Nolan Ryan in Newport Beach!

Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan will join the USC baseball coaching staff for a round-table discussion of his life in the majors Jan. 23 at The Cannery in Newport Beach.
“A Night With Nolan Ryan” will begin with cocktails and appetizers at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner at 7 p.m. and the round table at 8 p.m. A memorabilia signing will conclude the evening.
A minimum donation of $500 per plate will be required for the dinner. Proceeds will go to the USC baseball program and the Rod Dedeaux Research for Baseball Institute.
For more information, call 213-740-5762.

It’s about time that Nolan Ryan was back in Southern California!

It was twenty years ago today!

Time flies. I can’t believe it has been twenty years since I was in the midst of a three night concert run. I was seventeen years old and a senior in high school.
On Thursday, Dec. 3rd, 1987 I went to see the Jesus and Mary Chain at San Diego State University on the Darklands Tour.

Jesus and Mary Chain concert ticket from 1987

The following night on Dec. 4th, 1987, on a rainy Friday evening, I had fourth row seats on the floor to see Depeche Mode on the Music for The Masses Tour. This show happened six months before the same show was performed at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for the famous 101 Concert for the Masses.

Depeche Mode concert ticket from Music for the Masses tour

I purchased the fourth row seats from a ticket broker for $95 per ticket. My Dad obtained some free tickets in the Forum’s exclusive Senate section from Budweiser. He had been trying to score some backstage passes for me and was able to obtain these tickets. I still have the full ticket from one of the seats.

Depeche Mode full concert ticket from Music for the Masses tour

I have the newspaper advertisement announcing the show.

Depeche Mode Forum Concert Advert 1987

The third night on Dec. 5th, 1987, I attended the Love and Rockets concert on their Earth, Sun, and Moon Tour. The opening act was Jane’s Addiction. My friend and I ended up hanging out and partying at the dorms after the concert. Not too bad for a pair of high school kids.
Love and Rockets 1987 Concert Ticket Stub

1987 was a great time for music. These concerts were some of the best ever. Oh to be young again!

The good news that I heard today is that Depeche Mode will be recording in Feb/Mar of 2008 and an album and tour will follow.

Best Birthday Ever

Today I celebrated my thirty seventh birthday. I’ve had many memorable birthdays including one where I partied with Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails but today was my best birthday ever. I am so blessed with a wonderful family. The gifts I received today were amazing and made me feel so unbelievably lucky. Three of the gifts I received today are beyond words. My daughter learned to play Happy Birthday on the guitar and played it for me. My son (eight years old) made me a movie that he created for my birthday. My Dad made me an Angels blanket.

My parents made my favorite steak today and then I attended the Ducks-Kings game and the team overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Kings 3-2. They even had to fend off a 6 on 3 advantage at the end of the game.

I can’t believe how lucky I am. I am truly blessed and enjoyed the best birthday ever!

Tesco Fresh and Easy

I have been highly anticipating the opening of the new Tesco Fresh and Easy stores. One is going to be opening near my house in Orange, California. I’ve been lucky enough to visit London on several occasions and I really loved the Tesco stores there. I was reading an article regarding a Tesco Fresh and Easy opening in Hemet on and found a link to a Tesco Fresh and Easy Blog. The author of the blog was describing the stores and this was one of his comments –

And, we will only be playing music from Depeche Mode, Radiohead and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers…..(that one’s a joke!)

I thought that was great but found an even better entry upon further reading. Here is the post from his site:

Sunday, October 7, 2007

fresh & easy, what are you?

“One of my favorite bands is Depeche Mode (in my view, the film of their Devotional tour by Anton Corbijn is a seminal work). I remember them being introduced on a UK show a few years ago – “there’s rock music, there’s R&B, there’s rap, there’s electronica, and there’s the music of Depeche Mode”.

Reading a lot of commentaries on us over the last few weeks, we seem to be described as a lot of different things – a gourmet store, a hispanic store, an eco store, an upscale convenience store, a small supermarket, a large convenience store, amongst others

In fact, we’re best described as fresh&easy neighborhood market.

We can’t be put into any particular category for the very reason we decided to set this business up here – people told us that none of the existing types of stores exactly fitted what they wanted from their ideal shopping trip.

When we showed people around our mock store (the one inside that non-descript warehouse), they tended to describe it by what it’s not, or by what it’s got bits of.

So we asked people what we should refer to it as, and that’s where fresh&easy neighborhood market came from.

Of course, the commentaries are picking up elements – we will be selling fresh, wholesome speciality market food, but at affordable prices; we want everyone to feel welcome at our stores, irrespective of ethnicity or level of income; we’ve tried to be thoughtful about the impact we have on the environment; and we aim to make all this conveniently available in the neighborhood, with a store that is easy to get round.

But for the moment, just like Depeche Mode, we’re in a category of our own.

Whether it’s the right category, as ever, will be up to our customers to decide…..and that’s how it should be…” – Simon Uwins

Below is a photo I took of a Tesco in Sunbury, England in 2003. The area rarely had snow, so it was a bit of a treat for me to be there when it did.

Tesco in Sunbury, Snow, 2003

2007 AL West Champs!

The Angels finally clinched the AL West Division title after three attempts. It was a good way to celebrate on Fan Appreciation Day at the stadium.

