Seattle Meet

May 24, 2013

Well this blogging thing didn’t happen as planned!  I took a bunch of pictures in Seattle with a borrowed camera that apparently creates files that Photoshop can’t open.  So I haven’t had a lot of time to wrestle with a conversion program but as soon I can, I’ll get a few pictures added to this blog.  I was really hoping to share some of the pics with all of you.

Seattle, as you may know, is for all intents and purposes, my home cafe.  On Sunday, May 19, the cafe hosted a pin meet.  I don’t usually make the pin meets – I have nothing to trade.  And the train from Vancouver typically gets me into the city just in time for all the other collectors to be packing up.  However, it just so happens that this was my birthday week (if you missed the previous blog entry – take a peek now!) so I decided to head down a day early and spend some quality time hanging out.

I really do like Seattle.  It is very similar to Vancouver but all the touristy things that I have at home are never as interesting.  If Vancouver had a gum wall… can’t say I’d go see it BUT as Seattle has a gum wall,  I’m totally there!  Rachel the bronze pig – got to go make a donation and get a picture.  Pike Market, wander on through it.  Starbucks – there’s a game to be played with these locations (count them, count how many blocks you can go without seeing one!).  And of course since there’s a Hard Rock Cafe, all the more reason for me to make a visit.  Although I have got to get on them more about making additional shot glasses cuz it’s been forever since the last city shot came out.

Anyhoo, I met up with a few collectors that I have seen at past events.  Most recently in Las Vegas a few years ago.  I also met with a few collectors that came down from BC as well – good to know I might be able to hitch a ride here and there.  And then as I mentioned before, I met up with Seattle Paul for the first time!  The cafe hosted a free breakfast – fruit, eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy and … grits.  I have to say, I don’t get the grits (not a staple up here!) but hey, good on whomever enjoys it!

Also at the cafe was the Treasures of the HRC Memorabilia tour.   In town for the last day, there were cases of items from Aerosmith, Whitney Houston, John Lennon, Shakira, The Who, Eric Clapton and a few others I don’t remember (and can’t flip through my pictures!).   It is always cool to see the items that HRC has stored and I’m glad I had a chance to make it down for the tour.

Well, that’s all I have for now… I have to go finish packing for my trip oversees.  If all goes well, I will post a few entries from the “road”.



Beginning of the rest of my life…

May 19, 2013

I remember that I couldn’t wait to turn 21. Why? So I could drink* when I traveled to the US. It seemed important and I’m not really sure why because being Canadian, drinking starts early at 19 (18 in some provinces) and I didn’t travel that often to the US back then either. In fact, for my 21st birthday, I was in Holland. So I don’t know why it seemed like a great milestone but it did.

I also remember that 30 seemed old. I mean, ancient. My life would certainly be over at 30 – totally downhill from there. I thought 25 would be fun but dear God, 30 was just bordering the end.

I know that when I got to 30 it really was no big deal. Maybe cuz when you get there, there is no way to stop it and we’re mature enough to know that life isn’t over. Unlike many of my friends and family though, I had no crisis moment. I’m not really sure that I thought 30 was mid life at that point but everyone told me the dread of getting older would come – I’d have a “This is my life?!” moment and have some sort of freak out. My step-mom, for example, got her belly button pierced to deal with turning 30. I am still not sure how that helped but hoped that wasn’t my way of coping when the time came. Maybe I’d finally get a tattoo rather some ill-placed object. Well, happy to say I never poked a hole in my belly button but sadly I still haven’t figured out a design for my first tattoo.

Anyway, now 10 more years is about to pass me by this week as I turn 40! I’m still not in any holy crap “I’m old” mode. I think my 21 year old self has gotten over the age issue. I do find myself wishing I was doing more fun things but it’s hardly a crisis. I also used to write a lot and need to find some time to get back to it. So here goes, I’m traveling a lot over the next two weeks and thought, well here’s something to actually blog about!

The first stop on my “birthday week” celebration (I like to drag my birthday out for a week at a time – if your friends go along with it, then why the hell not!?!) is Seattle. I’m taking the train down and will spend the first weekend of my vacation just south of home and will meet up at the Hard Rock Cafe with some pin collectors. I have been trading pins with a few of them but haven’t actually met one particular trader face to face. “Seattle Paul” (so dubbed as there are a number of Paul’s in my life) has been extremely helpful in picking up the local cafe pins for me. I am hardly a pin collector – my shot collection will always surpass my pin one, mostly because there are just too many pins and they are vastly more expensive (I still do not know how most of the pin collectors keep up!). I did, for some reason, decide I’d collect each pin from the Seattle cafe since it is the closest cafe to me and I was able to start with the first one. And this is where Seattle Paul comes in. As I can’t make the 4 hour trip each time a pin comes out and since the dang cafe sells out of many of the pins super fast, Seattle Paul has been kind enough to be my dealer. If not for him, I probably would have quit long ago (hmmmm, so should I be thanking him or cursing him?!). So this trip I finally get to meet Seattle Paul and thank him for keeping me in the Seattle pin game by trading with me.

However since the train to Seattle doesn’t get me into the city before noon (the pin meet starts at 10 am with a free breakfast!), I’m heading down a day early and will spend the entire weekend. The city is a great, even though it is fairly similar to Vancouver in many ways (minus an NHL team that even Paul will lament but at least that makes us both Canucks fans. Yes people, I managed to throw hockey into this masterpiece of an entry!). I have many food haunts, places I always check out and of course Pike Place Market is always worth the walk through. There’s also the game of how many Starbucks do I pass in an hour or a day (there are toooooo many!).

I’ll blog about my visit with Seattle Paul and the other pin collectors next so stay by your pc! And as stated I’m going to be traveling the next 2 weeks so I’ll hit you up from London, Manchester, Paris and Brussels too. At least that’s the plan. This blog has been quiet for far too long and with no other willing participants, you’re going to have to suffer through my entries. If you get tired of me, ping me with your own story! There are many cafes out there and I know a bunch of you are hitting them this summer (come on, share your experience with us)!



* And a short editor note: Every time I bring up drinking I get comments that I sound like I may have a problem. I don’t know what to tell you – I’m a social drinker and that’s probably an exaggeration these days. It just seems to go hand and hand with the stuff I blog about, particularly when it comes to Hard Rock Cafe because well, I’m a shot collector. So for the record, I’m no more of a drinker than Floyd T. is… Does that make you feel better? Ok, ok, I’m no way at the same level as Floyd – he’s the King.

Congratulations are in order!

August 8, 2010

Hey, just some well wishing to pass along:

Manish Chaudhary visited HRC Seattle on July 31, making it his 100th swipe!!  Good group of pin and shot collectors showed up to celebrate the milestone and the Cafe pulled out all the stops, including a cake!   And not to forget that Chris Haase was also in Seattle, making it his 184 visit!  Congrats guys… I’ll catch up one day.  And a high five to our server Jason, you were aweome!

Congrats Manish on 100 Cafe visit

Denise Chris Manish in Seattle

And now on to very special news for those that haven’t yet heard – Brian Gledhill and Amanda Jonnet got married, also on July 31!  The HRC Shot Glass Collector group wishes you both the very best!  Congratulations!

Brian and Amanda got married!



HRC Seattle!

March 14, 2010

This is a new section that I’m going to promote to all you HR Cafe hoppers out there – write something about your local cafe, send it to me and I’ll post it right here under a new category – My HR Cafe!  So to get things started, I’ll be the first to write an entry:

My local cafe is Seattle!  It finally opened it’s doors on February 10, 2010 and I am so thrilled to have a cafe to call my own again.

Seattle Opens!

Mustang Guitar - bow to Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix!

HRC Seattle is ideally located a block up from the Pike Place Market – famous for the fish market (you know, the one where the staff throw your order across the floor to each other before packing it) and the original Starbucks location!  The 15-foot marquee Fender Mustang guitar is a sort of tribute to Kurt Cobain, although some may argue that Hendrix also played a Mustang early in his career… but let’s face it, why can’t it be a tribute to both?!  The Cafe is a different design from other HR locations in that it is a LEED certified building; meaning between construction with recycled materials, energy efficient air conditioners, heaters, appliances and lighting, the cafe hopes to reduce its carbon footprint by 25 metric tons per year!!  To top it off, the design is also beautiful and has an earthy feel to it (brick and timber), which fits right into the “granola” attitude around here.

