20111126 – Pinnacles National Park; Steinbeck Museum At Last; Home – 2 Months Before The Next Adventure

Saturday – cold and rainy.

Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park

Up and out early, a rare event for us geriatrics. It’s cold and rainy. Getting us prepared for our return to Belthorn.

Drive down to Pinnacles National Park.

Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park

23 million years ago multiple volcanoes erupted, flowed, and slid to form what would become Pinnacles National Park. What remains is a landscape unlike any other. Travelers journey through grasslands, chaparral, oak woodlands, and canyon bottoms. Hikers enter rare talus caves and emerge to towering rock spires teeming with life: Prairie and Peregrine falcons, Golden eagles, and the inspiring California condor.

Luckily by the time we get there it’s stopped raining. I hobble around a short walk and get some photos. Also yet another cap to add to my collection. Oh yes forgot to mention my fall yesterday. Tripped up over a step at Nat and Paul’s. Banged my right knee up, smashed the filter on my camera. Luckily my femurs ok and the filter did its job and protected the rest of the camera. Another sign of old age. Now I’m hobbling around with a very bruised knee.

Oh and Wendy’s did see a bald eagle yesterday, a sighting was on the overnight news.

Then we drive up to Salinas, our next overnight stop. I finally get to visit the Steinbeck museum, the objective of our Salinas stopover. Not a massive museum but a sort of pilgrimage. Last time we were here, we arrived too late as it was just closing.

In the evening we finally get to try an In / Out Burger.

Yes, we sure live it up. Amazing this place is heaving and next door the MacDonalds is empty. Have a 3 * 3, they sure are good. Better than MacD’s.

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Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park

Predatory bacteria – that eat others of their kind – could be a new weapon in the fight against superbugs, say UK researchers.

Experiments showed a dose of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus acted like a “living antibiotic” to help clear an otherwise lethal infection.

The animal studies, published in Current Biology, suggested there would be no side effects.

Experts said the approach was unusual, but should not be overlooked.

Fear of an antibiotic apocalypse, caused by growing levels of bacteria resisting the drugs, has led to scientists trying other approaches.
Bdellovibrio is a fast-swimming bacterium that works its way inside other bacteria where it devours its hosts’ insides and swells in size.

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Steinbeck museum

Steinbeck museum

So who will be Secretary of State. Trumps latest cliff hanger is intriguing. My theories to this are either:

1 He really is trying to be inclusive, wants the best man for the job and doesn’t want to surround himself with “yes” men. Hence Romney.

2 He’ll go for the “yes” man option of Guilaney.

3 He’s just using the Romney option to show how inclusive and astute he is, but has no intention of selecting him.

To me it is a real measure of the man and if he chooses Romney then it bodes well.

Of course there’s always the 4th option. The ideal candidate option. Someone with lots of experience in the job. The fully inclusive option. And who is this missing option, why it’s Hilary Clinton.

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Pat Condell – Saudi Arabia is like an Aids virus:

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Hillary Clinton Cold Open – SNL

Sunday – warm and sunny.

Our superb hotel in San Bruno

Our superb hotel in San Bruno

Drive up to San Francisco. Our hotel is awesome. Half the cost of our previous SF hotel and restores some faith in Choice hotels. For once a choice hotel with no problems and very luxurious. Just lately we’ve started to give up on choice hotels, there’s always some sort of problem. Started using Best Western and have not been disappointed. But this place is exceptional.

Martha and Bob (home exchangers from San Diego) pick us up at the hotel and take us a tour to the Bay park and then onto the Cliff Inn for dinner. Spectacular sea and sunset views, good food and company. Really good to meet up with them.

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View from Cliff Restaurant in San Francisco.

View from Cliff Restaurant in San Francisco.

I think this little snippet of useless information really falls under the category of a joke.

Apparently California is still counting the election votes. These are absentee votes. While Hilary may have won the popular vote so far by nearly 2,000,000 votes, Donald won the electoral college votes – the one that matters – by over 60 votes, a big margin. It’s a peculiar aspect of the American Electoral College system that you could win the Presidency with only 22% of the popular vote.

