It has been a little while since we have done a Toasters Museum Adventures post, and after my out of town working weekend a couple of weeks ago, I have a little something to share. As I mentioned last week, I took in an Omnimax movie on that Saturday, and some of you were perhaps wondering just where that might have been. It was in fact at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland. Myself and some buddies from work spent an afternoon there, complete with a little good natured ribbing from the home front for being a bunch of nerds who hit up a science museum during off time instead of day drinking craft beers.
In addition to having the big, big screen movie theatre, this museum also happens to have a retired submarine tied up pier-side in the river for visitors’ touring pleasure–the USS Blueback (SS-581). This sub was not only the last non-nuclear boat built by the US, but also the last to retire from the US Navy inventory. She is a Barbel class boat that was launched and commissioned in 1959, serving actively until 1990, and was donated to the museum in 1994. Past the jump you will find more pictures that I took on our tour, plus some fun facts about the Blueback!
Continue reading TMA*: OMSI
No, not a bad dream. This was really happening.
Having survived a somewhat terrifying ride down a dark-rainy mountain with some dude wearing a black robe, carrying a sickle and calling himself the Apollyon as a passenger, we woke up a few hours later to bright grey skies, a light fog and the smells of an early morning parking lot as Oregon’s misty green hills slowly absorbed all the previous night’s rain.
I had been sound asleep and cozy warm before “Big” Crazy-Mike woke me up, and REALLY did not want to get out of bed. And surprisingly I did not wake up with a headache even though I had slept with my head downhill due to the angle of the Dysentrailer piled onto the car-trailer.
“Wow, that was some CRAZY weather last night” Big Crazy-Mike said.
“I know. I know…” I replied Continue reading Extraordinarily Stupid Road Trip – Part 6
As our crazy caravan passed into the hills of southern Oregon I had been spritzed by a few rain showers, and dumped on by a few angry clouds right about the same time I realized the ZomBee no longer had wipers…
And that is when it really started raining.
We were now hauling ass downhill, once again passing our train of Big-Rig friends – the road-spray and darkness making it pretty hard to see. I grabbed a micro-fiber towel I keep on hand just in case of such an emergency and tried to wipe the windshield from over the top, but could no longer reach my hand through the gap because the new roof panel was in the way. Reaching my hand out the window and around the roll cage only resulted in the towel flailing everywhere BUT the windshield, so I ended up flicking the bright yellow towel through the roof gap and “licking” the windscreen with it, which did not have much effect but probably looked funny as hell.
I flashed my lights to signal mike something was wrong but the lights went out completely. Again. Continue reading Extraordinarily Stupid Road Trip – Part 5
(Author’s note: Last week we left our adventure having given in to temptation, made a series of very bad decisions, and executed a plan rather poorly. This week we continue and pick up the story as it starts to get… for lack of a better word, “interesting”…)
“Ready or not world, here we come!”
So here we were, hauling a VW and a funny little trailer on a big trailer behind a VW van, all to go race silly cars on a brand new track somewhere south of Canada.
And as you might expect we weren’t exactly the fastest caravan to ply the interstate. Continue reading Extraordinarily Stupid Road Trip – Part 4
To infinity... and bee-yond! (See what I did there?)
The first sign of trouble came without any sign of trouble. It was more of a “BOOM-OH-MY-GAWD-I’M-GONNA-DIE!!” moment of terror.
I had just crossed the Benicia Bay Bridge, and was feeling smug and giddy that I got through with paying just the new $5 toll instead of the $15 they shake you down for with a 3rd axle. The attendant looked at my Allstate Single-wheel trailer, and seeing no obvious axle from her perch she hit the “cheap” button on her machine. I can only imagine the look on her face as what had just transpired sank in… “Wait, a trailer with NO wheels?” Continue reading Extraordinarily Stupid Road Trip – Part 3
Aww, look at him in his new clothes!
(continued from part 1, which can be found here)
Having just been given an offer to race a car I could not refuse, and remembering what happened the LAST time I drove the ZomBee all the way up to Oregon and back, I began searching for alternate modes of transportation including planes, trains and for a moment even considered taking a bus.
Continue reading Extraordinarily Stupid Road Trip – Part Two
You might have seen this photo before...
(Author’s note; Recently on our sister site Hooniverse, chief blooger Jeff Glooker detailed an epic cross country trip to deliver an old sports car out to the East coast. While Jeff and his brother traveled in opulent luxury surrounded by such extravagances as seat cushions, windows and door handles, another road trip saga was playing out in an entirely different direction. Here then is part one of that “other” story…)
It all started with an email, “Hey Sparky, wanna race the Saab?”
Oh dear. I was afraid of this. Again.
This one question would set in motion a series of events that would not only nearly kill this author several times and entangle a large cast of misfit-characters, but create a swath of confusion that spanned three states and thousands of miles along the beautiful Pacific Northwest highway system.
The originator of the email was none other than our own resident crazy-man Mike, aka MDHarrell, who has repeatedly demonstrated (beyond any reasonable doubt) that “Clearly, he is the crazier one”. Continue reading Extraordinarily Stupid Road Trip – Part One
The plane that started it all: Boeing P-26A Peashooter
Ed Maloney was in Guatemala and decided to visit a few junk yards to see what he could find. He spotted something and went inside to inquire about it. He didn’t speak Spanish, and the lady at the desk didn’t speak English. Luckily, the owner of the junk yard overheard Mr. Maloney asking about the wing to the P-26 leaning up against a fence in back. “Where is the rest of the plane,” he asked. “Who’s asking,” came a booming voice.
Continue reading TMA*: The Chino Planes of Fame Museum
And now for the exciting conclusion to the Virginia Beach Military Aviation Museum adventure! This hanger houses the ‘Army’ planes, and you will note there are a few aircraft (and automobiles) with a little bit of a foreign flair as well. Also included in this set is the one plane that was parked outside the day we went, which also gives a glimpse of the grass runway beside the museum as well as a glimmer far in the background of the hanger where there is a restoration center that is also open for tours. “During the normal work week, museum visitors can take a guided tour of the Fighter Factory and see the team of aircraft maintenance technicians performing regular maintenance and minor restoration work on the various planes.”
Continue reading TMA: Military Aviation Museum – Part 3
Here is part 2 of our look at the Virginia Beach Military Aviation Museum, focusing on the ‘Navy’ hanger. Take at look, and see if the seafaring life is the life for you! The basic layout of the museum is that you walk in, and after you take in the sights within the lobby, you can go left into the Navy hanger or right into the Army hanger. We chose left first, just by chance. The museum is one large building, built to look like connected WWII airfield hangers on the outside. Each hanger had an automotive interloper or two, and I think many of you will be able to appreciate the car stashed with the navy planes.
Continue reading TMA: Military Aviation Museum – Part 2