Paul’s 30th Birthday Camping Trip

Paul decided on a camping trip for his 30th birthday, to House Rock campground 25 miles outside of Sweet Home. A nice campground that’s nearly 3/4’s the way up the pass. It’s remote to say the least!

As Saturday neared, the weather was looking pretty crappy and Paul wasn’t sure what to do. He had a quarter barrel of Mirror Pond and wasn’t sure about a backup location. So we encouraged him to go ‘Oregon Camping’ and drink extra to compensate for the rain. As I headed out, the weather was indeed looking very shitty. But the plan worked and nearly everyone was able to come. A great time for sure under out hobo tarp city!


Paul’s 30th Gallery

Happy Birthday, Paul!

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Birthday Trip to Jaguar Wine Country Classic

I’m waaay behind on my blogging, so here goes!

Shana surprised me last minute with a trip to Napa valley for the Jaguar Wine Country Classic Historic Car races. The feature this year was late 60’s/early 70’s trans-am cars. Mustangs, Corvettes, Camaros and the like were all in attendance representing the last of the good years from SCCA racing. And what a display of beautiful examples, these cars were all in perfect and restored condition — and then they ran the shit out of them! I have a lot of respect for that!

We drove down very early on Friday, and stayed in nearby Petaluma. Shana found this quaint little European-style hotel, Metro Hotel & Cafe.

The room was an astounding $89 a night and was cleverly appointed with bright colors against white walls, and just enough amenities to make your stay comfortable. And with wireless internet, I played a little poker… Naturally!

While in Petaluma, we discovered that their downtown is experiencing renewed growth and is starting to resemble the surrounding valley towns, with new shops, restaurants and bars. We had Sushi Friday night at Hiro’s, and it was probably the nicest Sushi place I’ve been to. Attention to detail was to the extreme, and the sushi was only the best of the fish. The downside is that the best part doesn’t equal a large portion, Amatsu has spoiled me!

Saturday night after the races, the cars make a parade lap through Sonoma and park on the square. This sounded like a good time, but the square was loaded with people. We decided to find a place to sit and have some appetizers and drinks on the square to watch the cars circle by. The place we found was the Ledson Hotel.

We were a bit under dressed to say the least, and the pompous waiter did his best to appear unamused with our decision to visit his restaurant. But we stayed nonetheless and had some of the most decadent appetizers I’ve ever had the pleasure of sampling. Shana had the fresh spinach ravioli w/ grilled asparagus, and I had the appetizer sampler with fresh spring roll, and some other delicacies I can’t recall. And in honesty, the bill of ~$40 with a few drinks was quite reasonable. We’ll have to come back and stay there sometime, only $400 a night 😉

And of course, no Sears Point visit is complete without a stop by the ‘The Meat Store’. I got the prosciutto sandwich, and it’s just as good as I remembered, piled about 2 inches thick! Angelo makes his own meats, olives, salsas, jerky, and seasonings. So when you stop in, the portions are very generous, and being only 10 minutes from the track is the perfect location!

A wonderful and relaxing weekend getaway from my wife, Thank You Honey!

Complete gallery.

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Two Great Weekends

The weekend before last, I went out to see Mom and Dad in Indianapolis. It was Mother’s day and it seemed like a perfect time for a nice little getaway. Treated to great food, drink and company made the weekend a perfect success! Click the picture for the gallery:

And this past weekend, Shana and I were talking under the influence on Friday night and playfully suggested to each other that we should go back up the coast and finish our trip to Seaside. When I woke up Saturday I didn’t think we were going and Shana surprised me and insisted we go! We stayed the night in Seaside and then went to Astoria Sunday morning. Astoria is definitely where we should’ve stayed though, a very cool town with lots to do downtown. We’ll be back 😉 Click the pic for the gallery… And who knows, maybe I’ll actually get some links into the gallery section as well…



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Scott’s Stryker Gets Hit, He’s OK

Here’s our conversation:

