Monday, June 26, 2006

Rob Smith, RIP

I just cruised by Acidman's site. Rob Smith is dead. It doesn't matter why, he died too young.

My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

Dubya, May I Please Shoot Them Now?

By the Time Sept. 11 came along I was entirely too old to go back into uniform, even in a support role. I'm way too old and beat up to land a job in the Spook Shops or private outfits like Blackwater.

I do not know the languages, nor can I afford to go overseas and look for Osama Yomamoma or his pals on my own,

All these things are facts, I am not particularly happy about them, it's just the way things are. The active defense of my children and grandchildren is best left to others. I have taught the kids how to shoot, they all have access to effective defense weaponry and all the ammo they would ever need both for use and for practice.

That is pretty much all I can do. It isn't enough, it's just all there is. There are other people, dressed in various shades of blue, green and khaki, drawing their paychecks from cities, counties, states and the Feds all trying to do the same thing, protecting my grandkids.

Then we have those on the opposing side, not just the Islamist nutjobs who are actively trying to kill my grandkids but, even worse, Westerners who's hatred of out current administration is so deep that they are pleased to help those Islamists. The New York Times and the LA Times are prime examples.

I don't know how to get within rifle range of Osama. I do know where the NYT building is. It shouldn't be too difficult to get within 400 or so yards from the driveways and doors that Keller, Risen and Lichtblau use. At 400 yards I can pretty much be sure of a chest shot. I might even be able to get close enough to decide which eye I want the bullet to go through.

Can we please stop farting around and kill a few of these clowns? Pretty please? The lives of my grandchildren depend on doing this.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Go To LA And Turn Left

We woke up early again and got in the car and drove south, into the outskirts of LA where we picked up I210 and rode that to I10. We sang that old Beach Boys song about the Little Old Lady From Pasadena as we blew through there without slowing.

We got to Colton, CA and our stomachs were flappin' in the breeze so we stopped for Taco Bell. Colton is where they sent Morgan Earp's body for burial and Virgil Earp for recovery during the Earp/Cowboy unpleasantness in Tombstone.

We made a severe tactical error, though. The place we stopped was right 'cross the street from the High School and it was the last day o' school. The place was a madhouse of teenagers. One of the many steps backwards our society has made since I was in High School, back in the '60s, is the volume of teenaged conversations. In my day we kept our voices down for fear of the adults finding out what we were up to. No longer. That is a shame.

From Colton it was due east for the Arizona border, through the California desert. The first hour or so out of Colton we rode with the radio and CD player off, recovering from the noise of the Taco Bell. The rest of the way it was the CDs up loud to cover up the new noises from the Taco Bell. Thank the Lord for the sunroof cracked open.

Once past Colton there is not much to see, one kind of desert followed by another. There are a few square miles of irrigated land visible from the highway, mostly one sees miles and miles of miles and miles. We crossed the border and stopped for gas the last time. Next stop, Phoenix.

I got several boxes of my Moms old slides, pictures from 1955 through 1958, including a set of pictures from the coastal country that I was writing about. There is supposed to be a way to scan those into my home computer. If I can't scan the slides in I'll, eventually, have a few nickels and dimes to have prints made.

Well, that's pretty much this whole trip, so far. We shall be house sitting for the kids while they take my daughter in law's brother to Nebraska so we'll be here through about July the 4th, then home. If anything blog worthy happens, I'll write it up.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Pacific Coast Highway And More Driving

So, Sunday Morning we were in Watsonville, just inland of the coast. We were done with California, all that remained was leaving. The only question was how. The Central Coast of California is some of the most beautiful country in the world and Linda Lou had never seen it so we decided to go south on the PCH.

The first place we stopped was Monterey. Things there have changed since I was a boy, Monterey, just south of Fort Ord was once a major military retirement area. Military folks who had done a tour there often retired there and I sure wouldn't blame them. Fort Ord is closed now, deactivated during the Clinton years and the Monterey area is way too expensive for the retired warriors. That would be okay but I do wonder how all those Leftists, who don't care about money, can afford to live there.

We drove down to Cannery Row, the area of the John Steinbeck book and fed a parking meter for a walk around. Parking was a quarter for fifteen minutes (See my comment about Leftists not caring about money). We walked about, Linda Lou, Captain Fatbob and me. Monterey did not discriminate against Black Pugs Of Doom like Santa Cruise did so we went down to the bay, he got his feet wet in the Pacific. I don't know how many dogs have seen both the Atlantic and the Pacific but Linda Lou's has. We heard, but could not see, a few Sea Lions and saw a Harbor Seal. There was no surf so Captain Fatbob did not send me ass over teakettle like he did at the Atlantic.

On the way out of Monterey we were behind an SUV with anti Dubya stickers and a nice big one about what Consertatives were conserving. Well, how about gasoline? And lead, I did not empty a gun in it, though it was tempting. It would have been difficult to hide the bodies, though. Sigh.

Done with Monterey, although we could have spent a month there, and thousands of dollars, we went back to the PCH and south, just a bit. The famous 17 mile drive is on the Monterey Peninsula so we took it. The average time for this drive is about two hours, except on a summer weekend when it is longer. Those who watch golf of the Teevee have seen the area, it is where Pebble Beach is. I last took this drive when, on formal occasions, I would wear a sailor suit with short pants. I think that was when we had a '49 or '50 Ford and it was a new car.

Well, '50 Fords are not new anymore and the 17 mile drive costs $8.75 but is worth every penny. I can't say much here, when we get home and scan the pictures into the computer I'll try to do it justice.

