Journal Entry – 9.2.2017 – Morning

It is 7:14 on Saturday morning, September 2nd, 2017.  We are going through a rare heatwave that seems to be occurring more and more here on the coast in Pacifica.  You know it will be a hot day when it is already 72 degrees before the sun has even risen.  There is no wind and there are no clouds in the sky to offer any form of relief.

For many on the coast there is also no air conditioning so locals as well as people from around the Bay will descend on Pacifica beaches today and Highway 1 will be an absolute mess.  Today is also the first day of my son’s first grade Japanese Saturday school.  The will leave in about 45 minutes.

This morning I had my wheatgrass, vegetable/fruit juice and wanted to get this post in while I still felt like writing before it became too hot.  I had created a nice morning ambiance with a bird soundtrack on YouTube and a fish tank on the T.V. but this ambiance has been shattered with my youngest continually opening his birthday card which plays “Kung Fu Fighting” and his general yelling.

What I wanted to write about however was the movie we watched last night called “Diary of a Wimpy Kid – The Long Haul.”  The Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a popular book among elementary school students and was made into a movie or two.  For me, this movie was a bit surreal as it had Alicia Silverstone as a middle aged mother.  Alicia was the beautiful, blond bombshell from the movie Clueless which came out my senior year of high school.  She was without a doubt the hottest actress at the time.  Now, over 20 years have passed, and she is no longer the bombshell she once was.

For me this is a reminder and a warning that one should never chase after the prettiest girls in high school if they do not have an excellent personality.  Beauty fades, your character and personality change much less.  Aside from Hollywood actresses, I’ve seen amongst girls in my own high school how quickly beauty can go away as they get older.  The one thing that always retains beauty is their character and personality which can completely offset the importance of looks in any person.  So to the young, I would again say not to chase after the most beautiful if they do not have a personality that matches the beauty.  Time marches on and nothing remains the same.

The other surreal part was when the father said that the driver (Alicia) controls the radio and they turned on Spice Girls “Wannabe” song.  This came out in 1996 and was a major hit.  So to see Alicia as a middle aged mother jamming to Wannabe was also surreal for me.  It goes to show how quickly time passes and that now I am firmly a middle aged person.  This is still very strange to me especially when I see this fact put right in front of my face through film.  It also reminds me of a time volunteering in an old folks home and I observed the morning gathering.  The gentleman in charge was in a wheel chair and was going through old news and trivia from the ’40s and ’50s.  I remember him mentioning an actress I had never heard of.  Watching the movie last night I wonder if I’ll be doing the same after another ’40 years mentioning the movie Clueless and Wimpy Diary and having them guess who the actress is?

One line in the film was “But she just doesn’t get what it is like to be a kid in the 20th century.”  This was said after she took away everyone’s cell phones during a long drive.  This also hit home since it is very true – we didn’t have all these electronic gadgets back in 1995.  I however, do understand that kids would want to use their electronics.  On long drives we did have Nintendo’s Gameboy and Sega’s Gamegear.  I had the Gamegear and remember how great it was to have on a long drive and I too would want to use electronics on a long drive. The kid who said the line did make a mistake though as we’re in the 21st century, it was the 20th century in which I and Alicia Silverstone grew up in and so we understand it very well and much more so than the kids now since they weren’t even born.

Well, the time is now 7:30 AM and I think I should water the plants before the sun has risen to high in the sky and the temperature soars.  What an entirely middle aged thought!  Time sure does go quickly!

Snoopy’s path behind German lines – World War One Flying Ace


For my Halloween post this year I thought I’d try to figure out where Snoopy – World War One Flying Ace – crash landed in “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”

When I studied France I was always fascinated by all the small towns that quickly passed by when I was riding the TGV somewhere between Lyon or Besançon and Paris.  I remember stopping at one small town when taking the night train; I do not remember the name of it but that it was around 10:00 PM, only one passenger got off; I remember thinking how quiet it was and how small the town was.  In fact, it might not have been a town at all but a village, although I don’t think the TGV would stop at a village but who knows.

Since then I’ve always wanted to travel in the French countryside going nowhere in particular.  Just stroll into a small town like the one I just mentioned, have a café, read the newspaper, visit the small churches and perhaps even strike up a conversation with a few of the locals.  I’d love to visit small memorials and forgotten places of the world wars that are now known only to the villagers.

A trip like this might seem boring to many in the fast place, ADD world we live in.  But for me, this would be a dream trip which would only be topped if somehow I could know everything and everyone in the town from its founding and know each and every story that ever took place there.

It is from this fascination that I noticed the signs of real places as Snoopy made his way behind enemy lines after being shot down.  I’ve found most of it but am still a little confused by the last sign which I’ll explain.

Interactive Google Map

Now I’ll use pictures from the movie to explain what these points mean:


The first sign we come to is Châlons-sur-Marne.  This city is now called Châlons-en-Champagne and is shown by the pin on the above map at the far left.  Snoopy is 70 kilometers from there so that puts him crash landing near the middle pin close to Verdun.

He then travels south east and we know he is still behind enemy lines because he must sneak across by night.  He also comes across trenches which puts us right on the front lines.

The best guess is that he is very close to the Armstice line of 11 November 1918.  Wikipedia:

Original map drawn by Joanna Legg on CorelDraw 1999/2000. Modified in 2003, 2010, 2014.
Original map drawn by Joanna Legg on CorelDraw 1999/2000. Modified in 2003, 2010, 2014.


Next we come to our second sign which is Pont-a-Mousson.  On the map above there are two pins close together on the far right.  One is Pont-a-Mousson and the other is three km away showing Snoopy’s approximate location.


Then in the next frame there is another sign simply saying La Moselle is 4 km away.  There isn’t a town called La Moselle close-by but there is the Moselle river.  One detail that is very hard to see is the letters in red – N57.  This is for Route national 57 which tells us Snoopy is on this road.

Route national 57

Route Nationale 57 –

And we then see Snoopy come to a river that he swims across which must be the Moselle.

Finally, he sneaks inside the farmhouse and joins the Halloween Party.  While at the party Schroeder plays some famous songs from World War One that makes Snoopy pretty emotional.

Schroeder’s World War One Music:

  1. It’s a Long Way to Tipperary
  2. There’s a Long, Long Trail A-Winding
  3. Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile.  (Snoopy smiling on the smile lines)
  4. Roses of Picardy


  1. Link to the only website I could find that also had information about Snoopy’s path which helped me a little bit.  Thank you!
  2. N57 on Google Maps:   Click Here