ROAD TRIP to Ashland, Oregon!

ROAD TRIP to Ashland, Oregon! Ten Days “On The Road” and on a mission.

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Cold Rain and Snow! Ashland, Oregon 3-14-18

Los Angeles, California to Ashland, Oregon and now WE ARE BACK!

NOTE: The road trip happened in early March with the threat of winter weather in the north and in the Siskiyou Pass into Oregon, so we had to time our travel and hope for good weather on both sides.

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Monday Morning Road Trip! Los Angeles to Ashland (670 miles) in 10 hours! Instead of stopping, we decided to make a straight shot on Interstate 5 (via the 405 freeway) to stay ahead of the winter weather in the Siskiyou Pass…

A long, beautiful, uneventful drive north with the intent to get there as soon as possible while driving as safe as possible. “No tickets, no accidents, and no encounters with law enforcement” makes for a good trip. We stopped for gas and to stretch our legs (and other business) along the way, and arrived in Oregon in only 10 hours!

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Tejon Pass, California

NOTE: This Blog Post was delayed again because of technical issues. Our primary computer crashed recently and it had the transferred pics ready to upload.

 

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Mt. Shasta in the Siskiyou Pass, California (things start getting blurry)

670 miles and ten hours later we were in Ashland, Oregon!

WE LOVE ASHLAND!

There was beautiful weather all week long. It had snowed the week before, there was snow on the mountains, Mt. Ashland ski resort was open for business, and there was even still some snow on the ground the first day. It was cold and windy at night the first couple nights, and it was raining/snowing in the pass, but the weather stayed really nice during the day (sunny and in the 70s) from Ashland to Medford most of the time.

 

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Ashland Creek in Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon

 

Scenes from the Ranch:

 

 

On The Menu in Ashland:

Lunch at Sesame Asian Kitchen in Ashland

Dinner at The Loft in Ashland
NY steak & prawns, fries, veggies, caesar salad, tuna tartare, bread & butter, an excellent 1993 Southing Sea Smoke pinot noir, and a coke
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Pizza (take-out) from Kaleidoscope Pizza in Medford
Lunch (take-out) from Arby’s
Lunch (take-out soups) from Olive Garden

BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwiches for Dinner at the Ranch
Pasta and Meatballs with cheesy bread and a coke for Dinner at the Ranch
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Pizza and Champagne Dinner at the Ranch with friends
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Ice Cream from Grater’s in Cincinnati, Ohio (via UPS)
pints of black raspberry chocolate chip, cherry chocolate chip,
salted caramel chocolate chip, and chocolate chocolate chip
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Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalongs and Samoas

Dinner (take-out) from La Tapatia in Phoenix (Oregon, not Arizona)
2 chicken street tacos with salsa

Dinner (take-out) from Harvey’s Place in Ashland
roast beef dip sandwich and fries
(Read our previous Blog Post about Harvey’s Place>
)

Sushi Lunch at Bonsai in Medford
sushi, sashimi and cut rolls

Dinner at Beasy’s on the Creek in Ashland
shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, grilled prawns (didn’t eat them, got them “to go”), bread & butter, red wine, a coke, and no dessert thank you

Hand-made Chocolates from Lillie Belle Farms in Central Point

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Oregon Sky 2

 

Walking in Lithia Park on Monday Afternoon (almost alone)
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Ashland Creek in Lithia Park

 

Heading South on Wednesday! Destination: Oakland and then Home!

There was rain and snow in Ashland, in the Siskiyou Pass, and even further south to the Bay Area. And more stormy weather was predicted for Thursday and through the weekend, so when the weather looked clear on Wednesday morning we headed south hoping to get through the pass without incident or chain requirements. It rained a little, it snowed a little, there was a little sleet and then it was clear and beautiful the whole way to Oakland.

We stopped for an hour at the Rolling Hills Casino in Corning, California on the I-5.

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Rolling Hills Casino – Corning, California

 

Going south, we had the choice to “stay on or get off?”: stay on and keep going south on the I-5 with Los Angeles as our destination or get off and take the 505 Winters cutoff to the Bay Area with an Oakland stopover as our destination. We almost kept going, but decided to detour west, get a hotel room, have dinner and rest for the night instead.

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San Leandro Bridge and Puffy Clouds 3-14-18

We were going to stay at a hotel in Emeryville where we got off the freeway because East Bay traffic was jammed, but found a good deal on a room at the LaQuinta Inn near the Oakland Airport online and made a same-day reservation through an internet site because it was easy and we were tired. We had Dinner at the Black Bear Diner in Emeryville on Pi Day and tried to connect with a friend who was local via telephone.

