Posts Tagged ‘poker’

FRIDAY June 28th, 2019!!!

Time to pack up!

I’m on the home stretch of publishing my next book about all the gems of wisdom I’ve learned over 30 some years and this trip should give me the solitude I need to finish “LIFE WISDOM”.

 

 

SATURDAY

We checked in to our accommodations for the week and then headed to the La Brea Tar pit park. This is one of my favorite places in L.A. Today was Latin Music day at the Amphitheater so we had an extra special treat while enjoying the park.

To end the day we went to watch Aladdin at the Chinese theater. It is such a beautiful place to enjoy films.

 

SUNDAY

We try to make Sunday’s our extra spiritual morning and beach afternoon. We went to the Studio City market and then to explore Simon Rodia’s WATTS TOWERS before heading to Venice for the day.

We ended the day by going to a Studio City pub called “Darts Darts Darts” to watch the men’s soccer team get past Curacao in the Gold Cup quarter finals. Then we took a pizza back home to close out the night with a movie.

 

MONDAY

I spent the morning working on my book and this blog before exploring the neighborhood. Tujunga Ave. is a lovely area with wild plum trees and Mediterranean flowers everywhere. One thing that was lacking was the presence of Orange trees.

I found this amazing tree house. It was three levels and included some ornate features like wood shutters.

 

I eventually found my way to the park and got busy with a full leg workout. There are several nice body weight machines at the Woodbridge park. There was also an outdoor workout group for us to mingle with.

V on scooter

We then got on an electric scooter and rode around the hood. There was this lovely rose plastered wall with tile steps and beautiful flowers down the road.

V on scooter

 

TUESDAY

Started the morning with some blog updates while loading the Dart Connect stream on my phone so I could follow the first PDC qualifier while hiking.

While I got caught up on the blog and photos I watched the USWNT defeat England in the Women’s Wolrd Cup. After the game was over I went and explored the area around the Universal Studios on a BIRD scooter. I learned not to get within 2 blocks of their riding dead zones. It took me 10 minutes to cross a dangerous intersection by the interstate that was under construction and then the scooter shut down saying I was too far out of the riding zone. I couldn’t shut off the billing timer until I returned to the safe zone. It took another 10 minutes to cross the intersection again and then the scooter gps didn’t report accurately so I had to go another 10 minutes back towards where I started before it would finally let me log out. I ended up paying $12 for $4 worth of a scooter ride.

Don’t get even try to go close to the boarder if you are in this situation.

I went back to the apartment and rested before my Tuesday poker tournament. The Tuesday night game in Sherman Oaks is one of my favorites. It is a $50 entry and the pot usually reaches around $1800 making for good payouts.

Due to the 4th holiday the turn out was a bit low but I still got 2nd place and made $360 to pay for my trip. I have made money at this game all four times I have been able to go.

 

WEDNESDAY

Today I was getting ready for our trip to Vegas so I stayed close to the apartment. I watched more of the PDC qualifiers and the USMNT beat Jamaica to advance to the Gold cup final vs. Mexico.

I spent most of the day doing different work outs in the park and having wonderful conversations with new friends. I met this very interesting Russian born model, psychologist and spiritual life coach women named Nakita. I’m helping guide her on a quest to establish a Spiritual Center similar to what I am forming in Hawkins Texas.

I picked V up from work and we went to dinner with actor buddy, Rod. We went to this lovely outdoor cafe again Aroma’s. It is decorated very similar to what we want to do at the Edom shop with this amazing pergola.

After dinner, we headed up the mountain to do some exploring during sunset. We found some lovely abandoned areas with the remains of unique structures. A few areas around the parks were being zoned to allow new homes to be built which added this cool ambiance from having the combination of the two.

THURSDAY JULY 4th

We got up at 6am to load up. By 7:30am, we were on the road to head for Vegas for the World Series of Darts and Poker.

If you are not on the road early, the sub 4 hour drive becomes a 5.5 hour nightmare. We dodged all of the traffic and made it in under 4 hours. We had one slight moment of excitement that was a once in a lifetime experience. We didn’t really notice but we drove just a few miles to the east of one of the larger earth quakes in California in the past 30 years. This 6.4 earth quake was just west of the interstate to Vegas.

When we arrived we did a lap around town before scoping out the PDC Dart scene at Mandalay Bay.

We then went to Excalibur and checked into our room. We went to the pool for a few hours before going back to the Mandalay Bay for dinner.

We went to the Noodle Cafe and the world #6 PDC dart pro, Michael Smith sat next to us with his family. I took a few pictures and told him “I enjoyed his game; it was nice to him; and wished him some straight shooting in the finals tomorrow.” Michael said thank you very much and told me he was feeling good as he shook my hand.

After dinner we spent $27 each and went to the pool party and firework show. It was midnight by the time we got back to Excalibur so we called it a night.

 

FRIDAY

Started the morning by getting an all day buffet pass for $38. The food was worth it if you go for all 3 meals.

I spent the morning watching darts and poker at the pool. Then after lunch I hit the gym until 3:30. I did a little more writing and then headed over to the Rio to watch the WSOP Main event action and play a little cash game poker.

Upon arriving at the Rio there was a line of poker players being escorted to a new table assignment so I followed them to the hot zone. We walked through the casino gambling hall and rounded a corner to the entrance of the convention center. As I continued down the hall more WSOP signs and advertising was on display. The hall opened up to a grand entry area that housed all the WSOP clothing merchandise. Beyond the grand entry was the first entrance to the biggest room called the Pavillion.