So why have the electoral college system:

1 Reduce the chance of tyranny of the masses.

2 Promote coalition.

3 Reduce the risk of voter fraud.

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Sunset in San Francisco

Sunset in San Francisco

Hey ho it seems like there’s an extra special bonus offer on for all jihadis who die this month and not just Black Friday only. Islamic State “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reportedly promised four extra Houris (supernatural, large breasted, celestial perpetual virgins designed for sexual purposes)—atop the other 72 promised by prophet Muhammad—to all jihadis who die (are “martyred”) fighting the infidel forces.

Monday – warm and sunny.

Wendy with some brandy to help the tablets down.

Wendy with some brandy to help the tablets down.

Had a pleasant stroll down to the local Starbucks, sat out watching the world go by and absorbing caffeine. Late check out of the hotel and then off to the airport to begin our day of hell.

It starts of course with a queue to check-in as they can’t be bothered to open yet. Now I can appreciate that the majority of people don’t arrive more than 3 hours ahead, but judging by this queue quite a few do. Now with a morsel of common sense and some thought for customer service, they could have just one checkin person on a couple of hours early. Then we have the inevitable misery of the TSA before we mange to escape to the comfort, seclusion and alcohol of an airport lounge.

Food and alcohol selection in the lounge is excellent, so we have our dinner there rather than suffering airline food. I have a lovely bottle of Pomerol. At least when I get on board I can don my eye mask, take a couple of sleeping tablets and hopefully get some sleep with no disturbance. Don’t think the sleeping tablets are much good. Do they have a sell by date?

Flights very good. We have exit row seats, so plenty of leg room. Unusual for Virgin the cabin crew are like a bunch of lobotomised autistics. Zero personality. Zero interaction.

A nice Pomerol.

A nice Pomerol.

Don’t I just love TSA stupidity. In just 20 feet, in full sight of all TSA agents and other passengers I’ve had my boarding pass checked by 3 separate TSA agents. Then I pile everything out of my pockets into my jacket, only to be told I can keep my jacket on. You just can’t win against this random stupidity.

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Truck of Peace election special, just about sums it all up:

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A Word To The Criminal Migrants:

Tuesday – sunny.

Steinbeck statue

Steinbeck statue

Flight lands on time Tuesday morning. Clear immigration in record time despite my fears to the contrary and my automatic passport scan not working.

Pick car up and then the real hell begins. Road closed by the police for some unknown reason, so takes about an hour to escape London. Then there’s a 71 minute delay on the M6 South of manchester. Road works for eternity. When will they stop these long stretches of road works? When will they stop so many road works in the same area? How are they allowed to get away with this madness. Time to hand out some brown envelopes or have a Saturday afternoon lion feeding. Try accepting Satnav alternate route to end up driving down pitch black, narrow country lanes. Give that up and resort back to the motorway.

Railcar in Steinbeck museum.

Railcar in Steinbeck museum.

By now I’ve totally lost it. Smashed my virtual surfboard of life against the virtual skulls of the dimwits responsible for this chaos. Foaming at the mouth. Thankfully you’re not allowed to have a gun in this country, otherwise I’d have shot all responsible.

There’s just no retribution against this madness. No one is ever made to pay or is accountable. You have to wonder, how many of these journeys could be avoided with remote working? Sadly we have no politicians with a skerrick of common sense, no transport policy, no tax incentives for remote working and worst of all no accountability.

Finally get home after 5 hours of hell. Time for a well deserved Jeva and try my quality Hennessy

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President Obama has long been criticized by national security hawks and a Republican presidential field led by Donald Trump for refusing to say the words “radical Islam”. “Islamic terrorist” or “Islamist” to describe threats posed by terrorist groups such as the Islamic State.

That reluctance won’t be a problem for the president-elect’s national security team, which is flush with nominees who can be expected to employ these terms regularly and face up to the reality of the threat. They acknowledge we are at war.

The shift will test two deeply opposed worldviews on how to defeat jihadi terrorist groups. Mr. Obama argued that the term “radical Islam” plays into the propaganda narrative of the Islamic State and other U.S. enemies, falsely suggesting that the West was at war with the world’s 1.7 billion Muslims. Mr. Trump, incoming National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn and many others say the U.S. and its allies can never win the war on terrorism if they fail to honestly call out the enemy by name.

