Tag Archives: california

Out & About—Classic car show & chili cook-off in Alpine CA

Out & About

One of my favorite places to go in San Diego County is Alpine. It’s a mountain community at an elevation of 1,842 feet above sea level but is not too deep in the mountains. No winding mountain roads with 25 mph speed limits. In fact, Interstate 8 can get you there very quickly at 70 mph. Now that I live in Winter Gardens, I’m a mere 10 miles from Alpine. I can see myself going there often.

Alpine, California

Yesterday I headed to Alpine for the annual classic car show and chili cook-off.

Classic car show in Alpine, California

Classic car show in Alpine, California

Classic car show in Alpine, California

Mr & Mrs Redd were there with all the kids.Classic car show in Alpine, California

This dog is not what you think.
It’s a dog statue. Where do you buy a dog statue like that?
Dog statue

Only 90 years old. What’s the problem?
Classic car show in Alpine, California

My wise old grandmother had a 1960 Chevrolet Impala.
It had chrome everywhere. I hated it because I was the one
who had the privilege of polishing the chrome every weekend.
I don’t miss chrome but I do admit that it’s pretty when it’s shining.
Classic car show in Alpine, California
When you have connections, you can arrange to have your car show number
match the year of your classic car, in this case a 1957 Chevy Bel Air.
Just to the right of the drive-in tray you can see the window sticker.
Classic car show in Alpine, California

Here’s a close-up of the window sticker.
For a mere $2,846 back in 1957,
you could have had this classic car.
You dummy. What did you spend your money on?
What were you thinking?
Classic car show in Alpine, California

When I headed over to the chili cook-off, I saw lots of people
wearing Granite Hills Key Club shirts,
like these four who graciously agreed
to let me take their picture:
Alpine chili cook-off

Back in 1972 I asked my wise old grandmother what I could do to help others. She told me about Key Club at Henrietta M. King High School in Kingsville, Texas. I joined. That was my first experience volunteering and helping out. I followed up Key Club by joining Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity at Texas A&M University, and then continuing my volunteering even unto the present day.

Chili cookoff

Pirate Chili won my vote for best chili and best decorated booth.
It didn’t hurt that their chili came in a free ceramic pirate cup.
I, too, understand incentives (bribes).
Pirate cupPirate chili

I got to enjoy the music of my friends in
The Ideas Rock ‘n’ Roll Trio.
I never get tired of their classic rock ‘n’ roll.
The Ideas Rock 'n' Roll Trio in Alpine, California at the chili cook-off

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Advertisements

Out & About—Sports Car Club of America racing

Out & About

One of the great things about belonging to a photographic society in a large metroplex is that our membership is huge. With a current membership of 2,181, when we tell an organization that our photographers would like special access to their event, they are only too happy to oblige. That means we often get to go where no one has gone before. Well, no one except the rich, famous, and those with press passes.

One of the more interesting events recently was the road course competition for the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). Decades ago when I was really into my Ford Mustangs, I belonged to the SCCA. Most of our events in College Station, Texas, were at the Texas World Speedway just seven miles southeast of town. That’s where I went the fastest in my 1989 Saleen Mustang—151 mph over a 2-mile oval.

The SCCA road course events here in San Diego occur at Qualcomm Stadium, former home of the San Diego cum Los Angeles Chargers. It’s an interesting road course because it takes place in the parking lot, a parking lot that is very uneven and has elevation changes, not usually good signs for cars going relatively fast, through bumpy turns, and sometimes with inexperienced drivers—Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

Part of our access to the races included walking around where you normally would not be walking around and taking pictures of cars coming at you fast, sometimes out of control. All you can do is keep firing away and hope that the car takes the turn, applies its brakes, and stays on the course so that you can live another day.

Following are some of my favorite pictures. Smoke usually indicates a sudden, hard application of the brakes or a car that is out of control, often going sideways instead of forward. I had found a spot where there was a significant bump in the course. That bump caused some of the car wheels to leave the ground. Wheels off the ground (The name of my next band) usually isn’t good when you’re trying to control a two- or three-thousand beast.

Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

The object is to go fast but stay on the course,
which means not running over the orange cones.
Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

This is the area with the significant bump.
Notice these two cars only have three wheels on the ground.
Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Smoke—drivers hate it but photographers love it.
Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

My heart goes pitter patter when I see Mustangs,
which were the dominant car model at the event.
Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Yes, even a Mustang that is out of control and has run over
at least two cones. Serious penalty points on this one.

When I saw these four tires on the ground with no car around,
the first thing that came to my mind was a Buick 8 or a car named Christine. Stephen King readers will understand.

