2015 Reviews, Previews & Predictions

by Bob Sparrow


The Eagles backstage – me, NOT!

–  For me 2014 started here with the discovery, or rather the re-discovery, of The Tape’ – a mysterious offering from dearly departed, best friend, Don of Saudi Arabia, which has turned into an allegorical journey in search of . . . ? More discoveries are coming in 2015.

  •     –  Last year’s backstage cocktail party with the Eagles turned out to be more of a nose-bleed seat and a hot dog in the balcony, but their music was still magical.

–  I watched a car salesman, beaten and bloody, slink into his manager’s office with his tail between his legs as Linda drove away in her new 2015 Chevy Yukon

–  In 2014 I learned that Samoans, by any other name (even one as misleading as Caramel deLites) are still my favorite Girl Scout cookie, although I understand I’ll be paying more for them in 2015 – what a surprise!

carly scott

Missing woman turns into a homicide

–  The case of missing Carley Scott, to which I was introduced by a hitch-hiker I picked up on the ‘Road to Hana’, turned into a homicide when Carley’s jawbone and burned clothes were found by police. Ex-boyfriend, Steven Capobianco has gone from a ‘person of interest’ to being charged with murder.  Trial is set for sometime in 2015.

–  An economic forecast: I predict that 2015 will find Reverse Mortgages moving Forward.

–  Independence Day (not the 4th of July!) revealed our founding fathers to be just as quirky as some of today’s politicians, which is no easy task!


Trekking the Himalayas

–  If my adventure to South Africa in 2013 was the ‘Trip of a Lifetime’, then my adventure in Nepal and the Himalayas last year was the ‘Trek of a Lifetime’ – it was a spectacular journey! I’m glad many of you could join me vicariously through my daily posts. I am now frequently asked, “Hey, where are ‘we’ going next?” Stay tuned.

–  It wasn’t as foreign, but just as beautiful – that’s the trekking through Glacier Nat’l Park, Yellowstone, and Alberta, Canada and our visit to neighbors the Nelsons at their second home on Flathead Lake, Montana this past summer. You’re all probably wondering if after our encounter in Jackson Hole, WY, if Sandra Bullock will ever leave me alone . . . more on that later.

2014-07-24 20.08.47

Is she still stalking me?

–  Earlier this year, while making a fool of myself at some of our ‘local’ tourist spots like Venice Beach, the Western White House and the Queen Mary, I missed my induction into the University of Utah Athletic Hall of Fame – it’s just as well, it turned out that they had plenty of ‘red shirts’ to clear the dishes and sweep up after.

–  Twenty fourteen concluded with a tribute to, and a debate with, my favorite sister, my favorite writing companion and simply one of my favorite people on this planet.  If you’re a regular you know she writes so well from the heart, while I tend to write from somewhere around the elbow, but whatever your preference, I predict much more of the same coming from us in 2015.

–  A big thank you to our regular readers in 2014 for enjoying our writing enough to encourage us to keep on doing it. Truth is, we’d probably do it anyway, but you need to know that your comments, your ‘sharing’ and your subscriptions make it a labor of love for us. Thank you so much!


Bob & Suzanne wishing you an adventurous 2015!

If you’re not already a subscriber, we encourage you to become a ‘bird watcher’ in 2015 and follow and ‘share’ our adventures and observations.  That’s at least a resolution you can keep!

Hope you make 2015 matter.

My Evening with the Eagles

by Bob Sparrow

Eagles      I have a friend, who happens to know a guy, who is an acquaintance of the road manager for the Eagles, so I felt distantly-connected for getting good tickets for the kicking off of their History of the Eagles concert tour at the ‘Even More Fabulous Forum’ last week.  My friend said, that his buddy told him, that the road manager indicated that we’ve got great floor seats with back-stage passes AND we’ll have an opportunity to grab a bite to eat with the Eagles prior to the concert – are you in?  “Am I in?  You’ve got to be kidding me – the Eagles are my all time favorite group.  Book it!’


The limo was real

Our limo was waved up right next to the entrance to the Forum Club, a well-dressed gentleman escorted the four of us into ‘the club’ and then into a separate room where there were only about twenty people.  Among those twenty were Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh – the Eagles, who were casually moving amongst the guests, meeting and chatting with them.  I personally got to meet them all and in fact carried out a plan to give Don Henley a $2 bill saying, “I sang one of your songs, For My Wedding, at my daughter’s wedding, but changed the words to fit the occasion, so I figured I owed you a royalty of some kind.” I held out a $2 bill.  He looked at me sternly, grabbed the $2 bill, then smiled and said, “It’s about time you paid up!” and we both had a good laugh.  He kept the $2.

I thought I was too excited to be really hungry, but the food looked and smelled so good I had to try it – I ended up trying it a lot.  I didn’t think I was that thirsty either, but how do you pass up ‘having a cold one’ with the Eagles?  OK, maybe a couple of cold ones.  OK, OK, it was more than a couple, but it was free . . . and it was the Eagles for crying out loud!   After about 30 minutes the Eagles said their good-byes and went off to prepare for the concert.  We stayed a while longer, eating, drinking and thanking the people that made this all possible; we were then escorted to our seats – floor level, middle, 6 rows back – perfect!

