Posts Tagged ‘funny’

Hiking to The Echo Mountain House and Lowe Railway

January 7, 2018 Leave a comment

Excited to find the beginning of the Sam Merrill Trailhead, Tyler starts us on our journey to find the trail to the ruins of the Echo Mountain House and Lowe Railway, located in Alta Dena California.


If we wern’t sure before, we sure are now. We found the trail.


And off we go! Only three miles to the top!


Three miles to the top doesn’t sound like a big deal. But the trail is at a constaint incline. It is what Tyler calls a “Pay For It Now, not Later” Trail, so we need a few rest breaks


Breaks over. Lets get a move on.


The trails were pretty narrow so you had to be careful when passing oncoming hikers


We’re almost there, just a little further.


Tyler: Hey, if we walk just an additional two miles, we can see inspiration point. Don’t you want to be inspired.
Jeff: No. Not for two additional miles. 


We made it! We made it!


The first stop at the Echo Mountian House and Lowe Railway was the ruins of the Casino and Tennis court. Now turned into a picnic area


Tyler being the good hiking master that he is discovered the stairs down to the ruins of the Casino and Tennis court.


The ruins of the Echo Mountain House Casino area.


Tyler has found the next area, the Lowe Railway.


The Mount Lowe Railway a railway that went up the side of Echo Mountain to bring guest to the hotel.


Some pictures on what the railway used to look like.


A rusted out bottom of one of the old railway cars.


The three rail tracks that the railway cars would use to reach their destination at the top of Echo Mountain.


Old bases that would hold the track up, can still be seen on the side of the mountain.


Old gears litter the ground around the old railway.


Tyler admiring one of the old giant railway gears laying on the ground. He doens’t know if it’s art, but he thinks that he likes it.


Historical marker commemorating the people who built the Echo Mountain House and Lowe Railway.


Tyler guilding us to the ruins of the Echo Mountian House. Which was destroyed when a kitchen fire broke out and couldn’t be contained.


Foundation of the Echo Mountain House.


Pieces of the structure stick out of the ground. Providing a rough outline of what the structure used to look like. 


More pieces of the structure sticking out of the ground.


A pit that looks like it was a water collection area or possibly a pool for the Echo Mountain House.


Tyler just taking it all in.


Echo phone that you can use to call out to the mountains and see how many times you can get your voice to echo.


Tyler decided to give the Echo Phone a try.


Echo Mountain House and the Sam Merrill trail is a favorite destination for hiking groups around the Los Angeles California area.


Tyler getting us ready to the hike back down the hill. Which was more pleasent than the trip up it.


But first Tyler is going to take in the view one last time.


And it is a marvelous view from Echo Mountain House. You can see all of Alta Dena, Pasadena, and off in the distance you can even see Downtown Los Angeles.


Tyler Weight Lifter

Before we leave though, Tyler has decided to show this hike who’s in charge. And with that I bid you farewell. 



Best of… One Act Play Depot

September 28, 2017 Leave a comment

My first play that I every had published back in 2002 “A Pill By Any Other Name is the Wrong Dosage.” Is part of the publisher, One Act Play Depot’s Best Of Volume One collection. A 776 page book, with 21 One Act Plays, that I honored to be part of.


My play Legends of Little Lump is now available

August 10, 2017 Leave a comment

The play I wrote THE LEGENDS OF LITTLE LUMP that was based on my first book “Tales from Little Lump – Alien Season” is now available to be produced through Norman Maine  Plays. An edited down version that is safe for younger audience is available through their sister company Big Dog Plays.

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Reading of My Favorite Murder

Had a great reading of my adaptation of Ambrose Bierce’s MY FAVORITE MURDER. Which was part of Unbound Production’s Mystery Lit First Stab Playwriting Festival. The cast and director where great and got some wonderful laughs from the audience. I couldn’t be more pleased.


Cast Sachiyo K, Mark Bate, Eric Keitel and William Joseph Hill, with Director Darin Anthony rehearsing before the live staged reading.

Musings of a Drunken @#$hole #7

February 6, 2016 3 comments

Glass of whiskeyI’ve been thinking about death lately. Mostly because of what happened to my Aunt Jenny. I think it’s because the randomness of it just blows my mind, but I guess death just has that kind of effect on people. Making the randomness of life seem, well, you know, random.