First floor

Brick and Timber Earthy Look

Read the rest of this entry »

January Website Update

January 2, 2010

Well the ball has dropped to start a new year.  Cheers to everyone for 2010! 

What’s Supp?

After spending a whole whack of time coding the main page to shuffle in different pictures, our web host company no longer supports the coding in Frontpage.  So you may have noticed that the home page is back to not shuffling the pictures.  *Sigh*  But at least you can see the static pictures again.  Thanks to all who sent me a note telling me that the main page was broken.

Andy Juhl

Thanks for everyone’s support with the eBay store we’ve setup to sell off the remaining shots.  Lois, Tom and I are hoping to get rid of the remaining shots and pretty much all the HRC shots have now been listed on eBay.  We would like to close the store by the beginning of February so if you’re looking to pick up some traders or fill gaps in your collection, now is the time!  Some excellent deals to be had in the store so please check it out:

New Shots released last month:


  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Las Vegas City #2
  • Las Vegas The Strip #2
  • Nagoya (same logo as 2008, smaller in size)
  • Phuket

Red Circle

  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Phuket
  • New York Dessert Flared


  • Dallas Pin Shootout 2009
  • On-Line Happy New Year 2010

Doors Open and Ajar:

Ho Chi Minh City opened on December 17.

Seattle – new info on the HRC website is that it will now open in Spring 2010.  Guess it means it won’t be open in time for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics… Boo!

Medellin, Columbia will be getting a cafe in the summer.

Next Event:

Pins Gone Wild IV – Orlando – January 29 – 31

UPI (Useless Piece of Info):

There were over 130 shot glasses released in 2009.  You could have just started collecting last year and you’d already have a sizeable collection!

Of note, these ones increased the collection the most:

  • 65 City
  • 31 Red Circle (past 9 months)
  • 15 Event
  • 14 On-Line

If you have anything you’d like to write-up for the blog, send it to me and I’ll post it for you.  It doesn’t have to be long and can be about anything HRC related – such as your 100th visit to a cafe, a visit to a new cafe, your local cafe, your favorite GM, your top 10 favorite shots or cafes or even your summary of an event you’ve just attended.  Kinda lonely doing all the writing myself… I don’t have a cafe of my own and Seattle is taking FOREVER to open its doors, so inspiration is limiting.  I know there’s a few budding writers out there!  Get blogging!



September Website Update

September 22, 2009

And another school year is about to start!  Where did the summer go?  Or that was my opening line – Heck, where did time go because I forgot all about publishing this.   So here’s a quick late update.  October is chomping at the keys…

What’s Supp?

The website has undergone a few changes again, in case you haven’t noticed.

The News Page is now linked to a blog page on WordPress.   If you would like to contribute anything Hard Rock Cafe related, drop me an email.  There will be more things written throughout the months (hopefully) about what’s going on in the world of Hard Rock Cafe.

The Lastest Released Shots is a tab off that page.  So never fear, the new shots are still being tracked for everyone.   If you know about a new shot glass, send the info my way. 

New Shots in the month of August were:

City shots:  Bangkok,  Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Nashville and Philadelphia

Red Circle Logo:  Cabo San Lucas (bold), Bangkok (no STP), Belo Horizonte

Other:  Tulsa GO, Tulsa Flame and Online Island Guitars (also recalled)

Discovered:  Houston 2002 Mini Hurricane set, Nashville 4th of July 2005 short

Yeah, Baby!

As mentioned in the last update, Tulsa HRH and Casino opened on August 3.

Not so much a Yeah but the Seattle cafe opening has been postponed and according to the Hard Rock website, it will open in early 2010.  Here’s hoping the doors swing open before the Winter Olympics in February!

And don’t forget, Washington DC is hosting Pinapalooza in October.  2 limited edition shots will be released!