Arthur row that cow ashore… hallelujah…

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Hey, I’m no cow-ard…

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I told you that I never would have talked my visiting English relatives into doing awkward poses on a plastic cow bench by an ice  cream parlor unless I was also willing to take the bull by the horns, as it were… (Also, that right there, that is how you steer a cow…  oh man, I crack me up)…

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I call that one: ‘the bovine recline’… yeah, you herd me…

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I admit that I am milking the udderly ridiculous  cow jokes and puns for all they are worth…

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And that’s no bulls#%t…

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Another good news/bad news thing…

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Well, I ended up in the emergency room tonight… Don’t panic, it’s just my very first kidney stone! Wow… maybe the worst pain ever, and I have done some stupid stuff in my life… and my wife was supposed to fly back East for a wedding tomorrow, and now she has to stay to help out… I won’t be able to drive.

So right now, I am on some drug that is artificial morphine… Only better… and that took three doses before it even began to take the edge off. And I am going to be on pain meds for the next few days… so who knows what kind of blog posts we will end up seeing.

The good news is that today, I babysat my little buddy Olivia, and we went to the zoo… so I have more animal photos to share… in between the rest of the  pictures of the visit by our English relatives… and as I said… who knows what else?

Because pain meds mixed with a head full of crack squirrels… and me with some free time…

That should be interesting!

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Mad dogs and Englishmen… or mad cows… or just mad Englishmen…

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We are drawing near to the end of the second day of the recent visit by my English relatives…

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After our lovely meal and looking at all the boats, we strolled along the bay and ended up in Seaport Village… where cousin Dot and cousin Lynne and her boyfriend, Malcolm, let me talk them into doing some poses on a cow-bench by the ice cream shop we just stopped at.

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Unlike on day one, no margaritas were involved in the making of these photos…

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I tried to get Malcolm to do some sexy poses… sort of…

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I mean, I just kept shouting: ‘work for the camera, make love to the camera’… in a bad French accent… I don’t know if this helped or not…

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Oh… well… that’s more like it…

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But then my daughter’s boyfriend had to show us how it’s done… and don’t worry, I did some poses too, and made Mollie take pictures of me… and I will post them next… because fair is fair… Oh, and we saw a celebrity too!!!

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One of the Blue Man Group was there with his wife and mother…

 

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It’s good to be back in San Diego after being in the desert for three days…

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Where there are surfers…

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And friendly young egrets…

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And skeletons riding on hammerhead sharks that are chewing on a leg… wait… what?

a 4And our heat wave has broken!!!

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It was cool and cloudy at the beach, where we gathered for my wife’s aunt’s birthday…

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By the time we got done eating at a restaurant at the end of a pier… where I saw a dolphin from the window, by the way, it was clearing… and warming… up.

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So about that little egret we spotted on the way out. When we first saw him, we wanted to see how close we could get…

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When I got really close, I noticed he had fishing line wrapped around his legs. We tried to grab it to get it off… but we couldn’t…

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After breakfast, we watched the surfers for a while…

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A pier is a good place to do that from… I wish I had brought the zoom lens…

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And we saw our little friend again… strutting proud and free! I like to think that our chasing him around helped to shake the fishing line loose.

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Then we did some other stuff… involving boogie boards and cupcakes… but I don’t have pictures of that.

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Why are there so many freekin’ kinds of desert… also, I think I got a photo of two clouds having sex…

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So on the way back from Arizona, I thought it would be fun to take pictures to show you some of the different kinds of desert. I know, some of you may have seen pictures like this from other trips. I tried to time it so that I would catch the sun setting over San Diego from the same mountain pass that I took the sunrise pictures from when I was leaving San Diego… but I was a little behind schedule… I did end up driving whilst staring right into the sun once again…

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It is only a 5 and a half hour drive from San Diego to Scottsdale in Arizona or back, but you learn about deserts. There is the sandy, scrub brushy, saguaro cactus kind…

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I did a lot of one-handed driving to get these pictures. I like clouds, and if you look carefully in the center of that picture, I swear you can see cloud sex…

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There are places where they have made the desert green, fields stretching away to sun-scorched mountain ranges.

