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Job Hunting – Again

Well, today was supposed to be a day off.  I was going to play with Ember, fix her breakfast and maybe we could meet up with Cindy for lunch.  Maybe do… Something.

Sadly, it was not to be.  I will not share details here (not many if I wanted to), but suffice it to say that I’m back on the job hunt again and it was not my choice nor was it expected in the least.

Ember is at daycare.  I’m meeting Cindy and her mom for lunch.

And I’m trying not to throw up.

Wish me luck with trying to keep things semi-steady while attempting to reinstate some sort of an income.

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MCAS Miramar Air Show 2014

It was hot. Really Hot. Really Damn Hot.

So were the Hooters Gals.

For your perusal and enjoyment a selection of pictures from the day.

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Cal Fire Super Stoof!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Cal Fire OV-10 Bronco

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VFMA 232 Hornet

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Rule 5 courtesy of Hooters

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Rule 5 Part 2

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Rule 5 Part 3

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Cessna 195

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Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Classic

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Grumman Super Widgeon

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Beech C-45 Expiditer

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SNJ Info

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SNJ

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Ercoupe. My Dad owned 4 of these in the Seventies. Cool little puddle jumper it is.

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T-34 in Luftwaffe Markings

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Patriots Jet Team. L-39s

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Patriots Jet Team framed by an MV-22

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People were getting shade under most static display aircraft. It was hot.

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L-39 of The Patriots Jet Team

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Patriots Four Ship Pass

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Intruder. Three tours in this work horse.

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Grumman F9F-2

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Avenger

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Avenger

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HSM-35 Magicians

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The DAV B-25J

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North American CT-39E

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Made My Day!

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King Cobra, I think

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Heroes

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F4F Wildcat. J. J. Foss on the fuselage below the cockpit.

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As the reader will notice, I have some Rule Five pictures……………..The Hooters Girls and a couple of gals I saw walk by. What do you expect? I am an Old Sea Dog ya know! :tomcat: :attackchopper:  :cheers:

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Grand Prix of Lancaster

OK, it’s go karts…………..but it was kind of cool. They are loud go about 70-80mph in the straightaways.

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27 September 2014 – My New Shaving Brush!

So, as my few readers know by now, I’ve switched to a double edge razor from an electric.  I actually started out on cartridge razors, but the cartridges were (and still are) EXPEN$IVE!!!  I got an electric shaver quite a while back which saved a ton in cartridge replacement costs, but it had its own issues that got worse.

So, what’s a guy to do in that situation?  I got a vintage Gillette Tech from the 1930’s and started shaving with AFFORDABLE double edge blades.  It’s been good so far :)  When I first switched, I was using canned Barbasol shaving foam.  It worked OK, but everyone told me to get shaving soap and a brush as it would be much better.  I got the soap, but nobody around here carries brushes.  I made due with a $0.77 natural bristle paint brush from Walmart.  It worked, but it wasn’t really great.  That changed today :wink:

27 Sept 2014 - My new shaving brush

27 Sept 2014 – My new shaving brush

I placed an order on eBay when I got paid this week.  That order was for a Van Der Hagen deluxe boar hair shaving brush.  There’s a few good reasons to go with a boar brush, but the big factor for me was money.  This was under $10 shipped :cool:

27 Sept 2014 - My new shaving brush and the back of the box

27 Sept 2014 – My new shaving brush and the back of the box

I’m going to have to work at it to get it broken in right and all and there is a bit of maintenance involved with these brushes.  But that’s OK :)  One of these days I’ll get a nice badger hair brush, but that can wait :wink:

Well, that’s all for right now, but I’ll be back soon.  Have a great night, everyone :mrgreen:

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17 September 2014 – Shaving, Shaving Soap, and Improvisation

So, I guess I could also have titled this something like “Wet Shaving – The Adventure Continues” and it would have worked :)  It’s definitely different from electric shavers and nowhere near a cartridge system.  It takes skill, patience, persistence, and no little bit of courage as you put a really rather sharp and minimally protected blade against your face.  I like it so far :cool:

17 Sept 2014 - My early Gillette Tech razor

17 Sept 2014 – My early Gillette Tech razor

I’ve been using my Gillette Tech (it’s an early one from around the 1930s or early 1940s) with canned Barbasol foam and it’s been OK.  I’ve tried a couple different blades and I have a few more to try as well.  Things have gone really rather well all things considered!

17 Sept 2014 - My new shave soap

17 Sept 2014 – My new shave soap

17 Sept 2014 - My new shave soap

17 Sept 2014 – My new shave soap

The one thing I keep hearing, though, is to ditch the canned foam/gel/etc.  Everyone tells me to get some real shaving soap and make a lather.  After looking around in local stores (I hate waiting for shipping), I secured this package of Van Der Hagen shave soap.  It was under $4 at Walmart and it has a nice scent.  I found the same type and an unscented version at the local Smith’s grocery store for under $5, but I figured this will work.

17 Sept 2014 - My shave soap in its mug

17 Sept 2014 – My shave soap in its mug

Now, there’s a kit at Walmart that comes with a badger brush, a brush stand, a bowl, and a puck of soap (click here).  It’s the same soap as you see here.  It’s also $25 and I have nowhere near that much money.

I don’t need the custom bowl, so I went over to the local Dollar Tree and picked up the glass mug you see here.  It’s nothing special and seems to do the job just fine, thank you very much :wink:

The brush on the other hand…

17 Sept 2014 - Warm water and lather on the brush

17 Sept 2014 – Warm water and lather on the brush

NO stores around here carry a shaving brush.  I looked.  I looked quite a lot.  In some ways I don’t blame them, but several carry the shaving soap, so a brush seems like it wouldn’t be a bad thing.  Especially when they’re around $10 or so.

Since I can’t afford a purpose built shaving brush for a few weeks, I looked for alternatives.  I could have gone with a couple of different types of creams (they’re like a face cream, not like what comes out of a Barbasol can) that don’t lather, but one was expensive and the other didn’t have good reviews online.  I could have tried using a pouf or a loofah to build a lather according to a few forum posts, but that just didn’t seem like the greatest idea.

17 Sept 2014 - Brush cleaned and drying

17 Sept 2014 – Brush cleaned and drying

I’d seen some people online had tried paint brushes with some success, so I figured why not?  Dollar Tree only had nylon bristle brushes and I wanted natural, so I headed over to Walmart.  Lo and behold, they had natural bristle brushes for $1 :D  I chose the 1″ over the 2″ and finally got to try it out tonight.  My judgement is…

<Jeremy Clarkson>IT WORKS!!!</Jeremy Clarkson>

While I’m 99% certain it’s not nearly as good for this task as a purpose built shave brush would be, it costs 90% less and will probably last a week or two and that’s all I really need right now :thumb:

17 Sept 2014 - Test lather on yours truly

17 Sept 2014 – Test lather on yours truly

Yes, that’s me with a bit of a test lather on my face.  Yes, I’m aware it’s nowhere near as good as it could be with different equipment and practice.  That said, I believe it’s shaveable and will only get better in the future :)  I’ll be sure to update everyone after I’ve gotten some experience using it with a blade :wink:

Have a great evening, everyone :mrgreen:

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9 September 2014 – Gillette Tech – First Shave

So, I just had my first shave with that new Gillette Tech razor I just got.  I made sure to prep my beard a bit better by keeping it wet during my shower and shaving afterward this time.  Nothing fancy involved here – Just canned Barbasol shave foam, a Dollar General re-branded Personna blade, and some warm water.  The blade, foam, and water were the same as I used with that Nanjie razor.

It’s not an all over BBS (Baby Butt Smooth) shave, but it’s better by far than my electric shaver.  It was also a heck of a lot better than that crummy Chinese Nanjie razor, too!  There were no nicks or cuts – No blood at all this time :D  There was also no irritation or razor burn, either :cool:

I rinsed off my razor, swished it in 91% rubbing alcohol (which helps it to dry quicker), left it to dry, and then went back to work on my face.  I washed my face again, patted on some witch hazel, and let that dry before I put on some Afta shave balm.

It really was a fantastic shave :)  Yes, I took quite a while, but that’s OK.  I just took care of a week’s worth of beard growth in less time than I would have with the electric shaver, with less irritation, and got a closer shave.  I’m calling it a win :thumb:

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My New Used Razor – Early Gillette “Fat Handle” Tech

So, some of my readers might recall from a previous post that I’m switching from electric shavers to old school double edge razors for a few reasons.  I’d even ordered an inexpensive razor from eBay.  I’d thought I was getting a Weishi which had good reviews, but it was actually a Nanjie.  That inexpensive razor is just flat out horrible.  There were uneven gaps between the blade and safety bar and it was just cheap in all the wrong ways.

