Monday, August 31, 2009

The Weekend In Review

We are scheduled to have another scorcher of a day, the forecast said 110 high for today, however I had another very enjoyable drive to work. No traffic and beautiful weather for top down again.

I'm back on my allergy pills but I think it would really help if I didn't forget to take them. Yesterday in the afternoon I meant to take a nap and winded up sleeping for like five hours, then woke up and caught up with my recorded shows before I went to bed again. Today I feel good and ready to tackle anything that comes my way.

Yesterday was my granddaughter's birthday celebration, I can't believe she is now eight years old. We had a nice time but most importantly the kids had a great time. It was a swimming pool party and the weather was perfect for it. Nachos, punch, and cake were served and I kept seeing people go back for seconds. Can't really go wrong with Nachos bathed in cheese and topped with ground beef and sliced jalapeƱos.

My six year old grand son Diego was hired by me to take pictures of the event, so the following are all his captures.

Nanni's grandma makes the coolest looking and most delicious cakes.

Happy eight birthday Brianna.

Not my favorite of traditions but done time and time again.

Birthday girl!

When you are a kid this is the most exciting moment... the presents!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Images From Wisconsin

Sunset in Wisconsin. Image provided by a friend of mine.

Nice close up but the glare in the eyes takes away from the beauty of this image.



As I have said before, I love the weekends but I just think they get here way too fast which now that I'm about to hit the big 5-0 is not to appealing. Can't believe it's Friday again.

This morning I got the car out from the garage and realized that the weather was perfect for top down so I drove in to work topless. Traffic is still very light, even with the kids back to school there are no big traffic jams, it's been a very enjoyable 35 minute drive every morning for the past 8 months or so.

I came in to work to find out there were bagels in the lunch room courtesy of one of our Account Executives. It is always nice to see how some people share the wealth with the support team even during hard times, but also people like this are the ones that normally succeed. I had a cinnamon bagel with regular flavor shmear.

In the saga of Diego's texting, yesterday we found a new target. I dialed my daughter's number and gave the phone to him. He immediately started with the normal phrases he already knows such as "I love you" except he wrote "i love you teeoncol = I love you tia Nichole" next he wrote "i am haflo hiu timithello" (This one I couldn't transalte - lol), then he wrote "i sedtelmiselloyo ised hiy = I said tell my tio Loyiel I said hi" (oh, now I know what he said in the previous text) then he wrote "yes but i amyooseg ni gapfon wino" (I never knew Diego could write German).

NextI know my phone rings and it's Nikki, except the call drops so mi chica calls her for me on her phone and passes it to me.

Nikki: Hi Dad
Me: Hi baby, did you call me?
Nikki: Yes, I did
Me: Did you like texting Diego?
Nikki: Diego? No wonder! Now it makes sense, I though it was you. (Probably thought I had forgotten how to write).

Once I told her the texts were from Diego all of a sudden she could read them. Ummm, we need to find a new target today for Diego to text. Who'll be next?

My allergies are back and are kicking my butt... achoo!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nothing Really Important

Sitting here sipping my coffee and realizing that darn I make a really good cup of coffee. You may say what is so special about making coffee? Trust me, time and time again my coffee will taste good vs. having my daughters make me one. Now restaurant coffee is always really, really good and will probably comes very close to mine. Yep! Mine is better.

Now that you know that little bit of information let's move on. I am really having motorcycle riding withdrawals. Today is one of those days where I opened my garage and saw my FatBoy sitting there a little dusty OK, a lot dusty and I just itched to ride it. Two years has already been too long. Here's my serious commitment I am making right now as I type... Let's get it serviced already, prime riding weather is coming right up and I would love to take advantage of it.

The shows I'm hooked on right now are: Betty la Fea, La Rosa de Guadalupe, America's Best Dance Crew, True Blood, Making His Band. Wow! That's it, not too big a list. I am patiently waiting for the new season of So You Think You Can Dance and Sons of Anarchy and in between I try to catch some good movies here and there.