I mean I always heard about snakes coming up through people’s toilets, but I just thought it was like one of those urban legends. Like alligators in the sewers or republican socialism. I mean it’s not supposed to be one of those things that actually happens in real life, but it did.

My cousin Tommy found Aunt Jenny sitting on the toilet, dead as a doornail. Of course at the time he didn’t realize she was dead since it was pretty common to find his mother passed out on the toilet. Especially after she had one of her all nighters dancing along side Mr. Jose Cuervo.

Unfortunately Cousin Tommy’s usual remedy of pouring ice water down her back side. Followed with a tomato juice and Alka-Seltzer chaser didn’t work in reviving her, because she was, well, dead.

Just sitting there on the toilet with a surprised look on her face.

No one was quite sure what had happened until the coroner took her off the toilet and there it was. A dead snake, just floating there.

As strange as it sounds I felt a little sorry for that snake. Apparently Aunt Jenny was on a high fiber diet, so that snake got a face load when it bit her on her back-end. I guess that’s what some would call poetic justice but it still seems like an awful way to go if you ask me.

And while I felt sorry for cousin Tommy’s loss, it was the randomness of it that truly haunted me.

I mean truth be told, Aunt Jenny was a mean old cuss, so there was only so much mourning one could do for her, but the way in which she went really got you thinking. I mean you’re here one minute doing your business on the toilet, and then the next a snake bites you on your back-end, sending you off to the great beyond.

I mean if that doesn’t hurt your mind just thinking about it, I don’t know what will.

I mean she was taken from this plane of existence in a random act of randomness. Which doesn’t seem at all as nice as being taken in a random act of kindness, and not nearly as profound as being taken in a random act of, oh hell, I don’t know, profoundness. If that’s at all possible.

I mean, I have to tell you, this thing has got me looking at life in a whole different light now. Not to mention it has me thoroughly checking the toilet before I do my business, because you never know when the cruel hand of fate is going to come and bite you on the rear; literally.

All I have to say, is that I hope when my random end comes. That I, like Aunt Jenny, sitting on that toilet of ill-fated destiny, will also have the opportunity to slap fates cruel agents of randomness in defiance. Whether it be with my metaphoric hand or like in Aunt Jenny’s case, metaphoric flatulence. Let me go down swinging, because if this has made me realize anything, it’s that life should be more than a random act of randomness. Also it made me realize the city really needs to do a much better job of cleaning the wildlife out of the sewer pipes.

Hey, I’m just sayin’.

Musings of a Drunken @#$hole #3

November 27, 2015 1 comment

FedoraI wonder; when exactly did we all become fearful of the fedora? Did the hipsters and the too-cool-for-schoolers get together and pass a mandate against it?

Did the seemingly superior fashion sense of our gay and ethnic counterparts being able to “Pull Off The Look” better, intimidate us and make us decided to abandon it?

I mean I wear mine not as a fashion statement, or as some poor pathetic attempt at raging against societal norms. No, I wear mine simply because its comfortable. It fits perfectly on my head, and does everything that a hat ought to do. Keeps the hair out of my face, and the sweat from my eyes.

A friend of mine attempted to theorize that it’s just plain old fashion, and doesn’t say anything about who we are now. I think about this theory as I look around the room and see a sea of baseball caps, and can’t help but wonder. What a cap turned backwards on the head of some drunken slob sitting next to me is trying to say, sporting a cap of a team he clearly doesn’t possess the athletic prowess play for.

Longing, perhaps?

Is that why the fedora is feared so? Not because it evokes longing of something we might  not ever have, but something we did have once; and lost.

Innocence, perhaps?

Maybe that’s why people look at me so strangely when I walk down the street. My hat reminds them of a more innocent time. A time when they had hopes and dreams, and anything was possible. Before compromise made it’s way into their life.

Compromises they made based on fear. Fear of what was or wasn’t thought about them, and why they even gave a crap to begin with.

Maybe that’s it, maybe that’s why the Fedora is feared so.

I’m not sure, but deep thoughts like this deserves another drink; don’t you think?

Project Runway, To Hell

October 2, 2015 Leave a comment

Fire2I swear, it was the darnedest thing you ever did see. My Aunt Irene had always had a little bit of a competitive streak. Especially when it came to dealing with Lulu-belle, the owner of the Beauty and Tanning Salon Emporium in town.

