Knott’s Scary Farm 2018 – Visit number 2

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.

Knott’s Scary Farm 2018 opening night

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.

Weekend Update 9-4-18

It was another busy holiday weekend but I managed to get a couple of washer toss games finished to give as presents.

On Saturday we did another Popcorn selling shift in the morning and then did some shopping for a potluck dinner with some other Scout families.  I took the washer toss game and the kids had a good time playing it.  You can order popcorn here to help support my son on his scouting adventure.

 

We had 2 more popcorn shifts on Sunday but the older boy and I were able to work on a couple of washer toss games to give to my 2 brother in laws at a family get together on Monday.

Monday morning I got the washer toss games finished up and we drove out to Hemet for the day to hang out with family.

Boy Scout Family camp trip – 2018

We spent the weekend participating in a family camp, just north of Malibu, with my older son’s Boy Scout Troop.

We got there Friday night, dropped the older boy off with his patrol, and then setup camp for my family.

Saturday morning we had breakfast with the other families, the Boy Scouts plan and prepare their own meals.

After breakfast we had a short geocaching introduction and then went on a hike to find some geocaching locations.

Once the hike was done we had lunch and then made the 5 minute walk down to the beach.  The undertow was pretty strong so we kept the younger kids close to the shore and kept a close eye on the older boys.  (There is a whole procedure setup in the BSA guidelines for this kind of activity.)

On Sunday we took one last stroll on the beach and then drove the scenic route down PCH to the 10 freeway and home.

 

 

We went camping with my son’s Cub Scout pack

I spent Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning camping with my younger son’s Cub Scout Pack at Camp OSO in Southern California. 

The kids got to do archery, shoot BB guns, fish, and go out on rowboats.

On Saturday we had a breakfast bake in the morning, hot dogs for lunch, spaghetti for dinner, and I made triple chocolate cake in the dutch oven for dessert.

Saturday night I built up a campfire and we had the kids do their skits and then make S’mores.

We also got to see some cool spiders.

We went home Sunday morning, unpacked and cleaned up.  That afternoon around 3:00 pm one of the Boy Scouts from my older son’s troop came over and we cut some wood down on the table saw and miter saw for his Eagle Project.  He is restoring some benches for his church.  Unfortunately we were so busy that I forgot to take any pictures.

So, I went and saw Avengers: Infinity War

I saw the movie opening weekend with my 11 and 8 year old boys.  They loved it.  I enjoyed it and I’m glad that I saw it on the big screen but I can honestly say that the big comic book movies just don’t entertain me like they used to.  I don’t know if it is over saturation or if it is just a sign of aging but they just don’t excite me like they used to.  Don’t get me wrong, I really liked it, but I didn’t walk out of the theater talking about how good it was.  My attitude was basically, yep it was another Marvel movie.

I plan on seeing the next Avengers movie but I’m not nearly as excited about it as my kids are.

We went to the Grand Canyon!

On Thursday morning we made the 6 hour drive from my house to Williams, AZ and spent the night there at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel.

On Friday morning we rode the train up to the Grand Canyon and then took a bus tour.  We stayed at the Maswik Hotel on the south rim of the canyon that night.  I left the wife and kids at the room and walked up to the red line bus and took it out to Mohave Point to watch the sunset.

On Saturday we walked to the nearest bus stop and rode the bus to the Visitor Center.  From there we walked along the rim of the canyon to the geology museum.  When we were done at the museum we took another bus back to our hotel, picked up our gear, and rode the train  back to Williams.  We then made the 6 hour drive back and got home around 2:00 am.  I did all the driving so I got to sleep in a little on Sunday.  We spent most of the day recuperating from the trip and I got out to the shop around 4:00 pm and did some gluing up of the broken tomahawk targets.

Please note that we had an 8 year old, an 11 year old, and my mother in law in the car so the actual drive times varied.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

On Tuesday night I got the chance to take the wife and kids to see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on the big screen.  Harkins Theatres has a Tuesday Night Classics program where they play classic movies and it is only $5 a ticket. I was able to buy tickets on their website a couple of weeks in advance.

My younger son is 8 and he just sat there enraptured the whole time.  He was a little surprised when he saw the orange Ooopa Loompas for the first time but sang right along with them on all of their subsequent appearances.  My wife enjoyed it right along with us and I think that my 11 year old fell asleep.

It is my understanding that the script was written to highlight Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka and not focus as much on Charlie.  This was one of the first times that I read the book after having seen the movie and realized that they didn’t necessarily match up.  I don’t care.  I saw the movie for the first time when I was 5 or 6 and fell in love with it.  For the next 10 years I watched it every time that I saw it was coming on TV.  To this day I will sit there and finish watching it if I happen to find it while flipping channels.

I was excited to see the Tim Burton version when it came and really enjoyed it.  It follows the book more closely and was fun to watch.  It will never come close to the nostalgia that I hold for the original film.  Gene Wilder’s deadpan delivery of warnings when the children were misbehaving is classic.  It is something that I unknowing imitated when I was growing up.

It was definitely worth the price of admission and I am glad that I was able to take my kids to see it on the big screen.

 

I am what you call a content creator

Last night, I published a new video to YouTube.  It is 8 minutes and 32 seconds long.  I edited it after work on Tuesday and Wednesday night.  Thursday night I started it uploading to YouTube and then made the plans that I will have available for sale on my website.

I shot the footage in July & August of last year.

Coming up with an idea for a project is fun.
Designing the project in Sketchup is fun.
Building the project is fun.
Shooting the video is fun.

Editing the video is work.  Sometimes I’m in the mood to edit video and hours can pass without my noticing them.  Most of the time it is a complete drudge.

Writing scripts and recording voice overs usually takes longer than editing the video does.  That is why I rarely do them.  Every once in a while the finished video needs them so I will do it reluctantly.  I try to shoot the video so that it needs as little audio explaining as necessary.

Making the plans is boring work.  It’s not complicated, it just takes a long time.

My business model is based on 3 income sources. YouTube ads, website ads, and project plan sales.  YouTube brings in money but I try to use it to get people to visit my website.  Once there, the goal is to get them to buy a project plan.  I also sell t-shirts but I don’t spend much time on it so barely any money comes in from that right now.

My goal is to be able to retire from my day job by the time my older son graduates high school and do content creation full time.  I don’t know if it is an achievable goal or not but I look forward to the day that I only need to work one job and not feel guilty for sitting down and watching a movie at night after work instead of going up to my computer and putting in another few hours on my side hustle.

I also look forward to no longer commuting 2 to 3 hours a day.

It was a very busy weekend

This past weekend was filled with 3 different scouting events.  My older son got the privilege to participate in his first Eagle Court of Honor ceremony on Saturday morning.  I was then able to get some work done on a stand/table for my friend’s new cage for his snake that afternoon.  It is going to be very similar to the stand that I built for my sister’s turtle aquarium. 

On Sunday we had Scout Sunday in the morning for the Boy Scout Troop and then it was Scout Night at Angel Stadium for Monster Jam.  We went with my younger son’s Cub Scout Pack and had a really good time.