Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I filled up the car today in Houston. A fillup cost a little under $20 @ $1.59 a gallon. I smiled.... but Houston is worried. The economy here is hinged to oil, so if the price falls like this folks might get laid off.

Having a great time spoiling grandkids. I'm all bruised from tussleing with them. Jay almost broke his arm (no kidding) coming after me this morning.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Heading for Texas... 11 hours and counting

The car is half loaded. The rest goes in tomorrow morning. We have had a busy week with unexpected events. A plumbing pipe bust. ( got to rebuild a sprinkler box so it won't happen again. That took about two days. The rent check didn't come. I had to drive to Orange County this morning and get it. Between these two events I'm a bit tired.

Two grandkids were going to accompany us to Texas as a surprise, but one got sick, including a fever, the day before we were to leave. So between the parents and kids it was decided it would be best not to go. That give us a bit more room in the car. On the other hand we were prepared for them to come along and the pullout was bittersweet.

On an up note I tanked up with gas in California for $1.85 at Costco. It's been a while since we saw gas below $2 a gallon in Calif. Usually Calif is about $.40 cents above the rest of the US due to higher taxes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nothing of Interest

I know this won't interest most of you, but last night I got yet ANOTHER buggy. This one is somewhat unique in body style. The guy first told me to just come get it. But I gave him a little something for it. He was walking away from his house, had to get rid of it, knew I do restores, said he would rather see someone like me have it if possible.The car is a total mess. I think I have pix of JJ in every buggy so far. It wasn't intended that way, it just sorta happened with the first few buggies by accident. We hope he is able to meet this one too some day.

I know it's ugly. On the positive side it was so unique when it hit the market that Dune Buggy Handbook gave it two whole pages. And manufacture happened right here in San Bernardino in the late 60s. Like I said, It's ugly ...but a swan is in there somewhere. My friend Richard said I should tell people it's a retired Disneyland Autopia car. LOL.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Little Lobbyists

We linked up with Houston on skype yesterday. It's amazing how kids love to see themselves on the screen. There we were wanting to talk to them ...but all the while kids were vying for camera time so they could stick their tongue out, make funny faces, or look at their tonsils. Then Gracie started telling secrets on the internet. She was too stinking cute, even with J holding up fingers behind her head. Gammie was hanging on every word. What with all their lobbying looks like we are heading to Houston for T-day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A day with Thomas

My friend Marvin volunteers at the Orange Empire Railroad Museum and told us Thomas was back for five days. What better way to spend Veterans Day than with grandsons riding and viewing old railroad trains. Click on any pix to enlarge it.

First stop was at an old flatcar with a crane on board. Micah was delighted when I hoisted them up top. Seth was a little less sure-footed and looked for something to hang on to.

Then we wandered up to "Grizzly Flat." Sound like Disney's California Adventure? It should. There is a ¾ scale train engine there made for an early Disney Exec to take his grandkids around his back yard, which has now been donated to the museum. Here OUR grandkids are in front of Baldwin Locomotive #2, a full size locomotive. The ¾ scale engine is out of view.

Next, to the Trolley ride around the park. Compared to a modern amusement park the rides are tame. The trolley pitched and rolled like trolleys do when tracks are uneven. Here the boys are disembarking on their own. Seth is getting taller and becoming the master of the "Big Steps."

First glimpse of Thomas as the little engine backed the passenger cars up to the loading platform. Don't get too excited Jayden!

Gammie and the boys with what Seth calls, "The blue train."

Our heroes riding high in the caboose train. This was Seth's favorite. When we asked which he liked best he said, "The yellow train." I couldn't figure it out at first, until I realized this caboose was yellow. He seems to take his cues form colors. If Seth was color blind I don't think he could explain the day.

Last stop was the fully functional old steam engine which they still use to pull visitors around the museum grounds on occasion. Seth wasn't too sure about standing on the tall step alone, so Micah gingerly sidestepped over and put a reassuring arm in front of him. Way to go Micah.

The grandsons were very well behaved for us. At one point they sat down on the trolley in the first available empty seats. The next empty seats for us grandparents were about five rows behind. I thought about switching with Seth, sending him back to Gammie, but decided to leave the two alone up there. The conductor said everyone had to stay seated while the trolley was in motion. They were perfect gentlemen.

Being Veterans Day, on the way home I asked Micah if he would like to see where my parents are buried, fully prepared for a no answer. This was a bit confusing to him and he said they were in Heaven. What followed was a simple discourse of how we die when our spirit leaves the body. The spirit goes with Jesus, and body stays here and gets buried until Jesus comes.I suspect the concept was a bit much for him to comprehend, but he acknowledged with an, "Oh." Once we found the grave site we explained again this is where my parents bodies are buried, but they are in Heaven with Jesus, took this picture, pointed out all the flags decorating the cemetery and explained Vets day. I also showed Micah how to find his great-grandparents grave sites. Which tree Micah?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Let your Yes be Yes

I know some folks who planned a get-together at their house and had RSVP responses. They bought food for respondents. The day of the event only about half of the folks who replied showed up. The spread was awesome, but the open-house folks had to deal with all that extra expense and food.... and the disappointment.

We put an event in the bulletin and the outing was announced publicly. Enthusiasm was high. 32 guys took the time to find the sign-up list. I emailed or called everyone who signed up two days in advance. The day of departure I received six cancellations. That left 26 for the outing. The evening we were to leave we arranged to meet in a parking lot. Only two of the remaining 26 showed up. I waited extra time for late comers in the event some were delayed. No one else called or showed.

Perhaps I'm old school but these things trouble me. I was raised that a man is only as good as his word. Am I wrong to expect we should be different from the world around us? Give me your thoughts.