Category Archives: SoCal

Plantar Fasciitis

Posted by lex, on October 11, 2005

Had a great bike ride Sunday, up the coast and through the hills. Took the big climbs with a little less stress than before, which I attributed to the fact that I’ve been raising the intensity of my running workouts (while reducing the frequency and duration) in preparation for this fall’s physical fitness assessment (PFA). You want to run faster? Run faster. Except that, ah…

I could barely walk this morning.

Guess I’ll be swimming the PFA this year.


This growing old thing? It’s not for sissies.


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Filed under Neptunus Lex, SoCal

California’s Problems Part 2



I had a friend with an interesting commute. He worked in San Jose for a now defunct disk drive manufacturer, Maxtor (bought by Seagate I believe). He used to write the system code for the drives.

He lived in Reno, Nevada and every Sunday night would start his long commute to San Jose. I would say that he drove almost 300 miles, down the Sierras, through the Valley, then into the Bay Area. This could be through rain, snow, traffic.

Every Friday evening, he would drive back to Reno. I can only imagine trying to navigate the Bay Area traffic gridlock on the way back to Reno after a week’s work – then, what has become common, Sacramento area gridlock.

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Filed under Politics, San Diego, Small Stuff, SoCal, Travel

Happy Thanksgiving


Posted by lex, on November 21, 2007


I really can’t do much better than does the WSJ this time of year, and has done since 1961 – so I’ll quote liberally:

Here beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620, as recorded by Nathaniel Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:

So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits.

When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, SoCal

In praise of biology

Posted by lex, on August 14, 2006

Well, that’s a blow: Got a call back from UC Cyclery, where I’d dropped my bike off for a shakedown after my little car-vaulting excursion last weekend. It turns out that carbon fiber is susceptible to stress risers – bubbles in the frame – that can propagate over time into sudden, catastrophic failure modes. They’ve found flaws in the both the fork and the head tube, ugh:

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, SoCal

It’s Getting Hard

To live here.


By Lex, on Thu – August 18, 2005


Traffic today, on the northbound 5. Like you’ve never seen before, a parking lot before we even got to LaJolla. Seems that there were earlier delays, and so many of those who finally broke free just couldn’t wait to race into their own accident. Jaysus but it was a mess.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Lex, Neptunus Lex, San Diego, SoCal, Uncategorized

The Hive Mind

By lex, on October 20th, 2003

Social Psychology in SoCal, defined by traffic patterns

I live in Carmel Valley, just across the 5 from Del Mar, California, home to the Del Martians. The Del Martians are blessed by proximity to the ocean, and exceptionally high property values. Nothing so enhances the value of a house, whether it be a shotgun shack or pleasure dome, as an ocean view. In a pinch, a “peek ocean view” will suffice to raise the fee of admission by a couple of hundred thousand dollars. Lawsuits have been lodged against those down hill that have, over the course of the last 50 years or so, permitted a tree to obscure what once had been a peek ocean view.

We Carmel Valley types are not quite there yet. We have ready access to the Elysian fields, even the same area code, but we are definitely across the 5.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Humor, SoCal

Off the Grid

By Lex, on October 8, 2008


Magic Mountain all day, at the behest of SWMBO V3.0 and one of her cohort. The Hobbit having taken a pass.

Pray for me, and talk amongst yourselves.

Update: A pretty good day. Traffic up the 5 was smooth at 0730 – herself can be quite the slave driver when it comes to her entertainment – and we got to the park with time to spare. Your correspondent immediately saw the X2 ride and determined to have at it, but the lady insisted upon intervals of warm-up in lesser contraptions. Wise beyond her years as it turns out.

Only $29.99 if you purchase on line, as against $59.99 at the door. Which makes it a no-brainer. They still nickle and dime you here and there: It costs a dollar to stow all loose gear in a little locker for the two minutes spent shrieking on the ride. A smarter man might have left it all in the car, but who goes anywhere without a cell phone anymore?

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A couple of data points


By lex, on September 28, 2008


The limits we impose on our Vargas for dogfighting are +/- 60 degrees of bank and +/- 30 degrees of pitch. Any more than that and we’d be in aerobatic flight, upping our insurance premiums and forcing the use of parachutes.

Which, who needs that?

I have come to the tentative conclusion that while demonstrating the bank angle limit is appropriate and in fact necessary (bank angle plus g turns the machine), demonstrating the pitch limits is probably a bad idea. I’ve got a very high correlation between showing a guest pilot the transition between 30 degrees nose high to 30 degrees nose low on a hot day – a self-evidently stomach churning sixty degree change taken all together – and himself speaking into the white plastic megaphone.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Flying, SoCal


Posted by Lex, on June 12, 2008


There are planes that land on airstrips and planes that land on water and then there is a third, more rare category of machine: One that can do both.

Amphibious aircraft saw their heyday back in World War II, when such versatile Grumman variants as the GooseWidgeon and Mallard were adopted from their civilian designs for military work. One workhorse was the Grumman J2F Duck, a biplane atop a monocoque pontoon that housed retractable main landing gear. During the war, Grumman designed a replacement monowing before pitching the contract at Columbia Aircraft to focus on the fighters they were building for the Navy.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Flying, Lex, SoCal

A real treat

By Lex, on June 9, 2008


As I hinted earlier, Tailspin Tom offered your correspondent the right seat of a C-45H from Palomar all the way up to French Valley, near Riverside. Hating to let a good man down, I reluctantly said, “Sure!”

An uneventful toodle up the 5, and and eager transit back towards the private hangars until, there she is. The first thing that strikes you is what a beautifully maintained machine the Beech Belle is. And then your eyes are inevitably drawn to those two, big Pratt and Whitney R-985s, each of them holding 450 trembling horses in check. These were built when Wildcats and Hellcats ruled the skies. It can make a man ret pondersome.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Flying, SoCal