Ventura Highway

Hello! It’s me.


Yes, this is the road from the song popularized by the band “America”, way back in the early 1970s. Today, it was a parking lot that we spent 45 minutes on going approximately six miles. Well, I exaggerate. We were on the same highway, but in Santa Barbara trying to get to Ventura. Maybe Oprah was giving out free Pontiacs in front of her home in Santa Barbara, I don’t know, but the whole travel ecosystem was mucked up.

Prior to that, we had a foison of fun. We started the day by taking in the Pacific.


Then I met a fellow sausage link … this one is 3/4th dachshund.


Notice that the pup wasn’t sniffing my rear end. I had my own unique set of difficulties today. Remember when I enjoyed the hot dog in Carmel? So do I. I haven’t had much human food in the past four months, so when this foot-long piece of pressed meat went through my intestinal tract, the results were not pretty.




So much for human food.

Next up on the tour was the Hearst Castle (click here). I sat in the car for 2.5 hours holding my hot dog in until the next trip outside … but Mom and Dad were somehow able to bypass the 2-day reservation list by waltzing up to the ticket window and asking if anybody cancelled in the past few minutes? Turns out two people cancelled, so Mom and Dad got to hop on the next bus while everybody else in line … well … they didn’t get to hop on the next bus.

Apparently this wealthy entertainment dude from decades ago decided to build a small home that turned into a monstrosity requiring $25 per person admission. Worth it, of course, because you’re never going to witness this level of opulence in your local cul-de-sac McMansion.

I’d love to belly-flop in this pool.


The seasonal art was beautiful.


And the tour guide, Garrett, deserves five stars for his efforts.


Perched high up on a foothill, the views aren’t all that bad. By the way, that’s me in the car, parked way down there. See me?


It took 28 years to complete half of the work. The other half will be completed when the State of California is able to receive a bid to complete two-billion dollars of work for about eighty-thousand dollars.



We then drove down to Pismo Beach.

You all know about Pismo, right?


Click here, my friends.

Donny would have loved this:


I reflected on the myriad ways that Donny might have spent time here.


Dad bought a t-shirt to commemorate the event while Mom and I sat in the car and took in the sights, along with a half-dozen semi-interested tourists.


From there, it was off to Ventura, where I watched carefully as Mom loaded stuff out of the car.



We decided to ignore the blood-colored stain at head-level in the bathroom … I’m sure somebody spilled fruit punch way up there. Right? Or did a Chupacabra infiltrate the room?

Now I’m worried.

I sang myself to sleep with America’s “Ventura Highway” (click here). To be honest, the hair those dudes sported was as frightening as the head-level blood stain in our hotel bathroom.


Happy Hour Mixer

Hello. It’s me!!


I’m the kind of guy who honors both Country and Coastline.

What a curious day. Dad starts us off with a car wash, of all things. Are we driving to Arizona, or are we soaping a vehicle? But we finally hit the road, smelling like automobile antiperspirant. Three hours later, we land in Carmel.

This is where things get curious. Mom and Dad take me to a Happy Hour Mixer of sorts. Sure, they called it “lunch”, but where else but in Carmel (by the Sea) can pups eat lunch with humans?

There were so many friendships to harvest.


That’s Herman. He found me small and intimidating.


Gretchen grumbled about her festive red and green poo bags. Can’t blame her on that one.


Simone whispered to me that it was too hot to wear a sweater. I told Simone that it was too hot to house a full covering of long hair. Simone told me she sported both. I told Simone that she would be in my “thoughts and prayers”.


Boris told me that the restaurant ran out of kibble. I thanked Boris for the head’s up, and then looked down the menu, hoping that maybe the establishment might offer up a full bowl of hot dogs or other suitable replacement.


Haley told me that there are at least fifteen different variations on the spelling of her name, and she told me that one out of every eleven dogs are now named Haley. That sounded like fake news to me.

After the meet-and-greet, it was time to sup. I looked to Dad, ever so hopeful for a bowl of hot dogs. After all, they were on the menu for only $3.50.


