The Texas Hill Country beckons, because “all the world is welcome here.” Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park invites visitors to explore at their own curious pace, navigating a self-guided tour across LBJ Ranch from Junction School to the Texas White House and everything in between, including the impressive “Air Force One-Half.” And what a coincidence that I’ve published this post on August 27, the 36th president’s birthday.
My afternoon of exploration was anything but boring. History, facts, and a vast collection of interesting moments leaped out at me for the embrace. Among all else, and perhaps most insignificantly, I discovered that Lady Bird as a widow drove a 1978 Mercury Grand Marquis around the ranch, if not elsewhere. Speaking of cars, the 1965 Corvette that daughter Luci was gifted for her 18th birthday sits clearly on display. Meanwhile, the living descendants of Lyndon’s Herefords appear to roam freely– and sometimes block the road. The ranch’s communications system that was swiftly created upon LBJ’s unexpected assumption of the office remains at least partially visible. The family cemetery showcases the president’s and first lady’s resting places from a cordoned distance, still close enough to make out their names. And all this barely begins to describe all that awaits to be seen and learned.
I’m thrilled to have finally made the trip to this Texas site I’ve for so long wanted to see. Combined with time in nearby Johnson City, historic Fredericksburg, and even the famous venue of Luckenbach, my experience was a great one, a true Texas day. Yours will be too!
After five years and two months of using Strava to record each and every one of my bicycle rides, finally on this final day of the third quarter of 2017 comes the notable number I’ve anticipated for quite some time. Of course I’ll always say this should have occurred sooner, but nevertheless it’s here– amid all other related totals. And now all I can do is roll onward…
From my first ride on my brand-new Giant TCR road bike, on March 1, to my most recent spin today, I’ve closed out my first month on my bright new ride at a very modest 462 miles. The thrill remains just as strong today as one month ago, as I look forward to thousands of miles ahead!
Now You Don’t. A full-size bar on a large turntable– one that disappears quickly and seamlessly into the wall– can mean just one thing: Dean Martin is back. In other words, at least you might say: he lives here in spirit. This major remodel– born of its initial telltale 1961 footprint– ushers classic mid-century modern into the chic, sharp, rough and polished finishes of today, celebrating cutting-edge technology while commanding a strong link to the entertaining style of yesteryear. From circular walls to centered tub, poolside lounge space to the view beyond– all topped off with new entryway cinderblock stars that really do appear original– in every sense, what’s new is old, and what’s old is new. This truly unique residence beckons fashionable living around the clock. Now you see it, and at any time you can see so much more. And believe me, there happens to be far more than this one impressive spinning bar to be seen!
Our third annual “Drynuary” kicked off one full calendar year of living in Santa Barbara, highlighted by a Mardi Gras celebration, a 50th birthday, an 80th birthday, the preparation for and start of a new career, and deepening connections with friends both old and new, all alongside a reduced 4,328 cycling miles– my lowest total since 2011. Now, in reflecting on this latest “filling” yet challenging year passed and looking ahead to the next, changes are in store, goals are set, and our next big chapter awaits– insightful and rewarding as it shall be. Meanwhile, to anyone who might dare to think we lead exciting lives, I say balderdash. We merely take a lot of photos, of only good moments of course. Altogether, here’s to another 365!
This special evening seems like a lifetime ago. Compared to the length of her very, very long life however, it was merely yesterday. Needless to say, I’m honored to have enjoyed this uniquely memorable friendship in her final years. Plus, how nice it is that our impromptu camera appearance has been up on YouTube almost since it was recorded. Happy Birthday Greta!
The greatest number of miles I’ve ever cycled in a calendar year came in 2014– the same year I of course turned “4-oh”– surpassing my 2008 by a mere 84 miles. For a variety of non-physical reasons, while my cycling will certainly continue, I don’t see beating 6353, not this year at least.
The auspicious “first meal” that began for us three years ago made a comeback once again in our Southern-influenced home to kick off 2015. Now let’s see how these three desirable elements pan out this time around.
What better way to kick off the new year than by eating?!
According to Southern tradition, so I’m told, the first big meal of the year carries quite a bit of meaning. As such, in my home tonight, thanks to the well-planned preparations of two Southern gentlemen, the lineup consists of pork for prosperity, cabbage for wealth, and black-eyed peas for good luck.