On the Menu: Breakfast for dinner.
2 eggs over medium. bacon (with extra bacon), biscuits & gravy, and iced coffee
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and then a small chocolate cream pie “to go”
We enjoyed it with some “free” coffee from the lobby in our hotel room.

 

 

After we ate, we drove over to the La Quinta Inn at the Oakland Airport via surface streets to avoid the freeway traffic and soon arrived at the hotel without too much trouble.
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We checked in, went to the room, unpacked, took a nice hot shower and shaved, and then got dressed to go and meet our friend. But it was too late (almost 8:30pm) so we got undressed and ate some of our pie and quickly fell asleep.

Thursday 7am: Leftover Pie and a Continental Breakfast!

On the Menu (a nice continental breakfast at the hotel): scrambled eggs, bagel with cream cheese, cornflakes and milk, and coffee. We also took a banana, an apple, 2 blueberry muffins, and a bagel with peanut butter and jelly for the road trip home. We also enjoyed the leftover chocolate cream pie and some canned pineapple juice before breakfast.

Thursday 11am: On The Road Again!
I-5 south (via 580) Oakland to Los Angeles

The LaQuinta loyalty program offers a late check-out to guests, so we could have stayed until 1pm. Instead we enjoyed the “free” breakfast, packed our bags, and loaded the car The early storm passed and morning Bay Area traffic cleared and we left at 11am to get on the road and get clear of the weather. From Oakland we had the choice to take the faster Interstate 5 (east route) or more scenic US highway 101 (west route) south to Los Angeles and so we chose the 5 south, again because of the stormy weather on the coast.

There was a little residual rain as we left the Bay Area at Livermore, but then it was blue skies all day and the whole way to L.A. and it only took 5 & 1/2 hours with one stop for gas.

 

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Los Angeles Again 3-15-18

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Oakland Sunrise 3-15-18

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sunday, March 25 April 1st, 2018
(April Fools! See the NOTE at the bottom of the Blog for details)

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I hate glitter. It never goes away.

So, yes there is a new Blog Post coming soon.
Sorry (to our Loyal Readers) we haven’t published any more this month in March.

We are still working on the March 2018 Road Trip Blog Post and the Burning Man Road Trip Blog Post from last August-September 2017 is almost done too, but we are not sure if we want to post it… and there are a few more unfinished Blog Posts that may see the light of the interweb eventually. Meanwhile, we are getting regular unsolicited hits on past Blog Post from all over the world everyday. Check them out in the ARCHIVES>

It’s a beautiful “pleasant valley Sunday here in status symbol land”.

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Ten and a half Apostles! Happy Passover and Easter!

In honor the holiday we watched “The Prince of Egypt” again. It’s a beautiful animated film about Moses and the Exodus story from the Old Testament. Gets a big thumbs up and we recommend it for everyone (currently on Netflix too).

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COMPLAINTS and GRIEVANCES!
It’s not all good eating and sunsets here at JoshWillTravel. Times are tough right now.
Normally we keep it upbeat and positive here. Not today…

“Mothers complain about how hard life is and the kids just don’t understand”

We injured our back again this month. It’s the same injury to our lumbar spine that ended our career in production work. We hurt our back on our Road Trip moving heavy dog cages from one room to another and then hurt it again helping with other things at the Ranch. It’s one of the reasons we haven’t written because currently sitting, standing and walking for long periods of time is painful. We have prescribed medication but we don’t like to take it because it doesn’t really work and it makes us groggy, unmotivated and unfocused the whole day after. It also makes us angry, irritable and grumpy, along with the daily news and other real-world happenings. PAIN HURTS. PAIN SUCKS.

Our back is feeling somewhat better, but we have been having a hard time sleeping at night (INSOMNIA), and the construction next door to the Home Office continues without end (now, a year and a half of noise and disturbance). We have been hearing the constant whine of a tile saw and loud Ranchera music since we returned two weeks ago. We yelled at them last week and asked them to move the tile saw away from the property line, following up on the same complaint as a month ago when they had the wood saw next to our fence and loud “musica” before. No consideration at all for their noise or the  neighbors.

We are currently feeling very disorganized and slightly overwhelmed by the task of getting organized. Our advice to a friend this week was “just do one thing” and we are trying that approach and it’s a little better every time we do one thing….
(see our previous Blog Posts about Storage and Stuff for more details)

POLITICS and GOVERNMENT and TRUMPAGE (and TRUMP-RAGE!)
Can’t even begin right now. Everyday is another day of national embarrassment!

