Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Time keeps on slipping, into the future. 

And as 2018 is here, Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" lyrics could not be more apropos at this point in time. Let's face it, the music we grew up with has been replaced by candy coated pop, and rap/Hip Hop. All the older musicians that played our music of yesteryear are getting old, very old. While some have simply called it quits because of age, and some have quit because they are no longer with us, this year brings on a host of bands and artists that probably won't be playing live in the USA in 2019. Two or three years from now, when you look back on who you missed this year, you probably won't be able to travel back in time and check them out if you didn't go see them now.

As with most everything in life, there are two sides to every situation, and in this case, yeah... These veteran rockers are a little long in the tooth, but it's also going to be banner year for concert tours! If there's anyone coming up that you may have never seen, or a band that you loved seeing but it was years ago, it behooves you to get out and check out a bunch of shows this year.

Here's just some of the rock artists touring this year:

Vince Neil (Motley Crue Singer)
Michael Schenker Fest (Scorpions, UFO)
Ozzy (Farewell tour)
Judas Priest
Last in Line (ex Dio members)
Poison & Cheap Trick
Jethro Tull (50th Anniversary)
Paul Simon (Farewell tour)
Journey & Def Leppard
Jeff Beck/Paul Rodgers/Ann Wilson
Steve Miller Band & Peter Frampton
Styx/Joan Jett/Tesla
Foreigner & Whitesnake
Steely Dan & The Doobie Brothers
Rod Stewart & Cyndi Lauper
REO Speedwagon/Hall & Oates/Train
The Eagles
Lynyrd Skynyrd (Farewell tour)
Elton John (Farewell tour over 3 years)
Foo Fighters
Roger Daultrey (Tommy w/ orchestras)
(Jeff Lynne's) ELO
Pearl Jam (7 nights in 4 cities)

Paul Rodgers, Jeff Beck, and Ann Wilson... "The Stars Align" Tour.

Last In Line: Former DIO members (L to R) Vinny Appice, Phile Soussan, Andrew Freeman (vocals), Vician Campbell, & Erik Norlander.

Schenker's tour will inlude 3 different vocalists from his albums.

Ian Anderson't Jethro Tull 50th Anniversary tour.
Something worth mentioning here, at least to me... Not a peep from the Van Halen camp. They obviously aren't as old as others on the list, and are surely capable of playing live.  It's been 3 years. Will we ever see Edward and Alex again? Who knows. Anyway, get out and see some shows!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Camping Etiquette & The Social Experience

Greetings fellow campers! Had an unfortunate experience over Easter Weekend that I'd like to share and comment on, in the hope that it'll bring out some discussion and maybe effect the way we "socialize" while camping.

The Wife and I hadn't had a chance to get away with our camper in over 3 months. Although we are only 2 hours away from where we store the camper and have a membership at Thousand Trails, Verde Valley, AZ, we had both been working hard and had busy schedules over the beginning of this year. She had booked, in December, a few vacation day over Easter Weekend, so we had 5 days and 4 night's booked at our spot.

The first day there, after a fun-filled morning and afternoon, we returned to our campsite to enjoy the sunset, have a few beers, and get dinner started. Across the way was an older gentleman and his wife, who approached us, introuced himself, and made conversation for 30-45 minutes or so. Being that he's in his 70's, we respectfully didn't ask him to leave, but he couldn't take a hint that we wanted to spent our time together, and not with he and his wife. "I have to go in and use the restroom..." "We need to get dinner started..." "Well, nice talking to you..." Didn't seem to work. After he had finished and was going back across the way to his campsite, he said "I'll have to show you what I do for fun outside of Needles (city in California)." Little did we realize what we were in store for!

Now here's what I'd like to point out before continuing. The Wife and I are 46 and 53, working people, with time on weekends for camping. We stay at a place with a lot of full-time RV'ers. I can see that being alone or with just a spouse, you can get a little lonely- You aren't going into an office, or have any social environment outside of your partner, and neighboring campers. Besides that, we are nice people, that respect older folks, and we're outgoing, engaging, and generally fun and happy people.