 

 

 

BELOW ARE NOTES FOR LATER

 

The weather was too cool for the beach so I just walked around the neighborhood.

day 3 neighbor

day 3 suculants1

April 3, Wednesday

Too cool and cloudy again so I just spent the day looking for poker and darts information and studied the transit options. Got my day planned out for Thursday. I went out in the evening to check out the general neighborhood. I passed a girl in her 20’s crying and asked if I could help her. Meculah explained that her friend couldn’t make it to pick her up and she was stranded 40 miles from her house. Meculah’s phone battery was dead and she didn’t have a backup battery or power cord so she was having a panic attack. She couldn’t look up travel options and didn’t know what to do. She walked back with me to get my power cord and we talked and did some meditation exercises to calm her down while her phone charged. I refilled her water bottle while she decided to pay for a taxi home. I gave Meculah some pointers on taking the transit options and then continued on my walk as her ride drove off.

When Vanessa got home I drove us around Mulholland Drive for a mini sunset adventure. We found a trail head but it would take me about 15 minutes on a scooter to get up the canyon so I’m not sure if I will go do it or not.

April 4, Thursday

Did a quick workout and then wrote down my transit details for the day. I decided to go explore UCLA and then hang out in Santa Monica and hopefully find a poker game. The weather was crappy so I didn’t get to work on my tan but I did get on a bicycle and got a good workout in. I biked all the way down to Marina DelRay while getting reacquainted with the Venice life.

As I strolled Venice I was sad to see the House of Weird never recovered. It was a great attraction that has been featured on many films. Some of the people (attractions) have found new shelter and remain in the area panhandling on the streets.

One of my favorite things to do when I am in Venice is to work out. There is Gold’s Gym (Muscle Beach) and the Cirque Du Soleil training area with some great options to workout.

day 5 acro

April 5, Friday

I did my taxes most of the day and then went exploring on the bus to the Japanese garden and the Sepulveda water basin. I jogged around that area and then got on a bus north to the dart tournament at a Lounge called Tender Glow. The Basin park is a massive area where tons of people have parties. They bring bouncy houses and setup all kinds of cool decorations! It is such a large area that there are a lot of transients camping in the woods and even the parking lots are full of RV’s. Law enforcement just asks them to move their vehicles around each day. The views are amazing.

It was about 3 miles north and 3 miles east of home base so not too far. It still took 1.5 hours on two buses to get there though. I passed this really nice rock garden along the way.

day 6 rock garden

At the tournament I shot great but the competition was difficult. My partner was not as accurate as my opponents so I had to make sure I hit the winning shots on my first try. Eventually I missed a couple and was eliminated in 5th place.

April 6, Saturday

We went to Topanga Canyon for breakfast. The health food options are amazing and there are so many cool little cafes. I love relaxing in the canyons.

I got to visit one of my favorite areas. In the past I had been active on the Topanga Chamber and Earth Day Committee which led to me spending a lot of time there with my buddy Will Pallagi. We didn’t find the road to the party ranch we used to spend the night at but we did find the park where I was in charge of the recycling for the Earth Day festival in 2010.

We also stopped at few market shops and took some fun pictures.

From Topanga we went back to the Sepulveda Lake park to get some spiritual celebration time. There was a Hare Krishna color festival waiting for us. It is a time to dance, chant and sing while rubbing ceremonial paint colors on those around you as a blessing. It is messy but really exciting.

We closed the day out by going to the Pet Cemetery Movie. It was very scary and I had a hard time watching it. I had some ear pressure that was also causing me eye pain so I had to wear sun glasses and shut the bad eye quite often but I made it through it. The film had a new ending from the previous movie and it caught everyone of guard. Let me know what you thought of it?! 🙂

Sunday, April 7

Started the day by taking the colored clothes to the laundry mat while Vanessa made us breakfast. We then headed out to her favorite Studio City farmers market. The market is always an enjoyable way to spend the morning.

day 8 farmers

From there we went downtown to the Renegade Craft fair.

day 8 market all

The location of the Renegade Craft Fair is in a park on the edge of China Town. It was a nice return to my past. This same park is where I enjoyed one of the funnest festivals ever. This is the site of where the Post-Burning Man L.A. decompression event is. You can read about that in my previous blog https://wordpress.com/post/freehelpinghands.wordpress.com/1227

Right next to the park was the warehouse district where there are amazing underground parties. I had another blast from the past vision in my head as we walked by the site of a High Times 420 party Will and I went to.

After the craft fair, we headed back through Topanga to watch the sunset on the beach in Malibu.

Monday, April 8

I left early with Vanessa and had her drop me off at the train station near her work so I could get down to South Bay as quickly as possible. I was going to go have lunch with one of my best buddies and former LA roomie, Sung. We have a ritual where we always hang at the Hermosa Pier and usually have drinks and lunch at this table over looking the beach.

The Long Beach train line is under construction so there is a major time delay due to a required bus detour. This construction really makes a metro visit from north L.A. to south L.A. unenjoyable. I left Woodland Hills at 9:30 and arrived at the Manhattan Beach station shortly after noon. It was so exciting being back in my old neighborhood. I walked around the soccer field on the way to Poliwog park where Sung was going to pick me up. Poliwog has a wonderful botanical garden to chill out in. I love reading and writing in this garden.

day 9 duck tan

After lunch we went past Sung’s new house to get a tour and then he took me back to the train. I made it back to north Hollywood right on time and Vanessa picked me up to go to her birthday party at a Pizza cafe in Studio City.

