Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ride, Joe Cool, Ride!

Well, tomorrow I will be taking my second California road trip of the year. I am really looking forward to it because due to this wonderful weather we are having I will be riding the FatBoy and not driving. Granted the drive takes me there in comfort, I listen to music of my choice, get to munch as much as I want, enjoy me a coffee and or soft drink while I drive and sometimes when possible experience the highway at high speeds which my Pony is capable of but on the downside it is also a thirsty steed and it drains my pocket mighty fast.

Yet, I love driving it but I also love riding my bike and unfortunately I don't get to do it as often as I would like, so taking advantage of the wonderful weather I thought riding to Cali was the way to go.

Of course the time to get there is extended by at least an hour an a half. First because I have to gas up three times. I fill up the gas here, then top it off in Tonopah, top it off again at the Arizona/California border and again in Cathedral City. As for the speed, I ride hard so I am not too slow a rider but each stop eats at least 25 to 30 minutes off my time to stretch and rest. Fatigue is a rider's enemy so you have to fight it and beat it.

The reward is that at the end of the line I will see my sweetheart but taking the view, the sights, the noise, the wind, and just plain having all that time to yourself and your thoughts is worth the ride. If you are a rider you know what I am talking about. You can really reflect on many things while riding because your mind is free of distractions.

You get to admire the roads, the stops, the people. It never fails but during my trips I always get a "Mr your bikes is hot" or "I wish I would ride" or "I wish I had one". Last time I rode to Cali I came out of a store to find a guy taking pictures of my bike. Then we talked for nearly 20 minutes and said goodbye. The bike opens up conversations with strangers that would never happen when driving. Of course my 07 and 93 Mustangs also attract many good comments, specially my 93. Yet, it's not the same as the ones drawn by the bike.

These are two popular stops for me. The top one is Chiriaco Summit and the bottom one is Desert Center. Both in California.

The idea is to leave early but knowing me that plan can go out the drain really fast, yet I am shooting for an early departure to beat the sun. It doesn't need to be hot for a rider to get totally sunburned, the wind chill alone does the trick.

My sweetheart tending to my sunburn back in October. I think I learned the lesson.

Then add the photo op factor. I stop anywhere and everywhere taking pictures which as many of you know is one of my passions. For those of you that have not seen my photo blog just CLICK HERE to see some of my captures.

Thanks to today's technology I get to mark my progress mostly on FaceBook for all my peeps to know where I am and to check my progress. However my phone's battery is old and in need of replacement and in the bike I won't be able to recharge it so I am sure it will die withing a few hours of my departure.

So, whish me a good trip and I will post later to let you know how things are going.

Monday, February 27, 2012

American Chopper - Senior vs. Junior

So I have been a fan of what many may consider a stupid show but to me it has many of the elements that I like and value. At first glance the show was designed to highlight and showcase those awesome, expensive, and sometimes useless custom motorcycles, but most of us learned pretty quick that the show was taking shape as a drama without a script where father and son constantly fought and yet worked together to produce some of the most amazing and pretty bikes.

While many motorcycle shows came and went, American Chopper has survived for ten years and I still sit on Monday night first watching a bunch of reruns while waiting for the new episode to air.

So apparently the show was successful for six years and then the never ending father and son fights got so intense that Sr. and Jr. parted ways. This in itself would take all the mystique out of the show, after all the formula for six years had been the fights, the tantrums, the destroying and throwing things around and with Jr. gone you could finally count on the show being cancelled.

Now the show has been revived as both OCC and now PJD "compete" for companies to hire them to build them a theme bike, which is what they had specialized in, and I once again find myself hooked on the show.

I like the show, I like the characters, and I like the bikes and it seems both companies are being successful but for four years they had gone to court, sue each other, and apparently gone all this time without speaking to each other and I can't help but think that if that was me I would be going crazy.

There is just no way that I could ever lose a grip of what family life is, in my world without your family you are nothing and then think how fortunate I am to have them around to bug the heck out of me at will. I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.

So, if at all, this show aside from entertaining me, it also reminds me of how important my family is to me and how essential it is for me to have them around, if in fact the Teutuls are estranged they better get their act together because life is too short and wasted days will never come back.

