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August 31st, 2013

Travel & All That Jazz

Got to Amtrak way too early, because the last time I took the train on a holiday weekend there was no parking, and I got a ticket for parking for 48 hours in a lot which clearly was marked 72 hour limit, and after poking in 48 hours' worth of $$. San Jose said the meter had to be fed every 12 hours. :-(

Surprise, surprise, the tiny Amtrak lot had about 10 free spots. And there would probably be more when the train I was taking came in from Sacramento.

So I waited 90 minutes.

Got my choice of seats, but after 10 minutes switched to the other side because the other way I was shooting into the sun. :-(

Conductor gave me 2 transfers for Sacto light rail, punched good through Monday.

Arrived on time, uneventful except for too many children.

Found the Gold Line light rail train, it was parked and air conditioning was on, and the doors opened when you pushed the button. I was in the 3rd choice handicapped seat, which I thought was safe, but in Sacramento just having a cane got you onto the handicapped ramp.

Once we were out of the city, it was a fast ride. My stop at "Zinfandel" was two blocks from the motel. Next door to the motel is a Hooter's.

Got my room, parked most of my stuff, took the camera, extra battery, smaller/faster lens and Nexus and put them in my foldable knapsack and took Gold Line two more stops to the Marriott where the jazz festival was.

It was very crowded. 80% of the people there were older than me. The other 20% were performers or their descendants. Most of the volunteers were middle school aged.

I got there in time for the 3:30 gigs (there are 6 rooms being used) but all were full. There's a Starbucks outside of one of them, I bought an iced mocha and sat out in the lobby in front of one of the rooms, and listened to the Crescent Kats make excellent dixieland jazz.

For a very short time in the summer of 1973, I was in a dixieland band. I was an intern working at KOMO-TV, which in their heyday had local shows with full orchestras. They let a local group (which included other station employees) use that studio to practice once a week, or so.

I enjoy dixieland, which around here is called "traditional" because it takes skill, quick thinking and you have to improvise. I cannot stand that "smooth jazz" garbage - it is sloppy, anyone with kazoo skills can play it. I can do very well without a wailing sax, thankyouverymuch.

Next up, down the hall in another too-small room, was the group I came to see, th Au Brothers. Got there as the previous band let out and got a seat near the front. It got real uncomfortable when someone huge decided to sit next to me. The band was great, and a little different than usual because there were only 2 of the 3 Au brothers, but they had a guest reeds player who was amazing on clarinet, and they had Uncle Howard on the sousaphone an old beater silver plated number) and an amazing pianist, whom I think I have seen before. The drummer was a very good house drummer, but not good enough to do any solos, and toward the end they also brought in Uncle Vernon on trombone.

It was time for dinner, and the crowds were so bad there was no chance of getting into any of the next set of gigs, so I took light rail back to the Red Roof, dropped off everything except the Nexus, and went over to Hooters. Had the wings, tried the cole slaw (very small portion) and the onion twists (very large portion not done well enough) and the caramel fudge cheesecake for dessert.

When I started, the UW game was on the TV, but at the end of the 1st quarter it got switched to the Cal game. Boo, hiss.

My waitress was extremely well endowed, which is not my type at all but still noteworthy. The bartender was more my type, tiny, pretty fce, nice butt. There was only one other waitress who was stareworthy, but she was on the other side of the place and I only saw her as I was leaving. Sigh.

There was no bulb in the desk lamp, and the front desk didn't have any so I walked across the street and through the world's deepest parking lot to Target and bought one. 

Plans for tomorrow:
Looking at the schedule...
They start at 9:30, Au Brothers are in a larger room, but I probably won't get there in time. And they are playing 3 sets!
11 am the group on the terrace is one I want to hear, and it might not be that hot outside yet
3:30 and 5 in the big ballroom are groups I want to hear
I'll probably end up faing it.
 

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