Sunday, March 29, 2009


About 45 minutes before the party started, I went out to fire up the grill and start cooking chicken. Grill won't start. I had it going earlier full tilt - what the heck? Finally, one little line of flame coming out of one of three burners. Tried to turn on the other two - nothing.

It was obviously the regulator valve - I tapped it. Tapped it again, and again, and again. I'm starting to get very nervous. I run down to Target where I got the grill - they don't sell the regulators separately but they have several of the same model on the floor with the valve. I ask a manager if they would sell me the one off the grill - they can always order another one for it. Nope. Can I speak to the store manager? Store manager comes out - geek looking dude - explains that those models are all for sale.

Great, I said, I don't need a whole new BBQ, I just need the regulator valve with the hose assembly. I further explained 100 people were showing up to my place in less than 30 minutes for a big party, pleeeeeeaaaaassssseeeeee help me. Nope. Wouldn't budge. Informed me to go to Lowe's or Home Depot. I don't have time for that, I need a fix right now! I was not happy with this individual and let him know about it. We rob parts off of things at our place frequently for our customers and just order replacement parts for whatever we took the part off of.

I'm walking out of that store a rather unhappy individual - Home Depot and Lowe's are 6 and 7 miles away consecutively - and would have to go through a lot of traffic and lights to get there. I remembered there's an Ace Hardware in the same strip mall the Target is at and hoped beyond hope that they sell those valves. Sure enough - they had a whole selection of them, and yes, one of them the same as the one on my grill.

Racing back to the house - there is already 20 people there by the time I get there - plus 3 different news medias, lol. A bunch of people showed up from the Craiglist ad and even more people showed up from the flyers I had sent out around my neighborhood. A guy showed up and played some excellent music on electric guitar with amplifiers and all that sort of stuff - he played continuously for 3 hours, only taking a 15 minute break. Very cool. People brought all kinds of great food as well. A tremendous outpouring and a lot of people came.

Anyway, after grilling for a while, I went ahead and started talking with everyone. Got names and addresses of those that came that were interested in getting something going in terms of a neighborhood association - about 15 of them. Quite a lot of interest, it turns out - and a lot of talk about the "other" thing that has been going on, the Neighborhood Watch thing. The guy that runs that thing - which is pretty much non-existent now - is a total control freak. Whatever. Anyway, I informed everyone I would send out a letter to everyone for a day to come over to my place, have a little git-together, and discuss forming the Association - whose name is already supplied by the name of the community we are in - and see what kinds of ideas and desires come up. Many agreed with me about trying to get some landscaping done on properties that have nothing but dirt and weeds.

I still have a lot of meat left-over - going to freeze the beef but I'm cooking up the rest of the chicken later today on the grill. Nothing like BBQ'ed chicken! I figured I over-bought on the meat department, but also figured I would have a well stocked freezer full of stuff for future reference. In all, I think I received about $240 in donations towards the party, plus a lot of food was brought over here. The party was a blast. 2 news medias left without even taking interviews - a "breaking story" they told someone which turned out to be a buy holding someone hostage for ransom but then gave up and - basically turned out to be a dud story, lol. The remaining reporter was there for hours - taking video and yes, they did a story, but on a different network than the first story.

Whatever the case, the party started at 3:00 pm and ended after 8:00. I figured it to be the perfect starting time and a good ending time - I am not a late-night person. There was a group of about 15 people that hung out after everyone else left - the partiers, lol - who stayed for several hours after the festivities had died down.

Will I do it again? Not sure. I think my focus now is going to be on the Association that I would like to see get going around here. Thinking parties for the immediate community on an on-going basis - depending on turnout - is just what the doctor ordered. The blog for that party is still getting numerous hits, so I will probably write up my version of a story for the event on there. Eventually, I will set up a website for the Association - with a lot of help that is, no web-designer here - and let the Craigslist party thing go into fading history.........though I would love to host a Thanksgiving dinner later on this year - provided I'm still employed and still have tenants, the house and all of that - as I have done on a limited basis in the past.

Enough. It was a great party : )

Short trip, got that over with. I no more than got back to the yard and left for home when I got a text from yet the newest version of a di...