Meeks Bay Trailhead, Desolation Wilderness, Lake Tahoe

By Gabriel Nelson, Guest Photographer

Desolation Wilderness in the Sierra Nevada mountains is one of the most popular wilderness areas in the United States. Located west of Lake Tahoe in California, full of high mountains, forests and alpine meadows, it attracts thousands of hikers and backpackers every year. We asked photographer Gabriel Nelson to explore the area around the Meeks Bay Trailhead, a popular Highway 89 access point into the wilderness, and come back with five images that captured his imagination. Shooting with an iPhone, here is what caught his eye:

A creek near Highway 89 at Meeks Bay, near the trail leading into the wilderness.

A creek near Highway 89 at Meeks Bay, near the trail leading into the wilderness.

 

Soft hazy clouds and blue sky frame a Jeffrey pine.

Soft hazy clouds and blue sky frame a Jeffrey pine.

 

Another view of the pine, the sky and the sun.

Another view of the pine, the sky and the sun.

 

Moss growing on a fallen tree.

Moss growing on a fallen tree.

 

Pine needles and granite.

Pine needles and granite.

 

A self portrait of the photographer.

A self portrait of the photographer.

 

 

 

Operation Bullpen makes big news

The announcement yesterday that superstar sports agent Harlan Werner had acquired the movie rights to Operation Bullpen made news around the world. You think I’m kidding? I saw the news reported on Reuters, the famous British news agency. Of course, most of the interest was in and around Los Angeles, which is where Werner’s Sports Placement Service agency is located. In case you missed it, here is a copy of the release:

Top Sports Agent Acquires Rights To Operation Bullpen Crime Story

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELESJune 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Harlan J. Werner, the renowned sports and marketing agent who represents Muhammad AliJoe Namath, Sandy Koufax and many other superstar athletes, announced today that he has secured the motion picture rights to Operation Bullpen, the sensational story of the most notorious and successful gang of forgers and memorabilia crooks in American history.

Werner, who is a long-time sports memorabilia collector and dealer as well as co-owner of a national chain of retail movie memorabilia stores, made the acquisition along with film and television producer Art Horan.

“This story is a cross between ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘American Hustle,’” said Werner, referring to the Operation Bullpen saga in which a dysfunctional family of con artists, led by a conniving grandma and her pot-smoking son, fooled the FBI for years and ripped off a gullible American public for a cool $100 million. “It’s a great story.  It’s very cinematic with broad appeal.”

Operation Bullpen, by award-winning author Kevin Nelson, is widely regarded as the definitive insider’s account of the explosive case that shook up the $1 billion a year memorabilia industry. The forgers and their accomplices were ordinary middle class people who went wild, living the Vegas high life, indulging in sex romps and spending lavishly, all the while churning out hundreds of thousands of fake autographs that were sold on TV, the Internet and in stores across the U.S.

Werner himself actively participated in the FBI’s undercover investigation of the gang, as did his client Muhammad Ali. (The FBI’s dramatic bust of the gang was the largest one-day takedown in Bureau history.) Ironically, Ali, Namath, Koufax, John Riggins and Jim Brown—all clients of Werner’s at his Sports Placement Service firm—had their autographs forged and sold by the crooks.

In addition to his personal knowledge of the memorabilia and autograph industry, Werner executive produced the movie “Tyson” and consulted on “One Night in Vegas” for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series.

Horan, a former Warner Bros. executive, was president of WMG Film Group where he was Executive Producer of “The Usual Suspects,” a two-time Academy Award-winner. Horan recently was Executive Producer of “Ring Girls,” also for ESPN, directed by academy award nominated director Amy Berg and is co founder of Undisputed Champion Network, a digital channel dedicated to the combat sports.

For more information, please contact Harlan Werner, SPS, 330 West 11th Street, Suite 105,Los Angeles, CA 90015. Phone: 213-744-1308. Email: agenthjw@aol.com.
www.sportsplacement.com.

SOURCE Harlan Werner

Muhammad Ali’s agent acquires Operation Bullpen film rights

Harlan Werner, sports agent for Muhammad Ali and other celebrity superstar athletes, has acquired the rights to Operation Bullpen. Read about it in Reuters right here.

