Two Somewhat Unrelated Pictures
Since the output here lately hasn't been of the "vast and unstoppable torrent that crushes you beneath its awesome grandeur and weight" variety lately, I'll post a couple of pictures.
I took this one in Buttonwillow, a little "nothin but a wide spot in the road" kind of town about halfway between Orange County and San Jose. Being halfway between makes Buttonwillow the ideal place to stop for a pee on the drive up Interstate 5. Last time we made the drive, I had spotted this place with lots of hideous lawn wildlife on the way up, so we stopped on the way back.
We were greeted by the kind of welcome that only a ten foot long "BEEF JERKY" sign can provide. This buoyed our spirits somewhat, as we are devotees of jerky when trapped in the car for six hours, and we walked into the courtyard in the front of the place, where this picture was snapped.
There were tables and tables of badly painted plaster lawn ornaments. You can see the pleasing donkeys and even a pokemon in the picture, but there was so much more, all dusty, chipped and just weird. There were frogs in bikinis next to fairly bloody Crucifixion scenes. A monkey dentist reclined with a flock of mallards. Power Rangers passed the time with buffalo.
We spotted the confederate flags and Nazi paraphernalia almost exactly at the same time the owner of the place came out, his shirt stained from painting this gang of plaster masterpieces. I'd say the gentleman represented the Spray Cheese demographic, and was a few teeth short of whatever you get for having all of your teeth. If his name wasn't Clem, I feel confident he knew at least one Clem.
"Half price on everything!" he declared, and I wondered, just for a second, if there was anyone locked in his basement.
Anyway. If you're ever in Buttonwillow, stop by. And let me out of the basement.
This somewhat poor photo was taken at Irvine Regional Park, the first weekend of the big fires down here in Southern California. You can get a sense of the air quality by the even-more-than-usual brown tinge to the air. We didn't know anything about the fires until we got to the park, because we pay no attention to anything ever. As a result we were somewhat surprised by the clouds of ash drifting down like snow.
The fall-out storm cut our visit somewhat short, but we did stay long enough to ride the train with my two year old nephew, and stop for a moment by the pony rides. There's something kind of poignant about the pony rides. You're putting your kid on an animal who clearly has not made the best career choices, and now has to walk around in a circle like Conan the Barbarian when he was pushing that wheel thing at the beginning of the movie. Incidentally, what the hell was he doing out there anyway? Grinding flour?
It's no wonder they want to bite anyone they can get their teeth on. I say more power to the ponies.
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