Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Last Christmas Luncheon in 2009

Today I attended the Convair Tooling Christmas Luncheon at the Home Town Buffet in Santee. Doreen has a cold and could not come.
About 40 people showed up. It was nice to see those old men and women. Some I had not seen for 15 years and they sure aged, of course I stayed the same.

Some of the people in the pictures changed a lot. I hope you Ex Convair workers recognize them.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas 2009 in Eureka

We are on our way to Eureka, Northern California, to see Claudia and her family for Christmas.
The motorhome stayed home, we are driving in Doreen’s Saturn.
We also do not take the regular route this time. Instead taking the scenic highway 101, we are speeding along I-5.
The night we spent in a motel in Williams, which is located one hour North of Sacramento.

From Williams we headed West on Highway 20. Near Clear Lake we saw a terrible accident. A torn apart car was surrounded by fire trucks and ambulances. We did not see the other vehicle.
Two more ambulances came toward us while we were driving along. It was still dark.
When we came close to Ukiah we did not need the head lights anymore. The sun tried to come out.
It was still a little bit foggy and there was still frost on the trees and grass.

The weather was exceptionally good when we arrived in Eureka. We hope it stays that way for the next four days.

At 7:00 AM we went upstairs to take part in opening the presents. Nicolette and Jacob received a lot of them.

After that Doreen and I went with Nicolette and Jacob to the Embarcadero and Old Town.
The ice cream store was closed so we walked on the water front.

We had brought a Wii, and Scott had set it up while we were gone, and was busy playing with it when we came back. Jacob got in the act and was motorcycle racing against his dad.

Late afternoon we had a turkey dinner. Unfortunately Scott's mother and her boyfriend could not come. Laura was sick. Scott's father was visiting his parents in New York State. Hanna was there. So we were a small group.

The beautiful weather is gone. Today it was cool and it rained for a while.
In the morning Doreen and I took the children to the mall for ice cream and a place where they have air filled structures for the kids to play in. Nicolette and Jacob took their shoes and coats off and got a good workout, while Doreen went shopping.
In the afternoon we all went to the Chinese Buffet in Arcata.

During the night I could hardly breathe. I am allergic to cats, and now I am around two of them.
Before it got any worse I decided to head for home. I found out later this was not a good day for traveling.
We left Eureka about 8:00 AM and made good time until we got to Stockton. It had rained most of the way but it was better than what we encountered after Stockton. There we hit the Holiday traffic. People were going home after the long weekend. Traffic on Interstate 5 was slow. Sometimes walking was faster.
There are not many towns on I-5 in the San Joaquin Valley. I knew finding a hotel or motel would not be easy, but we had to get out of this traffic. We finally crawled to a place with four gas stations and a Best Western Hotel, the Best Western Apricot Inn.
Getting to the place was something else. We were not the only ones with the idea to get off the highway. The lady at the hotel was busy signing in guests. They made some money today.
I got a nice room.

Our hotel was about 250 miles North of Los Angeles. We actually wanted to get nearer the city yesterday so we could get through the city traffic early in the morning.
We woke up this morning at 3:30 AM and took off without eating breakfast. There was no traffic on I-5 but we encountered places with fog.
When we arrived at the outskirts of Los Angeles the traffic was heavy but it was moving. We stopped once for gasoline and hot chocolate and kept on driving.
We arrived in Carlsbad at about 9:00 AM and went to the Tip Top restaurant for breakfast. When we arrived at home we unloaded the car and then went to bed for a long nap.
We hope you all had a wonderful Holiday and wish you the best for the New Year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Museum of Craftsmanship

Several days ago I received an E mail showing several pictures of a 1/16 scale model of a Corsair fighter plane. On one side the skin was removed so one could see the frames, longerons and other parts of the fuselage.
Today I went to the museum to see this model airplane with my own eyes.
The museum is located in Vista, California, at the Sherline Products Company. They manufacture miniature machine tools, like lathes, milling machines and grinders.
Another visitor was there, and the two of us got a tour of the place.
Model makers from all over the world send in their work.
On the ground floor of the building, are located the small machines for making watches and other small objects. There is also a small machine shop. All kind of engines are displayed there.

A person from England donated a 1/14 scale working model of a Bridgeport milling machine.

Upstairs are the aircraft engines and the models of the Corsair and the P-51 Mustang.
They were build by the the same person.
A lot of hours went into those two projects. The two planes have a lot of moving parts.

The The P-51 Mustang has ammunition in the wings.

Here is one of the small lathes.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Torry Pines State Park 2009

After all the eating we did the last few weeks, we thought it was a good idea to do some walking.
We went to Torry Pines State Park and hiked the 1.5 miles Beach Trail.
The 1.5 miles is no problem, the 390 feet altitude difference makes it interesting.
Doreen was red in the face from going up and down. She made it though.
This park is one of two places where the torry pines grow.
We had one of our first dates here in the park, walking the trails. That was 14 years ago and we did not huff and puff like we do now.

Family Christmas Dinner 2009

Since we are going to Eureka for Christmas, Doreen decided to take her family to the Vera Cruz Fish House for a Christmas dinner. Four of us had a different fish for our meal, and everybody was satisfied.
Sandra unfortunately could not eat anything. She is on a special diet. She lost 45 pounds so far.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Convair Engineering Liaison Christmas Party

We went to Old Town in San Diego. First we had a nice late lunch at Berta’s Latin American Restaurant.
The food is different than Mexican food. I think Berta comes from Peru. We love her meals.

After the lunch we felt strong and did some walking. Old Town is a State Park. The person who had the concession for running the stores lost her lease, and the new operators, a large Eastern outfit, ran the place down.
They finally gave up and a new local company took over. It is fun again to go to Old Town. The stores are stocked with different wares, and the restaurants are more like old Mexican restaurants.
The whole atmosphere is again Old California, when this part of the country was part of Mexico.

At 3:30 PM we went to the Rocking Baja Lobster restaurant ( The old Carlos Murphy) where the Convair
Engineering Liaison Group had their Christmas party.
It is always fun to see those old guys.