Tuesday 29 January 2013

Idiot Sightings.......

My daughter and I went through the McDonalds take-away window and I gave the girl a £5 note. Our total was £4.20, so I also handed her a Twenty pence piece. 
She said, 'you gave me too much money.' 
I said, 'Yes I know, but this way you can just give me £1 back.' 
She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me back the 20 pence and said 'We're sorry but they could not do that kind of thing.' 
The girl then proceeded to give me back 80 pence in change.. 
Do not confuse the girls at MacD's. 
We had to have the garage door repaired. The GARADOR repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a 'large' enough motor on the opener. 
I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one GARADOR made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower. He shook his head and said, 'Lady, you need a  
¼ horsepower.' I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4 and he said, 'NOOO, it's not. Four is larger than two.' 
We haven't used Garador repair since. Happened in Bromley , Kent UK  
I live in a semi rural area. We recently had a new neighbour call the Highways Department to request the removal of the DEER CROSSING sign on our road. The reason: 'Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.' 
Story from Crayford , Kent , UK  
My daughter went to a local Kentucky Fried and ordered a Mexican taco. She asked the person behind the counter for'minimum lettuce.' He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce. 
From Gillingham Kent , UK . 

I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an Irish airport employee asked, 
 'Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?' 
To which I replied, 'If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?' 
He smiled knowingly and nodded, 'That's why we ask.' 
Happened Luton Airport ...... UK 
The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it's safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged co-worker of mine.. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. 
Appalled, she responded, 'What on earth are blind people doing driving?!' 
She is a Local County Council employee in Dartford Kent, UK 
When my husband and I arrived at Our Local Ford dealer to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver
s side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. 'Hey,' I announced to the Mechanic "It's open!' 
His reply, 'I know. I already did that side.' 
This was at the Ford dealership in St Albans, 
  Hertfordshire UK. 
They walk among us... and the scary part is that is they have the 

Monday 21 January 2013

A letter home.......

Dear Mum,

Our Scoutmaster told us to write to our parents in case you saw the flood on TV and got worried. We are okay. Only one of our tents and 2 sleeping bags got washed away. Luckily, none of us got drowned because we were all up on the mountain looking for Adam when it happened.

Oh yes, please call Adam's mother and tell her he is okay. He can't write because of the cast. I got to ride in one of the search and rescue Jeeps. It was great. We never would have found Adam in the dark if it hadn't been for the lightning.

Scoutmaster Ted got mad at Adam for going on a hike alone without telling anyone. Adam said he did tell him, but it was during the fire so he probably didn't hear him. Did you know that if you put gas on a fire, the gas will blow up?

The wet wood didn't burn, but one of the tents did and also some of our clothes.
Matthew is going to look weird until his hair grows back.

We will be home on Saturday if Scoutmaster Ted gets the bus fixed. It wasn't his fault about the crash. The brakes worked okay when we left. Scoutmaster Ted said that with a bus that old, you have to expect something to break down; that's probably why he can't get insurance.

We think it's a super bus. He doesn't care if we get it dirty, and if it's hot, sometimes he lets us ride on the bumpers. It gets pretty hot with 45 people in a bus made for 24. He let us take turns riding in the trailer until the policeman stopped and talked to us.

Scoutmaster Ted is a neat guy. Don't worry, he is a good driver. In fact, he is teaching Horace how to drive on the mountain roads where there aren't any cops. All we ever see up there are huge logging trucks.

This morning all of the guys were diving off the rocks and swimming out to the rapids. Scoutmaster Ted wouldn't let me because I can't swim, and Adam was afraid he would sink because of his cast (it's concrete because we didn't have any plaster), so he let us take the canoe out. It was great. You can still see some of the trees under the water from the flood.

Scoutmaster Ted isn't crabby like some scoutmasters. He didn't even get mad about the life jackets. He has to spend a lot of time working on the bus so we are trying not to cause him any trouble.

Guess what? We have all passed our first aid merit badges. When Andrew dived into the lake and cut his arm, we all got to see how a tourniquet works.

Steve and I threw up, but Scoutmaster Ted said it was probably just food poisoning from the left-over chicken. He said they got sick that way with food they ate in prison. I'm so glad he got out and became our scoutmaster. He said he sure figured out how to get things done better while he was doing his time. By the way, what is a pedal-file?

I have to go now. We are going to town to post our letters and buy some more beer and ammo. Don't worry about anything. We are fine and tonight it's my turn to sleep in the Scoutmaster's tent.
loving son

Monday 14 January 2013

Wonders Of The Golden West Part 15...

After a fantastic few days in San Francisco it was time to leave and head south to our first stop, Monteray , for refreshments and a short stop to look around taking in the sea otters basking in the bay, Cannery Row, the quaint shops, restaurants and buildings before taking the coast road where we saw lots of birds and seals.

We made our way to Pebble Beach along the 17mile drive spotting the Lone Cypress, which is the official symbol of Pebble Beach and a frequent fixture of television broadcasts from this area. We passed multimillion dollar homes, (including Whitney Houston's)  the Del Monte Estate, the Rolex clock and the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course before we reached our destination for lunch, Carmel.  
Carmel is known for being dog-friendly, with numerous hotels, restaurants and retail establishments admitting guests with dogs. Carmel is also known for several unusual laws, including a prohibition on wearing high-heel shoes without a permit, enacted to prevent lawsuits arising from tripping accidents caused by irregular pavement and it is where Clint Eastwood was Mayor for one term.  We grabbed a delicious ready-made sandwich and a drink from a local supermarket which we ate in the little park enjoying the sunshine before exploring the little town and taking some photos, then it was time to hit the road again, passing asparagus fields and Vandenberg Air Force Base to our destination for the night Lompoc.

After a good night's sleep the last day of our tour had arrived and we packed our suitcases for the last time, boarding the coach we headed south to our first stop of the day, Solvang.   Solvang was founded in 1911 by a group of Danes who travelled west to establish a Danish colony far from the midwestern winters. The city is home to a number of bakeries, restaurants, and merchants offering a taste of Denmark in California, it even has a windmill!

We would have liked to have spent more time in this pretty little town but we were pressed for time and needed to get on to our next stop, Santa Barbara, for lunch where we had a great pizza at Rusty's Pizza Place right there opposite the beach.    After lunch we had a mooch round the Beach House, where we admired the surf boards and purchased some t-shirts.

The bus was calling again to take us on the final leg of our journey down Ventura Highway to Malibu where we stopped for a group photograph and envied the beach front properties, before boarding the coach again for the last few miles back to Los Angeles and the Airport.   We passed Cher's house and Pepperdine University, which had a dramatic display of American flags on its expansive lawn beneath the Theme Tower - one flag for each of the nearly 3,000 lives lost on 9/11, a very poignant sight.   Our last views were of Santa Monica beach as we headed into LA and had to say goodbye to our travel companions and the Wonders Of The Golden West.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and have some wonderful memories, which will last forever.  I hope you've enjoyed our trip as much as we did .    Where will we go next you may be asking.   Well nothing has been decided yet, but CHINA has been mentioned, I'll let you know.

Monday 7 January 2013

Wonders Of The Golden West Part 14....

Christmas over it's now time to carry on with telling you more about our Wonders Of The Golden West Tour.  It was our last full day in San Francisco and our scheduled visit to Alcatraz.   On the boat trip across the bay we were amazed to see The Golden Gate Bridge shrouded in mist after how clear it had been the previous day when we had walked across it. 

Often referred to as "The Rock" the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, military fortification, a military prison (1868), and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963.  Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of Aboriginal Peoples from San Francisco who were part of a wave of Native activism across the nation with public protests through the 1970s. In 1972 Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

During the 29 years it was in use as a Federal Prison, the jail held some of the worst hoodlums America had ever known, such as Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz), George "Machine Gun" Kelly, Bumpy Johnson, Rafael Cancel Miranda (a member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party who attacked the United States Capitol building in 1954), Mickey Cohen, Arthur R. "Doc" Barker, James "Whitey" Bulger, and Alvin "Creepy" Karpis (who served more time at Alcatraz than any other inmate). It also provided housing for the Bureau of Prisons staff and their families.

During its 29 years of operation, the penitentiary claimed that no prisoner successfully escaped. A total of 36 prisoners made 14 escape attempts, two men trying twice; 23 were caught, six were shot and killed during their escape, two drowned, and five are listed as "missing and presumed drowned". The most violent occurred on May 2, 1946, when a failed escape attempt by six prisoners led to the Battle of Alcatraz. On June 11, 1962, Frank Morris, John Anglin, and Clarence Anglin carried out one of the most intricate escapes ever devised.  It was fascinating to tour the island prison and hear it's history and see how the prisoners lived.    I hope the slide show of pictures gives you some idea of what a bleak place Alcatraz is.


After an interesting morning on Alcatraz we boarded the boat for our return journey and made our way to Pier 39 to sample some Chowder for lunch before making our way to fulfil another ambition of riding a cable car. The cable car ride was great fun and I managed to video our ride up and down the steep San Francisco streets to our destination, Union Square,where we walked round Macy's before getting a cab back to our hotel for a much needed rest before getting ready for our final dinner in San Francisco, which we enjoyed at Fisherman's Grotto.
I've put together a slide show of where we had lunch etc and the video of our cable car ride, I hope you enjoy them.

Cable Car Video

Tuesday 1 January 2013