Sunday, June 15, 2008

Military buildup

There is a military buildup going on in the quiet little town of Portola Valley, and few people know about it. A gentleman named Jacques Littlefieled decided to start restoring armored military vehicles a while back, and has compiled quite a collection. Actually, this is the largest personal collection of vehicles in the world. It is not a museum, and they can be viewed only on special tours, which a friend arranged.

Actually, I first heard about this during the first Gulf War. There was a newspaper article about a person who was having trouble getting a SCUD missile through customs. The article then went on to talk about how this person lives in Portola Valley and collects military equipment.

We viewed the collection in 4 of his warehouses, which turns out to be maybe half of his collection. Amazing! It is a good thing he is rich, as he has a staff of 6 who restores them to new condition (many of them come in as little more than scrap metal, often requiring that they piece together a few different ones, plus manufacture a lot of replacement parts, in order to get 1 complete unit).

Oh, the picture below does show a SCUD missile in a launcher, so he did get it through customs. He actually has 2 of them.

Last picture was taken by a friend - though, how much of a friend could he be if I am willing to aim 4 machine guns at him! 8-)


Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I have wanted to go to Africa and go on a safari. Well, my birthday was last weekend, and my girlfriend took me on one.

Well, we can't leave home for long. And air fares are frightfully expensive. So instead of going to Africa, we went to a place called Safari West in Sonoma, which tries to recreate the experience on their 400 acre preserve. We were driven around on vehicle that are just like the type used on Safaris in Africa and saw a variety of animals, some from very close up. It was a lot of fun.
でも暇がないし、航空料金は高いし、アフリカへ行かないでソノマ・ヴァレーのSafari Westと言うサファリパークへ行った。サファリの車で色々なアフリカの動物を見た。楽しかった。


Sunday, June 01, 2008

New kayaks

Sylvia and I are taking a trip in about a month to Montana and Idaho, including Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. We are bringing bikes, so don't have the space to carry our regular boats also.

But we wanted to be able to paddle around some areas on this trip. We saw inflatable kayaks on sale at REI, so decided to pick up a pair. After paddling our regular boats last Saturday, we then inflated these and gave them a try. They work fine, and should be a lot of fun on the trip.

Though I may need to figure out how to inflate mine more so that I don't sink the rear end of my boat (though maybe I should just lose some weight).

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