Reno News Flash !!

Upon arising this beautiful morning, at 6:45 am (!!), I was quiet like a little mouse to ensure I didn’t wake Diane. All of you know why. The punishment is severe when I wake her before she’s ready to be awake. I especially do not touch her because of the severe reaction it causes.

Anyway, while mousing around, I was making bathroom coffee when, viola!, she arose. At first I was concerned so I backed into the corner to see what was going to happen. It was nothing! She walked by with a cheery “Good morning,” and that was that. That meant I was allowed to make a little more noise, not be so careful.

Then she went back to the bedroom/living room/kitchen/dining room/family room, fired up the TV and promptly learned that someone was fatally stabbed last night at 2nd & West Streets. Nifty. Our hotel is located at 122 West Street, so this happened 1/2 a block away.

Now we’re heading out the door to have breakfast at Peg’s Glorified Eggs & Ham, which is the other direction from the stabbing, up near a museum we had already planned to visit today.

Wish us luck.

It’s OK To Be A Slug

slug  |sləg|

noun

1 a tough-skinned terrestrial mollusk that typically lacks a shell and secretes a film of mucus for protection. It can be a serious plant pest. See also sea slug.

[Order Stylommatophora, class Gastropoda.]

2 a slow, lazy person; a sluggard.

3 an amount of an alcoholic drink, typically liquor, that is gulped or poured: he took a slug of whiskey.

The title of this brief entry refers to choice 2 above, although, I suspect slugs are happy campers being who they are as choice 1. Unless, of course, they live in the vicinity of a family who has curious young minds who wonder if it’s really true that slugs dissolve when covered with salt, which is just a mean thing to do because it causes the slug to secrete itself to death in self-defense. So I’ve heard. Just saying…

The #2 choice is something I’m really getting good at. So is Diane, but I do not consider her a slug. No siree. Not me. She’s Queen of the Hop, Top of the Heap to me.

I’m the slug, and I think that’s really OK, considering my advanced age. I can still walk, but I move slow. I’m get more wrinkly all the time. And, although I do not secrete a film of mucous for protection, it drips out of my nose all the time. Regarding that, I’ve learned to love my mustache because it keeps the mucous off my lips, and the mucous in my mustache works nicely to keep my whiskers in place when I comb them. Diane is not a fan of this new attraction I have for my face. She’s always telling me, “quit petting your face!”, or “put that comb away!”, in a very stern voice. I don’t see the problem.

Perhaps some of you may see other benefits of being a slug of sorts, and would like to share them with the world. I’m always up for learning new ‘stuff’.

Vacation – Day 11 Reno

Today I met a new cousin – Hi Kristie!

Kathie introduced us. Simply by being related to Kathie, and me, Kristie is already a special person. You all know that’s true, don’t you?

We were both up early this morning, between 6-7 am, because it was hot in the room. We didn’t take the time to figure out the A/C last night before killing all the lights. The first thing I did, of course, was dink around with the thermostat until the vents started whooshing cold air. Consequently, we had a fine breakfast of bathroom coffee, Cheerios, and toast. We only have one bowl with us so had to take turns eating our Cheerios, and that’s OK.

While eating, we read our books, something we do pretty much every time we sit down, which is often. Amazon and the Apple Store love us because we purchase a lot of books. You’d think they’d’ve given us some kind of discount for volume service, but they haven’t. Maybe I should write them a note …

Around 10:30 or so, we wandered outside to see what we could see. It’s a nice sunny day, and the temp’s supposed to soar to 75 or so this afternoon, so it was pleasant to be out. I forgot to mention that, yesterday, on our trip to Reno, the temperature got up to 85 at one point. Even at the 7000+ elevation it was still in the 60s. So, 75 here is good.

Not far from our abode, The Plaza Resort, 121 West Street, is the Reno version of a river walk. Not as elaborate as San Antonio’s, but still very nice. The ‘walk’ is composed of paths, and bridges around and over the Truckee River. An island splits the river and there are a series of manufactured rapids on both sides created for the joy of kayakers. Here’s a peek at it …

This is looking upstream with the island to the left … our hotel is on the right about a block from the brown bridge. DSC_4914

This is looking downstream with the island to the left. DSC_4905

I captured this buy just as he was coming under the bridge. He fiddled around a little, playing in the water, then went merrily on his way. DSC_4861

A happy goose standing guard.DSC_4886

Girls having fun. I asked permission from one of the adults watching them to take a picture. I kinda expected them to play king of the mountain, but, sadly, they were very nice to each other.DSC_4892

And here’s the reason I’ve been married for 45 years.DSC_4902

On a corner, adjacent to the walk, and about a block from the hotel, is a theater. Since we missed seeing ‘Croods’ in Point Arena, we thought it would be fun to go see it. But we didn’t. Instead, we got tickets for the 12:30 pm showing of ‘Oblivion’, a shoot-em-up sci-fy with Tom Cruise and another few people. It was really good. I got popcorn.

After the movie we decided to get a sandwich from Subway which we took back to our room. We drank milk with it and ate some of our chips. Total cost was about $7 for the both of us. We split a foot long ham and cheese.

It’s 5:09 and we’ve been sitting around resting and reading since eating that sandwich. I’d say we’re in for the night, but there’s a wine tasting event here in the hotel at 6:30. After that, we’re in for the night. Diane will taste the wine and I’ll eat the snacks. I suspect this is an event designed to encourage participants to buy lots of wine from the vineyard that’s putting it on. Considering how comfortable Diane is, stretched out on the couch with her book, wine tasting my not happen.

So, I’ll end this. My next entry will be about how nice it is to be a slug.

Vacation – Day 10 Reno, Nevada

Today was extremely pleasant and relaxing. It started when I exited our assigned bedroom at K&M’s, in Foresthill, and found Mike sitting on the couch watching TV with the sound off. The coffee was done so I grabbed a cup and we sat. We talked while watching the silent TV until the women awoke. I have no idea when I got up, how long we talked, or when the women arose which is a testament to the value I place on the conversation Mike and I had.

I don’t remember everything we talked about, but it was very enjoyable. It was manly type stuff, I’m sure, involving tires, computers, trucks, and such. And cooking. Mike is really good at that.

Once the women got up and were communicating as good as Mike and I were, Mike retired to the kitchen to work on breakfast. It was an oven bake of eggs, shredded potatoes, and ham. It was most excellent. We all sat at the table and ate almost all of it.

Then Mike went to work to fire up the BBQ grill in preparation for the ribs he was going to cook in the afternoon. While he was doing this, Kathie, Diane, and I walked down the street to one of their neighbor’s homes where a sale was in progress. Everything was going out the door. Since we were late, all the good stuff was already gone, of course. We’ll never know what we missed. But we did buy a 6×9 area rug and Kathie got a really pretty bowl. I rolled the rug up, put it on my shoulder and trudged back up the hill with the girls.

Then we all climbed into Mike’s new Ford F-150 Crew Cab Short Bed Pick Up Truck and got a tour of Foresthill. Diane now officially has Truck Envy. I must admit, Mike’s truck is a beauty. Foresthill is a small community in a very picturesque setting at a 2600 foot elevation. I say small, but it just looks that way because all the houses are spread out over a large area. The town has a new high school with a total of 200 students. Just the right size.

After returning to the house Diane and I sat on the couch while Kathie and Mike worked on the incredible meal to come. Actually, we packed up our stuff and stuffed it in the Buick, in preparation for our planned 5 o’clock departure. We visited for a short time, bid our adieu’s, climbed in the Buick and headed down the hill back to I-80. Remember … it’s left at the end of the road, left at the end of the next road, then right onto I-80, and about 95 miles to Reno.

The trip was uneventful except when we climbed to 7000 feet and I was concerned that it might be a bit chilly if the Buick broke and I had to walk for help. Thankfully, Diane was driving, nothing broke, and we made it to our Reno abode around 6:50 pm.

Our room is very nice, for which we’re pleased. It’s on the 13th floor with a view of the city.

Once we were properly ensconced, and everything was put away for the duration of our stay, we went about fixing simple things to eat. Our room has a toaster so Diane had peanut butter toast, a glass of milk, and an apple. I was going to have a chunk of cheese and an apple but had to modify that choice when I discovered the cheese was missing. Dang! I hate when that happens. I’m the one who reloaded the cooler so it’s on me for leaving it behind. Diane contacted Kathie, via text, and begged her to bring the cheese to us, but she refused. Actually, I begged Diane to ask Kathie to bring the cheese, but she refused. I was kidding, of course. We’ll drive back in the morning to get it, and the lettuce and onion I left behind. Either that, or go buy another Tillamook Loaf, which would probably be a lot cheaper. And, Kathie told Diane they were going to make salad with what I left. That’s fair.

So, that was our 45th anniversary dinner … pretty simple fare, alone in our room. We’re both OK with that. And, we got to watch a couple more episodes of Big Bang Theory.

Thanks, Mike & Kathie, for your hospitality and a great visit.

Vacation – Day 9 – Foresthill, CA

Here we are in Foresthill, California which is a village way up in the woods of the Auburn Recreation Area. We’re with the ‘other’ Kathie & Mike who live in California. The ones we’re related to. This is the first time Diane has met Mike, and my second time. The first time for me was at a restaurant somewhere in Portland where Jack, Wy, and I met them just before they, M&K, had to fly back to California. That was when Kathie had the black eye that we don’t talk about. There’s a story there but it’s not related to domestic violence of any kind. It’s more about spatial awareness.

To get here on time we left Beale AFB shortly before 1000. First stop was Burger King for a breakfast sandwich for each of us, on the base the n out the Dolittle Gate to Highway 20. We rode that road all the way over to Williams, then on to Grass Valley, the Nevada City, Mike’s suggestion. We had a nice little visit walking around Nevada City looking at some very eclectic shops. It was a lot of fun and I found the perfect 45th anniversary present for Diane.  When it was time to head up to Mike & Kathie’s, the shopping ended, but we had enough time to stop at Burger King for a Whopper Jr. for each of us. Atogether it cost us about $6.50 for lunch so we had a reasonable meal for a reasonable price. This sustained us for the 20 mile trip up the mountain.

Our GPS led us right to their front door and we were very happy that the temperature went down with the gain in altitude. After living with 40 degree days at the coast for a week, we were happy for sun, but not 80 degrees.

Kathie communicated with us to say she would be home 2-2:30. Timing was perfect because we pulled into the driveway, parked the vehicle, and I had just retrieved the key from it’s special hidden spot when Kathie drove arrived.

First I have to tell you that Mike’s lawn more is five years old but look like it could go right back on the showroom floor. So does his rototiller. I was so happy that we got the car washed before getting to their driveway. Because of this discover, as soon as we get home, I’ll have to take my lawn mower out in the yard and power wash it before I use it again. I’m ashamed of my self after seeing Mike’s stuff. Just ashamed.

This will be short because I’m about to fall asleep and we’re getting up early in the morning for breakfast. This evening K&M invited neighbors, Lee and Julie, for a Mexican casserole dinner with Caesar Salad. Really nice folks. There’s talk of lunch tomorrow, and other events that make it necessary for us to call our next stop, in Reno, to see how late we can check in and not forfeit anything, like the upgrade we’re supposed to get.

We’ll se how that goes. At this moment I’ve already had my sleep meds so things aren’t working well. Pictures will be added and spelling corrected, ane bad language removed. So check back for the final version when the urge strikes.

OK – I made one pass through the above section and it’s good as far as my semi-lucid mind can tell. That may change once Diane reads it.

Now for pictures …

This is the overpriced hazelnut latte I got from a barrista in Nevada City. It’s a piece of art you can drink.

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Typical street scene from Nevada City.

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Love this sign … Breakfast . Lunch . Beer …

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Gotta love Fred’s …

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This lady was arranging things in her window so I stopped to watch and snap a picture. She stopped and started posing for me. Fun …

 

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This is Bella, Kathie and Mike’s cat, sleeping on our suitcase.

