Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The Western World will celebrate the New Year (yes, 2009) in a few short days and we will all have a chance to celebrate the end of one of the most problematic 12 months in recent history. Additionally, we will soon have the opportunity to celebrate the end of a horrific 8 year reign of foolishness presided over by W.
A New Year is what we get....a new president and new National Leadership Team is what we need...
So let the celebration begin 12/31....fire it up for 1/20....and top it off with a celebration a huge population of the World enjoys on 1/27: the Lunar (or "Chinese" New Year (4707) which fires up right after Barack Obama takes office....January 20th!!!!!!... (host your own Inauguration Party!)... Join the world and welcome the New Year with the classic wish of Gong Xi Fa Cai! and accept the wish for Health, Happiness, and PROSPERITY!!!!...and the celebration can last 7 days or more!
So if you need to take some time for early Kayaking, group whitewater rafting trips or some snowboarding in late January...you have a real-deal reason: New Years!!!!! (yes, celebrate it all).
The new year will be 2009/4707 and after January 20th...it will be a new day!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
The International Motorcycle Show comes to San Mateo in Northern California on December 19th-21st. The latest and greatest machines from the international motorcycle community will be represented. Visitors will have the opportunity to take test rides, smudge chrome, and kick tires. There will also be stunt shows by Jason Britton and the No-limits crew as well as the opportunity to meet and greet pro racers, and custom builders. With Motorcycles becoming more "Green " than ever with an industry wide MPG average of over 50 mpg, motorcycles are the last bastion of guiltless performance and cutting edge technologies (diesel, Bio-Diesel, and electricity now power experimental and production bikes). So save some money and use the extra cash for the ultimate "Green" thrill of group rafting on California's whitewater rivers and ride your motorcycle (By the way, W.E.T. River Trips has been using a KLR 650 to shuttle vans and trucks on the Middle Fork American and North Fork of the American Rivers for three years and hopes to expand the practice in coming seasons. So ride your motorcycle to the river this spring and summer!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Wah…we lost the concept of family…snivel…the American family has been shattered….and with pious indignation…we’ve lost “our” traditions!
The American family has never been stronger, more diverse, and more inclusive with expansive values, new traditions, and generosity, giving, and love.
By mingling cultures and beliefs from our new World, the very core values of holidays such as Thanksgiving (the over-arching theme of simply Giving Thanks) are solidified, edified, and celebrated. We are thankful…we’re here and we those that we share the day with. We are no longer restricted to our nuclear families of in-laws, long-forgotten aunts and uncles, and dysfunctional siblings. We’re free to celebrate with friends, those in need, and people we just want to hang out with. We are also free to shake up the menu with Tamales, Seafood, Tofu, Pasta, Bok Choy, Pot Stickers, Chard, Green Papaya Salad, and whatever you choose that (can or cannot) include those classics of turkey (fired! too), ham, yams, and mashed potatoes….and Beer is ok too!
Give thanks the way that works for you and celebrate your global family!
Some people even go rafting or kayaking on Thanksgiving…and the snow resort liftlines are always thin on Thanksgiving.
Enjoy and thank those that you love….and care for.
BigPoppa is going to do a Run-to-Feed-The Hungry (hopefully), cook turkey, a Vegan loaf, Vegan Garlic Potatoes and take it to the Fun Castle to chow down and enjoy the day with 15-20 hipsters, artists, musicians, moms, dads, wives, husbands, daughters, sons, cousins, in-laws, and a batch of new friends….Change happens…just save me a drumstick (that’s my tradition!).
Happy thanksgiving and Holidays to all
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
First Real snow has HIT!!!!!! Check out the live cam of the Sierra's at Kirkwood!
Rain and snow will be hanging out in the Sierra's getting us ready for next season's
whitewater rafting trips!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
This is a very random mix that will keep you moving...a "twitch" is a movement, eh?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
- The seminal, legendary, critically acclaimed (sounds pretty stuffy eh?) So-Cal punk band X have reunited with the original members: John Doe, Exene Cervanka, D.J. Bonebrake, and Billy Zoom. In the early and mid eighties, our original W.E.T. River Trips crew had been to several X performances and wet rafting events in Sacramento at venues that no longer exist; however, they were coming back for one show at Harlow's (a compact club/restaurant).
