A Deer, a Doe, and a Silverado

I may have mentioned that Jack and I essentially swapped vehicles because:

  • we no longer have a trailer so don’t need a truck and
  • they got a trailer, didn’t have a truck, and didn’t need their car

In the end, they  got the 2014 Chev Silverado and we got the 2013 T0y0ta Camry. They stopped by a little while ago to let me get the Navy Wife license plate holder off the truck for Diane, and to retrieve their garment hanger. The truck looked great with new, nifty electric running boards.

After they left our house they hit a deer jumped in front of them and they hit it.

At highway speeds this would be devastating, but I’m pretty sure they were still on country backroads. The end result, according to a witnesses, the deer, a doe, got up and galloped away. Jack reported it left some hair on the grill but there was no visual damaged to the truck.

“How can that be?” you may ask. Well, it’s a Chevy Truck, that’s why.

Since they have hair from the negligent deer, I think they should turn it over to the CSI folks and use DNA to find it and have it arrested for leaving the scene of an accident.

Bottom line, everyone is OK, the doe got away, and the truck is undamaged.

It’s all good.

Thru LA to Carlsbad – Day 4

Days 4 thru 7 are so full of stuff, and I have lots of photos, that I’m going to break it up so you won’t get totally bored. That, and I have 47 photos to share that total 118 MB of data. Too much for one post. So, I’m going with Day 4 now.

That would be the day we finally arrived in Carlsbad and got checked in to our rooms. This time, instead of a three bedroom house, like we had at NAS Lemoore, we had a two bedroom condo. Well, actually, it’s a one bedroom condo with a studio adjoining. Perfect for the four of us. The girls had their own space with a bath, and we had ours. Yes, perfect.

Getting to the room from Lemoore, however, was a serious challenge because we made it a point to drive through Los Angeles so the girls could experience the traffic. They weren’t disappointed, but I’m sure they wish we’d chosen a speedier route. Yes, it was a dumb thing to do, but we only had to do it once, right? Right.

As it turned out, Diane gave up driving before we reached the infamous Grapevine over the hills into the LA area. So, I had the honor. What fun. Additionally, I wound up driving all the way to Carlsbad, a  v.e.r.y. s.l.o.w. t.r.i.p. Really. And, it took most of the day. No, it took all day. We arrived over two hours later than the original arrival time computed by our GPS lady before leaving Lemoore.

Once over the Grapevine, and into the city, the speed dropped to around 0-20 mph and that’s the way it was for the duration, all the way to Carlsbad. That’s a stretch of about 100 miles. It was brutal; 4-6 lanes (each way) of vehicles cruising along at a little over walking speed most of the time.

But, we made it. Yes we did.

Our accommodations here at Marbrisa Resort are on the ground floor. The girls’ room has a small patio that is about 10 feet from the gate into the pool area, right next to the hot tub. Perfect, right? They certainly think so. They have four pools to play in.

Somewhere during that grueling day, we stopped for lunch at a Panda Express where I pigged out on a bunch of shrimp which resulted in this …

The dreaded Gout. It hurt, and I limped a lot, but it didn’t stop me from keeping up with the crowd. When we had a chance, we went to the commissary at Camp Pendleton and got the most horrible cherry juice in the world which Diane made me drink to help resolve the gout problem. I managed to gag down a glass but that was it. Nasty stuff, and I kinda used to like cherry juice. Next time I get gout I will just live with it until it’s gone.

Today is Wednesday. I’ll fill you in on Monday and Tuesday next. I’ll leave you with a photo of “my girls” waiting for a table at an eating establishment somewhere on the West Coast, South of Los Angeles. Might be the Green Dragon in Carlsbad.

Here’s what we ate …

That’s it.

Speed Run To Nampa

Last Saturday Diane decided we should take a trip to Nampa to visit Jim & Donna. The main underlying reason was to pick up her ‘new’ car that Jim checked out for us and deemed it to be in great shape. Based on his superior input, I made the deal and away we went. In addition to getting to spend some time with J & D, we also got visits from Daniel and his girlfriend, Stefany. Stefany was another reason for the visit because we needed to meet her and ensure she was worthy.

She most definitely is.

