As I traveled through Alaska this last week, I decided to dig up this Blog on my last visit to the Great State just two years earlier as a reminder of how some things change and others remain the same. Please enjoy!
Another great month of Summer has gained on us and where better to be than in the wild of Alaska and taking in the beauty of Central and Southwest Idaho and then one more crazy night in Vegas.
Unfortunately, there has also been tragedy and lunatics abounding again in the state of Colorado of which we will discuss later in the Blog. And lastly we will cover the statue of Joe Paterno aka JoePa (literally & figuratively).
4th of July, our nation’s birthday I spent the evening prior in my hometown of Marsing, IDAHO with my mother, wife, brother, his girlfriend, niece and nephews. The fireworks were incredible as seen coming off the reflection of the Snake River into the dark of the sky. Marsing, ID is the home of a very special young man and Boise State University football player – Shea McClellin that once lived off Chicken Dinner Road on a 20 acre farm became the highest drafted Idaho-born player from Boise State as he was chosen in the first round by the Chicago Bears.
Next morning on the 4th of July we left beautiful downtown Marsing after I paid my respects to the Marsing street I was raised on, “Canal Street” and headed north for McCall, Idaho aka (ski town USA) as there is the crystal clear, blue Payette Lake that resembles Lake Tahoe clarity and sereneness. Boise Amigos Kory, Michelle, Rich & Rhonda invited us for a memorable and laughter filled 4th; Exactly 25 years to the date of the famous incident at the Yacht Club as mentioned in the epic, award winning novel, Rico was invited back this time for a book signing on the famous deck that overlooks the gorgeous lake with fireworks galore. This is one of the most beautiful settings of which YOU will ever be able to view a firework show second to none (Disneyland comes close.)
Time to move on along near the 45th parallel to Red Fish Lake and then into Sun Valley / Ketchum ID area. If You have ever visited the Sun Valley area in the Summer time you would never question why Ernest Hemingway aka Papa made this is final home. If You ever make it to Ketchum a trip is not full without a stop at Whiskey Jacques on Main St. where Brent, Mark, Dave or Cody will greet You will a beer and a smile (order may be reversed.) Again, another memorable book signing while the rambling, rolling, grooving, good times music played by the Musketeer Gripweed band helped keep the bookworms in rhythm.
Oprah Book Club 2.0 has begun to shake the literary world once again and we’re awaiting the phone call to arrive in Chicago to talk about why Oprah just has to recommend “My Bad Tequila” to her fans. I do hope it is during football season so that Oprah can take me to the Bears game and then we’ll meet up with Shea McClellin and show Ms. Winfrey how a couple of Idaho and former Boise State Football players party with Tequila.
“Dirty Tequila” is a different animal of Tequila than I have ever tasted thanks to co-owners and entrepreneurs George & Corbin of the greater Phoenix area. The best way to describe it is: “Tequila perfected! It starts with 110 proof blue agave tequila and with the addition of natural and artificial flavors and sweeteners, including agave nectar, the result is a uniquely smooth delicious tequila drink that will not leave your throat burning. You can sip this tequila chilled neat, on the rocks, or mixed with your favorite tequila cocktails to add a little extra flavor to the mix.” Should be available in several different markets by August 1st, 2012; but guess what? I have already tried it at a “Dirty Tequila” party on the water at Lake Pleasant and man is it great tasting. For a few fun pictures of the fiesta continue reading and at the end of the Blog – there they be. There was even the Son of Elvis present: have You heard the story of John Smith the DNA positively tested son of the Rock n Roll Great, Elvis Presley? Well, he is alive and living well somewhere in Cave Creek, Arizona with his lovely wife Lisa. There may be a book deal in the works for an Amigo that You may have heard of. We’ll keep You posted as the story progresses.
The final day of the British Open was anything but ho-hum. At the start of the round Adam Scott with the world renowned caddy Steve Williams led the field by 4 shots and still led the field with 4 shots with only 4 holes to play. On the 15th hole things began to unravel for the Aussie and his Aussie caddy as he bogeyed the 15th, 16th, 17th and needed to save par with a makeable 7 foot putt and bogey again. Meanwhile back on the course South African Ernie Els was busy stocking away birdie after birdie and yes, birdies the 18th hole. While Els awaited his fate as the last twosome of Scott and McDowell played the 18th hole the world watched the heartbreaking collapse of Adam Scott. While watching I could not help but think of another Australian golfer that came so close but was denied time and time again – Mr. Greg Norman (one of my favorite all-time golfers). Well Ernie again won the British Open exactly 10 years and a day to his last win of the Open.