There is also a serious personal family matter that has been an ongoing concern for years. We won’t go into detail or even expand on the subject right now, but it is weighing heavily on us and has become even more difficult to deal with in recent months.

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Springtime in Oregon

NOTE: This was originally written on March 25, but right now it’s just after midnight on Sunday April 1st and we added a bunch of stuff. Happy Passover and Easter! On top of everything else, our primary desktop computer malfunctioned earlier this week and we had to upgrade the home office with a new desktop computer.

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Happy Passover 2018!

Party time at the house for the Passover holiday. This year 20+ guests and family again.

On The Menu: Brisket of beef, asparagus, gefilte fish with horseradish, roast vegetables, carrot/squash soufflé, noodle kugel, spinach & egg kugel, quinoa taboule, matzoh, wine (red & white) and Coke, and then desserts (all flourless: macaroons, chocolate cake, nut bread, chocolate covered matzoh) all mostly kosher for Passover.

 

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Happy Passover 2018!

Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe somehow you will
You will when you believe

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A Few Passover Facts: (ripped from the interweb)

The World’s Largest Passover Seder Takes Place in Nepal, of All Places. Each year members of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement hold their “Seder on Top of the World” in Kathmandu for Jewish locals and travelers alike (I’m gonna guess more the latter than the former). Last year they had around 2,000 people attend the festivities, and you can bet your tuchus that between the flowing wine and the thin air, it was quite the party.

2. Abraham Lincoln Was Assassinated During Passover. According to the American Jewish Historical Society, many Jews were in synagogue for the holiday when the news of Lincoln’s assassination broke. Altars in temples “were quickly draped in black and, instead of Passover melodies, the congregations chanted Yom Kippur hymns. Rabbis set aside their sermons and wept openly at their pulpits, as did their congregants.” Sadly, a time that was supposed to be full of celebration became one of mourning.

3. Coca-Cola Makes a Special Batch of Kosher Coke for Passover. While Coke is generally a kosher product, the dietary laws tighten during the Passover holiday making high-fructose corn syrup a no-no for observant Jews (it really should be a no-no for everybody all the time, but that’s neither here nor there). In response, Coca-Cola pumps out a batch of limited edition Coke that uses (gasp) real sugar instead of the kitniyot corn. Look for bottles with yellow caps on them to be sure you’re getting the right one, baby! (that was Pepsi‘s old jingle, but close enough.)

4. The First American Edition of the Haggadah Was Published in 1837. The Haggadah is the book or text Jews read from during Passover. It tells the origins of the holiday and explains how the Seder is supposed to proceed. Solomon Henry Jackson, an English-born American Jew, published the first American edition of the Haggadah in 1837 in New York. Jackson had moved to the city in the 1820s to establish the first Hebrew printing press, and The Jew, a monthly newspaper and the first Jewish periodical in the United States. One could say Jackson was the original member of the Jewish media elite.

5. Gefilte Fish is Really Good, I Swear. I know, I know, a bottle of gefilte fish looks more like something you’d find in science class than in a supermarket, but trust me when I say this: it tastes great. Some are even calling it “the new bacon.” Explaining the ingredients or the process of making it would probably only hurt my case, so I’m just going to say that if you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out. Just think of it as a fish hot dog, and as you can tell from Hebrew National dogs, we Jews know how to do mushy meat!

6. Manischewitz is a Brand, Not the Hebrew Word for Kosher Wine. Just as a Kleenex is really a “facial tissue,” and Q-Tips are actually “cotton swabs,” Manischewitz is a proprietary eponym. Founded in 1927 by Leo Star, the Manischewitz winery has basically cornered the kosher wine market here in the US with their sweet concord grape wine. Yet like Coca-Cola, Manischewitz uses corn syrup to sweeten things up a bit, so surprisingly not all Manischewitz is actually kosher for Passover.


The MARCH of Time!

“March comes in like a lion
and goes out like a lamb.”
– Thomas Fuller, 1732

The MARCH of Time!

“Rabbit, Rabbit”

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It’s not Easter yet!

Yesterday was the last day of February,
and the end of the second month of the year!
Today is the first day of MARCH 2018.
There is a Full Moon on March 1st and March 31st!

NOTE: We wrote another “March” Blog Post last year in 2017 that is a lot like this one. Compare and contrast if you like. This Blog Post stands alone.

HAPPY HANGOVER! – February 27th to March 6th
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March is the third month of the year. March has 31 days.
March is celebrated as a time of rebirth.

The meteorological spring begins on the first day of March and the Vernal Equinox on the 20th or 21st marks the astronomical beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere.