We also had to meet Birk, Tyler’s puppy, a Shitzoodle, or Pooshitz – we never came to an agreement on his heritage. Doesn’t matter because he’s adorable and full of mischief. He played with us for a while then went to explore the house. Saturday evening he managed to christen Donna’s living room, the one with no TV, with a firm #2. That was the indicator that it was time for Tyler and Birk to leave, which they did. It was good to see Tyler. He’s never been around in the past when we get permission to cross the Idaho border.

So, two goals met, only one more to go. That had to wait until after church on Sunday because it required that we drive to a secret address in Boise, where Ken lives, so we could buy his car. We did that then drove back to Nampa and had lunch at the Sizzler. It was a good choice because Jim got his wallet out before I did and we all ate well.

Then we took the car, who’s gas tank was empty, to Fred Meyer for petroleum, then back to the house to relax, sleep off lunch, and get to bed early so we could get up early this morning and get through Portland traffic before the rush hour.

It was a tough drive because we both had to drive the entire way. Very tiring, but we stopped more often than normal and made it home OK. Well, there was one semi truck driver who tried to kill me, but other than that, it was a great trip.

Here’s what we brought home …

It’s a 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Limited Roadster.

Now I really do need to get rid of there old truck.

My stupid iPhone made me do it

Please forgive me for using a tragic 2014 “accident” in Dallas, on Christmas Eve, as the basis for my first 2017 post. But this caught my eye and it won’t get out of my head.

A little 5-year-old girl was killed by a driver who was distracted while using Facetime on his iPhone. Now, two years later, the parents of the little girl they lost is suing Apple for not configuring the iPhone to disable Facetime while traveling at highway speeds. The police confirmed that Facetime was still active on the driver’s iPhone when they found it.

It boggles my mind that Apple could potentially be held liable because the offending driver was simply stupid. Many states have outlawed cell phone use while driving but Texas isn’t one of them. So, the offending driver was legally using his phone and apparently wasn’t cited for it, but he was charged with manslaughter because he caused the death of the little girl.

I’m stunned that this is a lawsuit that will apparently be going to trial.

Thanks for ‘listening’.

Oil Change, New Cars, & Travel Trailers

This morning I spent two hours at the local Chevy dealer, Emmert getting the oil changed in Diane’s truck, and having them install parts to satisfy two recall notices that’s I’ve apparently been ignoring. That gave me two hours to visit with my friends who sell cars there. They really like me because I make stupid decisions when buying vehicles. I think there’s probably a photo of me in their break room with a note about what an easy mark I am.

The last few visits, however, I’ve disappointed them. I just talk for a while, sit in the show room vehicles (Corvette, Camaro, and Cascada today), then go out and wander around the lot just looking at ‘stuff’. I learned a long time ago that I need to visit them first before wandering the lot because the salesmen are always watching for a chance to bend a looker’s ear. They now know that when something is interesting enough to me I’ll let them know. They’re a great group of folks and I love the service department. I took a photo of Diane’s new car and sent it to her but she hasn’t answered back, yet.

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I looked at trucks, mostly, just for fun. The one that appealed the most cost $67K. That’s three times what we paid for our house! In Florida! Holy moly. They also had one of your typical Chevy Suburbans, that the government likes to use, on the lot for only $74K.

Yesterday I mentioned that I got new tires installed on Diane’s truck. When they gave it back the tire pressure on all four was close to 40 lbs. When I got the truck back after the oil change, and their multi-point inspection, the tire pressure was reset to 32 on three of them. I suspect they were supposed to drop the other tire, too, but got sidetracked. Anyway, they let out some expensive air from those tires and I’m going to have to get them refilled. I am, of course, relying on the digital monitor conveniently provided by Chevy that shows tire pressure on it’s DIC. That’s the Digital Information Center, in case you’re wondering. It’s a little TV screen that sits right between the speedo and tach. It’s really handy to have a little DIC like that. Diane relies on it all the time.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to get in trouble for that. It sounded better in my head.

While Diane went shopping she left instructions for me to find the book for our trailer and find out what needs to be done to winterize it. I went looking for the book, but couldn’t find it so, instead, I brought in a bunch of food that I figured didn’t need to stay out there all winter. I did find all the drain valves to dump the fresh water from tanks and lines so those are now clear. When Diane got home she led me to the trailer and we both looked for the books. I finally found them in the first place I looked. It was just in a folder not quite as large as I had in my head. Therefore, it was invisible to me.

