Maui '06

Japan 1970

  A little dark - no flash

Also as promised (OK - it was a long time ago) pictures of the engine we took down to Okinawa and the 30+ motorcycles we brought back to Guam from Japan on the same plane.  And, finally...

  Greetings from Naha Okinawa, circa 1970

Ren Sun

Keeping A Promise

 As Promised - A picture of Mt. Fuji taken at sunrise.  I want to say about 1970.  I'd been asleep during take-off and a fellow crew member woke me up so I wouldn't miss it.

Maui '06

Been Gone A While

 Has it been that long?  There's been lots going on.  A brief review:  The charming and talented Mrs. Bigwavdave (Judy) was diagnosed with breast cancer around the end of August.  Shock, dismay, doctor meetings, seemingly endless research, more doctor meetings.  October 22nd she had a highly successful partial mastectomy with clear margins and no migration to her lymph nodes.  Since then there have been chemo therapy sessions (the last one was today, Jan. 17th), all sorts of shots, nausea, fatigue, emotional distress, hair falling out, and so on.

In about 5 weeks, she will begin radiation therapy.  Five sessions a week (M-F) for five weeks.  And, finally, hormone therapy taken orally (Thank God).

She has been a trooper.

We discovered this via the yearly mammogram.  Couldn't feel any lumps at all.  Caught it early.

That's about it for now.  I'll try to post a bit more often.

A special hello to any Zilla-heads who happen by....

Paso Robles - Part Deux

So we move on...You're probably tired of the Winery signs, right?  OK.  Here's a little critter just outside the York Mountain tasting room.  He was eating the cat's food and refused to hold still for a great shot...

On to another newer winery...

Sorry, I forgot - no more signs...

Oh shit - another sign...Well I had to include it anyway.  And yes, I used the front door!  This place was Zin Alley and they only made 3 wines.  One Zinfandel and two dessert wines.  We're loaded with Zins, but the dessert wines were like silk.  Sweet and clean with an incredibly smooth finish.  We got one of each.  We ran into an old friend inside...

We took Highway 46 from Paso over to Highway 1 and headed South towards Morro Bay on Sunday morning for the trip home.

It was a peaceful drive and quite senic...

This was the little town of Cayucos, where we had dinner on Saturday night at Hoppe's...

It doesn't look like much, but the food was magnificent.  We were seated in the window on the left and watched the ocean and the sunset during dinner.

The rock at Morro Bay looked surreal with the top obscured by the low hanging clouds...

We stopped at Morro Bay for breakfast on the way home and got another great view of the rock...

One last wine stop on the way home, the Latitia Winery, known for their sparkling wines and Pinot Noirs...

This is the view from the top of the hill looking down towards US 101.

Well, I could go on and on and on, but I've got to go pull a cork!

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Paso Robles

Just got back yesterday from a four day wine-buying spree...uh, I mean vacation in Paso Robles.  Drove up Wednesday morning and hit Los Alamos about 10:00 am.  Once we got out of "LA" it was a nice drive.  Our first stop was Bedford Thompson (in Los Alamos).  A small "boutique" winery known for their single variety wines such as 100% Mouvedre.  Here's a couple of shots at the tasting room "downtown":

We found friendly dogs just about everywhere!  We also stopped in Santa Maria to visit McKeon-Phillips Winery, but for some obscure reason, I failed to take any photos there.  Also you may assume we bought a bottle or more at every stop!

Next stop was Tobin James in Paso Robles.  As members of the James Gang, we were able to stay in the guest house at the winery.  There are three bedrooms and we were upstairs in the Tobin James Room.

It had a little kitchen and even a laundry room!  Cisco is the hound "guarding" the grounds and tasting room and, as you can see, he takes his job very seriously.

Next morning it was off to Justin.  High end wines.  We picked up a couple of splits.  There were only 6 left after that and we spoke with some folks the next day who said those were sold out when they got there.  Sunny was looking after the tasting room at Justin.

We worked our way along one on the well-traveled wine roads stopping here and there at the wineries we were interested in or which had been recommended by fellow winos.

We arrived at Halter Ranch and saw the most beautiful restored house.  We were hoping the tasting room was inside, but it was a private vacation home of the owners.

Naturally, there was a guard dog inside the tasting room...

On to our last couple of stops for the day, and we passed through so much beautiful wine country...