The concert started with just Don & Glenn (yes, we’re now on a first name basis) coming on stage with guitars and singing Whatever Happened to Saturday Night?’   Other band members, including former member and guitar virtuoso, Bernie Leadon, gradually joined them on stage.



Pink’s hotdog

Reality first struck when we picked up our tickets at Will Call, which I now refer to as ‘Won’t Call’ – no backstage passes!  So instead of a gourmet meal with the Eagles that I had envisioned, we bought a Pink’s hot dog from a vendor wandering through the masses in the Forum lobby.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Pink’s – it’s an LA landmark that started with a funky little hot dog stand back in 1939, but it wasn’t the beef filet tornados sliders on Hawaiian rolls that I had imagined.  Of course, there was no personally meeting the Eagles and the seats . . . well, not exactly floor level, but we could see the floor from where we were, more importantly, we could see the ‘Jumbotron’, which is where we watched most of the concert.  Right before the concert began, I was almost expecting to hear the announcement, “Sitting in for Glenn Frey this evening will be Stir Frey, Glenn’s older, tone-deaf brother.”

top of stadium

Not our actual seats – I was visiting a friend . . . really!

Further reality sunk in when the concert actually began – the Eagles are still amazing – great harmonies, great musicians and great guitar riffs.  They talked to us between songs and provided stories around the history of the group and the songs.  Glenn Frey said he wrote Lyin’ Eyes’ after the divorce from his first wife, whose name was ‘Plaintiff’.  The sound system, which was an integral part of the recent $100 million makeover of the Forum, was second to none in the world (so I’m told, I haven’t actually heard them ALL).  In my opinion, the only thing they neglected in that makeover was to move the Forum out of Inglewood.

All in all it was a wonderfully entertaining evening, both real and imagined.

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by Bob Sparrow 


The Eagles

I recently watched a documentary on my favorite band, ‘History of the Eagles’ on the Showtime Channel. If you’re an Eagles’ fan this is a must see; even if you’re not, it’s still great music history.  So the first week of April as we headed out to Palm Desert for our 19th year of enjoying our timeshare, I was mixing my metaphors, dangling my modifiers and juxtaposing the reminiscing of the Eagles documentary and the looking forward to my hedonistic week in the lush environs of Palm Desert.  It created a strange concoction in my head – I present it forthwith.

                                                On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair

                                                Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air 

For the uninitiated, colitas is the small, sweet buds at the end of the cannabis plant that makes for what was colloquially known in the ‘70s as ‘good shit’.  This week we’ll enjoy the sweet smell of a good cabernet.

So I called up the captain, please bring me my wine

He said we haven’t had that spirit here since 1969


Marriott Desert Springs Hotel

It’s hard to think of the Eagles and not think of their biggest hit, ‘Hotel California’.  There have been many interpretations of the meaning of the lyrics of that song, the most common is that it’s an interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles.  So this week I’m loosely translating it to represent my decedent week in the desert where we eat at great restaurants, drink expensive wine and play luxurious golf courses.  Because it combines Life in the Fast Lane and a Peaceful Easy Feeling, I have concluded that the Marriott Desert Springs Hotel is my ‘Hotel California’.  The lyrics echoed in my head . . .

                                                                                                              Welcome to the Hotel California

                                                                                                          Such a lovely place, such a lovely face

                                                                                                        Plenty of room at the Hotel California

Any time of year, you can find it here.

Marriott mirror Yes, you can find it there in Palm Desert, but you may not want to find it ‘any time of year’; in the summer it’s not such a ‘lovely place’, but in early spring – awesome!

One of the great features of this timeshare is that it’s an hour and half’s drive from home; so no airports, delayed flights, missed connections or airplane food; and yet once you’re there you feel like you’re in a whole different world – perhaps because you are.

Some dance to remember

Some dance to forget

And there are some of us that have just forgotten how to dance altogether, but the images dancing in my head of desert nights, desert skies, desert flowers, desert sunsets silhouetting Mt. San Jacinto in the distance and billion stars in the sky are simply magnificent.

Relax said the nightman, you are programed to receive,

You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave

Actually check-out is by 11:00 a.m. or you’re subject to late fees, but after a week of ‘Desert Decadence’, it’s time to go home.Hole #2

Hotel California ends with, if not the greatest, one of the greatest guitar riffs in rock and roll history, I’ll conclude with:

  1.  Find your Hotel California – ideally a few hours drive from your home, but in a totally different       world
  2. Listen to some Eagles music, if you don’t have any, GET SOME!
  3. Enjoy a week of indulgence; you’ve earned it . . . probably

Back home and the lyrics that are now echoing in my head are: My diet starts Monday!


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