Archive for September, 2005

Viel Spa

Yes, it’s that time of year again — September! In other words, it’s time for Tempe’s Way Out West Oktoberfest, which starts today and ends Sunday at 6pm. (If you’re wondering why Germany’s Oktoberfest is frequently held at least partially in September, the answer has to do with the origins of Oktoberfest: the wedding of Ludwig I, the crown prince of Bavaria to Therese von Schasen-Hildburghausen.) But here it’s held in September or October because that’s when the weather starts to cool down and people are in the mood for a party.

So if you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, head on down to Tempe Beach Park near Mill & the Rio Salado. Admission is free, and a sheet of 25 tickets for food, beer, and games is only $20. There’ll be beer gardens with authentic German beers (Paulaner Oktoberfest-Marzen and Hacker-Pshorr Original Oktoberfest), bands of all sorts (including polka & a sextet from Regensburg), games and activities for kids, and information on Tempe’s Sister Cities.

The whole thing is to benefit the Tempe Sister City Program, which sponors a variety of exchanges all over the world. Having been a participant in one of their exchanges myself, I can tell you that it’s really a great program and of course an amazing experience. So go have a beer & a brat and know you’re supporting a great cause.

Taken any pictures today?

Post one at A Day on Earth – The Gallery. It can be a picture of just about anything at all, so long as it isn’t offensive. The goal of the site is to show photos from around the world taken on a single day (today). So check it out, and post if you can. If you can’t, at least take a look at some of the shots. I put one up of a street scene, but there are a wide variety of shots up there.

Where are the bugs and critters?

One of my favorite things about Phoenix is the lack of bugs and rodents that I had in Texas, California and Tennessee. I’m aware there are bugs and critters here, I just haven’t seen much of them yet, and for that I’m probably lucky. Nothing but crickets, for the most part. No mosquitos, flying roaches, fire ants, wasps, black widows, chipmunks, bats, or gigantic grasshoppers.

Growing up in San Antonio, recess sucked because you spent 30% of your time dodging fire ant mounds, small Mexican bats tended to fly into houses with front doors left open, and Marco Polo was played in the pool, mostly because if you stayed with your head above water too long you were sure to get stung by a wasp or hornet swooping down for a drink. We also had roaches e v e r y w h e r e. One of my beloved high school memories is when a gigantic roach flew across the cafeteria and boys and girls of all ages and sizes were screaming and ducking under the tables. In Tennessee, we had mosquitos so engorged and lazy that you could swat the greedy monsters on your body with no problem because they were too full of blood to get away. We also had a big chipmunk problem. So many, in fact, that my friend went jogging one time and startled a group of them. They came skittering out from under some shrubs and one actually jumped up and attached itself to my friends pants leg and caused him to run screaming down a hillside with the chipmunk swinging from his pants (please note that similar episodes have happened to multiple people). California was full of black widows where we lived. And huge, huge grasshoppers. And ladybugs. People love ladybugs but when you see large clumps of them all over the place, you’ll think differently.

I probably just jinxed myself by even making this observation. We heard that if you can keep your home and property fairly bug free that you won’t have scorpions. I’m hoping this works because I’m too lazy to have to start shaking my shoes out everytime I need to get dressed. And don’t even talk to me about lizards.

Coffee Cabana – this time we park and head inside.

This continues the Coffee Cabana review.

This time we park and head inside. Presh was loopy and confused the coffee goddess with her order. She a decaf and a latte for me. The latte was done well and the service pleasant. The atmosphere was well lit and filled with men. Three in one corner huddled around a laptop, another on a cell listening to a game streaming from his lappy, and two more on the comfy leather seats bitching about work or some other damn thing. Oh and two more smoking outside. It was late and no air hockey tables anywhere, but like I said the latte was good…

Upcoming Lectures at ASU – Seymour Hersh and Dr. Charles Redman

There’s a few interesting lectures coming to ASU in the near future ( in a few hours).

Seymour Hersh – the journalist who first uncovered the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war is speaking at ASU’s gammage auditorium this evening at 7:30. Tickets can be acquired here:

Seymour Hersh Lecture @ ASU

And just heard about this one at 3:40 today:

International Institute for Sustainability Wrigley Lecture Series presents
Sir Crispin Tickell –

Every other Tuesday…

my son and I spend a couple of hours at a place called New Song in Scottsdale. I was about to say that New Song has nothing to do with singing, but that’s not entirely true, because we do sing a song or two at the end of every evening. But what New Song is really about is support — as their tag line says, it’s the “New Song Center for Grieving Children and Those Who Love Them“.

We started going there about a little over a year after my mom/son’s grandma died. If you have children and have experienced a death in the family, it can be a great place to go, because while children and adults both grieve, how children handle things can sometimes be a little different. And it’s great for the adults too because you get to interact with other adults who have lost a family member (frequently their husband or wife/child’s other parent). Check out their web site for more information.

I told my son tonight that I was going to write about New Song, and did he have anything he wanted to say. He said to “tell them that it’s a fun place to go”. And that’s the thing. You walk into the room there and would never guess that so many of the kids have lost a parent or other relative. Because they ARE having fun. And even singing at the end.

Walk for Hope? You bet…

What? Me get up early to walk on a Sunday morning? It must be a darn good cause…


Tomorrow is your last chance to register online for the Walk for Hope. Hey, cancer screening and prevention work is worthy of your support. Register here:

Register Online

So, go, walk and donate. Then guess what? you can do it again the following week.


Race for the Cure

Fun in Flagstaff

I spent this past weekend in Flagstaff watching some friends play in the Northern Arizona University Rugby Tournament. Sadly, I was unable to see much of the area because they played for a large portion of the day Saturday, and we left early Sunday. From what I did get to see, the area is absolutely gorgeous. A friend and I started talking about putting together a ski trip or something so that we’d be able to spend more time there. If anyone has any suggestions as to where we should go, let me know.

Next time we need to bring Adam…

After reading about Adam’s adventure at Phoenix Greyhound Park we decided to check it out. The park was dead, may a couple of dozen people. No real energy, kind of depressing actually. It got worse when we moved down to the track. Did you know the dogs whine and yelp when placed into the starting block? Next time we go with Adam and kin…

Something different…

Its been a while since I’ve posted – between work and DJing at Club Miami, I haven’t really had time for much else. Not that I’m complaining, but felt like I was in a bit of a rut. So, on my way home from work I decided it was time for something a little different – at least in the dinner realm. For some reason I had a craving for Cuban food, which is pretty odd for me. In Phoenix its easy to get lulled into the belief that the only ethnic food out there is Mexican food (which I grew up with and love). Certainly, Mexican food predominates, but you can find just about anything else you’re looking for. So, I took the long way home and stopped by Havana Cafe on Camelback. The place is pretty small, but nice… definitely upscale. I was having trouble deciding between the Pollo Cubano (the house specialty) and the Paradise Pulled Pork. My waitress recommended the pork, even thought the chicken was the house specialty. I was NOT disappointed. A bit citrusy and very flavorful – definitely not for someone who prefers the bland. Between the food and a couple of Negra Modelos, I left the restaurant fat and happy… So, if you’re in the mood for something a little different, check out Havana Cafe.

Havana Cafe
4225 E Camelback Rd
(602) 952-1991

6245 E Bell Rd 111
Phoenix, AZ
(480) 991-1496

4232 E Chandler Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85048 – 8879
(480) 704-2600

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