Tagged: VW Bus

Nice and Slow…That’s the Way to Go


The Birth of Vanny Castilla…The Mobile Blogging Unit

Love em or hate em, it’s almost  always a conversation starter when you see VW bus roll by. 

I’ve been fascinated by all types of vans since I was a kid. My admiration for the VW bus in particular hit me in my late 20’s. At the time I was single and I dreamed of owning a bus because to me a bus represented independence and adventure and it meant never being stuck without a place to sleep.

The innovative idea of the Mobile Blogging Unit was brought to life in my second year of MLBlogging. The original MBU was a 28 foot camper which was my father-in-laws. He graciously let a buddy and I (Andy from Spring Training), use it for the nine days we were in Tucson in 2009.

It worked great for our time down there and the built-in shower was handy to have, but when the trip was all over I realized I didn’t need anything nearly that big.

(Not so funny story, the original MBU burned to the ground from a refrigerator fire last year..On the plus side, nobody was injured. This is not the actual fire it’s a prop used for dramatic effect).

That’s when I started to ponder a VW Camper bus as my MBU. I used to have a 1973 VW bus(transporter) back in the day before I met my wife Krista. I owned it for about a year and it was my daily driver. When it started to go have major engine troubles I had to let it go and get something more reliable as I had a rather long commute to work.

This time around the bus would not be a daily driver. The purpose of this bus would be for family road trips, Rockies games, Broncos tailgating and for the most looked forward to of all baseball events….Spring Training.

See folks when your gig is taking pictures it’s not about how fast you can get to where you’re going. It’s ALL about what I mentioned earlier, the adventure and having fun along the way. If speed is your thing believe me you don’t want  any part of a VW bus.

Vanny Castilla will have a built-in computer for blogging , internet connection and cable. I removed the pop-top because I think a Rag-top is the only way to go. When he’s totally finished Vanny will be a tribute to Colorado Sports.(That will be a work in progress).

A little background on Vanny..I had purchased another VW bus about four years ago from a friend. The plan was to restore it but it never happened and I wound up trading it to another friend for a running Toyota 4-Runner(which by the way still runs). Great trade but a big loss to the family.

Early this Spring I started searching for my new MBU. My search led me to a little town in northern Wyoming. After a couple weeks of emailing and exchanging pictures with the owner I knew I had my found my bus. Mike…The Rox Addict used his truck and I rented a car trailer and we both made the voyage north to pick up the future MBU.

A 1969 VW Campmobile…Here’s the bus about a week after I got it home and its first snow in Colorado.

At that point the bus had no name…Just an extremely proud  new owner with a dream.

The previous owner of the bus is the X-husband of a local Denver TV celebrity…I won’t mention who she is on here but if you ask me in person I’ll tell you. The previous owner sharing that little bit of information with me left me driving home with a good feeling about my new bus. Props to Mike for making the trek with me.

The road trip was spur of the moment and he’s a great traveling buddy.

 Here’s a little VW blast from the past for you.







And my personal favorite.

I really like this VW Commercial.

This is a clip from “That 70’s Show” when Kelso’s vintage VW bus gets destroyed.

My wife thought the bus should be called Ivy. There was a slightly heated discussion about this because I wanted to call the bus Vinny Castilla as this bus is most definitely a dude.

In the end my man Gary X suggested Vanny Castilla and it was such a cool name it stuck. 

With the help my friend Robert Harmon for the engine stuff the MBU will be mobile Spring Training 2012. Vanny will be the same color until summer 2012 when he’ll be painted none other than OD Green baby. With personalized RANTER plates Vanny Castilla will be the most recognized VW bus in America.

My goal is to get a picture of Vinny Castilla in front of Vanny Castilla or if I’m lucky get Vinny doing the Running Man pose for the Rox Addict.

Rockies postseason or not…MLBlogs look out…I’m on the way back up…I know you missed me. Sometimes you’ve gotta put things on the back-burner to make your dreams come true…and besides..

You can’t keep the Original F’kn Ranter down 🙂

You’re running out of time to send in your picture for the Photo Contest. Get off your duff and send me your best.

Got a VW story…I’d love to hear it…D

A few things to say about T-Day


Turkey bush.jpg


 Happy Thanksgiving Everyone !


        Need a laugh? Click on this:

                Turkey baseball 



Lucky guy.jpg



I’m a lucky guy and I know it.  

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, here’s a small list of things I’m thankful for:





I’m thankful that I live in a Country that I’m free (for the most part). I’m thankful for the servicemen and Veterans who served, or are serving this country.

I’m thankful that I have a beautiful wife who loves me, and lets me be me. Sometimes that’s a lot, at times I can be bigger than life and she deals.

 We have balance together.

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I’m thankful that I have three healthy children (two at home and one grown), who are the light of my life, and are growing up right before my eyes.


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 I’m thankful that I have a three-year-old grandson Mason, who I will hopefully get to see this Christmas (Thank you Paul and Brie).

 I’m thankful for that more than you know.

