Monday, October 26, 2009

Life not always what we expect but time to move on

This weekend was a bit of a disappointment. Not all was bad by any means. I got to spend some real quality time with a very good friend. That was the best part of all. Church was not as expected. I was floored to say the least. As you know I am not able to say much about it, but I will say a few general things. Church is the time when I get to see my brothers and sisters that I do not get to see all the time. I always look forward to it. I know I have only gone to church 3 times, but they really grow on you. I learn alot from it every time. I'm not sure it will always be a learning experience, but for now it is and will probably be for a while. Political play came into action this time which was very discouraging. Its sad to see this happen, but we all know everyone has their own agenda. As for me, I have no intention of ever becoming an officer. What I currently do for the club as well as in the future is give what I can and be the best brother I can.

Although it is done and over with, all that I have control to do is learn and move on. Not every day can be a good one. That's life. Life is not fair, and the quicker everyone learns this the better. This is a lesson I learned at a very young age and always look back to this when things are not going my way. I truly believe the saying "what doesn't kill us, only makes us strong". It couldn't be coined in any better. I am never one to "show" emotion. It doesn't mean I don't feel, but its something I may never get passed. I'm ok with that. I'm comfortable with myself. I like who I am.

Let me give you a little insight on me. No one will ever figure me out. Ever. No one has and no one will. Then again, the only one that may ever is my friend Michael. With an extremely high IQ he is able to read almost anyone. I am one of the most unusual ppl that most have ever met, and not in a bad way. I have a pretty good attitude most of the time. Even when down, I tend to try and stay positive. Occasionally I bitch and moan about shit, but its nothing more than venting. I am loyal to a fault. Basically meaning that will stand by someone even if they are wrong. I am very family oriented. My family means more than I could ever explain in words. Anyone who has been around this will know what I mean. Family is one of the most important things in my life. I am very close to my sister Sandy. I have always claimed me to be Italian. Given my birth I am 1/4 Italian and 1/4 Sicilian. Not everyone understand the difference, but it exists. I was raised mainly by the Italian side of my family (mom's side), by the strong family values, the culture, the food, etc. So as far as I'm concerned I am Italian. Some have argued this with me, but this is not something that I will ever give in about. Its always up for discussion, but it will turn out much the same as religion. Does God exist or not. Its a question that has plagued humanity since it began. Basically, you will never change my mind on the subject. I believe in God and am a God fearing man. I am somewhat a spiritual person, but being that religion is a hot and controversial subject you will rarely if ever find me talking about it. I have my believes and faith, but I will not push this on to others. I am always willing to discuss this topic if asked. I'm pretty much an open book with most anything. I will not bring things up, but am willing to discuss. I am not proud of everything I have done, but it has molded me into the man I am.

Take a deep breath. And another. Enjoy each like it is my last. Live a life that I believe is best for me and my family. It doesn't always mean it is, but it is of my opinion, thoughts and feelings. Time to move on, and look to the week ahead.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What hapens in Vegas...

...stays in Vegas. Ok most of what happens will stay in Vegas, the rest will just be plastered all over this blog. Warning: This entry will consist of mainly photos.

Let me first by saying thank you to Jason, Kelly, Tony & Alex for talking me into even going on this trip. They pushed me a bit even when I was sure I would not have the money to go, but after checking hotel prices I quickly booked my room. I ended up getting a room at the Gold Spike Hotel & Casino which I've never heard of in my life before now. I saw that it was just off Fremont Street where most of the Bikefest action was to take place. As the trip became closer I found out they moved everything to different locations. That's ok, because I only paid $20 for the first nite, and $30 for each of the next 2 nites. I even managed to talk my sister Sandy into going with. In fact we had a last minute decision to take my son Xavier (on the bike). My sister drove my rig (06 Dodge Ram 2500, quad cab, other baby).

For those of you who don't know the plan was to meet up with Vixyn, Rob and possibly Judy in Vegas. Tho it was slim that Judy would be there. Rob traveled all the way from Ottawa, Canada. Although I'm not sure Vegas Bikefest was originally a destination it just so worked out that he was able to be there while we were.

