Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blown away


So, I'm drivin' west on Sunset, heading for the Trop, coming from the nursing home after sittin' with Ma at supper. Listening to "Latina USA" on KNRP. National Weather Service breaks in with a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for northern San Bernardino County and south central Clark County, NV. Locally heavy rains, wind gusts to 60-70 pmh, and nickel sized hail. Big storm moving up from the Searchlight NV area. You can see this big churned-up blackish sky to the south.

I get to the Trop, and as I'm walking from the garage to the front entrance, I hear music outside off by the intersection of the Strip and Tropicana. I walk over that way, and sure enough, this is the venue. I see Alex and the cats milling around behind the outdoor stage as another band is finishing their set.

"Weekend Block Party." OK.

The wind is blustering up, and I feel an episodic light sprinkle of water. Crap, cover the lense. And, y'know, a sustained 60-70 mph gust coming through here just right from the south up the Strip could lift this entire tarp-covered grid structure right off its moorings, with lights and PA stuff crashing down.

This oughta be interesting.

Well, the other band finishes up, and Backbeat Vilage US hurriedly sets up. No sound check, just "go."

They got through two and a half tunes. First, water had accumulated on the cover tarp above the grid, and an intense wind gust caused it to flap up and rain down a large shower of water on the cat working the sound board aside the stage. Jeeez.... Then, half of Brian's drum kit blew right off the stage as he was playing.

Time to pull the plug, man. Someone will end up getting seriously injured or killed. Below, the stage being buffeted as peeps scrambled to get stuff off and away.

Oh, well. I split and just went by the grocery store and then went home. Below, a shot from my garage. Skies cleared off to the west and northwest from my house. That was all pretty crazy.

Hated to miss what would have been a good full set, but I'm just glad no one was hurt.

UPDATE: a movie link to a clip shot by Jozef's wife (.mov file). Shows the building intensity of the storm right up to when the band had to bail and jump off the stage. It got pretty scary.


Yesterday I drove down to Laughlin to watch Keenan play in a season-opening football scrimmage involving 8 area teams in rotating "round-robin" scrimmage play. Keebo scored 3 TD's and would probably have had 5 were it not for two underthrown passes. He also made some spectacular tackles on "D.

Keenan is now 15 and is starting his sophomore year at Henderson International School. He played football for the first time last year, starting on varsity as a freshman. Scored 14 TDs, and generally wreaked havoc on "D." He's put on weight across that time; he's my height now (5'-10") and 195 lbs (and brick-solid ripped). Given his Dad's size, I would guess he'll be about 6'-1" or taller and about 210-220 lbs by his senior year. He will be absolutely no fun to try and bring down. He's the fastest kid on the Henderson squad (and his conditioning owes to his nationally competitive tennis). If they can teach that quarterback to reach him over the shoulder on the dead run rather than throwing those wounded ducks behind him, it'll be Six every time.

Thus Endeth The Proud Gwandaddy Moment.

See y'all at The Palms tomorrow night.

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