Sunday, August 29, 2010
"500 Days of Summer" http://www.foxsearchlight.com/500daysofsummer/
"Orson Welles and Me" http://www.meandorsonwellesthemovie.com/
Both have much to like in them. I liked that the theater people in "Orson Welles" didn't constantly hug each other. It was a more reserved time in 1937 I guess. I also didn't see any fist bumps (thank goodness).
Check them out and let me know if you like them.
Monday, August 23, 2010
So far we've gleaned:
This doesn't count the pennies we've seen mashed down into the road surface but are not retrievable. I wonder if more pennies are found because those who drop them can't be bothered to pick them up and the found denominations decrease in reverse proportion to their value because of that value? I do know as I mentioned that found money is much less than before. I guess tough times makes folks value their pocket change!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
As promised we located the mighty Santa Ana river. The Grouch and Roscoe are standing in it. Back where the Grouch comes from this body of water would be called a crick. Out west any year round flowing body of water is automatically a river. The water was shockingly cold!
Molly loved the water as always. The Grouch could only stand in it for a couple minutes before the cold was almost painful. The air temperature was in the high '80s so it was an interesting contrast.
After enjoying the shade and the running water we set off to climb up the Clark grade trail. This started out pretty mild and not too steep. But, the higher we went the rougher the road got and the further the drop on one side became. Near the top the trail was only as wide as the trusty Jeep and the drop looked high enough to successfully parachute off of. I believe the trail was more than what the Missus had signed up for.
When we reached the top we found evidence that others had difficulties on the trail. The Grouch holds a broken tow strap and some vehicle trim that was shed by a vehicle in trouble.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
So, not too early today we loaded up into the trusty Aztek and set off for the coast. Young daughter has drill this weekend so she could not attend with us but she did get to see and hear some of the activities during the day capped by a ring side seat atop one of the base buildings as the Thunderbirds streaked over her part of the base during the finale of the airshow. Can't beat that!
So, now for some pictures. Click on the pics for a larger view.
The first interesting item we encountered was in the apron outside of the gianormous hangers. A bronze plaque inset into the concrete commemorating a visit by President Kennedy in 1963. Who knew?
This B25 is seen frequently at area airshows. Young son was going to tour it but the crowd was too heavy around it. However, he did tour it, but years ago! See the next picture.
The Grouch's dad flew in a plane much like this while working as a Norden bombsight tech in WW2. His was an AT11 but the planes are essentially the same.
Not something seen at many airshows - a WW2 Japanese Zero fighter! Its arch-enemy was also at the airshow - a Grumman Hellcat fighter. I think it was there to keep an eye on it.
The infantryman's friend: the A10 'Warthog'. This plane is incredibly maneuverable and did many aerobatic stunts that I had no idea it was capable of doing. It made several low passes over the field and explosions were set off on the ground to simulate bombs being dropped. The flame effect was pretty spectacular. The explosions made the ground jump and rattled the windows at the ANG base according to young daughter. Too bad they also set the grass on fire next to the runway and delayed the start of the Thunderbirds by an hour!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Click on the pictures for a full size image!
Molly showing her mad acrobatic skills in downtown Big Bear Lake.
The Grouch on a walk in a park near the rental cabin. We did a 6 mile hike the next day starting in this area.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Still there? Ok then, here is the 2010 Grouch Big Bear trip report.
We left on a Friday when the temperature was starting to climb. By 11 a.m. it was already up to 100F. We towed the little trailer behind the Jeep crammed with the vital needs for our week in Big Bear. As we drove along I210 towards Big Bear the outside temperature climbed to 107F! Glad we have a modern Jeep with air conditioning. Our climb up SR 38 saw the temperature dropping to 102F. By the time we reached Angelus Oaks (our traditional lunch spot in the mountains) it was in the 90s. We stopped for a few minutes to visit with young son at the Boy Scout camp that he does volunteer camp counselor duty at each summer and then pressed on to Big Bear lake.
(click on the pictures for a full-size view)
We used a new cabin rental company and were very happy with the results. We rented a two bedroom place with a hot tub in the back yard. The cabin was big enough for us and Molly and Roscoe
There was plenty of room for me to do one of my favorite vacation activities - reading! At night the sky was dark enough to see a couple satellites each night traveling overhead.
We warmed up with a fairly easy drive to the Rose mine. The shaft was blocked with a grate about 10 feet in which energetic explorers had cut open to gain access deeper into the mine. Being old guys my buddy and I declined to explore further so instead we pressed on to more challenging trails.
There is a bunk bed with some nasty looking mattresses on them and various stores contributed by passers-by. We didn't leave anything seeing as we still had further to go and might need whatever we had if we broke down.
Next we started up Heartbreak hill. It is aptly named and it did a number on my Jeep. I banged on many boulders and rocks going up and coming back down. At some point I collected a deep gouge in the engine oil pan but it didn't punch through lucky for me. At the top of the trail is a monument to a Marine officer KIA in Iraq. He couldn't make it up the trail in his Bronco and his dream was to 'build' his Bronco when he got back to make it to the top. Sadly he never returned. His friends installed the memorial to him in 2006.
A very moving tribute to a fallen Marine and fellow off-roader.
On the way down we encountered a Jeep club called "Extreme Jeeps" who were driving tricked out Jeeps capable of climbing up vertical walls like Spiderman. They seemed a bit crestfallen to see that my Jeep had made it up and was on the way back down in one piece (more or less!).