March is named for Mars, the Roman G-d of War. It was the first month of the year on the Roman Calendar and named Martius.

March 1st – Full Moon
The last full moon of Winter, known as the Worm Moon (also called Lenten Moon, Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Chaste Moon, Sugar Moon, and Sap Moon)

March 1st, 2018 is
NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER LOVER’S DAY
NATIONAL MINNESOTA DAY
NATIONAL PIG DAY
NATIONAL DADGUM THAT’S GOOD DAY
NATIONAL FRUIT COMPOTE DAY
NATIONAL HORSE PROTECTION DAY

The Day of the Dude! – March 6th
see the previous Blog Post and CELEBRATE by takin’ it easy!
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March (the official definition):

  1. verb: walk in a military manner with a regular measured tread
  2. noun: an act or instance of marching.
  3. synonyms: walk, stride, hike, troop, trek, step, slog, pace, tread

Pi Day – March 14th (“π” = 3.14159265359 or 3.14 is Pi)

The number π is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, commonly approximated as 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century, though it is also sometimes spelled out as “pi”.
3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816….

The Ides of March – March 15th
see the previous Blog Post

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“Et tu Brute?”

Thanks to William Shakespeare and the play “Julius Caesar” we’ve all heard of The Ides of March. The story goes, in 44 BC a seer told Julius Caesar that his downfall would come no later than the Ides of March (March 15th). Caesar ignored him and later joked with the seer “The Ides of March have come.” The seer replied, “aye, Caesar; but not gone.” Caesar then attended the meeting of the Senate at the Theatre of Pompey, and was murdered by as many as 60 conspirators.

Gaius Julius Caeser (July 13, 100 BC – March 15, 44 BC)

Caesar:
Who is it in the press that calls on me? 
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music, Cry ‘Caesar!’ 
Speak; Caesar is turn’d to hear.

Soothsayer:
Beware the Ides of March.
– Shakespeare

St. Patrick’s Day – March 17th
see the previous Blog Post

“Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.”

March Equinox (Vernal Equinox) – March 20th on the west coast

The birth flower for March is the daffodil.
Birthstones for March are aquamarine and bloodstone which symbolize courage.

March Madness!
see the previous Blog Post
NOTE: We don’t like college basketball. We don’t like college sports.
Student athletes are taken advantage of by the university system.
College sports are a distraction and school rivalries cause division.
Corruption, payoffs and bribery are just 3 of the problems.
(see “pointshaving”, “Cheating” and “academic fraud” for more)
REMEMBER “THE FIX IS IN!”

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And if you think it’s just 4 coaches and 3 agents, YOU ARE MISTAKEN!

And if you think it’s just basketball, YOU ARE MISTAKEN!

SPRINGTIME!
see the previous Blog Post

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Springtime at the Paramount Ranch Park in Agoura, California

Passover (Jewish Holiday) – March 30th to April 7th
Good Friday – March 30th
Easter Sunday – April 1st

March 31st – Full Moon known as the Pink Moon (also called Sprouting Grass Moon, Fish Moon, Hare Moon, Egg Moon, and Paschal Moon)

APRIL FOOLS DAY! – April 1st
see the previous Blog Post

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March 2017! 35000 Hits! Another Milestone!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/march-2017-35000-hits-another-milestone/

The Day of the Dude! Monday March 6th, 2017>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/the-day-of-the-dude-monday-march-6th-2017-takin-it-easy/

Beware the Ides of March!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/beware-the-ides-of-march/

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/haappy-saaint-paatricks-daay/

April Fools! St. Stupid’s Day!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/04/02/april-fools-st-stupids-day/

Spring Forward! Full Moon!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/spring-forward-full-moon/

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Happy Chinese New Year 2018!

Happy Chinese New Year 2018!
paper-cut dog
Friday, February 16 is the Beginning of the Lunar New Year & Spring Festival

2018 is the Year of the Yang Brown Earth Dog!
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The Lantern Festival is on March 2nd and is the climax of the new year celebration.

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Over 2000 years old, the Lantern Festival is a time for Moon watching, Lion dances, lantern lighting, social interaction and a celebration of freedom.

Happy-New-Year-Messages-2017

2018 is time to overcome obstacles and will be a challenge year for many people.
Take extra effort to reach your destination and use your wisdom to find a better way.
Consider necessity before spending money.
2018 will be a good year to save and increase your wealth.

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READ OUR PREVIOUS CHINESE NEW YEAR BLOG POSTS!

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Happy Year of the Brown Male Yang Earth Dog!
He’s such a good boy!

