It’s not every day your daughter graduates from high school

Natalie, member of the class of 2012

ML’s 50th

Got to hand it to them, my brother Mark and his wife Suzanne throw a mean party. These photos are mainly from the band’s perspective…

Lester story

Our anniversary falls on the same day as Lester’s birthday, so in his honor…

(circa 1986)

As I entered my driveway after a day at work, I saw Lester jump up from a laying down position near the fence, tail wagging wildly. I knew he had jumped the fence again, but before I could scold him, a stranger approached me from from across the street.

“That your dog?”

“Yeah, anything the matter?” I’d never seen this guy before, and I briefly tried to guess what he wanted. Maybe Lester knocked his kid over while playing. There were a few neighborhood kids not intimidated by his size that would come over and ask to walk him up and down Oak Street. Maybe he saw Lester chase a cat; sure there were a few instances of that, but that’s another story. I’m ready to hear what this guy has to say.

Right away he starts in. “It was just like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin or something man. See my car over there?” He pointed to a white sedan near the corner of Grove Way. “It was about an hour and a half ago. I was working, laying on the ground below it, wrenching, you know, when I hear your dog come over. He comes over and sniffs my leg then kind of lets out a whimper and a bark. I saw he was friendly so I got up and began to pet him. I thought at first that he wanted to play. Then he gently tugged at my sleeve like he wanted me to follow him over here. Well I did, and when I got over here, I saw some little poodle kind of dog at the bottom of your driveway, laying still on its side and bleeding. Your dog looked at me and barked loudly a couple of times. So I went to your next door neighbor’s house and told them to call animal control.”

As it turns out, the dog got hit by a car right in front of my house and managed to limp to the side of the road. There was a small blood stain that led a few feet up my driveway. The guy told me that Lester must have sensed the dog in distress, jumped the fence and summoned help.

The tags on the dog were traced and identified its owner as the Sultan of Brunei. The dog was airlifted (using the vacant lot across the street as an impromptu heliport) to UC Davis, where doctors said had he lay bleeding another minute there he would have surely perished. The Sulltan later contacted me and invited me to stay at his palace for a while, but I had a ball game that Wednesday night and I politely turned down his invitation.

believe it… or not?

Return to Monaghan’s 2012

Our gig coincided with a partial solar eclipse.  We had a great crown this particular day.


Best spot to see a ballgame

My little league pitching career came to a screeching halt when, at 12 years old, I could no longer find the strike zone.  Fortunately for my team, we had other arms to take my place, and I settled in behind home plate.  I relished being a catcher, and from their earliest playing days, I tried to impress upon my kids how gratifying it could be.  It also helps to be on a team where there is quality pitching.  Natalie finally tried it out in a game against OMI at Bates field.  She found out what I’d known all along.

Thanks to Dick Atkinson for the photos

Surf Tahoe

It’s been 30 some years since I saw Sammy Hagar play. If I recall, it was a new years eve show at the Cow Palace, but there’s a good chance my recollection of the date and venue are off by years, miles, or both.

I got an email recently from the manager at the Cabo Wabo Cantina in South Shore Tahoe, one thing led to another, now Trivalve will be heading up there to play 2 dates for the launch of Sammy’s most recent distilled product, Beach Bar Rum.  If you’re in Tahoe on May 4 (Friday) or May 5, come on out to our show, we’re hoping to do a shot or 2 with Sammy himself!

Couldn’t finish this piece without giving props to Ronnie Montrose, R.I.P.  I clearly remember seeing Gamma play at Justin Herman Plaza right around 1980, that much I’m sure of.


we played Whole Lotta Love with Sammy, cousins Cher & Ed showed up, along with Sammy Rose & family

Battle of the Surf Bands

(Listen) Last time I played in something like this was back in ’79 (whew).  Ferenc of Pollo del Mar and DJ Cousin Mary of KFJC lined this one up and all the bands knocked it way out of the (menlo) park.  If you couldn’t be at the British Bankers Club in person or listen to the live broadcast, we have 3 songs from the event posted at Enjoy!

A friendly rivalry (of sorts)

The first year my daughter was on the roster of a tournament team, she was 9 years old and only saw garbage time on a team that won just 1 or 2 games all summer.  My friend Mike’s daughter had a similar experience on that same team, our girls represented the younger end of the spectrum and rode a lot of pine.  They’re now juniors at rival high schools, although the rivalry is mostly amiable when it comes to softball – CPS has won each of the last 7 matchups dating to their freshman seasons.  We see each other at the games, do some friendly razzing and catch up.

The same team has another of Nat’s former teammates, Haley (now a freshman) as their starting pitcher.  Nice girl, good athlete, I coached her on 2 summer teams, we’ve known the family for some years.  With Natalie pitching in the top of the first, Haley takes one the other way, slugging a long triple over the right fielder’s head.  Bottom half of the same inning with Haley on the mound, Natalie sends a bomb way over their centerfielder’s head for an 2 run double.  Win-win, I enjoyed seeing both kids having success.

Catan final standings 2010

Since we started documenting victories in 2008, here are the family records through 2010:

Natalie and Eric tied with 24 wins each, Rocky 18, Mary Ann 13

As of new years day 2011, I’m in the lead (probably the only time I can boast this) with 2 wins.

Christmas is saved

For as long as I can remember, my aunt Rosemarie (my mom’s sister) has baked Christmas cookies – a lot of Christmas cookies.  In fact, more cookies than you can imagine.  As part of this very large and sprawling family (my mom’s the youngest of 8, her brother alone has 10 children, and as good Catholics go, lots of nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren), she presented gift boxes of baked goods to just about every family, each containing 2-3 dozen cookies of various shapes, flavors and sizes.

Word got out that this would be Rosemarie’s final year of Christmas baking.  It was my mom who broke the news to us maybe a couple months ago.  For a little history, Rosemarie’s house was remodeled 40+ years ago, the kitchen was expanded to serve as her crafts workshop and food production area, so she means business.

We were all relieved to learn that the initial reports were in fact inaccurate, just as my brother stepped up to deliver a toast to acknowledge our aunt at the family gathering on Christmas night. Turns out my mom got the story wrong, Rosemarie decided to stop hosting Christmas Eve for the Ramos family at her house (another meal of epic proportion).

All is right with the world again. As word spread of the developments and conflicting reports, stock analysts warned of the potential impact to butter and sugar futures.

Long live Tallo’s cookies!!