Sports Car Club of America road course, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Coming up next: A visit to the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Out & About—12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon

Out & About

This past Sunday was the 12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon in Del Mar, California. Dogs at the beach never fail to bring a smile to my face. And after those two sucky songs in yesterday’s Music on Mondays, I think we need some smiles!

The Surf-a-thon takes place at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California.

Dog Beach, Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

Not all the dogs were there to surf. Some wanted to play fetch in the water, some wanted to get all wet, some wanted to get all sandy….

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

Some wanted to go back home….

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

Some were limited in what they could do….

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

Of course, most were there to surf, some looking unsure of themselves, some looking quite relaxed….

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

There were five categories: small dog, medium dog, large dog, and extra large dog, as well as the freestyle category, which is always a lot of fun because you get dog tandems, dog trios, human/dog tandems, human/human/dog trios, and even an impostor this year.

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

Impostor!
12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

My wise old grandmother told me that dogs quite often look like their owners. Who am I to argue?

12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California

Coming up next: Sports Car Club of America auto racing.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Out & About—The San Diego Jetty

Out & About San Diego

Once a month I go out to the San Diego Jetty to see how the feral cat colony there is doing. We old timers call them the Jetty Cats.

San Diego jetty

San Diego jetty

Feral cats on the San Diego jetty

The Jetty is a great place to see beautiful sunsets because there always is something to put in the picture to add interest to the sunset. It’s also a great place to go for a walk, as so many people do.

Following are some pictures from my trip to the Jetty in August, featuring everything except the Jetty Cats, although a few can be seen in these pictures. The Jetty Cats will be featured in Saturday’s post since tomorrow is Friday Flower Fiesta day.

Sentinel SeagullSentinel Seagull

Dogs at Dog Beach in Ocean Beach,
across the San Diego River from the
San Diego Jetty and the Jetty Cats.Dogs on Dog Beach in Ocean Beach across from the San Diego Jetty

Throw it already!A woman and her dog

The San Diego Jetty is an active fishing area.
Sadly, that means the some fisherpeople leave
fishing line behind which the birds often get
entangled in, quite often losing a leg. This juvenile
already has to go through the rest of its life with just one leg.One-legged bird at the San Diego Jetty

It’s probably too late for this bird’s leg.
You can see the scar where the fishing line
was wrapped around the bird’s leg.
Bird with an injured leg at San Diego Jetty

There are quite a few cormorants and pelicans.
The cormorants are relative new visitors to the Jetty.
Cormorant at the San Diego Jetty

Pelican and sunset at the San Diego Jetty

The Jetty might be the only place where the birds are bigger than the cats,
and the cats have no interest in trying to catch those birds.Cats and a seagull at the San Diego Jetty

Bird mug shots.
I love it when wildlife cooperates with me.
Seagull mug shot at the San Diego Jetty

Seagull mug shot at the San Diego Jetty

ImpostorCats and skunk at the San Diego Jetty

Yes, there is a family of skunks that lives right alongside the Jetty Cats.
Neither the cats nor the skunks seem to care but it does make it
interesting when people like me show up to leave a little water and food.Skunk at the San Diego Jetty
Skunk at the San Diego Jetty
Skunk at the San Diego Jetty

Bushy tails.Skunks at the San Diego Jetty
Skunk at the San Diego Jetty

Tour boat coming back in at sunset.Tour boat at the San Diego Jetty

Wrong side of the fenceWrong side of the fence

Into the sunsetOff into the sunset

Coming up tomorrow: Friday Flower Fiesta. The Jetty Cats will have their own feature on Saturday!

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Out & About—Mission Bay Park

Out & About

One of my favorite places in San Diego to go for a walk is Mission Bay Park.

San Diego's Mission Bay Park from the air

Mission Bay Park is the largest man-made water park in the nation, and the ninth largest municipally owned park. Interestingly, San Diego also has the largest municipally owned park: Balboa Park.

Following are a few pictures from my most recent walk in Mission Bay Park a few days ago. I was over near the skyscraper hotel at the left side of the picture above. The hotel, a Hilton, is in one of the pictures below, and the bridge pictures below are under the long bridge in the upper center of the picture near the hotel.

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Along with the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, I can highly recommend Mission Bay Park as a way to spend a day in San Diego.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Opinion—If I have to use it….

Opinion

Many decades ago in Tomball, Texas, I helped my uncle build a beautiful brick mailbox to match his brick house. A month later he called to tell me that the homeowners’ association told him that he would have to remove it and put a stick mailbox in its place to match all the other stick mailboxes in his rural subdivision. He was furious. I had no monkey in the circus but his experience did convince me that I would never live in a community that had an HOA.