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Diane and Kathie toasting …

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Mike waiting on the toasters ..

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An example of Mike’s woodworking prowess. He has all the fun tools and makes incredible “things”.

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That’s it for yesterday …

Vacation – Day 8 addendum

I had a bit of crucial information to add to our Point Arena visit …

Turns out that Point Arena is where the San Andreas Fault Line runs right, smack past it. All that activity of the Pacific Plate rubbing up against the North American Plate is the reason for all those round rocks on Bowling Ball Beach. We regret not getting to see them in person, but we have the satisfaction of knowing we walked directly on the edge of the Pacific Plate. Pretty cool.

Here’s my lovely bride hiking around on the fault line …DSC_4788

 

I’m not positive, but i suspect this is part of the Pacific Plate that’s slide up over the North American Plate …DSC_4756

… and this is the ‘beach’ we could see. All the bowling balls were around a corner we could not reach, and underwater at this time …DSC_4776

 

Next is Jack’s Pharmacy just to prove Jack really does have a pharmacy. Jack also has a very incredible store in Ocean Shore, Washington that sells pretty much anything that’s available in the free world … but that’s  different Jack. I asked.DSC_4755

 

It’s now 9 am on Day 9, but details will not be forthcoming until later.

Ciao.

Vacation – Day 8

This morning we awoke early, around 0800. Diane got up and I feigned sleep until I figured she had the coffee going. She greeted me with the news that the town of West, Texas had been leveled when a fertilizer plant exploded. Pretty horrendous. Not a good wakeup call especially with Boston still hanging in the air.

As I write this we are traveling east on Highway 253 toward Ukiah. Boonville is behind us. We have no cell service so cannot get any updates on West, Texas.

We went a few miles north of Point Area then took Mountain View Road to Boonville. It’s 27 miles of steep, narrow, curvy road. I was unable to share my wisdom during that portion of the trip because my keyboard kept sliding out from under my little fingers as Diane whipped us around one corner after another. That, and by not watching the road I was in jeopardy of losing this mornings fare of Cheerios and toast through my nose. That would not have been any fun at all for either of us.

12:02 pm – we just jumped on Highway 101 North at Ukiah. In 10 miles we’ll exit on California Highway 20 toward Upper Lake. Diane’s in little dog heaven because the road is flat, straight, and the speed limit jumped to 65.

12:38 pm – we’re heading east on California Highway 20, and the temperature has leaped to 71! Yea! The entire time we were at Point Arena it never made it to 60. In anticipation of the temperature increase, I donned shorts and semi-socks with sneakers. Except for the fact that my little chicken legs are on display for the world to chuckle at, it was a good choice.

2:11 pm – we’ve just resumed our journey to the east after stopping for a terrific lunch at the Nice Frostie in Nice, of all places. It’s on the Eastern shore of Clear Lake. Frostie’s was our second choice after passing on a casino many miles behind us. Pretzels kept us fortified until Frostie’s appeared. It’s a little hole in the wall place, but it had a motorcycle parked out front, a sure sign of good food. And, it truly was. Good food, and quiet, with only a couple of folks eating. Shortly, however, the place filled up as places seem to do when we go in their doors. It’s like magic. We should hire out to fill places up.

8:30 pm – we arrived at Beale AFB around 5:30. First stop was the exchange to get some things we didn’t know we needed, and something simple to fix for supper. Like a sandwich. Turns out the exchange doesn’t have that kind of food, but the commissary was still open so we went there to get what we needed.

The nice young lady at the Gold Country Inn, the Air Force’s temporary lodging facilities on the base, sent us to a VOQ (Visiting Officer Quarters) room waaaay on the other side of the base. Really, it’s about 5 miles from the check-in desk.

The base is enormous. Hundreds and hundreds of acres are apparently leased to farmers for their cattle to help with the sequestration process. If it weren’t for income like that, Beale would probably be one of the bases on the closure list. Actually, that isn’t very likely because this is the base where they train the U-2 pilots for the Air Force. These things have been flying since 1960. Amazing. I have it on good authority that they are one of the primary means of detecting IEDs in Afghanistan.  Fox News told me that. The high-resolution cameras they carry can, from 70,000 feet, detect the changes in ground coloration when IEDs are planted.

Or, maybe the Air Force has a cow rental program for young families so the spouses will have something to do while the other spouse is deployed. Notice that I said ‘spouses’, not ‘wives’, which was my first impulse.

We sat here and watched Janelle get kicked off American Idol which we knew was going to happen because of her song choices yesterday. But, we’re still depressed, so I’m quitting for tonight, after watching Person of Interest.

Vacation – Day 7

I’m writing this on Day 8 so my references to time might be for ‘yesterday’. Please don’t let that confuse you like it does me. I’ll try avoid doing that.

Our goals for yesterday were to visit Bowling Ball Beach at low tide, then to go see “Croods” at the Point Arena Theater. Low tide was 1117 so Diane set an alarm to ensure we were up on time to get there. The beach is actually in Schooner Gulch State Park which is just a few miles south of Point Arena. We’ve been past it a few times in the past few days so knew right where it was.

We got there in plenty of time, parked, and took the path down to the beach. So far, except for Bodega Bay, it’s the only beach that we found accessible by simply walking vs. jumping off a 20 foot cliff. In all fairness, we could have easily slid down those cliffs to the beach without sustaining major injuries, but I was pretty confident that we would have had to spend the remainder of our vacation wandering aimlessly up and down the beach looking at rocks and cliffs. So, we didn’t do it.

It was a very nice beach, there at Schooner Gulch. But, no amount of searching revealing any rocks resembling bowling balls. The pictures we’ve seen of them led us to believe they would be easy to find. They aren’t. We spent a couple of hours investigating the beach, collecting ‘special’ rocks, and visiting briefly with the other two visitors. Though we didn’t ever find the bowling balls, we enjoyed ourselves and got a bunch of exercise that we hadn’t counted on. I even got sweaty, something I’m not used to any more.

After the beach we went back to the trailer for lunch and to kill some time until the 2 o’clock movie. As it turned out, a nap was more important than the movie so we didn’t go. We read and napped the afternoon away. It was wonderful.

Sometime during the afternoon, when we were both lucid, we decided that we’ve pretty much enjoyed Point Area, and the surrounding area, about as much as we could and that it was time to move on down the road. In our case, it’s not down, it’s up and over to the right a little, to Beale AFB near Yuba City. That way we can get a little jump on Kathie R because she’s expecting a call when we get to Vacaville tomorrow afternoon. I’m not sure how those logistics are going to work out right at the moment.

Getting a good nights sleep was important so, after waking from our last nap, we called it a night and went to bed.

Regrets

I have a few of those. I normally don’t dwell on them because most involve situations about which I can do nothing. Take yesterday, for example ….

All day Diane and I were driving up and down the California Coast, absorbing the incredible grandeur of the area, blissfully unaware of the horrific events transpiring in Boston. We didn’t know anything about it until late afternoon when we turned on the TV upon our return.

At first we thought it was some horrible accident, maybe a collapsed grandstand, or something like that. As we watched, the pieces came together and we learned of the bombs in Boston and the carnage they caused.

Now for my regrets …

I regret that there are people in the world who feel the need to use violence as a tool to make a point. It’s such a cowardly way of doing things. I know … bullies use violence, but at least they directly participate in the process.

I regret that so many people got hurt in Boston. I also regret that so many people were killed, and hurt, in Viet Nam, Korea, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Japan, China, Africa, South America … the list goes on. It’s not that I typically think about those things, because I don’t. Having something like this happen so close to home, so close to loved ones, just brings all the other atrocities in the world to the surface.