The next evening, after some shopping, hiking, swimming, and exploring, the forementioned older gentleman approached our campsite again while we were enjoying cocktail hour. He brought over a framed collage of photos of his "rock sculptures" he created on BLM land, out near Needles. He proceeded to take up well over an hour of our time, describing his engineering skills, how much time he spent on these projects, etc. etc. etc. These 10 or so "rock art monuments" were dedicated to our armed forces: Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and more.

Again, not to be disrespectful, and certainly not unpatriotic, we let him continue as he completely disregarded our hints that we were pretty much done with his presentation. Not only did he continue on for over an hour, he then proceeded to take his framed photo collage back to his camper, and bring back newspaper articles covering his "rock monuments." It, seriously, took over and hour and half of our time.

Now here's my point in all of this. I get that camping is a social experience, to a certain point. We all share the same spaces, and need to be friendly, clean, and respectful of the spaces we share. This being said, I think it was insanely selfish and rude of this man to take up so much of our time that it pissed me off enough to write this blog!

We tried like hell to drop hints, not to be disrepectful, and try and let him know we were appreciative of his hobby, but when he continued on for 2 hours (about his health, his hospital stays, his former ranch... OMG), it was mind numbing. Short and sweet, next evening he brought over a rock collection, and we were much more impatient (and pretty tipsy on champagne) and to the point with him. I even went into my camper for 5 minutes just to see if the Wife would follow. No such luck- Just told him we have to get dinner going, hint hint. This was on Easter Sunday, as well.

A lot of people might even think his projects are a complete waste of time and energy. Couldn't all that effort and manual labor go into something like building houses for Habitat for Humanity? Again, not to be disrespectful of an older gentleman, and our armed forces, but a lot of folks would think his time could be spent on a more meaningful project. 

So here's a couple of suggestions for this guy and fellow campers that have no regard for other people's time and space.

 #1 If you are a full time RV'er, be mindful of others and their time together, especially couples, and families. While it's nice to be friendly, and have a simple chat, just because you have chosen a life on the road doesn't mean you should monopolize other's time because you are bored and/or lonely. People that work hard for time off would much rather spend time with their loved ones than hear your "Hospital Stories," and what-not.

#2 What you do for fun, adventure, or simply a way to pass the time, may not be other folks cup of tea. My passion is playing guitar. Did I ever even mention this once to this guy? Nope. Why not? Because he may not gives two-sh*ts about it, so why should I bring it up? Get it?  If the shoe was on the other foot, do you think he'd appreciate me bring an amp and guitar over to his site, plugging and, and proceeding to bang out Led Zeppelin riffs for over 2 hours? Maybe not, eh!

If ever this happens to us again, I will have taken this situation as a learning lesson and put my foot down, with a friendly, yet firm attitude, and simply explain that "it's been nice chatting with you, but we are going to "hang out" just the two of us. If someone takes that the wrong way and gets a pissy attitude, fine... So be it.
I won't be put in that kind of situation again, even if it comes across as me being rude, or unsociable.

Let me know what you think, and thanks for checking out my blog!

One of Jim Nickel's Rock Sculpture tributes to our armed forces. Go see it, before he tells you all about them!

Article on Jim's tribute sculptures:

The Rock Piles

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


It was time to move on from the vintage Shasta... It had no shower, toilet and bathroom. During the extremely hot summer months here in Arizona, it became a real pain to have to walk to the bath house, or otherwise, to shower or to relieve one's self. So, after much consideration, we went totally modern and chose a 24 foot Forest River, Micro-Lite. We bought it Superbowl Weekend, Feb., 2015.

The primary reason for choosing this particular RV was that 1. It had a decent sized shower that I could fit into, and 2. It has a fold-out "Murphy Bed" which saves tons of space in the front, near the entrance to the camper. Brand new, has all the bells and whistles, AC cranks, full sized 'fridge and freezer. and is really easy to setup and break down upon departure.