My grandson is six years old and just started first grade. Today he asked me for my cell phone and asked if he could text his grandma whom by the way was in the same room as us. I said he could and he asked me how to spell a couple of words starting with the word love, I told him L O V E and he quickly pressed on the keys. Then he asked me how to send it so I told him hit the send key and showed him where it was. Mi chica got the text and texted him right back, he understood most of the message she sent him so he sent her another one, and grandma replied. Here's what is amazing to me, I didn't show his how to reply, in a matter of seconds he had figured it out and he texted his grandma for the next half hour. He knew what she was saying and he wrote all his little messages by himself. Mi chica was laughing and showing me how he spelled some of the words, obviously they were wrong but by looking at the letter we knew exactly what he was saying. Totally amazing to me.


I'll add more tidbits as my brain wakes up.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Over The Hill? Moi?

The weather is starting to cool down, yes it is still a little hot but not as much as before, the trade will be that in the next month we will experience a little more humidity and our skin will get a little more moisture.

I don't think I have mentioned this before but I think today is a good day to do it. Next month I will join the coveted "Over The Hill" gang, the big 5-0 is upon me like nobodies business and mi chica and daughter Michelle have been working on a big birthday bash with DJ, plenty of food, and drinks.

They have chosen a Mexican motif for the fiesta and everything is revolving around anything and everything Mexican, from the food to the drinks to the decor. Of course I don't know Jack about what they are planning or doing, I know what I know because realistically it was impossible for them to keep this completely secret but I'm supposed to be in the dark about things.

Invitations have been sent all over the place, to my biker buddies, to my fellow Mustang club members, to my coworkers, to my karaoke clan, and to all my family and friends, heck one of my dear friends from Mexico may even make the trip to come and join me, to say I am excited is a total understatement.

I'll keep you posted on stuff as more information gets leaked and comes to my attention.

Then the following week right after my fiesta my little sister will also celebrate a milestone birthday (I think it's her 29th... again!) We had been talking about her hosting one of our Photo Exhibitions at her house in California and she came out with the idea of having it on the very day of her party. As most of her friends will be there she feels the frames will get total exposure and I agree. This way even if I don't sell a frame at least we will party hardy.

More on the exhibition and birthday party later on as well.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Homestead Museum - Part II


I continued capturing images, one after the other. Inside the houses, on the gardens, the fountain, the rooms, the blown glass, the appliances, etc. Our guide insisted I was the one to open the main door to the new house just so I could feel how heavy it was. The new house was beautifully decorated and looked ready for someone to move in.

After almost a full hour tour we finally said good bye to our guide and we headed towards the cemetery. A few more images and then we finally decided to go home, it is safe to say we were the last ones to leave the place.

All in all, a great tour worth repeating.

As one of the oldest cemeteries in southern California, El Campo Santo contains the remains of the pioneering Workman and Temple families as well as Pio Pico, the last governor of Mexican California. Within its low brick walls, the one-half acre cemetery features a Neoclassical mausoleum and a small cemetery plot surrounded by a Gothic Revival cast-iron fence.

In the early 1850s, the Workmans established El Campo Santo or "the sacred ground" as a cemetery solely for the use of their family. Along with a cemetery plot enclosed by an ornate cast-iron fence, they built a Gothic Revival brick chapel dedicated to St. Nicolas by Bishop Thaddeus Amat of Los Angeles. Among the first to be buried was William Workman's brother David, who was killed in 1855 while driving cattle to the gold fields in northern California.

At the turn of the century, the cemetery was abandoned and its brick chapel destroyed by fire. Walter Temple, a grandson of the Workmans, successfully filed a lawsuit preventing any further desecration of the cemetery. In 1917, he was able to purchase the cemetery and the surrounding 75 acres and began restoration. In place of the chapel, however, he built a cast stone Neoclassical mausoleum and moved the remains of his family inside. He also transferred the remains of Ygnacia and Pio Pico from Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles, which was being relocated in the 1920s.

Today the cemetery is restored and maintained as a California State Historic Landmark and is open to visitors through a self-guided tour described in the free brochure available at the museum office.

For additional information on the museum.


We Had a Great Time

Yes, I just had to pose by this La Puente landmark.

