Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's the Bubba Gump Shrimp

As I was walking back to my car from the Santa Monica Pier, what did I see coming towards me? It was the Bubba Gump Shrimp mascot. If you are not familiar with Bubba Gump, it was a character from the movie "Forrest Gump" and have since been made into a restaurant with the same name.

Here is a close up of the live shrimp. Should he be so happy dressed like that? I guess it's a job.

- Karen

Friday, January 30, 2009

Trapeze School

A New York Trapeze School in California?
I'm a little afraid of heights so this is one school that I will skip.

- Karen

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

No Trespassing

Does it look like this pelican can read and is obeying the sign? Or, is he hoping no one is watching so he can sneak across the fence? Or, is he thinking of something else?

- Karen

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested And Written By Cynthia

Sgt James E. Craig
Sgt James E. Craig
27 years old from Hollywood, South Carolina
1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
January 28, 2008
U.S. Army

James, 27, was killed on January 28, 2008, in Mosul, Iraq, along with four other soldiers when the unit encountered an IED, followed by an ambush from a nearby Mosque. It has been a year since James was killed. I miss him each day.

James was on his third deployment to Iraq. There are so many things about James that I admired. He was 'loud' and funny and articulate and sweet - even calling himself 'Sweet Soldier' - and brave and tough. He was a devout Christian and more comfortable with telling people he was than anyone I ever knew - he had a enviable, easy comfort with this faith. It would be so easy to write and write about James, but let me share some portions of his letters - his long and articulate letters.

"...I am very much looking forward to this war being over. However, I fully support everything that is going on over here ever since I saw first hand what the real situation was. Our media doesn't portray the truth of this operation or the necessity to the people here. They need freedom and desperately cry out for someone to help them. ... I know one thing, God wants me here."

"The war here is stating to come to an end. It will be a slow transition period where the responsibility of the battle space is handed over to the growing Iraqi Army. It all depends on the Iraqis if we are able to leave them with it safely."

" is a tale of my wonderful journey where I made memories I will never forget and stood up for something that I believe in...that sweet taste of freedom when the day is done and the knowledge that I have done something to ensure the positive future of my loved ones. And, you should know that it comforts me the most that what I do protects wonderful people like you."

To read more about Sgt James Craig, go here.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Santa Monica Pier

Continuing my road trip from a few weeks back, we stopped off here at the famous Santa Monica Pier in Southern California.

This is the long boardwalk over the water opened back in 1909. To read more about this historic tourist site, click here.

One side of the pier is Pacific Park.

The other side is this beautiful beach.

- Karen

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Hero on the Hudson" Welcomed Home

Most of the world has probably heard about the US Airway pilot, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who landed his plane safely on New York's Hudson River last week after a flock of geese was sucked into the plane's engines during take-off and disabled the plane. Because of his skills and the crews training, everyone survived the ordeal.

Today, Sully's hometown of Danville, CA gave him a hero's welcome home ceremony. Since Danville is approximately 45 miles away from me, I decided to attend. Unfortunately, I could not get there early enough, I could only get a vantage point with an annoying pole in the way; however, no heads were blocking my view.

A big banner in front of the town's library welcomes Sully home.

Sully and his wife, Lorrie, arrives to the ceremony.

Sully and Lorrie enter onto the stage.

Lorrie emotionally speaks about her husband's heroic achievement.

Sully speaks briefly to the crowd. If you look closely, you can see Lorrie seated wiping away tears.

Sully receives a flag gift that had flown at the U.S. Capitol.

Sully receives a departmental group photo from the local police department.

The local high school marching band was on hand to lead off the event.

Parking sign for the media.

Media frenzy at center stage.

Several thousand people attended the event. I was lucky to find a parking space.

To read more about today's event, click here to read the article published on the San Francisco Chronicle's website.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


During our roadtrip, we drove through Laughlin, Nevada. Laughlin is about 90 minutes south of Las Vegas and is also a gambling town on a much smaller scale. Laughlin is unique because of its location next the mightly Colorado River as you see in this photo.
To read more about Lauglin's brief history, click here.

The bridge you see in the distance separates Arizona from Nevada. About 2000 cars cross it on a daily basis. If you don't have a car, there are also water taxis that take you across the stateline.
What confuses tourists is the timezone difference between the two states. Arizona is on Mountain Time and Nevada is on Pacific Time. By crossing the the river, the time changes by 1 hour. I don't know what happens when you straddle the stateline.

My dog Maverick can now officially say he set his paws on the Colorado.

- Karen

Friday, January 23, 2009

Oldtime Gas Station

This is a model gas station on display at the Route 66 Museum. Remember the days of Full-Service when an attendant would fill up your gas tank, cleaned your windshield, and checked your engine oil?

This old pump shows gasoline was only 14-9/10 cents per gallon

The U.S. Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 required the elimination of lead in gasoline by 1996. I am not sure if this affected gasoline overseas, does anyone know?
Today, "Unleaded gasoline" is allowed to contain no more than 5/100ths of a gram of lead per gallon.

