Danny & Family

Just Some Random Stories About Me and My Family

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Saturday Morning Post - Final Edition

Dear Friends,

After nearly five years of on-and-off blogging, the time has come to say goodbye. I simply do not have the time to do this any more. My life is just too busy to do everything I want to do. As a result, some of the things I enjoy (like reading blogs and writing in mine) I no longer have time to do.

I want to take this time to thank the few of you who stopped by from time-to-time to read and comment: Laura, Randall, and Sage. Thank You! As time allows, I will continue to visit your blogs, and leave an occasional comment.

All my best,


Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Saturday Morning Post - December

Well, here it is December already, and I just realized two things: I never finished the update of my last post, and I didn't post anything in November. That's just another indication of how busy I am, and what little free time I have. So, belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I spent my Thanksgiving weekend as I have for over 10 years now - in the desert with our off road club, the D.O.M. We had planned to go as a family, but our plans changed when the weather forecast took a turn toward cooler temperatures. Originally, all of us (all of us meaning everyone except Brady - so that's me, Laura, Nina and Jordan) were going to leave for the desert right after Laura got home from work on Wednesday evening, the day before Thanksgiving. Yes, that's right, the heaviest travel day ever! It would have been such a fun drive pulling a trailer in stop-and-go traffic heading the same direction as several hundred-thousand commuters. But we changed plans due to anticipated cold weather, and Laura stayed home with Nina and Jordan. I opted to leave Thanksgiving morning when I knew there would be significantly less traffic - and I was right! But I wasn't alone - I took our dog Jordy with me.

I arrived at Charlie's Place, a popular open riding area for off road vehicles (officially named by the BLM as Wagon Wheel Staging Area) around noon. The club was in the usual spot, and I had an opportunity to get the last front row spot in the circle around the center of camp. The very center of the circle is where we have the nightly campfire. I didn't like that open spot because it was not level, which is probably no one else parked there. I took a 2nd row spot instead. here it the view looking out my front door:
I promise this is the least scenic picture of this post. I have more scenic pictures to share below, that illustrate my adventures over the next three days of our club ride. On the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day, the club had a potluck and we all ate together (in the center area of camp). I was impressed that one of the people coordinating the potluck had everyone wait until all the club members arrived at their tables, and then said some words of thanks. In effect, saying grace.

On Friday, there was a huge club ride to the pinnacles. I've been there before (twice) and it's a very long ride. The other issue for me is that a large group of riders means a very slow ride. Riders of lessor ability and people driving full size 4 wheel drive vehicles (and even some of the sand buggy type vehicles) are not able to traverse the trails as fast as quads or motorcycles. There's also the possibility of someone breaking down, and the whole convoy has to stop. I went the opposite direction - alone - to Randsburg. (In previous years, large group rides to Randsburg are just as slow, but at least the destination has more options for fun and activities vs. the pinnacles). Once at Randsburg, I ate lunch and drank a beer (or two) at the White House Saloon:
Then, it off to The Joint. The Joint is a bar across and down the street from the White House Saloon. I've never been in to The Joint, but I have seen it from the outside. After reading a post from blog friend Sage, I had to check it out to see if Olga was still alive. I am happy to report that Olga is alive, but I didn't get a chance to personally meet her. According to her daughter, who was tending bar during my visit, Olga is doing fine for a 99-year-old. She said Olga no longer tends bar, but does visit often, and planned to come down later in the day. I drank a couple of beers at The Joint while chatting with Olga's daughter, who was trying to eat her lunch before the rush came in. The Joint doesn't serve food, but she got take out from the General Store (a few doors down). A few patrons at the bar ordered take out as well. Just as I was finishing up my 2nd beer, a large group of patrons entered the bar, and it was clearly the beginning of the rush. Outside, I could hear more and more motorcycles driving by, and I knew it was time for me to leave. Here's a poor quality picture of the exterior of The Joint:

Note to readers: all of the pictures in this post are taken from a disposable camera that still uses that 4-letter F word (film). The quality of the prints were very poor (in my opinion). When I had the film developed, the store clerk also put the images digitally on a disc, which is how I was able to upload them on to this post. What I found is that when the camera was pointed toward the sun, as in the picture above, the image is poor. There is also a faint line that appears in center of nearly every print, which you might be able to see in several of the pictures below. Next time I'll bring the digital camera from home.