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about

50000 HITS! And 5 YEARS!

50000 HITS! And it’s the 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of this Blog!

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50000 HITS!

TIME TO CELEBRATE 50000 HITS and 5 YEARS!

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We reached a huge milestone last week!
50000 unique hits on our Blog without solicitation or advertisement!
(well, we did post links on our facebook and twitter pages, but never paid for it!)

And it’s also our 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY WRITING THIS BLOG!
We started this Blog five years ago, as a way to share our thoughts and experiences with the “interweb”. We have constructed over 700 Blog Posts (most are available in the archive – see sidebar or use the Search Box at the top of the page) for our satisfaction and your enjoyment.

NOTE: THERE IS ANOTHER INTERFACE PROBLEM WITH WORDPRESS! The pages are slow to load and the text doesn’t keep up with the typing,

DANCE DANCE DANCE!

 

“We’re gonna have a celebration!” “Get down, get funky!” “Party hearty Marty!”

We passed 51000 Hits today! We’re seeing action from around the world, which is really cool and kind of amazing. So, it’s Monday (Jan 29) at 6pm and dinner is on the stove: spaghetti with meat sauce and roasted brussel sprouts. We just took a break to update this Blog Post and now we are waiting for our dinner guest to arrive to finish cooking and enjoy the meal.

Car chase and police standoff today (we wrote about these in a previous Blog), and it was a fine day for it…. the weather was perfect! Yesterday it was windy and warm, today it was just warm and sunny all day long in our neighborhood.


Picking this up again on Saturday morning (Feb 3). It’s been a beautiful week, weatherwise, here in the San Fernando Valley.

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How about this Southern California Winter?

Saturday 10:17am> In fact, it’s such a beautiful day, that I’m bailing for the outdoors and I’ll finish this Blog Post later! ———

Okay it’s Tuesday morning, February 6th and we’ll finish this Blog Post now.

February 2nd was GROUNDHOG DAY again! We watched “Groundhog Day” again.

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“BING!”

And Sunday was SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!
Too bad we didn’t care about either team.
But, we hate Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, so we were rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles! A very small party at the Home Office was the order of the day.

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Did we mention we really hate the New England Patriots and Tom Brady.
SPOILER ALERT! The Philadelphia Eagles won the game 41-33!

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On the Menu: Steak and cheese sandwich with sautéed onions, garlic shrimp, tortilla chips & guacamole, crudité (celery, carrots, cucumber and dill pickle), Doritos nacho cheese chips and pretzels, scotch, cran-raspberry-orange juice, iced espresso and the Eagles win made it all a little tastier!

Superbowl Weekend! Do you need recipes? READ THE BLOG>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/even-more-fun-cooking-recipes/

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NOTE: For more on the Super Bowl and Groundhog Day, see our previous Blog Posts!
SUPER BOWL! PYREX Red Primary mixing bowl with vintage NERF football:

And so Super Bowl LII is in the bag and the NFL Football season is over until August. Better figure out what to do next Sunday….

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51000 HITS!

GIVE THANKS AND HAVE GOOD THOUGHTS!

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50000 HITS! THANK YOU!




The Big Boy. RIP
I don’t have words right now.
He was a great dog.

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“May the Four Winds blow him safely home”

We got the bad news last week and I’ve been very sad about his passing. The Big Boy lived a great life for 12 years on the ranch in Oregon. He was the pack leader and protector, and my father & stepmom’s big baby and constant companion. He was my very good friend. I said goodbye last time I was with him and he will be missed.



BRAVO CHRIS LONG! (and FU Trump!)

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And I’ll just leave this here: Someone’s getting fired.
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RFDTV BOYCOTT IS ON – SAY NO TO PAULA DEEN!

RFDTV BOYCOTT IS ON – SAY NO TO PAULA DEEN!

PAULA DEEN IS A RACIST!

TODAY in 2018, MORE THAN EVER, WE MUST COMBAT RACISM, BIGOTRY, ANTI-SEMITISM & HATE EVERYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD!

BOYCOTT RFDTV, The Cowboy Channel, Rural Radio and Rural Media Group, Inc.

We are going to boycott your network and your advertisers. Paula Deen does not belong on television or in any public forum. She is an admitted racist and your network can really do much better. WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THIS OK? We will not be watching or buying from your advertisers for as long as she is on your network. THAT IS ALL.

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TODAY in 2018, MORE THAN EVER, WE MUST COMBAT RACISM, BIGOTRY, ANTI-SEMITISM & HATE EVERYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD!

