Danny & Family

Just Some Random Stories About Me and My Family

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Big News For UCLA

Why yes, I am a UCLA fan! And just in case you didn't hear, there's big news regarding the two UCLA programs I support the most: Football and Basketball.

The Football Bruins were invited to a post-season bowl. The Emerald Bowl to be specific, and they will play against the Florida State Seminoles. This game will be held on Wed. 12-27-06. Click here for details.

The Basketball Bruins are ranked #1 in the nation! They beat my Alma mater last night 88-58. Click here for details of that game and the info regarding their #1 ranking. Look, just because I didn't go to UCLA doesn't mean I can't root for them - even when they play against CSULB.

Back to the football team - their next game is this Sat. against that team from across town. I know UCLA is not favored to win, but I sure would like to see an upset. The icing on that cake would be knocking them out of contention for the national championship.

Addendum to the above post (as of 12-29-06): UCLA lost to Florida State 44-27. Oh well, at least the Bruins beat USC.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My Last Day At Work . . . .

. . . . before Thanksgiving Weekend. I'm taking tomorrow as a vacation day to prepare for our family weekend trip. We are going with our off-road club to the desert. Since I've now separated my personal blog from the club-related blog, I don't want to spend to much time talking about the D.O.M. club here. But if you feel compelled to read my entry on the club ride this weekend click here.

Tomorrow will be spent cleaning and packing the trailer, and that's a several hour job. Also, last minute shopping for food and necessities for the weekend. We were originally going to leave on Wednesday, but both kids have something special going on at school. I've never been a fan of taking the kids out of school anyway.

So this is it; off to work. One more day of the daily grind and then I can play for 5 days in a row. I will not be posting anything on this blog until next week. Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I Just Switched To Beta . . . .

. . . . and I can't do a thing with it!

Actually, I'm just doing a test "post" because I want to see how it looks now that I've switched.

Let's see - I can change the font style.

I can change the font size.

I can add color to the text.

I can align my text in the following ways:
I can enumerate (that's a big word for me) the states that I've visited:
  1. Arizona
  2. California
  3. Hawaii
  4. Nevada
  5. New Mexico
  6. Oregon
  7. South Dakota
  8. Texas
  9. Utah
  10. Virgina
  11. Washington
  12. Washington D.C.
  13. Wyoming
I can create a bulleted list of things to do tomorrow:
  • Water the lawn
  • Change the oil in the trailer generator
  • Take the hazardous waste to the round-up
  • Clean the trailer for the upcoming ride
  • Work on banking account stuff, bill paying, & the like
  • Watch the UCLA game
I can finaly spelll-cheque on the Create Poste page.

Alright, that's enough. You get the idea. Peace, Out.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

My Recent Morning Commute

This past Monday morning I was treated to a beautiful commute to work. I’ve posted before about my drive to and from work, and about some of the things I’ve encountered – some good, some bad. This post is about a good thing: the view.

I don’t have a scenic route to take to and from work. I drive through mostly residential neighborhoods, and a couple of commercial and light industrial areas. I don’t need to take the freeway. I pretty much live due east of where I work, so the sun is always behind me whether it’s early morning or late afternoon – except during certain times of the year when the sun hasn’t come up yet, or has already set for the day.

On one part of my drive – if it’s a clear day – I can see the buildings in downtown Los Angeles through my front windshield. At the same time I can see Saddleback Mountain in South Orange County in my rearview mirror. Most people would probably not even notice such a thing, but for me, it’s a treat. The key thing is that it must be a clear day. Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 6 and 7) were so crystal clear it was almost unbelievable. I couldn’t take a picture since I didn’t have my camera. And I was driving anyway. However, I’m able to share these pictures (off the web) to give you an idea:

This part of my commute is through the city of Whittier on Lambert Ave., and is approximately 20 miles from downtown L.A. It’s probably a little further to Saddleback Mountain in the opposite direction.