Just an example of the current head in the sand PC lunacy :

Oh and finally it’s discovered, as the rest of the population already knew, that the perp is an Islamic terrorist, Islamist, fundamentalist, muslim or whatever other non PC term you wish to use.

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Obama’s naive PC claim “no religious rationale” for terrorism:

20161120 – San Diego; A Spot of Culture; Visit Old Friends

Sunday – hot and sunny.

Mission Bay

Mission Bay

For all those whining cry babies who are throwing their toys out the pram because Trump won and now want to flee the country. Go. Abandon your country. We’ll gladly have your citizenship. Dual citizenship would suit us just right.

Our cultural overdose watching “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” by Billy Shakespoke. Wendy dragged along kicking and screaming. Not bad for a first attempt at writing a play.

The language is oh so rich but so fast that you don’t really have time to let it seep in and enjoy it. They should have to pause after each sentence so you can absorb it.

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George Carlin on political nonsense – plenty of it around here:

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Gas lamp district

Gas lamp district

I’ve started eating lots of carrots to cope with the dark roads. Here we are in the richest country and richest state, full of left wing do gooders, tree huggers and yet fewer street lights than there are at the North Pole on the summer equinox. Driving at night is daunting. Like a mole without a torch. As to reversing at night, just don’t go there. Every time you reverse in this country you can guarantee a brass band turns up to practice in the light from your reversing lights. Failing a brass band it will be a loony shopper with her trolley trying to check he shopping bill.

Monday – Rain and sun.

Wendy & Elvis at Coronado

Wendy & Elvis at Coronado

At last we get some rain here in the desert. Yes, apparently San Diego is classed as a desert.

Lazy morning. Pop down to see Ralph in the supermarket.

After lunch we take a stroll along the beach down to Belmont Park. It’s an old 60’s style amusement park complete with wooden rollercoaster that these days would be considered ideal for a tiny tots amusement park. That’s enough excitement for the day.

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Bilbao park

Bilbao park

WHY, Why, why would anyone in their right mind go to Dubai? Or any Islamic country for that matter. Dubai seems like it’s the “in place” to go but remember it’s an Islamic country. Laws based on 7th century tribal barbarism and Sharia.

Prison for sex outside marriage.

Prison or deportation for women not “covered up”.

Prison or deportation for women who are raped, unless of course they can find 4 men to testify to the fact. If you raped then best advice seems to be grin and bear it. Report it to the police and you’re guilty of sex outside of marriage or adultery.

Flogging and stoning are still allowed.

Why doesn’t the Foreign office just advise avoid any Islamic country.

Perhaps the UK should introduce similar laws, only conforming to our norms. No burkas and you’re obliged to show a bit of flesh etc.

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Don’t you just love American ingenuity. They finally get around to rolling out chip and pin, although it’s by no means complete yet. But I still don’t think they really understand it. Just put Wendy’s chip card in for $25 of petrol, but it can’t be bothered to ask for the pin – that’s why it’s called chip & pin. What is the point? No wonder my cards been abused.

Tuesday – hot and sunny.

Coronado

Coronado


Up and out down to the Old Town to pick up the Hop On and Off Tram tour. A tad expensive but a great way to see San Diego – again.

Coronado hotel

Coronado hotel

Hop off for a wander around the Gas Lamp district. What a waste that was.

Hop off for a wander around Coronado. Visit the hotel but decide lunch and even a coffee are just too ridiculously priced. Have a stroll around followed by a Panera lunch for Wendy and Starbucks for. Coronado is so up market and relaxing.

Hop off at Bilbao Park for a stroll around. Have tea at the Japanese Tea Hous. Interesting discussion there with 3 raving ranting raging democratic storm troopers, who think that anyone who voted Trump was an idiot and the sun shone out of poor Hilary’s vagina. Wow this country is so polarised. Is there no middle ground? To listen to them everything Trump does is crazy and evil, even breathing. Surely most Americans would agree that both candidates were awful and it was down to choosing the lesser of two evils.

Coronado beach

Coronado beach

We didn’t hop off at Little Italy, but it looks a great place for a stroll and some coffee.

Finish our tour back at the Old Town. More Mexican shops and restaurants than tacos on a Tuesday.