[13:04] rubleytj: Hey Scott, what’s up?
[13:04] bojodaddy: not much
[13:04] bojodaddy: how are you
[13:04] bojodaddy: well i shouldnt say not much
[13:04] bojodaddy: my stryker got blown up by a car bomb today
[13:04] rubleytj: holy shit, how are you?
[13:04] bojodaddy: luckily all my guys are ok
[13:05] bojodaddy: im fine
[13:05] bojodaddy: just a bad headache and earache
[13:05] rubleytj: jesus, do these guys know you only have a few months left or what??
[13:05] bojodaddy: i dont think they care
[13:05] bojodaddy: its was in a residental area too
[13:05] bojodaddy: killed at least 10 kids
[13:06] rubleytj: oh man, that’s terrible. Is the armour on the Stryker not up to snuff, or are the bombs getting bigger and bigger?
[13:06] bojodaddy: the bombs are getting bigger and better
[13:06] bojodaddy: the stryker is ready to roll again
[13:07] bojodaddy: it blew up 5 tires, our drivers thermal camera, a periscope in the drivers hatch and a headlamp
[13:07] rubleytj: the cabin wasn’t ruptured then I take it?
[13:07] bojodaddy: no
[13:07] rubleytj: well that’s good I guess. Probably couldn’t drive though
[13:07] bojodaddy: in the last month our battalion has been hit by about 15 car bombs
[13:08] rubleytj: how many strykers were on with you?
[13:08] bojodaddy: it drove back to our FOB
[13:08] bojodaddy: we roll out with 4
[13:08] bojodaddy: 4 in one platoon
[13:08] rubleytj: sorry, still learning! Are they suicide bombers, or remote detonated bombs that happen to be in cars?
[13:09] bojodaddy: when we first got here, it was just bombs made out of artillery shells, that they layed on the side of the road
[13:09] bojodaddy: those are called IED’s
[13:09] bojodaddy: improvised explosive devices
[13:10] bojodaddy: then they graduated to what we call VBIED’s vehicular born IED;s
[13:10] bojodaddy: where theyed park them on the side of the road and detonate them as we drove by
[13:10] bojodaddy: now its gone to suicide VBIED’s where they drive them into us
[13:11] rubleytj: damn, that is fucked
[13:11] bojodaddy: yeah
[13:11] rubleytj: do you get some downtime now?
[13:11] bojodaddy: umm
[13:11] bojodaddy: no
[13:11] rubleytj: this is just routine now, huh?
[13:11] bojodaddy: that happend at 1145 this morning, we went back out at 7pm tonight
[13:12] bojodaddy: and we go out again tommorrow
[13:12] bojodaddy: luckily, only 2 guys were wounded
[13:12] bojodaddy: one of them, my vehicle commander, or vc for short
[13:12] bojodaddy: was knocked out, got a pretty good concusiojn
[13:12] bojodaddy: the blast hit right below the side of my hatch, it knocked me down into the stryker, and him at the same time
[13:13] bojodaddy: it took me a second to realize i was still alive, then i grabbed my vc, and saw that he was unconcious
[13:13] bojodaddy: luckily my platoon medic was riding on my stryker today
[13:13] bojodaddy: so he started helping him
[13:14] bojodaddy: i thought he was hurt bad at first, but there was no blood, and doc got a pulse right away, so i knew he was just unconcious
[13:14] bojodaddy: the other guy, was in the stryker in front of mine and caught some shrapnel in the back of the neck
[13:15] bojodaddy: we rushed them to the hospital, chris, my vc was back with us about 2 hours later, he had a cat scan
[13:15] bojodaddy: and gabe, had surgery to have the piece of shrapnel removed, missed his spinal cord by an inch
[13:15] rubleytj: thank god
[13:15] bojodaddy: hell be back with us tommorros
[13:15] bojodaddy: tommorrow
[13:16] bojodaddy: this last month has been pretty bad
[13:16] bojodaddy: lots of ieds, and suicide vbieds
[13:16] bojodaddy: yeah
[13:16] bojodaddy: im ready to get the fuck out of here
[13:16] bojodaddy: you can only take so much of getting blown up

Just a few more months buddy, hang tight!

dc

Sergeant First Class Bojonowski

A couple of weeks ago, an old friend was in town and Paul and I were able to meet up with him briefly for lunch. But alot’s changed in ten years! Scott is still married to Janet and they now have two boys – both following the standing Bojonowski tradition of looking like their father. Sharp too, the little guy is quiet, but he’s listening to every word!

But as good as it was too see Scott and his family, he was heading back to Iraq to finish up his time there, which is about 6 more months. Scott is in infantry and pilots the Stryker:

To say he’s close to the action is an understatement. He was at the base that was attacked by the car bomb just after Christmas. You’ll probably remember the incident because it was a surprise to our forces how the car bomb got so close, exploding in the cafeteria. Here’s the story.

Here’s the video that was recovered by the military that the terrorists put together documenting their attack.

It’s frightening how big that explosion was, and I can only express how amazed and happy I am that Scott and most of his crew are alive. Scott said it was a 5000lb load. He said he couldn’t hear for a few days, and that just following the explosion they were under attack for a couple of hours requiring air support to finally put an end to the chaos.

Talking with Scott has been a real eye opener for me. I have been decidedly naive and ignorant about our involvement in Iraq, and I disapprove of our presence there. But I support our troops 100% in their efforts.