- Karen

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Route 66 Sofa

Saw this sofa at the Route 66 Museum's library. I could use one of these at home.

Close-up of the sofa's pattern.

- Karen

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Cindy

Petty Officer 2nd Class Mike A. Monsoor
Petty Officer 2nd Class Mike A. Monsoor
29 years old from Garden Grove, California
September 29, 2006
U.S. Navy

In April 2008, Michael Monsoor (who had already been posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions in a May 9, 2006 incident, when he and another SEAL pulled a wounded team member to safety amidst gunfire) was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. His funeral, attended, in the words of President Bush, by "nearly every SEAL on the West Coast," was held on October 12, 2006 at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. During Monsoor's funeral service, as the casket was taken from the hearse to the gravesite, fellow SEALs lined up in two columns to slap and embed the gold Tridents (a pin awarded for successful completion of SEAL Qualification Training) from their uniforms onto the top of Monsoor's coffin.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Mike A. Monsoor's Summary Of Action.

"The procession went on nearly half an hour, and when it was all over, the simple wooden coffin had become a gold-plated memorial to a hero who will never be forgotten." - President George W. Bush

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Powerhouse

This is the Kingman, AZ Visitor Center & Route 66 Museum converted from an old power plant called the Powerhouse. Across the street is Mr. D'z Diner which I wrote about the other day.

This Powerhouse sign is at the entrance to the visitor center. To read the sign, click on the photo to enlarge.

This is the gift shop inside the visitor center. It looks like a converted diner. Items for sale were priced at some dollar amount and 66 cents.

I couldn't resist and had to buy this sign to hang at home.

- Karen

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Call To Service

As part of National Day of Service called by President-Elect Obama and Vice President-Elect Biden to be a community volunteer, I decided to participate in sorting food at the local food bank. Our job today was to select 6 good apples into each of the red net bags.

If you are not familiar with National Day of Service, click here

Although this picture doesn't show it, over a hundred volunteers came to help. Of all the volunteers I spoke with, they all participated as a result of the National Day of Service request.

Taken with my camera phone, here is a small section of the sorting area. After working 90 minutes, our efforts yielded over 24,000 pounds of sorted apples which will be given to needy families and seniors along with other foodstuff.

We followed-up with a facilities tour and were informed of the growing hunger in the community and unfortunately, the dwindling number of donations on an annual basis.

- Karen

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner

While on Route 66 in Kingman, AZ, we stopped by Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner for lunch. This 50's-style diner is opened in several locations throughout Route 66. Click here for their menu. I love a place that serves breakfast all day.

This is the view from my seat. Were the neon green and pink upholstery a 50's color scheme?
Click here for more photos from their website.

- Karen

Friday, January 16, 2009

Get Your Kicks on Route 66

What is this fascination people have, including myself, with U.S. Route 66? I guess for me, it's the nostalgia, the quaint buildings, the novelty stores that draws me in.

From what I can gather from my research, this is America's first roadway stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles for an approximate 2,400 miles. The idea for such a road hatched in 1926, but it wasn't completed until the late 1930's after the Depression. It was proclaimed the "Mother Road" in John Steinbeck's book "Grapes of Wrath". People started to use it to migrate from place to place and businesses started to spring up along the way. The trip across Route 66 became the journey as well as the destination. However, after 2 short decades, parts of the road became dilapidated from overuse and super highways were built in its place far from town. With multiple lanes and better workmanship, Route 66 was soon forgotten, businesses and towns declined. Not even hit songs or television shows about it, kept it going.

Luckily, nostalgists started the the Route 66 Historical Associations to preserve treasures along its route. From what I read, only 85% of this road is travel-able by car today. The parts that have been saved, as you can see from the next 3 photos, there is no doubt you are on the "Mother Road".

If you have been on this road before, I would like to hear your story.

- Karen

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Three Dog Bakery" Treat

In Uptown Sedona, there is a bakery catered specifically to dogs called "Three Dog Bakery".
This is the sign over their oven. Doesn't it get you all warm & fuzzy?

I bought my dog a souvenir Sedona doggy treat. Before I got a good photo of the cookie bone, the "S" was already gone.

The biscuits are made edible for humans. I have tried it and it is very bland.

By the way, that is not chocolate on the cookie, but carob, a dog-friendly substitute for dogs as I was told. If you are interested, check out the bakery's ingredients here on their website.

- Karen

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Telling statues in front of Rollies Camera in Sedona. Before this shop was renamed to Rollies', it was called Bradshaw's Photo Shop for 55 years since 1949.
Click here for some old photos of Bradshaw's Photo Shop and a photocopy of a $2000 business loan rejection letter. I guess the bank did not have the foresight to think that a camera store could survive in one of the most picturesque places of America.

- Karen