Tuesday, April 9

I spent the morning doing some writing and house chores and then headed off to Runyon Canyon shortly after lunch.

Wednesday, April 10

I went inland yesterday so today I am going coastal. I walked around the neighborhood on the way to the bus stop. There are beautiful gardens everywhere you look.

I got off the bus at UCLA to hike through the campus first.

As I waited at the bus stop I was approached by another wonderful adventurer.
(IG @StephanieByNature) Stephanie was trying to figure out the fastest bus or train route to the airport to catch a flight. We reviewed the transit maps together and exchanged contacts before boarding different buses. Once I was back on the bus I read about her adventures. She focuses a lot of energy on raising food and delivering it to people sleeping outdoors.

My next stop was the ocean to get some tanning in.

Day 11 beach

After my ocean fun, I headed back to Hollywood to meet Vanessa for a fun night at the Hollywood Improv for a ladies night special set. When we got out of the car I noticed we were in front of a store owned by one of my followers who actively comments on my adventures. (IG @Jannikolander)

Comedy Clubs are one of my favorite places to spend an evening.

Thursday, April 11

Today I followed the same path as yesterday but with a different ending. I moved past UCLA quicker so I could have more time at the mediation gardens.

I left the beach at 3pm so I could spend at least an hour at the meditation gardens before they closed at 4:30. This is one of my favorite garden parks in the world. https://lakeshrine.org/

Day 12 garden

After the gardens closed I headed over to Temescal Canyon for a sunset hike. This Canyon is one of my favorite hikes in LA because it has the least amount of people yet you get some nice ocean views and a stream trail as well. Head over to my youtube channel to view some of it.

day 13 temescal history

After sunset, I headed back by bus. It takes over 2 hours to complete the route going east to Sepulveda then north to Ventura and back west to Topanga north of the Mountain ridge.

Friday, April 12

I enjoy the Sunset/Beverly Hills/Temescal area so much that I wanted to spend one last day there with more time to go hiking. I had Vanessa drop me off at Sepulveda on the way to work and then I took the bus straight to Temsecal Canyon.

This time I hiked the east ridge to the boarder of Will Roger’s State Park until Vanessa was able to come join me.

We hiked the river trail for awhile and then it was time to head to my evening poker tournament. I won again and finished with a $250 profit. It was my last night to make some money and I finished below my goal for the week but I was ending the trip with more than I arrived with.

Saturday, April 13

South Bay is one of my favorite areas of LA and I have only been able to make it over there 1 time so far on this visit so today we are spending most of the day there.

It takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to go from Topanga down the PCH to Hermosa so you can not really do much else unless it is along the way.

We went to a Greatful Dead cover concert with the band called Cubensis. I try to catch one of their shows every visit.

Day 14 Cubensis

After the show we went for a little stroll and sunset on the beach.

Day 14 sunset

We closed the night out with a spiritual Kirtan and the Bhakti Yoga Shala. http://bhaktiyogashala.com/

Day 14 kirtan

Sunday, April 14

Sunday is a great day to be in LA. Some of my favorite things to do in LA happen on Sundays. I like to start the morning at the LA market on the way to the Agape Spiritual Center.

There is a center for day to day gatherings but on Sunday the celebrations are at the Saban Theatre. The theatre is amazing and the energy is so eclectic. Check out this video clip on my youtube channel. There is always several successful/famous people sitting around you or performing on the stage at Agape.

For lunch, I love going over to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Culver City. This Hindu temple provides the most amazing vegetarian dishes for a very low price. ($6.95 entree’s and $2.95 sides!)

After lunch, we meditated in the temple as they prepared for Owner of the Ford Motor Company Foundation to arrive for a speech. Alfred Ford is an amazing inspiration and philanthropist. He has given a lot of his families fortune to spiritual causes.

Day 15 ISKON lineup

Then we went into the structure next to the temple which houses the Museum full of animated Vedic Diorama’s. It is only $10 for an amazing 45 minute tour through Hindu & Krishna history. Please check it out when you are in the area and make sure you give them some reviews on their yelp to help encourage more people to visit!

We finished our visit by participating in a fire prayer ceremony. This is a series of purification chants mixed with the burning of sacrifices like rice, sage, cedar, flowers, oils and other items. Check out the video on my youTube channel.

Day 15 ISKON fire

After we left ISKCON we went on our own little spiritual quest to harvest and bundle some sage. We know this amazing hike that is covered with white sage.

After such a full day, the time had finally arrived for me to depart back to Texas. I had to wait an extra hour and 30 minutes to leave because the flight crew was delayed. I barely made my connecting flight in DFW with just minutes to spare.

Time to pack up! Whenever going on an extended trip, the fridge has to be emptied of perishables.
2019-03-29 Fridge Cleanout

This trip is happening in the middle of Tax filing time so the days leading up to departure were filled with office tasks and last minute paper work.

I was able to get everything packed in time to play a few hours of poker on my way out.

Leaving the wildflower bloom of Texas and heading to the Southwestern desert super bloom!

 

March 30, Saturday

I was traveling with Vanessa on this trip so we had a few extra fun stops planned. The Cubs were in town playing the Rangers but we were heading out late and didn’t have time to stop for some batting practice.

We wanted to reach Tucumcari, NM by 9pm Mountain time to check in to our cute little artsy hotel on route 66.