And then … as all hope appeared to be lost … the friendly waitstaff at our happy hour brought out a bowl of HOT DOGS!!


#OMG, #amirite?

I wanted to shout my amazing appetizer outcome from the highest rooftops … but many pups were apparently denied a nourishing treat and ran from my bragging ways.


After supping, we drove down the coast via California 1 … ninety miles of twists and turns designed to make any pup queasy. But the sights … oh the sights!


Tonight, we rest in San Simeon … my belly full, my soul overflowing with the mostly warm greeting I received during Happy Hour today! We approach Southern California a trio of Happy Travelers, basking in comfortable temperatures in the mid-60s.


Shasta Isn’t Just A Beverage Anymore

Hello! It’s me!!


No, I didn’t draw the short straw – though I certainly enjoyed gnawing on the one I selected.

Here’s a fun fact. Most of you thoroughly enjoy your daily serving of soft drinks courtesy of the Shasta brand owned by National Beverages, #amirite (Mom says #starbucks).

Well Shasta isn’t just a label for quality beverages anymore. Pssst … come in close here for a secret … Shasta … is a VOLCANO!!

How do I know?

Well, look at this one.


That thing is NUTS!

Check this one out.


It’s got it’s own weather system, complete with a little cap above the summit. There’s like thirty miles of volcanic perspective as you drive around this big boiler. It’s a better way to kill time than chewing on a straw.

We hauled arse today … from Salem, OR to Vacaville, CA. We drove. At first, I thought it might be a good idea to walk to Vacaville.


But Daddy Downer said we were going to drive five hundred miles, which meant that at my pace, I’d arrive on February 1.

Not wanting to delay arrival by a full month, I opted for the car.

Here’s something for you to consider … did you know that people move half-houses on Interstate Highways these days?


Who in their right mind is going to live in a half-a-home? Come on, humans, THINK!

We said goodbye to the Pacific Northwest.


And as we crossed into California (or as L.L. Cool J calls it … “Cali”) …


… the Sun began to overpower the clouds … a strong harbinger for the weather we are seeking.


I shared the images of Mt. Shasta above … blue skies and temperatures in the low 40s. The weather incrementally improves.

We arrived in Vacaville well after dark, right before bedtime. But first, we needed to sup on local cuisine.


Tomorrow if all goes well, we end up in Carmel. I am so hopeful that this is the place where delicious Rolo candies are made.

Outrunning It

Hello! It’s me.


Anytime you take a trip, it is worth taking a few minutes to reflect on where you’ve been, and where you are going.

To the naked eye, it is obvious where we’ve been.


Moist, eh?

And to be honest, I don’t know where I am going. I’ve been told we are going to visit the Valley of the Sun.

So today we began our journey. As we prepared to board the ferry, I noticed this abnormally large canine.


A bit blurry, but you get the picture. Could you imagine a human riding me? Me!? It’s back-breaking work, I’ll tell ya that much.

I told ferry staff where to park our vehicle on the vessel.


From there, it was six hours of driving through this.


You can only see so much of “that” before you need some of “this”.


We arrived in Salem, OR … 37 degrees, 40mph winds, raining sideways, intermittent flakes of wet snow peppering the windshield. It’s December in the Pacific Northwest, and we are like fugitives on the lamb, trying to outrun our native weather.

Tomorrow we will probably make it well into California … aka “Cali”as the kids say … and I’m California dreaming on such a winter’s day.


Christmas: A Time For Friends And Family … And Television

Hello! It’s me!


It’s been a long year … my only year on the planet, but who is counting? And let’s be honest, winter isn’t exactly delighting me. Look at this nonsense.


That’s called gray and rain.

Three months of perpetual mildew took a toll on us. Mom took matters into her own hands … she proudly announced earlier today that we’re off to Arizona on Monday! Woo-hoo!

But Christmas is coming, so let’s not rush the season just yet. Christmas is a time for family and friends. And television. But more on that later. This afternoon, I received the best Christmas Eve present ever … my neighbor Zoey stopped by! Oh the fun we had! We played and urinated and played.


When we weren’t playing, we frolicked.


