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Arizona Lou


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Thu Aug 1 = Today I did my monthly tire pressure check manually, instead of going to a Discount tire. There was none close by. All tires were OK.
- I did comedy tonight, almost in LA. It was at the FanaticSalon Theater in Culver City. Across the sidewalk is Vince Blvd and the city of Los Angeles.
- I spent the night at the Culver City Anytime Fitness.

Fri Aug 2 = Street parking was the only thing available for tonight's comedy at the Hollywood Hotel in LA. We were told that the place used to be an institution and the basement where we were doing comedy was the morgue years ago.
- That show ended in time for me to make it to Flapper's Comedy club. I got there early and was the first one to put my name in the pot for the lottery for the 11:30pm show but that was a disadvantage. My name was never drawn so, after staying until well after midnight, I was told that I could come back and put my name into the lottery pot on another night. It seems to me that Flapper's treats open mikers like lowlife dirt.
- Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep tonight.

Sat Aug 3 = Today I drove down to Venice Beach, hoping to get a little beach sun/run in. Due to traffic and no place to park, I had just enough time to turn around and head back to North Hollywood and the NoHo Fourth Wall for their 3pm show.
- I spent the night at a Glendale, CA Anytime Fitness.

Sun Aug 4 = This morning at the Anytime Fitness, I cut my hairs, in preparation for sunning at Venice Beach, and took a shower.
- Maybe I got confused, because, when I arrived, I found that there was no open mic comedy tonight at the Lyric Hyperion Theatre & Cafe.
- I spent the night near Flappers Comedy club because both their website and the schedule they gave me Friday showed an open mic at 8:30 tomorrow night.

Mon Aug 5 = Today I got the report from Google Maps of my travels last month:
Google Map
- When I got to Flapper's Comedy Club to put my name in the pot for the lottery, they were closed. A number of people came, as I did, expecting an open mic. Finally someone found an announcement on Instagram, that they were closed for maintenance. Way to go, Flappers, reneging on events published on your website and handouts! Again, treating open micers like dirt.
- A young man, who was interested in stand up comedy, was among those expecting a show. Well he and his girlfriend got one, seated on a bench outside Flappers by E. Magnolia Blvd. I gave them an eight minute show. They laughed a lot and I got to do comedy in Burbank.
- I drove, I believe, to the Anytime Fitness in Culver City for the night. When I was about ready to turn in I couldn't find the clipboard on which I have a lot of important comedy information. I figured I must have left it by Flappers where I did the sidewalk show, so drove the 32 miles back to Flappers. There was no sign of my clipboard. I finally found it in my T-Shirt suitcase, not where I usually put it. I wasted gas and time driving to Flappers and then back to the Anytime Fitness.
- There's always a good side. My
our van's Lithium/Iron/Manganese/Phosphate/Oxygen house battery
was charged up to run my refigerator for the night. Also I learned, the hard way, what Annie Duke would suggest: Before you do something, think of all the possible outcomes, including the undesirable and unlikely ones and think of alternate strategies.

Tue Aug 6 = I spent some time in a library then headed to The Laugh Factory on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. I got there about an hour before the show and there were already about 14 comedians waiting. Since only the first ten are guaranteed spots and since there was no parking, I headed to the next spot.
- I took the spare tire off my roof so my van would fit in a parking structure near the...
spare tire
Westside Comedy Theater; in Santa Monica. It was a fun open mic show. The host, graciously put me on as the opener so I could add Santa Moninica as my 129th city for doing stand up comedy. Thanks, Isaac! Who would have thunk that one would enter such a vibrant comedy club from an alley, although the alley was clean and well lit.
- I spent the night parked in a quiet, shady residential neighborhood a few blocks north of the Westside Comedy Theater.

Wed Aug 7 = This morning I headed to Muscle Beach in Venice, CA and found plenty of public parking for $9 until midnight. Such a deal! After exploring around a little I lay in the sun for 20 minutes in my little Speedos. My first real sun in over a month. Of course then I did a beach sun/run.
- I drove down to Huntington Beach and had a lovely visit with old friends, Judy and Lloyd Glick Judy is about my age and Lloyd is 95, still driving and doing well. We talked about all sorts of things. This is the first time I heard Lloyd's stories about the taking back of Guam from the Japanese. Very interesting, dealing with the dense vegetation, the Japanese tunnels and the coral reef. Lloyd had been honored on Guam as one of three surviving liberators at the 75th anniversary.
I spent the night at a southwestern Riverside, CA Anytime Fitness.