Buy donuts in a donut, eat a donut inside a donut, make donuts in a donut, or drive through a donut. These are all things that could happen if you are in the La Puente area and go visit this landmark donut shop. I think The Donut Hole has been there since the late 1960s however I couldn't find much history on it. I did however found out that their donuts are supposed to be really tasty. I love donuts therefore I must buy some the next time we visit.

My lil sis and I.

The tour guide at the Homestead Museum was nice enough to take this picture. Even though I only see my sister two or three times a year we are still pretty close. She still refuses to leave California and join the rest of us here in Phoenix. Oh well, her loss. lol

And in the afternoon my nieces joined us for some succulent tacos de lengua. Delicious!

There's nothing nicer than a good ol family dinner. My sister cooked one of my favorite dishes and my nieces all showed up to eat with us. We had a great time. After dinner we started the karaoke machine and there was no stopping us until it was very late, or early depending on how you look at it.

We only had the one day but we really made the most of it.


Friday, August 21, 2009

The Homestead Museum

So, as I mentioned before I spent all Saturday with my sister. After we rested and she forced me to watch a Cafe Tacuba concert on DVD while she cooked we finally left again at around 3:30 pm in search of more cool images from the La Puente area.

The Homestead Museum is about five minutes away from were she lives also about five minutes away from where I used to live except when I was there I never cared to go visit. So we decided that would be our destination. We got there and I immediately started shooting, my finger was trigger happy I really liked the houses which belonged to the Workman and the Temple families. Only thing is that there was a high protective iron fence that took away from the beauty of the houses.

There was hardly anybody there, I noticed that they closed at 5:00 pm on Saturday and asked my sister to go and inquire about the guided tours so that we could plan for a next time. A nice lady came out and said if you want I can take you in right now, she usually stopped at 4:00 and it was already 4:15 pm so I immediately said we would love to take the tour.

So she got her key, opened the big gate let us in and locked it again as soon as we walked in, the next 45 minutes we took a trip into history. A history that started when California was still Mexico. She told us all about Mr. Workman, and English man that married a Mexican woman and Mr. Temple whom also married a Mexican woman. (Pretty mart guys I say).

As she started telling us the history of the place, the street names we see when there started to make sense. She was very knowledgeable of the details that such tour required and best of all when I asked if I could take pictures inside the place she said I could take as many as I wanted.

So what follows will be a pictorial of the Homestead Museum which is located in the City of Industry. I will borrow some of the captions from their website but the images are all mine, so make sure to visit it for more information.

As one of the oldest houses in California, the Workman House survives as a unique testament to the changing architectural styles and domestic tastes of the nineteenth century.

It originally stood as a simple three-room adobe, built shortly after the Workman family's arrival in November 1841. With the success of their cattle ranch, they continued to remodel the house by adding rooms. By the 1870s, new wealth in vineyards and wheat farming allowed them to completely transform the Mexican-era adobe into a modern American house, building a second floor, adding a variety of decorative details, and finishing the outside to resemble brick and stone. Believed to have been designed by early Los Angeles architect Ezra Kysor, the picturesque country home reflects the architectural tastes that were popular in mid-19th century America.

Today the exterior of the Workman House is restored to its 1870s appearance. The interior retains its appearance from the 1950s and awaits restoration. Visitors can see the house by taking a free guided tour.

The Workman House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a California State Historic Landmark.

In 1917, Walter P. Temple and his wife Laura used their wealth from an oil discovery to repurchase seventy-five acres of the family's original rancho. The Temples soon commissioned well-known Los Angeles architects Walker and Eisen and later Roy Seldon Price to construct La Casa Nueva or "the new house." Built between 1922 and 1927, this 11,000-square foot Spanish Colonial Revival mansion is noted for its fine architectural crafts, especially stained glass, ceramic tile, wrought iron, and carved wood. By 1930, the Temple family had lost the house and it became a boys' military school and a convalescent hospital before it was acquired by the City of Industry in the 1970s.

Restored and completely furnished to its appearance in 1928, La Casa Nueva is open for free guided tours that interpret the history of southern California from 1830 to 1930.

La Casa Nueva is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and its landscaping has won regional and state awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects.



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My First Hospital Visit Ever

Kudos to Banner Estrella, more than a hospital this place is a place to relax. Too bad reservations have to be submitted only by doctors.

I have not been to work at all this week. On Tuesday I had a colonoscopy done, sounds like fun huh. Well I spent all Monday drinking this ugly substance that towards the end was making me gag. The pharmacist said to drink the whole bottle which was huge, me I thought no problemo so I immediately served me a glass, not a big one but a small one and drank it all in one big gulp.

Boy, that was the beginning of a long Monday afternoon. The procedure was scheduled for Tuesday at 2:30 pm but on Monday morning they called and rescheduled to Tuesday at 10:30 am. I looked at my bottle and it looked completely full. Oh crap, (no pun intended) how in the heck am I going to finish this whole bottle, maybe if it was tequila I could and this considering I am not a drinker but this elixir from hell was just to much.

I started shortening the intervals and kept pushing that horrid elixir that pretty much after the tenth glass was making me gag so bad I though I was going to puke. It had already been a long, long Monday afternoon and at almost midnight I realized that my mouth, and my stomach were not going to accept any more of that so I came to the conclusion that I had had enough.

The next morning we got to the hospital early and got all the paperwork taken care of. Mi chica didn't feel good enough to go to work but she was able to take me to the hospital which to me made all the difference in the world. Now you have to know that I have never ever in my life been admitted to a hospital, I've had no operations and at this point I am not taking any medicine at all. So I went in super calm and relaxed.

The nurses were extremely good, and made me feel so at ease. After I changed my clothes into this sexy gown that by the way took me a long time to figure out how to assemble it I got on the bed and just relaxed. Then the nurse came in and place the caterer on my hand so that I could get some needed fluids, I don't think I need to tell you all what that liquid I was drinking all day on Monday made me do.

By the way she did such a good job that I don't even have a mark on my hand from the needle. Next another nurse came in, she asked me all the pertinent questions again just to make sure that I was me and I didn't have a substitute on the bed ready to take my procedure. Then she proceeded to wheel me into the operations room where the doctor came in and smiled at me while shaking my hand, she told me what the procedure was all about and asked me if I had questions. I said no and then I was mobbed. Before I knew what was happening I had oxygen tubes in my nose and I was being laid on my side with knees bent up and...

That my friends is the last I remember, I didn't feel anything or knew what happened after that, next thing I know is a nurse is passing the thermometer over my forehead and I open my eyes and almost immediately mi chica walks in.

Wow, I felt no discomfort, no pain, not fatigue, but I was a little dizzy. I think 20 minutes later I was on my way home, starving and craving a huge hamburger which my daughter produced some twenty minutes later.

If I'm ever at the hospital again, I hope my visit is as brief and pleasant as this one.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

California Here We Are

On our way to California the sun was a very round circle in the horizon.

We left at around 6:30 p.m. my sister in law had her Starbucks on one hand and the steering wheel on the other, me I was only the co-pilot and my nephew enjoyed movies in the back seat of the car. Good daylight for at least another hour or so we started our trek.

I'm used to stopping stop all over the place however on this occasion we only had a pit stop at a rest stop, then drove through a Carl's Jr in Quartzite, and gassed up about an hour away from our destination so all in all we did some pretty good time without speeding.

Now here's a McDonalds were the Golden Arches don't necessarily make and "M"

As always our goal was to get to West Covina on time to eat some Rambo's Tacos. We got there with only like 15 minutes to spare so we were lucky but most of all we were hungry so we got our first taco fix. We wanted to attack them right away but not before taking some pictures with the phone's camera and sending them to Phoenix.

It wasn't until past midnight that we finally made it to our destination, two hours later we were finally hitting the hay or in my case the couch.

I had texted my sister earlier asking if she was game to go on a photo hunt around the area. She told me her complete Saturday was free so she picked me up at around noon on Saturday and we hit the road. On my last post I borrowed an image of The Donut Hole from the Internet, I wanted that to be my first stop as I wanted to photograph it myself.

Here are two of my shots from The Donut Hole. Believe it or not it seems like a busy place, and it has been there forever. You drive through the donut hole to buy your donuts, and if you are fast enough you can eat a donut inside the donut.

