On January 30th I watched the new NETFLIX movie Polar.
The trailer for this looked awesome. The opening scene was great but then it started to drag a little. Then it started to drag a lot. Then some kickass assassin stuff happened. Then it drug on some more. Then some gratuitous sex, and some more assassin stuff. The slow stuff was needed to progress the story but they just made it so damn boring. If they took out half of the slow stuff and doubled the assassin stuff, and gave us a little more Johnny Knoxville, then it could have been a kickass movie. If you have Netflix already I would recommend watching it once. If you don’t have it, I would not order it just to see this movie.
We had a get together at a neighbor’s house for the 2nd NFL playoff game of the day and towards the end of it one of my friends went outside to look at the moon. I had no idea of what was going on so with the Lunar eclipse so I ran home and grabbed my Nikon D5100 and my tripod. I started a little later than I would have liked but I was able to snap quite a few pictures. I had some trouble with the focus on my 200 mm lens so I used my 18-135 mm lens and the pictures turned out decent. I wish that I could have made them a little crisper but overall I am happy with the results.
My wife picked up an Instant Pot for the family last year on Black Friday. We finally broke it out right after New Years Day and have cooked a couple of meals in it. I really wanted to use it to make something for dinner this last Sunday so we decided on ribs. My wife picked up a rack of pork ribs at our local grocery store along with some Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce.
I started by rubbing them down with some freshly ground Sea Salt and Peppercorn.
I then put a cup of water in the Instant Pot along with the cooking rack and a couple of drops of Liquid Smoke and set it to run for 25 minutes.
By the time it heated up, cooked the meat for 25 minutes, and then run for the recommended 10 minute cool down cycle it was close to an hour later. I took the ribs out and they were fully cooked but looked like death.
I then gave them a hearty coat of BBQ sauce and stuck them in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and they crisped up nicely.
I served them with some baked beans and corn on the cob and we had an excellent meal.
Here’s a link to the recipe that I used: https://www.pressurecookrecipes.com/easy-bbq-instant-pot-ribs/
We got invited by some family friends to join them for the weekend in Big Bear, CA. It snowed the night before we drove up and everything was blanketed with a good layer of snow. It made everything look very scenic. We got to our hotel and relaxed for a bit and then my boys played in the snow outside for a little bit before we went to dinner. A new restaurant had opened up across the street since the last time our friends stayed there so we all troooped over to try it out. There was a little bit of an issue getting all 13 of us seated but once we did, it exceeded our expectations. The food was very good and the views from the balcony were stunning.
The next day we hit up the Big Bear Snow Play park. It was a little pricey at $35 each but we got to ride the inner tubes for about 4 hours. Both my boys and I had a great time and so did the other families with us. When the park closed we dropped off the ladies back at the hotel and headed to a local park to do some sledding. I managed to run into a rock on my first sled run and banged up my left wrist a little. We rode the sleds until the sun started to set. Our friends went back to the hotel for their second night and we headed home.
It was a really great weekend with friends and family and I hope to make it a new family tradition.
Last night we made the 20 minute drive out to Chino with a group of neighbors to look at Christmas lights. The neighborhood we went to had a decent amount but not nearly as many as we have seen in the past. We had about 15 kids and 10 adults so it was a good time. After that we drove another 10 minutes to a whole block that had lights that flashed and moved to music that we could tune in on our car radios. That was the highlight of the evening.
My son is a member of Cub Scout Pack 2017 and every year we sell popcorn as our primary fundraiser for Pack events. We sold a lot of popcorn this year. Part of selling popcorn was collecting Military Donations. We delivered those donations to March ARB on December 1st. After the popcorn delivery was finished we got the chance to board one of their refueling aircraft and all the kids got to learn about how it refuels other planes while in the air. It was a great experience for all involved.
Once again I headed straight to the one maze that I have not made it into yet, Trick or Treat, and they had a two hour wait listed on the sign so I detoured back over to the zombie killing maze. I got stuck behind a really slow person and only shot 6 zombies this time. I hit up a couple more mazes and then did back to back rides on Montezooma’s Revenge. That was really fun riding it in the dark. I also rode Voyage to the Iron Reef for the first time. That ride was a lot more fun than I expected. You wear 3-D glasses and the ocean life really pops out. Did I mention this ride has guns? You get to shoot all the 3-D ocean life! I’m definitely taking the family on this one the next time that we come. Upon exiting this ride I found the Scary Farm Art Exhibit. They had some really cool paintings and wooden art pieces there. One of the Cub Scout dads bought the Ouija board.
I also rode the Pony Express, Coast Rider, Sierra Sidewinder, Sol Spin, and Jaguar.
After those rides and I then watched the second to last showing of The Hanging. It always amazes me just how closely they follow their script. There were a couple of minor changes but it was pretty much the exact same show that I saw on my first night.
I went on a couple more mazes and then checked the first maze and it still had an hour wait so I headed home around 11:00 pm. It was a full night and I had a good time. I’m not going to make it next week due to a Cub Scout campout the next day but you can bet that I will be there the week after!
As I mentioned last week, my wife surprised me with a season pass for Knott’s Scary Farm so I went again this Thursday. I had originally planned to go on Tuesday but it turns out that they are only open Thursday through Sunday.
I was able to park in the rear parking lot for no charge with my annual parking pass and I was able to get in with my season pass. My only cost for the night was $10 for dinner at a local rice bowl place.
I went right in at 7:30 pm and headed straight to the first of 2 mazes that I missed last week. It was a 120 min wait so I bee-lined to the zombie killing maze and made it in after a 30 minute wait. There were a group of ladies in front of me who have been coming here for years and especially liked killing zombies. 2 of them were twins who always come on their birthday. I was able to join their group and we all had a good time shooting zombies.
I hit up a couple more mazes and then went back and checked on the first maze and the line was still too long. By this point is was 10:00 pm so I decided to head home because I had to go to work in the morning. I plan on returning next Thursday for a longer night as I have the next day off for a Boy Scout camping trip.
For the past 22 years my buddy Dave and I have been going to Knott’s Scary Farm. It is the Halloween scary night time version of Knott’s Berry Farm. We normally go on the last Thursday of September to capitalize on the smaller amount of people in the park. This year one of his friends couldn’t make it on the last Thursday so we went the Thursday before not knowing that it was opening night. They live about an hour and half from the park and I work about 15 minutes away. We like to meet at a local restaurant named Portillos and then drive the 5 minutes to the park from there.
The park surprised us and raised the rates on the parking closest to the event from $20 to $35. I have an annual pass this year for the park and for the Scary Farm event. I also paid for the annual parking pass but still had to pay an additional $14 to park with my friends. Being opening night it was much more crowded than expected.
One of the main attractions of the Scary Farm event is their Halloween themed mazes. They usually have nine or ten mazes and Dave likes to visit them in order starting with number one. The six of us got in line for the 1st maze and barely made it through one twist of the visible six cut backs in 30 minutes so we decided to skip ahead to number nine and backtrack. By midnight we were able to go through all of them except for number one and we also watched their live show called The Hanging. It is an irreverent look back on all the pop culture events of the last year and one of my favorite parts of the event. I had to work at 8:00 am the next morning so I left at 12:00 am to make my 45 minute drive home. The others stayed and went through the last maze.
I took some pictures with my iPhone 6s and my small Canon point and shoot camera. I plan on going back next Thursday with my larger DSLR camera and hopefully get some better pictures.