We found a really cool Art Sculpture yard

We spent the weekend with my younger son’s Cub Scout pack at Mataguay Scout Ranch in Santa Ysabel.  On the drive up there we saw some cool metal sculptures on a hill while traveling down highway 79.  There ended up being  a whole lot full of them.  We stopped on the way back and walked around and admired them.  I highly advise stopping by if you are ever in the area.  There are pictures below the map.

Good Omens – a short review

I saw a commercial for this series the weekend after it came out so my wife, mother in law, and myself sat down to watch it. It started out pretty formulaic and halfway through I was pretty sure what was going to happen next so I went outside to finish a woodworking project. That night I checked in with the wife and found out that I had pretty much guessed it right.  I wrote it off in my head and forgot about it for the next few weeks.

It popped up in my feed so I figured that I would go ahead and finish that first episode to see just how close my guesses were.  It ticked off all of my boxes but in entirely unexpected ways.  I found that intriguing and decided to watch the next episode.

As I watched each one I started to enjoy it more and more.  I have now watched the final episode at least a half dozen times.

The story pretty much ended how I thought it would, but the way that it got there was totally unexpected.

At first I thought that the 2 main characters were over the top and kinda campy, but by the end I thoroughly enjoyed them and knew who was who.

I give Good Omens 4 stars.

Boy Scout Canoe Trip – 2019

My son’s Boy Scout troop makes an annual trip out to the Colorado River to work on their canoeing and kayaking merit badges.  This outing is a family camp style so parents and siblings are also welcome to join.  We tried a new place and time of year this time.  Traditionally they have been in September up near Needles, CA and this year we tried out Blythe in May.

We drove up to the new camp location on Friday night.  The gas tank was getting low so I passed our exit and drove the extra 2 1/2 miles over to the Arizona side and filled up my tank for about $1.50 a gallon less than the California side.

Once we got to the park, the scouts got together and setup their camp.  The majority of the boys slept in the open air under the stars.  One of the older patrols setup a lean-to shelter and I saw one tent setup.

The whole camp got up at 5:30 am to get prepared for the day.  We all put on our swim clothes, got our gear ready, and made sack lunches for the day on the river.  The boat rental company was there at 6:30 am sharp to ferry us to the drop off point.  We had 72 people and 37 water craft present for the 16 mile adventure and it took two trips to get us all there.

I’m guessing that we were on the water by about 8:00 am.  I left my phone back at camp in my car so all my times are approximate for the day.  We were split up into 5 groups of 7 or 8 watercraft.  I was in the first group code named “Naboo” which was followed by the group code named “Hoth”.  I don’t remember the other groups names but they were all Star Wars related.  All the different groups had new scouts/parents and many were new to canoes and rowing.  We got off to a slow start but most of them had it down pretty good by the 11 to 12 mile mark.  We had a strong current and not much wind or boat traffic so we made good time and got to camp by around 2:30 pm.  We unloaded all the people and then helped the boating company to load them all up.

Once we got back to the actual camp site everybody took a well deserved rest.  Once dinner time came around the Boy Scouts made their own dinners according to their meal plans and quartermasters.  The adult leaders made Blood Orange Chicken and we had a very good taco bar setup.  Everything always tastes better when you’re camping.  For desert, they made S’Mores cake in the Dutch ovens.  Pretty much everybody was passed out by the 10:00 o’clock lights out.

I woke up around 6:00 am to the sound of rain falling on my tent.  I got dressed and packed up my sleep bag, sleeping mat, and camp cot before venturing out.  Once I did, I discovered that it was barely drizzling.  The drops always sound louder falling on the rain fly of the tent.  It’s a good thing too because most of the boys were sleeping outside with no cover.

We got most of the camp packed up and then the scouts and leaders went down to the lagoon and offloaded the single trailer full of kayaks and canoes that we had rented for the merit badge training.  It took a couple of hours but all of the new scouts finished their Canoe Merit badge activities.  They will now be able to use kayaks next year.  The boys that already have their Canoe Merit Badge worked on the Kayak Badge.

We left the camp around 11:30 am and stopped for lunch at In-N-Out Burger.  We also made a brief stop in Cabazon for our traditional Dinosaur selfie.  We had one other scout that rode up with us.  After dropping him off we were home by 4:00 pm.

Forbidden Fantasy Show 2019 or Bust!

I finally got the chance to attend the Forbidden Fantasy show since they moved their location to the AVI Resort & Casino in Laughlin, NV.  This was the 22nd annual show and I have attended every one until they moved it here two years ago.  I am most definitely happy that I was able to make it this year.

Full show coverage can be seen at www.truckrun.net

I left my house around noon on Friday, stopped in Barstow for lunch, made one quick pitstop on Interstate 40, and was in Laughlin by 5:00 pm.

Cars and trucks were already rolling into the two show areas by the time that I checked into my room.  They had vehicles in the grass behind the hotel as well as the side parking lot.

I met some friends for dinner at the hotel buffet and then headed back out to the grass area to take some night shots of the cars and trucks. (I have better shots on TRUCKRUN dot NET)

I woke up bright and early Saturday morning and set up the Giant Jenga game that I had made to donate to the raffle.  I set it up across from the Raffle Booth so that people could play with it before they tried to win it.  You can find more info on the build at www.funwithwoodworking.com

I then spent the rest of the day hanging out with friends and taking pictures of the car show.

There were about 30 member of my car club, Relaxed Atmosphere, there and we all met up for dinner in the steak house in the casino.  We took up 2 long tables and one of the servers just up and walked out during the course of the meal so all of our checks ended up being combined into one big one.

After dinner we hung outside near the cars, inside at one of the bars, and at various spots around the casino.  I didn’t make it back to my room until around 3:00 am.

The 11:00 am check out time came around way too soon.  I got checked out just in time and then went outside and got a few more shots of the vehicles on the lawn.  I also checked out my buddy Frank’s clothing booth and hung around for trophies.  The trophies were all handed out by 2:00 pm and then I got the hell out of Dodge.  It was an uneventful trip home and I was very happy to see my family and sleep in my own bed.  I can’t wait for next year!

Netflix – Polar – a short review

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.

Super Wolf Blood Moon 2019

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.

We made ribs in our Instant Pot!

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/

Big Bear Adventure – January 2019

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.

Christmas Lights 2018

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.