Paula-Deen-Racism

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“Nothing in the world is more dangerous
than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

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“Man of the Year” TIME magazine 1963
(How Time has changed…)



 

 

There is a BLACK BEAR DINER in the San Fernando Valley!

Yes! There is a BLACK BEAR DINER in the San Fernando Valley!

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The Black Bear Diner in Tarzana, California

We were tired, hungry and driving down Ventura Boulevard last week, when much to our surprise and amazement, there was a Black Bear Diner in Tarzana!

Located in the space previously occupied by CoCo’s, Season’s and Bob’s Big Boy in Tarzana Square on Ventura Blvd just east of Reseda Blvd, we have a Black Bear Diner!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

We are a big fan of the Black Bear Diner and enjoy eating at the restaurant in Medford, Oregon when we are visiting in Ashland. They are located in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and there’s also one in Midwest City, Oklahoma. They are currently adding new locations and will soon be opening in Katy, Texas (according to their website).

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

We were so happy to see a Black Bear Dinner in the Valley and to have an easy decision on where to eat dinner. We pulled right into the parking lot and started taking pictures for this Blog Post. It was late and after the dinner rush and not very crowded at all. There were people at about 40% of the tables and they were mostly finishing up. The counter was empty and we chose to sit at a table at the back of the main dining room where it was quiet and there wasn’t any waiter traffic.

We were seated immediately by a young host/cashier and greeted promptly by our waitress (or female server if you’re particular about the job title). When we asked how long they had been open they told us almost three weeks. Our waitress had worked at the previous restaurant CoCo’s in the same location, which had closed long ago.

Everything was new and “fresh” with the familiar decor that is part of their brand and a constant throughout the chain. A large WELCOME sign and statues of Black Bears greet you out front and there’s a beautiful vintage-style jukebox available in the lobby for patrons to play classic American music of their choosing. They have a merchandise display and food products available for sale at the register too.

The board-of-fare is All-American “stick to your ribs” Food, and it’s breakfast, lunch and dinner all day. We decided to keep it simple and test the American cheeseburger basket.

On The Menu: American Cheeseburger with Fries (in a basket)

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As you can see, the burger and cheese were presented on the basket, not on the paper, which may sound particular (and it is) but it’s important for some customers (like us). We ordered it with lettuce only, but there was no lettuce on the burger and we didn’t want to wait for a server to come, get the lettuce and then bring it back, before eating….

The cheeseburger was fine, but not great and a little bland. The fries were great and served very hot. We only had water to drink and ate the food quickly because we were really hungry. We finished and paid at the register and we were happy and no longer hungry. The service was fast and aside from the food presentation and missing lettuce everything was fine and we will return again.

NOTE: Our waitress left after putting the order in and bringing us barbecue sauce and mustard, and another server brought us our food, but the lettuce was ordered and missing from the meal.

We didn’t have dessert, but they do have a great dessert menu (with pics):

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

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Desserts Under Glass!

Black Bear Diner – 18355 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356 
“Down-home chain serving all-day American comfort food & desserts in a woodsy setting.”
OPEN 6AM-10PM everyday of the week
We also asked if they were going to have late-night hours, but they didn’t know yet…

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Take home some sauce and/or dessert!



Kilroy Was Here!

Kilroy Was Here!

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“Kilroy Was Here” engraved on the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.

“Maybe you’ve bumped into Kilroy. He’s a bald (or balding) gentleman with a big nose, drawn peeking over a wall. Next to him is usually the phrase “Kilroy was here.” He can be found all over the world, and went viral long before social media or the Internet were around, finding his way through the theaters of war with American troops during World War II. (One of his most daring appearances may have been at the Potsdam Conference in 1945. During the summit, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin had exclusive use of a VIP bathroom. One day, Stalin reportedly used the facilities, and came out demanding to know from one of his aides who Kilroy was, having found the drawing on one of the walls.)”

“Kilroy Was Here” is a WWII slogan and graffiti by the American Army, the drawing based on the British “Mr Chad”, and sometimes coupled with images of pregnant women.

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1940s Vintage WWII “Kilroy Was Here” Hartland Plastics Pregnant Girl Figurine 

“Kilroy doesn’t appear to have originated entirely with U.S. servicemen, though. A similar doodle, known as Mr. Chad, was scrawled throughout Britain as a comment on shortages and rations during the war. Chad was similar in appearance to Kilroy, but was accompanied by a different message: “Wot? No tea?” (or whatever other goods were in short supply at the moment). Chad predates Kilroy by a few years, and may have been the created by British cartoonist George Chatterton in the late 1930s. As best as anyone can tell, at some point during the war, American soldiers borrowed Mr. Chad’s image and married it to their own name and phrase, ‘Kilroy was here.'”