I have plenty of HOA horror stories from my years in real estate….

Along with homeowners’ associations telling you what you can and cannot do to a property you own, sometimes the city gets involved, too, most of the time concerning zoning ordinances. No one wants to buy a beautiful home only to have a brothel built next door….

One of the different ways that the city can get involved is with historic properties. Here in San Diego County, if you buy a historic property and agree to keep it historic, you get a pretty good tax break. With real estate prices being so astronomical, a tax break on property taxes can be significant.

Recently, over in Coronado, the City of Coronado got upset at the owner of a historic property because she had replaced the old windows with modern dual-pane windows. The house currently looks like this:

Historic home in Coronado CA

Notice the windows. That white bar at the bottom of each window is the old, wooden window apron, usually indicating that the home had wooden windows at one point.

Aluminum window on an old historic home in Coronado CA

Now they are aluminum windows. The city is upset because the aluminum windows just don’t match the architecture of the home. Perhaps if she had installed white aluminum windows….

Actually, one can get aluminum windows that look like wood, but they are custom windows, so they are quite a bit more expensive than standard aluminum windows. The City has given her options but she’s still not happy because all of the options require her to remove these windows, which already have been installed and paid for….

Although the property tax breaks can be significant, I’m pretty much a modern guy when it comes to using things, so you’ll never find me buying something historic. If I have to use it rather than just admiring it, I own the latest and the greatest….

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

We moved to the boondocks!

I live in my own little world

So our live-in-the-sky experiment came to an end yesterday. It lasted 2 years and 3 months. For the first few months it was kind of neat to live high up but then the 45 stairs to get to the front door became burdensome. Sunrises from the home office were spectacular.

Sunrise in La Mesa, California

Sadly, though, there was no wildlife 50 feet up in the sky—no lizards, no snakes, no spiders, no bugs, no birds. Well, alright, one mourning dove did come to visit us in the 27 months we lived there.

Our new homeOur new home is in the boondocks, which is kind of funny since the city of La Mesa had 60,00o people crammed into 9.1 square miles. Out here in the boondocks, we live in El Cajon (ka-hone), a city of 104,000 crammed into 14.48 square miles. So the population density actually is greater in El Cajon, 7,163 people per square mile, versus La Mesa’s 6,592.

Maybe it’s the outskirts, where we lived and live, that is the difference. A-ha! (not the group). Google Maps indicates that we don’t even live in El Cajon. That’s simply the post office that delivers our mail. Google Maps indicates that we live in Winter Gardens, which is a census-designated place in San Diego County. In other words, an unincorporated area. In other words, THE BOONDOCKS!

The Boondocks

We’re at the end of a street, not a true cul-de-sac, but we only have one neighbor. The other three sides are hills. At night it is quiet quiet quiet. We kind of like it since the street we lived on in La Mesa was noisy noisy noisy, even with dual-pane windows. We also have a nice oversized 2-car garage. We haven’t had a nice garage since March 2007.

I don’t know who loves it best out here, me or Zoey the Cool Cat (ZCC). The old place was 684 square feet (we downsized too much) and the new place is 1,440 square feet. Our largest home was 3,984 square feet on 1.83 acres of land, too big for just two people. This new place feels just right for the queen and her staff of two.

ZCC has 14 low-sill windows where she can watch all the wildlife, and after 11 days here (hmmm, same number of days that Scaramucci was employed by Twitler………), she knows where the sunny spots are, the sunny windows, and, of course, the wildlife. There’s a difference between dawn, day, and dusk wildlife, so she has to go to different windows. There are a few billion rabbits, another billion ground squirrels, only a million fence lizards, and then birds of all types, with ravens and raptors prevailing. Sometimes the ground squirrels come to see ZCC.

Following are some pictures of the wildlife and, of course, the queen adjusting to her new palace. It’s all about the queen….

Common garden wolf spider found its way inside.
It was returned to the outside where it could become food for….Common garden wolf spider

….California quail, the state bird.

I built a cat box for ZCC whereby she can go through a cat door
in the window and sit outside while still being protected.
This ground squirrel came up to see ZCC in her cat box,
which is the blurred white in the lower right.
They are just a couple of feet from each other.
Ground squirrelZCC helping me put together our new desks,
although she’s more interested in the tennis match
on our new 49″ 4K TV than she is actually helping me.Zoey the Cool Cat

ZCC exploring the new digs.
Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

ZCC helping me populate the bookshelves.
Zoey the Cool Cat

Like any cat, ZCC likes to help unpack things.
Zoey the Cool Cat

Once all the work is done, of course, one has to sleep,
and ZCC has lots of options for that vital task.
Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat