Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Plan A / Plan B

The Post I should have published on Monday would have began with something like this:

Partly to escape the sweltering heat, partly to introduce an out of state visitor the the San Bernardino National Forest, we started up the grade and were greeted with the stunning vista of blooming flora, blue skies and the rest of nature's splendor.

And, I stick to that. It was true. Unfortunately, the next photo and caption would have been this:

Nick adds coolant to Jimmy's Jeep which dramatically
overheated 20 minutes into the trip. Game over.

The stunning vista in the first photo was taken while Nick and Jimmy cooled Jimmy's Jeep down and determined that the issue was an internal one which could not be corrected by a roadside repair.

We nursed it home and I ended up spending the day with The Saint That I Am Married To (Yay), shopping for sinks, toilets, ceiling fans and other fixtures (boo).


The post that I should have published on Tuesday should have opened with a stunning photo of fireworks, the colors streaming across the image. Sadly, it was not to be. This was the best I could get:

Fireworks photo by Schmoe, dull because the idiot
forgot the tripod and had to use a fast shutter speed
and hold the camera by hand. Moron.

Note the little white/orange dots in the lower portion of the image. They will be discussed below.

Three spot fires, caused by the City's fireworks show.
The show was held up for over an hour while crews
extinguished the fires.

We have been traveling to this city to watch fireworks ever since I was a little kid. They launch the fireworks from the top of a hill that is covered by dead, dry grass and brush. About 50% of the time, the spot fires become large enough to cause the show to be halted while the fires are extinguished.

A guy I went to the academy with works for their fire department and has worked the fireworks show numerous times. He says that you can hear the drunks that are attending parties at the houses along the bottom of the hill cheering when the hill catches on fire.

He said that he heard the drunks cheering when he blew out his knee while fighting a fire on the fourth a few years ago. That injury cost his employer over $60,000 by the time he was all healed up. More, I am sure, than they paid for the fireworks display.

Couldn't they find a nice oil refinery to set off the fireworks from?


This morning's post should have been about me having to leave my beloved Canon 7D at the camera doctor's for a few days.

It would have been a woeful tale. Full of angst, grief, wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. A real tragedy of the modern era.

Happily, it was not to be. Yesterday, The Saint and I made the trek to the Canon Express Service Center, located in Irvine, CA.

It was like an urgent care center for cameras. We arrived late in the morning and found a waiting room full of about 15 people. We took a number and waited around for about an hour before meeting with the triage nurse service rep, who listened to my issue and performed a secondary survey on my camera. His assessment/diagnoses concurred with mine and a treatment plan was developed.

Our disagreement was on how long my camera would be required to stay. I was hoping to pick it up in a few hours. We could drive down to the beach, have lunch, walk out on the pier and peruse the shops, then stop by and pick up the camera on our way back to the baking desert. The triage nurse service rep didn't think that would be possible as they were swamped from the post holiday rush. Apparently, Americans don't treat their cameras very well around alcohol and water.

I sniveled and groveled and pleaded and begged. Finally,  the triage nurse service rep said "let me go check" and disappeared with my camera for about five minutes. He returned with my camera and said that it was all better. The offending micro-switch had been replaced., all we had left to do was fill out the paperwork and head for the beach. As it was a warranty item, there was no charge and the best part is that I will return to  work tomorrow with my good camera. Thanks Canon - you rock!

Since we were down by the coast, we had to go to the beach.

Jr. Lifeguard camp in action.

Though the locals considered it a hot day, we desert dwellers found it near perfect weather-wise. We had lunch, walked the pier and went to a street fair. 

After an afternoon at the beach, we decided to attend an Angels game. We bought cheap seats from a broker and had a blast. The cheap seats almost made up for the $12 beer. It was a warm night, a perfect one for baseball.

Although the day did not go according to plan, it actually turned out to be the best day of the summer so far.

Nothing has been going to plan over the past few days. An electrical issue at the crib has sidelined my posting as has the lack of internet at the place we are staying. I go back to work tomorrow and hope to get back on schedule.

Regardless, we had a great weekend, I hope yours was as good as mine.

Thanks for reading,

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