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Rest in peace my friend.

John in Iraq with some local kids.

John in Iraq with some local kids.

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Nora is turning into a pretty good Graphics Artist. She has set up a Google+ page called “The Daily Digital Doodle”

Life

She’s using Maya, Gimp, and Photoshop mainly.

I grabbed a few of the examples from her Google+ page. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Solar System

Givethanksing

Orkan2

Summer

Well,

Believe it or not, Molly and Nora are starting High School today. It’s hard to believe that the girls have grown up so much. Megan is 18 and looking to move out and Molly and Nora are in the 9th grade and going to high school. Wow does time fly.

As you can see by this picture I took this morning, they were less than thrilled about going. ūüôā

 

FirstDayOfSchool

 

How scary is it for the father of daughters when I realize just how fast they are growing up. Here are Molly and Nora headed for an end of year dance. Holy cow are they getting big.

image

I received an email/post from someone claiming they were with my best friend John when he was killed.

I was there when John Died in Iraq I think of him all the time he was a great man I could tell you excactly what happened I will never forget that day, he ws just talking about another day down on are way back to the FOB it must have been around 1 or 2 in the morning. If u want to talk about what realy happened give me a call (xxx)xxx-xxxx.

The problem is, is that some of the facts he mentions don’t fit. I’m waiting to hear from a couple of Johns buddies that I know were there so that I can get some validation on who this is before calling this person.

I know I”m probably being paranoid, but….

 

To really get how fast time flies, here is a picture of Molly and Nora in front of a little car at the Pacific Grove Car gathering.

From 2012 Adventures

And here is Nora back in 2007 in front of the exact same car. A bit of difference.

From Drop Box

Well, I decided to ride up to ride up to Chester, CA and meet up with my brother in law Thomas for a 2 day ride down to Lake Tahoe for a family vacation. The total trip was a bit over 1100 miles in temps up to 104 degrees and was  basically 4 days worth of riding with a break at Lake Tahoe for a few days. At times it was a grueling ride, but a ton of fun.

Here’s the total trip.

My first major stop, other than for fuel, was in Vacaville, CA where I stopped for lunch at Arby’s. I know, Arby’s, but hey, we don’t have any near by and it sounded, and was, really good.

I rode up through Lassen Volcanic National Park to Chester, CA. I stopped at an overlook to stretch and took this picture.

 

Met Thomas for the night, had some beers and visited.  The next moring we headed out and did some really fun canyon riding through California Gold country,  down towards Chico, back up through Quincy, over to La Porte, and into Grass Valley where we ended our day, and I ended up bying a new front tire.

Turns out that hard canyon riding is a bit tough on the front tire. (-: I had these wear spots on boths sides of the tire and spotted all the way around. In spots you could just see thread starting to pop through.

After Grass Valley we headed back up into the hills towards Truckee and then down to Lake Tahoe to meet the families.

Talk about a fun ride. I hurt like the dickens afterwards, but so fun.

 

After all was over with, my poor little R6 was popping a Check Engine Code 18, EXUP valve problems. It’s a back pressure valve buried at the end of the exhaust. I had lost two small fairings that attach to the gas tank, and had to replace¬†a front tire. Thomas is going to have to replace his foot pegs, he wore them down cornering through the canyons. It was a blast.

It’s been over a month since I posted anything here. Time really flies when you’re not watching.

So, what’s happened in the last month?

The girls are all out of school, and already complaining that they are bored. They’ve switched to summer schedule also. Which means they go to bed about the time I get up for work. Night owls. One bonus is that I woke up this morning to a lunch all made up and on the counter with a note saying “Love you Dad. Here’s your lunch”.

Megan just turned 17. Wow, time does fly by. She’s still driving the bug, but we’re looking to maybe get her something with airbags. Hello, we’re parents and paranoid. (-: She’s starting college with me, today in fact. Our first Java programming class is tonight. 4 nights a week for 8 weeks. Ugh. But, it’s a requirement for other more useful programming languages.

