captpackrat: (Camera)

My grandfather in uniform.  I can't see any rank insignia, so he's probably a Private, which would have been 1946 or 47, I think.  This photo was probably taken in South Carolina (he went through boot camp at MCRD Paris Island), North Carolina (after boot camp he was stationed at Camp Lejeune), or Florida (his mother lived in Jacksonville).  I tried Googleing the Gardner Hotel Supply Co, but couldn't find anything relevant.


Camels!  I also tried doing a Google Image search to see if I could find this ad, but it was like searching for a cigarette butt in a haystack.



Judging by the Nerf Indoor Golf set that I'd received for Christmas, this was probably from 1986.  No wonder I'm good at putting, even though I suck at everything else in golf.



A photo I took of Yosemite Valley, some time around December 1986 or January 1987.  I'm amazed that I managed to find this picture, I thought it was lost long ago.  Not a bad shot considering the weather, and the fact that I was only 13 at the time.

This photo was probably taken from Tunnel View on Wawona Road.  You can see El Capitan on the left and Cathedral Rocks and Bridalveil Fall on the right; it's winter, so the falls are barely a trickle.  Half Dome would be just to the left behind Sentinel Dome in the center but is completely obscured by fog.  Yosemite Falls isn't visible from this vantage point.
captpackrat: (Camera)
Assorted pics I either forgot to upload or uploaded to Twitpic but not here.



The antenna I put up for my SO.  I wish I'd done more research; while this antenna works well, it's really overkill.  Separate VHF and UHF antennas would have worked better.



Saw this car with a tiger tail at the Omaha Costco.


   
Taking the Plattsmouth Bridge across the Missouri River.  These photos were taken back in October when I drove to Iowa to inquire about a marriage license.


      
After visiting the Mills County Courthouse, I stopped at the nearby Mile Hill Lake at the foot of the Loess Hills.  I walked around the lake, across the dam and up into the hills.  I used to go on these kinds of hikes all the time, but it's been a while and I'm a bit out of shape.



Christmas 2009, I bought stockings for my SO and my roommate.  Not just any kind, but stockings that were appropriate to their "furry preferences".  But I had a very hard time finding anything appropriate for me.  I finally found this stocking with rabbits that was perfect.



Birds are made from bird seed!



Have you given your dog a wet nose today?



Engrish is my favorite language.



One of my relatives!  It's a cute little kids book about packrats.



A Folkmanis Pack Rat puppet.


 
I've not had much luck getting pictures of the birds.  Every time I try to step outside to get a shot, the more colorful birds fly away.
captpackrat: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd] Just before Christmas, back when I was in high school, I was waiting at the Lakewood Mall for a Long Beach Transit bus.  The bus that showed up was totally different from the usual LBT fare, it was all decked out for the season and the driver had a boombox playing Christmas music.  Everyone on the bus was singing carols and stuff.   That was fun.
captpackrat: (Camera)

Weird error I got last night just before my computer froze up.


Red Bull gives you wheels?


It's a Subaru WRX GTR STI!


I find it amusing that these two business are located near each other.



Look boss, da train! Da train!



I got to drive on an original piece of the Lincoln Highway today. It's so incredibly narrow, smaller than the side streets in most towns. In fact, to make it usable to today's vehicles, they've had to add a narrow concrete strip along the edges to widen it an additional foot or so. Even with that, it's barely wide enough for two cars to pass each other. It's also paved with brick; it was a jarring ride in my Caprice, I can only imagine what it would have been like in a rickety old Model T. There were no other cars on the road, and it's in a pretty isolated area, so you could get a bit of a feel for what this must have been like nearly 100 years ago.

If you're in Omaha, you can find this stretch of ancient highway by exiting W. Dodge (US-6) at 180th and head north about 3/4 mile.
captpackrat: (Hello Computer)
Gee, this is a bit old.   I finally got around to developing the pictures I took a couple years ago on my trip to Roswell, New Mexico.

captpackrat: (Riding a plane)
I did this meme some time ago, so it's about time I updated it. Hmmm, I think I notice a trend... 


create your own personalized map of the USA

Pictures!