We then continued south on the PCH, about ten minutes south of Monterey we lost the four lane and it turned into a twisty, mountainous two lane road. The road did not quite twist enough for me to pat the taillights of the van as we drove but it was close. The PCH is a real road for motorcyclists and sport cars, not quite so much for a van with a guncart tied to the top. The PCH is a tiring drive that no one should take if in a hurry. It is not exactly the fastest way from San Francisco to LA. It is a road that everyone should take, though, at least some of it. We did not stop at the Hearst Castle as we were short on daylight and money. So we kept plugging south, past Big Sur and other attractions. Every few miles there is a Vista Point sign where one can stop, park and point at the vista, Spanish for view. Most were worth seeing. One Elephant Seals.of the last points we stopped at was a large one with a beach full of These seals are so named because of their long, hanging noses and their size, a full grown male is over two tons to five thousand pounds. This section of beach had more than a hundred, mostly snoozing in the sand. Some of the males were practice fighting, most were just laying about throwing sand upon themselves and snoozing in the sun. I'm not sure why the sand, perhaps to make it hard for flies to bite. Maybe insulation. I dunno, there are no seals in my part of Texas.

The seals were fun to watch, they'd come out of the water and galumph up the beach a little then collapse and snooze for a few. Then they'd galumph up the beach a little more and collapse again. I never figure out how many galumph/collapse cycles it took to get all the way up the beach because I'd watch one, it would collapse and start snoozing and I'd start watching another. I am using the word collapse on purpose, a seal would be working his way up and then collapse as if shot in the head. Then a few minutes later would start up again.

Shortly after that stop we drove through another small town, Cambria. Then it was time to turn inland on State Highway 46. This is another road that has turned into a stretch with yuppie vineyards alongside. This stretch of California Highway is most famous for a fatal car wreck. This is the stretch of road where James Dean, the actor, crashed his Porsche. I'm not sure exactly where he bought the farm, somewhere near Cholame where State Highway 41 crossed. I saw the sign about the James Dean Memorial Crossroads, I did not notice the memorial itself. Of course by then I was starting to get a bit tired. Not long after Cholame we were into the agricultural Central Valley again. After we hit Interstate Five we turned south and drove to Buttonwillow a little agricultural town noted for nothing but a few truck stops and motels, including the Motel Six we spent the night in. I was glad to see a bed.

Red Fridays.

I have not been doing much reading or writing lately so I don't know who is behind this E-mail I got. Seems someone wants everyone to wear red on Fridays to show support for the troops.

I am not sure that it will make any big difference but what the hey, I have several red shirts.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Safely Out Of California. Thank You, Lord.

We're back in Phoenix. California is the strangest place, a short drive from the ocean to the desert. California is peacenik headquarters and the home of much of America's defense industry.

We were going to stay a couple weeks longer but my sister and her husband are finally officially sick of California and they are getting their house and land ready to sell. So, they are fixing to start in the bedroom we were in. Anyone who would like a few acres of Sierra Nevada foothill gold country with a geodesic dome house and goats and chickens should let me know. Oh, and yes one can still pan gold out of their little creek, unfornately only tiny flakes. The big nuggets are a hundred and fifty years gone. Unless, of course, there is a still undiscovered mother lode.

We drove down to Watsonville and Santa Cruz the day before my niece's wedding, we drove kind of the long way around, State Highway 88 down through Lodi and Stockton to Interstate 5, south to State Highway 152 and then east to Watsonville. We drove through some of the finest farmland in America, the cherry harvest was just ending and the illegals, er undocumented workers were picking strawberrys. The artichokes were just about ready, too. The almonds and walnuts were ripening, the lettuce and cabbage growing, and, of course, the citrus. Of course the country is going to get mighty hungry in another couple of generations as the farmers are fast being replaced by yuppie owners of vineyards. We won't have much to eat but we'll be drunk enough not to care. It used to be the Napa and Sonoma Valleys for wine and table grapes in the Central Valley, now it is one wine tasting place after another from the foothills of the Sierras, through the Central Valley and back to the coast. At any rate we took all day on a three or four hour drive but we saw a lot of pretty country.

We got to Watsonville and checked in to a $79.00 a night Motel 6. On the coast of California no one needs to worry about me boycotting the Hilton bunch, I can't hardly afford Motel 6. We cleaned up and drove the fifteen miles or so up to Santa Cruz in plenty of time for the rehearsal. Not that we needed to be at the rehearsal but that was the only way to get to the night-before dinner, us not being familiar with the area. The nieces, all four were there, all the kids and a regiment or so of other relatives, some that I had not seen in more than thirty years.

After the dinner we then drove around the area until dark. We went to bed early and, after we got up, drove up to the beach at Santa Cruz. That is where we discovered that dogs are not particularly welcome there, we got chased off the big pier and could not go on the boardwalk. They will be sorry for disrespecting the Black Pug Of Doom.

Then the wedding. Poor Larry, the groom, had about three relatives total. The preacher made the bride's family and friends sit on both sides of the aisle for fear the church would tip over.

We then drove to the Elks Lodge, up the hill from the beach, for the reception. Nice dinner, loads of family, the usual thing. Since my niece is like forty or so, we had folks from toddlers to people in walkers but it was fun. Not much to talk about, though, my family is like any other. From the reception we drove over Highway 17 to San Jose where we met Springfield Slim and I bought some of the Big Lube Bullets. The trouble was that Linda Lou and I were both tired and the directions were on a recording on the cell phone that we could not hear very well. We went the wrong way on every turn but finally found the place. There is something serious wrong with driving around lost with $3.23 a gallon gas in the car. Then back to the motel. Things got interesting the next day but that is also the next blog entry.