On my way back to camp, I took a few scenic pictures. This first one was taken just outside of Randsburg, looking west towards a dry lake. This is also in the direction of Garlock and Goler Gulch, where I would be visiting the following day looking for Ralph's homestead and Sam's homestead, as described in Sage's Travel Tip Thursday post of June, 2010.

Along the trail back to camp, I came across this old structure:

About half-way back to our camp, I passed through a popular camping area that our club is familiar with, and where we have camped many times before. There is no official BLM name for this site, but it is easy to get to - there's a turn-off from U.S. 395. Our club calls it Schiller Gulch, and it was named by a former club king and queen (that's what the club calls their leaders). My picture was taken from a vantage point showing the entire camping area, and depicts hundreds of RV's. To me it looks like a bunch of white Legos thrown in a grassy sandbox:
I returned to the D.O.M. camp at Charlie's Place safely, and found out that the large group ride took equally as long (nearly 4 hours), moved at a glacial pace, and had one vehicle break down. Sounds like fun to me (sarcasm intended).

Friday night I went out to the campfire for a while. It was pretty cold, and my dog Jordy cried in the trailer. When the people in the campsite next to us began shooting off fireworks (big 4th of July type) I had to go in to keep Jordy calm. He shook for over an hour as I held him in my arms while relaxing in the warmth of my trailer.

On Saturday, the club had a poker run. This is an event where participants ride from one spot to another, and perform a silly stunt which allows them to pick a poker card. The participant with the best poker hand wins. This is actually a fundraiser for the club; members buy an entry card for $5, and the proceeds are divided up between winners and the club. Participants all pick one card (from a regular poker deck) in camp before leaving on the ride. The card picked is noted on the entry card. The group rides to the 1st spot. The silly stunt this time was to take a small plastic ring and toss it several feet to "ring" an orange safety cone. This did not take a lot of skill. The participant then picks a poker card, updates their entry card, and moves on. At the 2nd stop we had to blow up a small balloon until it popped in our face. Things were taking too long, so at the 3rd stop we just drew cards. The 4th stop was back at camp, where we picked our 5th card. As in year's past, I didn't win. Below it a picture taken from our 1st stop. You can't tell, but just beyond the front-most vehicles, the trail drops steeply to the bottom of the hill that we were on. Most of the riders would not have been able to traverse this, so we all turned around and went a back the way we came. In the background is the city of Ridgecrest, and way in the back are the southern most mountains of the Sierra Nevada range:

After the poker lunch on Saturday, I went into Ridgecrest to fuel up my truck. I don't like stopping on the way home to get fuel, and it is much easier pulling in to a gas station without a trailer than with one. Besides, everyone and their brother stops along the way home, and with all the Thanksgiving travelers crowing the stations; I don't want any part of it. After getting fuel, I drove over to the Garlock area to try and find the areas described by Sage in his post. I had re-read his posts regarding the area, and even printed pictures he posted to help me locate Ralph's and Sam's homesteads. I'm not sure if I was successful, but below are several pictures I took of the area that I thought was the right spot.

