28 June 2010

Byrd Dead - I Have No Sorrow!

The New York Times, the bastion of liberal media, headlines on June 28, 2010, read "Robert Byrd, Respected Voice of the Senate, Dies at 92."

Respected? He was in the Senate for 51 years. That does not make him respectable. It makes one wonder about the citizens of West Virginia who would vote for this many every time he was up for election. Oh, wait, there's a reason why: he was the Pork King.

The Citizens Against Government Waste, a nonpartisan watchdog group,voted him the pork king. He brought the state federal money. Many things were named after him: the Robert C. Byrd Highway, two Robert C. Byrd federal buildings, the Robert C. Byrd Freeway, the Robert C. Byrd Center for Hospitality and Tourism, the Robert C. Byrd Drive and the Robert C. Byrd Hardwood Technologies Center, just to name a few.

It isn't until about the 18th paragraph that the New York Times admits that Byrd was a KKK member. Later they admit he voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Good riddance, Byrd!

27 June 2010

Trip to Aunt's 70th Birthday

Just got back from an overnight trip to LA for my aunt's 70th birthday. She sure doesn't look 70!

We started out about 4:30 Saturday morning. Little early but the party started about 1 so we needed to leave early. Discovered a much better way to get to West Covina. The GPS indicated I5 to I10 but I hate that interchange. Instead, I took I210 from I5 and then I605 to I10. Just a few minutes longer but so much easier on the nerves! Also for the first time in all my road trips between the Bay Area and Southern California I was able to make it without refueling along the way. Granted, the EVIC (electronic vehicle information center) complained about low fuel but, still, I made without refueling. Couldn't say the same on the way back. Unfortunately, I had just under a full tank. It's still amazing, thought, that the gas in Santa Nella, in the middle of no where, had gas that was 3 to 25 cents cheaper than the Bay Area and LA!

My aunt was really surprised, especially when the other guests started showing up. She and my uncle got home from their trip to Houston about 12:20. The family was already there. She was surprised to see us there. About 1:00 her Sunday School and Bible Study members started showing up.

We spent the night at my mom's house then left for the Bay Area around 8:00. We had breakfast at the Iron Skillet at the Petro Truck Stop on the northern side of the Grapevine. Not much a of selection but it was very tasty at a reasonable price.

In the southbound lanes of I5 when we were going home I saw a helicopter being towed behind a truck! I caught part of the registration number and am trying to find the make and model of it based on the registration.

As long as the traffic isn't bad, the trip between the Bay Area and LA isn't too bad. It gets a little boring looking at nothing between the two points but we had our CD's and listened to talk radio so it wasn't too bad. Of course, having Cathy in the car with me made it even better!

22 June 2010

SEIU: aka tacky thugs

I saw a very tacky thing last Sunday.  The jackasses from SEIU (Service Union International Union) were picketing at a cemetery.  A cemetery! Have these selfish idiots have nothing better to do than think of themselves only?  To picket at a cemetery is just about as low as you can go!

Leave us alone!

I am so frigging tired of groups telling us what to do.  A good example is the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).  Their latest tirade?  McDonald's Happy Meals.  They are upset because Happy Meals come with toys and the CSPI thinks that's just awful.

Come on, you idiots, it is not your job to demand legislation telling people what they can and cannot eat. When it comes to children, it's up to the parents.  When it comes to adults, it up to the adults.  It is none of your business if I want to eat three days' worth of sodium and fat in a single seating. 

The CSPI is just like Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition.  They both have one thing in common:  They like to shake down companies.

20 June 2010

Niles Canyon Railway

We went to Golden Corral in Tracy for their breakfast buffet  On the way home we stopped in Sunol for a ride on the Niles Canyon Railway. They have recently started running the M200 Skunk Train from Sunol to the east.  They plan on eventually extending the track to Pleasanton.  It was an interesting ride.

Niles Canyon is part of the original transcontinental railroad.  In 1869 the transcontinental railroad was completed between Omaha and Sacramento.  A few months later the track was extended from Sacramento to Oakland. 

06 June 2010

The Trip to Columbia Was Great

The trip to Columbia was great. After a short stop in Jamestown, we arrived at Columbia about 10:30. We had some shaved ice then went on a walking tour of the town. The park ranger leading the tour was really great.

We left Columbia around noon, going back through Angel's Camp. I've passed the turn-off of Copperopolis many times on trips to the Sierras. I decided to actually take the turn-off to see what the town looks like. Copperopolis was celebrating their 150th anniversary. We got there just as the parade ended and the road was reopened.

We stopped in Tracy for a late lunch at a place called Golden Corral. It's a great buffet with all sorts of food ranging from baby back ribs to pizza to okra.

04 June 2010

Columbia, California

Looking forward to tomorrow (Saturday, 5 June 2010). My girlfriend and I are going to Columbia State Historic Park. I haven't been there in years. It'll be great to get out of the city and go to the country.

01 June 2010

A great day trip - by air

It was 1987. AirCal had just been merged into American Airlines. American offered AAdvantage members the chance to fly anywhere along the west coast - AirCal's old stomping grounds - for only 10,000 miles. I decided to take them up on the offer.

Even though I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I decided to start my trip in Modesto. That way I could fly on an aircraft I had never flown on - the Metro.

Modest to San Francisco
American Eagle 5130, Fairfchild Metro, registration N2683B
I left about 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning for my flight departing Modesto at about 6:00.

San Francisco to Seattle
American 2759, B737-159, registration N472GB
The flight to Seattle was on a former AirCal aircraft.  Not too many 100 series 737's were produced.  I was glad to be able to get a flight on one.

I took the bus from Seattle/Tacoma Airport to downtown Seattle.  On the way I passed Boeing Field.   Downtown Seattle surprised me.  I hadn't realized Seattle was so hilly. I stayed in Seattle a couple of hours before returning to the airport

Seattle to Los Angles via San Francisco
American 2718, B737-293, registration N463GB
Another former AirCal aircraft. It was kind of strange to know that when the flight stopped in San Francisco I was only a few miles from where lived yet I had another 650+ miles to go to get home.

Los Angeles to Modestto via Fresno
American Eagle 5082, Fairchild Metro, registration N352AE
My final flight of the day was great. After leaving Los Angeles, there was spectacular sunset. The pilot mentioned that the sunset was compliments of American Eagle.

When we departed Fresno we had to hold for a couple of minutes while a couple of fighter aircraft from the Air National Guard base in Fresno took off.

After arriving in Modesto, I got back into my car for the drive back home. I got there about 9:30 or 10:00 p.m.  It had been a long day but well worth it.


Would I take this trip again? Probably not. Air travel is now longer as fun as it use to be. It's such a hassle today to fly. The flying portion itself is not too bad, at least on Southwest. It's all of the hassles of going through the so-called security screening that I hate.