Thu Aug 8 = I got back to Phoenix after a phenomenal road tour of:
To date Tour
67 4 months
390,000 12,775 miles on van
899 58 stand up comedy appearances
9 7 benefit shows for veterans
45 venues
128 cities
49 27 states visited
49 11 states doing comedy
5 2 countries doing comedy
43 13 headline appearances
601 28 open mics
23 2 guest appearances
13 8 publicity/introductions/impromptu appearances
133:32:22 stand up hours/minutes/seconds
13.3 work weeks equivalent doing stand up
54 oz power steering stop leak (the last 2.5 weeks)
1 steering rack and pinion
- The salvage yards in the Phoenix area are located mostly in the southwest part of valley... on the way home from California. Through a bunch of phone calls I had found Pick A Part that had some minivins similar to mine, so stopped by to see if any of them had a functioning spare tire winch. Three did. The attaching bolts were rusted and did not want to turn, so I sprayed them with my penetrating oil, intending to return another day.
- Sometimes I worry myself. On the way home, I must have taken a wrong turn and ended up going south on I-17 and I-10, the wrong way, instead of north toward home... in stop-and -go rush hour traffic. I didn't realize it until I started paying attention to some of exit names, 13 miles later at Warner Road.
- I finally DID get home with with my van dripping power steering stop leak and the spare tire in its foyer. I got the van unloaded, the spare tire put in the back and got to bed at 12:20am. Late, considering I am going to get up early to take my van to the shop tomorrow morning for the power steering.
- The Sleep Number bed here at home is not as good on my back as the bed I engineered in my van about 17 years ago. Getting up to pee, I experienced a little lower right back pain. The first in over a month.

Fri Aug 9 = I got up early and took my van into C&R Tire to fix the power steering. They ran into problems and did not get it fixed - needed to order a rack.
- This evening I found that there had been a miscommunication and no one was collecting my mail for the four months that I was gone. What a mess. I will be spending the next few weeks confirming my address with companies that had my mail returned to them.

Sat Aug 10 = C&R Tire didn't get my van fixed today so loaned me their parts pickup truck. Rick and I had to go all the way over to C&R Tire's Tatum store to get the truck.

Sun Aug 11 = At noon I lay in the sun and did a second, fast, 2-minute exercycle bike ride.
- I think I am out of the doghouse now. At this evening's Infuse Open Mic at The Phoenix Center for the Arts I put down for a clean comedy set. Raquel, the new host put me up on the first (clean) half of the show. This was the first time in several years that I got on the first half, after pushing the envelope too far. Tonight I did not let them down with my clean 5:46 minute set.
- On the way home I did much needed grocery shopping.

Mon Aug 12 = I got up early this morning to return C&R Tire's pickup truck. More problems with parts for the power steering of my van, so it was not ready by the end of the day :(

Tue Aug 13 = Things seemed to go from bad to worse today. C&R Tire did not have my van ready until about 2 this afternoon. I have managed to do without my van now for 4.5 days.
- I got my van in time to get to Phoenix Egoscue for my Stanford U Posture study session early. That was nixed when my van started hesitating and stalling... repeatedly. I made it to Egoscue, but three minutes late. I parked in the wrong parking lot. My van wouldn't start so I walked several blocks in the sun and 106 heat. The van hadn't acted up like this since June 26th, 13 miles south of Moyock, NC about 10,000 miles ago so I figured the problem was resolved.
- At Egoscue I had a lot of fun getting acquainted with John, my new therapist. He stayed a little late and we visited about stuff and I did my Posture Comedy Bit which was inspired by Egoscue. So I wouldn't have to walk in the heat again, John took me to my van.
- It would not start and I found no blown fuses. I called a tow truck and, while waiting, found an air conditioned bathroom. Even in the shade of a canopy my van was pretty warm and, although I didn't think I was close, I didn't want to chance heat stroke.
- The guys who towed my van were a fun bunch. We laughed a lot. You've got to keep laughing, you know. After dropping my van off at C&R Tire, they dropped me off at home. Thanks, guys! The world is sure full of nice people.