 

March 30, Sunday

 

Sunday morning we walked the art covered route 66 over to a nice cafe for breakfast.

Diner

It was then time to research Montezuma Castle National Monument, Havasupai waterfalls and other cavern crevasses for the days exploration on the way to Mesa/Phoenix for the evening.

Havasupai was too far out of the way but we headed for some other great areas. We went through Tonto Forest over to Roosevelt Lake and the Tonto Monument for some preserved cave dwellings.

We drove through a nice brief snow on the high bluffs and then entered the lovely areas where flowers were blooming.

 

 

Tonto

It was getting dark as we entered a mountain pass that followed the Salt River into the city. It was about 20 miles to the other side but as we moved forward the pavement stopped and the road got narrow as the guard rails vanished high above the river cliff so we had to turn around. Better to be safe when there is an easier known path. It would require us to back track 40 miles but at least we would be traveling 70 mph instead of 20. Either way, we were going to arrive at our hosts place around 830pm.

Phoenix pool

April 1, Monday

Time to head for the ocean!

Patton MuseumDesert

cute mnt home

mountains

April 2, Tuesday

Started the first half the day recovering from the road trip with an extra long yoga session and workout. Did some beach prep and then worked on the blog, trip planning and taxes.

day3

The weather was too cool for the beach so I just walked around the neighborhood.

day 3 neighbor

day 3 suculants1

April 3, Wednesday

Too cool and cloudy again so I just spent the day looking for poker and darts information and studied the transit options. Got my day planned out for Thursday. I went out in the evening to check out the general neighborhood. I passed a girl in her 20’s crying and asked if I could help her. Meculah explained that her friend couldn’t make it to pick her up and she was stranded 40 miles from her house. Meculah’s phone battery was dead and she didn’t have a backup battery or power cord so she was having a panic attack. She couldn’t look up travel options and didn’t know what to do. She walked back with me to get my power cord and we talked and did some meditation exercises to calm her down while her phone charged. I refilled her water bottle while she decided to pay for a taxi home. I gave Meculah some pointers on taking the transit options and then continued on my walk as her ride drove off.

When Vanessa got home I drove us around Mulholland Drive for a mini sunset adventure. We found a trail head but it would take me about 15 minutes on a scooter to get up the canyon so I’m not sure if I will go do it or not.

 

 

April 4, Thursday

Did a quick workout and then wrote down my transit details for the day. I decided to go explore UCLA and then hang out in Santa Monica and hopefully find a poker game. The weather was crappy so I didn’t get to work on my tan but I did get on a bicycle and got a good workout in. I biked all the way down to Marina DelRay while getting reacquainted  with the Venice life.

 

As I strolled Venice I was sad to see the House of Weird never recovered. It was a great attraction that has been featured on many films. Some of the people (attractions) have found new shelter and remain in the area panhandling on the streets.

 

One of my favorite things to do when I am in Venice is to work out. There is Gold’s Gym (Muscle Beach) and the Cirque Du Soleil training area with some great options to workout.

day 5 acro

 

April 5, Friday

I did my taxes most of the day and then went exploring on the bus to the Japanese garden and the Sepulveda water basin. I jogged around that area and then got on a bus north to the dart tournament at a Lounge called Tender Glow. The Basin park is a massive area where tons of people have parties. They bring bouncy houses and setup all kinds of cool decorations! It is such a large area that there are a lot of transients camping in the woods and even the parking lots are full of RV’s. Law enforcement just asks them to move their vehicles around each day. The views are amazing.

 

It was about 3 miles north and 3 miles east of home base so not too far. It still took 1.5 hours on two buses to get there though. I passed this really nice rock garden along the way.

day 6 rock garden

At the tournament I shot great but the competition was difficult. My partner was not as accurate as my opponents so I had to make sure I hit the winning shots on my first try. Eventually I missed a couple and was eliminated in 5th place.

April 6, Saturday

We went to Topanga Canyon for breakfast. The health food options are amazing and there are so many cool little cafes. I love relaxing in the canyons.

 

I got to visit one of my favorite areas. In the past I had been active on the Topanga Chamber and Earth Day Committee which led to me spending a lot of time there with my buddy Will Pallagi. We didn’t find the road to the party ranch we used to spend the night at but we did find the park where I was in charge of the recycling for the Earth Day festival in 2010.

 

We also stopped at few market shops and took some fun pictures.

 

 

From Topanga we went back to the Sepulveda Lake park to get some spiritual celebration time. There was a Hare Krishna color festival waiting for us. It is a time to dance, chant and sing while rubbing ceremonial paint colors on those around you as a blessing. It is messy but really exciting.

 

We closed the day out by going to the Pet Cemetery Movie. It was very scary and I had a hard time watching it. I had some ear pressure that was also causing me eye pain so I had to wear sun glasses and shut the bad eye quite often but I made it through it. The film had a new ending from the previous movie and it caught everyone of guard. Let me know what you thought of it?!  🙂

Sunday, April 7

Started the day by taking the colored clothes to the laundry mat while Vanessa made us breakfast. We then headed out to her favorite Studio City farmers market. The market is always an enjoyable way to spend the morning.

day 8 farmers

From there we went downtown to the Renegade Craft fair.

day 8 market all

 

The location of the Renegade Craft Fair is in a park on the edge of China Town. It was a nice return to my past. This same park is where I enjoyed one of the funnest festivals ever. This is the site of where the Post-Burning Man L.A. decompression event is. You can read about that in my previous blog https://wordpress.com/post/freehelpinghands.wordpress.com/1227

Right next to the park was the warehouse district where there are amazing underground parties. I had another blast from the past vision in my head as we walked by the site of a High Times 420 party Will and I went to.

