It's not JUST about what I had for breakfast...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Wanderings

I headed off to Cowles Mountain this morning to pick up that geocache that I didn't get because I forgot to bring the coordinates (not hyphenating THAT anymore!) that other time.

I made the find, and sat for a while, waiting for my heart to slow down a bit. Took some pics.

Looking back down the hill I just came up. You can see the trail going back up the other way from the ravine way down there.

2011July29 geocaching 002

I saw a camera flash from atop Cowles Mountain, so I took a flash picture right back at them!

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And one of me, with my demi-walking stick, for posterity!

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I continued up the hill to where the trail joined the main trail, and hung a left.  I continued for a while, then all of a sudden the trail ended!  Whoops, that wasn't the main trail, it was the trail to the view point. So I backtracked until it finally met up with the REAL main trail.  THEN, I hung a left, and headed towards Cowles Mountain. 

I was looking for a multicache, one with a twist.  In the cache are the coordinates for a cache in North Carolina.  You have to partner-up with someone there whose is looking for the companion cache in NC. Their cache has the coordinates for the final cache in San Diego. You exchange coordinates, and everyone is happy!  I made the find, got the coordinates, now I gotta find someone in North Carolina!

I check another cache that I had found in May 2010. I didn't sign the log then, as it was missing. The log, that is. Actually, the whole cache container (back then) was strewn, STREWN, I tells yah, along the trail. I put it back together, but I didn't have a log sheet to put in. So this time, I signed the log. Gotta keep the paperwork up-to-date, you know!

Coming down from Cowles Mountain peak I took a picture, on maximum tele-photo, of the my vehicle parked WAY down there, parked near the Barker Way trailhead.

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Lastly, the rangers have put up this rather nifty thing for bikers going down the Big Rock trail.. You grab a bell from the box before you go down, then drop it off in a box at the bottom.

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Well, that was about it. I headed on down the road, and then home.


Geocaches found: 1
Waypoints found: 1
Old logs signed: 1
Water bottles consumed: 1

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Day Is IT?

I ask, 'cause I wrote the wrong date (AGAIN) on both the geocaches I found today.

And it's not like I don't carry a watch, and the GPSr has the date, too.

I went caching  to two different spots in Mission Trail Regional Park today.  I found waypoint #2 of a five part multicache, which gave me the co-ordinates to waypoint # 3. Which I will attempt another day.  The five parts form a giant star shape. I don't count this as a cache find, but there are three more locations to find.

Cache number one was rather near that, just up the powerline road from Oak Canyon to the Fortuna Saddle. It was a puzzle cache, wherein one had to solve a puzzle to to discover the co-ordinates. It was pretty easy, though.  I had a lot of trouble finding it, thought maybe I got the co-ordinates wrong. As I was composing the Did Not Find log entry in my head I looked once again in the spot I had looked in several times already, and there it was. Magic! See the pic!

2011July27 geocaches 001

No, it was NOT out in the open like that!

The things I do!

As I was hiking back to the vehicle I saw two guys fishing at the dam. I didn't know you could do that!

2011July27 Dam Fishing

I drove back to a spot near the base of Cowles Mountain and quickly made the find of cache number three.  Then I drove over to Big Lots to look for a patio-type blind, but I couldn't find them. I didn't ask anyone for help, of course. I see, on line, that they have them. So, I shall have to go back there, I guess. While I was in the neighborhood I looked, futilely, for a nearby geocache. I didn't find it. I guess that's the "futile" in futiley.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Other Day

Sunday morning, at 2 A.M.,  I was awakened by the dulcet sounds of "The Boys Are Back In Town", as performed by Thin Lizzy, blasting from the house next door. Not sure if Richard or his tenants, though. Oh, and accompanied by singing.  Just that one song, then it went relatively quiet.

And this is why I hate classic rock!

No, just classic rock radio stations. They tend to play the same stuff over and over and over, ad nauseam.

All this morning I worked on a spreadsheet solution to the vexing problem of figuring out how many of the Mission Trails Regional Park geocaches I have found. There are nearly four hundred on the current list. You get a prize when you have found them all!  

Not really, what you get is your name on a list. A very EXCLUSIVE list!

Anyway, I read about conditional formatting and copied the author's technique that highlights the items in one column that re not found in the other.  And so I compared The List with my list of caches found.  I been doing this manually, and it's a LOT of eye-straining work. The comparison showed me that I had not marked two caches found on the list. A little calculation (probably incorrect) told me I have found 90.8% of the caches.

I spent A LOT of time trying to make the formula work in this document, when I had it working just fine in a practice document.  After half an hour I figured out that I was referencing an empty column...
I also found out that a component of Open Office, soffice.bin, doesn't always quit when you exit the program. And that stops you from firing up Calc again.  I keep having to off it in Windows Task Manager.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Yesterday I went up to the grocery store (up?) to pick up a prescription and some peanut butter and something else, oh yeah, bread.  I dropped off another geocache I made. It was found within an hour by two guys, one of which described as, if I may quote, "amazing". Look at the background picture in the link. Don't tell anyone, but you can see the cache hanging down on the limb.

Here is a better picture!

2011July21 geocache 002

I was thinking about my dad again, and I came up with two awesome times we had, both related to Scouting. One time, in Cub Scouts, we went on a Father-Son camp out and I remember the burnt pancakes cooked on the griddle over the fire. Best pancakes I ever ate!  Another time, the Webelos patrol went out to the desert and we got to do some target shooting. That was pretty cool!

And something awesome he did for me: I had bought a big ol' Ford bread van that was outfitted for camping. Flathead V-8, four on the floor, no synchos. The base police (I was in the military) told me to get it off base, as it was quite an eyesore. I was driving it to San Diego when the radiator sprang a leak, so I left it at a gas station along the way.  I couldn't get back to it for quite a while, and it turned out the gas station wanted to charge me like a hundred bucks for space rent.  He and his buddy went up there in the middle of the night and "liberated" it. How full of awesomeness is that?

Ford Bread Truck

There is the Ford bread truck, and my two motorcycles, on the base. That's is a Matchless 500 single, and the other is a Yamaha 650 twin. Now that I think of it, I hauled the Matchless to San Diego in the back of that van on the fateful trip. I later sold it for fifty bucks when I got married.  I think I eventually sold the truck to George for fifty bucks.

Speaking of George, this photo was taken AT George. AFB, that is.

And speaking of the Matchless, here's a lesson I should have learned from this, but did not: Never buy a vehicle without all its paperwork in order. Never!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday I got up early to revisit the rock-climbing area in Mission Trails. I didn't have any new luck finding a way up, and I had a touch of, shall we say, tummy-trouble, so deciding discretion was the better part, blah blah, I went home.

Today, I was reading on Reddit a thread about the coolest thing you've done with your dad. And I can't remember much of anything, except going to a nudie bar when I was 21. Which was actually a little more creepy than cool.

It's not that we didn't do stuff together, it is that I often didn't really want to be there. Golf? No, thanks, I'd rather read a book. Or build model cars. I always seemed to be on a different road than him. And in the slow lane, at that!

I always felt I didn't meet his expectations. He was a "Type A" person, very motivated, ambitious, and a real people-person. A salesman, if you will. I seem to be the complete opposite of him. We never did seem to connect, although he tried, when I was a kid. After I got married I didn't see him very often, and he never met my kids. At his memorial service, I was pressed into action to speak, and I really had nothing to say. Which may say more about me, than him!

I was much closer to my grandfather, who had a myriad of hobbies and interests. He would take me to the hobby shops, the union hall, the stock exchange, that liquor store with the pink elephant hanging in the window. Not always the most interesting places to a little kid, but it was great being with him.  The coolest thing I remember doing with him is the time he took me and my grandmother on an off-road excursion  through the sand dunes near their home. In his Jeep Forward Control. I got to sit on the engine cover, between the two of them, with the motor warming-up my behind. We got stuck a few times, but he got us out!

Oh, I just thought of another! Now, this was back in the 60s, I must preface, after they retired and moved to the Needles area. We were driving down the dirt river road in his pickup, when he stopped and yanked the rifle off the rack behind our heads, and fired out the window at a coyote. The passenger window. He being on the driver's position, you see.  He missed, though. It was a little scary, but it was cool.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday -- I went to the library to return a book. Saw this sitting by the fence. I have no idea.

2011July16 At The Libary 001

Unfortunately, the book I wanted was not at THIS (San Diego County) library, but at the San Carlos (San Diego City) library. So, I headed over there. Unfortunately, they were closed. They close at 2:30 on Saturday. And, they are not open on Sunday or Monday. Yay San Diego! How can the County keep their libraries open Sunday AND Monday, with longer hours, but the City can not?

I also popped over to the Fletcher Hills branch, just on the off-chance, but they did not have it. Oh, well!

I also picked up a geocache in Fletcher Hills Park.

Today-- I went geocaching in Mission Valley, snapped my walking stick in a hole-on-a-hill, then headed over to Mission Trails Regional Park. Here's the poor stick. Now it's more of a cane! At least I found the geocache!

2011July17 geocaching 003

The plan at the park was to get the caches around the rock climbing area. It was a pretty steep climb up, but the views were great!

2011July17 geocaching 004

I followed the trail along the base of the rock climbing cliffs. There were a few people climbing in the early morning cloudiness. I didn't get any good/dramatic pics, though.

Here's a climber. There is another guy above him, out of the shot.

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Here's some of the rocks they climb. This picture goes on top of the one before, but the 'above' guy is in the cleft somewhere.

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The trails are pretty funky and I had trouble following them. I was kind of lost, actually. I talked to a woman who had the trails maps, which didn't help too much, but reassured me that there WOULD be a way down, when I so chose to go.

Since I never did figure out a way up and over the rocks, and declined the kind offer of the rock climbers to go up their ropes, the last cache I found was, well, the last. But it was the best, too! Can you spot it?

2011July17 geocaching 007

Well, that leaves me with three caches still to find. WAY UP there! Maybe I'll get a helicopter!

Here's a panorama I tried to create. I had to edit the rocks a bit on the left as the pics did not stitch together properly. Click on the image to visit my zooomr page, where the BIG version is!

2011July17 geocaching 008_stitch

Heading DOWN the trail to the road I encountered several groups of people heading UP the hill to climb them some rocks. You could tell, they mostly all were wearing their climbing harnesses. They looked like they had garter belts on! And with the sun coming out, they were sweatin'.

Total caches found today: six.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wednesday Walking

Wednesday the 13th I walked up to the grocery store to picked up a prescription. Along the way I:

Took a picture of a railroad rail weight mark.

2011July13 railroad rail 001

Took picture of guys working on the new elevator at Grossmont Trolley station.

2011July13 elevator 004

Took picture of pine cones.

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Took a picture (edited for rude language) of graffiti under overpass:

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The total walk was maybe a mile longer than that visit to Staples the other day, whatever that was.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Walkin' The Boulevard

I went a-walking again today, nearly all way down to College and El Cajon Blvd.

I snuggled up my Tilly hat so the breeze wouldn't blow it away. It was not too warm, and the breeze helped keep me cool. I brought a bottle of water (unlike yesterday) and kept my hands in my pant's pockets so they wouldn't burn.

Hey, look, Poptarts! Breakfast in a bag!

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Many of the utility boxes in La Mesa have been decorated. It's very nice.

I wonder what manner of business is this building near 70th and El Cajon? Not a sign to be seen.

El Cajon Blvd 02
Image from Google Maps. That's why it is cloudy!

Going around the back...nothing.

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I had hopes for something interesting on the roof, in view of that break in the roofline up there, maybe a sun deck, with a grill? But no.

El Cajon Blvd 03
Image from Google Maps. Again, the clouds.

Notice the two protuberances that, uh, protrude, on the right, through the fence, and are at least six feet high. Compare on the street-side view. What's up with that?

Nothing interesting happened the rest of the way west. I ran my errand, then headed back.