Wed Aug 14 = Pedro, my landscaper came over this afternoon and fixed two leaks in my drip supply line. One was a fountain on my side yard, spraying out onto the street. The other was in front, just a little sprayer.
- Naturally, C&R Tire did not have my van done today. They DID find out that the in-tank fuel pump needed to be replaced.

Thu Aug 15 = At noon I lay in the sun and did my usual fast, 2-minute, exercycle ride.
- About 5:30 this evening I got my van back from C&R Tire with a new fuel pump, new battery and some repaired wiring under the battery. Thank you guys.

Fri Aug 16 = This morning I made a number of phone calls for booking benefit shows for veteran posts on my 2020 road tour.
- After lunch I got a phone call from Studio 1 Productions in Mississippi about putting a commercial together for my appearance there on May 2nd, 2020. Neat, but it made me three minutes late to my...
- appointment with Doctor Hagler this afternoon, regarding my loose stools and mucus plugging my breathing at night. - On the way home, amongue other places, I stopped by Harbor Freight for their 17" 3/8" breaker bar.
- I did my semi-monthly grocery shopping tonight, mostly at Winco, after dark.

Sat Aug 17 = My big project this afternoon was to hand write nine thank you notes (I'm so slow!) to some of the places where I did comedy on my road tour.
- I unknowingly trashed my back this evening, working under the back of my van using my creeper, trying to remove the broken spare tire winch. The rear two screws are stripped, spinning and will not come out. By bedtime I had difficulty moving, so tonight I did a few back exercises, and used thermo therapy.

Sun Aug 18 = I got up early and headed down to Pick a Part in southwestern Phoenix. I got half of what I wanted for my van: The spare tire holder (winch) came off fairly easily. My new breaker bar came in handy. None of Pick A Part's salvage vans were the LE version so did not have the overhead panel I was looking for.

Mon Aug 19 = At noon I lay in the sun a little and did a fast 2 minutes on my exercycle.
- This evening's comedy was spactacular. While I was on my road tour, CB Live in the Desert Ridge Shopping Center here in Phoenix started a new Monday night open mic. It is awesome; everything anyone would want from both the audience and comedian point of view.
    Before the show, comedians could put their names into any or all of four buckets for drawings. The bckets were:
  1. Do a three-minute impression of one of the other comedians
  2. In three minutes, do at least three different characters with different voices
  3. (I forgot what the third bucket was for)
  4. Do your normal 4-minute set.
- They started the show by filling their show schedule with names drawn from the buckets. That way the comedians know if they are going to be on and are not kept hostage all night as with some clubs, like Flappers in Burbank, CA. Thanks Casey.
- I lucked out and got drawn for both bucket No 1 and bucket No 4. Fun, Fun, Fun.

Tue Aug 20 = Today I came up with a new twist for my Avalanche bit. Can't wait to try it live... in about a week at a local open mic
- This evening, by the time I got around to it, it was too late to make it to the open mics in Tempe, so I went to the Moon Valley LA Fitness for a medium-heavy legs workout.

Wed Aug 21 = This evening I did a medium-heavy arms workout at the Moon Valley LA Fitness. Also I did my first open mic at Toso's since returning from my road tour. It was fun and they appreciated my seven minutes. There were so many signups at Toso's that there wasn't time to make it down to Tempe for a second open mic.

Thu Aug 22 = On the way to do comedy this evening, I stopped by the south Chandler Planet Fitness for a medium-heavy torso workout. I am not sure how things work at Improv Mania, but about 7:00pm when I arrived, I counted ten comedians waiting for the list to come out at 7:30. That would make me #11. When I stepped up to put my name on the list, I was #14. On the actual show list, I was #16. Everyone above #16 got five minutes and #16 (me) and below got three minutes. Oh, well.

Fri Aug 23 = I spent most of today making booking contacts for my, Arizona Lou Road Tour, 2020.