Now You may be asking, what happened to Tiger Woods? Yes, Amigos of the golfing world Tiger collapsed as well, faltering in the last few holes except for birdie on the 18th. The truth is I don’t care about Tiger Woods as I am not a fan, yes I will admit he is a good golfer; however, as a human being I have had little to no respect for this guy for many years and here is the rest of the story as quoted by Paul Harvey. Tiger Woods was the only major golfing personality that did not attend Payne Stewart’s funeral in 1999. He felt that it was more important that he get ready to play and try to win the tournament on Thursday. I remember seeing a picture of all the great golfing professionals standing together saddened by the departure of their close golfing amigo and Tiger Woods is missing from the picture with a story telling of Eldrick (Tiger) Woods believing that it was more important to concentrate on his golfing and guess who won – yes, tigger won it. I kept that newspaper picture clipping on my refrigerator door for over a year as a reminder of why I would not get caught on in tiggermania or as I think of it “total selfishness.” There is also the case of when he (Tiger) did not go to honor Jackie Robinson after he'd won the Masters - he was on vacation, he had no excuse not to go -- and then tried to defend his decision. He later apologized to Rachel Robinson but the harm had been done. Tiger needs to learn about character about life and about honesty and integrity. I am surprised that he still has any sponsors left after the humiliation he has bestowed upon his family and friends including the quick dismissal of close confidant and caddy – Steve Williams who stayed quiet and loyal throughout the entire sex scandal. Woods may have apologized to lots of people or collateral as he might call and think of them; but, He will never be able to apologize to one of Golfer’s Greatest Statesmen and Characters – Mr. Payne Stewart RIP.
Now for the not so fun news of the crazy fuc_s that want to kill and maim and hurt innocent children, women and men. Aurora, Colorado is the latest town to undergo a tragic ending by lunatic James Holmes at the Black Knight Batman midnight showing. Poor Colorado has had its share of dumbasses, stupid fuc- s and lunatics including the Columbine School students and killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and a rapist who was visiting Vail, professional basketball player Kobe Bryant. Lucky for Colorado, Kobe does not live in the state but the citizens of Los Angeles have to claim him. All four of these individuals will not / did not get their deserved and correct punishment. Public hangings would definitely make a person reconsider their motives, their planned killings, their rapes before carrying out such atrocities. We the public have paid for Harris and Klebold and will most likely pay to house Holmes for many years in a solitary confined area away from the other prisoners of whom may be offered cigarettes, money or bitches to off Holmes. We did not have to pay for Bryant, he did that on his own by offering and paying a substantial amount of NBA money to the victim to spare her of explicit testimony. Kobe even bought his wife an extra large diamond ring to satisfy her anger and disappointment in a relationship that was founded on lies, adultery and betrayal.
To all the families and friends of the Aurora shooting, my deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers. To Holmes and all the other crazy fuc-s scattered throughout the world such as Tucson, Norway, Virginia, Oklahoma, Iowa, California, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq: We will survive and you will not Break our Spirit, Love and Pursuit of Continuous Freedom.
“The statue of Joe Paterno, Penn State's late, disgraced former football coach, has been taken down, after university officials announced early Sunday their decision to remove it.
‘I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, coach Paterno's statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our university and beyond,’ Penn State president Rodney Erickson said in a statement. ‘I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.’
The decision comes on the heels of a damning 267-page report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh--which concluded Paterno concealed information about former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of underage boys--and a day before the NCAA announces sanctions against the school and its football program.” – YAHOO News!
Early this Sunday morning, a blue quilted moving blanket was placed over Paterno’s statued head of the 7 foot tall, 900 pound statue which had been erected in 2001 at Beaver Stadium on the State College, Pa., campus. This same day July 22nd, 2012 the statue was airlifted via forklift and placed in an unnamed secure storage unit where it may be the winning bid for an upcoming Storage Wars televised segment. In case some of You are familiar with Penn State but not Storage Wars it is a reality show on A&E Network and features auctioneers Dan Dotson and Laura Dotson, as well as auction hunters Barry Weiss (my favorite), Dave Hester, Darrell Sheets and the team of Jarrod Schulz and Brandi Passante. Executive Producer and Creator Thom Beers serves as the off-screen narrator. And that is all I am going to say about that except that Penn State finally has some balls and did the right thing so that the abused victims, their families and the surrounding community can start to heal. One more thing, give Penn State Football the “Death Penalty” for at least one year and start the program anew. How deep and how many layers beneath the truth surface did the cover up go? How many players and other coaches knew what took place in the locker room, behind the bleachers and in the closed, darkened classrooms as well as Sandusky’s family home? Yes, there are still many questions of which we and more importantly the many victims will never learn the answers to. Yes, Penn State Football and the University has not only been tarnished but has an evil taboo that will take perhaps decades or even longer before its brand is once again one to be proud of. I feel for my Amigas and Amigos that have graduated from Penn State because it is currently not something that YOU want sticking out in a resume and during that interview You are asked, “So what do You think of Joe Paterno?” or “Are You a huge fan of the Nittany Lions Football program?” One thing is clear, I love College Football and have cheered for Penn State in games past; but, children’s’ lives being protected and not being ruined is far more important to this Sports Fan and I am certain it is for most adult persons in this Mega World we live in and share with our Fellow Man or Woman.