Up around 73rd, where the county Welfare Office is, I noticed a "medicinal" pot store right next to a taco shop. Planned or serendipity?

El Cajon Blvd 01
Image from Google Maps

"Got Dank", indeed!

A couple of blocks along I saw this camera just sitting there. Took a picture, but did not even TOUCH the camera.

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Purty flowers, but the utility box needs some decorating.

I think I over-estimated my little trip yesterday, that one was more like three miles. THIS one was around four miles! (Gmaps pedometer says today's walk was 5.2 miles. And it says yesterday's romp was 4.1 miles. So THERE!)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm Walkin'

I walked up to Staples to pick up on their 1¢ Back To School sale. It took me about an hour to get up there, so it had been opened a half an hour already. Droves of peoples were there. I suspect many of them (the bulk-buyers, anyway) were those leeches on the public, teachers, buying classroom supplies with their own money.

Saw this sign on the way home. Good to know.

2011July10 Walking 001

At the Heartland Youth For Decency Vietnam Veterans Memorial.I spotted this bench, which I don't remember seeing before, but maybe I forgotted. here's a nice article about war memorials in La Mesa, including this one.

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This is the memorial itself, with the camouflaged trashcan that initially caught my attention today.

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Total walking today was just under four miles, I figure.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


The summer is wasting away, and I'm getting nothing done. It's too darn hot!  It was 95 today, and muggy! I hear tell it's gonna cool down a bit tomorrow, though.

I DID manage to get up and walk over to the parking lot at the strip mall to stash a new geocache. Here's a couple of pics:

The cache:-- I don't know where I was going with this camouflage. I'm talking about the rock. I finally gave up and decided to JUST PLACE IT!

2011July07 geocache 001

The stash -- It does blend in nicely, though, and the rock keeps it sticking up, like a piece of wood.

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I went home and submitted the cache, then chauffeured to the doctor. Nothing was accomplished there, as the results hadn't come in yet.  I talked the chauffeuree into riding along to the pharmacy to pick up some meds that were ready.  Oh, no, they were not, the doctor (not the one we had just been to.) declined to renew the prescription, for reasons that made sense. Even so, I was a bit miffed at having driven all the way up there.

On the way back I noticed several vehicles clustered around the spot where I hid the cache. Oh, ho, says I, it has been published! So I pull in, wind down the window, and yell out, "What are you guys doing?" One of them finally admitted they were geocaching. It was obvious they were looking in the wrong spot, so I said, "Wasn't the hint helpful?" The hint, by the way, was "not magnetic". A bit of humor on my part. They figured out I was the cache owner, and asked for a better hint. I said, 'On the ground", and they made the find.

I had my darn camera with me and didn't take a pic!

Tonight I finally cobbled together an overhead view (mostly) of the Corson Buoyant Transfer RR. You can click the pic for an image TWICE as large on my zooomr page!!

2011July07 model railroad MODIFIED

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Heated Reading

Geez, it's sure warm! Time to unbox that new box fan!

I started reading Shannon Hale's Enna Burning yesterday, but put it aside to start Zen And Now -- On the trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Mark Richarson. I cannot say enough about Richardson's book, I really enjoyed reading it. I read straight through, except for eight hours sleep, and finished it this mid-morning.

For some reason I had got it in my head the Pirsig rode a Norton in Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance (ZMM). So I'm looking at the cover of Zen And Now, with its vintage Honda, thinking: art directors, honestly!  Then, I see an interior illustration clearly showing a man and a boy riding an old Honda. Huh, what is up with that? THEN, I read on to find that Pirsig rode a Honda 305 Superhawk in ZMM. And he still owns it!, but doesn't ride it anymore, no license. And Richardson met the current owner of the Sutherland's BMW. how cool is that?

Did I mention how much I enjoyed reading Zen And Now??

I read Hale's Princess Academy  in 2008, and enjoyed it very much. Enna Burning has not really got me going, yet, but I'm sure it will turn around, not unlike Princess.

After I finish Enna I will start up with William Least-Heat Moon's Roads To Quoz, which is quite a large volume, massing 592 pages.

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