Muhammad Ali, seen here in a fight with a wrestler late in his career, is represented by sports agent Harlan Werner, who has acquired the film rights to Operation Bullpen. Operation Bullpen depicts a major scam that sold millions of dollars in forgeries, such as this fake autograph of Ali.

Muhammad Ali, seen here in a fight with a wrestler late in his career, is represented by sports agent Harlan Werner, who has acquired the film rights to Operation Bullpen. Operation Bullpen depicts a major scam that sold millions of dollars in forgeries, such as this fake autograph of Ali.

Police detective weighs in on Bullpen

Bullpen resized
Just received this text message from a police detective, who served 30 years on the force, after reading Operation Bullpen:

Read the book. Man you nailed it describing the FBI. Someday we should meet at Starbucks and I’ll give you some background info. I went to DEA school in Quantico with FBI geeks. Truly believe it would be a great story on screen.

Agreed. More news forthcoming soon on Operation Bullpen, the movie.

What do Merryvale Vineyards and Bouchon Bakery have in common?

Macaroons and other delights at Bouchon Bakery.

Macaroons and other delights at Bouchon Bakery.

“Quick,” I ask. “What do Merryvale Vineyards  and Bouchon Bakery have in common?”

“Well,” you answer, “both are in Napa County. Merryvale is in St. Helena and Bouchon in Yountville, and they are both off Highway 29. And both produce, in their own respective ways, excellent food and drink—Bouchon the former, Merryvale the latter.”

“Yes, yes,” I respond impatiently, “all that is true. Anything else?”

“Can’t think of a thing,” you say.

The full and complete answer is that both Merryvale and Bouchon were recently profiled in two delightful pieces by the person who is writing this blog and who is supplying both sides of this imaginary conversation. Have a macaroon at Bouchon Bakery here and sample a Merryvale red right here. You won’t regret either.

Ansel Adams in Napa

Some of the best shots of one of the best photographers of all time can be seen at one of the best makers of sparkling wine in Napa Valley. Read about it right here.

A visitor strolls the gallery at Mumm Napa looking at Ansel Adams photographs.

A visitor strolls the gallery at Mumm Napa looking at Ansel Adams photographs.

Traveling in Napa Valley: Castello di Amorosa, Napa Wine Train, shopping and more

 

The Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga is the subject of a recent travel piece by Kevin Nelson.

The Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga is the subject of a recent travel piece by Kevin Nelson.

 

Lately most of my writing has been on travel, specifically travel in Napa Valley. If you’re interested in traveling to California’s leading wine region, or if you just like good writing, dip into one (or more!) of these articles on the Castello di Amorosa, the Napa Wine Train, shopping in St. Helena and more:

Exploring the fantasy adventure of Castello di Amorosa

Riding the Gourmet Express on Napa’s Wine Train

Seven ways to enjoy yourself on St. Helena’s Main Street

Five top Napa winemakers tell what inspired them to make wine

Readers’ picks #2: Hitching Post Pinot, bocce, marriage in the olive groves

Shafer Vineyards: A hidden gem on the Silverado Trail

 

New third edition of Everything Father-to-Be Book hits shelves

Everything resizedOne hundred seventy-five thousand people can’t be wrong, can they? Well maybe they can on some things, but not on this one. That is the sales figure to date for The Everything Father-to-Be Book—a brand new third edition of which was just released and is hitting bookstore shelves all across America as we speak.

Pass the word along if you know any expectant fathers. As the father of four, I wrote the book with humor and lots of practical advice about this most amazing and challenging adventure in a man’s life.

Napa Valley Travel Examiner: Now covering good food and wine

Within the past few weeks I have joined examiner.com and become its Napa Valley Travel Examiner. My beat is the Napa Valley and wine country. I will be writing about places to go in the valley, things to do, food to eat and drinks to drink. If you’re at all interested in hearing about one of the great wine regions on earth, I invite you to come along for the ride. Should  be fun.

A witty piece of corkscrew art seen at Uncorked, across from the Oxbow Public Market in Napa.

A witty piece of corkscrew art seen at Uncorked, across from the Oxbow Public Market in Napa.

 

Click here and it will take you to my profile page on the site. In the author box next to my picture there is a Subscribe button. This will bring up a window in which you put your email address. They will then send you an email to confirm your subscription and you’ll be good to go. Cheers!