Aug. 3rd, 2006 03:12 pm
captpackrat: (Hiding in the plants)

I-70 through Glenwood Canyon.  Probably one of the most fantastic stretches of highway I've ever seen.  The roadbed is suspended above the canyon floor.  This picture was taken through the windshield with my cellphone.  The camera appears to have a wide angle lens; in reality the canyon walls appear MUCH closer and steeper.  Unfortunately, the other pics didn't turn out very well.  If I wasn't hauling so much stuff, I would have pulled off the highway to take pictures with a real camera.

I-70 through Glenwood Canyon



This is a statue I found at an Oriental goods store in Omaha.  It's about 8 inches tall and is carved from wood.  It cost me about $30.  I've seen similar carvings before, but usually only a couple inches tall, I've never seen one this big before.

Rat statue



captpackrat: (Ratmobile)
Finally got settled in and online again!  Wow, I am sooooo far behind in reading other people's journals.  Yikes!

I originally intended to take about 3 days to drive from San Diego to Omaha, doing about 500 miles a day, or a leasurely 8 hours of driving a day.

For some reason, I just couldn't fall asleep Friday night, so at about 2 am Saturday morning, I just said screw it, got in the car and headed out.  It was shortly before 3 am by the time I hit the road and stopped for gas.  The first few hours were pretty uneventful, driving up I-15 through Riverside in the dark on Saturday Morning, there wasn't much traffic.  The traffic started to really pick up after passing Barstow.  There was much idiocy, with people doing 45 MPH trying to pass thus holding up traffic for miles behind.  It finally cleared up around the state line.

You could tell the moment you crossed into Nevada, as there was a couple huge casinos just across the border.  I was starting to get hungry by this time, as was the car, but I didn't want to stop in Vegas, so I continued on to Mesquite.  The gas station had slot machines inside, but the Jack-In-The-Box didn't.

I passed through Arizona very briefly, then on into Utah.  There was some interesting scenery, with canyons and stuff on either side of the highway, but while that was impressive, it paled in comparison to what I'd see in Colorado.  Plenty of idiots on the roads there too.  I'm hauling a ton of stuff (literally), and had to keep hitting my brakes because morons kept deciding to pass right in front of me.  I found myself wondering if my car had a big sign reading "Please pull in front of me".  I passed through Beaver, UT, and noted that this was where Microsoft Streets and Trips had suggested I stop for the night.   Except that it was wasn't even noon yet, so I pressed on.  I swiched over to the I-70 and stopped in Salina, UT for gas.

Then it was on into Colorado.  I crossed the Colorado River several times and noted it really didn't seem all that impressive.  The highway now started to snake THROUGH the canyons, instead of mearly passing by them.  But the best was still yet to come!  I stopped in Glenwood Springs for some more gas.  After leaving there, the speed limit on the freeway dropped to 50 MPH, and I was starting to get annoyed, as there didn't appear to be any reason for it.  Then I passed through a tunnel and it all became clear.  The freeway passed right through the bottom of a very narrow canyon, with the walls towering overhead.  I put the car on cruise control and tried to stretch my neck to get a good look.  The roadbed was elevated above the floor of the canyon, with the Colorado River raging underneath.  I saw a couple boats negociating their way downstream through the rapids.  It was absoluetely incredible.  I must go back there some time with a less loaded vehicle so I can stop and take better pictures.  I did manage to get a few with my cellphone, though I haven't downloaded them yet.  After leaving the canyons, the freeway started climbing, high up into the mountains.  I passed through Vail and climbed to just over 10,000 feet.  Then down a wee bit through Dillon, then back up again.  I managed to reach 11,180 feet just before entering the Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel.  At those elevations, with a full loaded car, on a hot, humid day, my car was struggling to maintain speed.  I had the car in 2nd gear with the pedal all the way to the floor just to keep climbing.  I seemed to be having a better time of it than other drivers, though.  The thunderstorms that were threatening all afternoon finally made good, and it started coming down in buckets.  The worst came after exiting the tunnel, it was raining so hard I could barely see.  Most other drivers had slowed down, but there were a few maniacs to insisted on trying to do 80 or more despite the torrential downfall, steep terrain and winding road.

It was about this time I realized I didn't have a [profile] street address, just a PO Box number.  I didn't know where I was supposed to go!  I called my SO's cellphone and left a message that I was early and that I needed his address.