When I heard about the show, I made a mental note and thought I might go. I didn't buy tickets due to my 25-year plus memory of an obscure band playing for small crowds of punks & hipsters and their appearance in town wouldn't be a big deal...I was wrong. The show sold-out 6 weeks in advance. So what did i do?...I went any way. Hey...It would be an another event no matter what.
As I stood outside on the sidewalk with a line snaking out the door and repeated announcements that the event was sold-out and no tickets would be available, I joined a clutch of others who had made the trip without tickets and were furtively asking passerbys for "tickets"..."got an extra ticket"...."cash for your ticket". It felt a little silly and a bit sleazy. After watching another ticketless sucker get a ticket by holding up a cardboard sign, I picked up the same sign and in 5 minutes I had a ticket at face F'n value! I'm was in. (I handed off the sign to one of my ticketless brothers....awesome team-building exercise!)
After going next store for a slice of pizza, I got in with my wristband and staked out a prime spot next to a pillar just to the right of center stage about 8 feet from the lip. The first band (hadn't even asked who they were) turned out to be the Filthy Thieving Bastards with Spider Stacy (a founding member of the Pogues). The band planned a rippin hour long set of classic Pogues material mixed with a few of the FTB's tunes. I felt like I had just seen the Pogues (without the spitting, beer bottles hucked at one another, and an on-stage fight)....almost PG...cool...but PG.
After the appropriate rock-star delay for X, I got a chance to look around at the crowd and interestingly...I didn't feel old at 53 (I had plenty of company). There were plenty of vintage punk t-shirt stretched at the waist, baldness, and greyness (replacing the dyed black do's of the 80's) ear to fill the room: toe-to-heel and shoulder to shoulder. I felt comfortable an oddly proud of these surrounding old people mixed with 20-30-40 some on a Thursday night listening to too-loud live music in a normally "upscale" club.
X hit the stage looking like X (Exene in trademark frumpy Granny dress and ragged lipstick, John Doe in denim and plaid, DJ grinning ear to ear behind his kit, and Bill Zoom in his trademark leather jacket accessorized with his Cheshire Cat grin, "Bill Zoom" tooled into his guitar strap and sporting a "Billy's Back!" lapel button). They were older...a little thicker and a little thinner (Billy's hair). John Doe led, Exene harmonized, DJ destroyed his kit (he did ruin a snare), and Billy (in full trademark style) ripped off lead after lead and fat distorted cords on his silver metalflake guitar while smiling his Cheshire grin, winking at the women, and refusing to look at his guitar.
John didn't chit chat...he just kicked ass. The only intro was political as he introduced "This must be the new World" with the reminder that the presidential election was looming large. The show was loud, note perfect, angst-ridden, and just a bit sloppy....the show was simply "right" and I felt pretty damn cool for an old bastard as I rode my motorcycle home...no not a Harley...the W.E.T KlR 650. (did I mention I couldn't hear for about 3 hours...it was awesome!)
Time for a long drive to some American whitewater to have the rationale to drag out the old-school I-Pod loaded with tons of X!
Friday, September 19, 2008
The American Dream was the theme of Burning Man the “BMC” held on the Playa of the Black Rock Desert in Northeast Nevada. I went with Maggie after a long series of river trips and we stayed for four days out of the six (we had to go to work!). As the theme of Americana was imprinted though the layout of clock-wise (there is no “counter” at BMC) by naming those avenues after Iconic American Cars: Corvair, Falcon, Dart, Corvette, and even… Hummer. Additionally, this year’s costumes mirrored the theme with scatterings of flags and a plethora of red, white, and blue cloth, skin, and lights.
The American Dream is essentially the realization that you/we “have everything”: cars, clothes, houses, food, entertainment, friends, family, etc. The Playa provided that: no one went hungry, art cars were everywhere, music never stopped, there was plenty of housing, people were surrounded by friends and family (real, constructed, and evolved), and entertainment was always within eyesight and arm’s reach. The American Dream came to fruition on the inhospitable soil of the Black Rock Desert. Everyone was from somewhere and the indigenous people provided the venue (through the BLM). The gates of the BMC were an approximation Ellis Island and the Playa succumbed to the “Manifest Destiny” of those who had conspired to stage this American Dream. The citizen’s of the world were present with representatives from most continents (Antarctica didn’t have a contingent; however, the others did!). So the World was represented by folks from countries such as: England, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Greece, Russia, The Ukraine, Israel, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Canada, and even Oklahoma! Many others were there as well…we just met or heard of folks from these Countries.