Thank you for being so brave, Scott. Come home safe soon!

dc

Quick Trip Up the Coast

Last Sunday I was inspired. No, I was on a mission! Saturday we sat around on the couch and blew away an entire day. Literally, we did nothing! It doesn’t happen very often and I thought we’d enjoy it, but at the end of the day it felt like a waste. So Sunday, we were going to do something!

tillamook april 2005 020

Shana wasn’t exactly on the same page, but we settled on a drive somewhere we hadn’t been before. I suggested Crater Lake, because Shana’s been on my ass to go there since we’ve been dating. And it figures, I’m finally excited to go, and there’s still snow there. We also recognized we’ve never been to Astoria before and figured, why not?!

tillamook april 2005 015

After a late start trying to get Sleeping Beauty out of bed, we hit the road about 10:00am (Those of you who have been to Astoria can just figure this as foreshadowing…) We decided to take the scenic route via highway 22, to a small stretch of road called Little Nestucca River Road, that ends up just outside Pacific City. Along that stretch we took these pics of the M3. Turned out pretty good considering we used the snapshot camera w/o a tripod, at noon, in hazy conditions, within about 15 minutes.

tillamook april 2005 014

Anyway, we stopped at the Pelican Brewery for lunch in Pacific City, a favorite spot when nearby. After filling up for $2.70 a gallon for super (Way to go W, looks like that little war is working out great…), we continued our trip. After getting through Tillamook we realized the Northern Oregon Coast is nowhere near as nice as the Southern Oregon Coast. And the farther we got, the more it rained. And it was slow going and pretty gray. Before too long, it was already 3pm and considering how long it would take to get back, we bagged it.

Guess we’ll have to finish that trip another time. But I needed this post as an excuse to post up the M3 glamour shots, hehehehe…

dc

Summit in Honolulu

Oops, stale content! Blogger Procrastination! Where to start…?

Honolulu Report, short story: Honolulu has too many people in a small area to be enjoyed. The density is unbelievable, and the first trip to our hotel highlighted that point. You can barely see the mountains in the background due to the numerous high rise hotels that stretch the entire beach of Waikiki. Then you look down and the place is dirty, which is ironic considering all the exclusive shops along this stretch like Burberry, Cartier, Louis Vitton, etc…

But there’s more to Oahu than Honolulu, and when we drove the entire island on one of my days off, we got to see a lot great beaches and amazing waves. Even a couple turtles out of the water to rest.

And the B&B we stayed at (http://home.hawaii.rr.com/jnbshaven/) was a pleasant break from Waikiki. At $85 a night, it’s a bargain considering that includes tax and a wonderful fresh fruit oriented breakfast each morning. Situated in Hawaii Kai outside of Honolulu, this was a nice place to stay and there’s lots of restaurants nearby so there’s no need to go back to the craziness of Waikiki once there.

I was glad we got the chance to go someplace nice on business, but it’s not on my list of places to return to. I’ll get a web gallery together soon.

dc

What a week!

Just finishing up my fourth week in the new job, and I’m really enjoying how things are coming along. Lots of new projects in the works that should really improve business on EM’s website(s).

Today, the folks from Gene’s Antennae Service are hooking us up with Dish Network satellite service. We’ve been Directv customers since my Junior year at OSU, and I have no complaints — EXCEPT we’re ready to upgrade to Tivo and Directv requires a home phone line (which we don’t have anymore) to be connected at all times and were unwilling to admit that there’s no need for it (a little web research reveals that the phone line is advertised as required for the Tivo guide updates, but in reality, the updates can come via the satellite or even internet.) And guess what, Dish Network doesn’t require that for their DVR service, plus they’re bringing in all new equipment for three rooms (we’ve had the same one room only equipment since the beginning), installing the dish and wiring, and it only requires us to keep a 12 month contract. You lose Directv!

Yesterday, Gran Turismo 4 arrived at our doorstep, WOO HOO! And without a doubt, it’s a dramatic improvement in every aspect. Better detail in backgrounds, the spectators are interactive and 3 dimensional now, 750 cars! and the cars sound amazing (especially at idle), and the new tracks — The Nürburgring and Sears Point??? Come on, this is too cool to be true! But the best part of the new game is the re-tooled physics engine. These cars actually feel like they have mass now, which really makes the stable platform theory a must use technique! Wings, suspensions and tires no longer make up for poor driving technique. I tried out the 86 Ruf BTR on the ‘ring last night… Good thing I don’t have one in real life, she’s a handful after two Heineken’s!

And speaking of racing, the Rabbit is making her 2005 debut this weekend in a two day Audi Club Track Day at Portland International Raceway. I went last year in the 337 and had an amazing time. Great folks, a well run event without being too stuffy, and the most track time I’ve had in one day — And this year, the event is two days long! SWEET! Thanks again Paul for building one of the most reliable cars we could’ve dreamed of!

Well that’s enough filler for one day, have a good weekend all!

dc