2 Wins and 2 Losses

Ya know… Life is hard.

There is work, love, sleeping occasionally, more work and then living with both wins and losses…

Had a couple of wins and losses in the last week or so. and though they certainly aren’t “earth shattering”, they all hit the ground rather hard. I kinda figured that those who happen to read the junk I write might as well suffer through the masochism that is involved in reading my tripe…

So here goes:

So the Grand Sierra Resort (also known as the GSR, locally) is a very, VERY nice local resort/hotel/casino that hosts many concerts and events. In fact, my wife enjoyed seeing Ringo Starr and His All Star Band perform at the GSR. She had “A Great Time!!!” (She LOVES having “A Great Time!!!”, by the way. Especially if I’m paying…) Like about 95% of our local hotel/casinos, it’s a really nice place to go and get away, if only for a few hours or days.

Now, somehow, those majestically intelligent people who inhabit the Penthouse Offices of The Grand Sierra Resort heard of my joint and completely lost ALL their collective sanity in one fell swoop. THEN they went COMPLETELY bonkers, (off the rails, nuts, even, dare I say? Coo Coo?) and invited me to participate in the “Grand Sierra Beer & Chili Festival 2017, Chef’s Challenge”. 

Yeah, I know…. What the hell were they thinking???!!! I know _I_ was thinking “I’m a moron and they’re calling me ???!!!” Oh, well, they’ll figure out their mistake and never do THAT again… So, I asked The Princess to please pick up my little* info packet and bring it to me so I could take a look at what the hell I’m supposed to do for this little shindig.

* (The Princess – AKA my wife – always says “little” when referring to me and/or my “stuff”: “Hey, Bonehead, can you get your little tools and fix the sink? It’s leaking…AGAIN !!!” or “Hey, sillyhead, can you get yourself squeezed in your little ambulance and go get a gallon of 2% milk? NOT WHOLE MILK!!!  2% !!!!” I think it’s begun to affect how I see the world to the point that even I refer to my own stuff as “little”… My little Lincoln Welder, my little Smoker, my little MATCO 2000 cubic foot toolbox, etc. I figure if you people know these little tidbits of my fairly insane existence, you can better understand why I opened the joint and continue to love what I do.)

As I perused the info packet, one thing jumped out at me and pretty much gave me pause:

“Bring the 5 – 10 gallons of chili you have prepared and a serving spoon. You do not need to prepare the chili at the event.”

Well, “they” must know best, but 5-10 gallons doesn’t seem like very much…but whatever. Who am I to second guess PROFESSIONALS ? Also, as we are not “paid” anything to be there nor did we charge for our chili samples, it was purely a marketing endeavor for us. Trust me, we were extremely overjoyed to be invited and allowed to sling chili at the masses. Also, it’s a nice way to be out waving our little BBQ flag, as it were… So I didn’t question the wisdom of the GSR “hive mind”… After all, they probably all went college and have paperwork that says how edjamacaited they are…but then as I recall, so did the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. 

Yeeeeaaaahhhhhh…..the 12 gallons of our Brisket chili (yeah, it had to do with how my recipe “batches” out, that’s why 12 gallons) we brought lasted all of 2 hours into a 6 hour event.

Now, I don’t blame anyone, especially not The GSR or anyone else involved !!! The idea that I would would be slinging Brisket chili as fast as I could for 2 hours, like an absolute madman, never occurred to me. I mean, 12 X 128 oz = one hell of a lot of 2 oz sample cups !!! Seeing that the Angry Mob….er…I mean, uh, “crowd” was vastly larger than anyone predicted, I got my great big fat butt to the joint at 1 o’clock in the morning the next day and made 25 gallons of Brisket chili for the 2nd day’s roving band of marauding and hungry patrons. I mean, really, nothing motivates me like folks with torches and pitchforks looking to storm my booth like something from an old Frankenstein movie !!! You can hear them in the audio clip below.

So on day 2 we were in a much better position: We brought enough chili for a whole Division of Navy Recruiters (yeah, don’t ask how I know how much they eat…) AND I brought our own “Traffic Cones”.

I have been known to have occasional flashes of being smart and sneaky, so I used my traffic cones judiciously and parked next to a bunch of construction equipment. Trust me, having worked in construction, having your own traffic cones is the equivalent to a portable parking spot. Just find a bunch of equipment, park any old way you want and set cones around your vehicle…nobody will bother it.

We flung chili at anything that remotely looked like a container and hoped for the best. 90% of the time we got it right. I’ll apologize to the other 10% on a case by case basis…

So, as the crowd thinned on day 2, a really nice lady came sashaying over (yes, really) and said “You won !!!”

Thinking she was speaking to Jay Rathmann (From BJ’S BBQ Emporium and Squirt Gun Factory [BJ’s Nevada Barbecue Company], super nice guy and winner of day 1’s People Choice Award), I smiled, happy for my next door competitor and continued slinging boiling hot chili at people…sometimes even getting it in a sample cup and not slopping it all over myself, giving myself 3rd degree burns in the process.

Not so !!! She grabbed my free hand and started pumping it up and down, she insisted it was us!!! We had won the “Chef’s Challenge” for Day 2 !!! I was pretty much dumbfounded…even more than normal, that is.

Still recovering from the shock and awe that we had somehow bamboozled the Celebrities judging the competition to give us a win, we found out we had tied for 1st place in the People’s Choice Award with the aforementioned Jay Rathmann and BJ’s BBQ and Concrete Pumping Services!!!

As The Princess would go on to tell anyone who would listen, I pretty much stumbled around with a goofy grin on my face the rest of the day.

I’d like to thank everyone at the GSR including but not limited to Erin Wootan, Molly Ellery at Argentum Partners, Michael Tragash at YELP and all our Celebrity Judges!!!





So that was my 2 “wins”…

Then, a few weeks ago we were informed our beloved dog, Riley, had bone cancer…

I can not describe how much my extend family and I loved that silly dog. She had a heart as big as all outdoors and loved everyone she met…unless she didn’t. She was a very “On/Off” dog. She either adored you from the second she met you (99%) or absolutely hated you. Sorry, Phoenix, AZ UPS man who she didn’t hear coming… I hope your leg healed OK.

We made the decision to end her suffering when she whimpered all the time as she was sleeping, even when on her pain meds. She continued her Journey to Forever on October 23rd, 2017. We miss her terribly. 12 years together were not nearly enough…

Still feeling that bitter bite, the next day my son blew a tire on my beloved 2005 Scion Xb as he was coming back “over the hill” and crashed. He suffered only bumps and bruises – thanks to the awesomeness of the designing engineers and the airbags. Unfortunately, the poor car suffered catastrophic damages that have rendered her “totaled”…

So 2 wins and 2 losses… Life goes on and we keep putting one foot in front of the other, regardless.

Thanks for sharing the journey with me, The Princess and my gaggle of Ne’er do wells who take money from me for the “work” they do.

As always,

Love You Long Time !!!