The meanings were explained to me and seem to make decent sense. See for yourself if you can figure them out. Suffice to say, my first dinner of 2012 has been beyond satisfying. I hope and rather doubt, however, that such copious consumption will be a nightly trend this year. Happy New Year!
To those who call 2014 “The Year of the Selfie”, I say HA! After all, I invented selfies in 1986, didn’t I? Or was it 1978? I don’t exactly recall. In any case, here’s to yet another full and unpredictable, challenging yet rewarding 52-week stretch, ending all the better with “the stick.”
There’s always a first time, and in this case it’s bacon and ahi tuna in the same bite. These two distinct yet divergent ingredients lay the foundation for the single most delicious sandwich I’ve eaten in recent memory, if not ever! Such a successful contrast of flavors really is like no other.
The menu wording reads quite simply: “Seared rare ahi tuna with avocado, grilled pineapple, bacon, red onion, island slaw and greens with wasabi aioli on toasted sourdough.” What arrives before you: Absolute bliss. The ahi tuna club at Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach wastes no time in proving itself a unique and delightful experience on the palate. Then with the addition of a blackberry mai-tai, the deal’s done. This meal “seared” itself into my discerning culinary memory.
Needless to say, a repeat sitting can’t come too soon. May your own “taste” meet mine.
October 31, 2012: 4000. October 31, 2013: 4900. October 31, 2014: 5300 and then some.
Suffice to say on this marker day, my yearly cycling mileage remains once more on the upswing, climbing right along with the elevations of my newly discovered routes here in very mountainous Santa Barbara. At this rate, with two months to go, my annual record will indeed be broken.
The “fastest and toughest” day of the year in Brentwood came around once again. Terrific it was to be back among the action, this time from the sidelines as a Velo Club La Grange volunteer. As I’ll always fondly recall, the Brentwood Grand Prix was my first sanctioned race back in 2008.
As we “knew” would be the case barring any last-day catastrophe, Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali is the champion of the 101st Tour de France– by a huge margin no less! He joins only five other cyclists in history to win all three Grand Tours– the other two of course Italy’s and Spain’s.
For the first time in more than 30 years, France saw two of its own take the yellow podium–Jean-Christophe Peraud in second and best young rider Thibaut Pinot third. This, after Marcel Kittel’s second Champs-Elysees bookending victory shut out a stage win for Peter Sagan, even as a LeTour.fr survey of more than 4000 votes favored the man in green to take stage 21. And let’s not forget our resilient American finishing fifth, Tejay Van Garderen, nor Jens Voigt’s swan song.
And now, the end. So passes another Tour de France into the history books for 164 riders who made it to Paris– big-name losses notwithstanding– complete with all the triumph, tradition and Parisian fanfare that defines the finale. While I’ve yet to get there to see it all in person, for now having Phil Liggett, Bob Roll and all their comrades deliver the action every day for three weeks– plus a commendable first-year commentating job by 2013 retiree Christian Vande Velde— remains an acceptable substitute. I’m happy to have cycled a mere one quarter of the Tour’s total distance during this time, less than I did last year, but nevertheless taking me there every day in spirit. Vive Le Tour!
It turns out there is something everyone in Washington can agree on: They all love Patrick Duffy.
The “Dallas” star was the toast of the town when he came to D.C. last weekend to attend the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner — a.k.a. the “nerd prom,” an annual schmooze-fest that brings together Beltway insiders and Hollywood elite to celebrate journalism. Think of it as Washington’s version of the Oil Baron’s Ball, but without the food fights.
Throughout the weekend, social media buzzed with pics of muckety-mucks posing with Duffy, including MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, who ran into the actor at a pre-dinner shindig and tweeted, “This weekend is gonna rock when the first person I meet is ‘Bobby Ewing.’” Later, CNN reporter Elise Labott tweeted a selfie with Duffy, along with her observation that “[h]e’s still so handsome.”
At this rate, now four months into 2014, one third down, it looks like I’m on par to beat my own annual cycling mileage record. We’ll see what ends up appearing in those empty squares, thanks to the workings of Strava.