Friday, March 7, 2014

Be in a Real Life Car Chase

If you really want an adrenalin rush, get in a real live car chase. I'm talking about one of those car chases where if you don't do it right, you can get your car smashed to pieces and then you get your face smashed in. I mean some serious chasing with some dangerous consequences of you mess up.

When I was still single and living in California, my friend Rick and I were driving back from Newport Beach when a car full of guys pulled up in front of us. No clue who these guys were but they were making some stupid comments and we just gave that “how juvenile. Why do you guys start acting your age” look, which they obviously didn't appreciate.

As we drove down the coast highway they started playing road games with us. It was funny at first but then they got a bit cocky and stupid and we started worrying about some cop seeing us and pulling us over. Rick was worried because he didn't have his license with him, his car wasn't registered and he had a ticket (or two, or three. . .) he hadn't taken care of. Rick was one of those guys that couldn't ever be bothered with those little details. We definitely wanted to avoid getting pulled over. So, we came speeding past those kids at a pretty good clip. As we did that, Rick turned on his cop siren that he had hidden in his car and pulled out a cop badge he had tucked inside his wallet. Yea, that's Rick. It was all very convincing to anyone taking a quick look at it.

As soon as those guys heard the siren and saw Rick flip out his cop badge they pulled over, just in time for us to go speeding past them. They were not at all happy with our little stunt and the funny stuff was over. Now they were serious. 

They pulled out a couple baseball bats and sped up to us (driving about 95 mph) and took a couple of swings at our car with their bats. They were yelling all kinds of threats at us, saying that they were going to use their baseball bats on us after they destroyed our car. Now things were getting serious. 

We dodged in and out of traffic staying out of their way until we got to the Shore Cliffs where we could turn off in Capistrano Beach. We knew where it was and where it went but they didn’t. We let them get right behind us and at the very last second we took a hard left turn and caught them completely off guard. It took them a about 20 seconds to realize what we had done and turn around. That was just enough time for Rick and I to ditch them in a special hiding place that Rick often used to ditch the cops. 

We never saw them again after that. We laid low for the rest of the afternoon just in case they decided to hang around. Wow! What an adrenaline rush! I often wonder what would have really happened if they would have gotten us to pull over and stop. We weren’t stupid enough to find out.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Make a Molotov Cocktail

Fire is such a fascinating thing. Kids and rednecks just can't stay away from it. If there is fire, they will be there. It's definitely a guy thing.

That being said, I have always wanted to make a Molotov Cocktail. I remember being 10 years old and thinking how cool it would be to make one and throw it against something, just so I could watch that big ball of flames billow up into the air. This is why it made it onto my bucket list of things to do before I die. Hopefully, this goal wasn't going to be how I died. My wife was worried that this goal might be the last thing I do before I die.

I did this goal with my brother when he and I did our Death Valley adventure. I knew that I couldn't do it anywhere near where I lived. Making a Molotov Cocktail and smashing it against something would surely land me in jail. I think they consider the making and use of Molotov Cocktails a terrorist threat, but I can't say for sure. With all the sensitivity about terrorism it might land me in jail for a very long time. So, when Tom and I were in the desert I figured this was the perfect place to make and use a Molotov Cocktail.

I left our camp site early in the morning so I wouldn't bother anyone. There were several other campers near us including a group of boy scouts, so I wanted to make sure I hiked a good distance into the desert so I could be alone and not bother anyone (and not have anyone call the cops on me.)

When I found a good spot, I stopped and made my Molotov cocktail. It was an easy enough matter to make it. Within a few minutes it was assembled and I was ready to use it. The bottle was an old Coke bottle we found on the road side on our way to Death Valley. I wanted to use it because the glass was extra thick and I knew that when I was done, it would be easy to pick up the pieces. Yes, I was being very careful to clean up my mess and leave the desert as clean as it was when I first got there.

I thought this was going to be an easy 1, 2, 3 and it would be over. Not so. I tossed the cocktail against some rocks, only to have the bottle bounce and land in the sand unscathed. I picked it up again and put some force into the next throw. This time, it bounced three times and unexpectedly landed at the base of a large 7 foot bush. Only then did the bottle smash to pieces. Of course all the gas that made up the Molotov cocktail immediately engulfed the bush and set the lower section on fire. The bush  green and very much alive from the lower third of the bush up to the top so only the dead leaves of the bottom branches and the leaves that had dropped off the bush during the year caught fire but the entire bush was engulfed in flames.

