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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.