After the craft fair, we headed back through Topanga to watch the sunset on the beach in Malibu.

 

 

Monday, April 8

I left early with Vanessa and had her drop me off at the train station near her work so I could get down to South Bay as quickly as possible. I was going to go have lunch with one of my best buddies and former LA roomie, Sung. We have a ritual where we always hang at the Hermosa Pier and usually have drinks and lunch at this table over looking the beach.

The Long Beach train line is under construction so there is a major time delay due to a required bus detour. This construction really makes a metro visit from north L.A. to south L.A. unenjoyable. I left Woodland Hills at 9:30 and arrived at the Manhattan Beach station shortly after noon. It was so exciting being back in my old neighborhood. I walked around the soccer field on the way to Poliwog park where Sung was going to pick me up. Poliwog has a wonderful botanical garden to chill out in. I love reading and writing in this garden.

 

 

day 9 duck tanAfter lunch we went past Sung’s new house to get a tour and then he took me back to the train. I made it back to north Hollywood right on time and Vanessa picked me up to go to her birthday party at a Pizza cafe in Studio City.

Tuesday, April 9

I spent the morning doing some writing and house chores and then headed off to Runyon Canyon shortly after lunch.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, April 10

I went inland yesterday so today I am going coastal. I walked around the neighborhood on the way to the bus stop. There are beautiful gardens everywhere you look.

I got off the bus at UCLA to hike through the campus first.

As I waited at the bus stop I was approached by another wonderful adventurer.
(IG @StephanieByNature) Stephanie was trying to figure out the fastest bus or train route to the airport to catch a flight. We reviewed the transit maps together and exchanged contacts before boarding different buses. Once I was back on the bus I read about her adventures. She focuses a lot of energy on raising food and delivering it to people sleeping outdoors.

My next stop was the ocean to get some tanning in.

Day 11 beach

After my ocean fun, I headed back to Hollywood to meet Vanessa for a fun night at the Hollywood Improv for a ladies night special set. When we got out of the car I noticed we were in front of a store owned by one of my followers who actively comments on my adventures. (IG @Jannikolander)

Comedy Clubs are one of my favorite places to spend an evening.

Thursday, April 11

Today I followed the same path as yesterday but with a different ending. I moved past UCLA quicker so I could have more time at the mediation gardens.

I left the beach at 3pm so I could spend at least an hour at the meditation gardens before they closed at 4:30. This is one of my favorite garden parks in the world. https://lakeshrine.org/

Day 12 garden

After the gardens closed I headed over to Temescal Canyon for a sunset hike. This Canyon is one of my favorite hikes in LA because it has the least amount of people yet you get some nice ocean views and a stream trail as well. Head over to my youtube channel to view some of it.

day 13 temescal history

After sunset, I headed back by bus. It takes over 2 hours to complete the route going east to Sepulveda then north to Ventura and back west to Topanga north of the Mountain ridge.

 

Friday, April 12

I enjoy the Sunset/Beverly Hills/Temescal area so much that I wanted to spend one last day there with more time to go hiking. I had Vanessa drop me off at Sepulveda on the way to work and then I took the bus straight to Temsecal Canyon.

This time I hiked the east ridge to the boarder of Will Roger’s State Park until Vanessa was able to come join me.

We hiked the river trail for awhile and then it was time to head to my evening poker tournament. I won again and finished with a $250 profit. It was my last night to make some money and I finished below my goal for the week but I was ending the trip with more than I arrived with.

Saturday, April 13

South Bay is one of my favorite areas of LA and I have only been able to make it over there 1 time so far on this visit so today we are spending most of the day there.

It takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to go from Topanga down the PCH to Hermosa so you can not really do much else unless it is along the way.

We went to a Greatful Dead cover concert with the band called Cubensis. I try to catch one of their shows every visit.

Day 14 Cubensis

After the show we went for a little stroll and sunset on the beach.

Day 14 sunset

We closed the night out with a spiritual Kirtan and the Bhakti Yoga Shala. http://bhaktiyogashala.com/ 

Day 14 kirtan

 

Sunday, April 14

Sunday is a great day to be in LA. Some of my favorite things to do in LA happen on Sundays. I like to start the morning at the LA market on the way to the Agape Spiritual Center.

There is a center for day to day gatherings but on Sunday the celebrations are at the Saban Theatre. The theatre is amazing and the energy is so eclectic. Check out this video clip on my youtube channel. There is always several successful/famous people sitting around you or performing on the stage at Agape.

For lunch, I love going over to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Culver City.  This Hindu temple provides the most amazing vegetarian dishes for a very low price. ($6.95 entree’s and $2.95 sides!)

After lunch, we meditated in the temple as they prepared for Owner of the Ford Motor Company Foundation to arrive for a speech. Alfred Ford is an amazing inspiration and philanthropist. He has given a lot of his families fortune to spiritual causes.

Day 15 ISKON lineup

Then we went into the structure next to the temple which houses the Museum full of animated Vedic Diorama’s. It is only $10 for an amazing 45 minute tour through Hindu & Krishna history. Please check it out when you are in the area and make sure you give them some reviews on their yelp to help encourage more people to visit!