You see, Aunt Irene, was the proud owner of Irene’s Beauty City, located just outside of town. The reason it was called Beauty City was because the area it was located on was technically an unincorporated town, so according to Aunt Irene it was its own city where Beauty reigns supreme, and to her credit, it did reign supreme until Lulu-belle Johansson decided to open up her own beauty shop, challenging Aunt Irene’s monopoly.

Lulu-belle tried to get a leg up on Aunt Irene by adding the whole tanning bed gimmick. Which nobody really understood, because in the country everybody spent enough time outside to get a tan just fine without the help of some machine. Which  if you ask me, really never worked correctly to begin with, because the few people that did use the darn thing, came out looking whiter than when they went in. Despite this though, her shop was located at the center of town, so the convenience of it won a lot of people over.

Aunt Irene tried to counter this by using guilt tactics to insure her regulars, stayed regulars. After a while though, it became obvious that convenience was winning out over quality. Now, I’m not sure about the quality thing because I never had my hair done by Aunt Irene, but she was adamant about her superior skills as a beautician. Something she would tell everyone at length about when the subject came up, and she made sure as heck it came up as often as possible.

I think that’s where the idea of this whole contest came from. Somebody, probably my Uncle Todd, who was always a little bit of a trouble maker, told her, “Okay then, prove it?” And like that, a challenge was issued to Lulu-belle. It was like one of those old fashion duels except instead of swords or pistols, there would be blow dryers and curling irons. Okay, this might not seem like much to you, but out in the country, this had us all on the end of our seats.

I honestly thought they would just gussy a couple of people up, we would weigh in our opinion and that would be that. Those two went back and forth though, bickering about favoritism amongst townsfolk, so someone suggested a three person judging panel. Where there would be three people judging, one picked by Aunt Irene, the other by Lulu-belle and a third neutral judge. Which was surprisingly helpful but I suspect whoever mentioned it was just sick of hearing about the whole thing and just wanted it to go away.

Both Aunt Irene and Lulu-Belle picked their most trusted customers and both agreed that Mayor  Williams was the neutral judge. Mayor Williams seemed like a logical choice because he was known for his fashion sense. Maybe just a little bit too much if you know what I mean, but hey, to each his own as I always say.

Now, as strange as it sounds, I blame the show Project Runway for what happened next. I guess Aunt Irene and Lulu-belle were religious watchers, and wanted to do that with hairdos. They probably figured this was their time to shine.  So they both agreed to chipped in and have an actual runway built in the lobby of Town Hall.

It really was amazing the lengths they were going to, to outdo each other and both were convinced that the other had people spying on them. Aunt Irene herself must have changed models three times until she ended up using my sister Claire. Who, to not speak bad of family, but really had more tattoos than sense, and I’m pretty sure it was Claire that persuaded Aunt Irene to use that snake in her hairdo. Claire is a self professed herpetologist. Which is the study of snakes and not the Tom Cruise Church thing like I originally thought it was. Claire and Aunt Irene were really proud of themselves when Claire was revealed walking down the aisle with that python slithering in and out of her hair. The mayor called it inspiring, but it honestly scared the heck out of me.

It was impressive though, and I was sure they had it in the bag, until Lulu-belle revealed her creation. Now whether they really were spying on each other, or they both watch the same episode of Project Runway for inspiration I couldn’t say. All I know, is when Lulu-belle’s niece Francine walked out on that runway with two ferrets coming out of her hair, all you-know-what broke loose.

The snake in Claire’s hairdo went after the ferrets in Francine’s. The two hairdo’s then became locked in mortal combat. Myself and a couple of other people jumped on stage and tried to pull them apart, but it wasn’t until the fire department showed up with some sort of crowbar looking thing did we actually force them apart.

The mayor fearing bad press, condemned the whole thing and had the sheriff arrest everybody, but the D.A. didn’t know what to do with that case, so nothing really came of that. The Mayor did threaten to take their business licenses away, so they had to promise to never do anything like that again, which they gladly did.

You want to know the ironic thing that came out of all this was? Aunt Irene and Lulu-belle were so impressed by each other they decided to join forces and open up Lulu-belle and Irene’s High Fashion Emporium and Tanning Salon. Isn’t that the darnedest thing?  Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, the tanning bed still doesn’t work.