• Category Archives Family
  • Empty Nest

    Been a busy few weeks helping Terry and Krysta move into their new rental house.
    They are only about 20 minutes away in Murrieta, so its not like they are in Idaho or anything, we can still drive around and see them.
    It sure is a lot quieter at home with just the two of us.
    We have turned Terry’s room into a home gym. Amy’s room is still the guest room with the bed, so we are still set for visitors etc.
    The workshop and garage are still a bit of a mess, but Freddy has cleaned up the rest of the place pretty good.
    Turns out we have used our little truck a ton. So much for my plan to sell it since we ‘never use it’. Hah! Fat chance of that.
    Freddy is on the look out for a washer/dryer for them and any book shelfs, I’m sure the truck has more work to do yet.

  • Idaho Wedding Reception

    We took a week off work and went up to Idaho to spend time with Amy and Cole, hang out with their family and friends and also take photos of Amy and Cole.
    Since a photo can save me typing thousands of words, lets just jump into the photos.

    The main cabin in the background, lights from the solar/battery system and heaps of firewood from fallen trees.
    A few mosquito’s, but late in the night they calm down and are not a problem.

    Being totally off the grid means no street or house lights for many (many) miles. The stars are some of the best I have seen over here with the Milky Way visible to the naked eye pretty easily. Sure, it helped not having a moon, which was a mixed blessing, some wanted it to see their way around the camp site, some – like me – were glad for the lack to see the stars better.

    This is a small sample of the friends and family that joined the happy couple. It also is a great shot of how you get all the people and their ‘stuff’ on and off an island. The barge was kept busy shuttling back and forth between the island and the mainland.

    Speaking of happy couples. It was great to see them both and to hang out. We had time to just be with them and also time to spend together with their friends. A great mix and a great time.

    I have never played Cornhole, so the event was ‘fun’. We lost very quickly, which is fine, it was pretty interesting to watch the event unfold. (Some take it very seriously).
    (And yes, this is Amy).

    Yes, photos were taken. Just a small sample here, I took around 100, so the happy couple was covered pretty well.
    I (thankfully) was the second photographer for the photo shoot. Amy’s sister in-law was the primary and as such she arranged each of the looks.

    Its around 1200 miles (1931 kms) each way, so it adds up to be a pretty solid trip. Pretty much Mexico to Canada.
    Freddy was not felling well, so I did all the driving and it was zero problems. Felt great and fresh the whole way. 3 days up, 2 days back.
    The new tracking system worked really well. As long as I have some sort of phone service, the tracking system keeps track of where I am.
    For those that knew, thanks for keeping an eye out, it was reassuring to know that ya-all had my back.

    Speaking of which, the car ran beautifully, not a single problem and best as I can tell by looking at the dipstick, not a single drop of oil burnt.
    To top it all off…..

    She (all cars are she’s right?) ticked over 100,000 miles during the trip – Thanks to Freddys eagle eye, we caught it in the middle of no where and she got a photo of it.

    So, thats that. No idea when we are going back, but we sort of plan for twice a year, summer and winter, so I guess in 6ish months we will fly up and back? Time will tell.

  • Post Falls – Idaho

    A few weeks back we flew up to see Amy and Cole.
    No reason, just wanted to see them, Ok, Ok, yeah, we also wanted to see some snow…..

    We got the airport on Friday afternoon. I worked a half day so it was a relaxing afternoon with not a lot of TSA lines to wade through. I guess most people were flying closer to xmas, not 3 weeks before. Which did not bother us.

    Blurry selfie photo of the two of us on the plane waiting to push back, taxi and takeoff.
    We flew with Alaskan airlines because they are one of the few that offer a direct flight. I have to say they were one of the best flying experiences I have ever had. Really polite and helpful staff and overall a great flight.

    I mucked about with night mode on the camera a bit during the flight. It’s pretty amazing, but does not do real well with moving stuff like in this photo. It works much better when everything is stationary.
    Still, my phone camera is now to the point where I did not take my DSL with me on this trip.

    Nothing at all to do with Alaskan, but a side note, it was super windy at Spokane when we landed, thus we had one of the bumpiest approaches that I have ever had. The funny part for me was sitting down the back of the aircraft, I could see everyones head bobbing around as the plane ducked and weaved. It was pretty comical.

    This is Wayne. He is Amy and Cole’s new sugar glider. Unlike Wade, their original one, this little guy is super chill and is a lot more happy to just sit and hang out with you.

    We made sure to get plenty of quality time with them. I would love to have one or two as pets, but am not sure I have the time to invest. Not that it is a possibility, they are illegal as pets in California.

    Next morning, after breakfast, Amy took us up to see some snow.

    I just wondered off and started to look around when I could hear Amy yelling for me…..
    Turning around I could see this guy in a truck off the track.

    It soon became clear that he was in the deep snow and was stuck.
    He was not the best driver and I think a lot of it had to do with him just not really knowing how to drive, but eh, we thought we would/should help out just the same.
    At first we tried just using snow shovels to get him out.