I arrived in Denver, having driven about 16 hours.   Microsoft had suggested I stop here for my second night.  By now it was about 6 o' clock, but wasn't really feeling all that tired.  The sun was still in the sky, and I was only a few hundred miles from the Nebraska border, so again, I decided to press on.   I switched onto I-76 and stopped in Fort Morgan for dinner at Arby's.  The rest of Colorado was pretty boring, mostly flat with little or nothing to see.  By now the sun was going down and it started getting dark.   I had been driving about 10 miles over the limit most of the way, but with the increasing darkness (and the increasing highway patrol presence), I dropped back to the speed limit.   The road was mostly empty, but I was still passing people left and right.

I gave my SO a phone call and sent a text message asking for the address again.

Shortly after the Nebraska border, I-76 merged with I-80.  Here, some moron in an SUV that I'd passed some time earlier came roaring up in the left lane just as the two were about to merge.  I had to slam on the brakes and drive onto the shoulder to avoid a collision.  Shortly after that, the idiot slowed down again, and even though I was still doing the speed limit, I passed him like he was standing still.  ince leaving Denver I'd thought about stopping in North Platte for the night, but it was only a couple more hours to Lincoln, so I just stopped for some gas and caffeine and pressed on again.  Nebraska at night is a pretty boring place, but fortunately, there was a rather impressive thunderstorm in the distance.

I finally got into Lincoln about 2 am and I was pretty beat.  I started looking for a place to spend the night.  Despite there being dozens of motels all over, they were all full!  Augh!  I stopped in a rest area half-way between Lincoln and Omaha and starting calling, texting, IMing and e-mailing trying to get a response.  Nothing.  Augh!  I took a nap at the rest stop, then drove around for a bit trying to find a hotel with a vacancy.  Some time around 6 am, I stopped at an IHOP and had breakfast and 4 cups of coffee.  I drove across the border into Iowa, just to say I'd been there, then started driving around, hoping maybe I could spot some landmarks or something to tell me I'd gotten close.  I kept calling every 30 minutes or so, but by now the cellphone was going straight to voice mail, it had obviously been turned off.  I got a bit annoyed at this, and even though it was about 10 in the morning, I kept looking for a hotel room.   I finally found a place in Greenwood, NE that had one room available.  The motel clerk asked me if I was in town for the big race.  Apparently that, plus some conventions in Lincoln and the 4th of July holiday, was the reason all the hotels were full.  I headed for my room, took a quick shower then crashed hard for about 3 hours.

I got up and drove to the nearest place to get some food, a truck stop on the other side of the freeway.  Then, feeling bored, I decided to investigate the huge ADULT 24 HOUR sign off the highway.  I never did find the adult place (I learned later it had disappeared some time ago), but instead ended up in an antique shop.  It was then I finally got a text message from my SO.  Apparently the ring tone he'd uploaded to his phone wasn't working (stupid Verizon), and he'd forgotten to plug it in and the battery had died.  He was getting all of my messages in a sudden flood.  He gave me directions to his place.  It had taken me about 24 hours worth of driving to get to Omaha, and another 12 hours after I got there to find my destination.  I slept until well after noon on Monday.
captpackrat: (Whoo)
I stopped in a local bike shop to get an idea of prices. Good God, they are insane!!! I was hoping to be able to buy a bike for $200-250 or so. Not a chance. The cheapest they had was $400, and the average price was $2000-3000!!!

Umm, no. I could buy a brand new Honda scooter for less than that.

All I want is BASIC transportation. Something to go about 8 miles to/from work. I don't need a titanium frame, I don't need magnesium wheels, I don't need 100 gears, I don't need a racing or mountain or BMX bike. Just something to hop on and pedal off, like I used to do when I was in school.

Guess I'm going to have to look into maybe buying a used scooter or something.
captpackrat: (Smug)
Got to listen to a very interesting episode of The Shadow on Sirius 133 (Radio Classics) while returning from Temecula today. "The Man Who Murdered Time", about a madman who builds a machine that causes everyone to relive New Years Eve over and over again. Kind of like Groundhog Day, but evil.

And then an episode of Burns & Allen.

Satellite radio is SOOO worth the money.

Misc stuff

Jun. 19th, 2005 12:30 pm
captpackrat: (Default)
Yesterday I bought Postal 2: Apocalypse Weekend. I was a bit disappointed. One of the things I loved about the original Postal 2 was the ability to go pretty much anywhere in the city, even if it had nothing to do with your current tasks. AW doesn't have the option, everything is linear, you can only travel forward from one map to the next, you can't wander around the city wreaking havoc. (However, it does have the Greatest Weapon in FPS History, the boomerang machete!)

I also picked up a couple MST3K movies, Manos, the Hands of Fate and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Manos was actually a bit disappointing. While the movie was indeed dreadful, the MSTing wasn't that funny. Santa on the other hand was absolutely hilarious.

Found a dead mouse in the middle of the living room this morning. I know there are mice in the house, and I don't begrudge them being there (A daimen icker in a thrave 's a sma' request; I'll get a blessin wi' the lave, an' never miss't! --Robert Burns), I just wish they wouldn't die inside the house. It's especially disappointing since I just saved a field mouse the other day.

Officer No-Turn-On-Red was out again today, and he had no shortage of victims. I wonder how long it will take before people get the idea that a sign reading "No Turn On Red" means No Turn On Red

Tea!

Jun. 11th, 2005 04:45 pm
captpackrat: (Whoo)
Splurged a bit today and bought 4 ounces of Silver Needle White Down tea today. A mere $130 a pound. (That sounds expensive, but 1 pound of tea leaves makes about 200 cups! That's way cheaper than what some people pay for coffee at Trendy Coffee Shops. And white tea leaves can be reused several times, so it'll last even longer!)

Traffic in San Diego has gotten so horrible now. The weekend, mid-day freeway traffic is now as bad as weekday rush hour traffic was 15 years ago.

On the way home, I saw a cop nailing people making illegal right turns. As I passed by, he flagged down 4 cars in a row. *insert Nelson Muntz HA-HA! laugh*
captpackrat: (Default)
I had to drive up to the company trailer at a job site in Temecula. I was taking it easy today, keeping to about 75-80 (speed limit is 70 on I-15 north of Escondido).

I noticed a white unmarked Ford Crown Victoria with blacked out windows, black HD wheels, and a CA EXEMPT license plate. Obviously not a motorist with engine trouble, nope, that's a speed trap. I noticed he wasn't going after anyone, but rather was apparently relaying info to other marked units which would come zooming in from further back on the highway. Clever idea.


I got to the trailer, and naturally, being a work day, there was nobody around. And of course, the trailer was locked up tight and I don't have a key. So I got to sit around in the car and listen to Tales of the Texas Rangers and The Shadow until someone showed up. Yay for Sirius satellite radio!

On the way back to the main office, I stopped at Rubios to try one of their new Street Tortas and Beer-Battered Fries. Meh. Way not worth the money. :P Wish I'd gone to Long John Silver's like I'd originally planned. It would have cost the same, I'd have gotten a lot more food, and it would have tasted a lot better. :P
captpackrat: (Default)
I had to drive all the way to Rancho Cucamonga today to do tool inventory for the company I work for. That's 179 miles round-trip.

I got to wonder around the under-construction Nong Shim noodle plant. They've got some rather facinating looking machinery there. I didn't get any free samples though.

After finishing my work there I went to the nearby Ontario Mills mall and walked around for a bit. Bought some blueberry tea and found some apple Altoids gum at Cost Plus. I ventured into the Virgin store, and found a copy of The Greatest American Hero on DVD, but got pissed off at the store because they were playing this HORRIBLE noise. It wasn't music, it sounded like a broken stereo system. Bleah. Cost them a sale.

I thought about stopping at Tom's Farm on the way home, but the place was way too crowded.

I stopped at Carl's Jr for lunch. They've got something new called Texas Toothpicks: onions & jalapenos fried up like onion rings. Spicy and tasty!

I got home and collapsed in bed for 2-1/2 hours. A least my back seems to have stopped hurting so bad.
captpackrat: (Default)

I woke up at 5 am, just in time to see [livejournal.com profile] cuttercoon  off.  I decided to go ahead and head out and started packing up the car.   I noticed there were a disproportionately large number of Wimpalas in the parking lot (at least 4 that I saw).  Only one other Caprice, an older "boxy" wagon.

I checked out of the hotel and hit the road at about 5:40.  I was making pretty good time, and keeping to a steady 75 MPH, until I started through the mountains on the 152.   At about the 700 foot level, the fog started rolling in, and at 1000 feet, it was down to less than 100 feet visibility.   I saw a bunch of cars and trucks had pulled over to wait out the fog, but there was a car ahead of me, so I stuck behind it, driving slowly as possible while keeping its taillights in view.  The fog didn't clear until I was nearly in Santa Nella.