A great day out. What a lovely city San Diego is if you keep off the Freeways and don’t go out at night.

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The Bubble from Saturday Night Live:

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img_0559Here we go again:

Petition calls for Muslim festival of Eid to be made a British national holiday.

BRITISH Muslims are urging the Government to make the Islamic festival of Eid a national holiday in the UK.

More than 50,000 people have signed a petition saying that the religious day should be turned into a bank holiday, so that British Muslims do not have to use their annual leave to celebrate it. 

The 51,567 signatories to the government e-petition are also urging Ministers to change the law so that Britons can swap the statutory holiday day they currently have to take for Christmas to Eid instead. 

The government responded saying it “has no plans to create another public holiday, or to vary the existing arrangements”.

Where does it end? I’m sure there are plenty of countries in the World where they accommodate Eid.

Wednesday – hot and sunny.

Balbao fountain

Balbao fountain

Lazy morning cleaning up etc.

After lunch we head down to Carrillo National Monument. Free admission with our NP pass, awesome views over San Diego and the Coronado and some pleasant strolls. Watch an interesting film on the Grey Whale. Wow it travels 4,000 miles a year to feed, have sex and give birth.

Pack in the evening and we’re all ready for the last leg of our grand trip.
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Awesome, watch this blind professional skier.

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Balbao park

Balbao park

Is this some sort of Alice in Wonderland or Kafka joke.

Ed Balls has urged the US president-elect Donald Trump to tune in on a Saturday night and join the millions of viewers watching him take to the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ dance-floor, saying he “could learn a thing or two – not just about dance, but about what really makes a country great”.
Ed, the former shadow chancellor turned housewives’ choice for his untiring stint on the competition, tells next week’s Radio Times that the show properly reflects our society.

Why would we want anyone to know how mind numbing our Saturday night TV is and what we consider to be good entertainment. Bring back Tutti Fruiti.

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This place is just teeming with psychic and tarot card readers. Is this why the state’s so blue and infested with democrats?

Thursday – hot and sunny.

Thanksgiving at Moby Dicks in Santa Barbara

Thanksgiving at Moby Dicks in Santa Barbara

Happy Thanksgiving America. You can now give thanks that the 18 month pantomime that was your Presidential election is over. Hopefully now is the time to come together and work together. Sadly, like BREXIT, reading the entrails, it’s not looking too favourable.

Santa Barbara sunset.

Santa Barbara sunset.

Set off to Santa Barbara. Involves a drive through Los Angalas, 7 lanes of potential hell, but it turns out that everyone’s tucking into turkey so it’s not too bad.
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Understanding the American Electoral college:

Friday – hot and sunny.

Black Friday – are they really allowed to call it that?

Our new Hertzmobile. I wish.

Our new Hertzmobile. I wish.

Drive up to Atascadero to visit Nat and Paul. They were our first home exchangers, in Sedona, and were responsible for puting us onto the home exchange path. Have a lovely afternoon with them, with a trip in Paul’s 1960’s Cadillac. Can you believe this car, only 37,000 miles on the clock, in mint condition, enough steel in it to keep the American steel industry going for a year, a 8.2 litre engine (just drive down the drive and you need a refill) and roomy enough for 2 families to live in. It’s awesome. They certainly don’t make cars like that anymore. A car from an era of big cars. Have a drive around town and practice my royal wave.

Old Town San Diego

Old Town San Diego

Have afternoon tea and then in the evening it’s dinner. A great time meeting old friends, great food, great company. It’s years since we saw them but we pick up just as if it was yesterday.

I see the Obamas have had their Christmas tree delivered. I’m surprised they’ve got the gonads to call it a Christmas tree. I’d have thought holiday tree would have been their mealy mouthed PC response.

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Computer sayings

Santa Barbara pier

Santa Barbara pier

Database: the information you lose when your memory crashes. ~Dave Barry, Claw Your Way to the Top

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history – with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila. ~Mitch Ratcliffe

Back up my hard drive? How do I put it in reverse? ~Author Unknown

Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done. ~Andy Rooney

Don’t anthropomorphize computers – they hate it. ~Author Unknown

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The trouble with the Electoral College: