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Near OCC, Straight and Arrow Path Offers Adventure

<i> Benjamin Epstein is a free-lance writer who contributes frequently to the Times Orange County Edition</i>

Classes at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa are back in session this week, but you don’t have to be a student to enjoy the campus. And when it comes to learning about the world, nearby businesses are right on target.

10 to 11:10 a.m.: Changing photo exhibitions (“After Dark” through Feb. 13, then self-portraiture by Hiro Sato until March 13) are on display in a room just off the foyer of OCC’s Fine Arts Building called Photo 101A. Art by students hangs in the foyer itself.

More student works can be seen in several outdoor glass display cases en route to the Art Center; in the center’s gallery through Feb. 1 is an eclectic mixed-media show by faculty including paintings, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, drawings, photographs and computer graphics.

Denizens of the deep--such as a horny-head turbot and a moray eel that reportedly likes to have his chin rubbed--occupy five outside tanks at the Center for Applied Sciences. Can you tell the kelp fish from the kelp? One tank is filled mostly with flat fish such as a halibut, sole and long-fin sand dab but also one speckled fin midshipman for striking contrast. Peacock mantis shrimp occupy another tank just inside the door, and opal eyes play hide-and-seek in a nearby bubble-shaped aquarium.

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If class is not in session, peek in at the tropical tank--and especially the porcupine puffer--in Marine Science Lab 117. And feel free to ask questions.

11:10 to 11:50: Arrow Manufacturing Inc. began making arrows for school districts and colleges 31 years ago. Today, the staff says, it’s the largest arrow manufacturer on the West Coast. It’s also a store stocking everything having to do with bows, arrows and darts.

The proprietors often take Boy Scout troops on tours of the plant and store, and they also welcome individuals and drop-ins.

Bows range in price from $100 to $900, with most between $200 and $300. Longbows are the most traditional.

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“When you think of Robin Hood you think of longbows,” salesman Philip Cotton said. “They shoot wood arrows.”

The recurve bow has a springier action. Compound bows, developed in the last quarter-century, are a heavier, more powerful bow incorporating little wheels in a pulley-like system. Radium bows are the most expensive. The store also carries a variety of crossbows.

Bow hunting is a popular activity. On display in the store is a javelina from Catalina, “not a pig, actually the largest rodent,” Cotton said. Bow fishing is also big: “You hook a reel to your bow, (the line) peels off when you shoot, and you reel ‘em in.” Videos for sale or rent include “Bow Hunting in Zululand,” “Bow Fishing for Gator Gar” and “Tusks of Terror.”

Arrows can be made from wood ($14 per dozen) fiberglass or aluminum; top-of-the-line carbon arrows are $200 per dozen.

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Arrows are usually fletched (fitted) with colored turkey feathers, but they can also be fletched with frilly wood or aluminum “flu flus” designed for hunting birds. One person--"head fletcher” Henny Weiss--fletches every arrow made at the company, and she’s been there 28 years. She fletched 33,888 arrows last year.

11:55 to 12:15: Remote-controlled whoopee cushions are the biggest sellers at the House of Humor.

Also in demand are growing fangs, stink bombs, Coke-bottle glasses, a golf ball nose, two-headed nickels and squirting nickels, and for making that all-important first impression when shaking hands, the ever-popular joy buzzer. Oh, and fish ties.

Owner Sherron Newberg, known in her clown persona as Molly Mallone, admitted that much of the merchandise at House of Humor is slightly off-color, but she emphasized that it’s not an adult store. In Costa Mesa for 15 years, the shop opened at its present location in July.

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You can create a costume using a wide variety of wigs, or buy packaged “looks” such as Male Mouse ($4.98), which comes with “plush mouse ears, black foam nose, bright-colored polka-dot tie, black and red adjustable shorts with red suspenders attached.”

Fans of the gruesome will appreciate liquid blood capsules and the Alien 3 Chest Burster ($12.98).

Noon to 1: German Home Bakery recently doubled in size and now offers hot lunches ($3.95) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; possibilities include kassler (smoked pork chops) or sulze (headcheese) with sauerkraut and a marvelous hot potato salad. Goulash soup is $1.95. You can also build your own sandwich by selecting from half a dozen choices each of meat, cheese and bread ($2.95).

I ordered pork shoulder on rye with Tilsit cheese, but not before considering liverwurst on kaiser roll with Edam and a decidedly international Black Forest ham on French with Swiss.

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Bavarian, Berliner and Black Forest loaves are $2, day-old they’re $1. Also on the shelves are Hungarian-style uborka (spicy pickles), Polish-style gherkins and Baltic-style krautsalad . Smoked fish in tins include Conger eel and sprats. Overhead are panels depicting the story of bad boys Max und Moritz, who fall in the dough while trying to steal pretzels, are caught by the baker and baked, then gleefully eat their way out of their predicament.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

3-HOUR TOUR

1. Orange Coast College

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Fine Arts Building

Art Center/Gallery

Center for Applied Sciences

2701 Fairview Road

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(714) 432-5725

Fine Arts Building open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Art gallery open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; also, Thursday evenings and first and third Monday of each month, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Center for Applied Sciences open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2. Arrow Manufacturing Inc.

1365 Logan Ave.

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(714) 545-4978

Open Monday through Wednesday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

3. House of Humor

1215 W. Baker St., No. C

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(714) 540-3455

Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

4. German Home Bakery & Deli

2950 Grace Lane

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(714) 540-0281

Open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

PARKING / BUSES

Parking: There is pay parking in lots at Orange Coast College and free parking in lots at the other locations.

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Buses: OCTA buses 45 and 45A run north and south along Fairview Road with stops at Merrimac Way and Baker Street.

* Times Line: 808-8463

To hear brief capsules of other “3-Hour Tours,” call TimesLine and press * 7150


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