gabino, to a real Mexican restaurant, Mendoza's Taqueria in East San Jose. It doesn't get any more authentic this side of the border. Food excellent, live banda and mariachis LOUD! The photo below is a little blurry because of the vibration.

Our friend Gabino is on the extreme left. Muriel is next, to the right wearing a Scandinavian sweater. Not pictured are the drummer, trumpeter and Alto tuba player, out of the photo to the right. All the instruments have electronic pick-ups. It was great fun. Next time I will know more of what to order, the Molcajete. I had goat! It was excellent. Unfortunately, that is about all I had -- a great big plate full. Along with piles of handmade tortillas. I took my insulin syringe with me!

I agree that little breath need be wasted on the climate deniers. Nature herself will convince them. In the meantime, they can continue to put their trust in sorcerers and ignoramus politicians. It won't matter in the end.

Dad was also fond of saying: "A few million good funerals will cure a lot of the World's ills, and they will occur." Dad was a cheerful stoic.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
15. osdianna
11:51 PM GMT on January 17, 2014
I like the new photo for Dave...looks like a Mexican restaurant, always a good thing! The piece about the Polar Vortex was good...but it will not make any difference to those who still don't get it. The extremes are becoming more extreme, and that alone should sound warnings. But there are people who just don't believe what is plain as day to me. Those who suffer the most from these extremes are the least able to deal with them, and probably the least responsible for the outcome.
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14. joealaska
9:54 PM GMT on January 17, 2014
Miyuki, now I understand the "good riddance 2013 comment"...
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13. miyuki
4:03 PM GMT on January 17, 2014
Joe, sorry about your the loss of your friend. I know your hurt, and in time, your hurt will heal.

My parents both 'crossed over' within 3 months of each other this summer. Mom was Dads batteries is all I can say. I can talk about them a little bit easier now without immediately breaking down, so I have started to heal. You will too Joe, it just takes time.
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12. Rotty3
3:19 PM GMT on January 17, 2014
I'm sorry to hear about your friend's passing. I remember you spoke of him having a gig and you had to miss it b/c you fell ill.

Too bad the AZ job didn't pan out. It sounded like you were pretty excited. And yes, Dave's dad was head-on I think. And I'll add, eventually the right job will show up if you're ready to take it.

All the continued best wishes for a successful job search.
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11. dotmom
1:15 PM GMT on January 17, 2014
Dave: Your dad was a wise man. Love his quip - as it is so true!
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10. DHaupt
8:31 AM GMT on January 17, 2014
I just picked up this link about the Polar Vortex and Climate Change from the Daily Kos. The presentation is by the White House Science Advisor, John Holdren. His explanation and the graphics are right on.

Alas, California is still stuck in the wrong wriggle. We are supposed to hit the mid-70s for much of this week. Trees and flowers are about to bud. I think even the birds are confused.

i'm very sorry to hear about the passing of your friend Steve. Something like that always hits hard. I'm amazed at how many of my old school friends are still around, but have also been occasionally shocked to learn that one of them has passed away; usually I didn't learn of it for some months or years. There were a few during the Viet Nam war (gratefully not very many) and a few of them simply vanished in the 80s. One fellow, Shandu, an Indian, disappeared in Uganda where he held a responsible government position in Uganda's mineral industry. No one knows, but we can guess.

Better luck on the job hunting. Just remember one of my dad's wise saying: "Remember David, sooner or later, every job turns into work."
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9. joealaska
12:36 AM GMT on January 17, 2014
Have a late three hour layover in Cleveland. It is blowing and snowing here. The national weather radar shows the only active weather is where I sit and where I am heading.

Blowing pretty good right now. Just want to get home, long day.
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8. Arbie
12:11 AM GMT on January 17, 2014
I'm sorry for your loss, Joe. And about the job loss. Unless you can find a rural place, I guess.
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7. dotmom
4:38 PM GMT on January 16, 2014
There is an obit for Steve Decker in The Courier-Journal - published yesterday, the 15th. Steve was a nice young man. When he and Joe were in grade school, 3 or 4 of them would come to our basement and play "music." They had fun. Joe talks about the time he and Steve played 63 holes of golf (when they were in 7 or 8 grade) and they had to run the last holes because it was getting dark. This was a 9-hole course about 5 miles from the house. I am sure I felt this was a good place for them to be for the day and get them out of my hair!

Steve had a family with grandchildren - and maybe one great grandchild. He was a family man and loved these young ones. So sad he wasn't around longer through their formative years. He will be missed by many. God rest his soul.

Also, if you are on FaceBook, you can go to his home page and see his photo - but only if you want to. He was cute. In the last few years he was going around to various places, restaurants, nursing homes, etc. and playing "gigs." He was really enjoying that. I have a feeling he never dreamed he would be doing something like that.
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6. fieryknight
4:00 PM GMT on January 16, 2014
It's always sad when you lose a friend, especially someone so young. Condolences on your loss. The job doesn't sound very attractive either. Too bad.
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5. joealaska
3:54 PM GMT on January 16, 2014
No, not him Alleyoops. He was born in 1955 and lived in New Albany, Indiana. Not sure if he had an obit yet.
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4. Alleyoops
3:22 PM GMT on January 16, 2014
Was this your dear friend, Joe.Link
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3. insideuk
2:28 PM GMT on January 16, 2014
My condolences on the loss of a friend.
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2. osdianna
5:20 AM GMT on January 16, 2014
Sorry to hear about Steve; I remember you were sick when he was going to play. Life is just full of surprises....kinda like that saying "Life is uncertain; eat dessert first." I don't mean to make light of your friend's death. I just think of all the missed opportunities, had we known what was around the corner.

I'm glad I saw Stevie Ray Vaughn when I did, and went to the trouble to drive 40 miles through the worst L.A. traffic to see Joe Williams sing at a small jazz club in Hermosa Beach, Ca. I even got to shake his hand. He had to be in his mid-70's by then, but what a great voice!

Well, damn! I was hoping you could spend a bit more time around the area...maybe fall into another job out there in Arizona.
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1. bearpaints
3:20 AM GMT on January 16, 2014
Sorry about your friend Joe. Doctors seem to always say they are doing better, gets the hopes up and Bam! Been there so many times. Hard to understand life sometimes.

I know there was something going on with that road and read how the rancher was stopping the road building, charging to cross, etc then decided to let them build. I was hopeing they had better living space for you, because my step son when there playing in his band and working leading rides out had what he called barely a shed to sleep in. No nothing else as far as cell phones, bathroom, etc. Dang I was hopeing we would be nighbors sort of. Your welcome up to the ranch as soon as we move up there. But we have been talking of cutting back on the horses. Life has changed. not getting any younger and the expense is pulling us down. Maybe something else will pop up. Seems like Kingman is really growing. They now even have a Tractor Supply store that I'm hopeing to work at because I can't afford to retire.

Good luck on your next adventure. gee I'm disapointed there would of been some great stories there and pictures.

Sorry again about Steve.
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About joealaska

I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.

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