fund sarcasm


October 2018
« Nov    


• 2013 Majors

BCAPL National 8-Ball Championships
Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, NV
first time at the Rio (adios Riviera) and things get epic
Hard Times 10-Ball Open
Hard Times Billiards
Bellflower, CA
just a lil pre-Vegas warm up tournament
West Coast Challenge
$4,000 added One Pocket
$10,000 added 10-Ball
California Billiard Club
Mountain View, CA
last event at this location before they close (sadface)
Cole Dickson Memorial 9-Ball
Family Billiards
San Francisco, CA
for legendary road player Cole Dickson
Pots 'N' Pans Memorial 9-Ball
Pool Sharks
Las Vegas, NV
celebrating hustler Bernard Rogoff, better known as "Pots 'N' Pans"
TAR35 | Dennis Orcollo vs Shane Van Boening
TAR Studio
Las Vegas, NV
second and third days
TAR33 | Francisco Bustamante vs Alex Pagulayan
TAR Studio
Las Vegas, NV
second (1P) and part of third (10B) day
TAR32 | Ronnie Alcano vs Jayson Shaw
TAR Studio
Las Vegas, NV
GREAT match • Andy Mercer Memorial 9-Ball Tournament coverage
Chet Itow Memorial 9-Ball
California Billiards Club
Mountain View, CA
drank too much to do good coverage, but here it is, anyway
Jay Swanson Memorial 9-Ball
Hard Times Billiards
Bellflower, CA
let Robocop show you how to run a six-pack, Citizen
TAR31 | Mike Dechaine vs Shane Van Boening
TAR Studio
Las Vegas, NV
TAR30 | Darren Appleton vs Shane Van Boening
TAR Studio
Las Vegas, NV
the boys are back in town
» Huidji See
» Donny Mills
the best kind of New Year's Sandwich
that's not okay
you know that I'm no good
on being a reasonable human being with realistic expectations
instasham series
stories from the distant and slightly-less-distant past
the only people for me are the mad ones
questions, tournaments, bets, running 26.2 miles


The Action Report
purveyor of fine challenge matches between highly-skilled players of note
Cue Times Billiard News
Colorado's best resource for all things pool-related
Jack Justis Cases
the choice of champions
Sugartree Customs
made by Eric "Slower Than Snails" Crisp, if and when he feels like it
Tucker Cue Works
"If you feel the need to ask me how your cue is progressing every week then maybe there is a better choice of cuemakers out there for you."
Kurzweils' Country Meats
yes, meat

absinthe and good-hearted landlords


My family has a great love for road trips and the road we have traveled on the most is the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), officially known as California State Route 1. The highway is just under 656 miles long and runs from Mendocino County in Northern California down to Orange County in Southern California where it ends by merging with The 5, officially known as Interstate 5 and one of the more boring roads to ride.


There is a concrete structure just off the highway I have always wondered about. I saw it as a kid whenever we drove by and wondered what it was. Now that I’m an adult, I’m free to do stupid things and find out for myself.


I’m not the only curious one/person who makes bad decisions.



And there it is.



It is a World War II era observation site.



From Wikipedia:

Prior to the advent of radar, military personnel would use binoculars and compasses to search for ships at sea and relay their coordinates to a central post. By combining information from multiple observation posts, a ship’s precise location could be determined by triangulation.



There were six military structures at the Devil’s Slide: three concrete and steel observation pill-boxes, two concrete and earth bunkers, and a reinforced steel observation tower. The pill-boxes were used as hardened observation posts, and one of the bunkers was used as a communications and command post. The site was sold to a private owner in 1983, but some of the structures remain.
Just a closeup of the neat vein of something running through something else.


I climbed up to see if I could find a way in (of course I did).
I was too short to see inside (of course I was) and the ledge was too eroded to provide a solid platform from which to climb. You can see where someone attached ropes to the exposed rebar to help climbers inside.
I wasn’t in good enough condition to even try that out.
A tall guy and his friend followed us up and while the tall guy also could not see inside, he was able to hold his camera up and take some pictures.
The interior was covered in graffiti and I remember a drawing of an astronaut in particular. No doubt the spot is popular for a variety of… recreational activities.