We only had a Honda CRV to tow our old Shasta, and I drive a gas-saving Prius, so we needed to invest in a new vehicle to tow this beast as well. Picked up a Toyota Highlander to pull the new camper with! Good thing the Wife works about 2 miles from our house, because the mileage on the Highlander isn't so swell... But, you have to expect that in a bigger SUV. Talk about an expensive week! YIKES!

So far, we haven't been on any major adventures, just the usual spots: Dead Horse Ranch (in Cottonwood, AZ), and Rancho Sedona in... Wait for it... Sedona! Can't wait to take a week or so and really cover some ground in this luxury wagon!

It took me some time to get used to this big thing. I mean, compared to our little Vintage Shasta, this thing is monstrous! I realize that many people have gigantor motor home that dwarf this thing, but to me, it was so much heavier that it seemed as though I was towing a loaded train car.

Evening cocktail hour

I'll post more photos and have more stories after the 4th of July Holiday weekend. 'Till then, safe and happy travels everyone! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Alas, the time has come to upgrade our "Little Apartment on Wheels," to something with a bathroom and shower. We are looking at an Airstream, and have our minds pretty much made up about that. With that plan in order, it's going to be extremely difficult to let the little thing go! We've had so many fantastic trips and memories in this Trailer!

Friends of ours had The Shasta in their back yard (lots of property at their place) for years, just sitting there collecting Desert dirt. The Grandparents were the original buyers, and this camper had been in their family since 1962! My Wife suggested that we take it off their hands, and I was adamently against this, being a life-long tent camper. It needed a LOT OF WORK, but we did most everything ourselves, and I'm not very mechanically inclined. But, we had some help from professionals- Upholstery, curtains,  powder coating, etc. It really came together after a solid year of work and expenses, and we kept improving things along the way, the 6 years we've owned it.

Here are a few photos that I wanted to share of our time with the 1962 Shasta Airflyte.

 First trip ever, Roosevelt Lake, Tonto Basin, AZ. No improvements to the camper yet, obviously.

 The Wife installed new tile flooring.

Then, re-finished the wood inside & got some new cushions.

Tarped & taped while vents & drip trays were being powder coated.

New curtains & upholstery.

The super-comfy, front bed.

New rear window, looking a tad better.

We were constantly making little improvements, such as the sink & stove top covers. (This is the sink, not the stove)!

New tanks & fittings, along with welded-on, permanent, scissor jacks underneath. (No more laying on the ground with scorpions & snakes, aligning stabilizer jacks with frame)!

In Sedona, AZ.

The Breakfast of Champions!

Shower tent/Poop station experiment. With the 1974 Glastron "Swinger" boat, Butcher Hook RV Park, Tonto Basin, AZ.

AC experiment, gone horribly wrong.

Sunset, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood, AZ.

Christmas Eve Celebration, Rancho Sedona RV Park. 12 degrees that night. OUCH!

Merry Christmas, with the little, pink, "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree!

Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Site #49.

 Another shot, with my ingenious HD antenna pole/Flag holder,  & Mingus Mountains in the background. Dead Horse Ranch State Park

And, probably our last trip... Homolovi Stae Park, Winslow, Arizona. October, 2014. Nice quiet place if you're ever out the way of I-40.

OK... Well, that oughta' about do it for me, and The Shasta! Have a great Christmas, and bitchin'-Ass New Year! We'll blog again soon, hopefully, with a new Little Apartment On Wheels.

Yours truly... The Phoenix Rover. 

 Crazy Blogging fool.

Friday, August 22, 2014



With the NFL season just around the corner, I thought I'd post my Top Ten Favorite NFL Players list. 

Now the criteria here is MY FAVORITE players, not the greatest I have ever seen. Basically, if you played on a team I didn't care for... Cowboys, Steelers, Broncos, you 'aint on the list. (With the exception of Steve Young). Therefore, you won't see Lawrence Taylor, Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders, Lynn Swann, John Elway, Roger Staubach, etc. And, I'm a Raiders fan, so there's some bias going on here! Here are my Top 10 favorite NFL players.

