Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

Thirty guests for the holiday feast this year! We host our large annual gathering of family, friends and friends of friends. Visitors to our home included folks from faraway places: Finland, France, Scotland, the Czech Republic and West Hollywood.

You can compare this year to last year’s pics (in the previous Blog post), it was another very good year for food. I am truly thankful for this bountiful feast and the family and friends I shared it with. I am truly thankful for many things, including you reading this blog!

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – A Dozen Beautiful Roses! “There’s gonna be a party tonight!”

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Thanksgiving dinner,
Our annual food orgy,
A friendly feast!

Preparations begin early in the week and continue all the way until the meal is served. The party was called for 4:00pm pst on Thursday and we always allow time for our guests to arrive before the dining commences.

The turkeys are thawed and prepared the night before. This year we had two 18 pound organic turkeys, seasoned with a herb & butter rub under the skin. One bird cooks at our house and the other at my sister’s kitchen. She also makes the garlic mashed potato, chocolate bread pudding and fudge. This year her vegetarian friend was visiting so they made the summer squash as well.

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Turkey #1 BEFORE

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Turkey #1 AFTER

Thanksgiving 2015 Dinner Menu:
Two 18 pound organic turkeys, gravy, two kinds of stuffing, garlic mashed potato, corn pudding, yam puree, asparagus, creamed spinach, mixed grilled vegetables, summer squash, fruit compote, cranberry sauce and cornbread muffins.

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving Feast 2015!

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Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving Feast 2015!

And there was some wine and other beverages:

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Wine and Finnish chocolate brought by our guests from Finland

Thanksgiving 2015 Dessert Menu:
Pumpkin, pecan and apricot pies (we also had an apple but didn’t bake it); chocolate chip cookies, 2 kinds of fudge, blondies, chocolate bread pudding & fresh whipped cream, Czech cake with marzipan, a chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream (someone brought a flourless chocolate cake but we didn’t even put it out) and Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake!

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – the Dessert Table is waiting!

I did a little baking the night before as I mentioned in the previous Blog post:

Thanksgiving 2015 - Baking (the night before)

Thanksgiving 2015 – Baking cornbread muffins & Grandma’s cherry cheesecake (the night before)

2 Dozen Cornbread Muffins and 1 Dozen Mini Cornbread Muffins:

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – A Bowl Full of Cornbread Muffins!

And this year, by request, I baked my Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake:

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake!

It was a great meal! And complete dessert overkill as usual. I had a full plate of tasty food for dinner and then only had a small piece of cheesecake and a couple pieces of fudge for dessert. And a good time and meal was had by all.

We have the whole process down and this year we used plastic (for dinner) and paper (for dessert) plates, so there was less to clean up and we saved some water in exchange for creating some additional trash.

I finished eating, helped with the clearing and clean up, watched the end of the Bears-Packers game and fell asleep. When I woke up, most of the final cleaning was done, the guests were gone and the tables and chairs were put away. So, BIG THANKS go out to my Step-Brother for helping out while I was napping!

It was an okay day for football. Detroit beat Philadelphia and Carolina beat Dallas, but Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers couldn’t finish and lost to Chicago, so I went 2 out of 3 on my picks. Bad news for Cowboy fans because Quarterback Tony Romo was seriously injured in the game and is out for the rest of the season. Sorry Bob.

Thanksgiving 2015 - Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Thanksgiving 2015 – Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Okay, we have “to go” boxes for our guests to take home leftovers from the feast if they are so inclined. I had cranberries with my brunch leftovers, but there wasn’t enough left for dinner the next day… we also sent most of the desserts home with our guests too.

Day After Leftovers for Brunch: turkey, stuffing, garlic mashed potato, cranberry sauce, gravy and cornbread muffins. (repeated for dinner without the cranberry)

Thanksgiving 2015 - Leftovers for Brunch the morning after!

Thanksgiving 2015 – Leftovers for Brunch the morning after!

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All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” to view previous Blogs:
Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake Recipe – Read the Blog> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1SV
Read last year’s Thanksgiving 2014 Blog> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1mW

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Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Pretty flowers on the dining tables too.

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“Fare Thee Well” = Go to Hell! If Bill Graham were alive he would kick the sh*t out of Peter Shapiro.

“Fare Thee Well” = Go to Hell!

In December 1983, I sat on the sidewalk before one of the New Year’s shows and watched Bill Graham yell at a scalper (and threaten him with violence) on the street corner in front of the San Francisco Civic Auditorium for selling tickets above face value (which was $15 for each of the 3 shows and $20 on New Year’s Eve plus service charges).

2015 is the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead! Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Band from Palo Alto became The Warlocks and they became The Grateful Dead in 1965.

The Grateful Dead early 70s

The Grateful Dead early 70s

So to CASH IN on the anniversary, the “Core Four” (Bobby, Phil, Bill and Mickey) and promoter Peter Shapiro, have resurrected the band name, retired after Jerry’s death in 1995, and announced three “final” shows at Soldier Field in Chicago 4th of July weekend.*

Here are the TOP TEN REASONS WHY “FARE THEE WELL” CAN GO TO HELL:

1. There is no Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia.

2. Chicago in July on 4th of July weekend? WRONG.

3. Only 3 shows in Chicago… (rumors of additional shows in Santa Clara and New York at the end of June without Phil and Trey are currently circulating)

4. Trey from Phish. WRONG.

5. No Camping in Chicago on 4th of July weekend? Where are 200,000 people going to sleep?

6. Ticket availability and pricing. Mail Order. Ticket Master. VIP packages. CASH GRAB.

7. Ticket scalping. Chicago Bears ticket holders. StubHub. CASH GRAB.

(see the article at the bottom of the Blog for all the GREEDY DETAILS)

8. Phish heads = “In-the-Dark heads”. WRONG. JUST WRONG.

9. All the ingredients for a “Bad Trip”. It’s not about the music or the fans, it’s a CASH GRAB and all about MONEY. How much will you “pay-per-view”?

10. Complete SELL OUT and CASH GRAB! What Would Jerry Do?

“Come hear Uncle John’s Band by the riverside…”

There is no Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia. PERIOD. END OF STORY.

NOTE: Historically, the Chicago Police and the Illinois State Police have a bad record with “hippies” and Grateful Dead fans. Why wasn’t a state where marijuana is legal chosen?

The Grateful Dead Movie 1977 directed by Jerry Garcia

Grateful Dead Movie 1977 directed by Jerry Garcia

NOTE: I saw The Dead in May, 2009 at the Forum in Los Angeles with Warren Haynes and it was cool, but it was not the Grateful Dead.

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It’s the 50th Anniversary of the Good Ol’ Grateful Dead!

Dead_50th_instagram_desktop_view_612x612

I got on the bus in the late 70s. Dad was in the music business. I discovered American Beauty and Skull & Roses among the Warner Brothers promotional albums that were delivered to the house. I was a rebellious young teenager, and it was just after the Grateful Dead’s historic trip to Egypt, the Closing of Winterland and “The Grateful Dead Movie” and before the 15th Anniversary shows at the Warfield and Radio City Music Hall, that I became a fan.

Before the internet, it was a simple message inside the Skull & Roses album liner notes:

“DEAD FREAKS UNITE: Who are you? Where are you? How are you?
Send us your name and address and we’ll keep you informed.
Dead Heads, P.O. Box 1065, San Rafael, California 94901.”

The first live show I saw was December 13, 1980** at the Long Beach Arena. I remember the Grateful Dead played a full acoustic set before playing two electric sets, but I don’t find any mention of the acoustic set in the historical record.

Feel Like a Stranger, Sugaree, C.C. Rider, To Lay Me Down, New Minglewood Blues, Ramble on Rose, Lost Sailor, Saint of Circumstance, Deal

Scarlet Begonias, Fire on the Mountain, Playin’ in the Band, Drums, Not Fade Away, Black Peter, Sugar Magnolia

Encore: One More Saturday Night

I saw some amazing shows! New Year’s Eve 83-84 with The Band and 84-85 with the Neville Brothers at the San Francisco Civic (now Bill Graham Memorial) Auditorium, New Year’s Eve 85-86 at Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium, the Marin Benefit shows, Chinese New Year 85 & 86, Anaheim 87 with Dylan, Santa Cruz/Watsonville 84, Ventura 82-83-84-85, UCLA 82, Laguna Seca 87, the Greek Theater 84 “Darkstar” and many more. I also saw the Jerry Garcia Band at The Stone in San Francisco a few times back in the 80s.

Grateful Dead ticket stubs (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Some of my Grateful Dead ticket stubs (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

I went to college at UC Santa Cruz and connected with fellow Deadheads there. We had a connection to first generation soundboard tapes 83-85. I became friends with Bob Thomas through friends at the Renaissance Faire and developed a list of one-named deadhead friends: Leo from Berkeley, Shorty from UMass, Jim from Santa Cruz, Dave from Humboldt, Robert & Frannie from Willets, and many others. I never met any of the band members in person, but I would see Phil’s red BMW and Bobby’s Corvette when I lived in Marin. And I did meet Grace Slick once at the movies at Larkspur Landing.

Remember cassette tapes?

Remember cassette tapes? This was how you heard live shows before the internet.

I lost it a little when Jerry got busted in Golden Gate Park for heroin. I pretty much stopped going to shows after 1988, when the crowd was overrun by ignorant “In-the-Darkheads”, and everyone was selling something instead of sharing the experience. I was saddened and disappointed by Brent’s overdose in 1990, such a waste….

The last Grateful Dead show I saw was December 18, 1994 at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles. We sat behind the stage and watched Jerry “recharge” backstage during the breaks in the show.

Touch of Grey, Greatest Story Ever Told, Althea, Walkin’ Blues, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, El Paso, Loose Lucy, Let It Grow

Victim or the Crime, Crazy Fingers, Playing in the Band, Terrapin Station, Drums, Space (aborted Spanish Jam), This Might Be The Last Time, Attics of My Life, Johnny B. Goode

Encore: It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

Jerry died in 1995 and the Grateful Dead as a performing band died with him.

p.s.  If Bill Graham were alive he would kick the sh*t out of Peter Shapiro.

In December 1983, I sat on the sidewalk before one of the New Year’s shows and watched Bill Graham yell at a scalper on the street corner in front of the San Francisco Civic Auditorium for selling tickets above face value (which was $15 for each of the 3 shows and $20 on New Year’s Eve).

**I actually first saw the Grateful Dead live around 1970 when I was taken to an outdoor festival by my parents, but it’s just a hazy memory of childhood now.

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*HERE IS A LINK TO AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE FROM THE BOULDER WEEKLY:

Ladies and gentlemen, not the Grateful Dead by Stuart Sallo

“that’s the Grateful Dead I want to remember, not a cover band that happens to have some of the original members, and certainly not a musical spectacle that serves big-moneyed interests, such as Ticketmaster, StubHub, eBay, the City of Chicago and whatever other corporate entities are in on this colossal rip off.”

RIGHT CLICK TO OPEN A NEW WINDOW!

http://www.boulderweekly.com/article-14082-ladies-and-gentlemen-not-the-grateful-dead.html

Jerry RIP

Jerry RIP

UPDATED 6 April 2015: This was posted on ebay!

DO NOT PAY SCALPER PRICES! BUY IN JUNE  Keep these auctions at 0 bids!! Scalpers are holding on to their better seats to sell later after they liquidate the crappy ones. Dead Heads stick together and wait until June, there will be lots of tickets available. Many Heads will receive their tickets and realize they can’t go and sell for a fair price. Scalper Scum will also have a ton left to sell. All these scalpers are scattered throughout the country, they will not be coming to Soldier Field to peddle them outside the stadium, they will need them sold before show dates. Most Dead Heads are NOT buying at these inflated and outrageous prices. Only a handful of people with what seems to be more money than brains are buying. Almost all auctions are ending unsold and have to be re-posted. Stub Hub have 851 more tickets to sell today than they did on March 7!! 254 more tickets on StubHub in just 3 days!!! Even with some sold, more are now for sale, does that tell you something, inventory is growing!!

More tickets, better seats, and lower prices will be what follows over the course of time. We just need to remain calm and good things will follow. Dead Heads did NOT pay over face value for 30 years when Jerry was alive, let’s not start now. Maybe a small premium but that is it. Honor Jerry and the band, we WILL get tickets. Teach the Scalper Scum that you don’t mess with Dead Heads!!


READ THE “HAPPY JERRY DAY” BLOG>> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1g1


UPDATE 12-2-2016: editing old drafts that never got published I found this:

Fare Thee Well – Not the Grateful Dead, but an incredible simulation!

“What a long strange trip it’s been!”

The farewell concerts! Two shows in Santa Clara at Levi’s Stadium (San Jose) in the San Francisco Bay Area and three shows in Chicago at Soldier Field.

I had the urge to jump in the car and drive to San Jose, but “real life” obligations prevented it from happening. My friends live 15 minutes from the stadium and by most reports, I could have scored tickets for both shows cheap. No regrets? Hmmmmm…..

Funny thing about Chicago: My father’s family has a reunion and picnic every 5 years in Lincoln Park in Chicago on the 4th of July weekend. It’s been family tradition since the 1920’s, and it was scheduled for this year. So when the concerts were announced in February, we already had an invitation and a group rate at a hotel close to Soldier Field. But after much consideration, we decided not to make the trip and/or pay the high ticket prices. No regrets? Hmmmmm…..

I also decided not to spend $100 on the five show internet stream broadcast or $30 on the “pay-per-view” 4th of July broadcast. Instead I listened to a FREE live audio stream on UStream and another on Mixlr (and on SiriusXM Grateful Dead channel which I have in the car). I also saw some of the Santa Clara video broadcast on a “bootleg” stream and then watched the post-show videos on Youtube.

I miss Jerry and Brent! Bobby was alway a great #2 guy, but he can’t lead the band. Phil Lesh is one of the greatest bass guitar players in rock and roll history, but he can’t sing!

Bruce Hornsby played with the Grateful Dead for a couple years in the 90s and he can sing. Jeff Chimenti is a great keyboard player, but neither can play or sing like Brent.

Now I’m going to talk about Trey Anastasio from Phish and the choice to have him play with the band, so Phish-heads and Trey fans get ready….

Trey did a good job playing in the band for these shows, but he’s no Jerry Garcia. I’ve never really been a big Phish or Trey fan. I always thought it was a place where “In-The-Dark-heads” went after Jerry died and the Grateful Dead decided to quit without him. There are other guitar players who know the music better and play more of a “Jerry style” than Trey. I saw The Dead in 2009 with Warren Haynes and it was cool but it wasn’t the Grateful Dead, just like this time around. Trey doesn’t have the experience of jamming with the “core four” for years and has a different musical style.