Started out Thursday morning with my sister meeting me at my house. I quickly filed up the ice chest with my half gallon of Jack Daniel's and many beers. Sandy followed me to the meet spot. While waiting there I received a text from Kelly letting me know a guy named Kerry would be there. I walked to the gas station right around where we were and got some water to drink. On my way back I did noticed a guy sitting by himself with a bobber. Walked over to him and found out this was Kerry.

There were a total of 6 bikes and 4 cages traveling in our caravan. Xavier hopped off in Wickenburg. He was getting drowsy so he decided to ride with Sandy. Glad he did, I do not want him riding like that. When we stopped for gas in Wikeup, I was in shock. I've never seen bikers so rude. I'm sure most were all headed to Vegas, so there were plenty of them. But damn it ppl wait for your damn turn and quit trying to cut in front of others. After we filled up then we stopped at a BBQ place for lunch just down the road. I got a rack of ribs and they were fantastic! I highly recommend this place, tho I do not remember the name. Maybe Kelly or Jason will comment (or anyone who was with us) and post the name of this place. Xavier decided that he was going to ride the rest of the way. He rode the entire way except the route between Wickenburg & Wikeup which is approximately 80 miles. And he loved ever bit of it. Damn was I proud of him. I've been to Vegas a ton of times and have always hated the drive. Mainly because the straight highway from Kingman to Hoover Dam. Booooooooooooooooooring. Not this time tho. For those who have driven this in a cage but not on a bike, I highly recommend doing this. Once you start heading up the hill towards Hoover Dam, the scenery is absolutely beautiful. Many times you could see the Colorado River. The canyon walls were amazing and the ride was really fun. We stopped at the dam to rest a bit and to put on our helmets since Nevada has a mandatory helmet law (yuck). There were ppl here that were in awe of all the bikers coming thru. The funny part was there were some Asian's that were absolutely fascinated with us. They asked to take a picture with or sitting on some of the bikes. It was a bit amusing to watch. Just goes to show you that they do not see this type of thing.

Bikes that were in our group:

After we arrived we headed to our own hotels and would plan on meeting somewhere for dinner. During this time I called both Vixyn and Rob and planned to meet at the Sahara Casino where the Bikefest registration was. Shortly before going thru the line I noticed everyone started to trickle in. Finally the introduction with Vixyn and Rob. After looking at the picture of Michael and Rob I knew that Rob was going to be taller then me. At this point I was very excited to have met others outside of Arizona that I talk to on Twitter all the time. We all decided to eat dinner at the buffet in the Sahara. On the way there we saw a guy eating this 7 pound burrito. No I'm not kidding, this guy was almost a quarter of the way done with it too. I politely asked to take a photo and he laughingly agreed.

DAMN! Now that's a burrito! Just looking at it makes me ill. After dinner we headed down to Fremont Street to see what was going on and check out Hogs & Heiffers Saloon. Saw the ending to one of the light shows. If you have never been, its worth a look.

Outside Hogs & Heiffers:

Somehow we ended up coming here ever nite. With all the bikes outside we had to check them all out.

Obviously a woman's bike, but this one did have some nice accessories to make it stick out. Sorry for the blurriness, but I had not yet pulled out my camera and was only using my Blackberry.

Another bike out front:

This little hottie was just inside the front of one of the casinos. Obviously a strip club theme right in front of a few table games. Smart move, I sure as hell wouldn't be paying attention to the game. Lucky enough she was there each nite we passed by. I even managed to get her to stop and pose for me.

