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Sunday, October 2, 2016


A tailgate party (right) is an American tradition that long ago started before college football games, and now extends to a range of activities not related to sporting events.

Here is a tailgate to the left, also found on vans.  You need high tolerance to heat, rain, the Sun, thrown footballs and unhealthy cuisine to enjoy this lifestyle mode.

I don't remember going to a tailgate while a student at Stanford, and our social gatherings at Louisiana State University were almost always in an on-campus apartment because most of us lived in married student housing units.  In the early 70's females generally wore gowns and males jackets to most games at LSU, always at night.  It was Death Valley then, and when they built the final fourth of the stadium to enclose the arena, it really became noisy.  I would swear that at least half of the audience was seriously drunk, and there was always the crass matter of graphic barfing.  I might underscore that LSU today is rated #1 in tailgating.

At the University of Hawaii, I was the only faculty member I know who had season tickets to football, baseball and basketball.  In my two decades or so of tailgating at Aloha Stadium, these social events ranged from just my wife and myself to regular gatherings for a dozen or so.  We had the standard barbecue, but meats never featured high end steaks.  In Hawaii, rice, corn, macaroni-potato salad, poke, sashimi, chili, hot dog, hamburger, laulau, chips, beer and wine were musts.  Also, champagne and scotch sometimes got added.

While kick-off was not until 6 or 7 PM, you needed to show up around 2:30 PM to find a parking slot.   It was imperative to find a place under shade for the sun and heat were oppressive.  Then to get two or more cars close to each other became a real pain.  That is why Pearl and I in our final years just came alone.  There was that 1998 von Appen year when Hawaii did not win one game, and we spent more time at the tailgate than in the stadium, sometimes not bothering to even go to our seats.

It was three years ago when Hawaii was 0-11, with Army coming in for our final game.  I just had to support our team, so I drove to Aloha Stadium and found a parking spot under a large tree.  Well, very few were attending by this point.  I had a laulau, tuna sashimi, beer and white wine.

I bought a ticket and found I was the only one in my section...of several thousand.  Hawaii won, 49-42.  What a symbolically noteworthy way to end my standard tailgate carer.

Actually, it got better this weekend, and in luxurious comfort.  I was scheduled to watch Missouri at Death Valley (LSU) on my home TV and Nevada at Hawaii (Aloha Stadium) in the 15 Craigside Theater.  My tailgate was not traditional.  It was only myself.  I used my lanai, and first cut up a piece of Japanese Wagyu Beef.  What you see is worth $81.20 for less than a pound:

Potato salad with watercress, tofu and arugula (from my garden); onion and mushrooms for the grill; and hot sake, Kirin Beer and a Stanford Cardinal Classic Pinot Noir:

In a tailgate you don't use Riedel glassware.

I should mention that I finally bought two new Kyocera Ceramic pans for an induction stove.  The cost was more than $100, but, hey, there were several meals I had this past week that cost that much, and these pans will last the rest of my life.

The steak was fabulous and the pan was terrific.  Nothing sticks to the surface.

This was only an awesome tailgate.  Before the season is over, I'll add Miyazaki caviar, Oregon truffles and French foie gras.  Perhaps some Dom Perignon, a spot of Johnny Walker Blue Label Scotch and taste of my Louis XIII cognac.  Maybe I'll invite someone to join me.

I'll end with photos of my lanai herb garden--chiso, arugula, basil and mint:

I think I'll add a calamansi plant for my gin and tonic and such.

Typhoon Matthew is at a very dangerous 140 MPH, with the eye seeming to remain in the ocean, thus, maintaining strength while bringing severe rainfall to Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas..with a current projection of landfall over the Carolinas.

In the West Pacific is also a potent storm, Typhoon Chaba at 130 MPH.  The eye is now projected to move past Naha to the west, and landfall on Kyushu is also further west, thus sparing Miyazaki:


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