Archive for July, 2010

Protesters go home!

July 29, 2010

Funny, all the signs the protesters against the AZ law are holding are in Spanish.

I might be more sympathetic if they were in English.   I have no idea of what they are protesting about.  Then again, maybe they want to bring all the wonder and charm of Mexico City to us.

Sie konnen Englisch sprechen

July 29, 2010

If someone wishes to immigrate to the US, they must learn English.

If they can also speak a second language, i.e., German, that is all to the good.

I wouldn’t hire anyone who couldn’t speak passable English.

Legalize pot!

July 26, 2010

Actually, this will never happen, tho I’m in favor of it.

The good folk of Columbia & Mexico will spend billions to prevent this.  It is called lobbying.

To the Lake! No, the Crater!

July 11, 2010

Saturday, 10 July 2010. It was sunny and clear and I was looking forward to my drive up to Crater Lake.  I grabbed a leisurely breakfast at the adjacent restaurant, grabbed my camera, and headed out.

It was a very easy drive up to the park.  There was little traffic on the main road and even less going into the park.  Maybe I was just early.  Just about the time I entered the park grounds I spied snow on the ground!   YEA!  I flashed my Golden Age Pass to get in for free.  I took a break at the information center double checking where I wanted to go and chatted with a group of bikers, to whom I gave a route 66 e-group card.  I also chatted briefly with a German couple.

I headed down to the rim road widdershins so that I would be making right hand turns.  Of course this also meant I would be cutting across a highway for some of the parking areas.  I slowly drove along the road stopping at many of the pull office to take photos.  The day couldn’t have been better for taking photos.  The air was crystal clear and the sun bright.  I used up a lot of pixels today.

I was even able to get a hobbity photo.  With lots of snow in the background and around I had some other tourists take a picture of me barefoot in the snow.  And there was lots of snow on the ground.  There were still drifts between 10 and 15 feet deep along the side of the road.

From one of the lookouts one could see a forest watchtower way up on top of a mountain crag.  The only way to reach it was hiked up over snow.  The snow had not yet melted off of the path.  A number of hearty souls appear to be trying to take their way up to the top.  More power to them.

Along the way I met several other German tourists and lumbered them with my attempts to speak German.  It was grand fun.

I hadn’t been to Crater Lake in probably 45 or 50 years.  It is the only worth a detour to visit.

I grabbed a bite at the restaurant just outside the park and headed back to sunny Klamath Falls.

After relaxing little bit and catching up with my e-mail I’m about ready to go out and search of a Dairy Queen Sundae.

If the bikers surrounding me on all sides that the motel are not too noisy, I hope to get a fair night’s sleep and then head south to South Lake Tahoe and visit with Phil Stevenson on the morrow.

Into Oregon

July 11, 2010

Friday, 9 July 2010. I got some sleep but not enough.  I may have to wait until I get home to catch up on my sleep.  Today was chilly and misty.  Once again my computer seemed to lock up.  I’ll try restarting it when I get to the motel this afternoon.  I had a nice breakfast at the adjacent restaurant and then headed north after topping up the gas tank.  The drive is sort of pretty when I could see the scenery.  It was quite misty and on occasions foggy.  It was chilly enough that I started out the day using the heater in the car.  This soon changed when I headed inland and away from the coast.  With the sun out I still needed the air-conditioner.

I left the 101 and took SR 199 up into Oregon.  It was quite a pretty drive of the road wound through pretty countryside.  At Grants Pass I took the interstate down to SR 66.  I highly recommend SR 66 for the drive over to Klamath Falls.  It has lots of curves and went over a couple reasonably high passes.  The view from the road was spectacular.

I stayed once again at a Motel 6.  After one false start I was able to restore my computer though it took awhile.  I checked on the connection speed and found it to be somewhat satisfactory.  I picked up the wireless card from the front desk after a very nice chicken dinner at the adjoining restaurant.  I shall attempt to play little catch up on the computer.

Eureka! Hobbits!

July 10, 2010

Thursday, 8 July 2010. Up after poor nights sleep is all set to drive up to Eureka and have a nosh and a natter with an old friend.  I have called the previous evening to make sure she would be around.

After having a much too fattening Belgium waffle for breakfast I headed over to the local AAA office for additional maps.  One can never have too many maps.

While traffic was occasionally heavy a decent time through very pretty countryside.  I detoured off the 101 on two The Avenue of the Giants.  This drive held a couple neat things.  Shortly after getting on to the road I stopped by Hobbiton USA.  It was sad to see how rundown the old place has become.  I wonder if an appeal on would raise enough money and talented workers to restore the old place.  There are surely enough traffic on that road to support an attraction such as this.

And unlike the last time I drove this road it was mostly sunny and beautiful day.  The trees and the scenery along the road is hard to describe.  I found myself thinking that I was driving through various portions of The Old Forest, Mirkwood, and Fangorn Forest.  It was a very Middle-earth drive.

I checked into my room, puttered on the computer, and rang up my friend to arrange dinner.  Since she knew Eureka and I didn’t, she drove into town and found a restaurant with no problem.  It was a somewhat upscale seafood restaurant.  I had salmon and she had mahi mahi.  Though service was a little slow, however, the food was quite good, the conversation excellent, and the company hard to beat.

A Quiet Day on the 101!

July 10, 2010

Wednesday, 7 July 2010.  I get a fair nights sleep awaking to find the area under more June gloom even though it is already July.  After some hassle in a phone call customer service I gave up on trying to get a valid and useful Internet connection from the Marina Motel 6.  After getting my money back I the headed north to Ukiah.  I’m the planning on doing a lot of driving on any one day.

I connected with the 101 and headed north traffic is not too bad.  The skies cleared and it was a beautiful day to drive.  In San Jose I can exit up with the 880 and headed up the side of the bay.  Traffic was fairly heavy but moved along smoothly.  I crossed the north end of the bay and picked up the 101 again.  It was a very pretty drive except for the occasional traffic jam when there was an accident but all in all it was an enjoyable drive.

I found the Motel 6 in Ukiah and actually got a room with a solid Internet connection.  This allowed me to do some catch up on e-mail and other stuff.  The chap at the front desk styles himself to be a computer geek and was very helpful in picking out a room with a good signal for my computer.

Going along with his recommendation I went to a quite pleasant restaurant and had a quite decent steak.  I got back and puttered on the computer for while.

The Glass Artist!

July 10, 2010

Tuesday, 6 July 2010. I was a thoroughly early after a very poor nights sleep.  I did manage to clear the house in about 45 minutes.  I then headed down the 101 in the search of Route 33.  I stopped in Ventura to ask directions succeeding with the second gas station.  The people there understood English.  I did a Route 33 and headed north in search of Carrizo Plains National Monument.  I stopped off at a McDonald’s after topping off my fuel tank and had a delightful chat was the regulars at McDonald’s.  They do all on the route I was taking and said I would have no problems with either Gas or the drive.  I did give them a card for the Route 66 eGroup as they seem to enjoy getting on the road.

After topping one of the souls between the ocean at Central California cloud layer and finally lifted.  I’m really enjoy driving Route 33 as it was both straight and very twisty up the mountains and across plains.  I may have to seek it out another year.  After missing the turn off the first time I did find the road leading to the CPNM.  Soon the badly maintained pavement gave way to a dirt road which was easier to drive on than the pavement.  I’ve met no one on my drive through the park except for two maintenance personnel who were kicking back under a shade tree near where some construction was going to be going on after lunch.

As has been said before of other locations, it was beautiful desolation.  I enjoyed my slow drive a through the area before returning eventually to the so-called civilized world.  One can camp there if they so desire and be assured of a quiet stay.

I found 101 and headed north after checking in with Lin to assure her that I had made it safely through the desolation.

After a McDonald’s milkshake and the other half of yesterday’s sandwich I filled the car up with gas and headed to Salinas in hopes of obtaining lots and lots of maps for the rest of the trip.  The drive was relatively uneventful though there were a couple slow spots partially due to an accident or two.  I got to Salinas just in time so that I could obtain lots and lots of maps before the AAA office was closed.  I was saved.  I had my map fix.

After hitting over to my motel, a Motel 6, I headed up into the hills for dinner with Joy Day and her partner.  We had a lovely chat over almost too much food, which was good, and then Joy was out some of her latest glassware.  She had created a delightful and beautiful to set of wine bottle stoppers.  They were gorgeous.  The glass contains swirls of color of every hue.  She also showed me a plate that could be used to heat up pizza in the microwave.  The design and of the glass even look like a pizza.  Of course the plate could hold other things, but pizza sprung to mind first.

Eventually, we had to call it a night and I headed back down hill.

Lunch in Simi Valley

July 9, 2010

Monday, 5 July 2010. Lin picked me up and we went off to find breakfast before heading over to Triple-A only to find it was closed today.  We then headed over to Hertz to pick up my car.  I ended up with a very basic Kia.  However, it would get me around fairly economically.  Unfortunately, it did not have the cruise control.  As I figured maintaining a steady speed was not the easiest thing to do.

From there we headed over to Simi Deli, USA, for lunch with that and assorted group of fans from the area.  We were eight in number.  The deli is quite good, and my sandwich was way bigger than anything I could get into my mouth.  I eat it in sections, and saved the second half for lunch the next day.

Lin dropped me off at Sue’s and went off do some work went off.  That evening Lin, Sue, and I went out for dinner and a very nice long chat.  We did break up early as I did want to get up early.  Back at Sue’s live transferred one or a hand the grab and go bag to my car.  I was now equipped to challenge the wilds of Central California.

Off to Westercon

July 9, 2010

Wednesday, 30 June through Sunday, 4 July 2010. Up and out at my appointed time.  Off to Rochester where I was leaving my car with Euan.  Except for one slow down on the Thruway I was able to make good time out to Macedon Center.  I stood my car in Euan’s driveway and we set off to find Ann.  We stopped along the way for a nice lunch.  We picked up Euan’s son who had been spending the day with Ann.  Before heading over to the airport to drop me off we took a slight detour to inspect the archaeological site Ann and her students were working on.  It was an old farm building from some 200 years ago.

I checked in and went through security without any problems.  The flight was on time and relatively comfortable.  I chatted for a short while with my seatmate who was a young Ph.D. student at RIT.  When we deplaned, I asked her if she wanted to accompany me to the Admirals Club.  She thought this would be quite neat as she had never been to an airline club.  After bringing her in as my guest we sat and chatted for a short while until my plane was getting ready to depart.  I warned her to set her cell phone as they don’t announce flights in the Admirals Club.

The flight to LA was uneventful.  This of course is a good thing.  I also asked for one of my infamous Hairy Wombats as my drink.  The flight attendants gave me a strange look but said they would have to try that when they were off-duty.

When I went to retrieve my bag I did not at first I find it after going in to the office the woman behind the desk went over to the baggage carousel and did find.  Apparently he was the last bag off the plane and the carousels stopped before the bag reached me.

Once I got my bag I gave Lin a call, and she came and picked me up outside of the baggage claim area.  The drive, for LA, was quite smooth to the hotel.  When we noted the problems with having no elevators from the parking lot to the lobby level they were kind enough to throw in free Internet access from our room.

The next morning live was awake enough to realize they had given us a Rome on the party floor.  This is not a good thing.  We asked for and received room on a quiet floor.

We then headed down to the hotel’s restaurant where we had a good but overpriced breakfast.  Then off to see what the con had to offer  I was a little disappointed to find that I was not doing any  programming.

I didn’t sit in on a number of panels including an excellent one with Harry Turtledove and Tim Powers.  I also ended up as the judge’s clerk for the masquerade.  Lin and entered and won a major award.  Lin was very happy especially as it was her first masquerade entry.

Kate Wadey dropped off the tee shirts she had made for me.  They were the Red Shift T-shirts.  The T-shirts came out very well, and I wore on one Friday.

After the con wound up on the Fourth Lin and I headed over to a barbecue.  It was being hosted by a friend of Sue’s. Our task was to pick up some Diet Coke.  The barbecue was quite enjoyable and very mundane.  After transferring my bags to Sue’s car Lin headed home.  I stayed for about another hour or so as Sue to wanted to watch the fireworks they were only OK as we were not too close.