Category Archives: September 2012

space shuttle chasing

We’ve been space shuttle chasing since we moved to the Antelope Valley in 1985. It started when Columbia was moved down a local street on its way to Edwards Air Force Base after being refurbished at Plant 42. It was quite a sight to see!

That’s Jeffrey standing under Columbia’s wing.

In the following years we had the opportunity to see space shuttles fly by as they left Plant 42 and flew over BJ’s Corner (a local plane-watching patch of desert that is a front-row seat to every flight from Plant 42).

And then there was the time we went to Edwards AFB with my brother to see this space shuttle:

Then last Friday we were out chasing Endeavour on its last flight. We were in Rosamond, right outside Edwards AFB, when it took off.

As soon as it passed by us, we hopped in the car and headed down the 14 towards the fairgrounds. With a lot of luck and a little bit of speeding, we got there just in time to get these shots:

Our space shuttle chasing days are now over, and it’s very sad to see that program end, but we feel lucky that we lived here while they were flying and were able to get photos of some of them.

four years ago today

The kids have been married for four years, but it certainly doesn’t seem that long ago that we were in New Jersey for one of the prettiest, most elegant weddings I’ve ever seen.

Happy Anniversary, Jeff & Vanessa. Here’s to many more!


Did you ever watch the old Hawaii Five-0 series? We’ve been watching it quite a bit lately, enjoying the scenery as well as the great characters on the show, one of which is Kono, a 5-0 officer.

One night Mike noted that Kono would be a good name for a cat, but we don’t intend to ever get another cat, so the point was moot. But I did agree that Kono would have been a good name; too bad we didn’t think of it when we were rescuing cats.

Well… we have a Kono in our house now, but he’s definitely not a cat. Meet Kono:

For the past few weeks this little white parakeet has been hanging around our yard with the jays, sparrows, doves and assorted other birds, and it was very cool seeing him out there. Today he got stuck in one of our bird feeders. We figure he must have been trying to reach up inside to get some seeds and couldn’t get out. When I first saw him I thought he was eating, then it looked like he was cleaning his feathers. When I moved closer I saw that he was stuck.

Mike came out and took the feeder apart to free him, but when he tried to fly away he couldn’t; most likely his wing was bruised or slightly injured while he was trying to escape from the bird feeder (he was fine within a short time). It only took a few minutes to catch him. Mike thought he belonged to one of our neighbors who have parakeets, but they said no, he wasn’t theirs. So we put him in a cat carrier to keep him safe and secure… and headed off to the store to get a nice home for him and some assorted bird supplies.

Mike felt Kono would feel better being outside for a while, so outside he went.

That’s a monster of a home for a very small bird!

Here’s Kono in his new home:

He was outside most of the day, eating, drinking and resting after his morning ordeal. Right now he’s safely tucked away in the (cat free) back room where he can watch TV with me and I can talk to him while doing my chores back there, like folding clothes, going through old photos or napping (ok, the last two aren’t chores).


Thirty years ago we had parakeets, finches, cockatiels and peach faced love birds, but those have all been gone for many, many years. It’s nice to have a bird in the house again.

visiting relatives

Auntie Sandy and Uncle Steve were here in California in mid August for his 50th class reunion, and on their way home (August 14)  we got together for an early morning breakfast.

They were going up the 5, and we live only 40 minutes away, so it was a no-brainer for us to buzz over to Newhall at 6 a.m. to visit with them for an hour or so. Previous plans to get together with them at Chuck & Larie’s fell through, so this was the best alternative.

We had a very quick but nice visit and then they were off to finish their road trip back home.


first lunch in the new decade

The new decade in question is, of course, my 60s. I still can’t believe I’m 60 years old, especially since my mind keeps telling me I’m 22. Or maybe 42. But NOT 60. Doesn’t that just sound so old?

Well… anyway… Steve, Karina and the kids joined us at Tokyo Steak House for a fun lunch yesterday: sushi for me, Steven and Karina; chicken & steak for Leslie, teriyaki beef for Mike and yakisoba for Steve.

Steve was busy taking photos of all of us, so here’s one of him so he wouldn’t be left out. (That’s Karina chowing down on her tempura shrimp roll.)

Steve was quick to point out that he and I are TWO decades apart now. BUT! In just two short years he’ll once again be only one decade younger than me. When that happens, instead of thinking he got OLD, I’ll look at it that I must have gotten a wee bit younger. In the meantime, though…

Where’s my shawl? And my rocker! Would someone please bring me a hot toddy?

the final meal… of my 50s

Tonight I had the final meal of my 50s and it was a grand one. We went to Gino’s where I had a Big Baron to send the 50s out in style and good taste.

The Big Baron is a huge calzone full of Italian meats, bell peppers and lots of ooey, gooey melted mozzarella cheese. I brought half of it home, so it will also be the first meal of my 60s when I finish it off for breakfast in the morning. Life is good.

This is also the last day that Mike will be an old man in his 60s married to a young, 50-something chick. 🙂 Tomorrow we’ll once again be the same age, two old crumblies having a great time… and a great lunch with Steve, Karina, Leslie & Steven.

For now, we’re going to watch Hawaii Five-O (the original), sigh at the scenery (the way it looked when I lived there) and dream about a return visit to Oahu some day soon.

Did I already say life is good? Well, it bears repeating.