We finished our visit by participating in a fire prayer ceremony. This is a series of purification chants mixed with the burning of sacrifices like rice, sage, cedar, flowers, oils and other items. Check out the video on my youTube channel.

Day 15 ISKON fire

After we left ISKCON we went on our own little spiritual quest to harvest and bundle some sage. We know this amazing hike that is covered with white sage.

After such a full day, the time had finally arrived for me to depart back to Texas. I had to wait an extra hour and 30 minutes to leave because the flight crew was delayed. I barely made my connecting flight in DFW with just minutes to spare.

 

 

 

 

While opening the Helping Hands Network community learning center in East Texas, I was only 400 miles from New Orleans and the center of American Carnival celebrations. It is too much fun to pass up every few years.

 

I found a few scheduled poker and dart tournaments along the way and packed up Lil Blue, our 2006 Honda Element. I loaded up all our recycling to drop off a sorting center along the way.

2019-03-29 recycle

 

Once I arrived I went straight to the Friday night dart tournament location in the uptown district. It was a fun group of people and I made some money after losing 3 to 4 in the final.

2019-03-29 bracket

 

In between matches I was able to go outside and watch some of the parade as it passed by.

In the morning got breakfast and cleaned up along the way to midtown central park. The last time I was in the park was 2009. I lived in the park for a few months while helping with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The area I lived in was still the same for the most part. Some newer restoration has been completed on one of the Historical buildings.

2019-03-29 camp2019-03-29 park building.jpg

2019-03-29 park

After my workout at the park, I cruised the midtown parade route.

 

The midtown parade had some great costumes and a big music stage that played all day.

 

After the midtown parade, it was time to head down to the quarter for the parade down there and some French Quarter fun.  The night hike through the park on the way back to the car was very enjoyable.

2019-03-29 park all

The parade litter is so filthy it is worth sharing images to help everyone consider the consequences.

2019-03-29 float

 

I usually end my evening with a pass through Burbon Street that ends at the Harrah’s casino. The cards went well for me again and I made enough to pay for the entire trip.

In the morning I did a workout on top of the parking garage and then headed back to the Hawkins Learning Center project.

I was also able to time it just right to play a poker tournament at this amazing Baton Rouge Casino.

19_SXSW_Website-SEO

My very first SxSW was in 2010.

For most of 2008 and 2009 I was in the upper Midwest involved with renewable energy projects and a few charity programs. This led to some press for the Helping Hands Network which eventually led up to our SxSW invite.

The adventure began when I was invited to speak at a Tech Conference in New Orleans as part of the VoDoo Festival and then that same group invited me to SxSW.

I was given an upper level pass for tech, film and music access over 14 days. Only talent, staff and VIP’s had more access. It allowed me to get the full experience from inside any regular event I wanted to go to.  I quickly learned that the music was mostly newer groups looking to get record deals while the big name groups stay away until the Austin City Limits festival. This swayed my focus towards the Tech presentations during week #1.

Right away I learned that anyone can use Tweet Deck to monitor hash tag updates on most any tech related presentations. Between Tweet Deck and live streaming there is a limited need to even attend the presentations. This allowed me to attend one topic forum while following a second online at the same time.

As Tech week winded down, I started to review all the amazing film options. It is quite the challenge to organize all these events you want to see and an even bigger feat to make it to them on time when they can be several blocks apart.

The point of my story is that the films are educational and they are the main reason I like to return to the festival. Unfortunately in 2019, films cost $16 each without a $825 FILM PASS!

 

Now, on to the 2019 experience!

I stayed home and worked during Tech week. Anytime I was able to be at my desk, I turned on Tweet Deck and followed the action. SxSW also streamed a live feed on their YouTube channel that I monitored. I enjoyed some interviews with the Beastie Boys the most. As Film weekend arrived I loaded up the car and headed for Austin. I loaded the live stream and listened to it during the 5 hour drive.

My first stop after arriving in Austin is Texas Bar and Grill for a dart tournament.

2019-03-26 Darts

As I looked around at the competition it became apparent that I had the highest average in the room. I just needed to avoid two of their top players getting partnered up. It was a good event with a trips pot exceeding $2200. Everywhere I compete there are always some variations in rules or tournament structure and Austin has something I have never experienced before. Normally if there is an odd amount of entries, the tournament director asks for any volunteers to sit out or the director will sit out to keep the teams even. This Austin event is unique because they instead draw for a random player to get to play on two teams. This ultimately could lead to a player getting both first and second place prize money if all goes well.

On this night, I got a newer player for a partner and one of the top Austin players got to be the lucky odd player with two partners. In addition, both of that players partners had more than double the average of my partner. I kept the games close but I eventually ended up in the top 8 and missed out on being drawn for any of the bonus prizes.

On a positive note, I was done by 11pm and had time to cruise around the party scene downtown if I wanted. I chose to head for my camping spot and call it an early night.

I camp in front of a yoga retreat that has a small park just south of the river. As I arrived I was shocked to discover that the park had been sold and it is now fenced in for a beer garden. In past years I was able to do a workout on the padded roof of a food camper in the park but that had all changed. I was now forced to site outside this wall and meditate while facing the sunrise behind a locked gate.

 

The first scheduled event of the day was the documentary “Community First” which started at 11am. Community First is a community that started as a vision by Alan Graham to feed the homeless through a mobile food delivery service he calls Mobile Loaves & Fishes.