Sat Aug 24 = I decided that I was going to get my broken spare tire winch off the bottom of my van. The two rear bolts (to the left in the picture below) were spinning and not coming out. Above is the top side of my original winch. Below is bottom side of the new salvage one. The front of the van would be to the right in the picture.
spare tire winches
- I speculated that the bolt threads were stripped and all they needed was to be heated to red hot. That might brake them lose, or at least anneal them, making them softer so they could be pulled out. The top side of the bolts, being in a channel, was inaccessible. Before I headed out to Home Depot for another propane bottle, I decided to see what was going on with the top side of the bolts. I turned the bolts from below while squinting into a trim clip slot from the top (slot below the latch in the picture below. The bottom of the picture is toward the front of the van. The gray at the top of the picture is the van's rear bumper). The threaded clip-nuts were broken and spinning... so the heat treatment would have done no good.
Cut access holes
- With a 1/2" bit I drilled out a quad-hole and round hole (seen in the picture above) so I could then drill a 1/4" index hole beside each spinning clip nut, insert a pin to stop each from spinning. It worked!
- Here is what the new clip nuts looked like:
Rear plate remoed for Winch
- Here's the view from the bottom with the old winch out and ready to install the clip nuts and new winch.
Rear plate remoed for Winch
- The new winch went in easily, but not all is well in paradise. It turns out that the cable is about 50% frayed. It still holds the spare tire, but I should get another winch with a good cable!
- Today my Oura Ring sizing kit came, so I have been wearing a size 8 on my left ring finger since early afternoon. If it still feels good in the morning, I'll know that is the size to order. It will be my first smart ring; feels a little bulky, because I am not a ring wearer.
Rear plate remoed for Winch
- Too late this evening, I did a load of colored/dark laundry, so got to bed later than was good.

Sun Aug 25 = I had a good phone conversation with my daughter, Anne. They are nearing the end of their vacation. They took the girls to see all sorts of neat things accross the US. When they return to the Washington D.C. area, Robby will be the Vice Commander of the Air Force Wing there, with about 33,000 airmen under him. Robby is special... and works hard!

Mon Aug 26 = This afternoon I saw my optometrist for my simi-annual check up. He said my macular degeneration, cateracts and retina are stable.
- I always say you've got to find the good in your situation. This evening that wasn't easy. I was headed to to comedy at CB Live's Open mic when I hit something in the road- not too big. My right front tire immediately became sort of a floppy black rubber rag. I was better off than the car ahead of me. The object left him with a big puddle of liquid under his car. The car ahead of him had two flat driver's side tires. I jogged back and retrieved the culprit, this solid steel 12-inch, 17.6 lb triple-ball hitch insert.
Bell Hitch Insert
- Frank, a young guy of only 71, stopped by and gave me moral support, some muscle and some good advice like limping into a parking lot about 1/3 mile away. The short drive did not damage the rim any more than it was already damaged from the hitch impact. I got to use the salvage spare tire winch I had just installed.
- Since my flat tire precluded comedy tonight, I did a little blogging and website work

Tue Aug 27 = This morning I got in gear and bought a new replacement tire, stuck it inside my van as a spare and kept driving with my regular spare on the right front because I was out of time. It's good that they are all the same tire.
- I saw my hematologist. Well, not really. I saw the nurse practitioner. They drew my blod to check my iron. It was slightly low, but stable.
- Comedy tonight was at the Tempe Tavern on E Apache Blvd. One of the other comedians told me about The Bench down on E Baseline so I drove down there and did my usual introductory old man routine. It was a hit. Excellent place!

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Wed Aug 28 = I am catching up on my blog (uhg!) from here and it's September 11th. Back to today: Tonight I did some of my Boxes routine. It killed at Toso's where I got some complements and was good at The Woodshed.

Thu Aug 29 = The electronic road signs in the Phoenix area have been showing escaped prisoners driving around in a red GMC pickup... for four days now. What a waste of distracted driving. It did make for good comedy tonight at Improv Mania, along with my Boxes routine.
- Tonight, at 3:35 am I experienced some stabbing right lower back pain. It is not too bad because it fleeting. I have not noticed any difference in the pain after my sessions at Egoscue, but I have probably improved my posture... and gained a new comedy routine.

Fri Aug 30 = Today I researched and compared minivans, figuring I could spend about the same time, add some money and end up with a new minivan, rather than a 23-year old one with over 390k miles. It is not going to make it until they come out with autonomous vans.

Sat Aug 31 = I mostly stayed home today. I did a lot of research on the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivan.

Sun Sep 1 = I can't believe everything went like clockwork today. I got my van's magnetic signs cleaned up from the horrible LA smog, drove 24 miles down to Pick A Part in southwest Phoenix and exchanged the spare tire winch with a bad cable I had bought from them, for one with a good cable... and no rust. The new one came off from the salvage van easily since I had put all the necessary tools in a bag. Before leaving their parking lot, I had the new winch installed on the bottom of my van.

Mon Sep 2 =

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