Monthly Archives: March 2014

Images Of Sandy Eggo


I had originally planned on making the title “Older Bill Gets reacquainted With Younger Bill”  – but besides telling you about a bit of the San Diego I knew in 1979-1980 – there are some pictures that I’d like you to see that show you why San Diego is so beautiful.

And I am aware of the space limitations I am coming against – we are about 3/4 the allowance – and….well, still haven’t found the perfect solution. I don’t want you to have to log in somewhere to see the pictures…

Maybe I’ll have to look through some of my older posts that have had hardly any views and delete them.

But I am trying – the pictures are a bit bigger this time.

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Cutaway Thursday: Ilyushin IL-76MF “Candid”

Apologies to reader but I’ve been a little overwhelmed with other (read personal) things over the past few weeks. Anyway this week’s cutaway is Ilyushin’s IL-76 (NATO codenamed “Candid”).

The Candid first flew 2 days ago in 1971 and is the primary tactical transport aircraft for Russian military forces. Quite a few Candids were involved in moving Russian forces to Crimea and continues to support Russian forces in theater.

IL-76 CutawayYou can learn more about the IL-76 here.


Filed under Aeronautical Engineering, Airplanes

I’ve Gotta Get This Done


I’ve always admired people who can compartmentalize.  Whether it is an act of laziness on my part or genetics I cannot say. For a good part of my 63 years, it was an on-going battle between my father and myself. We are so different in that regard I had to wonder if the milk man was involved somehow. Is this genetics or a learned trait?

I remember reading one of Lex’s old posts, one in which he gives a brief bio of himself, and he mentions that he is a graduate of a trade school.

Besides having a great self-deprecating sense of humor (and after all, is he wrong?) I would suspect that particular trade school, and its 2 sisters, will instill in its graduates an ability to compartmentalize and maximize each sliver of time to its full advantage.

But did Lex have this trait before or did this school teach him?

The car you see above, a first generation Toyota MR2, is a car that is 29 years old, and I have enjoyed it for 26 of those years. I have described it as being a large go-cart. It is fun to drive and gets 30 mpg in the process. I’ve driven it 325,000 miles.

Anyway the dog, a.k.a. Mr. Tobus and I are going to the supermarket a few weeks ago and suddenly and without  warning, the car will not allow me to shift gears.

IMG_4495  Mr. Tobus


Good thing I had the AAA Premier, giving me up to 200 miles of free towing although I was about a mile from my house. And that car was not going anywhere on its own.

So the car goes on the flat bed, Mr Tobus and I are in the front seat of the truck, and they push the car into the garage.

Where it has been the last 3 weeks, on jackstands.

This is a job I have been dreading, as I did it once before – just a short 70,000 miles ago. I had the engine replaced and while it (and the transaxle (a combination transmission and differential) was out, had a transmission shop replace the synchronizers. Only when the car was reassembled, I could see no evidence of new synchronizers (which with their then-current state I would hear 2nd gear grind whenever I shifted).

Anyway to avoid going on another long (and boring) tangent I had to pull out the thing myself and take it to the shop so they could repair it properly. Which, I can admire the professional mechanics who have the tools (including a lift) and the skill to do this quickly. They might take an hour to do this – the first time I did it was 3 weeks of on and off wrestling.

Anyway I was going to do it a few days ago, fell on my bike avoiding a car and managed to sprain my wrist. This trying to keep a healthy lifestyle is going to kill me.

Not good for turning tight bolts…

So I decided to use that day, with the sore wrist, to map out a route for my car club. This route is up in the California Gold Country – it was a beautiful day – 80 degrees.

Before you in the Midwest and East get jealous with our drought we’d gladly give you some of our heat for some of your precipitation.  (On my trip to San Diego a few weeks ago – down I5 – I saw a lot of dead orchards – look for your grocery bill to go up).

Anyway, I took my other old car, an 18 year old Mercedes-Benz SL on the mapping drive.  I was thinking of taking the hardtop off in anticipation of the warm weather, but there was too much MR2 all over the garage.

Everyone who could take their top off that day had their top off.

Including a young woman in a Mazda Miata with the license plate frame stating “When it’s hot I take my top off”.

Along the road up in the foothills I spotted someone driving one of these



and had to smile about a story involving the late Dr Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche – the son of the founder, also Ferdinand. Story was at a Porsche Club national Concours, Porsche was visiting and an exhibitor was proud of his early 911, with virtually no miles on it. The car looked as new (actually better than new if you expect to win at a concours these days).

He proudly showed Porsche his car and Porsche reportedly was not impressed.

“My cars were meant to be driven” he supposedly said.

I am sure that wherever Porsche is these days he would smile at this fellow with his 60 year old car. I flashed my lights and waved, and he returned the wave.

Anyway, 170 miles later I got home with the route mapped.

Today my wrist is feeling better, I decide “this is the day” but remember I have to attend to something critical to getting my taxes finished.

Decided it is better to keep the IRS off my back than work on the car, so I go downtown, take care of business, and on the way back a critical receipt flies out the open window on the freeway onramp.

I am debating whether it is worth going back, parking the car along the side of the onramp and look for this and decide to do it.

I managed to park it off to the side, it is starting to rain, but the mystery receipt is right at my feet. A bit soaked but after drying still readable.

Tomorrow will be the day.


I guess that is the difference between those who are organized and the rest of us.

For them, there is no “hopefully”.

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The Officer-Hero Who Changed The Marines


Just read about this man in This Week Magazine, and while they don’t have a web presence, here’s an article about him from CNN .

He saved 8,000 of his fellow Marines in Korea.

Quite a man, I would say.

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A Visit To The Reagan Library


On my way to San Diego, I wanted to stop here. Thought you would like to see some of the pictures.

To me, spur-of-the-moment trips are usually the most fun. I had gone to Shakespeare’s to honor Lex – reported  here.

You just take state highway 118 from I5 past the Grapevine to Simi Valley.

Had a funny experience with my GPS – as mentioned here by Busbob & others – the thing had me winding around a residential neighborhood when – at the end – it was obvious that a block over, I could have stayed on the main boulevard before heading up Presidential Drive.

But you gotta take those things with a grain of salt it seems.

The star of the exhibit has to be the actual Boeing 707 – Air Force One – that Reagan used. Surprisingly pictures were not allowed inside.

It was explained to me that the plane is actually owned by the Wright Patterson AFB Museum, and that is their policy.

The plane was actually disassembled – after it landed in San Bernardino, trucked to the museum site and reassembled – all by Boeing – and they built the museum around it.


You drive up this mountain along Presidential Drive – what a spectacular view.







…Their Inaugural Ball clothes



When you first see  it, it surprises you!






They even have Marine One there – you can take pictures  in that aircraft.











The grounds are beautiful, quite a few exhibits including a section of the Berlin Wall.


The best book I ever read about Ronald Reagan was this.  Apparently Reagan was quite the horseman, and at the time John Barletta was the only one in the Secret Service who was good enough to stay with him. Quite a few anecdotes. In essence what you saw in public was pretty much the man in private.

Have a couple of personal stories too. When I was living in Sandy Eggo, I saw Reagan at – I believe – his last campaign stop of the 1980 election.

He went to the Mission Valley Shopping Center, was about an hour late, and Donny & Marie were running out of creative ways to entertain the crowd.

But when he got there, about 18:00 on election day, an aide told the crowd that “I think you are going to be surprised by the election”.

I was 20 feet from him.

Oh, and my neighbor was a Marine who, for awhile, got guard duty at Camp David. He said that Reagan used to ride up to him and chat for awhile.


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Ohio Boy Pays It Forward With Found Fortune

Here’s a moving story of an 8 year old boy who found $20

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Not Your Typical Cinema Multiplex

ImageLast Saturday, a member of my car club took us on a tour of the Paramount Theater in Oakland, CA.

If you think that it was just a movie theater, and what is the excitement about, you can be excused. But starting a few years ago I became interested in classic Hollywood.

There was a time when movies were for Americans the most popular form of entertainment. And during the silent film era, the most grand of the movie theaters had orchestras accompanying the film.

Starting in the 1920s, some magnificent movie palaces were built with seating for 3,000 people – and even more. Continue reading


Filed under History, Hollywood

My Lovely Niece Ashlee is getting hitched……………..

Another reminder of Father Time and his relationship with me…………
Missus ORPO and I are ecstatic about the wedding.

Among The Joshua Trees

She has grown too fast…………………….She is something special to Missus ORPO and I.

The young fellow is Michael. Good man.


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Sunday Morning Coffee

Good Sunday Morning!

Among The Joshua Trees

Since I have been on a reduced caffeine intake since my hernia in the fall of 2010, which caused my blood pressure to go nuts, I can enjoy the good stuff once a week.(Self imposed and doctor “suggested”)

My preferred flavour has become Cascade Pride Java Rocket available at the Winco Foods in Lancaster. I fill the bag to the max line and it lasts me a long time at once per week.

Filling the Tigger Mug with Goodness! Filling the Tigger Mug with Goodness!

The time is correct at the making, 0634 Pacific Time. The time is correct at the making, 0634 Pacific Time.

Tigger mug was a gift from the youngest daughter. Tigger is cool. Nuff said.

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Malaysia Flight 370: What Didn’t Happen.

Some good thoughts from a man who makes his living flying Boeing jets….

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