Archive for August, 2011

Monday, 29 August:

August 30, 2011

Lin & I have made it to Laramie, WY.  Onward & eastward!

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Good day!

August 27, 2011

Nice successful drive to South Lake Tahoe & back to drop off some of Lin’s stuff and her rental car.

Now for a decent night’s rest and to begin the drive east.  Easy does it.

How sweet it is!

August 25, 2011
I started RED SHIFT!  

The Wombat has been loosed!

August 24, 2011

I’ll be staying in Reno for a couple days to get my back on my feet.

I actually feel pretty good after all this.

On Friday or Saturday I’ll finalize my decision on how I shall be getting home.  Right now it looks as if I‘ll be driving back.  Driving normally relaxes me, seriously.

My main problem is needing a bathroom FREQUENTLY!   I have diapers.

Expect internet communication not really before Labor Day.

In Hospital

August 21, 2011
Hi there,
In case you haven’t heard I’m in Renown Hospital Room T427 in Reno, NV.  Been thru 3 procedures.  Another one on Monday.
This involves the urinary tract with help from my prostate cancer.
Not quite how I expected to spend my visit to Reno.

Finally coherent enough to attempt to update my diary & communicate with the world via the intranet.  [Real Soon Now!]

I’ve felt better. 🙂 The nurses, female, are cute. 🙂

I have no good idea of when I’ll escape so I can go home.
I may not be able to answer, but I do appreciate any and all good thoughts directed my way.
Hugs back to you!
You have my permission to post this further, if you like.

More on Congressional benefits.

August 12, 2011
Another reference for you.  From that far left wing organization: AARP!
http://www.aarp.org/work/employee-benefits/info-12-2010/benefits_what_does_congress_really_get.html
Members of Congress participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program along with about 8 million federal workers, retirees and their dependents. They are subject to the same rules and receive the same coverage. Compared with health plans offered by private employers, the FEHBP offers more choices — in fact, “the widest selection of health plans in the country,” according to the Office of Personnel Management.
Congress members are also eligible for Medicare, and pay the same 1.45 percent tax on their salary as do other workers.

Ents, Hobbits, and a topless Vette, oh my!

August 11, 2011

Wednesday, 10 August.  I woke up to a foggy and chill morning.  After full breakfast I get a few things done in my diary as I was in no hurry to hit the road.

After catching up with things and looked out the window it and lo and behold there was some sun.  I packed up and loaded up the car.  A chap came by who is also driving a Vette.  We chatted, and then I asked him to help me remove my Vette’s top.  I wanted to drive through the Avenue of the Giants with the top down.  Moving a few things around I was able to actually see the top properly in the back of a car under the hatchback.

Off I went!  First, of course, was getting some gas for the car.  Then down the redwood Highway.  It was little chilly at first as the temperature was in the low 60s.  However, US 101 angled inland and the temperature inched up.  By the time I left US 101 for the Avenue of the Giants the temperatures up to the low 70s.

It was a marvelous drive.  I generally kept my speed to between 30 and 35 mph.  There was hardly a cloudless sky which actually it harder to see the trees because of the sun in my eyes.  However, I was willing to suffer for my art and thoroughly enjoyed the meander through the woods.

I stopped by the Living Chimney Tree Café for a rather expensive hamburger.  As I drive through the Avenue of the Giants was over and the temperature rising, I wanted to put the top back on the car.  I flagged down a young lady, who it turned out, was from Munich.  Her husband joined us and assisted me in getting the top back on the car.  They seemed amused by the fact that I could speak some German.

While munching on my hamburger I chatted with a local who ran a glass shop in Phillipsville.  I mentioned him an idea that there were enough talented people who visited theonering.net site, that Hobbiton, USA, could be repaired and refurbished by donated labor of Ringers, I would respond to a call for help.  He then introduced me to the owner of the café, who is in close touch with the actual owner of Hobbiton, USA.  She also liked my suggestion and planned to pass it on.  There would be a lot of work involved before any reconstruction and refurbishing of Hobbiton, USA, could even be started.  However, it is by no means an impossible task.  I gave them both my card.  I really hope that they will contact me in the future.

Back on US 101 I headed south to Ukiah.  I really believe that US 101 is an underrated scenic highway, especially in northern California.

I found my motel, with the usual partially operating wireless.  I get enough of a connection so that I can’t demand my money back.  I had dinner at a local café which was not bad at all.  And then I goofed off for several hours before turning in for some rest.  It was a pretty good day.

My wombat glows in the dark!

August 11, 2011

Tuesday, 9 August.  The drive from Grants Pass to Eureka was both beautiful and exasperating.  I went from the dry forests east of the coastal range to the wet forests on the western side.  From trees with plenty of space between them, and little underbrush, to thick woods with little or no space between trees and heavy underbrush.  All of a sudden tall pines began to include even taller and thicker redwoods.  I was now driving through hallways of green.  I was absolutely gorgeous.

The only worm in the apple was a drivers.  I especially dislike the drivers of motor homes and those pulling campers.  They will spend $100,000 on their motor home and refuse to spend $500 more for an engine that will keep them driving at the speed limit on the level and on hills.  Moreover, since they have big vehicles, they see no need to pull over and let others pass.  They seemed to enjoy backing up traffic behind them.  These are the times when I wish I did have a phaser and/or kinetic energy weapon on my car.  It would be so much fun to blast them out of the way!

As the drive took longer than I expected, I went directly to the Motel 6 and got a room.  I then called Elizabeth Berrien and Jackie Simpson-Welsand to arrange for dinner.  Elizabeth, The Wire Lady, and Jackie I know through science fiction conventions.  It’d probably been about 25 years since I last saw Elizabeth.  She can do the most amazing things with wire.  I still have a 1″ x 1″ wire wombat she made for me.  If you go to see Louisville and Ottawa airports, you can see her creations hanging from the ceiling.  She is a marvelous artist.

For convenience we arranged to meet at the diner next to the motel.  We then proceeded to chat over dinner for about three hours.  It was marvelous.  Elizabeth also presented me with another wombat, which I am told, will glow in the dark as the wire is coated with a fluorescent material.  How neat is that?

Jackie had seen some of Elizabeth’s work and how they knew each other.  They will probably meet up again as a fan from Southern California moved up to the area and has started a periodic get-together of fans in the area.

I may have also convinced Elizabeth to submit some of her work to the Loscon art show next November.  She is considering returning on a limited basis and conventions.

In the fading light I got to show off Red Shift to the two of them.  They were most appreciative.  🙂

It was time to call it a day on a most enjoyable day.  Tomorrow there’s the Highway Of The Giants!

Crater Lake requires too many pixels

August 11, 2011

Monday, 9 August.  I was a fairly early and had a light breakfast.  Jean had left work, and Mike and I continued solving all the worlds problems for a while.  I then headed off for Crater Lake after topping up the gas tank.

The drive up was pleasant with little traffic early in the morning.  Even before I get to see entry gate for the park there were small hummocks looks of snow next to the road.

While I was circling the crater, the weather varied from Sun, to clouds, to light rain.  Even though this visit was about a month later than my previous visit, there was quite a bit of snow still on the hillsides and mountain tops.  Inside the crater some of the snow packs reached all the way down to the lake.

I finally decided, that they were not enough pixels in my camera to do Crater Lake justice.  When one turned from the lake, the rolling countryside in mountains spread out far and wide.  One could see more than just into tomorrow, one could see into next week.

After a way too expensive sandwich I headed down from the crater and onwards to Grants Pass.  I would be spending the night there.  By the time I reached Grants Pass the temperature had risen from the low 60s to the low 90s.  I was back in summer.

For a change the wireless almost worked, and I was able to get a little bit done on line.

I was tired, and I soon called it a day.

Food & political discussion!

August 11, 2011

Sunday, 7 August.  Tiptoeing out of the house so as not to disturb Lea, I have loaded up my car and headed off for breakfast.  Then on to the I-5 and down the coast.  Again, I was driving entered low clouds with the occasional splatter of raindrops.

The clouds lasted only a very short time after I turned inland from the coast on State Route 4.  At the first pass the clouds lifted in the sky turned blue, the temperature rose, and the vegetation went from rain forest to desert.  The transition was quite abrupt.

For the most part to drive down was quite pleasant.  They were the usual idiot drivers, but I was in no hurry.  Having good maps it was no problem finding my way to the home of Jean and Mike.

Jeanne was kind enough to us give me the password for the wireless system so I to get online and catch up a little bit.  All the while we kept a steady stream of conversation going.  Mike was getting a massage to a friend of theirs and after he had finished, he joined us.

The conversation was interesting as Jean is a staunch Democrat and Mike considers himself a moderate Republican whose party has left him.  It was a pleasure discussing politics with Mike.  Though we occasionally disagreed we did so in a civil and polite manner.  Something which seems to be missing from too much of today’s political discussions.

Deciding that I was on the cusp of starving to death, Mike prepared a rather large dinner which was excellent.

After dinner more discussion on how to solve all the worlds problems ensued.  Eventually we decided we would not finish the job that evening, but would continue on at Reno.  It was a most pleasant conversation.

Time for some rest and then a nice drive tomorrow.