The race for best AL record now plays a big role in the way the postseason is going to shape up. Mike Scioscia sounds as though he will be resting the regulars for some time during the final week of the regular season. Hopefully it will not impact their record too much. The Angels, Indians, Red Sox, and Yankees are vying for the best AL Record. The Yankees and Red Sox cannot play each other in the first round, so whichever team ends up with the better record will be the AL East Champion and the other team will be the Wild Card. This means that whichever team has the better record of the Angels or Indians will play the wild card team in the first round.
If the Angels play Boston, I envision it being a difficult series for the Angels. I believe they present the biggest challenge to the Angels. The Angels struggle against the Sox in general and really struggle against the team at Fenway Park. The Angels do play very well against the Yankees. Ideally I would think the road to the World Series would be paved much easier if the Angels take on the Yankees in the ALDS and the Indians in the ALCS. It would be nice if the Angels ended up playing the D-Backs or Padres in the World Series. That would open up the possibility of a road trip to a World Series game.

One of the keys to Angels postseason is the top of the lineup getting on base. I am particularly concerned with Chone Figgins and his extremely poor performance in the 2004 and 2005 playoffs. I actually have a bet with my wife regarding Figgins. I don’t think that he will bat over .200 in the postseason. She thinks that he will. If she wins, she gets a new dinette set. If I win, I get to paint all of the numbers retired by the Angels on the wall in our backyard. It’s really a win-win situation for me. Some guys are clutch when it really counts (Erstad, Eckstein, Glaus, Spiezio) and some guys just choke when it comes down to it. My nickname for Figgins is Choke (pronounced shoke instead of shone). I am really hoping he proves me wrong.
Another key to the postseason is the bullpen. The bullpen has been struggling quite a bit lately. Hopefully the guys can get back on track. Scot Shields has been having quite a bit of trouble lately and Frankie seems to turn every game into a nail biter lately. If these guys sort their issues and with Speier in the mix, the bullpen can be quite a dominant factor.

It should be interesting to see how the postseason matchups and roster shapeup. I am looking forward to a red October!

Welcome Home!

Tonight I had the privilege of taking my Dad to an event at the LA Public Library featuring Alan Alda and Mike Farrell from MASH. My Dad is always doing things for everyone and I finally feel I got to do something special for him. My Dad is a big fan of the MASH television show and owns 2 entire sets of the DVDs.

This event was full when I found out about it but we were able to attend with the help of Mike Farrell. Mike and Alan are each doing their own book tours and this event is the only joint venture on their schedule. The format was basically a conversation between the two of them with a Q&A at the end and then book signing. We were able to sit in the very front row in an audience of 250+ that included Booger (Revenge of the Nerds) and Howie Klein (former president of Reprise Records). The primary topic was MASH but there were lots of other entertaining stories included as well. The event was recorded for a podcast and I will post the link and any official pictures when they are available. Unfortunately photos weren’t allowed during the event but I was able to snap a few pics during the signing.

I wanted to ask a question during the Q&A and also request that they say “Welcome Home” to my Dad. This is a phrase that he tells other Vietnam Vets when he meets them because the troops from Vietnam never received a proper welcome when they returned. Unfortunately the Q&A ended before I had the chance to tell them. I did however suggest that he ask them to personalize that message when they sign his books. He did ask them to sign it “Welcome Home” and they kindly obliged and welcomed him home and thanked him for his service. I must say that it was quite an event. I wish I would have filmed it on video. I didn’t think of it until after the fact. Below are some of the pics from the event.

Alan Alda and Bob Rohm

Mike Farrell and Bob Rohm

It was nice to spend the evening with my Dad. We had a snack before the event and then went to dinner at Outback Steakhouse after the event. I know my Dad reads my blog on a daily basis (even though I don’t post that often), so I just want to say “Dad, I Love You and it was a really special evening. I hope you think about this night whenever you get down. Pick up one of their books and read it. Remember to turn the page and look for positive things to look forward to. There are a lot of people that love you very much, myself being one of them”.

Bob and Rob Rohm

Anaheim Ducks Open Practice

The Anaheim Ducks opened training camp today at Anaheim Ice. I took a PTO day from work and attended. I watched the practice and then got autographs from the players afterwards. I got my Stanley Cup jersey signed by Giguere, Pahlson, R. Niedermeyer, Pronger, Marchant, Getzlaf, Parros, O’Donnell, Beauchemin, Rome, and Huskins. Giguere, Pronger, and Getzlaf also signed 8×10’s of them with the cup for me. Afterwards I walked over to Anaheim City Hall and got my photo with the Stanley Cup. The line was pretty short. Below are pics of me with Giguere, Pronger, and the Cup!

JS Giguere and Rob Rohm at Anaheim Ice

Chris Pronger and Rob Rohm at Anaheim Ice

Rob Rohm with the Stanley Cup at Anaheim City Hall

Elvis Sighting

I went to the Elvis Presley statue dedication at the Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu on July 26th, 2007. The statue is to commemorate the Elvis concert that was held at the arena in 1973. It was the first concert to be broadcast via satellite, reaching more than a billion viewers.

I met a lady named Fumie and she gave me a photo of her with Elvis. The photo was taken on the 14th floor of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in November, 1957 at 11:30pm. See the photo below that she gave to me and then there is a photo of me and her at the statue dedication. In the photo with Elvis, she is on the far right of the photo. Check out this link to see a story that was in the Star Bulletin on Fumie.

August 16th

It was 30 years ago today that Elvis Presley died. Now one of the songs he made famous is being ruined by being used in a Viagra commercial. Viva Las Vegas was made famous by Elvis and is now being used as Viva Viagra!

On another note, today is also the anniversary of my grandfather Joe Wilson’s passing. He passed away 15 years ago. We miss you grandpa!