The next morning was the first poker run (1 on Friday and 1 on Saturday). Before arriving in Vegas Tony and I had already decided to go on Friday since his bike would be in the competition on Saturday. Rob and I had planned on meeting for breakfast at the Circus Circus before heading over to the registration at the Sahara. In the lobby was this nice looking chopper:

After eating breakfast Rob and I headed back over to the Sahara to register and meet everyone. The poker run consisted of Rob, Tony & Becky, Vixyn, Rhyno and myself. One of the stops was at the Harley shop where we saw some interesting but cool bikes. This one goes for $60k (Tony correct me if I'm wrong):

Inside the kart racing place we managed to get some free Monster drinks. Although I hate it, I did see a tan looking can, so when I saw one I quickly swooped it up since it was java flavor. I fell in love with Monster after all. In the parking lot we saw some very cool bikes and met some cool ppl.

After the 3rd stop there was a long leg of the route that could be skipped. But what's the point, why not enjoy the ride? So we did. Thru the Lake Mead recreation area and back to the Hoover Dam.

We even managed to see some rams.

The 4th stop was at the Arlen Ness shop. Rob & I managed to get a picture with very tall woman. Taller than me even. Hell I didn't care, perfect view for me =D

Every stop had free snacks and drinks available to us and this one was no different. Hotdog or brat and a beer. Free beer? Really? Saaaaaweeet. Not to mention I was on my way to an ace high straight with only 1 card left to draw. In line for beer...err food and beer they were having a bike wash. I enjoyed the show if I do say so myself.

One of the guys in line had a dog sitting comfortably on his shoulder. We all wondered if the dog rode on his shoulder like this.

True Twitter addicts, while others were jealous we were not talking to each other as much as thru Twitter. How sad is that?

The last stop was vendor village and where the bike show was going on. Just before we walk in, I reminded everyone that I had an ace high straight draw. I told them to just watch my luck I would get a 2 or 3 and ruin it. We head to the cards, I hesitated (which I knew was a bad idea) and draw a........3? A fucking 3? Are you kidding me? Seriously? OMG!!!! I would have won the poker run. DAMN IT!!! Of all the shitty luck! Oh well, I still had fun riding with everyone. Tons of fun and laughs the entire time, and I really do mean the entire time.

So right after we part I see this bike, and its just my style.

Then we spot another one that was very unique. They managed to use nuts and bolts to make accessories that look like skeleton parts.

At the show in the vendor area I saw one of the worlds coolest bikes ever! You guessed it, Jack Daniel's baby!!!!

At nite we went down to the Bellagio to watch the water show. I managed to take 2 videos with my phone, but have since deleted. You can click the links to see each one.

While down there, I saw Jack Sparrow. I dragged Xavier with so we could get a picture of us with him. I also dragged Vixyn to take the shot for us. Jack was very willing for a photo op, although needless to say he was mad at me for some reason. I'm thinking he just wanted my gambling money.

I rushed back to Circus Circus since Xavier wanted to go see the Jigsaw (from the Saw series of movies) Halloween stuff. After waiting a bit Sandy and I found a bar and she bought a pitcher of margaritas. Oh yeah! Rob, Vixyn & Rhyno caught up with us shortly after getting back to a bench in front of the Jigsaw entrance. After waiting a bit I impatiently told Sandy I would be back, and decided I would try my first table game ever. I was determined to play craps. Oh boy did I make a mistake. I fell in the love with the game instantly. Rob, Vixyn and Rhyno came with, although only Rob and I played. Rob decided he would try it as well, so we both learned together. We were at the table about an hour and a half and I was only down $20. You can't buy that kind of entertainment that cheap. I was a happy camper. Well that was until what was about to happen.

Once again after all this we headed back down to Hogs and Heiffers. Some were already just inside the door. I grabbed a beer and security let me in. This is where the real term "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" really comes into play. Women dancing on the bar, stripping down and the only thing was basically things covering their nipples. Tho I can't say I really needed to see all of them...I definitely could have done without seeing all of them. About 15 minutes after watching from inside a bouncer (in fact the same bouncer that directed me where to enter) told me I had to either turn my cut inside out or leave. They have a "no colors" policy. I asked if there was a sign and he stated right out front above the door. I asked if I was able to still buy beer from the bar outside and hang out there, in which he stated I was. I told the group I was going outside and would see them later. Alex came out with me and we proceeded to look at the bikes. There is this one guy who was drunk as shit that just kept repeating himself about his bike (which, mind you, was not present) and that we were really really cool. Although the conversation was longer then we'd wished, it wasn't to bad so we took back off to the front of the bar. Within a few minutes everyone was out and we were hanging out again.

