Boy Scout Red Mountain campout

Every year, my son’s Boy Scout troop has a campout near Red Mountain, CA.  They get to throw Tomahawks, work on their Archery skills, shoot .22 rifles in sit down shooting station, and shoot shotguns.  This year, the troop added knife throwing to the activities.  All of these activities are performed under the supervision of fully trained range masters.

It is one of the campouts that the boys remember the most.

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

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

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!

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:

Knott’s Scary Farm 2018 – Visit number 3

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!

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.

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.