#10. DERRICK THOMAS- Kansas City Chiefs

Thomas, drafted 4th overall in 1989, played all 11 years of his career with Kansas City. Since KC is my 2nd favorite team, I had to throw a Chief on the list. Thomas once recorded 7 sacks in one game vs. Seattle, in 1990. He tragical died at age 33 from complications of a horrible car wreck. Hall of Fame, class of 2009.

#9 BO JACKSON- Oakland Raiders

Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson was originally drafted by the Tampa bay Buccaneers. He didn't want to play for Tampa, so he simply continued his baseball career with the Kansas City Royals. Tampa forfeited their draft rights in 1987, and Raiders owner Al Davis picked Jackson in the 7th round, 183rd overall. Jackson was not interested in playing for the (Los Angeles) Raiders either, until Mr. Davis presented Bo with the idea of playing both sports. Jackson soon signed with the Raiders, and although his running back career was shortened from a hip injury (game vs. The Bengals, which I attended), it was certainly memorable. Favorite Bo moment: A Monday Night Football game where Bo ran over and through Brian Bosworth, scored a touchdown, and kept running into the players entrance-tunnel. ESPN named Jackson the greatest athlete of all time in 2000. Heisman Trophy winner, Auburn University, 1985. Los Angeles Raiders,  1987-1990.

#8 WALTER PAYTON- Chicago Bears

With the greatest nickname ever, "Sweetness," Payton played for the Chicago Bears from 1975 to 1987. Coming out of Jackson State, Payton is know as one of the most prolific backs in NFL history. This guy was tough! I never recall him running out of bounds to avoid a hit or tackle (Ladainian Tomlinson, Marshall Faulk). He was a punishing running back for 13 years, missing only one game his rookie season. Super Bowl Champion 1985; 1977, 1985, and 1987 NFL MVP;  9 time Pro Bowl player;  Hall of Fame class of 1993.

#7 BRUCE SMITH- Buffalo Bills 

Smith had a voracious appetite for Quarterbacks, collecting a total of 200 sacks in his career. Bruce was part of that Buffalo Bills teams that went to 4 straight Super Bowls, something I'm sure we'll never see again in our lifetimes. Drafted 1st overall by the Bills in 1985. Played 19 seasons in the NFL. Hall of Fame class of 2009. 


Named "The most feared tackler" by NFL.COM in 2009, Butkus played 9 seasons for the Bears. In all of those years, the Bears never had a winning season, but Butkus always played with fierce verocity, tossing other players aside like rag dolls. One of Butkus' greatest strengths was his ability to rip the ball from a ball carrier's hands. Although back then the statistic was not kept, it has been noted that Butkus would certainly be one of the all-time leaders in the forced fumbles category. Hall of Fame class of 1979.

#5 RONNIE LOTT- San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders

Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Lott was a star linebacker for the USC Trojans, graduating in 1981.  Played cornerback, free safety, and strong safety for the 49ers from 1981-1990, and for the Oakland Raiders in 1991. Just when you thought his career was over, he led the NFL in interceptions with the Raiders that year he played for them. Almost everyone knows the story of his finger being amputated in 1985. Hall of Fame class of 2000.

#4 JERRY RICE- San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders.

The greatest football player of all time. Rice holds almost every record for receiving there is. The son of a brick layer, he credited his early training to throwing and catching bricks, sometimes up to two stories high, off the roofs of where his Father was working. Played his college ball at Mississippi Valley State University, and was drafted 16th overall by The Niners. He actually struggled a bit his first season, but went on to become the greatest pass catching athlete in history.  3 time Super Bowl Champion, Hall of Fame class of 2010.