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But there are many  more miles of scrub brush…

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In a few places… including right beside a convenient  rest area, there are miles of scattered volcanic rock.

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There are also big hills made of the same stuff…

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Because that is what most deserts need more of… volcanoes…

a 10There are miles of tumble weeds… stretching away to… wait… is that a pyramid???

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There are rocks and hills and mountains of all sizes and shapes and colors…

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And places where the highway vanishes in the distance, covered with shimmering mirage water… and the mountains are so far away in all directions that it seems like you can never reach them… Seriously, can you imagine doing this in a covered wagon drawn by oxen moving less than five miles a day?

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Wait… are those tumble weeds growing in straight lines??? Is the government growing tumble weeds … for some top secret purpose??? Are we running out of tumble weeds???

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Sand… lots of sand…

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I was trying so hard to get to the last mountain range for the sunset…

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I risked speeding tickets and maybe my life…

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But I just couldn’t make it.

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Boats… and some English people… who, historically, know something about boats…

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There are my cousin, Lynne, and her boyfriend, Malcolm, our visitors from England, in front of the boat from the movie Master And Commander… and a Russian submarine… see, I told you we like to take pictures of each other taking pictures of each other.

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I like boats… did I mention that?

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The San Diego Maritime museum is a good place to go to see boats.

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The ‘lesser of two weevils’… I loved that movie…

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Malcolm wanted to see the Midway, a carrier built during the Second World War… but not finished before the war was over.

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It had a long military career, and is now a floating museum…

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Unfortunately, it was closing by the time we got there… which is a shame. I actually used to be a volunteer on the Midway when it was first towed to San Diego.

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In those days, I could have gotten him on free… if it was open still… I was part of the restoration crew. I hand-painted… or repainted by hand, a mural in engine room three, done by the original crew. I also hand painted the lettering and numbers in the mail room and other places, before we tracked down original stencils…

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I used to explore all over that ship… in the dark… with just a light strapped to my forehead. It was so cool… and I was on carriers when I was in the Navy long ago… when I was 17.

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I know it’s funny that I am mixing pictures of the English relative visit with photos from my trip through the desert to visit my daughter and her fiance… and other stuff… but that is just how my crack squirrel-infested cranium works.

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Warning! This post contains food porn… No, you don’t get to watch me fondling a friendly fondue… it’s an expression… I didn’t make it up… it means pictures of food so good that… stop judging me and read the dang post!!!

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Look at me, all clean and shiny…

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My older daughter, Jessica, and her fiance, Jason… whom I am visiting in Arizona, you might recall… took me to a fun place to eat last night…

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It is called ‘Posh’… I know, it is a fairly presumptuous name… but they have taken everybody in the family there except me…

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It is not your average restaurant…

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Everybody fills out a card with how many courses they want… we went with five, but you can get way more than that…

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Then, on the card, you cross off the things you are too afraid of to eat…

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And you answer questions like: is raw meat okay?

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And then they start bringing stuff to the table…

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And everybody gets different things… for every course… so you can share bites…

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By now you will have noticed that I am not actually telling you what it was that we ate…

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There are two reasons for this. First of all, I have no idea what most of it was… I mean, the waitress explained it all, told us what it was… and I could tell you I ate veal and baby octopus and stuffed quail and… stuff… but all the other ingredients were things you never heard of, prepared in ways you know nothing about.

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I mean, if you see anything on any of these plates that looks familiar, trust me, it is a type of that food grown only in the shade on the back side of a freekin’ Himalayan mountain at only 4,285 feet of altitude… during one month in every third year…

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The other reason I am a little sketchy on the details is that I drank a Moscow Mule and a Dark And Stormy…

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So both vodka and rum were involved…

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Yup…

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But it was awesome… and I saw my first monsoon in Arizona… which involved a lot of lightening… but the rain mostly missed us.

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I think ‘improvisational’ just about sums it up.

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And Look! Jessica really does have one of the two leaves I made in my blacksmith class on her key ring!

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