Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good-bye Old, Welcome New

Happy New Year Everybody!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

What a difference a weather make

One of my brothers divides his residency between Canada and the US of A. For whatever reason he alone can understand, he prefers to return to Toronto about this time of the year to spend Christmas there. He stays there until it warms up, then he flies back to Southern California. Normally, it is the reverse of what anybody in his right mind would do. I think he lost it when he left the Philippines in the early 70's LOL.

He wanted me to go with him this winter. I tried it once and I am not going to do it again unless California is going down the sea complement of San Andres fault. My other brother who lives in Anaheim said beer tastes better kept cold inside the ref that outside in the snow and I agree with his erudite conclusion LOL.

He is trying to make us envious of their "refreshing" weather.

This is his backyard the day he arrived.

This is how it looked in Orange County a couple of days before he left.

I snapped this photo (and the one above and below) when I took my morning walk in the park across a major street from our home.

It rained Christmas day but it was a shower and not a downpour. The grass and trees need a little bit of watering LOL. California here I came (1969) and here I will stay...maybe not. There is the allure of tropical Philippines and its many, many beautiful islands.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

South Coast Plaza Mall, Costa Mesa 2008

When the weather is not suitable for walking outdoor or it is already dark, I usually drive to one of the malls in our area and do my daily walk. One of my favorites is South Coast Plaza which is just a few minutes drive from our place. The problem with walking inside a mall is there are so many distraction (store displays and what nots) and obstruction (people shopping or hanging out). The "problem" is especially bad during the Christmas season but the holiday atmosphere more than compensate for the inconveniences.

A couple of days ago it was raining, so I went to the mall with my point and shoot camera and took some pictures during my walk. I came back at night to take some night shots but I wind up instead at my favorite taco place in the plaza LOL. Talk about burning calories LOL.

You walk in, give your order and find yourself a seat. The server will bring it to your table when ready. Your wait time is very short. They have a very smooth operation, the food is good and the price very reasonable. The place is Wahoo Fish Taco, now it is just Wahoo because they offer more than just fish.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Golden Divas, December 2008

We were at a Pinoy resto in Orange when Pilita Corrales, Carmen Soriano and Carmen Patena walked in. We failed to recognize them at first because they looked so different now (age has something to do with it LOL) than when we used to see them back in Philippines in their prime. I'm sure if they know us then, they'll say the same things to us LOL. They were going to perform at a concert in Anaheim and they or their promoter, were trying to generate more interest for their show in the local Pinoy community. I think they were successful. My wife and sister-in-law attended their performance and they said attendance was great and the aging performers were as good now as they were then.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

USS Midway, San Diego 2008

A cousin from the Philippines visited me after he completed his company sponsored training in aircraft maintenance in Dallas. He expressed a desire to see the aircraft carrier USS Midway and its planes. so I took him to San Diego and we visited the carrier which is now a museum. The charge for admission is $17 and parking is $8 for the first 4 hours. Fair enough, given that the prices of everything under the sun had gone up and the worse is still to come LOL.

This carrier carried a complement of 70 aircrafts during its service years

The carrier hangar

One of the planes in the hangar

Another one

The Island, the superstructure located on the starboard side of the flight deck

A plane displayed on the flight deck
An all-business looking aircraft on the deck

Flight deck

This is the location on the island where incoming and outgoing flights were directed

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

San Francisco

A couple of yeas ago, I flew to San Francisco to check out a condo that my daughter was interested in buying. The location was great, a stone throw from the beach and a third of a mile from Golden Gate Park. However, the asking price was outrageous in my opinion, although it was par for the area - half a million for a two bedroom, one bath condo of less than 900 sq. ft.! I suggested to my daughter to keep her apartment, save her money and wait for a better time to buy.

Given the current state of the housing market, now is a good time to buy. Unfortunately, in the area she was interested in, home values are staying put instead of going south like almost everywhere else. Oh well......

One way street in hilly San Francisco

From this "viewing platform" you can spot gray whales during their annual migration to their "summer playground" in Baja, California.

This is the main ocean side entrance to Golden Gate Park

I can think of several reasons why this tree grew this way but none of them is probably correct.

Concrete pathway along the beach

I shot this picture inside a Southern barbecue resto because of the amusing sign (click on the picture to enlarge)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Marconi Car Museum in Tustin, CA

My wife and I attended a function held at the Marconi Car Museum in Tustin last Saturday. This is the first time I have been to this place and I had no idea that the museum is also a venue for special events and occasions. A pretty neat combination unless you are throwing a party for a bunch of unruly high school graduates or a group of "tatang-agers" with dimensia LOL. This museum has an array of very expensive cars with a capital E. My decade old Nissan pick-up with designer dents and a broken taillight is astronomically way out of their league. My wife said, "Give your junk car another decade or two and it will be a collector's item, too."

This 1995 Ferrari F50 is valued at $850,000! What a joke.

2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder with a top speed of 195mph valued at $250,000

1955 Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing valued at $500,000

1956 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith a bargain at $50,000

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A short trip to Northern California and Nevada October 2008

My wife had relatives from New York and Maryland visiting us. They wanted to see our daughter and grandson who live in San Francisco and I thought it was as good a time as any to go there. My daughter is a "worrywort" and she is overly concerned about our grandson's dog ( a tiny Dachshund) biting a neighbor. She needed a little bit of cheering up so I decided to drive up north with my wife and her relatives. To make the trip a little bit more exciting for our guests, we spent a couple of nights at Lake Tahoe, made a short trip to Reno from the lake and on the way back to LA, stopped by the capitol at Sacramento.

An interesting tree at the San Francisco Botanical Garden

I find this paint job a little too wild for my taste LOL.

Can you guess how many tickets I will get if I use this vehicle to travel coast to coast?

Road work on our way to Lake Tahoe. Note the safety barrier and the highly visible cones to protect motorists from potential hazards.

Late afternoon at Lake Tahoe

Lovebirds watching the setting sun

Early morning at the lake

My wife's niece showing off a pine cone she picked up somewhere.

We gambled a little but did not stay overnight to see a Pinoy show at the Legacy Casino, "Dolphy at 80".