I regret that there is violence all around us, every day. We just don’t see all of it. It’s about power and the willingness to exert that power over someone else. We long for a peaceful world but that isn’t likely to happen as long as someone has something someone else wants and ignores some pretty basic rules to get it. Take football, for example. Both teams want it, but there are rules one must follow to either keep it or get it back. Referees are assigned to enforce the rules because both teams forget them quite often. Actually, part of the game, in my opinion, is for players to break the rules and see if they can get away with it. Yes, it would be nice to live in a world where everyone got along without the need for referees, but we need them to contain the chaos that would erupt without those guys and their whistles and flags. The vast majority of us know the rules, too, and we applaud when our team gets away with breaking one of them … if our team wins, does that make it OK?

I find my head going in circles on this. The sports & war comparison isn’t new. It’s just not something I’ve ever tried to comprehend beyond the obvious. We all know what’s right and wrong at the basic level of existence but those beliefs are further defined by our experiences … this could go on, and on.

This is one of those philosophical exercises that has no end and I apologize for subjecting you to my wonderings. It’s not my normal way of relating events, but having this on my mind kinda takes the humor out of things. At least for a while.

Vacation – Day 6

Today, some might think, was a total waste. But not us. We didn’t do a darn thing all day except eat, nap and watch TV.

“That,” you may say, “is not something you do while on vacation. On the California Coast. In a high end trailer park. What are you thinking?”

However, as Jerry T might say, “that’s exackry what we did.”

He told me once, he said, “Jerrie, you have exackry disease.”

Jerry T is an older, vertically challenged, ex-jockey, horse owner/trainer/racer, M&M Aficionado, art collector, jockey agent, and all around stellar individual. Considering why he may have mispronounced ‘exactly’, I played along.

“What, exactly, is exackry disease?”

In response, he said, “your face looks exackry like your face.”

Then it hit me! He’s Japanese and he looks exackry like Pat Morita, Mr. Miagi from the first “Karate Kid” movie. Really, he does. He even signs autographs. And he’s always coming up with jokes like this. All in fun, of course. I get it. It’s not true, but I get it.

Anyway, that’s exackry what we did. Nothing, except eat, sleep, and watch TV. I must admit, though, that the TV did not come on until after Diane’s 4-hour nap, around 1830 (6:30 pm for you civilians).

Prior to that, we nibbled a bit until the coffee was gone, then cooked an enormous breakfast for lunch. A six-egg omelet, six pieces of really thick bacon, four potatoes cut up and fried, and toast. And milk. The intention was to split everything down the middle, but that didn’t work out because my eyes were bigger than Diane’s stomach. It did, however, all get eaten, sad to say. It was after this nourishing meal that we crouched on the couch for a moment before Diane started nodding off and was sent to bed. I remained on the couch and finished another crafty thing I was working on, then curled up to take a nap of my own. I think I was down for only about an hour.

That brings us to 1815 when I decided it was time for Diane to arise so she would be able to sleep tonight. We do have a plan for tomorrow, to visit Bowling Ball Beach, at low tide. That’s at 11-something am. Then we’re going to the movie to see “The Croods” at 1400.

Doing this caused me to do one of the most terrible things I’ve ever done in our 45 years of married life. I touched her on the arm. I really, really tried to stare her awake, but she didn’t respond, so I innocently reached over and touched her bare arm.

The response was instant and scared me, causing me to almost spot my jammies. Her eyes slammed open (they actually made a slamming sound), she grabbed the shingles spot on her left side (as if that was all my fault), and she pushed herself against the headboard while uttering “huh, huh, huh” repeatedly. And she was brushing feverishly at the spot where I touched her. What went through my mind throughout all this was that people must wonder how we ever participated in the process that produces children. I know there’s a process. I just don’t remember what it is …

After about an hour and a half, Diane’s adrenalin levels had subsided to the point where she could communicate coherently without yelling at me, and our day progressed OK from there.

I peeled an apple for her. That calmed her even more, to the point where she felt compelled to fix supper for us. I got the remainder of the egg salad and she had tuna salad. I ate mine then she asked if I could eat the other half of hers. Of course, I said “yes.” Here’s what she handed me …

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Now, really! Does this look like half a sandwich?

After successfully devouring the remainder of her sandwich, I was allowed to eat my cherry pie.

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I ate the entire pie and it was really good.

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