Monday, February 25, 2013

Old guy at college

So here I am, an old guy at college.  I went to the school bookstore to return my rented textbooks and pick up the book for the next course.  The cute young thing behind the counter was completed puzzled as to why I wanted to return some rented textbooks.  "You are an instructor, right?"  she asked me very confused.  Nope, just a student like everyone else around here was my reply.  I guess she hadn't seen anyone of my vintage going to school!  

My second class started last week.  The instructor was congratulating all of us for being in the program and surmising that our motivation was to advance our careers, except for some who "are just here for the knowledge" he said while casting a glance in my direction.   What, old guys can't advance their career at this point my life?  Actually, I am there just for the knowledge but I don't need to have that pointed out to me!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Elsmere Canyon trail loop hike redux

Several weeks ago on another long weekend the Missus and I took a hike on the new Elsmere canyon trail loop but because it wasn't very clearly marked we ended up not making the loop but backtracking to our start point.  This past Sunday we tried it again along with Young Daughter and her dog Fancy.  It wasn't nearly as windy as the first time we did the trail and it was sunny and mild and just perfect for a hike.
We accessed the trail from Sierra highway, followed the abandoned road under highway 14 and climbed the hill 'till we met the loop trail.  This time we went right instead of left and were able to follow the trail all the way around.  There are numerous side trails that look very interesting but those had to wait until another time.  All told the hike was six miles, some of it steep and rough but with good boots or shoes and a stout hiking staff it was no problem. 
Pictures courtesy of 3 Dog Days

Initially the trail follows SR 14 and you get a great view of the highway from up above but it is pretty noisy

When you leave the freeway behind you start to get the real hiking experience
The Missus and I enjoying the sun and fresh air
The area was heavily used for crude oil production and in some areas oil still seeps from the ground
Derelict machinery from the oil field days
Young Daughter and Fancy
The Grouch and the Missus having a rest
Overlooking Santa Clarita
Hiking is fun!

When we came back to the Jeep which has several Army stickers and veteran's plates on it someone had left a note on the windshield:  "Thanks for all you do to serve our country.  Grateful, Jeff"   What a nice person!  Wish Older Son's car had gotten the note since he served in Iraq and Gitmo.  The credit goes to him and to Young Daughter for both of their service.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dog day at Grouch estates

Young Daughter is at the Grouch homestead this weekend with her dog gang plus a dog she is dogsitting plus our dogs makes seven dogs!   Four of them were in the backyard playing and having a grand time.
Pictures courtesy of 3 Dog Days
Kerby and friend at high speed
Getting a bit hungry for lunch perhaps?
Dottie and Kerby, BDFF
Someone's getting ganged up on here

Kerby's had enough for the day!

"Sole Survivor" and the Lady be Good

As a kid I read a book about the WW2 B24 bomber known as the Lady be Good that crashed in the Libyan desert after getting lost returning from a bombing raid on Italy.  The crew thought they were over the Mediterranean sea and bailed out when the fuel was gone but the plane had not only passed over the sea but also the base in occupied Lybia and proceeded deeper into the desert. The B24 was not able to be ditched in the ocean as the flimsy bomb bay doors would instantly collapse when hitting the water and the plane would sink like a rock.  Much better to bail out into the ocean.   It was night and undoubtedly to their surprise the crew landed in the desert and not the ocean.   The plane continued on without the crew and landed in the desert more or less intact with food, water, and survival equipment on board.  Unfortunately for the crew they perished as they walked for help, dying one after another. 

In 1959 some oil field surveyors stumbled upon the wreckage and investigated the crash site, eventually finding all but one of the crew's remains.  the story of the Lady be Good can be  found here:   The search for the crew of the Lady be Good is a testament to the determination of the U.S. Air Force to account for its lost aviators.

In 1970 a movie very loosely based on the Lady be Good was shown on TV: "Sole Survivor".  I remember it well and tonight stumbled on it while viewing WW2 Army Air Force training films on You tube (it was a slow evening).   It seems that almost everything can be found on the internet!  The movie is really pretty good, especially for a made for TV movie and for your viewing pleasure I have linked it here for you to watch.  It has William Shatner post Star Trek and Richard Basehart, scenery chewer extraordinaire and formerly admiral of the U.S.S. Seaview.  A great show and worth your time some slow evening.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Field expediant tool

So, when you live in Southern California and don't own a windshield ice scraper and come out of the house at 6 a.m. to go to drill and are running late and you already know that it is going to take twice as long to get onto the post because it is on DEFCON One  because of the crazed cop killer/ex Navy officer on the loose who has frequented the post in the past and you find the car with not only an icy windshield but so encased in ice that the doors are frozen shut and the windshield wipers are frozen to the glass...what do you use to get the ice off?  Why, a plastic spatula of course!  

I thought I was back in Chicago when I saw the car glistening with ice in the glare of streetlight.  This isn't what I pay my very high taxes for in SoCal.  It isn't supposed to be that cold here!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A grouchy grumble

So I had to go to the doctor's office the other day to schedule a 'procedure'.  Even though I have had the 'procedure' done by this same doctor twice now I had to fill out the same paperwork I have filled out before.  This time it consisted of three legal size sheets, front and back.  Not something I enjoy doing but we must do what must be done....except after filling out the first form I discovered the second form required 90% of the same information that I completed on the first form and the third form had about 75% of the same information demanded on form one and two!   What the hey!?

 This has to be Obama's fault somehow.

I completed the forms and got my date for the 'procedure'.  I considered lodging a complaint about the excessive paper filling out but I decided to keep quiet, otherwise the office ladies might mis-file the forms and make me do it all over again!

Don't shop at Macy's!

Don't shop at Macy's because they were rude and inconsiderate to Young Son when he was seeking a job before the holiday shopping season.  Young Son went online to the Macy's website and applied for a job and much to his excitement received an interview date!  When the day came he rushed home from school, put on his best dress shirt and tie and resume in hand reported to the HR office for his interview.   The HR representative asked him why he was there; for my interview he replied.  The rep informed him that there were no openings and that the website gives appointments to anyone who applies whether there are openings or not.  He was told to leave.   Young Son was crushed.  He could understand not being selected for  the job, but getting his hopes up when there weren't any openings to begin with was really too much. 

I tried to console him by saying that any place that treated prospective employees that way is most assuredly not the place to work for.

Boo Macy's!

Hyundai Super Bowl commercial

So, awhile ago the Missus and Young Son were driving along Sierra Highway when they encountered some filming underway.  It involved a big bus emblazoned with "Flaming Lips" that was shooting confetti out of the roof, a seedy looking motorcycle gang and a big inflatable ball.  They told me that they thought a music video was being made but much to our amazement she and I saw it incorporated into a Hyundai commercial near the beginning of the Super Bowl!