From what I can tell from the maps I had, these pictures were all taken in the small town of Garlock. My map also showed an area called Goler Heights, but I chose not to try and access it because I would have had to drive off road. Except for my dog Jordy, I was alone, and I was not going to go into unknown areas without someone else with me. These first few pictures are all of one large property with several buildings, and was clearly inhabited by someone. The pictures are in sequence moving counter-clockwise around from the west side of the property to the south (front) of the property along the paved road. There was a well-maintained area fenced in and guarded by a dog. Adjacent to this was a building that looked abandoned, but had a mannequin standing in front dressed as a cowboy, and a large sign on the top of the building that read "Garlock". Adjacent to that was a dirt road leading to other buildings further up the hill. I did not go up the dirt road. The large "Garlock" sign was clearly visible from the road for hundreds of feet away:

I like how the owner wrote "USA" in the chain-link fence:

It's hard to see, but the dog is in this picture below. It's at the fence towards the right (above and to the left of my mirror)

Down the road (west of the above property) about a quarter mile, was another group of structures. These all looked abandoned and run down. In my mind, I could picture a once vibrant desert ranch. These are also in sequence, left-to-right, the first one had a large sign against the building that read "We The People Say Impeach All Of Them":

This structure was further back between the other two:

This structure was on the right, and there was a water tank in back:

Between the two properties I visited, there were a couple of stand alone structures - one on each side of the road. The one on the north side had what appeared to be an outhouse in the back:

The one on the south side of the road was a concrete structure:
I had seen all I was brave enough to explore and decided to go back to camp. We had another potluck scheduled that late afternoon, and I needed to prepare my food. I also wanted to start packing things up, because I intended on leaving early Sunday morning to beat the traffic.

Saturday's potluck was delicious, and I capped the evening off with a few beers standing with friends around the fire. The wind had been picking up since the day before, but now a storm blew in. It actually rained on us, so we all went in to our own trailers and called it a night. I got up the next morning and continued my packing up. I left just after 8:00 a.m. behind some others, and before most of the club. I had no traffic on the way home, and only stopped a couple of times to relieve Jordy. My last picture is taken about half way home, from where U.S. 395 meets I-15. The mountains are the range are the back side (desert side) of the San Gabriel mountains, which I can also see from the basin side of L.A. and Orange Counties:

See you next month on a Saturday morning . . .

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Saturday Morning Post - October

Hi friends. I only got as far as selecting a few pictures, and uploading them to my blog. I didn't get around to writing about them, or what our family has been up to since my last post. Please enjoy, and I'll update later.

All my best,
Dan -
This Saturday morning, we're at the timeshare in San Clemente. Laura's grandmother loaned us her timeshare again.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Saturday Morning Post - September

Greetings friends, it's been a while since I've posted. It's also been a while since I've read any blogs. I have such little time to spend on the computer, and the two lowest priorities for me are Facebook and Blogger. Anyway, here's my post -

Today, my thoughts and prayers are for victims and families of the September 11th terrorist attacks. It's hard to believe it's been 9 years. I can only imagine the sad memories the family members must still have reflecting back on that day - remembering saying goodbye to their loved ones as they left for work, or boarded their plane. I hope the family members find peace in remembering the good times and special moments they spent with their loved ones before this tragedy occurred.

Today, my thoughts and prayers are also for those affected by the devastating fire in San Bruno, California. I find it eerily similar to the people in the Word Trade Center: no warning, just an explosion and fire, followed by an evacuation. From what I hear on the news, this type of explosion could happen almost anywhere given the thousands of miles of gas pipelines running below us.

Today, my thoughts and prayers are also for those affected by the wild fires in Colorado, the floods and severe weather in the Midwest (remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine), and for people in other parts of the world, such as Haiti and Pakistan. There are a lot of people in a lot of places that need help. All I can offer them is a prayer.

Here at my home, everything is the same as it's been. We just keep going day-to-day, week-to-week, etc., doing the same routine things we've always done. I know it doesn't sound exciting, but it's our life, and we're grateful to have it. Below are some recent pictures of my family that I would like to share.

