Personal and Family

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!


Automotive Personal and Family Ramblings

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.


Personal and Family

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…


Personal and Family

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!


Personal and Family

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!