Halloween 2014

One of the kids’ favorite times is Halloween. They love getting dressed up and of course collecting a lot of candy! They got to do both. Matthew was a Storm Trooper from Star Wars, and Hayley was Elsa from the animation movie, Frozen. They got to decorate their own pumpkins they got when they visited the pumpkin farms for school field trips. Julie carved a Picachoo Pokemon in the 3rd pumpkin.

We went over to my parents’ house and took some photos. Unfortunately, Alan didn’t arrive to just after 6pm and Ken and his family had to leave.

As usual, we went over to the Baywood community were Craig and Susan Live. We set out and caught up to Leah, but then she stayed with some of her neighborhood friends. Ethan being older, he was with his school friends. It was just the wife and the kids. Craig did catch up to us later on. After we did the immediate neighborhood, Julie and Matthew went down to Avilla St where they block off the road to vehicle traffic. It is quite packed down there. I stayed with Hayley. Craig showed me a video of the old Volvo 122s modified and smoking them rear wheels.

Before all the festivities, I managed to shoot some photos of the kids in front of the house before heading out to my parents’ house. I put together a collage of their photos. It has been awhile since I have put one of these together. I had to rattle my memory on the sizing.

Happy Halloween!!!

Tamiya RC Cars

Back in the day some 30 years ago, all my brothers and I got into RC cars made by Tamiya. I believe I was about 9 or 10 years old.

My very first RC car that I had to build was a Tamiya Pajaro. It was a small 1/10th scale RC car that did wheelies. I hated that it did wheelies because I wanted to race around like my other brothers’ cars. Learning from my mistake, I did a lot of research and figuring out which next one to buy that will allow me to not make wheelies as well as I can race around with my brothers’ cars. I decided on the Hornet. My older brother settled on the Grasshopper which was a slower version of the Hornet. They both had the same chassis, but the motor in the Grasshopper was slower and the body of course was different than the Hornet. My younger brother settled on the cool Fast Attack Vehicle (FAV). For some reason, my younger brother’s cars never worked very well. There was something always wrong with his gear boxes that made the cars sound like they were grinding more gears than they should be doing. In the end, with a few upgrades here and there, my car was the fastest. I really loved my Hornet. Turns out Tamiya is no longer the #1 RC car maker, but they did re-released the Hornet a few times and is still available for purchase to this day. Here is what it looked like:

hornet

My younger brother was helping clean out the RV sitting in front my of parents’ house all these years. He found some old RC cars and parts. He was super excited about trying to get back into the RC car world. I found my old Hornet in my garage unfortunately in pieces. With his excitement rubbing onto me, I decided to bring my beloved Hornet back to life.

The Hornet needed a lot of TLC. The old controller still worked the servos in the car. The car needed an overhaul of the shocks, gearbox, and front steering knuckles. Finding the parts in the box and having to order parts online from various sources including ebay. I managed to get the poor thing running again. I bought a new battery who’s capacity is 3x’s the amount of the old ones. It ran pretty well. Rough, but well. My goal is to let Matthew learn to drive this one and maybe later get him a new car that hopefully he can build himself, or we build it together. As a youth, I learned a lot about fixing and repairing the vehicles when we damaged them. I learned how to solder wires as well. There were skills obtained through this hobby that I wish Matthew to learn and acquire for himself.

Other things bought: I bought a ton of Amazon branded rechargeable AA batteries and an 8 battery charger. I bought a new Tenergy battery charger to charge the battery for the car. Most of the battery items were bought off Amazon. Parts for the car are hard to come by these days since it is so old and the industry has moved on.

More to come!

Portland, Oregon Family Photography Trip

October 25-27th we took a trip up to Portland, Oregon. The goal for me was to photograph the Japanese Maple Tree in the Portland Japanese Garden. The forecast was rain all weekend. Luckily, the weather was off and on rain, with it heavy at times.

The family came along to check out the sites. Jon, Abi, and Todd came down from the Seattle area. Unfortunately, Jon and Abi had to drive back after lunch on Sunday, but Todd hung out with us for the rest of the day. He even booked one more night in the hotel.

It was a good flight up and back. We gate checked our bags, and we were allowed on earlier than expected. The plane to Portland had electrical outlets, but the plane on the way to SF was a slightly older one and it did not have an electrical outlet. Each seat had its own USB AND regular electrical plug outlets for the laptop cable. Alaska Air does get your bags to you very quickly. They have a 20 minute policy or you get a discount or some other benefit.

The Fairfield Marriott Hotel was very good. The breakfast as good as well where one can make their own waffles. I prefer waffles over pancakes. Parking was also free. In the local area, there were 2 other Marriott brand hotels: Courtyard and Residence Inn. We upgraded to a “suite” room, but the room was a little bigger with a seating area slightly separate from the sleeping area. I would stay at this location again, but it was a little difficult to get to. You had to drive down a narrow road with cars parked on either side as well as more dense condo/apartment building like density. The location was a bit north near the Washington boarder, but it was still easy to get to places we needed to go to.

For the next trip up to Portland, I want to wade through the Columbia Gorge and head to Oneonta Gorge as well as the Punchbowl Falls for the next trip up there.

Until next time, Portland!

United Airlines’ Family Day October 2014

United had their Family day again to coincide with the Navy’s Fleet Week and the Blue Angels. Ricky W got me just 4 tickets for the family to attend. I had forgotten we had a birthday party to go to in the middle of the day so we decided to do as much as possible right after swim class. The event began at 11am and finishes around 4pm. We parked and went right in.

They had a 767 in the back to enter. There was also a 757 Fed Ex plane converted from passenger type craft to a cargo plane. I didn’t get a chance to enter that one, but I imagine it was quite empty inside to maximize cargo. Plus, it reminded me of the movie with Tom Hanks, Castaway. They had a 737 that was painted in vintage United logo, but it was not open to tour for some reason. The kids had a little bit of time in the jumpy jumps.

It was a bit rushed, but we got to go and see the planes up close. The kids sat in first class, which are a neat little pod. I’d love to sit in one of those one day.

Here are the pics of the family. Here is a link to the plane photography I took.

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