Now I really have to say, although I never once asked anyone to follow me or avoid anything during Vegas, everyone was very respectful of my decision of not only to wear my cut but to refuse to remove it or turn it inside out. That to me, shows me who my friends are. I will not take my cut off for anyone except for myself. Plain and simple. So for those who were there, thank you very much. You have no idea how much it meant for you to respect this.

Keep in mind by I went to sleep all 4 nites between 3:30am and 4am of the next morning after partying. Friday morning I was up by 6:30am so I could meet Rob by 7am. The rest I was wide awake by 8. It took me well over a week to feel normal again.

Saturday we didn't have much of a plan except the vendor village and the bike show. Hell I don't even remember what we ate. In the vendor village I enjoy getting pictures with some beautiful ladies. Thanx to Rob and Vixyn for embarrassing me. I'm glad you did. I was to chicken shit.

Oops I guess I'm getting ahead of myself. I forgot that was before. Here you go with the correct ones.

She can hold me hostage anytime =D

Next I'm going to post some of the pictures from the bike show. But first a bike after my own heart with the Alien movie theme (just like my tattoos).

Even the belt was painted. Cool!

The seat was made to look like alien skin.

That was not an every day rider, that's for sure...looks nice, but what's the point. This next bike was pretty cool, but only because of the theme. I'm Italian after all, so how can I not like this?

Next I have to point out the bikes Jason of Hellcats Customs worked on. First is Jason's drag bike.

Even got a great photo of Kelly sitting on her bike.

Other bikes at the show.

This bike was a bit much. It looks like a girl went Bedazzled all over it!

I love how the speakers were placed into the bags on this metric.

This one was way to busy.

I even managed to get a nice booty shot.

This is the best onesy I think I have ever seen. If Xavier was still a baby, he would def be wearing this.

After looking at all of the bikes we went to the Artistry in Iron exhibit inside the building.

This has to be one of the sickest custom baggers I have ever seen. With as low as it was to the ground, I'm hoping they did not ruin it by NOT adding an adjustable suspension.

And of course I could not go the entire time without wanting photos of the group. In case you aren't sure what we look like starting on the top left...Rob, Rhyno, Vixyn, Kelly, Alex and cut out of the picture was Tony and I can't remember if Becky was there to but I'm sure she was. Sorry that you got cut out Tony, maybe Kelly can squeeze you in using Photoshop. Then the bottom left was me, Monkey & the motorcycle genius Jason. I did not take the photo as it looked fine when looking thru the camera, so I'm not fully sure why we got so much backlight. Either way this photo was way overdue.

Some more photos of the group:

I couldn't get Monkey to pose, guess he just didn't want her picture taken. Although I think this is a cute one of the girls.

Very cute photo of Becky and Tony. You guys are making me sick! lol jk I was pretty happy to get to know Becky on the trip, she's a great gal and Tony is a lucky guy to have her.

Thanx for the love Tony! =P

By this time I think we were all pretty tired. It was warm and in fact a bit hot. All this staying out late til the wee hours of the morning and waking up early to partake in more events has me wiped out. But don't worry, its not over yet! Saturday nite we couldn't fully decide what to do but we did try to coordinate dinner. At the bike show someone one a gift certificate/gift card and was cool enough to give it to Becky and Tony to enjoy an evening out alone. Rob, Vixyn and I almost went to the same spot but I was too cheap to spend that kind of money. Come to find out it was a Jack Daniel's themes dinner and they got free shots. WTF?!?!?! We decided to do the pool party all you can eat BBQ and beer (yes all included in the price). At first we thought the pool party was $30 but we walked in for $40. Damn! For only $8 more I could have had a sit down dinner with free shots of JD, wtf was my cheap ass thinking? Oh well, no regrets huh? The BBQ was actually really good, and even had dessert. And of course, FREE beer. I started to collect the plastic cups, but then ended up losing them somewhere along the line.Vixyn took a pic of Rob and I with my Blackberry. Look mom, free beer! Yes I know, we look pretty exhausted.