Our founding “fathers”…yes, the old, dead, white men who allegedly “constructed” our constitution and Declaration of Independence (based upon their readings and interpretations of Locke, Hume, Payne, and others that they plagiarized freely) would have thrived: B. Franklin by creating electrical madness and Art Cars, T. Jefferson would have raged the Deep End, set-up the bachelor party and Domes while hooking-up, and G. Washington would have piloted the largest of land-yachts across the Playa day and night. The rest of their posse would have created a killer theme camp (colonial columns, wheeled ships, exploding muskets made of L-wire, and rivers of rum). All in all, they would have approved.
Not a bad “Dream”. No one went hungry, thirsty, un-sheltered, optionally clothed, and un-transported (in the real and imagined senses). The American Dream lives through our excess, excesses, and Burning Man ’08 was just that: a celebration of our collective and global excesses rammed at hyper-speed through all of the available senses.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Maggie won the Golden Ticket and Big Poppa decided to drop in...
Burning Man Camp (BMC) 2008!
I picked up Maggie in Reno after loading the Dodge up with provisions, shelter, and bikes to deal with the Black Rock Desert where Burning Man is held (about 140 miles northeast of Reno) and just to the east of Pyramid Lake.
Since neither of us has ever been to BMC, we were apprehensive, excited, and a little bit giddy.
We were welcomed "home" by the BMC staff at the second checkpoint and we figured out the lay-out quickly (the whole camp is laid out like the dial of a clock. We found a great spot at 9:30 "Hummer" (the Axis paths were named after American cars in keeping with this year's them of "The American Dream". In less than one hour, we were on our bike and cruising across the Playa of the Black Rock Desert. Since it was only the second day of the six day run, the BRC was still coming together and the installation zone in the center of the "clock" was still sparsely populated with installations and sculptures. It gave up the opportunity to really see it all come together and it did...with amazing precision and creativity. We rode our bikes at-least 15 miles through the camps and installations.....and then darkness fell....the lights (powered by solar, generators and glow sticks....) filled the night combined with the costumes, Art Cars, Mobile DJ's, and hordes of cycling kooks (like us). We swam through the crowds and landed at installations everywhere we could travel....at 2am, I called it a night and Maggie powered on to play putt-putt golf with an Irishman named Ruckus and his friend and ran into old friends in new locations. The music never stopped so sleeping was merely a concept.
I rolled out to see the sunset and folks wide-eyed, zombied, and some staggering through still thumping drum and bass sessions with dust settling from the night air as a blaze of red, orange, and crimson flooded the blue sky above the desert to reveal a mile long string of balloons arching across the Playa with ultra-lites plying the skies. Overnight, new installations appeared, new structures developed, and more campers filled in the minimal gaps.... Maggie saw the sunrise from the top of "Babylon" (a 8-story structural steel tower just to the northeast of the "Man") and we met back up in camp. Due to our river guiding skills, we whipped out a breakfast of potatoes, sausage, and eggs with ice cold orange and grapefruit juice and watched the human parade from our campsite. After a session with the sun shower, we headed out again to see what we could see...no agenda, and with no plan.
six hours later...we had met up with Kevin at the Fixation Lounge, seen countless new installations, listen to live music, watched dance performances, elbowed through the crowd at the Deep End (an open air world-class DJ Club), saw a circus, observed human combat in the Thunder Dome (sponsored by the Death Guild), watched a series of fire shows (with flame throwers, explosions and twirling, flaming batons), stopped at numerous open "bars", received cooling mist-offs from other campers and we circumnavigated the Playa at least three times....then we had dinner (which was awesome: pasta, watermelon, and margaritas) and we were joined by Kevin and his friend from Minnesota. Back on the bikes....'till 4am with new sights and a consistent soundtrack of House, Trance, Techno, Folk, Eastern, and everything else blended together (we even found a Punk camp with a half-pipe skate ramp at 2 O'Clock).
The scale of BRC became etched into us...it was huge. This year, approximately 65,000 campers were expected to attend and the "clock" was filled from 2 to 10....and deeply! Interestingly though, we could bike or walk into the open zones and feel the quiet and the isolation of the desert and turn to the mountains or the open expanse of "12 O'Clock" framed by the lone installation of "The End" (a 24 ft' tall wooden edifice of the the words: THE END).