A little loser to my work I have to cross the San Gabriel River. This is the highest bridge I cross to and from work, and I’ve talked about this same bridge on an earlier post being one of my favorite parts of the drive home. Well the opposite view on the way to work is usually of the smoggy L.A. basin. I don’t often get to see the buildings in downtown L.A., but this past Mon. and Tue. morning, they were stunning.

From that same bridge, I can see the San Gabriel Mountains. During most of the summer the hazy smog obscures the view of the mountains so that they blend together like a big bland mass. But on Mon. and Tue. the view was so clear; the way the morning sun created shadows on the mountainside I could really see their depth. The commuters on the 210 freeway must have really been able to enjoy the view.

Closer still to my work, I’m always able to see airplanes turning in the sky as they make their final approach to LAX. Well Mon. and Tue. morning, the planes looked so clear they appeared to be closer than usual. And the way they were contrasting against the blue sky behind them was just spectacular. Here’s an idea of what that looked like:

The coolest thing for me was the near-full moon (it was full on Sun. 11-5-06). It was in view in the morning sky until about 8:30 a.m. and in contrast with the blue sky behind it. Here’s an idea of what that looked like:

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed my post this week. And I hope your commute is always pleasant, whether you travel to work or somewhere else. God Bless!


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Brady and His K'NEX Roller Coasters

My son Brady is really into K’NEX. I mean really into K’NEX. If you don’t know what K’NEX are click here or here. If you don’t have time for a side trip let me explain it this way: K’NEX are a modern-day erector set. The kids that play with them build things: bridges, buildings, towers, or in my son’s case, roller coasters.

Brady also loves roller coasters. He likes to ride them, of course, but also likes to explore them on-line. Of the time we allow him on the internet, he spends more than half the time on sites featuring roller coasters made from K’NEX. He also spends significant time surfing sites that have real roller coasters. (Theme park sites and the like). Even that thing that kids used to watch before the internet . . . the TV, I think they call it. . . If it has roller coasters on it, Brady’s there. He had this video tape of a TV show that aired on Discovery that featured roller coasters. He watched that tape so much I think he wore out the VCR and the tape.

I’m happy for Brady’s enthusiasm for K’NEX. It’s a safe, productive hobby that challenges him to think, and allows him to occupy his time in a great way. So what if it’s not the things I was involved in when I was 13: baseball, scouts, piano lessons, and playing with my friends. It’s not any of the things we don’t want him to be involved in: crime, drugs, or hanging out with bad influences.

So check out some of what he’s done. These pictures don’t do justice to the roller coasters Brady has built. Some from scratch (from his own imagination), and some copied from someone else’s web post. Just imagine walking in to your bedroom and finding most of it occupied with a custom-made roller coaster winding through and around your furniture.

This is Brady standing next to one of his designs. Look at how steep that drop is. He even affixed a tunnel to his track (the white thing on the left).

This is a different design. This is the station where “guests” enter the ride, and the coaster begins and ends its’ journey.

This is yet a different design that uses his dresser to support the portion of track that turns and then drops. Notice the map on the wall – it’s from the video game Grand Theft Auto, San Andreas. I would much rather have Brady spend endless hours building K’NEX roller coasters than playing that violent video game.

Brady has placed a sign on this design. The name of this creation is called “Doom Bringer Of The Night”. This coaster is mostly under Brady’s loft bed. You can see part of the ladder on the left and the bookcase in the back. In the area under Brady’s loft bed is his desk for doing homework, and a bookcase. It’s a great space-saver for our small house. There would be no room if he had a conventional bed and other furniture too.

Here’s a close-up of one of the cars. Yeah, people really ride on these coasters! They’re just not real people.

Here’s the last picture. Don’t tell Brady I used this one; he didn’t like it. You can see the bottom of the loft bed better in this pic, and how the coaster is supported by his desk.

Okay, that’s all for this one. I’ll try to get a post out once a week or so. So until next time – God be with you.