I figured out the bit about the cheap razor being a Nanjie shortly after it had shipped and decided not to wait to get something that was guaranteed to be quality.  I did quite a lot of research around the web and a decent amount of searching on eBay before ordering.  In the end, I chose an early (mid 1930’s to mid 1940’s) Gillette Tech.  It’s a three piece design which is about as simple as it can be.  It’s all nickle plated brass instead of pressed, cheap sheet metal.  It’s also recommended for those starting into traditional wet shaving.

My Gillette Fat Handle Tech razor

My Gillette Fat Handle Tech razor

My Gillette Fat Handle Tech razor - Other side

My Gillette Fat Handle Tech razor – Other side

If you’re wondering, yes, the Tech is sitting on the Nanjie case.  I’ll have to modify it a bit for the tech, but it will probably be worth it when traveling as it has a nice mirror in the top part.

Underside of the head

Underside of the head

That Nanjie was under $5 shipped and as I’ve said, I got what I paid for.  Actually, I think the case might just be worth it!  This tech was a little more at $18 shipped.  So, almost $14 more.  I haven’t shaved with it yet, but I can already tell you it’s really worth every penny!  It just feels solid and substantial in a way that the Nanjie just doesn’t.

Top of the base plate

Top of the base plate

Bottom of the base plate

Bottom of the base plate

The top plate really isn’t all that interesting on the Gillette Tech.  It’s just polished, smooth, has a threaded rod for connecting through the bottom plate and into the handle, and a horizontal bar for holding the blade in position.  The base plate, on the other hand, actually has some writing.  We can’t tell exactly when it was made as there is no date code, but I still like seeing what’s there :)

Like I said, I haven’t shaved with it yet.  It didn’t get here until about 1700 hrs and aside from being busy, I’ve been tired and miserable with some sort of cold.  I plan on scraping my face with it sometime tomorrow morning and I’ll try to get a post up shortly thereafter :wink:

Have a great day, everyone :mrgreen:

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2 September 2014 – Switching Shaving Systems

So, I’ve had a bit of an issue with shaving lately.  My electric shaver has always given me issues, but it’s getting worse.  It’s causing irritation, ingrown hairs, and missing a bunch of spots among other things.

I switched to an electric to save money over cartridge razors.  As you can see below from the pic below taken at Walmart today, some are nearly $5 each.  Pardon me for saying it, but that’s just crazy.

Four blades for twenty dollars.  At Walmart.  Too expensive!!!

Four blades for twenty dollars. At Walmart. Too expensive!!!

I got to thinking about this.  I need to get rid of my beard partially for job hunting, but also because of my CPAP mask.  I don’t want another electric for all the reasons electric shavers suck, but I also don’t want to cough up a ton of cash I don’t have for razor cartridges…  What could I do that would work and not crash my budget like a teenager in a sports car?

An assortment of premium double edge blades - Under five dollars shipped on eBay!

An assortment of premium double edge blades – Under five dollars shipped on eBay!

These re-branded blades are five for only $1!

These re-branded blades are five for only $1!

My answer came to me in the form of an older technology.  Those colorful wrappers you see above are double edge razor blades :)  I’ve found different brands anywhere from $.05 to over $2 per blade.  There are quite a few places on eBay where you can get them for around $10 per 100 blades :D

My Nanjie razor in its travel case

My Nanjie razor in its travel case

The razor head so you can see Nanjie on one of the doors

The razor head so you can see Nanjie on one of the doors

So, double edge blades are cheap.  Trouble is, you need something to hold them.  There are a couple different ways to go with that, but I chose a traditional double edge safety razor :)

Now, saying I want a double edge safety razor is kind of like saying I want a car.  I’ve seen them go for anywhere from under $5 to over $400.  You can get new or vintage.  Fixed or adjustable.  Twist to open, two piece, or three piece.  Heavy or light.  Long or short.  It’s really a maze of options!

The razor you see above was less that $5 shipped and I got it because I got confused and thought it was a different one.  This one’s a Nanjie where I thought I was ordering a Weishi.  There is a difference.