The quality of everything we encountered was first-class or even world-class: the best Art, sculpture, Mechanicals, technology, Music, Dance, and Creativity on our small planet was present and represented on a patch of desert in northern Nevada...strange, yet very appropriate. Although Burning Man sprang from a event of 20 artists burning an effigy on Baker Beach in San Francisco 20 years ago, the event is now global and populated by citizens (young and old) of the world (at some times I felt that maybe even "beyond" our world).
We needed to leave early for other commitments: jobs and River Trips; but four days on the Playa during Burning Man is a life-long memory that I am sure will be repeated.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Pre-Burning Man or "I got the Golden Ticket"
So...it all starts with Greg D. offering up his Burning Man tickets...first come, first serve.
Two tickets to Burning Man right before the W.E.T. River Trips end-of-Summer party. Perfect.
W.E.T. purchases the tickets as prizes for "guide competitions" to take place at the party ...very Punk Rock and just after P.O.W.
On Sunday, August 23rd the call went out to the core crew to assemble at the W.E.T. River Trips' warehouse in Lotus @ 6pm.
We pack one van and one SUV and take off to our first stop: Sky High Trampolines in Rancho Cordova. We then proceeded to explore the facility (essentially the equivalent of 3 huge basketball court sized rooms lines with horizontal and sloped trampolines to provide continuous bounce opportunities). After checking out the big bounce area and seeing Steve B crack off series after series of double back-flips (he won the first phase of competition with best trick and air), we moved to the dodge-ball arena...for the second phase of competition...initially Team W.E.T. was schooled by a group of 14 year-olds...we re-grouped and by round three we destroyed the youngsters...Maggie won the point total. So...covered in sweat, bloodied, and with twisted ankles we moved on to stop two: Joe's crab Shack in Old Sac.
Joe's Crab Shack will not be the same...17 river guides can eat and drink everything...they did (the tie-dyed and pop-rock margaritas were the big hit (besides the shots of tequila that we even shared with other diners. After two hours of food and drink we moved on to the next stop....Gold Club Centerfolds. But before we left, Jeff and Kyle (the two collegiate swimmers in the crew) decided to swim across the Sacramento River...they made it to the second Tower Bridge Pier...super.
After a short van ride (thankfully, it was short...as the entire interior of the van was filled with a full-contact, no-holds-barred wrestling match). Luckily, only bruises resulted from the chaos.
Maggie and Meg lead the charge to the "club"...who knew? They killed it and we had a calm ride back to Lotus and a "topper" at the Coloma club where the Karaoke King Steve B.and the Princess Robin threw it down again...devastating the crowd with their mad-skillz....
1:30am and Big Poppa got everyone home safe...and a awesome farewell to Meg, Tom, and John C as they head back to Maine!
Maggie won the competition based primarily on desire...she wanted to go to Burning Man.
Next stop: Burning Man!
Maggie got one ticket and Big Poppa kept the other....on to Burning Man
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Punks On Water: P.O.W. 8.3.8
We're back and W.E.T. River Trips ready to show the foothills something a little bit out of the ordinary and all in the effort to benefit the American River Conservancy....
This Sunday, August 3rd, from 6-9:30pm
@ The Nugget (3 miles north of Placerville on Hwy 193)
on the banks of the South Fork of the American River...
Punks on Water returns for only the second time in 20 years to host a wholesome event for Punks, Hippies, Dweebs, Grommets, Rafters, Kayakers, River Guides, Outfitters, Locals, Transplants, Gapers, Hipsters, Newbies, Geeks, Freaks, and Americans with solid family values.
(4) bands imported from Sacramento, Davis, and the local area will entertain, mesmerize and satisfy your primal urges while DJ zAc from HexLove and newly released Prints CD will keep the action moving forward... special contests and events are also planned....
FIVE $ cover.
One $ draft beer...cheap crappy beer that you hipsters just love...
One $ water... good old bottled hose water in future landfill fodder...
One $ hotdogs....mystery meat with rat droppings with insect parts and Veggie Dogs!
No Coolers. No Glass. No Dogs. No Guns, Knives, Clubs, or Spears.
We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone....
ID required for beer access.....
Monday, July 28, 2008
A new EVENT & Party.....
August 3, 2008
@ The Nugget Campground (3 miles north of Placerville on Hwy 193...on the South Fork of the American River)
P.O.W. presents a benefit for the American River Conservancy.
LOS WEBELOS ( Placerville )
$5 cover $1beer $1water $1hotdogs (veggie too!)
Bus shuttle from Coloma/Lotus P/u @ 5:30pm return@10pm
Hippies are welcome (they're delicious!)