Kilroy became the U.S. super-GI who had already been wherever American soldiers went. It became a challenge for the troops to place the logo in the most unlikely places imaginable (on top of Mt. Everest and the Statue of Liberty, on the underside of the Arch De Triumphe and even scrawled in the dust on the moon)

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Wisconsin Historical Markers: The Highground WWII Tribute: Kilroy Was Here

“If the man in the drawing was a variation of Mr. Chad, then where did the name Kilroy come from? While the Oxford English Dictionary writes Kilroy off as a mythical person, dozen of real people claimed to be the doodle’s namesake in 1946, when the American Transit Association (ATA) held a radio contest to establish the origin of the phrase. One of them was James J. Kilroy, who worked as at the Bethlehem Steel shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts during the war inspecting the work done by others on the tanks and hulls of warships. As Kilroy explained to the ATA:

I started my new job with enthusiasm, carefully surveying every inner bottom and tank before issuing a contract. I was thoroughly upset to find that practically every test leader [the head of a work crew] I met wanted me to go down and look over his job with him, and, when I explained to him that I had already checked the job and could not spare the time to crawl through one of those tanks again, he would accuse me of not having looked the job over. I was getting sick of of being accused of not looking the jobs over and one day as I came through the manhole of a tank i had just surveyed, I angrily marked with yellow crayon on the tank top, where the tester could see it, ‘Kilroy was here.’ The following day, a test gang leader approached me with a grin on his face and said, ‘I see you looked my job over.’ I nodded in agreement.

Kilroy provided the ATA with corroborating statements from men he worked with at the shipyard, and said that he assumed that shipyard workers who had seen his mark and then joined the military took the phrase with them and began writing it in Europe. He won the contest and the grand prize, a full-size trolley street car. Just a few days before Christmas, the 12-ton car was delivered to Kilroy’s home in Halifax, MA, where it was attached to the house and used as living space for six of his nine children.”

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The “Kilroy Trolley Car” photo from the Boston American, December 23, 1946. Thanks to Brian Fitzgerald (James Kilroy’s grandson)

“Kilroy Was Here” is written in two locations on the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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“Clap my hands and jump for joy; I was here before Kilroy.
Sorry to spoil your little joke; I was here, but my pencil broke.” ~Kilroy
(from A Diller, a Dollar: Rhymes and Sayings For the Ten O’clock Scholar 1955)

Kilroy can also be seen at the end of my favorite WWII film “Kelly’s Heroes”>

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Spoiler Alert! Kilroy Was Here in “Kelly’s Heroes”

The 1983 Styx album titled “Kilroy Was Here” was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The song, “Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto” ends with the line “I’m Kilroy.”

NOTE: sometimes we answer questions in the groups we are in on facebookand sometimes they become Blog Posts. We have insomnia and cannot sleep again.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!

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Check out these ceramic mugs with Kilroy!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018! Year of “The Fool”? 49000 Hits!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!
The Year of “The Fool”?
10550119_10203301393149505_4142180383391301623_oThe Rider-Waite image of The Fool as an innocent soul before his fall, untainted by contact with society and all its ills.
He is shown as a young man walking toward the edge of a cliff (his next step will send him tumbling into the unknown) with a small dog. The Fool holds a white rose, a symbol of freedom from base desires in one hand, and in the other a small bundle of possessions representing untapped collective knowledge.

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Let go of preconceived ideas and remain open to change.

Release any demands.

Pay attention to events as they are occurring in the present.

Let go of expectations and trust your instincts.

 

The Fool is unnumbered in the Major Arcana, sometimes represented as 0 (the first) or XXII (the last) in most tarot decks and is typically made up as a jester or bard (and a future Joker in a deck of playing cards).

“The Madman” or “The Beggar” wears ragged clothes and stockings without shoes, and carries a bundle of his belongings on a stick called a bindle slung over his back and he is leaning on a staff. He is being chased away by a dog that has torn his pants.

Early versions of “The Fool” card portray a person driven by base needs and urges who has fallen into a state of poverty and deprivation. The Fool is a carnival entertainer or a huckster. He is decrepit vagabond and vulnerable, the cumulative result of his delusions and failures. He represents fallen humanity, over-identified with the material plane of existence, and beginning a pilgrimage toward self-knowledge and wisdom.
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“The Fool reminds us to recognize the path of personal development within ourselves and the stage upon that path where we find ourselves in order to energize our movement toward deeper self-realization.”