Front view showing the significant wear to the base and the structure in general. Some history regarding the wear and tear courtesy of the Half Moon Bay Patch:
This unusual feature on the landscape is described by Dave Cresson in his book Half Moon Bay’s Turning Points as a “great concrete pimple.” It owes its current exposed state to an unusual episode in its recent history. Cresson writes that in the late 1960s the land had passed into private hands. The owner, thought to be from Texas, petitioned San Mateo County officials for permission to build a mansion overlooking the sea. The local planning inspectors refused to grant the permits necessary for sewage disposal and, according to Cresson, the frustrated Texan took his frustration out on the hillside, bulldozing away at the top of the hill, leaving the metal structure exposed for all to see – the “concrete pimple” that it is today.
Little graffiti dude says, “Why not die trying?” Why not, indeed. Profound.


Glorious view from front of the pillbox. (You may click to embiggen.)



In the above panorama, you can see two tunnels to the far right. Those are the Tom Lantos Tunnels, officially opened in March of 2013, built to bypass the Devil’s Slide area. Devil’s Slide is an area of the Pacific Coast Highway famous for landslides due to erosion, storms, and the occasional bit o’ seismic activity. The idea for building an inland bypass to the Devil’s Slide stretch over Montara Mountain was raised as early as 1958. The tunnel approach was proposed in 1973 and although studies were conducted to determine viability, the state dropped the idea in the late 70s.



A major landslide in 1983 revived the bypass idea. In 1985, Caltrans proposed a bypass over Martini Creek, a proposal that had come up before but had been abandoned due to environmental concerns. No real solution was reached and things proceeded on as before. Another landslide in 1995 brought attention to the issue again and it was discovered that Caltrans had intentionally overestimated the cost of tunnel in order to support the Martini Creek freeway bypass. In November of 1996, county voters approved the building of a tunnel and Caltrans agreed a few days afterwards.


Ground was broken for a new tunnel in May 2005. Drilling of the tunnels started in September 2007 and completed in 2011. The tunnels were completed and opened to traffic in 2013.
Earlier in March of this year, the Devil’s Slide section of the freeway opened as The Devil’s Slide Trail, a recreational area for hikers, cyclists, and horseback riders.


Let’s zip back to the very beginning of Devil’s Slide (thanks to Wikipedia, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Internet in general):

The Ocean Shore Railroad was intended to be built from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, California, via a route along the Pacific coastline. Construction began in 1905 at both ends, but the line was never completed due to the 1906 earthquake. They did begin service through a Devil’s Slide tunnel in 1908, but in 1915, the Coastside Boulevard was completed. Farmers began using the Coastside to move produce to San Francisco and the demand for the railway decreased. The Ocean Shore Railway ceased service in 1920.

In 1937, Caltrans completes a 5.9-mile highway extension along Devil’s Slide that follows the same path as the Ocean Shore Railway. In 1938 comes the first landslide to force a major closure of the highway. There would be many slides in years to come, including in 1942, 1951, 1952, 1977, 1982, 1983, 1995 and 2006.

By the 1950s, the road at Devil’s Slide had developed a reputation for danger for both motorists and wayward climbers. The most recent accident I found was in November of 2013.

But now, that stretch is just a pretty spot to contemplate the meaning of life (barring wayward climbers — but you KNOW there will be some, and they will need to be rescued).



Related Posts along the Pacific Coast


thanks to Wikipedia and the Internet for the fun facts
am I stalling about getting back to writing about pool
maybe a teeny tiny bit

4 comments to absinthe and good-hearted landlords

  • Tony Torres

    It looks like an AT-AT from Empire Strikes Back

  • purpdrag (Paul in VA)

    I love stuff like this and probably also would have checked it out at some point if I lived in CA. The steam tunnels at VA Tech were strictly off limits of course, so me and one of my friends just had to find a way in and see where could, and could not get, underneath, and possibly into, all of the campus buildings. We even took flashlights and old school weapons just to make it seem cooler (and nerdier). I brought my trusty hatchet, which was stupid because it would have just led to even more trouble had we been caught. But still I just had to do it, imagining I was on some kind of dangerous adventure. The air was barely breathable in some sections and almost every entry/exit was securely locked. We didn’t find anything particularly cool or valuable down there, but still a great and memorable experience. This would have been about 1982.