The Airborne Toxic Event Secret Show in SF

This is the last show in my 2022 concert series, which turned out to be the most intimate and memorable. While I was cementing my The Airborne Toxic Event superfan status, I joined their fan club. Along with a free t-shirt, members are entitled to admission to one secret show per year, one of which was scheduled in San Francisco on Saturday at the Rickshaw Stop.

This club is so secret that no one in my family would join me. I was resigned to go alone. I think I mentioned it to Eddie and somehow I roped him into going with me. I did all the hard work: signing him up, sending him his t-shirt, and telling him the date. All he did was fly coast-to-coast, golf with me in 40-something-degree constant drizzle, and swipe the bill at Che Fico (highly recommended dining in SF).

The show itself was even better than I expected. This was the smallest venue in which I’ve ever seen a band play. My guess was that there were only about 100 people there. The set included many songs they don’t normally play, and also excluded some favorites.

This was one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen and I don’t know if I’ll ever get to see a show like this again. It was super special to enjoy it with my best man/best friend, who also loves live music even if TATE is new to him. If you ever get a chance to see them live, don’t pass it up.

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Golf Weekend with Eddie and Bobby

Eddie, Bobby and I try to do an annual golf weekend. Usually it’s in Vegas, but we went to Miami once. This year, schedules were busy, and though Vegas was calling to me and Eddie, Bobby happened to be in the Bay Area for work for a couple weeks so we decided to meet here.

Eddie flew in on Thursday night and we went to dinner with Grace and the kids. On Friday, we drove down to the Santa Cruz mountains to play at Pasatiempo, which is an Alister MacKenzie course. I had never played there, but Grace told me it’s Charles’s favorite course in the Bay Area. It was beautiful and challenging. We played with a member, which was helpful. After the round, we tried to head to Santa Cruz for lunch, but it was too busy. We stopped in Palo Alto instead and had a great late lunch at Reposado.

Friday evening, we picked Bobby up at his hotel, which is only a couple miles from my home. We headed to San Francisco to have dinner at Epic Roasthouse. I  enjoy the food there and the view is always appreciated by out-of-town guests.

Saturday, we played 36 holes on the Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay. Charles joined us for the first 18. I had the round of the decade, which isn’t really saying much, but was a small triumph for me. Charles wanted to try a burger place in town, so he took us to Ground-up Burger, which was awesome. We had more time to relax before our afternoon round, so we just relaxed at the resort.

The second 18 holes were very, very slow, but there’s no complaining when you’re golfing along the ocean. We ended up finishing just before our 8pm reservation at Navio, which is the main restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton. The menu has changed over the years and I didn’t always love it, but we all had an amazing dinner together.

Sunday, we had an early tee time at Harding Park in San Francisco, where they held the President’s Cup several years ago. I don’t often play there, but was reminded how different and beautiful it is compared to HMB. Usually we old men ride carts, but they’re always cart path only, which is more of a pain than a convenience. Thus, we decided to walk, which turned out to be easy and fast on this very flat course. My buddy, Dave, joined us as our 4th. It was a good test of golf for all of us. Photo credits of Eddie, Bobby and me go to Dave.

It always goes by too fast, but we managed to fit in a ton of golf and catching up. Thanks for making the long trip, Eddie. I’m already looking forward to our next outing.

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Golf Trip to Miami

Bobby is expecting his first child in March. Even though Ana is doing all the work, Eddie and I somehow convinced our wives that Bobby needed a baby bachelor party. Bobby is not as big a fan of Vegas as the rest of our crew and he was planning in being in Florida for work, so we picked Miami.

I can’t sugar-coat that my transcontinental redeye was brutal. Both Eddie and Bobby were delayed because of weather on the East Coast, so we weren’t able to play golf on Saturday as planned. We spent a lot of the day in the car, back and forth between airports and the hotel as we waited for our room.

The W in South Beach was booked solid, so Eddie cashed in a boatload of points to score us an awesome suite. We had a great dinner at Nobu, followed by drinks and dessert back at the W. Everyone was pretty tired from a long day of travel, so it was an early night.

On Sunday, we arrived at Doral before sunrise to play golf on the Great White course. We were not good, but it was fun. After lunch, we decided to make up for lost golf on Saturday and play another 18 on the famed Blue Monster. We all did a little better and despite everyone telling us we wouldn’t finish, we arrived on the signature 18th hole at sunset. Afterwards, we had dinner at Morton’s in Miami Beach.

Monday, we slept in to 7:30 and then packed up and headed out to the Biltmore for our last round of golf. It was another tough round and there were massive losses of golf balls, but we survived. We had one last meal at Hillstone’s in Coral Gables before Bobby dropped me and Eddie off at our respective airports.

Next time, I think we need to go to golf school (in Vegas!).

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Birthday Weekend in Vegas

Grace and I went on our annual birthday trip to Vegas this year. Jen, Linda, Eddie and Dave also joined us (in addition to Christine and Kenny, who were there for a Shin gathering). We were missing Danny, Jea and Prem. This year, we decided to leave the kids home with Kate. Also different is that we arrived on Saturday and stayed through Tuesday because Linda was arriving from a week in Mexico via NYC. On Saturday night, we went to N9NE as usual and had an amazing meal served by Phil. He hooked us up with an amazing array of starters and dessert. On Sunday, Grace, Dave, Eddie and I golfed at Bear’s Best. It was a gorgeous day out. We had dinner at Mon Ami Gabi, which was great as usual.

On Monday, we just hung out at the Encore and Wynn. We made new dealer friends and player friends over the weekend and spent a lot of time with them. It was super fun. On Tuesday before we headed home, we went over to the Cosmopolitan and said hello to our casino manager friend, Tim. It’s a beautiful property and I was actually scouting it out for Marty’s bachelor party this summer. We had a leisurely lunch and I broke in my new players card before heading to the airport. Can’t wait to go back!It was one of the most relaxing and fun trips to Vegas ever. We’re on for September. Who’s in?

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Long Weekend in Vegas

The last surprise of my 40th birthday celebration was being able to meet up with the crew in Vegas for our annual (er, semi-annual) trip. Normally we go on our birthday weekend, but we wanted to go to Amy & Lamar’s wedding instead this year. For one reason or another, the crew pushed their trip back and Grace “caved” and signed us up. It was a surprise right up until I went to check into our last Virgin flight and saw an itinerary for the entire family to Vegas. Woohoo!

The team was actually a little light this time around. Jen, Linda and Phoebe, Edwin and Kenny made the trip. However, we were missing Danny, Elliott, Oliver, Jea and Prem from our (usual) crew.


  • Catching some of the Masters in-flight
  • Staying at the Encore
  • Cabana and pool day on Friday
  • My final “birthday” dinner at N9NE on Friday night
  • Sleep from 5:15-6:30am
  • Golf with Eddie at Bear’s Best
  • Nap from 2:30-4:00pm with Olivia
  • More pool time – windy! Olivia doesn’t care.
  • Dinner at Stratta. Steve Wynn came by to thank Linda for her slots play. That’s him – really.
  • Sleep from 4:00-4:30am. Pack up and leave for 6:55am flight home.
  • Nick asked me to place two bets for him. Apparently he was kidding, but his first bet on Lefty in the Masters paid out and he’s in the black no matter what. I’m feeling good about the second bet, too…


40 is the new 20. I felt great when I got home. Okay, I felt like crap. Luckily, the whole family took a monster nap in the afternoon. Great trip. Thanks, Grace!

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