The first thing I thought of was that this must have been what Moses was seeing when he saw the bush that was burning but was not being consumed on Mt. Sinai. It looked so cool. But then I realized that I had to do something fast or those boy scouts back at camp would see the big plume of smoke ascending up into the air and come looking to see what was happening. For moment I thought about how funny it might be if when the scout troop came, I was hidden in some nearby bushes and I spoke out in a deep majectic voice something like, "Stop and remove thy shoes for thou art on holy ground." Ah, that Moses gig always seem funny when I think about it. But it wasn't going to happen on this trip.

Eventually, the gas burned down and went out and the bush didn’t look too bad for what it had just gone through. I picked up the charred pieces of glass and put them into a bag and brought them back to camp with me. Things didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned but all in all, I was pleased with my experience making and tossing a Molotov cocktail. It was definitely worth having in my bucket list. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Do the 62-62-62 Challenge

OK, so this is how this challenge works. This goal focuses on finding 62 things that I want to do. I then need to do each item at least 62 times or some degree of 62, like 620, 6,200, etc. All of this must be completed before I turn 62. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do enough to do 62 times. Below is the list I came up with. NOTE: It's best to try this goal early on in life, like doing 20 things, each item 20 times before you're 20 years old. The longer you put this goal off, the longer the list gets. Know what I mean?

1.          Make 620 Kiva loans    Done
2.          Do 62 competitive running races and marathons    Done
3.          Do 62 camp outs    Done
4.          Get 62 different people to experience my chocolate 
meringue mushrooms    Done
5.           Sign off on at least 62 boy scout merit badges    Done
6.           Index or arbitrate 62,000 names in the FamilySearch Indexing  
         program    Done
7.          Play 620 games of chess    Done
8.          Give more than 62 public speeches    Done
9.          Walk more than 6,200 miles    Done
10.        Read 620 books    Done
11.        Read 620 magazines    Done
12.        Discover 6,200 ancestors and distant living relatives while doing my 
         family’s genealogy   Done
13.        Try 62 new foods I’ve never eaten before   Done
14.        Taste 62 different kinds of chocolate    Done
15.        Bicycle 62 miles in 6.2 days    Done
16.        Run 62 miles in 6 days    Done
17.        Record 62 of my favorite sayings    In Done
18.        Write 62 letters and/or emails to friends and family members     Done
19.        Hike 62 different trails    Done
20.        Visit 62 new towns I’ve never seen before    Done
21.        Write 62 things about myself that most people don’t know about me   Done
22.        Finance 62 surgeries to improve the quality of life for 62 little children and adults   Done
23.        Find and post online 62 old family photographs I didn’t know existed    Done
24.        Wear out 62 white shirts (for work)    Done
25.        Write 62 memories of my father    Done
26.        Write 62 memories of my mother    Done
27.        Visit 62 cemeteries Done
28.        Send off 62 Chinese Moon Lanterns into the night sky   Done
29.        Do 62 minutes of public speaking in one standing    Done
30.        Throw away 62 different things that I’ve had around the house for more than 1 year    Done
31.        Donate 62 pints of blood  Done
32.        Plant 620 trees    Done
33.        Have 62 adventures with my brother Tom    Done
34.        Travel more than 62,000 miles    Done
35.        Take pictures of 620 tombstones and submit them to    Done
36.        Help educate 62 children who might not normally have an opportunity to be educated    Done
37.        Identify by sight/song 62 wild birds   Done
38.        Identify by sight 62 wild plants   Done
39.        Climb 62 mountains   Done
40.        Collect 62 natural history artifacts    Done
41.        Eat at 62 new and interesting restaurants    Done
42.        Provide counseling for 62 people    Done
43.        Watch 62 full moon rises over the mountains    Done
44.        Personally locate and view 62 original Native American petroglyphs or pictographs    Done
45.        Do 62 random acts of kindness in 62 days    Done
46.        Sing 62 songs in public (no, this does not mean doing solos)    Done
47.        Complete 62 credits of post graduate work    Done
48.        Donate 620 cans of food to a community food pantry    Done
49.        Donate 620 meals to people who come to the food kitchen in Utah Valley    Done
50.        Motivate 62 people to do something good that they were not previously doing    Done
51.        Listen to 62 TED talks    Done
52.        Buy breakfast or lunch or lunch for 62 people without them knowing who did it    Done
53.        Collect at least 62 insects    Done
54.        Collect at least 62 butterflies    Done
55.        Leave 62 quarters in the change slot of vending machines for people to find    In Done
56.        Write 62 articles for the FamilySearch Blog site    Done
57.        Get 62 people to start doing their family history research    Done
58.        Play 62 games of chess in 1 week    Done
59.        Write 62 things I love about my wife    Done
60.        Sponsor 62 surgeries to remove cataracts form the eyes of 62 people so that their eye sight can be restored.    Done
61.        Buy 62 books and give them to libraries in need of books    Done
62.        Leave 62 one dollar bills, one at a time, some place where ever people will find them   Done