So we (lisa and I) started our trip to my home town of santa cruz at 6:14
PM on friday.  It didnt begin well, the no-reason-traffic made it take a
half an hour to get past the causeway and we stopped at Arbys for diner.
We finally made it to Santa Cruz around 9:30.  My dad has converted my old
room into a train room.  He has 'shelves' around the whole room that are
going to have train tracks on them.  So that was weird that he actaully
started the train room that he'd been talking about for about 6 years or
more.

The next day lisa and i took off to monterey to go to the monterey bay
aquarium.  It took a lot less time then we thought it would to get there.
We lied and said we were students and got in for the 4 dollar cheaper
student rate.  We saw lots of fish and it started raining and rain the
whole drive back to santa cruz.  That night my dad stayed up and told us
family history stories and race car driving stories.

So, i finally tryed the new m&ms.  They taste like kit kats to me.
They're pretty good but they dont last long.

So it turns out that my great grandfather on my moms side of the family
died in a coal mining disaster near chicago in the early 1900s.  I guess
he hadnt been married long and was originally from yugoslavia (as well as
my great grandmother, i assume).  So i guess like 120 something people
died when the mine shaft collapsed or something.  I guess there was my
greatgrandfather as well as his brothers and uncles (or other family).  I
guess my grandmother went back to chicago several years back and saw the
memorial that had all the dead peoples names on it.  So one of my new
missions is to find information about that disaster and look for my
realatives names.

My dad also told me stories that he heard from my grandfather about WWII.
I guess my grandfather was a major when he left the army (i think he left
when he got shot in the leg and got a purple heart).  But i guess his
group was sent to islands around new guine and the solomon islands.  They
would search out and 'get rid of' the japanese soldiers that where there.
I guess sometimes (or one time) they got left on an island for a long time
and couldnt get supplies so they had to get all their food from the jungle
and they we all weak and sick so they only could carry like 7 bullets
each.  I guess a lot of them would die from sickness too.  Must not have
been too much fun.  Someday i'll get his uniform and will try to figure
out what battles he fought in by the color bars/medals.

My dad also told a bunch of race car stories.  When he was young (16-24?)
he would race cars in watsonville.  I guess he won a lot and he was the
youngest racer there.  He said there is some NASCAR racer now that used to
watch my dad race, Ernie something (i guess this guy almost died in a
wreck a few years back, but now is racing again).  So i was thinking of
trying to make a web page about my dads racing days.  He said that he has
a scrapbook of clipings about his racing and he has troupfies and some
photos.  So maybe i'll try to get that going when i get the stuff from him
at easter.

One story he was telling was about when he was in some old crysler (that
he said would be worth a lot today) in a desctruction derby.  I guess he
bolted the battery to the passenger floor so it wouldnt get hurt by being
in front of the engine.  But i guess the floor was too rusty and on his
first hit the battery got knocked loose and the car died.  So i guess
between hits he would have to reconnect the terminals and hit someone (or
get hit), hunt for the battery and rehook it up and then hit someone
again.  i geuss he lost when he back-rammed a car and his trunk got stuck
on the guys car.  I guess the gas tank cracked and both cars caught on
fire and my dad had to sit on his hood and wait for the derby to stop