#3 STEVE YOUNG- Los Angeles Express (USFL), San Francisco 49ers

The guy made passing look effortless. I once saw a game in the L.A. Coliseum, the USFL's Los Angeles Express, where he ran for about 200 yards and threw for another 300 or more! When the USFL folded, he had a contract that still pays him to this day (1 million in 2014)! His first NFL experience was with the (horrible) Tampa Bay Bucs, was considered a bust, and then was acquired by the 49ers in 1987 as Joe Montana's backup. Finally 1991 Young replaced the injured Montana, and never looked back. Young had even a greater comeback than Jim Plunkett! 7 Pro Bowls, 3 time Super Bowl Champion, Hall of Fame class of 2005.

#2 HOWIE LONG- Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders

Howard Mathew Moses "Howie" Long played at Villanova University. Drafted in the 2nd round by the Raiders, he played all 13 seasons in The Silver and Black. Nothing was better than watching Howie chase John Elway all over the field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, probably my best football memories! Collected 5 sacks in 1 game vs. Washington Redskins in 1983. Is now probably the best known ex-player/analyst on television. Super Bowl Champion, Hall of Fame class of 2000. 

#1 MARCUS ALLEN- Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs.

The greatest short and goal runner in NFL history. At USC, playing tailback, it was almost a forgone conclusion that if handed the ball inside the 5 yard line, Allen would go sailing through the air, over the top of defenders, and into the end zone. He always got up and handed the ball the to refs, never showing off or exuding selfishness, Marcus Allen was one of the classiest players ever. Super Bowl Champion, held the record for most running yards in a Super Bowl until Timmy Smith of the Redskins broke his 192 yard record. Most famous for "17-Bob-Trey-Oh," a broken play in which Allen scored a touchdown vs. Washington in the Super Bowl, 1983. Hall of Fame class of 2003.

Have a great Football Season... Lot's BBQ's, no drinking and driving, root for your team safely, 

Monday, May 5, 2014


I told you my blog wasn't going to be just about the boat and camper any more! First off, sold the boat. Went to a nice, older couple from Payson who can now enjoy it like we did. Second, which is a first, here's a couple of killer recipes for you on CINCO DE MAYO… Otherwise known as National Maargrita Day, here in the USA. Enjoy, and let me know what you think if you try any of the recipes out! Have fun!

Finally said goodbye to the Little Beast!


I’ve been making guacamole for so many years now it’s ridiculous! Growing up in Southern California, my family had Mexican food at least once a week. I seriously consider myself an expert in the field. And, one of the greatest pleasures of Mexican cuisine, is the delicious, creamy goodness known as guacamole.

After trying many different concoctions, varieties, and trials and tribulations making GUAC, I found the best ands most tasty “GUAC” ever, and now I’m going to share it with you.

Truth be told, I all but stole the recipe. A buddy of mine, Rob, worked at a joint called Roscoe’s Downright Dogs, a hot dog joint on Lake Street in Pasadena, California. After eating a hot dog smothered in guacamole, I said,

“I think that was the best GUAC I’ve ever had!”

 He told me how it was made, because I asked, and he used to have to make it every shift he worked there. (Place is still in business, now it’s Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles, 830 N. Lake St., Pasadena, California). He gave me the recipe, and the rest is history. I made 2 minor changes to the original recipe, so I can now call it my own!

There are 2 things you have to know in order to make the perfect guacamole.

1.   You can’t make good guacamole with bad or hard avocados.
2.   You have to make it and serve it: No making it beforehand, sticking it in the fridge, and serving it later.

Avocados should be squishy, soft to the touch. Not brown and semi-rotten or too squishy, but just soft when you squeeze them.  You are going to want to use HAAS AVOCADOS, not Choquette, or Hall varieties. HAAS AVOCADOS are dark, almost black on the outside. They are primarily grown out west & in Mexico, and peak season for them is late January to early May. Other varieties are shiny, glossy, and do not have the same texture, oils, or flavor. Avoid those, always.