Then we continued on to old La Puente. There I captured some interesting street scenes, some colorful trees and even the old movie theater which even though still standing doesn't show movies these days. I hope they don't tear it down.

Landmark theater in Old La Puente.

After a good hour or so of driving around we finally decided to go to my sisters house and made plans to go to the Homestead Museum later on.

I'll tell you all about it on a different post. For now just enjoy some of the images I captured.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cali Bound

I am California bound. It will be a quick trip, I'm leaving Friday right after work and will be coming back early on Sunday. As always I will try to make the most out of the day. My sister said maybe we can go to Don Chente's, a Mexican restaurant she goes to often and where her friends have a karaoke show, well you know me and karaoke. It sounds like fun, so we'll see.

So, I'll tell ya all about it when I come back, in the meantime I wish you all a great weekend.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Mustang

It was ten years ago, August of 1999 that I bought my current car. When mi chica and her dad went to Mexico and blew the engine on my Aerostar mini van the search started to find a good replacement for it.

When I was young I got to drive my sister's 1966 Mustang Fastback to school every day, luckily for me she only worked a block away from home and didn't need the car at all. Me on the other hand was more than happy to take the car out for some good exercise. The 66 got stolen one night and it was never found.

I always wanted a Mustang after that other cars got in the way. So without the van I decided my next car had to be a Mustang. I went to Pioneer Ford one afternoon and found a beautiful 94 six cylinder convertible, the next day I took mi chica to see it only to find out the car had been sold almost as soon as I left the lot.

So for the following days I kept going to different dealerships. One day my daughter had a swimming party at a local swimming pool and I had to go with her. The pool was right across the street from Sanderson Ford. I crossed the street and went browsing. As always a salesman approached and offered his help, I told him I was looking for an affordable Mustang and told him of the one that almost was from Pioneer Ford.

He showed me a few of the ones they had at the lot but all were a little too high in price, the one I had seen was $13.000, what they had were all well over $16.000. I thanked the salesman for his help and started to walk away.

"Is your heart set on a newer Mustang" he asked me, I turned around and asked what he meant. He then said I have a 93 convertible in the back lot, we just got it in last night and you may like it. It's the older style though. Of course I said let's go see it. I spotted it from a mile away, it was a little dusty and they had not clean it yet but it sat there in front of me saying buy me and take me home. I knew immediately that was the car for me.

I captured this image about 10 years ago when we first move to our new house.

This was even better, a 1993 Mustang GT convertible, the last of the Fox bodies, with 73,000 miles already on it but I didn't care, and the best part was that it had a 5.0 under the hood. After a brief test drive which was more like a family outing since the whole family came to see it, the car was going home with me.

Here it is at Knotts Berry Farm at the Fabulous Fords Forever Carshow back 2002.

I have enjoyed this car for the past ten years, it is my daily driver so it is starting to show it's age. It now has about 170,000 miles on it but still drives nice, other than my transmission giving up on me two years after I bought it, the car has really been good. Only those items that wear down have been replaced, my brakes have only been done three times since I bought it, the belts changed twice, the water pump also twice, tires three times, the convertible top once.

Driving through Palm Springs on our way back from this year's Fabulous Fords Forever car show in Califoria.

All in all, this car is without a doubt the best car I've owned and the one I like the most, my 70 Chevy Impala comes a close second but this days Chevy is not a word that exists in our vocabulary.

Couple of captures from our local shows.

In all this years I have never referred to my car as a "she". My car is bonafied and certified "it". We are buddies, we have traveled many miles together in this past ten years, we have been members of the Copperstate Mustang Club for 10 years as well, and know and respect each other. I treat it well, and it takes me places, that's our agreement.

Yes, it has left me stranded a few times but almost always makes it home on it's own tires. My Mustang is very reliable and very fast, and tons of fun to drive, specially when the weather permits to have the top down.

So, here's to many more years of mutual enjoyment. If you must know, my Mustang rocks.

The grand kids and I washing the pony and getting it ready for the show.

Two Mustangs posing proudly for the camera at Falcon Airfield in Mesa.

At Tempe Diablo Stadium.

A couple of more recent shots.

Car was looking very crappy but Junior took it to the car wash and had it detailed. This image was captured about two months ago.

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