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Monday, October 14, 2013

I JUST MIGHT HAVE EATEN TOO MUCH

It is 325 driving miles from Las Vegas to Oxnard.  It takes around 5 hours, including a short stop at Barstow.  The newest sight is the solar thermal farm at Ivanpah, 40 miles out of Las Vegas towards Los Angeles (these are photos I took from the highway zooming by at 70 MPH):


Unit 1 above began generating 126 MW last month.  Ultimately, 392 MW will be produced at an installation cost of $2.2 billion, with $1.6 billion being a Department of Energy loan guarantee.  There were also a few wind energy conversion devices:


I'm here in Oxnard to visit my brother Stan (in middle with brother Dan to right), who is not feeling well:


Stan is ten years older than me, while I am 4 years older than Dan.  Stan spent most of his professional career at the Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory (home of the Seabees--I worked there for three summers) in Port Hueneme, and was probably the foremost marine structural engineer in the world, according to his Japan colleagues.  Dan was an Army Colonel and "ran" the Pacific out of Camp Smith during the wee small hours of the morning.

I first came to Oxnard 55 years ago when it was the lemon and lima bean capital of the world.  A couple of years ago, an average new single family residence here was higher than Hawaii's.  Click on this to read my blog of a previous visit two years ago.

We then had dinner at Lure in Camarillo with Stan's family:


I had an excellent ono with spinach and corn:


While Sharon had a cioppino:


Diane and Ivan with a bottle of Malibu Red from Buelton:


That's a garlic artichoke at the bottom.  A terrific fish house with fine service.

Stan and Anne have lived in this huge Oxnard home for 41 years:



Yes, one heck of a large table for parties.  Most impressive, though, is that in this 42 year period, they have had access to orange, grapefruit and lemon every day.  There is something about the Oxnard climate that allows this:


Dan and Max under the grapefruit tree.  If I bothered to count I would have exceeded 100 oranges currently on the tree and half that number of grapefruit.  But that's not all--persimmon, apple, avocado, and guava:


Dozens of flowers:


The following morning, our goodbye brunch at the International House of Pancakes:


My filling meal at the bottom.  Then, a final stop at Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, where I purchased bottles of their Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine of unusual taste and body which I like (those are some of Dan's racquetball awards, with a photo of their son Eric and family at the bottom left):


Sharon drove us back to Las Vegas:


But if you think that was all, nope.  Flaming Fajitas:


The star of the weekend was Sharon, who drove all 650+ miles, also contributing a tasty bento lunch, while keeping us abreast of my grandnephew Mateo and grandniece Sophia Pearl (they are in that photo with the Herzog cab--you can see how they looked last year to the right, and more, here).  Stan was #2, for he was sharp considering his condition.  Dan deserves #3 for putting me up for most of this trip, introducing me to the latest (for me) in the latest new restaurants and coaxing me to do some exercising.  He spends essentially every day  for several hours working out and playing racquetball.  He said he has missed only three days this year.  This coming year could be a significant one for him as he becomes 70 in January in prime shape to attain national racquetball championship status for his age class.  He is sponsored by Head.  He also has a new relationship looming.  Me?  This has been a non-stop visit, Hawaii was beaten by University of Nevada at Las Vegas, I lost $17 in the Red Rock Sports Book Room (but could have been ahead if the Colts beat the Chargers last night) and I know I gained a few pounds.  But it was all worth it, for I had a good time with the rest of my family.

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Typhoon Wipha at 105 MPH is weakening, but is soon to brush by Tokyo, with the eye perhaps over Narita Airport:


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