Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Reading List

At Home - Bill Bryson
In Defense of Food - Michael Pollen
Last Night in Twisted River - John Irving
Minor in Posession - J.A. Jance

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Coconut Pete's

I was out for a bike ride this afternoon and happened by this nearby serf shop.  Surfing is probably one of those things I like the idea of doing but won't get around to actually doing.

Monday, December 9, 2013

December Garden Report

Things are  coming up in the garden.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Audubon Bird and Bike

This morning I went bike-birding along the San Diego River with an Audubon group.  The group saw nearly 70 birds of which I saw about half of them.  Lucky for me this is only about a half mile from home.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Balboa Park Free Tuesday

Today I visited the Museum of Photography in Balboa Park.

After visiting the museum I took a hot lap around the park and happened across this squirrel

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Don Leeak's WWII B29 in flight...

These pictures were taken during the last mission flown by the B-29 bomber that my dad flew in WWII.

From: http://philcrowther.com/6thBG/6bgplane58.html :

Another view of plane #58 on the same flight.
A picture of this plane is on the back cover of the Pirates Log.
There is a possibility that this airplane was named "Virgin Sturgeon".

The Air Crew

On the last mission the aircraft commander was Capt Sam J. Scurria, on TDY effective 6 Jul 1945 from the 507th Bomb Squadron, 333rd Bomb Group, 316th Bomb Wing. Here is a listing of the crew members:

Cpt Samuel Joseph "Sam" Scurria (A/C)
2/Lt Donald F. Leeak
1/Lt Arthur M. Shelton
2/Lt Robert V. Tuggle
T/Sgt Thomas D. Keywood
Cpl Morris L. Berman
Cpl Robert S. Brown (CFC)
Cpl James E. "Jim" Church
Cpl William Kristufek
Cpl Charles L. Hamlin
2/Lt Forrest L. Gager

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Santee Lakes Audubon Bird Walk

This morning I went on a San Diego Audubon bird walk at Santee Lakes about 15 miles north of where I'm staying in Chula Vista.  Wow, this place is a goldmine for it's variety of birds!

This snowy egret was a favorite-- standing on one leg on a twig at the top of this tree.

And this great glue heron was another favorite for the day.

And we were lucky enough to see my favorite bird of all time a Belted Kingfisher.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Palomar Camping and Hiking

I drove up to Mt Palomar on Thursday and spent a cold night camping.  But the 2 mile hike up the mountain to the observatory had lots of great views along the way.

This is the home of the 200 inch reflector telescope on the mountain top.  It was too dark inside to get any good pictures but it was kind of a Star Trek experience being there.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

San Miguel Mountain Hike

Today I hiked on 2550 ft San Miguel Mountain a few miles east of where I'm staying here in Chula Vista south of San Diego.  I went with my friend Jimmy who hikes up San Miguel every week or so.  We started pretty early, I left home at 8am which got us on the trailhead by 8:30 [VERY unusual for me], because I sort of wanted to be done by noon because of the temps. [It was 81 deg when I got back home]  Jimmy claims though that a cool breeze off the ocean starts up about 10am.

Jimmy's a way faster hiker than I am so at about the half way point he blasted out ahead and made it to the top at a little after 10 am--  when I still had another 500 or 600 ft of vertical to go which may have taken me another 20 mins to a half hour.   So, I didn't make it to the summit but there'll be other chances.

I drank 2 quarts of water on the hike, and still lost 4 pounds.

Looking at the trail coming down from San Miguel Mtn.  Otay Lake, where I hiked last week, on the left in the distance.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pilot Butte Burger

Last night's Pilot Butte Burger for 4.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Carol sits river side during yesterday's hike along the Deschutes River to Dillon Falls.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fall Creek Trail Hike

Today I had a fun hike up Fall Creek with neighbors Carlos, Doug, and Jane.  This hike starts just beyond the turn off to Mt Bachelor and goes to Green Lake.  We didn't make it to the lake.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Darrington Bluegrass Festival

I had a great time at the Darrington Bluegrass Festival this last weekend about an hour north east of Seattle where I met up with my friend Jay and his dog Duchess seen here in the picture.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bend Visitors...

My friends Phil and Jody from Seattle have been visiting this week.  We've been out for lots of hikes and other fun stuff!

Monday, July 8, 2013

The High Desert Museum

When my friends Phil and Jody were here in Bend we spent a day a out at the High Desert Museum just sound of Bend.  The raptor house is part of the museum and houses all kinds of disabled raptors-- a Peregrine Falcon is shown here.

They had a display of disgustingly cute river otters too.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Higher Ground Fourth of July

A group of us at Bend, Oregon's Higher Ground Co-housing Community played to a sell out crowd during the 4th of July picnic...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Birds Seen In Bend, Oregon's Shevlin Park

 Last week I spotted this Bald Eagle nest in Shevlin Park and saw both the mom and dad tending the nest.  I went back yesterday and saw this immature eagle in the same nest.