The trip down I-5 was pretty uneventful, other than seeing the CHP on the side of the road arresting someone about 40 miles out of Bakersfield.

I got a few miles south of Bakersfield, and decided to check the traffic reports.   Good thing I did, the I-5 was down to a single lane around Gorman, and they were experiencing 90 minute delays!  I hopped over to the 99 and backtracked to Arvin and took the 223 to the 58, through Tehachipi, then took the 14 through Mohave and through Antelope Valley.  Unfortunately, there were lots of idiot drivers, so that ended up taking almost 90 minutes.

Best of all, I managed to make the trip using just the cash in my wallet, no need to dip into my perilously empty checking account.

captpackrat: (Salute)

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley.

I hit the road at 5:30 this morning, hoping to beat most of the traffic through LA.   I decided to risk the I-5, hoping if I got there early enough, I'd be able to squeak through and save some time.   And sure enough, I'd averaged 75 MPH until I got to near the 605.  But, fate likes to screw with people, and naturally, that early in the morning, there were two major accidents, turning the freeway into a parking lot.  I managed to make it over to the 405, but by then, it was 7:00, and the rush hour traffic had started.  I finally managed to get into the mountains around 8:30.  Feh

I down-shifted into 3rd, reved up the engine, and blew through the Tejon Pass at 90.  I was driving conservatively....

There were a LOT more cops out than previous years.  For the last 3 months, my radar detector had been on the fritz, but after futzing with it on Sunday, it's worked flawlessly, picking up 3 different speed traps.

I got to the hotel about 12:30, checked in, and dragged all my crap up to the room.  Because of the construction, the hotel is offering free high-speed Internet access in every room.  Yay!

I'll be heading down to the convention space shortly, the dealers room will be opening up for setup in 15 minutes.  My roomie [livejournal.com profile] cuttercoon  won't be arriving until well after 7:00.

captpackrat: (Grrr)
I got up at 5 am this morning so I could get to work early, 6:15 to be exact. Put in 8 hours, dash home, do a last load of laundry, pack the car, and be in bed early so I could leave early on Thursday. Easy-peasy.

Of course not!

At exactly 2:10 the company VP comes into my office and complains that Outlook won't launch. In a bizarre twist of luck, the company VP has the OLDEST computer in the company, and it takes 2 hours to repair his .PST file and show him how to archive stuff. Argh!

So now I'm 2 hours behind. Traffic is at it's worst about now. And then I remember I need to check my PO box. And I notice the gas tank is down a 1/4 since Sunday. Feh. More crap to take care of.

I get home about 5 pm, toss most of my stuff in the car, then I notice how dirty the windows are after the rain, and decide to clean them. Then I notice the bottle of glass wax that I forgot I had, and decided to apply some since it'd been a while. Big mistake. That wasted an hour of my time.

It's 6:20 now. Dinner will be rice with chicken bullion. The rice maker will take at least another half-hour. And the laundry will take at least another full hour to wash and dry. And I still have to pack my clothes, wash the dishes, make sure the house is locked down, do my daily VCL hunt, sync the furry porn on my laptop ;) and pack up the laptop and the last few odds and ends.

Then I can go to bed. @_@

Yay!

Jan. 12th, 2005 07:10 am
captpackrat: (Packrat)
Last day of work before FC! Just 7 more hours!

I woke up at 5:00 this morning so I could get into work early so I could leave early upgrade the server. Now that I'm done with the server, I'm about to fall asleep at my desk. I think it's caffeination time.

I'll probably get up about 5:00 tomorrow so I can beat the traffic through LA. If you see a silver police car with YIFFY license plates and driving like a bat out of hell, that's probably me. :)
captpackrat: (Plush)
More tool inventory today, this time in Orange County. I'd bought a creeper seat for me to use instead of stooping over all the time. And of course, I accidentally left it behind. So again, my back aches like mad. Thankfully there's only one more day of work this week, then a 4 day weekend!

After hitting the OC sites, I headed over the Ortega Highway to stop in the Temecula work site. Ortega Highway is a fun road if you have the right car AND you don't get stuck behind sucky drivers. Naturally, I got stuck behind stucky drivers the whole way. And by the time I got to the site, almost everyone had left. I was able to get a couple items inventoried, and diagnose a broken computer, so it wasn't a total waste of time.

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