At this point, I decided to draft behind Zoey …


… and as the winds blew around her, I pulled out to take my position, not unlike a Kyle Larson pass at Talledega.


We waited for Mom to come up the hill … I’m told that the wait is the hardest part.


We waited, of course, for the opportunity to partake in the greatest Christmas tradition of all time. I’ll let you pick the tradition via multiple choice.

  1. Opening Gifts.
  2. Ample Worship of the Anniversary of the Birth of our Lord and Savior.
  3. Watching Twenty-Four Consecutive Hours of A Christmas Story on TBS.


Yes, the answer is (3) … and I don’t know how this turns out, but if I were Ralphie, I’d be careful. He could shoot his eye out if he gets what he wants for Christmas!

Meanwhile, my afternoon play session with Zoey wore me out. I rest now, saving energy for our big trip to Arizona!


Corn Ship!

Hello! It’s me.


This is the kind of one-sided broasting I enjoy after a good ole-fashioned bath. No chestnuts to roast over an open fire, but Jack Frost is nipping at my nose. It’s brisk here in the Pacific Northwest! Arctic air is blowing out of the Fraser River delta. I deal with the issue by trying to transfer as many frozen pieces of garden soil under Mom & Dad’s bed as possible. You should see how fast “terra roxa” thaw once secured under their bed. Oh to have a viable glebe to harvest during the Holy Season!

I asked our intrepid readers to forward images of a corn ship, following Dad’s epic #fail with the spell check. Two readers had nothing better to do with their time than to dazzle #dashnation readers with improbable images.

The first image comes to us from loyal reader Judy.


That’s some unbelievable stuff. Somebody actually had to visualize that in order to create it. I can only wonder what else is rattling around in that mind #chupacabra.

The second image comes to us from my Aunt.


I’m not completely sure what is going on there, but those little nibblets are going for a ride, amirite?

Dad tells me I am about ten days away from an “epic journey”. I don’t know what that means, either, but if I’m being transported in a Corn Ship, I have no worries.

Quick Update

Hello, it’s me 90 seconds later!


Nothing has changed. No nachos.

But Dad wanted me to alert you that I have no interest in eating Corn Ships. Dad says that the auto-correct function in his software did something wonky in the last post. #whatevs

That being said, if you can find an example of a Corn Ship, please send Dad a copy, and he’ll publish every single Corn Ship sent to him, alright? Kthanks.


Hello! It’s me.


What do you see in front of the fireplace?

Yes, that’s a bowl of food.

I haven’t eaten more than a couple pieces of carrot today – it’s a protest against the endless pelletalization of my diet. Same food, every day. So it doesn’t matter where Dad puts the food, he can glue it to my foot, I’m not interested in it today.

Shhhhhhh …. lean in here for a second …. if somebody has access to an ample serving of nachos, please let me know. I saw Dad eating them earlier, and there couldn’t be anything better than fake nacho cheese sauce drizzled over oily corn chips, #amirite?

A parting thought … my friend Kate sent this lovely little piece of art. I thought y’all might appreciate it. If I had to pick a pup out of the image that best represented me, I’d be the one standing up on the lower left … begging … for human food.



Hello. It’s me!!


We’re about as far from summer as you can get, my friends. We’re not playing tennis with Wendy on a glorious, sunny, 74 degree afternoon. Nope. Not at all.

We wait for ferry traffic amid drizzle and grey skies.


But then, with rainfall a full 58% above average since October 1, something new, something interesting, something hard to pronounce happened.


It is tempting to think about sitting in an Adirondack chair as frozen pellets hit you in the head, no doubt about it. But this isn’t snow. It isn’t hail. It is ….


Click here, you’ll learn all about this magical particulate.

To be honest, I found the uniform “whiteness” of the pellets somewhat boring, so I added a bit of color to the ensemble – my own version of a summertime snow cone.


And then, it was time to demonstrate raw athleticism (visit the site if you cannot see the video via email).

The endless tedium of grey and drizzle and intermittent heavy showers was disrupted by graupel from the heavens. I, for one, am thankful to the Creator of frozen delights!