4 large, ripe HASS AVOCADOS
2 small, vine-ripened tomatoes
½ medium to large red onion
1 heaping tablespoon of miracle whip
1 teaspoon of Worchester sauce
½ teaspoon of cumin

If you don’t keep Miracle Whip in your home, or you consider it a Ghetto Product, as many do… Substitute a teaspoon of sugar or Splenda with a heaping tablespoon of MAYONAISSE.


Take avocados, remove seed from top, slice in half, length-wise, remove pit by slamming large, sharp knife into seed, pull out seed.

Finely chop ½ red onion.

Cut off stem of tomatoes, remove top, and de-seed tomatoes. Dice them into very small pieces.

Add all ingredients into large mixing bowl. Smoosh and mix with large serving fork, or better, with (mashed potato-type) masher, until creamy-smooth.

The Smoosher!

Serves about 6 people.

As far as chips, you can serve the GUAC with your favorite chips, or on warm quesadillas, etc. I prefer On The Border tortilla chips, if you have them in your area. They’re great! Blue Corn Tortilla Chips are also on my top-ten list, plus, they are different and colorful.


I tried making stuffed, BBQ’d Jalapeno (Poppers) peppers a few times, and they were mouth-burning and painful to eat each time I made them. After some handy Internet research, and trial & error attempts, I finally mastered this fun recipe.

There are 2 essential tools you’ll need before attempting to make this recipe:

1.  Jalapeno Popper Grill Rack
2.  Jalapeño Corer


10-12 plump Jalapeno peppers
1- 8 oz. package of Cream Cheese
1 cup sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Bacon Bits
½ teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
1- 2 liter bottle of 7-UP, or similar soda

Pull CREAM CHEESE out of the ‘fridge, set on counter for ½ hour, until it’s almost room temperature. (You can microwave Cream Cheese if you are an impatient individual, but do not over cook it. Remove foil from Cream Cheese before nuking it to avoid Fourth of July scenarios).

Core and prepare the Jalapenos: Near top of peppers, slice off the top. Take your corer, and core out all seeds and membranes.  (NOTE: The membranes are the hottest part of the pepper, so make sure you get all of that white flesh out of there when coring, without puncturing the sides of the pepper).

Place Jalapenos in large, preferably metal bowl. Soak peppers in soda for 30 minutes. (NOTE; The soda takes the “sting” out of the pepper, and peppers will emit gasses when soaking. I place the bowl outside during this process. NEVER stick your head over the soda-soaking peppers, as they will fry your eyes. Ouch).

Prepare the filling: Take (soft) Cream Cheese with Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Seasoning Salt, and Bacon Bits, and mush all together, using large serving fork.

Stuff the Peppers: Take a small spoon, and stuff the hollowed peppers with the Cream Cheese filling. Make sure you stuff all the way down to the bottom, but do not over-fill! If filled to the top, Cream Cheese will rise a bit during cooking, and it’ll make a mess leaking out over the top. Place the stuffed Jalapenos in the rack.

Fire up BBQ 10 minutes before placing Jalapeno rack on grill. After 10 minutes, place Jalapeno Rack on grill, OFFSET FROM FLAMES. In other words, light one side of the grill, and put the rack on the other, non-flame side. DO NOT PLACE RACK OVER FLAMES! You are essentially baking the peppers with the heat of the grill, not cooking them over flames.

Leave in (covered) BBQ for about 10-12 minutes on low heat, or until Cream Cheese looks brown on top. Let rack sit out for 5 minutes to cool before consuming.

Serves about 4 people.

Any brand of Cream Cheese will do, but I prefer either Challenge, or Land of Lakes. Neufatel (Cream Cheese) has a lower fat content than regular Cream Cheese, and tastes about the same. Hell… Even the Walmart brand does just fine! This is a super lo-carb recipe as well, so eat in abundance and feel no guilt. Serve with copious amounts of ice cold, frothy, craft beer.

HAVE A GREAT (NON) HOLIDAY, don't drink and drive, and see you next time. (Who knows what's coming next)?

-The Phoenix Rover