Lighten up and be spontaneous enough to stretch beyond the realm of logic…

and Just be happy!

 

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JoshWillTravel eclipses the Sun!

“What we call the beginning is often the end.
And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” 

~ T. S. Eliot (we love this quote)

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018 from JoshWillTravel!

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“Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if you look at it right.”

2017 – Our Year in Review:

THE PUPPIES and THE BIG BOY! They are truly “man’s best friend”.
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“The day after tomorrow, yes, only the day after tomorrow …
Tomorrow I’ll start thinking about the day after tomorrow”
– Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa

Procrastination (noun)
-the action of delaying or postponing something
-the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished
-the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones
-carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones
-putting off impending tasks to a later time

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For there’s a change in the weather
There’s a change in the sea
So from now on there’ll be in change in me
My walk will be different, my talk and my name
Nothin’ about me is going to be the same
I’m goin’ to change my way of livin’
If that ain’t enough
Then I’ll change the way I strut my stuff
Nobody wants you when you’re old and gray
There’ll be some changes made!

Renaissance Faire Reunion in March 2017 (another Blog Post coming soon)

A mighty oak tree
A reminder of the past
Standing tall and strong

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Paramount Ranch – Agoura, California

Our June Father Day’s midnight Emergency Room visit was memorable and very expensive even with health insurance.
(as detailed in a previous Blog Post = fear, anger, denial, bargaining, depression….)

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That take a black & white pic thing is happening! 
Happy New Year! Party like it’s 2099!

We saw the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN in Madras, Oregon
(and we camped in Prineville Reservoir State Park)
We also “vacationed” in Ashland, Oregon in August
(and drove through the Crater Lake fire zone after a 10 hour traffic jam)
We CRUSHED our iPhone…… Oh, the technology!

We went to Burning Man!* (and survived 9 days in Black Rock City/Desert)

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Reno, Nevada

We went to Reno, Nevada
We visited Manzanar Relocation Center National Monument at sunset.
We saw Pete Townshend’s Classical Quadrophenia at The Greek Theatre.
We went to the L.A. Auto Show and the Los Angeles County Fair.

We got a New Car too!
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The Denver Broncos sucked this year and didn’t even make the NFL playoffs.
The Boycott of the Los Angeles Dodgers continues…
WE ARE STILL BOYCOTTING THE DODGERS AND TIME-WARNER/SPECTRUM!
and this year they went all the way to the World Series and CHOKED AGAIN!

Many fun birthday and holiday dinner parties! Good Friends! Many great meals!

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^^^^^This End Up!^^^^^ Happy New Year 2018!

We usually make our Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake for the Thanksgiving Feast. Last year we didn’t. So everyone asked about cheesecake and they were sadly disappointed… and then we got some good Jewish guilt for the holiday. This year, by “royal decree” we were instructed that there had to be cheesecake and we did some “midnight baking” without big mixing bowls (because they were all in use for meal prep). And so there was Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake for dessert, and it was a Big Hit and everyone was very happy!

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake Thanksgiving 2017

 

And sadly, the sudden deaths of 2 old friends (now of blessed memory) in March.

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One Year Ago, New Year’s Eve 2017 – Mario V. RIP

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Annie RIP – “And the spiderman is always hungry…”

“Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time…..”

 

One Year! 12 Months – 52 Weeks – 365 Days (366 in a Leap Year)
8760 Hours (8784 in a Leap Year) – 525,600 Minutes – 31,536,000 Seconds
Tempus fugit! (Time flies)

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!

And we just reached 49000 Hits (unsolicited, never paid for) here on our Blog!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

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Wolf full moon at midnight – Happy New Year 2018!

34 years ago!
The Grateful Dead LIVE at the San Francisco (now the Bill Graham) Civic Auditorium on December 28th, 1983 (2nd show of the magic New Year’s Run) for ThrowbackThursday:

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images

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! almost 50000 HITS! THANK YOU!



“I have traveled long and far, to be with you here and now.” – JoshWillTravel

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*Our full Burning Man Road Trip story has not been told yet….
there is a Blog Post in the “unfinished draft” stage that will soon be completed and published with many unseen pictures and even some artwork, so FOLLOW our Blog!



HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!

“Everybody’s building ships and boats
Some are building monuments, others are jotting down notes
Everybody’s in despair, every girl and boy
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here, everybody’s gonna jump for joy”
– Grateful Dead Oakland Coliseum 1985


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127th Tournament of Roses Parade Bass Drum Head
“Find You Adventure With Music”

“In New York, people are buried in the snow. Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise.” ~Professor Charles F. Holder, 1890