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Thursday, February 28, 2008


OK - there are a lot more important issues in this world.

But some things are just damn annoying!

Why is it, everytime I go to the grocery store, that I have to spend 5 - 10 minutes outside in the cold (or heat, in the summer) finding a shopping cart that doesn't have someone else's dirty tissue paper, candy wrappers, food wrappers, etc., in it?

What is wrong with you pigs?!?!?!?!?!?!? Did you grow up in a barn?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Rest in Peace - Myron Cope!

Ace is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. Lots of other folks here in Bakersfield are too.

Myron Cope passed away today.

The voice, heart, and soul of the Pittsburgh Steelers;

The inventor of The Terrible Towel;

The coiner of the term, The Immaculate Reception;

The famous catch phrase with which he closed all his sports broadcasts (This is Myron Cope...on sports!).

He will be missed by everyone who ever bled black and gold.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


OK - you folks who know me, and those of you who've taken the trouble to read my profile, and even, maybe, visit my tennis website, , know that I play a lot of tennis.

I moved to Bakersfield from Ventura over 11 years ago. (Got transferred - you can still see my fingernail marks on the Grapevine!). Before I left, my coastal friends said, "There's a great tennis club in Bakersfield, it's called The Laurel Glen Tennis Club. All the best players play there, it's nice, etc. etc."

So, I joined Laurel Glen - it was great! Lots of tennis activities, friendly players, staff. Had a great restaurant, tennis pro shop, swimming pool, hot tub, separate facility for babysitting kids, and even a separate, well equipped gym for working out. And all for a reasonable price.

Well, last year the club got sold. To a GYM! A gym that apparently had no intent of ever running this place anywhere except into the ground so they can dump it, and maybe build condos or apartments or something. They've just instituted the process to get the whole area rezoned so that housing can be built there.

I don't know if y'all have any experience with "gyms," but a LOT of 'em aren't exactly the epitome of well run businesses. A lot of them (and I have first hand experience with this) lock the joint up and disappear from site the next day.

Anyway, from day one, this "gym" started doing everything it could to piss off the members and screw up the club. It became obvious they had no intentions of trying to make it as a tennis club. The things they did, and are doing, are too numerous to mention, but, good ol' Ace will mention a few:

1. The first thing they did was get rid of the tennis pro shop. Now, gee, I don't know about you, but, someone who belongs to a TENNIS club shouldn't have to go to Big Five or Sport Chalet to buy tennis shoes, clothing, AND GET THEIR RACKETS STRUNG!!!!! Give me a frigging break! As soon as I saw this, I knew Laurel Glen's days were numbered.

2. They initially refused to get a new liquor license for the restaraunt. Now, hard as it may be for some of my dear readers to understand, when some of us, particularly us old farts, get done playing tennis in the 100 degreee summer Bakersfield heat, we want to kick back and have 1 or 2 brews! Well, it looked like those days had ended, but, there was a hue and cry from the members and they went ahead and got the license. But, if we buy a bottle of beer, we have to open it ourselves!!! Can you believe such nonsense?!?!?

3. The next thing they do, is stuff they don't do - like facility maintenance. Court lights were burned out - none got repaired until days and days, sometimes weeks of complaints. Some of them still aren't fixed (hello court #9). Nets needed repaired, courts are filthy, etc.

4. After they gutted the pro shop, they installed some circuit exercise equipment in the space behind the front desk. Now, geez, gimme a break. There's a complete, fully equipped gym in a separate building on the club grounds. If I want to go work out, I'll go there! I don't want to work out in what used to be the pro shop. (I want to buy tennis shoes or a new racket there!) Ever since they installed this stupid circuit equipment, I have never seen anyone use it.

5. There's this great little restaurant in the club. Problem is, hardly anyone uses it. So, it looks like it will be shut down too. Too bad no one in the new ownership realizes that, if you want the restaurant to succeed, YOU HAVE TO KEEP IT OPEN WHEN THE PLAYERS ARE THERE AND WANT TO EAT!!!!! We play tennis in the morning and at night, especially in the summer heat, but the restaurant closes down. It's hardly ever open when we are there playing. No wonder they don't make any money!!!

6. Finally, and this is really the last straw, they fired all the tennis pros!!!! WTF!!!??? A tennis club without tennis pros??? Give me another frigging break.

This latter event happened right after the gym ownership claimed in The Californian that they weren't intending to shut down the club. They gave some lame ass excuse and just tried to blow off the criticism.

Geez - what a joke!

Friday, February 15, 2008

AAAGGGHHH!!! Shaved off my beard!!!!

Gee, I shaved off my goatee yesterday. Don't know why I did it. Was I bored, was I hoping for something different to happen in my life?

It's a big change - it was only a little bitty goatee - still, removing it made a big change.

I don't recognize me now. I look in the mirror and try to remember the beardless guy with the shoulder length hair from years ago, hoping my reflection triggers some memories of self awareness.

Impossible. Doesn't work. I'm bald now - haven't had long hair for years and years, let alone hair on top of my head! Who is this guy in that mirror?

Am I still me now? Or am I someone else? Will my personna change? Will people treat me differently?


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Tueday - California Gambling Initiatives

OK - something else to tick me off.

The folks supporting the gambling initiatives say all but a couple of indian tribes benefit from the agreement.

The folks against these propositions say that's a lie and only a few rich tribes get any benefit.

Someone is obviously lying - they can't be telling the opposite things and both be telling the truth. And that pisses me off.


What really pisses me off about this is that the FCC, the state election officials, the TV networks, and/or anyone else of authority involved with this election doesn't put a stop to whichever of these ads is flat out untruthful. Cause one of them definitely is.

Gawd - are y'all as sick of these misleading and untruthful ads as I am?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

There Will Be Blood - Daniel Day-Lewis's Lines?

OK - right after I ranted about this flik only being in 1 other theater, it opened yesterday at the Marketplace. So I hopped right down and caught the noon show.

What a GREAT movie! Oh man - first 15 minutes had no dialog but what a marvel of cinematic exposition.

I only had 1 complaint:

The ending was a little over the top, a little too histrionic, almost too black humoristic, including the final line uttered. (That's as far as I go without spoiling it for anyone.)

But, I had another interesting observation. Has anyone else seen this flick and what do you think of the following:

I swear, every time Daniel Day-Lewis spoke his lines in this movie, he seemed to be using the same tone and the same cadence as Smith from The Matrix flicks!. There was absolutely no reason for this to be, and I feel real stupid for mentioning it, but everytime he said something it sounded like Smith. Goofy observation on my part - maybe I'm just stretching here.

Anyway - I understand most of the flick was shot in Texas, but, you'd swear it looked like the Taft/Midway/Fellows area. References to early development of the oil industry, all the shady dealings, exploitation , competition - it was all great. I worked in the oil industry for almost 25 years - so much of it rang true. Great sense of history and a compelling story.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Crappy Movies in Bakersfield

I'm in the mood to complain today.

(Well, er, uh, I'm ALWAYS in the mood to complain, so, er, uh, .... let's just get on with it!)

What's up with the management of the movie theaters in this town? Why is it that many of the most critically acclaimed, new releases, don't show up until weeks after they are released, if at all, and then we're lucky if they show up in more than one theater?

Recent examples - No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood.

These are both nominated for Best Picture Oscars - neither one of them showed up until weeks after their initial release. AND THEY ONLY SHOWED UP IN ONE THEATER - at Valley Plaza.

How many showings of Alvin and the Chipmunks does The Marketplace have to do before they can book a great film once in awhile?

And There Will Be Blood is about the oil industry!!! You'd think in this town there'd be a built in audience for that!

Bakersfield Californian - Home Grown Ripoff?

OK - geez, I hate to always seem like I'm complaining,


I subscribe to both The L.A. Times and The Bakersfield Californian.

The last several months, more and more of the articles in The Californian are articles I've already read in The L.A. Times! And many others are from other newspapers.

What's up with that? And some of them (including one in Thursday's paper) I read in the Times several months ago!!!

So, it's bad enough that the "News" the Californian is printing is something someone else published, but, it isn't even "News" anymore!!!

To the editors of The Californian - I'm already paying the L.A. times for the articles that you are printing after the fact. Why should I continue to subscribe to your rag?

And peeps wonder why the print newspaper business is losing to the net...