Roberta is doing good. She’s still working part time at Sea Harvest. The cancer continues, but slowly. Knock on wood, or as our Scottish friends would say, touch wood. She’s lost more weight, and the doc’s not happy about it, so she’s trying to eat more.

I’m doing good. Let’s see, I’m all healed up from flipping my motorcycle, and the bikes all back together and better than ever. I’ve done some more minor stuff to our vintage¬†trailer, electrical, tires, etc. I dug up a couple of sprinkler heads in the yard and replaced them. Seems the trees and gophers tore em up. When I turned on the watering system we had a couple of nice tall fountains appear in the yard. Oops. I still have a job, the contract I”m on is good until February 2013, 8 more months or so.

Well, that’s about it for now. Our current summer plans, loosely are.

Camping, MotoGP, family reunion in Tahoe, Car shoes, Bach festival, Scottish Games, Feast of Lanterns, Concourse D’elegance, Cherry’s Jubilee, SEMA, Supercomputing, Roberta’s 40th, and our 20th anniversary.

It’s going to be a happening summer.

Back before dirt when I was in the Army I decided to stop drinking beer and lazing about long enough to go through Air Assault school. 10 Days of yelling, running, learning, and jumping from helicopters. It was a wild experience.

Well, today I got some back! I met a Project Manager from one of our vendors that mentioned his time in JSOG (picture special ops) and I asked him if he was airborne and/or air assault trained and where. He¬† mentioned he had been to Ft. Campbell Kentucky (my old base) and that’s where he got his wings. Well, at that moment revenge was mine!

There is a tradition in the military that after you complete a fairly difficult (not too if I made it) school you not only got your wings you got a coin, a challenge coin.

Air Assault Pin

Air Assault Pin

One interesting item about Air Assault School was that (at least when I went through) they expected a greater than 50% failure/drop out rate. You wanted out, you left, done, gone, that’s if you haven’t f’d up and been kicked out. After you graduated and got pinned one of the traditions was to pick up a Challenge coin. I’ll have to take a picture of my coin and put it up, I can’t find my version any more. Well, more than 20 years after I earned my coin I pulled it out of my wallet and showed it to Dan, who I will admit, did Not have his on him. Now he owes me a beer! Hah!

BEEEEEER! And what’s better than beer? Free Beer!

And to make it even tastier it’s being bought by an ex Army Pathfinder! This is¬† a good day. (-: Time to pay up boy wonder!

Well,

As anyone following me on facebook already knows. Roberta and I decided on a cold and rainly Saturday to take Molly and Nora up to the gunrange in Watsonville and teach them how to shoot.

For their first time shooting they did pretty good. We rented a .22 caliber revolver and a a .22 caliber semi-automatic. Roberta taught Nora the revolver and Molly and I used the semi-auto. After a box of 50 rounds each we swapped kiddo’s.

From 2012 Adventures
From 2012 Adventures

An interesting thing happened. Molly did pretty good, consitently hitting the target and getting comfortable with shooting. She had a lot of fun. Nora on the other hand was flat out scary good. In the picture above you can see she’s shooting at an evil clown. (-:¬† We started with typical round targets but got the clown targets so they could have some fun.

Anyhow, Nora’s first 4 rounds went into the top button, all in the circle, second 4 rounds in the nose, all 4 on target. It took her 2 shots to take out the right eye and 3 for her to take out the left eye. One more round each into the other two buttons, 3 in the right hand (one miss just below), 3 in the left hand, and one to break the axe handle, low center on the stick. All this on her first time shooting and at about 20 feet away (as you can see in the picture). Like I said, scary good.

¬†If anyone needs proof the evil clown and her other targets are now mounted proudly on her bedroom wall. I think we’ve created a monster. She wants to know when we can go back.

We also let them shoot the .40 Caliber Smith and Wesson that we bought Roberta for Valentines day when we lived up in Alaska. We put a single round in the magazine and let them shoot at a round target. They each did this a couple of times but preffered the .22’s. A lot less kick and a lot less noisy. But we wanted them to shoot it at least a couple of times so they would at least know they could.

Not a bad Valentines present if you're living in Alaska

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