Night Walk in Washington DC

I started a new job and they flew me out to Fairfax, VA for two weeks for orientation and to meet the team. I am not one to just stay in the hotel when I travel so I headed to DC one night to walk around. I am use to walking around my neighborhood and missed it so I took Metro into DC one Friday evening to enjoy the city night lights.

Jefferson Memorial

The weather was finally starting to cool and the humidity start to drop by the time I arrived in downtown. Metro dumps you right at the Smithsonian’s so from there it is only a short walk down to the US Capitol. From there I looped back up towards the White House down Constitution Ave. but here I ran into a slight detour.

As I was getting closer to the Capitol I noticed a bunch of stopped cars and police lights. Come to find out it was a bunch of BBQ pit masters getting setup for the weekends annual BBQ battle in downtown. I saw dozens of trucks waiting to get in and those inside setting up tents and their trailers. It was a shame I couldn’t make it back the following day to enjoy some smoked meet.

That night I spent most of my time walking around the World War II memorial. There was just something about that place with the lights and water fountains. All the monuments that night where great to look at. The temperatures had cooled and the humidity dropped which made being out even more enjoyable being out among the granite.

I spent hours walking around The Mall with a bunch of other tourists. It was pretty amazing to see so many people out enjoying the sights. Living on the west coast I have a greater appreciation for what DC has to offer now that I can’t just visit whenever I want. I will continue to make it to the city on my return trips for work.

The Roots Edgefield June 14th 2019

Things have been super crazy here in June. I got a new job so the last day at my old job was May 31st. I didn’t start my new job till June 17th and in between that I a trip to Montreal planned. Nothing like going on vacation when your unemployed and spending lots of money. Well when I got back from Montreal I saw The Roots were playing at Edgefield Friday after I returned and decided to see them again.

This is actually the third time I have seen them and I will probably continue to see them live. First time was at the 2016 United States Grand Prix in Austin. They played with User that night as a last minute gig when The Weekend cancelled his performance. The second time was during the 2017 Newport Jazz Festival. They closed Sunday and the festival weekend with their performance.

Earlier in the day I decided to do a little hiking. This didn’t turn out so well because of the fire roads and my car. Traffic getting back to Portland was a bear even in early afternoon. For some reason the show was starting early so by the time I made it home I didn’t have much time to shower and rest before heading to Edgefield.

I have been to the property before. Its a great place to hang out with friends, hang out by the fire and smoke a cigar. This time a majority of the property is taken over because of the concert. Where you usually can sit has been converted into a pavilion for food and drink. The lawn itself was rather nice and big. The place didn’t sell out but a ton of people showed up. I was near the back with plenty of room to dance which was nice. Another really nice feature is that you can bring slow beach chairs into the venue. I took the opportunity so not only did I get a great performance but I could do it comfortable.

Seeing them a few times I knew what to expect and wasn’t disappointed this evening. The weather also really worked out which made things better. No opening act and they got a late start. One of the beat box guys came out and did a performance before eventually the band walks out on stage. Being summer it was daylight for the entire performance which was a weird thing to see. They had lights but it really didn’t mean anything.

Just a great time seeing The Roots at Edgefield on a Friday night. With the show ending rather early even with traffic getting out of the venue I made it home rather early. I do enjoy seeing them play and with their limited tour schedule I am always glad when they roll through town and I get an opportunity to see them.

The Roots
Edgefield – Troutdale, OR
Friday, June 14th 2019

DJ starts at 6:53pm, band walks out at 7:10pm

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House lights at 9:05pm

Michael Quu Helium Comedy Club May 7th 2019

Most of our customers are MSP clients but we do a fair amount of contract project work as well. This means we get some pretty cool clients like Helium Comedy Club. As a thank you for helping them out they gave us some free tickets to see the first night of Michael Quu. It was Tuesday night of all things so I understand getting free tickets. Get as many people in the venue as you can and hope they buy drinks. Plus I’m sure its good for the talent to see a full venue when they look out into the audience.

I didn’t plan on going but never bought movie tickets liked I planned either. A colleague was going and invited me so I decided a change of plans was in order. It ended up being three of us. Our third didn’t arrive till just before show time. I arrived first and decided to see about a table but the line getting in was ridiculously long and slow. They choke point was the ticket booth. My ticket was “free” but a $6 cover was required at the door. They have a stated 2 item minimum but they didn’t appear to enforce that.