During the pool party Rob and I had saw 2 Jack Daniel's girls walking around. One was wearing JD stuff. We saw her with a bottle of black label JD and some plastic cups. I had to get a pic with her, so I called her over and she was willing to partake in the photo op. She's a hottie, and of was, of course, holding up my buddy Jack.

During the pool party, I was trying to buddy up with what I think was the hotel manager or at least some big shot. He was dressed in a suit and was a very nice guy. Talked to him for a bit. Basically on the way in they had a no colors sign (which they have had all over), although the Sahara really didn't enforce it that I saw. I wanted to make sure this guy knew I was not going to be any trouble. At one point he did look at my cut, but did not even say anything to me about it. He just joked around with me as I did him. After we were done Rob, Vxen and I headed back into the casino so Rob and I could find an energy filled table to play groups for a couple of hours. And damn what a table it was. This would be the last time I would end up playing this trip. I spent several hours playing craps and only ended up down $50. You can't buy entertainment like that so inexpensively. At one point on this table I was up by $60, but was having to much fun to quit. Although it would have been nice to walk away with some good money, they don't call it Los Wages for nothing lol.

The next morning I woke up at 8 even tho I set my alarm for 9. I looked at my phone and saw I had messages but rolled back over. A few seconds later I decided I should look since we never talked about the ride back. Uh oh, I had messages from Kelly asking me if I was riding back. I freaked out, jumped up, threw clothes on, packed up and tried to figure out what was going on. We were to meet for breakfast on the strip. I quickly checked out of the hotel, packed up the bike and hauled ass to the restaurant. No one was even there yet! lol all that for nothing. That was ok, shortly after everyone started to show up. The ride home sucked, as the wind was pretty insane. The line just to get to Hoover Dam was backed way up and did take us a while to get thru. At some point the bikes took a short cut on the right shoulder to bypass some of it. Once up at the top, we put the bikes in neutral and turned them off to coast all the way. Alex and I had coasting races down lol good times! The intense wind from the dam to Kingman was bad enough that I was almost scraping most of the way. Keeping in the lane was quite the challenge. I really felt bad for Alex trying to ride in the wind on a sporty. You did great buddy, and held up like a champ.

Rob and I really had some great quality time with each other. Since he is a minister I was afraid I would offend him. I am very rough around the edges and pretty much speak my mind. He was ok with it since he is around it with other bikers. I talked to Rob in good detail about Michael whom I want to meet some day. Although I do fear how he would read me based on how accurate he has been, tho this will not change my mind. Rob and I had a blast learning craps together. After hearing the podcast he was in, I wished we had talked more deeply about his ministry or his family. I really do consider him a brother and would do anything for him as long as it is my grasp to do so.

As far as the rest of the group, I got to meet some great new ppl and really got to know those whom I've already met. I only hope that we can do this all again soon.

Well folks, that's it. That's all I have. Thank you for reading this novel of an entry and I hope you all enjoyed it and walked away with something, even if it was realizing it was ridiculously long and have never seen a blog entry like this with more pictures than you can remember. Do not forget to go look at my photo blog to see some of the best of photography, Vegas style.


I almost did forget to mention something worthy of attention. Rob and I were walking very late on Fremont Street and entered the Fremont Casino. I immediately see a lage sign that says no colors, but since I have seen these with no enforcement we continued in. This was a late nite tour and we were darting for the craps tables. Out from behind a wall jumped a large security guard as if he was already watching me and planning to do this. Next a 2nd (again large) one appears out of no where. They told me I need to either turn my cut inside out to leave. Also mentioning that they are the only casino that has this policy so we could get into any of the other ones with no problem. So we leave. I think this may have been on Friday nite. After we walked into another casino, we this is where we found our energized first time player craps table.