I packed my travel bag and hit the road on the scooter. First stop was breakfast and a cleanup then I headed over to the river trails to do another short workout until it was time for the film. There was a relaxing blues band playing on the bridge so I stayed there and did another workout.

2019-03-26 scooter

As 11am drew near, I headed over to the theater. It was $16 for a mid day film but at least part of the money was going to a great cause. I can’t believe people shell out $825 for a pass and still only go to just a handful of events. They probably average paying closer to $80 per film! SxSW administrators definitely need to restructure their financials.

I knew a little about the Community First village from my Co-Housing community based newsletters so I was excited to see a more in depth follow up. ( http://MLF.org & http://CommunityFirstTheMovie.com )

I had no idea that it started out as a mobile food delivery service (Mobile Loaves & Fishes / MLF). I also did not realize that it has grown at a very rapid pace and expanded to offer several income generating trade skills for over 500 people while removing them from homelessness. It is an amazing story that started around 1998. I have been slowly forming a similar movement and the MLF model is the perfect example for our Helping hands Network. They are 10 years ahead of us and if HHN just follows similar goals, we hope to be promoting similar results. If you are ever in Austin, please let me know and I will go tour Community First village with you.

2019-03-26 Community

After the film we had a Q&A with the Director, Layton Blaylock. Layton made a comment about being inspired to promote the amazing example of MLF in order to encourage other Community projects to form. As a CoHo consultant on many projects, I felt obligated to speak out so I stood up and introduced myself and assured him that his work was being noticed and consultants like me are following these examples.

After the Q&A, Layton’s wife approached me to have a chat and the lady sitting beside me also introduced herself. They were both interested in my projects and the lady beside me was the Chief Officer of the MLF. Amber Fogarty, MLF CEO invited me to follow up and visit during their consultant weeks. This will be a great project to be more involved with so I told her that I would go tour the village as soon as I can and get back to her. I had other plans to have some nature time on Sunday on my way home so I was not sure if I could make an appointed time.

After the film, I got on the scooter and cruised 6th street for lunch. West 6th street is your Irish St. Patty’s day headquarters and home to the average 30-50 something crowds. It is where I most enjoy the atmosphere. As you travel east down 6th street it becomes more gangster and grunge until you reach the river bend and dip south into Hipsterville. In past years there has been a wonderful Latino festival along the river on the final Saturday but the date must have changed this time around.

Every where you look there are bikes and scooters. It is cool to see people exercising and minimizing the use of gas vehicles. I recommend everyone watch season 22 episode 5 of South Park to get a good insight parody of the situation!

I went in to the convention center to check out the gaming convention and see who was performing on the free music stage. It was an entertaining MidEastern rap group. On my way out I met this wonderful group going around to educate people on the Honey Bee becoming endangered.

From there I completed the trail and bridge around downtown and back over to the park around the Palmer Events Center. This is where there is the biggest stage with some of the better known bands. There is also a workout station that I enjoy to balance out the lazy part of the day.

 

2019-03-26 save bees2019-03-26 concert

 

To end the day I headed back to play darts. I forgot to ask where the Saturday night event was so I ended up in the wrong place and arrived to the proper tournament too late. I hung out for awhile and then went to play cards instead. The cards went my way and I made enough money to pay for the whole trip.

2019-03-26 poker The next morning I planned a visit to the Hamilton Pool caves to hike and do my morning yoga workout.

 

I discovered that the park has limited parking so it has to schedule $11 reservations and charge a  $15 day fee. The reservations are booked full for most weekend days and there are very few week days even open so any visitors traveling through the area will hardly ever get to experience the area unless you get dropped off outside the entrance or ride a bike and talk your way in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My next stop was to try to drive around Willie Nelson’s Luck Ranch. I was just hoping the gate would be open because I always wanted to visit but I have never been able to get an introduction into the proper circle. I was going to be limited to just flying a drone over head for the time being. Upon my arrival, the gate was in deed closed. I sat in the driveway a few minutes planning my next stop in hopes someone would come greet me or enter through the gate but to avail. I proceeded to drive up to the highest point surrounding the ranch so I could get a nice aerial view and take this picture of the Luck Ranch sign which mimic’s the Hollywood sign. (top left corner)

2019-03-26 Willie

My next stop was to find food and brush my teeth. Around the next corner was a nice taco shack and my quest was successful. I met a wonderful traveler with a very similar life to mine named Demetri Triant while waiting for our food. I also coordinated a visit with one of my cousins who lived a few blocks down the road. We had last met when we both lived in LA in 2013 so our reunion was long over due.

2019-03-27 Jen

It was getting late by the time we were done talking so I had to skip trying to sneak into Hamilton pool and the route to Community First village was 3 hours out of the way so going back through to the East edge of Austin was not going to be possible. It was time to head back to our projects at the Hawkins Learning Center.

 

 

———————- BELOW ARE SOME PreTRIP NOTES ——————————–

 

**NOTE TO SELF – bring the scooter AND the cable lock….  😉

WATCH LIVE! 

https://www.sxsw.com/live/

 

WILLIE’S PRIVATE PARTY

http://luckreunion.com/

2019-03-15 (1)

 

COMEDY SCHEDULE!

https://tinyurl.com/y2lvmhkw

 

FILM SCHEDULE!