There was an opening act in addition to Michael. The opening guy was a local that moved to NYC and now does comedy full time. Not bad but he will probably never make it off the medium city/small club tour. Still funny at times and worth it. The main act Michael was also pretty funny. Longer set. I think Michael did like 45-60 or something.

Anyway a good night out to see some comedy. I can always use a good laugh and I will have to come back to the club. Hopefully they can work on the queue issue but a nice place to catch some comedy.

Sand Lake Recreational Area April 2019

Bobby loves spending time outdoors in his truck exploring nature. Especially when that is with other like minded people from online groups he belongs to. A new one he started participating in was going to Siuslaw National Forest for a little fun in the sand. They where headed to Sand Lake Recreational Area not far from Tillamook.

I started off at Bobby’s house at 6am I think it was. It was rough but I made it with time to spare. We then made out way to the meeting spot on the outskirts of some little suburban town. From there it was maybe an hour trip through the mountains to get to the coast and the recreational area.

15 vehicles traveled to Sand Lake for an afternoon of wheeling.

The meeting at the recreational area was a little haphazard. Everyone just parked where they could and air downed their tires. Not much communication from the organizer but everyone made it work. From there it was down too the beach for a quick group photo. I think it was 15 trucks or so on the beach that morning which was cool.

From here it quickly broke down. The group organized had to be prodded to make a speech to make introductions, gauge peoples comfort levels and have a forum for people to ask questions. One guy got tired of waiting and just starting going at it. I swear he was determined to flip his truck the way he was driving around the beach that morning. Others have been out with him before and he is apparently a wild man all the time.

Most of us then went up a hill that overlooked the beach and the ocean. From here there was another quick meeting and most went off to explore the rest of the park. A few went down to the beach. Bobby and I stayed on top of the hill. I personally just wanted to hang out with him and enjoy the amazing view with a cigar, some coffee and good company. Work was proving really stressful for me over the last few months so taking this opportunity to just sit back and relax was something I really needed. I was glad Bobby was receptive to just hanging out.

We played in the sand for a little while but eventually we had to go. Bobby was trying to meet someone in Pacific City and I for one wanted some real food. We headed into town for Pelican Pub and Brewery for some really good fish and chips. The beer was also really good here. Even the outdoor seating was busy on this brisk March day. It also helped that the large dining areas was rented out for a wedding reception. The weather was only just starting to get better but everyone took the time to get out and enjoy what little we got.

The wait was rather long which worked out. It gave us an opportunity to explore low tide alone the water and the tide pools. I don’t see this very often so it was cool to explore nature up and close without being in a museum. When the tide started coming in is when I got the text our table was ready. The Five Fin pilsner was pretty good. I got the fish and chips to go with it and I must say, they where really good. Some of the best I have had in a long while.

We hung around Pacific City as long as we good but besides the beach, there isn’t much to do in town. Your typical summer beach town that I imagine is pretty dead in winter. Ice cream shops, souvenirs, and a kit shop I spotted throughout town. Not much in the way of food so Pelican is a good find. After grabbing some ice cream we decided to start making our way back.

I was very thankful to get out of the house and go wheeling with Bobby down to Sand Lake. I don’t get out into nature often enough. I believe that everyone should do this regularly to help reset themselves. Being stuck in doors with work and home life all the time can’t be a good think.

Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group The Jack London Revue April 4th 2019

I was talking with a colleague earlier in the week about jazz and mentioned The Jack London Revue. I love this place because this is what I imagine jazz clubs where like back in the early days of the genera. The basement of some dark, dingy, building but also very intimate. The venue has a way of sucking you in and making you a part of the performance because of how things are setup. I just love this place. On Thursday’s Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group has a weekly two set residency.

Heineken

My colleague couldn’t make the show but I had hyped myself up just thinking about it I went Thursday night for their regular gig. I just wanted to listen to some live music. Even though I only stayed for the first set it was a lot of fun. I thought it better to get home at a reasonable hour and sleep then stay out too late.

The walk to and from the venue was nice. The weather was starting to become more comfortable. It rained in both directions. Going home it was pretty heavy. I didn’t even thing to check the weather till I was already outside. It just adds to the memories of the night.

Another good performance by Mel Brown and and the gang. They had a sit-in keyboardists this time. He too played with the same person Mel did. For some reason I want to say Aretha Franklin but I could be wrong on that. Another good night of jazz with Mel Brown at the Jack London Revue.