My Nanjie razor was a bit tweaked when it showed up.

My Nanjie razor was a bit tweaked when it showed up.

Both sides were tweaked.

Both sides were tweaked.

This is a razor alright.  It’s a twist to open (click here for a video that explains the different types and more) with a non-adjustable head.  And it turns out it was under $5 shipped for a reason.  Let’s just say that if it were an airplane, I’d insist on the plane having a recovery parachute, each person in the plane having an ejection seat, and everyone would be in a NASCAR fire suit and full face helmet before I’d fly it.  Quality control was lacking to say the least.

One end of the razor - Note how the parts in red align.

One end of the razor – Note how the parts in red align.

Other end of the razor - Note how the parts in red align.

Other end of the razor – Note how the parts in red align.

The parts circled in red above should be the same distance from the top of the razor on both ends.  You can easily see that this was NOT the case here.

One side after I did my best to straighten it out

One side after I did my best to straighten it out

The other side after I did my best to straighten it out

The other side after I did my best to straighten it out

I did my best to tweak the safety guard bars with a pair of needle nose pliers.  Trouble is I don’t know what’s mild or aggressive or what the space should be between that guard and the blade.  Also, it’s still not quite straight.

Blade exposure on one side

Blade exposure on one side

Blade exposure on the other side

Blade exposure on the other side

Well, at least it holds the blade firmly and about the same amount sticks out on both sides :D

I did actually shave with it this evening.  No, I didn’t use the Nanjie brand blade as I’ve heard nothing but horrible reviews about them.  I dropped one of my $.20 Family Dollar blades in it, foamed my face with Barbisol, and went to work.  I’d watched a few YouTube videos, so I had a rough idea of what to do.  I ended up with a decent shave.  I had one cut under my nose and a few spots where I hit a high spot a bit hard, but a styptic pencil took care of them quickly.  There was a bit of irritation under my neck as well.  Other than that, it went pretty well :cool:

Now, that’s actually not the end of the story.  I still have a technique to develop, possible new types of shaving cream, shaving soap, balms, and more to try.  But it’s even a little more than that.  Shortly after I ordered this Nanjie razor, I found out that I’d made a mistake and I ordered a different one :)  You’ll have to just stick around to find out what that other one is :wink:

Have a great day, everyone :mrgreen:

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May 2014 – My First Fly Fishing Outfit!

So, I’ve been out at the fishing pond a few times when it was getting late.  The wind had died down to nothing, but the water’s glassy smooth surface was being frequently disturbed from below.  All sorts of trout were coming to the surface to slurp up bugs and a few even jumped quite a ways out of the water!

The fish were rising :cool:

Now, I’ve had a few tools in my tackle for a while that would allow me to target these fish, but I felt I wanted something more…  I’ve seen people up at the Fairgrounds Pond with their fly rods and it just seemed like an interesting and good time.  You’d have to concentrate and push pretty much everything out of your mind for a while to do it right…  Kind of like shooting and motorcycle riding only a lot less expensive :)

Trouble is I’m between jobs and I don’t have much money…

20 May 2014 - My new fly fishing outfit still in the box

20 May 2014 – My new fly fishing outfit still in the box

A thought occurred to me while I was fishing though – I did have some resources.  I thought it over and finally took one of my .22 rifles and some .22LR ammo down to the local pawn shop.  I’m not going to even get into dollar amounts (so don’t ask :wink: ), but I only had to use part of the proceeds from those items to procure this fly rod and reel :)  The list price was $39.95, but I got it for a few dollars less by going through Walmart’s website and doing an in store pickup :thumb:

The listing on Walmart’s website shows a slightly different item than what I got, but the UPC matched.  Click here to see the listing.  The only things it didn’t come with were a spool of tippet material and some flies.  I already have a few flies and tippet material is cheap, so I was good to go :)

24 May 2014 - Markings on my fly rod

24 May 2014 – Markings on my fly rod

Good fishing rods should have some stats printed on them and this one was no exception.  What you see above indicates that this rod is eight feet, six inches long, it’s made for five or six weight fly line, and it comes apart into three pieces.