You think I could ever go without this guy? Of course not!

Or without this one? Nope!

Or this one? Nope, nope, nope!

I love my kids and they need to be in my life, that is just a simple fact.


Well, here I am again with a new book in hand. As I said before, this will be the year that I get back into reading. I used to read so many blogs that book reading sort of took a back seat but now it's time to pick it up again. So far so good. Here's my list thus far:

So far this year I have read:

The Broker by John Grisham
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
In The Name of Honor by Richard North Patterson

I am reading:
Timeline by Michael Crichton

What's on your reading list? Have you read any of the ones I’ve read?

I went looking for the first book of "The Hunger Games" trilogy but found out that all the copies they had at the library were out and that way too many people had put holds on them already so I did the next best thing and just announced it on Face Book that I wanted to read them and for someone to send them my way. My nephew sent me a reply saying he has all three of them and will gladly lend them to me. So, yey! Score!

Not wanting to come out of the library empty handed I picked up "Timeline", a book by Michael Crichton. He is one of my favorite writers and I have read many of his novels.

The first one was "Rising Sun" followed by "Disclosure". I enjoyed both novels so much (By the way, eventually both became movies)that I started reading more of his books. So far here is a list of the ones I have read, all of them fiction books:

The Andromeda Strain
Rising Sun
Eaters of the Dead
Jurassic Park
The Lost World
Jurassic Park III
State of Fear

Out of these books most have been turned into movies: The Andromeda Strain, The 13th Warrior (Eaters of the Dead), Congo, Sphere, the Jurassic Park trilogy, Coma, Rising Sun, and Disclosure. Twister is an awesome movie which I happened to catch first so I never read or will read the book, and as soon as I finish reading this one I am going to try and find me a copy of the movie. The theme is too hard to be put into film so I am curious to see how well hollywood did on this one.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

In The Name of Honor

So I am now reading "In The Name of Honor" by Richard North Patterson and so fas so good. I like books that grip you and don't let you go and this is one of those.

Because it involves the military and it's a court case my mind keeps putting images of Tom Cruise and Demi Moore as the main characters only because they both did such an awesome job in "A Few Good Men". This is the reason I don't watch the movies first. Now "In The Name of Honor" may not be made into a movie but my mind just happens to put those faces in those lines as I read them. Well I kindda don't mind because I really enjoyed that movie.

My daughter handed me this book along with "Water for Elephants" which by the way was really good. I enjoyed it very much. I wish I could say the same for the movie but unfortunately the movie did not do it for me. It wasn't all that bad but I guess I wanted and expected more.

So I will be needing more reading material soon. If you have books laying around that are just gathering dust send them my way and I will gladly give them a go.

Until the next time, happy reading.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sweetheart Dance at St. Vincent de Paul

My sweetheart and I at the Sweetheart Dance.

For a mere $20.00 per couple we were treated to a dinner, a drink, desert, and a night of dancing, best spent $20.00 bucks. After that the the sodas and water were $1.00 each and the wine and beer $2.00. We opted for wine.

I never caught the name of the band but they were definitely very versatile. The played cumbias (mostly Tejano cumbias), nortenas, some rock favorites and quite a few oldies. Abby and I were there to have fun so we really danced all night long.

We were seated at a table with two other couples but the table next to us was really noisy, it was definitely the party table as it was filled with a wild bunch.

The Wild Bunch a.k.a. The Party People.

Needless to say $2.00 per glass of red wine was an affordable price so we had a few of them during the night. I was feeling happy and energetic so I danced all the line dance songs they played. How is it that people (including me) don't get tired of the Electric Slide and all the other line dance songs, you would figure people should be tired of them by now but no, they still fill up the dance floor. At least they did not play the Macarena, yes even I have my limits. lol

I believe we were doing "El Rodeo del Payaso" here. I quit almost at the end because I was totally spent.

All in all we had a terrific night and we were happy to share it with my nieces and my nephews. Thanks Maryita and Vane for the invite, we loved it.


The girls!

