Hidden Cache!

On April 3, 2008, in Craft Beer, Music, Stuff..., Technology, by Mark Ranes

I recently found a yellow envelope that was tucked away next to our bedroom TV, that had some gifts from my 50th birthday party. I had completely forgotten about some gift cards and lottery tickets that were given to me to mark the event.

BevMo has one of my favorite IPA’s on sale right now. That’s a sure thing. $25 of music – that’s a sure thing. $25 at the movie theater – that could go either way:)

A Sure Thing


These on the other had could be worth $10 or $100 or $1000s – or nothing!

An Unsure Thing

On a side note, I never seem to be able to give lottery or lotto tickets as gifts. I’m always afraid that because of the good karma thing, the tickets will be big winners and I’d miss out on the winnings:) I guess I could do like my boss does and say, “We split anything over $50!”

Given a choice, what would you go for? The sure thing or the unknown?

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The Day After…

On March 26, 2008, in Brew Pubs, Craft Beer, Food, Homebrewing, Music, by Mark Ranes

Yesterday, we dropped off Brenda’s car in Livermore, grabbed a rental (a Pontiac G5 – ugg!) and headed off to Concord. After a quick stop at MoreBeer to get a variety of stuff – most notably four vials of White Labs Pacific Ale yeast (thankfully White Labs has decided to make this yeast available year-round. It used to be one of their seasonal Platinum strains), we headed off to the EJ Phair Alehouse. I was disappointed that the didn’t have Drake’s IPA on tap, but they did have Stone IPA, so I had that with their Spicy Steak Wrap. Good stuff:)

Spicy Steak Wrap

We killed some time shopping and then picked up the Jag. Traffic was light (spring break?) and we got to Redwood City with plenty of time for dinner. We had Mexican food for dinner, at a place called Margaritas, about a block from the Fox Theater. As we were finishing dinner, Paul Thorn and the band walked by the restaurant, presumably heading out for dinner before the show. I waited in line at the box office to pick up our tickets, while Brenda got in the main line to enter the Little Fox.

Little Fox Marquee

There was open seating, so we were hoping to get good seats. There were only a dozen or so people in line in front of us, so we weren’t too worried:) Unfortunately, there were having sound board problems, so we had to wait an additional half hour, out in the cold, before we were let into the theater. At 7:30 p.m., they let us in and we grabbed two seats, literally in front of the center-left side of the stage. We were so close I rested my feet on the stage for most of the show! I grabbed a couple of beers for us (I had a Sierra Nevada Pale). We kicked back waited for the show to start. It was a older crowd, and many of the folks had Paul Thorn stories to tell. Paul and the band came out exactly at 8:00 (I love people that are on time:) and he immediately apologized for wearing an ugly shirt.

Paul Thorn Performing

He said he’d gone out for a run that afternoon, come back to the Little Fox, and was bummed that there was no shower – so he’d taken what he called a “whore bath,” where you clean yourself with paper towels and water. Then he discovered that the venue didn’t have an iron to press his shirt for the show, so he had to wear a shirt that he could pull directly out of his suitcase, and didn’t need ironing. It was an interesting shirt…

He played almost all of the new CD, but the cuts sounded polished, like they’d been playing them for years. Paul sang an acoustic set in the middle of the show, to spell the band, and he played one of my favorite unrecorded tunes, “Might as Well Stay Married.” One of the lines goes “I couldn’t get laid when I was single, if you threw me in a women’s prison, so I might as well stay married.”

All in all, the band played for two solid hours, without a break, and it was the best show I’ve seen Paul put on. After the show, Paul met with crowd to sign CDs and take pictures. He is a gracious guy and took the time to chat individually with everyone who wanted to meet him.

Mark and Paul

Me and Paul. Aren’t you glad I Photoshopped out the bloody eye? 🙂

Brenda and Paul

Brenda and Paul

Autographed CD

My autographed CD

We were on the road by 10:15 p.m. and home a little after midnight:)

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Paul Thorn at the Little Fox Theater

On March 22, 2008, in Music, by Mark Ranes

We are back on for Paul Thorn. Rather than Rancho Nicasio, we’re heading up to Redwood City on Tuesday night to the Little Fox Theater.

Paul Thorn

We’ve been to the Little Fox Theater before for a jazz show. It is a small 200 seat venue – not a bad seat in the place and the acoustics are wonderful.

Here’s a YouTube video of one my favorite Paul Thorn tunes, “I Have a Good Day Every Now and Then.” At one point in his life, Paul was a professional boxer. He went six rounds with Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran on national television. Like most folks that fought Duran, he got his ass kicked:) The fight inspired a song called, “I’d Rather be a Hammer Than a Nail.” You gotta see him live to appreciate his musical ability, heart and humor. Paul Thorn is the best performer you’ve never heard of.

All in all, the drive home will suck, but I’m pumped up to see Paul Thorn again:)

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