Community First, A Home for the Homeless
Director: Layton Blaylock
Community First, A Home for the Homeless, is a feature documentary about a totally unique concept for mitigating homelessness. Conceived and created in Austin, Texas, Community First! Village is truly transforming the lives of homeless people. (World Premiere)

 

I Am Richard Pryor
Director/Screenwriter: Jesse James Miller
I Am Richard Pryor tells the life story of the legendary performer and iconic social satirist, who transcended race and social barriers by delivering his honest irreverent and biting humor to America’s stages and living rooms until his death at 65. (World Premiere)

It Started As a Joke
Directors: Julie Smith Clem, Ken Druckerman
It Started As a Joke documents the decade-long run of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. The film celebrates Eugene’s unique brand of humor and reminds us of the healing properties of comedy – even in the most challenging of life’s circumstances. (World Premiere)

 

Jezebel
Director/Screenwriter: Numa Perrier
A true story. In the last days of her mother’s life, 19-year-old Tiffany crashes with five family members in a Las Vegas studio apartment. In order to make ends meet, her sister, a phone sex operator, introduces her to the world of fetish cam girls. Cast: Tiffany Tenille, Numa Perrier, Stephen Barrington, Bobby Field, Brett Gelman, Rockwelle Dortch, Zoe Tyson, Dennis Jaffee, Jessa Zarubica (World Premiere)

Amazônia Groove
Director/Screenwriter: Bruno Murtinho
Leaving Belem and crossing much of the Para State Amazon region, its towns and riverside villages, Amazônia Groove reveals artists and their traditions, faith and mysticism, music and life that pound in the northern region of Brazil. (North American Premiere)

Bluebird
Director: Brian Loschiavo
Discover the origin stories of megastars like Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift while following emerging singer-songwriters as they chase their dreams inside The Bluebird Cafe, Nashville’s accidental landmark that has altered the course of music history. (World Premiere

The Mountain
Director: Rick Alverson, Screenwriters: Rick Alverson, Dustin Guy Defa, Colm O’Leary
A well known physician, in the decline of his career, takes a young man on a desperate tour of rural mid-century hospitals, advocating for a new controversial procedure. Cast: Tye Sheridan, Jeff Goldblum, Hannah Gross, Denis Lavant, Udo Kier

 

Cobra Kai Season 2
We are proud to present a special screening of the second season ofCobra Kai, the hit YouTube Premium Original Series, starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. Exclusively premiering at SXSW, YouTube and Sony Pictures Television will screen the first two episodes of the second season followed by a Q&A panel with series stars Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso), William Zabka (Johnny Lawrence) andMartin Kove (Kreese) along with the Cobra Kai series creators and executive producers Josh HealdJon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg.

 

How Rednecks Saved Hollywood with Joe Bob Briggs
Director/Screenwriter: Joe Bob Briggs
America’s drive-in movie critic uses 200 video clips and photos to tell the 500-year history of the American redneck in a multimedia comedy performance

The Trial (United Kingdom, U.S.) 
Director: Johanna Hamilton
Meet the lawyers tasked with defending 9/11 suspects against the U.S. government.

 

 

 

The Beach Bum
Director/Screenwriter: Harmony Korine
The Beach Bum follows the hilarious misadventures of Moondog (Matthew McConaughey), a rebellious rogue who always lives life by his own rules. Co-starringSnoop DoggZac Efron, and Isla FisherThe Beach Bum is a refreshingly original and subversive. Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Stefania Lavie Owen, Jimmy Buffett, Zac Efron, Martin Lawrence (World Premiere)

 

The Highwaymen
Director: John Lee Hancock, Screenwriter: John Fusco
The outlaws made headlines. The lawmen made history. From director John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), The Highwaymen stars Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson in the untold true story of the legendary detectives who brought down Bonnie and Clyde. Cast: Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates, Kim Dickins (World Premiere)

 

Pet Sematary
Directors: Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, Screenwriter: Jeff Buhler
Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King. The new Pet Sematary trailer premieres online tomorrow! Click here to be one of the first to see it. Cast List: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, Jeté Laurence, Hugo Lavoie, Lucas Lavoie and John Lithgow

 

Autonomy
Director: Alex Horwitz
A feature documentary about the emerging technology of self-driving vehicles and the big questions they raise: what is control and who do we become as we relinquish it to machines? (World Premiere)

 

 

 

Friday 3/15/19

FILM

Richard Pryor Documentary Premier

 

OTHER

Irish Music @ BD Rileys & the Convention Center

 

Saturday  3/16/19

FILM

 

OTHER

https://tinyurl.com/y6f25nn7

 

2019-03-15

Sunday

Register online Saturday night!
Camping near Hamilton Pool ($11 online advance registration required ; $15 per car at gate) Construction delays. Registration in 9-1p and 2-6pm slots only!  THIS SUCKS but the beauty is worth it. We will see if I get kicked out for trying to spend the whole day on Sunday.  https://parks.traviscountytx.gov/parks/hamilton-pool-preserve

23 miles west of Austin on Hwy 71

**CHECK out Willie’s Ranch as I drive by….

 

 

 

 

 

NE

Omaha

First TR of the Month: Espania Dance Fest until 2:30AM ish. Located in Benson main street. Exciting culture and open stage at the Pizza Shoppe Collective 3 doors down also.

TR: Perry’s place near 96th and Mockingbird has a Open Stage Blues jam on Thursdays that gets some crossover from the downtown Zebra Jam that expired Spring 2010.

FR/SAT : Strong competitive Electronic Dart Tournaments. Contact for current locations.

Grand Island:

excellent medium stakes Poker games on TU, WD, FR and Sundays. Contact me for an invite.