I can't get any more recent than this one - taken yesterday afternoon - "The Kids". This one didn't make the "cut". Laura chose one where Jordan (the baby) was looking at the camera, but that picture didn't include Jordy (our dog). The chosen picture was enlarged, duplicated, framed, and gift wrapped for Grandparents' Day (this Sunday).

Jordan will be 6 weeks old this coming Monday. He is doing great: eating on a fairly regular basis, sleeping for hours at a time during the over-night period, and is not as fussy as Nina was. Here's a picture of him getting his first bath:

Laura had a doctor's appointment, and naturally took Jordan with her. Here he is in his car seat:

Several weeks ago, Nina went to the La Habra Corn Festival with her grandmother. As they were walking around, they came across a booth run by an organization involved in pet rescue and adoptions. Nina was moved by what she learned and decided that she wanted to help raise money for the foundation. It's called The Fuzzy Pet Foundation. Nina came up with the idea of having a bake sale, and donating the proceeds to TFPF. TFPF happened to have a pet adoption event at a PETCO in a nearby city, so Nina, her friend Rosemary, and yours truly, sold cookies, cupcakes and rice crispy treats to store customers. Here are the girls at their table:

Last week, Nina celebrated her 10th birthday. Nina's birthday always falls during the first week of school. On the week before, Laura and I took Nina and her friend Bethany to Disneyland:

Last Friday night, at the end of the first week of school, Laura threw Nina a birthday party and sleep-over. One of the highlights was for the girls to watch the premier of Camp Rock 2. The girls didn't make it to the end of the movie, but not because they were sleepy -

They wanted to have a dance party:

Brady also celebrated a birthday since my last post, but he didn't have a birthday party / sleep-over / dance party. We just went out to dinner to a restaurant of his choice. I don't have a picture of that to post, but I leave you with a picture of his mom holding his brother. Here's my honey-bunny, Laura:

See you next month on a Saturday morning.


Friday, August 06, 2010

The Saturday Morning Post - Welcome Baby Jordan

Baby Jordan Carlos Aguirre was born this past Monday morning, August 2, at 8:03 a.m. Please enjoy these pictures of him before and after his birth.


An ultrasound photo


First I cut the cord

Then they weighed Jordan

Then we saw the results (8 lbs, 1 oz)

Then we got to see him up close

Then they washed him

Then we fed him

Then we got to admire him

Then the kids bonded with him

Then he got to admire us

Then he slept

And slept

And slept

See you next month on a Saturday morning

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Saturday Morning Post - Late July Edition

Well it can't get much later in July than this.

Greetings friends, just a quick update on things. I'll have a lengthier post next Saturday morning.

In the baby department, Jordan Carlos will be here on Monday. We know this because Laura's C-Section is scheduled for that morning. We have been preparing for some time now around the house. Jordan's space will be in our bedroom. His bassinet, crib, and dresser/changing table have all been assembled and decorated. Laura has been very busy preparing for our new arrival, particularly since she's been off of work these past 3 weeks.

The domino effect from the changes to our bedroom is that (1.) my dresser is now in the garage, and (2.) the large office desk on which the family computer rests is now in the living room. These, in turn, have created other space/functionality issues.

My co-workers threw me a surprise baby shower. Here are a few pictures:
Laura posted these and other pictures on her Facebook page. One of her friends commented "tooo cute, didn't know guys had it in them...bravo..." I didn't have the heart to reply to that comment that my co-workers are all women. (the only other male in the department is our boss).

In the dog department, Jordy had an acute reaction to over-the-counter flea medication, and had to be taken to a pet emergency clinic. He had to stay the night, and after much attention from the medical staff, was returned to us the following morning a healthier dog.

In the older children's departments, Brady has been doing his cheer thing, Nina has not been doing much of anything. I don't have a picture of Brady doing cheer stuff, but I do have this recent picture of him wearing a cheer shirt while reading a book to Jordy.
And here's a picture of Nina and one of her school friends who came to spend a day (and a night) with her for play time and fun.

Until next Saturday morning -

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