Golf Muffler Man - DEC 2011

Earlier this week, I was driving south on the 405 freeway (just east of the 110) and noticed the Dominguez Hills Golf Course Mascot, a 20 foot Golf (Muffler) Man, was sporting Quicksilver shorts. I thought, I need to photograph him.
This golf club wielding giant has been standing next to the freeway for as long as I can remember. I moved to San Pedro in 1968 and this golf course was established the next year…just when Golf Man appeared, is questionable. I was attending a Boxing party and heard the golf course was closing at the end of the year. It is going to become the Porsche Experience Center of Los Angeles, a 53-acre off-road, state-of-the-art, test-track and handling course. The next day, I had Todd give me a drive by, so I could shoot from the car. His pants were already gone but at least I caught The Golf Man before he to, became history.

Airport Art – 2011

I did a lot of traveling while teaching for the US Army, I’ve posted some airport art, but here are a few left over pieces:
The Voyager Aircraft

Alexander Eaglerock Combo-Wing, 1928
Halloween SAT (San Antonio):
Black and White Bubbles at SEA (Seattle, WA):
DCA (Washington, DC):

San Antonio, TX – Dec 16, 2011

I was going to post my last entry for the year and I noticed I had some San Antonio shots I forgot to show. Instead of piggy banks…they have cow banks:

The muffler man in San Antonio is a Big Injin Car Salesman.
Although I first showed you the World’s Lagest Boots in July of 2010 (Link top: San Antonio - 2010). Now, I can show you what they look like with Christmas lights:

Happy Holidays - Dec 24, 2011

Wishing you and yours,
a Lovely Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year.

The Alamo, San Antonio, TX - 15 DEC 2011

Forget the River Walk, the “must see” for me is the Alamo…the place where two American Pioneer Icons (David Crockett and Jim Bowie) met their death on March 6, 1836
Most of what was once the Alamo (MisiĆ³n San Antonio de Valero) compound has been swallowed by the concrete and buildings of downtown San Antonio
The north wall where the commander William B. Travis was shot during the final siege, lies under the US Post Office Building.
Entering through Gate 4, we were greeted by beautifully landscaped grounds.
The Convent Courtyard had this historic live oak tree under which is a fenced off well:
Planted in 1914
The Gift Shop also contains exhibits of military artifacts, long rifles, bowie knives and other Alamo archeology:
Notice the building date, 1936, and the Shrine motif.
Near the gift shop is a Wall of History which gives details about the Almo’s 300 year existence. 
A small portion of the original living quarters (for priests, native peoples and soldiers) is now the Long Barrack Museum.
In 1914 a Japanese geography professor, Shigetaka Shiga, presented this monument to the Almo. It contains a poem which compares the Almo to The Siege of Nagashino Castle which took place in 1575.
And finally, I found the most photographed facade in the nation, the Shrine (Chapel) which has come to represent The Alamo and the famous battle for Texas independence: 
The best story is how a 23 year old heiress, Clara Driscoll, used a $1,000 of her own money, in 1905, to save this last remaining section of the Alamo for future generations.
Turning around, across the street from the Shrine, I found a Texas version of a Christmas tree.  It was adorned with: college emblems, Road Runners, oil derricks, boot spurs, long horn cattle, lone stars, outlines of the shape of the state, two types of cactus, howling coyotes, horses, cowboy boots, wagon wheels, rabbits, maple leaves (they have 19 different types of maples in Texas) and of course, armadillos.

Deep Fried Pickles - 07 DEC 2011

I first wrote about Earl Abel's in August (Link to: Earl Abels - 2011).
We returned to try the Deep Fried Dill Pickles:
Tinky Winky gave it a Thumb's Up, which is not easy for Teletubbies. This Southern snack has been around since the 60's, but I've never tried it...or even heard about it, until my trips to San Antonio. Dill pickles being my favorite vegetable (after popcorn) I wasn't sure if I would like them. But I have to agree with TW, these were delightful. 

Belmont Shores Christmas Parade - 03 DEC 2011

The theme was “It’s A Green Christmas, Recycle, Reuse and Renew!”

Using her sea urchin costume from three years ago…Fuji wowed the crowd at the Belmont Shores Christmas Parade. The crowd went wild pointing and laughing at her wild green suit. We heard three shouts of “Chia Pet” and five “porcupine” among the comments.
Rudy had on his ecology sweatshirt.
This was Fuji's third BSC Parade and Rudy's always it's hard to get a picture with pre-parade jitters.
Willa, Chet, Kate & Buddy

Beer Can House, Houston, TX – 12 NOV 2011

In 1968 when John Milkovisch retired from the railroad as an upholsterer, he started tinkering in his workshop. It turned into a project that continued the rest of his life…transforming his ordinary bungalow and garden into a wonderland.
He began using intricate patterns of concrete studded with marbles, salvaged industrial washers, and stones…covering the entire yard and drive. When asked why, he responded simply that he no longer wanted to mow the grass.
Then he started on the house, first embellishing it with garlands made from beer can tops, rims and pull tabs hung in a dense row from the eaves in the front of the house…eventually around the entire house.
He cut and flattened some beer cans and created a band around the bottom of the house near the back door. His wife would return from work each day and find a little more of the house had disappeared under an ever growing skin of beer cans.
Eventually the entire dwelling was hidden beneath thousands of beer cans, ensuring that he would never have to paint the house again.
The cans also created a protective and energy-efficient covering that lowered the family’s electric bills. He denied any artistic intent.

Today it is owned by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art and is open to the Public on Saturday and Sunday from to .
Here is the sound of Beer Can House: