Who can it be now?

The 80’s song by the Australian band Men at Work comes to mind as loss once again comes knocking on our door. The longer we exist on earth, the more frequently this unwelcome visitor appears at the threshold.

I lost my parents in 2009 and 2017. My father-in-law passed in 2014. Recently, two classmates passed as well. In November, I had to put down our 16 year old feline family member after being diagnosed with renal failure.

Over the weekend, my sister-in-law called to inform my wife that their younger brother was no longer with us. He was only 46 years old, but had lived with diabetes since childhood. My wife looked at me and said “now there’s only 7 of us” referring to the four members of our family, her sister and spouse, and her mom.

While longevity is certainly what we all wish for it does come with this caveat. The longer you live, the more frequent visits from loss will occur.

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
I Thessalonians 4:13‭-‬14 NKJV

25 years since the greatest music festivals of the 80s!

I was a sophmore in high school and my brother took me to my very first concert. The 1982 US Festival was put on by Steve Wozniak of Apple Computers. I attended on Saturday and was fortunate to see Dave Edmunds, Eddie Money, Santana, The Cars, The Kinks, Pat Benatar, & Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. It was really hot out, but I got to see some really classic rock. The next year we attended again and were there for the now famous “Heavy Metal Day” and saw a great line-up of metal bands : Quiet Riot, Motely Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Trimph, Scorpions, and Van Halen. I checked out and headed to the car for Van Halen and listened from there as David Lee Roth was so drunk he forgot the words to songs.

Relive the US Festivals

Another one down, Another one down, another one bites the dust!

I have always enjoyed going to Big Box stores, but their spread has had an undeniable effect on small town businesses. When WalMart comes to town, many mom & pop stores end up closing their doors. This week it was announced that one such store in my home town of Barstow has met its demise. Growing up in a small town meant that store’s weren’t known by what they sold, but by the proprieters. We didn’t go to the bike shop, we went to Jay’s. We didn’t go to the Hardware store, we went to H & E. Well, Home Depot came to town and now H & E is closing their doors after 55 years. I remember many a trip with my dad to get something for a home repair project and shouting, “We are going to H & E” as we closed the door and headed for the truck.

Read the article on its closing from the local newspaper.

Pacific Euro Hotel (Formerly the Maas Hotel)

Almost 23 years ago, I loaded up a blue duffle bag just two weeks after graduating high school, hopped on a Greyhound bus and headed to the big city in San Jose. My best friend said he had an apartment and a job lined up for me. I arrived to find he was staying in the Maas Hotel. A one bed hotel room smaller than a walk-in with a TV and a mini-fridge awaited me. My job at Bentz Tool lasted only 2 weeks as Elroy sent me packing. I lasted another 5 months in San Jose before moving back to Barstow and eventually joining the Army. I found some reviews of the Maas Hotel(now the Pacific Euro) on trip advisor. Check them out and see that nothing much has changed in almost 25 years. It sounds the same as I remember it.

Max Headroom Tribute

Each week the NAPP Forum posts a Battleground image and we all see what we can come up with. I was pleased with how this came out and wanted to share it on the blog. I used the Dodge and Burn tools to achieve the highlights and shadows. I then used the smudge tool to attain the air brushed appearance.

When Atari = Video Games!

I am a child of the 80s and grew up with Atari and Video Games being synonymous. We went to Sears in the mall and got the latest cartridge for the 2600. I remember many a hot afternoon spent with friends playing Pitfall, Gunlinger, or Tank Battle. If you are from that time and would like a blast from the past, check out http://www.simmphonic.com/programming/flash.htm and enjoy one of my all-time favs nicely converted to Flash.