Sweet couples!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Arizona Centennial Fiesta

Back in the day Abby's sister took a picture of ther by some lowrider. She submitted the picture to Lowrider Magazine and it was published on the "People's Rides" section. Oh how I wish I could take a peek at that picture. Well, I just may submit this one as she's still a looker.


Besides the carnival and mechanical rides and concession stands selling all kinds of food, and the stage where bands and DJ's played music probably all day long this year for the Arizona Centennial celebration also included a car show.

So as soon as the mass ended we first went to get some food, then Abby, my brother in law and I headed to the south field to see the cars. I wanted to take my pony but never heard who was in charge of the car show so the pony stayed home. This particular show had mostly lowriders, to me lowriders are timeless, I can't get enough of them. You can fix a lowrider the very same way it was customized 25 years ago and it still looks hot.

The following were some of the awesome non lowrider cars on display at the show:

And these are the lowriders, there are so many nice old cars here I can't pick a favorite.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Well hello friends it's been over a week since my last post so here I am to give you some tidbits of whazzup these days. First it's getting boring to be unemployed but no answers come from any of the online application submissions, so here I wait and enjoy my days off but at the same time I feel more than ready to be back in the working world.

Two weeks ago was my second anniversary as a choir boy and I continue to enjoy that very much, looking forward to my third year. I am still visiting my mom three times during the week and she continues to feed the heck out of me. I will never tire of eating my mom's succulent meals which she cooks specially for me. Yes, I now I am very spoiled but that is my life and I love it. lol. Traveling from Avondale to La Puente is still a monthly thing. I love taking the trek and I am getting good at knowing home many miles from one stretch to the next. I now know that highway like the palm of my hand.

My honey came to visit and we spent an awesome St. Valentin's weekend together, we did some shopping including buying a new dinette set and attended the Sweetheart Dance and Arizona Centennial Celebration carnival at St. Vincent de Paul. As always it was a nice but very fast weekend.

Posing for me while out shopping and I must say, "Nice shirt baby". lol

Abby's new dinette table set and St. Valentine's flower bouquet.

We went to visit my mom and then decided to get out and do some more shopping. We hit the stores and I went shutter crazy cause I liked to see how my fiance and my mom get along so well, first we went to eat tacos, then we went to another furniture store and then we ended up at the supermarket.

I love, love, love to see how these two get along so well. It's actually fun to be driving them around from place to place. No doubt I am blessed.
Look, it's almost as big as I am.

Well, I hope to post again soon, in the meantime have a wonderful day everyone!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Kohl's We Must Part Ways

I spent my day with my favorite Duck, he had asked me since last week if he could hang around with grandpa and so today was it. He tagged along with me all day and of course got some treats in the process.

We went to a store that I always liked but the last few times I've been there I have noticed some changes and unfortunately not for the good. Their prices are so high and of course they always claim to have them at 30, 40, and even 50% discount, and in the end the price is relatively the same or a bit more as everywhere else. A couple of years back I did find some awesome deals but not lately.

Yes Kohl's with all the stuff you send to people's homes in the form of junk mail you should just go back to having lower prices. Not that I care anymore since I will probably won't be shopping there anymore.

And here's why:

So I drive about five miles from my house to Kohl's to make a payment, normally I pay on line but the deadline is tomorrow and I don't want to pay the 25.00 dollar late fee which they will be happy to collect. I get in line and when it's my turn the lady was probably tired cause she was in a mood. So I say, I want to give a payment towards my account and hand her my debit card. She looks at me like "really", then proceeds to tell me they do not take debit, cash or check only, then she goes next. I used to like Kohl's but today they lost a customer. I hold grudges like this for a long time. JC Penney, tag you are it. :-) I think they are just mad JC Penney lowered their prices. lol

The lady had my accout card, she could have said, excuse me Mr. Melo but our policy does not allow us to get payments through debit or credit cards. We do however will take your cash or even a check if you have one. Instead she opted to dismiss me by saying "next". It made me feel like she was thinking "Dumb Mexicans don't they know anything?". Is it supposed to be common knoledge that they don't accept debit?

I think tomorrow I will go back to Kohl's and instead of giving them a payment I will just pay the balance in my account. It does not sease to amaze me how some stores give themselves the luxury of losing customers in these hard times. I am assuming they must be doing really good and it's obviously not an issue.