Last two stops, Dover Canyon and Turley.  Turley arguably makes some of the best Zinfandel in Central California.  Picked up six bottles.  Somebody STOP me!

Irie keeping an eye on things.

Last stop of the day!  On to dinner in Templeton at Ian McPhee's.  It's easy to find, right across from Templeton Feed & Grain.

Don't know who Andre Tchelistcheff was?  Look him up!  Probably the single most influential person in the entire history of wine making in all of California.

This gentleman was having dinner in McPhee's and was a real cowboy, complete with hat which he took off as he sat down.  I had to take his picture.  He was amused, but let me shoot him.  A classic.  I think I'll do a b/w or sepia tone version.

Time for bed.  A king size bed with a feather mattress on top.  Tune in later this week for Paso Robles - Part Deux...

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Self Portrait

Bigwavdave Makes a Rare Appearance

Hello My Darlings - Is there anyone still out there?  We'll see.  As I promised when I started here, there would a few trips down memory lane, and, due to a rather convoluted set of circumstances we come to this tale of LOVE.  I met my wife, Judy, sometime early in 1988 and we dated for a year or so before we moved in together, along with her son, java_fiend.  Our first date was a RAIDER football game (I had season tickets).  Along around 1990 we decided things were getting serious and started talking about the future.  You know, the old "What if...".  I decided it was time to pop the question.  What to do, what to do.  It may not have been totally original, but I decided as we were both RAIDER fans, I'd try asking her at a game.  December 2nd we were playing the dreaded Denver Broncos, so I laid my plans.  I contacted the RAIDER office in El Segundo and got hold of the right guy.  For $100.00 they would put my proposal up on the scoreboard for 30 seconds.

Game day arrived and I'd borrowed a ring from some good friends of ours for the big event.  A number of our friends and my cousin, Ward (with his camera), were at the game and everyone knew what was up except Judy.  We had our usual tail gate party and took a few pictures.

The game was not going well and the RAIDERS were down at halftime.  Just as the players were running off the field, my message popped up on the scoreboard.  Judy took a look and turned to me to say "Look, two people with the same names as us..."  (She's blonde!)  I was kneeling in the aisle with the borrowed ring in my hand and she got the deer-the-headlights look in her eyes for a moment just before she started welling-up.

She said yes, the crowd went wild, we drank free beer the rest of the afternoon, and (almost) best of all, the RAIDERS came back in the second half to beat the Broncos 23 - 20.

It was a hell of an afternoon.  June 1st we will celebrate our 16th anniversary in Paso Robles.  So, here are the recently re-discovered photos from that fateful day.

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Maui '06

George Thorogood

The Thursday before the race was the George Thorogood concert in the old ('30's) Fox Theatre in Downtown Bakersfield.  This beautiful, old theatre holds about 1,500 people.  We had front row seats, thanks to my cousin Ward.  Dennis, the balloon man, flew in from Phoenix for the show.  Dennis and I drove home after the show to Long Beach and I got into bed about 2:00 am.  GT played for a couple of hours.  What a show.  B..b...bad to the bone!!!

Hope you listen to some George soon.  Hope you like Ward's pictures...

Hope you liked the show...
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    Down In The River To Pray - "Oh Brother, Where Art Though?
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BWD -Hat

LBGP '07

Howdy Everyone - Sorry it's been so long.  Sometimes life just gets in the way.  Here are a few photos from the Long Beach Grand Prix.  It's quite a scene, spread over three days.

                                   Friends & Family

Emily Proctor (CSI Miami)

George Lucas and Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)

Hef and the Girls Next Door (Kendra [left] drove in the Celebrity Race)

GT Le Mans (Four classes race at the same time)

Celebrity Race

Bourdais - Winner of the Grand Prix
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    George Thorogood - Delaware Slide
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Maui '06

LBGP '07

Well, you know how it is.  I've had my soak and find myself back in front of the 'puter.  Fine.  So here's a shot from today.  GT Le Mans practice.  There are several classes of cars running at the same time and some of the other shots show Porche, etc.

Maui '06


Just got back from the LBGP (no wise cracks K) and will have some nice shots to share after the weekend.  Here's a nice shot of one of our "regulars" at the waterfall coming in for a landing.  It was late in the afternoon so there wasn't enough light for a fast exposure to stop the wing motion, but the color was good from his front.  Time to hit the spa...