    It is the first time I have ever used a snow shovel and sadly I really enjoyed it. They are nice and wide and gulp up a heap of snow. Sure its heavy, but I was enjoying the unusual workout.
    I was not worried about him sliding off a cliff or anything, so it was a bit of fun… Dig, watch him flounder around a bit, then dig some more.
    After a while, yeah, it got a bit old, so we got him close enough to Amy’s truck to hook him up and pull him out.

    (Don’t forget that you can click on any photo to make it bigger).
    And yes, that is some lady slacklining on the tow rope…. People…. Moving on.

    We had worked up a pretty good appetite with all the snow fun and games so Amy took us back to the place that serves the best cheesecake I have ever had.

    The one bit between the three of us was perfect. I think its made out of goats cheese, so it tastes like none other that I have ever had.
    Might have to make it a bit of a thing when we are up there now….

    No photos, but Cole and I got to hangout in his garage for a good while while we tinkered with an electric motor he wanted to get going for some project…. Once I understood that he did not want to keep the speed contontrol that was on it, it was pretty straight forward to just hot wire the motor to the batteries.
    Thankfully I had my new little Kickstarter pocket bluetooth multimeter with me, I will do blog on it, its super cool and deserves its 5 minutes of fame…. Anyway, using the meter I quickly found out that his batteries were dead flat. Once you put them on the charger they jumped from 5v to 16 in an instant. They were toast. Made me wonder if my dad could bring them back using his desulfator…. Thankfully his brother bought some good ones over and we were able to show Cole how to hook them up as 12v for low speed and 24v for high speed. He was a happy chap.

    Speaking of Cole, no photos of his truck, but it’s pretty heavily modded, a bit like Marty really, just in truck form. One of the many many mods he has done is that he has pulled out the original seats and put in racing bucket seats…. So yeah, when he suggested that we go and buy some cigars in his truck, I jumped at the chance…. Why?
    Read the caption……

    Fun sucking California……

    After cigars, Vodka tasting!!

    It was my birthday, so Amy was spoiling me a little…. Anyway, we had a great visit, and before you knew it, the speed brakes were on and we were back in San Diego and a short drive home completed the trip.

  • Idaho – June 2018

    We had been planning this trip for about 4 months… Pinning down the date took the longest time. Amy and Cole were busy on the 4th July (Wednesday), so that took that set of dates off the books…. Anyway, the week after was chosen way back and we stuck to the date.

    Training at Opto Wednesday morning, then off at lunchtime. Freddy had the car packed and Krysta was ready for her first big road trip and we were all psyched up for the next 22 hours in the car.

    The drive out to Las Vegas is the first bit to get done, I took us to the rest stop just this side and Terry took us through the city that never sleeps around 3pm. From there, it’s the open road.

    We go through California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho, so lots of ‘big sky’ country.

    Got there around 10am, made great time, 20.5 hours. Yes, Terry and I swapped back and forth and so we drove straight through.
    It’s a lot quicker in the summer than in winter, hence the 2 hour quicker than expected.
    I took a quick shower and then left the gang at Amy’s pad to have a snooze while I went into her work and recorded a live feed and a YouTube video for/with her.

    We are just trying to help her do the social media thing, people want to know that the models are just like every day people and knowing their parents helps that.

    From there, we headed back to her place to pick up the rest of the troop and headed off to the island.

    Coles parents are building a cabin on a plot of land that is on a 5 acre island and thus is only accessible by boat.
    Here is the dock you wait at for John (Coles Dad) to arrive at.

    There are a few shanties and tents on the island with some cabins on the other side, so there are a few little boats that come and go from here.
    Everything, EVERYTHING, must be shipped on and off the island by these small boats. There are no services at all on the island.
    Here is the their cabin.

    As soon as I arrived, having been there before, I was looking around and noticed some bugs on one part of the roofline. I straight away told John and so we got out to take a closer look.

    Yellow jacket hornets. They are building a massive nest under his eve.
    I am looking forward to the story of how he removed them as we tried once latter tha night and they attacked us before we even really got close.

    We all piled into the boat and went around to whats called Pebble Beach.
    Its a beautiful beach full of flat round skipping stones. Tons of fun and sore shoulders latter, we headed back to the cabin for dinner and more talking.
    We just low key hung out most of the next day (Saturday) and saw eagles, osprey and other beautiful birds. All in all a very peaceful day.
    Later that afternoon we drove the two hours back to Amy and Coles place.

    Here is a shot of the three guys scheming what to do with Coles very empty back yard. As the evening wore on, the plans got more outrageous. Odd that.

    Sunday Cole had to work, so Amy took us downtown after doing Freddys hair.

    Downtown is rather beautiful. All the street lights have flower baskets under them and Freddy just loves it.

    Meanwhile Terry and I were checking out the cars…..

    We got to the park to do some squirrel watching and got a passerby to get a photo of us.

    Later that night we got to hang out with Cole and Wade, Amys sugar glider.

    The thing is super cute.

    Next morning, quick breakfast photo.

    And then after a whole lot of this….

    We were back in Temecula.

  • Terry graduated.

    Some photos of Terrys graduation.

    Terry and Krysta.

    The usual crew.

    I think it’s sort of sunk in that he does not have to do homework every night.
    The first few paychecks will also be a bit of an awakening and ‘growing up’ adjustment.
    But, other than that, he has transitioned to life pretty smoothly.