24 May 2014 - Left side of my fly reel

24 May 2014 – Left side of my fly reel

24 May 2014 - Right side of my fly reel

24 May 2014 – Right side of my fly reel

The reel on a fly rod is usually generally a place to store line you’re not using is is usually pretty simple.  I really don’t get people spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a fly reel, but it’s a (mostly) free country.  This reel isn’t close to the best (nor does it need to be), but it should do the trick.  The drag is a click drag and goes both ways.  I could switch from left to right side retrieve, but I think I’m going to leave it alone.  Aside from the time it would take to switch sides, I think I’ll like having my right hand dedicated to casting :)

24 May 2014 - This should give you an idea of how long this rod is :)

24 May 2014 – This should give you an idea of how long this rod is :)

One thing that was kind of unexpected was just how LONG this thing is  :wtf2:  I mean yes, it tells you that it’s eight feet six inches long, but that’s just an abstract thought.  You get to realize this when you assemble the rod.  Then you pick it up and with the butt about four feet (give or take a little) off the ground, that tip is nearly thirteen feet in the air  :shock:

I finally got it assembled and out into the front yard for some casting practice.  I did make a few mistakes and had a few tangles, but overall I think it went as good as or better than can be expected :)  One thing I did was follow the advice I’ve seen all over online regarding flies while practicing.  Most places say use a piece of yarn in place of a fly when practicing so you don’t accidentally hook yourself.  I didn’t have any yarn, so I used a bit of outer sheathing from a piece of blaze orange paracord :cool:  I think I’ll be just fine when I finally get to fish with it :D

Well, that’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon :wink:  Have a great day :mrgreen:

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24 May 2014 – Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

It had been a long time since Cindy or I had been out to the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry and Ember had never been there.  We had a bit of free time and we enjoy good scenery, so we decided to head out and have a good time together :)

24 May 2014 - Antelope!

24 May 2014 – Antelope!

24 May 2014 - Antelope!

24 May 2014 – Antelope!

As I said, there’s a lot of incredible scenery around this part of Utah.  There’s also a great abundance of animals if you keep your head up and your eyes out :wink:

This antelope (pronounced an-tell-uh-pee for the sake of humor) was right by the road and wasn’t spooked by us, but another car did spook him before I could get the camera up to take a shot.  I think these two still turned out pretty decent :cool:

24 May 2014 - Desert wildflowers at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – Desert wildflowers at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

It is spring out here in the desert, so we’ve been getting some pretty wildflowers :)

24 May 2014 - Preserved dig site at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – Preserved dig site at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 - Preserved dig site at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – Preserved dig site at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

A whole lot of dinosaurs that have come out of this place over the years.  This dig site has been preserved as a way for visitors to see how it’s done.  Yes, all that you see in the two pics above is real :thumb:

24 May 2014 - Our usual view of Ember is from behind as she takes off

24 May 2014 – Our usual view of Ember is from behind as she takes off

24 May 2014 - She seems to be wondering what's taking us so long

24 May 2014 – She seems to be wondering what’s taking us so long

24 May 2014 - Ember running away just before an epic face plant!  Don't worry - She's fine :)

24 May 2014 – Ember running away just before an epic face plant! Don’t worry – She’s fine :)

I couldn’t help but include a few pics including Ember :D  She did really good, but she was scared by a large group of loud kids and by some of the fossils.  I can’t blame her a bit with how little she still is.  I think she had a good time overall :)

24 May 2014 - "Al" the allosaurus at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – “Al” the allosaurus at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 - "Al" the allosaurus at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – “Al” the allosaurus at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 - "Al" the allosaurus at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – “Al” the allosaurus at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

Don’t ask me how I got these pics as sharp as I did.  They were hand held with indirect light and no flash.  OK, I cheated on the last one and used a railing as a camera rest :wink:

24 May 2014 - Panorama - View from the visitor's center at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – Panorama – View from the visitor’s center at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

Last, but not least is this panorama stitched from a few pics I took at the back door of the visitor’s center.  If you’re ever in the area, I recommend stopping by.  It’s well worth the drive even if only for the scenery :)

Have a great day, everyone :mrgreen:

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New Spectacles

In April, I had an eye exam at the VA Sepulveda ACC in the San Fernando Valley.

The ones I had from three years ago are wearing a bit.

These arrived in today’s mail. Titanium Frames……………………………………

new specs

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