Do You Stop and Listen to the Music?

Skipping through your phone’s playlist is so easy…I sometimes wonder if we really value what we listen to or are we just grabbing “what’s easy?”

Before you go further, click the “play arrow” below and listen to “All Things Must Pass” while you keep reading this post.  The song is by George Harrison which is fittingly the ending piece for the Tower Records documentary (All Things Must Pass).

When you went to Tower Records (see the second link below if you have no idea what is Tower Records) and your choice was whether to plunk down $12 or $15 for an album or CD…you had to be sure you were going to like it.

And that’s where Tower Listening Stations became important to me.  In a store, mixed throughout the aisles and aisles of records…and later CDs, were these “listening stations” that featured 6 different CDs that you could preview through a set of headphones for that station, and definitely find out if you wished to purchase that album (CD).

I spent hours and hours at Tower Records at the Listening Stations previewing music I would ultimately buy.  I’ve been a music aficionado for most of my life and have always placed a high value on high-quality sound and the best artists.

Tower was my “hang-out.”

You know by now that Russ Solomon who created Tower Records died a couple of weeks ago here in Sacramento.  The New York Times had a pretty good write up of his life and Tower.

If you are even REMOTELY interested in music, knew Tower and were a fan…I highly recommend watching the documentary “All Things Must Pass.”

I’m sad that Tower is gone.  I’m sad that Russ Solomon is gone.  I feel like I knew him.

I wish I did.

Throw Back Thursday

Sat next to an interesting guy at Original Pete’s on Douglas and E. Roseville Parkway last night. Turned out he was an owner of Pete’s. He told stories of working for a man named Sam Gordon decades ago–owner of more than 1/2 dozen Sam’s Hofbraus in Sacramento plus the famous Sam’s Town in Cameron Park (remember peanuts on the floor and video games when you were a kid?).



When I told him I was in the window business, he showed me pictures of when he played at the Foreign Legion in Warroad, MN, home of Marvin Windows, met Jake Marvin, and stayed at his house! What a small world! The pic is of him on the right and he think’s it was taken in Warroad. How he got there? He lived near the Twin Cities at the time and his band was booked to do the gig up there. His Sacramento band has also been helicoptered in to the Rubicon Trail to play up there.

Finally, I had to dispute the menu page describing the first Original Pete’s as being opened in 1987 on J. Street. I happen to have a customer of the REAL first Pete’s Pizza in a strip mall on Folsom Blvd between Watt and Bradshaw that I frequented in the early to mid-80’s–before J. Street was opened. This guy was a total flashback on the eve of #TBT.

Camping on the Mendocino Coast of California

My parents used to take my sister and I when we were small to Russian Gulch camping all the time and it was our favorite “family” spot.  Over the years, I’ve been returning and returning and have branched out to MacKerricher and Van Damme as well. They’re all California State Campgrounds and are really great spots, with paved sites and bathrooms and showers.

Russian Gulch is by far my favorite as it’s nestled in a canyon with a stream running through it.  Green, lush, and cozy…the campground meets the ocean at a very nice beach with tide pools to check out.

Van Damme is nearly as nice.  Part of it is also situated along a stream, and there are also sites up on the hill surrounding a meadow.  Hard to go wrong with either of these.

And then MacKerricher, further north past Fort Bragg, is a more open campground and several of the sites have partial ocean views.  If you’re camping in a trailer or RV, MacKerricher is probably going to have the most spots to accommodate you but all three have sites for larger rigs.  The reservation system lets you know as you’re making your reservations.

All three campgrounds have hiking nearby.  Russian Gulch has a 6-mile round trip hike with gradual inclines that reaches a small waterfall at the turn-around point.  MacKerricher has a walk on a raised boardwalk out to bluffs with beautiful views of the coast.

The town of Mendocino is small and quaint and there are no shortage of restaurants and shops to satisfy most travelers.  It’s my favorite destination for just walking around or a nice dinner.  Try Cafe Beaujolais…a tiny house and just fantastic food.

Try late spring, early summer, or the fall–as the summer can get a bit foggy if you miss-time your visit.  Great destination–I guarantee you’ll enjoy your visit.

For some other good campground ideas in California, check out this blog…Waterbottle Weekends.

And if you enjoy photography as much as I do, check out my friend Michael Greene’s website here.  He and his wife live in Mendocino and what started as a hobby has turned into a real gift for others–and recently he had his first gallery showing.


Happy Birthday STAR TREK

Fifty years ago it all began.  And I’ve been in love with “it” ever since.   I can lip sync certain episodes because I’ve watched them so many times. Of course, I’m talking about TOS (The Original Series).  Everyone knows the original series was the best, that Captain Kirk was the best, and that the original crew was the best as well (with all apologies to my step children Shane and Kaci).

Smithsonian Special: Building Star Trek’s role of Kirk was always my favorite although Leonard Nimoy’s “Spock” was nearly as impactful.

I was so into Star Trek (along with my dad), that I bought books and read about the making of the series and learned a great deal about Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek’s creator.  He described Star Trek as “Wagon Train to the Stars” because there were such great stories, adventures–and often a moral lesson built into the episode.

So whether you’re a fan of TOS or just started watching when these past new Star Trek movies have come out–it’s a phenomenon that, according to critics in the 60’s–“would never make it.”

I guess 50 years running strong with movies and a new TV series in sight tell a different story…

Live long and prosper.