Now to end this Blog on a great note where else to end the trip other than the last frontier Alaska. There is an incredible place that serves the best Grandes and Mexican Food in the town of Anchorage since 1972 – Pancho’s Villa Mexican Restaurant owned by Carlos & Ricardo with Dawnarita serving as manager and helping Carlos serve up tasty Margaritas mixed with Jimador, Cazadores, Patron, Tres Generaciones and Corralejo Tequilas. A fun crowd showed up for the “My Bad Tequila” book signing including Jimmy Moose (yes, that is his real name) who moved to Alaska some twenty to thirty some odd years ago because of his name and to escape where he came from – Pittsburgh or Cleveland or Erie or some city that was near a lake, river or canal. Jimmy knew that a better life awaited him in the cold north because of his last name and he followed his calling and has been content in Alaska for all these many years as has Kim, Donna, Leonard and dozens of other Anchoragites. Each of them gave me the Eskimo welcome and told me I could stay at their igloos anytime except when it gets very warm.
I traveled to Wasilla but did not see the Sarah Palin the former governor or Bristol or the little guy that helped trip up the last presidential election because of young Bristol Palin getting pregnant out of wedlock. Who cares if the Republican Vice President Nominee’s daughter did get knocked up? What should have it mattered? You are right, it should not have mattered, but the media had a field day with it as did the opposition. I believe Bristol now has a reality show called “Bristol Palin, Life’s a Tripp” which is the name of her son. I do wish Sarah would have finished her Governorship with Alaska as she was elected by the people of that great state to serve, but book deals and television appearances seemed to be much more fun and liberating than running the largest State in the United States. I did lose a great deal of respect for Ms. Palin for not finishing her term and as I traveled around the State, I found that several Alaskans held the same sentiments as an Arizonan.
I have to admit I wanted John McCain to become our new President because I felt if ever a person deserved to be our leader it was McCain who served our Great Nation, who was a Prisoner of War, who is a Businessman, a true and honest American but it was not to be. The handlers of McCain did not let John McCain be the Man and the Maverick of which we knew him to be as he served in Arizona. I try to stay away from Politics but it is an election year and I believe I can look at the candidates unbiased as I was once a Democrat, I was once a Republican and now I am an Independent. I have never voted strictly along party lines and wish that most individuals would not, but I know from polls and from what I see in the media most people vote along their party lines and nothing else in taken into account. In 2008, I believed Hillary Clinton would be a good choice, I believed Obama and in his change, but I was an Arizonan and knew the many good and honorable things that John McCain had done and I voted as such.
Before YOU read any further I ask that each of YOU be open-minded to continue to read my Blog in the future whether or not YOU agree with my point of view. This is what makes America so great, it is the Freedom of Choice and the Choice to Agree or to Disagree. I welcome any comments in disagreement or agreement and will post them all as long as the posts / comments do not personally attack an individual or a group. That being said, let us continue to read and write.
This year I wish Hillary Clinton would have the opportunity to run on the Democratic ticket as I have lost all respect for Barack Hussein Obama for several reasons: (1) Never taking the blame for anything these past 4 years. Obama asked to be elected and the people answered his wish. Once in office Obama blamed the past administration for everything, “Bush did this, Bush did that.” I look at the Office of a new President of the United States as a new, fresh CEO taking over the reins of a company in trouble and turning the company around. The new CEO never mentions the Old or Past Administration, he or she just leads the company toward new goals, new profits and does what she or he promised. (2) Obama told us how he would bring change, how he would bring the parties closer together, how he would be non-partisan. The only thing that has changed is that I like You are worse off than we were 4 years ago before Obama took control of the White House. (3) Vacations, galore at the expense of the taxpayers – You & I are footing the bill as Obama, Michelle and their two daughters flit about the country and the world. (4) Constant campaigning for another term rather than concentrating on the poor economy and the dismal job market. Barack Hussein Obama told us that the economy is much better even though there are still hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work. I am fortunate to be working, but tell the multitudes that are not working or who have lost their homes that the economy is good is like getting personally and physically slapped by the President himself. (5) The majority of the people told Obama that they did not want Government controlled Health Care but he believes he knows better for us and pushed it anyway. (6) Immigration issue has had a band aid put on it and now the policies in place are even more controversial than before. (7) There are many other reasons, but my intention is not to run Obama into the ground but for us to look at perhaps a new solution - WE the PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA need a Businessman or Businesswoman more than ever to help US become a Global Leader once again and restore OUR GREAT COUNTRY to where it was during the Reagan Administration. WE need to gain OUR Respect back from Foreign Countries and WE need to help show OUR YOUNG what it means to be PROUD AMERICANS. Vote not for Color, Vote not for Religion, Vote not for Party, BUT PLEASE Vote for Leadership, Vote for Freedom, Vote for Positive Change, Vote for a Better America and VOTE!
Enjoy & Share! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q22H3a_QNVA
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Saludos y Vayan con Dios,
Uncle Rico Rico Austin Author, Blogger, Tequila Connoisseur, Co-Songwriter, Part-time Movie Star, CEO, Amigo & One Righteous Dude - MY BAD TEQUILA
"Have a Double Shot of Reality" TM