                        This is Mason————-> 



Me and Pugs.jpg
Our house 11.jpgI’m thankful my wife and I have jobs, a nice house, a couch, two Chinese Pugs and a Puggle, two cars that run, Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for me in the bus10-22-08.JPGneighbors that don’t bother me, my bass guitar, a
working computer, comfortable shoes, 1977 VW bus, a very cool circle of friends that I have been tight with for twenty years.

I’m thankful my mom and pops are active, healthy and enjoying retirement.

I’m thankful for my mother and father-in-law, who happen to be the coolest people on the planet. Thank you (for everything you do), and for always being there to help, and for treating me with respect since day one. You’re the best in-laws a son-in-law could ask for. 

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I’m thankful for all the new friends that I made at Coors Field this past baseball season.

I’m thankful that other than the ” First Row Regulars” in the Pavilion at Coors Field…Dan, Robert, Danny..etc I snagged the most baseballs in the bleachers behind them.

That’s actually not a proven fact, but if you think (and can prove), you snagged more baseballs than me this season, at Coors Field, I’ll retract my statement and
give you some props. 

Thumbnail image for Hnc.jpgI’m thankful I’m not lactose intolerant, cause I likes me some honey nut cheerios.

I’m thankful I have MLBlogs.com in my life. That way when I want to be serious I can, or when I want to rip the world a new one, I can do that, or when I just want to write about a really good batting practice followed by a come from behind Rockies win, I can do that too.

I’m thankful my opportunities as an MLBlogger are endless.

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I’m also thankful for the “mad love” that MLBlogs.com has given the Rockpile Rant this year.

Mark and whomever else is behind the scenes,

thanks, I notice…D

I’m thankful for the readers I’ve had all season, and the new one’s that have recently come aboard.

Without you to interpret, they’re just words.

I tell you what, I must be softening a little bit, because the more I think about how thankful I am for the things in my life, it’s choking me up a bit.

As I said above, I’m a VERY lucky guy.

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<–Not my family, too skinny.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

Hug your family, eat some bird and pie, play a few board games, and have way too much fun.

Do something nice for someone who maybe isn’t in the best of circumstances right now.

It will come back to you, I promise.

Me, I’ll be eating my bird early as I’ll be making an appearance at the Nuggets Game against the Hornets…If your going to be there, let me know. I’ll come over and say hey, take your picture and make you famous.

                                           I’m cool like that, be safe out there…D
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It never rains for long in Colorado…Does it?

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I made it to the Rock Pile gates at  4:15 today and this is what I saw.


I was seventh in line and it was starting to sprinkle.

No worries,  it never rains for very long in Colorado. sky 8-6.JPG





The sky was ugly but as I said, it never really rains for too long in Colorado. Wind 8-6.JPG  

While I was waiting for my buddy Jack from Summit County to show up, a sixty mile an hour wind came out of nowhere and was blowing stuff everywhere 

At this point our hopes of there being a batting practice were shot.   Pavilon 8-6.JPG




When Jack and I finally got inside this is what we saw.

An empty wet Pavilion.

and….. Field 8-6.JPG



A big old tarp covering the infield.

Oh well no BP. At least we have great home runs seats for the game. Section 155 Row 2.

And besides….It never rains for very long in Colorado? National Players 8-6.JPG



The rain let up just a bit and a few National Players ventured out onto the field and started some stretching and tossing the ball.

Then it started pouring again.

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We got bored and I took some pictures of the players cars while we were waiting for rain to stop falling.

Our guess was that this Hummer is Tulo’s. Ferrari.JPG






I had no idea who drives the Ferrari. My guess…

Brian Fuentes or  Matt Holliday??



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 Hummer number two. My guess..

Chris Iannetta?

A weird thing happened when we left the Stadium to go get some food.

 As we finished and left the restaurant.(Jack, thanks for the B-Day cheesesteak and beers) We went back to my car to listen to the radio for the status on the rain delay and they reported that funnel clouds were spotted in our area.

We thought that was odd and as we headed back to Coors Field we heard the Tornado sirens go off. I have never heard these live before. Let me tell you it was it was a little spooky. But as always we made light of the situation.

We hung around, had a few beers and decided around 8:30 that the clouds and rain were permanant and the game most likely would be cancelled. Plus Jack had to work tomorrow and he lives in Frisco up in Summit County.

As I was driving home they finally called the game at 9pm. It’s still raining as I’m writing this blog.

Guess we do get some serious rain in Colorado every now and then…go figure ! 

The game vs the Nationals is rescheduled for tomorrow evening which makes for a double header. Game one vs the Padres and when that one is finished..the make up game for today…

Here’s a moble blog update…Look what we picked up. My wife and I have wanted one of these since the day we met..

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Angela and Kevin.


Thank you for the Camper bus and good luck in Telluride.

They are just Good  People Bus 8-5.JPGOur new bus.  I’ll be at the game tomorrow with Berned celebrating my B-Day….Peace…..D Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Green Floppy Hat.JPG