Then down the trail a little way I spotted this black headed gross beak.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Higher Ground Co-housing Community-- Bend, Oregon

I'm spending the summer house sitting here in Bend's Higher Ground Co-housing Community[https://sites.google.com/site/highergroundcohousing/] for my friends Perry and Carol who are leaving next week to bike across the U.S.

This is Higher Ground's Common House where various events are held.  On Wednesday night in the summer there is a potluck dinner.  Last night's was pretty well attended.  A fairly full house with several dozen people attending.

I've been getting out for a short morning walk to get familiar with the local critters since I arrived on Sunday afternoon.  It's going to take me awhile to figure out what all I'm seeing but here are a couple that I spotted this morning:

House sparrow.

Western Scrub Jay

And this grey squirrel was pretty curious about what I was up to.

Friday, June 14, 2013

My Langins - Samuel Jarvis Langin

Samuel Jarvis Langin[1877-1968] was a great uncle of my mother's-- Marjorie Langin Leeak.
[Based on the memories of  Samuel Jarvis Langin's grand daughter Doris.]

According to family lore Samuel Jarvis Langin [commonly referred to as “Jarvis”] was a young boy of three or four when he came with his parents to the United States in the late 1870's. JJ Langin and Anna Ramsey Langin were reported to have "walked over the border and into the United States."
After growing up in Riverdale, Michigan Jarvis went to Mellen, Wisconsin-- possibly for a job in the lumbering industry. During his time in Mellon Jarvis became head of the Mellen Volunteer Fire Department.  Mellen Wisconsin is described as being "situated on the historic Bad River, in the scenic Chequamegon National Forest and next to the wooded hills of the Penokee Mountain Range. Noted for its variety of outdoor activities, Mellen boasts an abundance of pristine lakes, miles of rambling streams, and a wooded paradise."
These were the days when when candles were put on Christmas trees. As the story goes Lawrence, Jarvis' son, lit the candles and set the house on fire. Needless to say, it made an interesting story that the child of the head of the Volunteer Fire Department started a fire. It was said that, "Uncle Lawrence didn't want to talk about it much" later in life.
It's not clear how long the family lived in Mellin , but Jarvis' daughter Agnes May and son Lawrence were born there in 1903 and 1905. From Mellen, the family moved to Duluth, Minnesota, and Jarvis took a job as custodian at the Woodmen Hall on 21th Ave. West and lst Street-- also referred to as the Odd Fellows Hall. He worked at the Woodmen Hall until he took the job at the Duluth Labor Temple in downtown Duluth, and he and his second wife, Ethel, lived above the building. He was buried in the Odd Fellows section of the Mt. Hope cemetery in San Diego, CA.
Jarvis moved to California when he retired in 1955 or '56 at the age of 79. When Jarvis went to apply for Social Security he learned that he was not a U.S. Citizen. Not being a citizen was a total surprise to Jarvis and his daughter Agnes Langin Dyson. Jarvis never knew he wasn't a citizen until he applied for Social Security. He worked all his life and retired some time in his late seventies. He was a good citizen-- he thought. He went to school here, worked here all his life, kept up with politics and the labor unions and VOTED faithfully. He married a woman from the U.S. and then another after his first wife died at a young age. When it was discovered that he was not a citizen, he wrote back to Madison, Wisconsin, to get the marriage records which made him eligible to apply for citizenship. He ultimately became a citizen in 1961.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Ogden's Union Station Railway Museum

It was hotter than blazes here in Ogden today so instead of hiking I took a short afternoon bike ride to see the rail museum at Ogden's Union Station.

[Click on the image to see full sized.]

This 4-8-4 Northern locomotive is the biggest, and most impressive, piece of old iron they have here at the museum.

See all of the large bolt heads here on the boiler?  What the heck are those things? I'm guessing it has something to do with the firebox...  Let me know if you have an idea.

[Click on the image to see full sized.]

This is certainly another impressive piece of old railroad iron too.  Interesting that its useful service life was only 9 years compared to almost 20 years for the Northern steam engine.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ogden Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival

I came to this festival thinking it was strictly a bluegrass festival but was pleasantly surprised to find that it included all kinds of acoustic music.  The picture below is of The Boxcars, my favorite bluegrass band of all time.  In this picture they're conducting a "band dynamics" workshop for only about six of us-- it was terrific!  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Old Spanish Trail

Yesterday we traveled a piece of the Old Spanish Trail northeast of Parowan, UT.

This 1200 mile trade rout connected settlements near Santa Fe, NM with Los Angeles, CA and was used most heavily from about 1830 to 1850.  Portions of the rout were established by Spanish explorers in the late 1500's.

We stopped here and spent a couple of hours hiking nearby.

On the drive out we ran across this USGS survey benchmark.