After that little fiasco my Duck and I headed to McDonalds and then to the grocery store.

Movie night saved the rest of the day. :-)

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Choirboy Anniversary.

The first mass in the month of February of 2010 was my introduction to the church choir, so this coming Sunday will be the first mass of February this year so it will mark my second anniversary as a choir boy.

To tell you the truth I wasn't sure I was going to last, I always thought it was too big a commitment and that I was going to tire soon but it has been the total opposite, the more I felt comfortable singing to the Lord the more I wanted it. Often we are asked to cover one of the other masses as well and to me it's always a pleasure. I didn't realize how important it was to be a part of the ministry.

Ours is not the greatest choir but we really are doing our best and it shows as many stop by after mass just to let us know how much they enjoyed and appreciated our efforts. Of course the girls in the choir have shown lots of discipline as they really pay attention and learn their songs. Together we have come a long way in these past to years.

As many members come and go the little core group remains, recently we had two mother and daughter additions to the team and they are proving to be awesome, although they have a lot to learn they are doing it with joy and that too is showing.

This is the first solo I did, I think I lost about a gallon of body water I was sweating so much from being nervous. It's gotten a lot easier now but I still get nervous.

I for one am happy to have achieved two years with them and I am truly looking forward to my third year. As always I am looking for your support as it still gets me nervous sometimes, specially if my sister gives me a solo. Yeah, I still get the sweaty palms and the stage shock feeling, but in the end the joy and fulfilment are greater.

I really like this song. Thanks to my wonderful niece cause she stood there with me and actually backed me up a bit.

Letania de Adviento.

The vast majority of the songs we sing are published in Flor y Canto II from OCP Publications.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

What's On Your Reading List?

So once again I have taken up on reading, this is something I always enjoy and do often and then I go on long reading hiatus and then I pick it up again. So at the beginning of the year I picked up "The Broker" by John Grisham.

I have been I Grisham fan since an ex co-worker of mine put it in my hands. That book was "The Firm". "The Broker" follows in the same line as most of his books and to me they are very entertaining and worth reading. Hollywood stopped adapting his books into movies but if you remember lots of his novels were made into movies. Most of the time the adaptations were pretty good and for the most part followed the book.

Yes, I think I will go and find the few books of his I haven't read because I know his are always very entertaining.

When I told my daughter that I had finished "The Broker" she said she had a couple of books that I might like and brought them to me. The one I am currently reading and that I will probably finish tonight is "Water For Elephants" by Sara Gruen.

I have a thing that if I ever watch a movie based on a book and I haven't read the book I will never pick it up. The beauty of reading is that of putting your spin on the images being painted by the writer. When I read I have mental pictures of how I think or interpret how the characters should look but if I watch the movie when I pick the book it makes me see the actors and thus limiting my imagination and I hate that. I watched, the movies "It", "The Green Mile", and "Misery" before reading the books, well needless to say I doubt I'll ever pick them up.

When I read "The Firm" my friend told me the movie was in the making and that Tom Cruise would play the main character. Well I am a Tom Cruise fan so I was fine with that but as I read the book I kept seeing Tom Cruise and not Mitch McDeere. With Water for Elephants I made the mistake to see the movie trailer on Youtube and now as I was reading about Jacob Jankowski I kept seeing "Cedric/Edward" in my mind, so basically I was connecting two other movies where Robert Pattinson started.

Well, having those images didn't stop me and I really liked the book. Catching a glimpse of the gypsy life those poor souls lived back then, not knowing what the next day would bring and yet sticking around if only for the food and the sense of belonging. If you haven't read the book pick it up, it is pretty good. Now I will make it a point to pick up the movie this weekend. I know movies in many cases don't even come close to the book but I will hope this one is not too bad. By the way, I love watching movies based on books that I read because I like to see how well they can adapt them into a two hour movie.

Next book is, "In The Name of Honor" by Richard North Patterson. Looks like it may be good, and hopefully I will find new writers that I can follow for a while.

Some of the writers that I have read many of their books are: Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Robin Cook, Dan Brown, John Grisham, and a few others.
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