Now I know that I also need to remove the batteries because batteries left in freezing weather won’t hold a charge very well. That one was new to me. I’ve never removed the batteries and never had a problem. So, being pessimistic, I suspect that when I reinstall the batteries in the spring, they won’t work. Guess I’ll see.

News around here is that it’s going to be snowing at our level next week. Yippee. Once we get a good cover on the roads it’s fun to find a spot near the highway so we can watch the wrecks. It’s a holiday favorite activity. It’s free and we take our own popcorn. I’ll take pictures.

 

Day 12 – The White House & the Holocaust Museum

Although we only visited two places today, it took a lot of time. We we’re on our feet far longer than they wanted us to be on them. Same for knees and hips.

We left our room around 8:30 am and drove directly to the Anacostia METRO station. It really is only 10 minutes away. The parking facility is enormous. So enormous, as a matter of fact, that we had to park twice. Diane parked the first time and I parked the second time. The second parking was to take advantage of the handicap parking spots that are free if you have the handy-dandy card to display. Diane brought hers, so we had it. Using it also got us much closer to the METRO entrance.

Down we went, into the deep dark tunnel …

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… where we sought a seat in the crowded waiting area …

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… until, finally, one of those 600 foot trains zoomed in for a landing. They come in so fast you wonder how they can possibly stop before reaching the end of the platform. But, they always do.

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We boarded and set McPherson Square as our final stop. This required us to switch from the Green line to either the Blue, Orange, or Silver line.  It wasn’t actually very difficult but we made it so. Turns out it’s really good to know which side of the track to wait on for the car you want. Thankfully, there are lots of folks around who can answer those questions. Everyone was very kind. It pays to have gray hair.

I was surprised to discover that the McPherson Square station disgorged passengers from beneath this well known facility.

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Since we were early for our assigned tour time, we chose to find a likely place to get a bite to eat. Not knowing anything about the area I approached a heavily armed Secret Service agent standing guard by a door into the US Treasury Department and asked if he knew where my friend Jim O’Neal eats when he’s in DC. He said “Absolutely,” and pointed across the street at The Old Ebbitt Grill.

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Here he is again, in case you missed him the first time.

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We made our way across the street without mishap and joined the throngs of people attempting to gain entry. Surprisingly, since there were only the two of us, we were promptly seated and served. Diane suggest that we share a frittata and move along on down the road. It was a good choice. It was absolutely the best frittata I’ve ever had. It was also the only frittata I’ve ever had and it was delicious. I’m going to buy whatever kind of pan they used to make so I can do it at home. For some odd reason, I failed to take a photo of the food. I always take photos of the food. Except this time. Just trust me, it was really, really good. I’m sure Jim would agree.

From The Ebbitt we hoofed our way down to the spot where vetted tourist are allowed to enter the White House. Turns out there are hundreds of folks who get approved to visit the White House every day and they keep the Secret Service agents busy checking IDs against their lists.

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That was the first check. There were two more before we were allowed into the White House area, then there we were.

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This was Diane’s favorite. Mine, too, I must admit. It is most definitely a Green room unlike the Blue room …

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… that is most definitely not Blue. But, it has a pretty light fixture.

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The Red room was a close 2nd to the Green room.

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The dining room. Nice table, but I think the room would better represent America if none of the chairs matched, don’t you?

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The guys with guns wouldn’t let me go up those stairs.

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Then, all the sudden, we were back out side in the misty, humid air.

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As we departed down the driveway I spied this Secret Service agent conferring with another one. Having a bad ass like this on my side gives me goose bumps. He’s the only agent I saw that was dressed totally in black. All the others had white shirts under their vests. I figure this gentleman must be one of the stealth versions.

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After walking a fair distance away from the White House, we chose to sit for a few minutes to admire the view. It’s really a nice one from this perspective. Then there comes the moment when you must look down, like all old people do, to make sure of your footing, that you don’t step in a hole, or a wobbly brick, and encounter this …

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People are basically pigs, I believe. It’s beyond most of them to spend just a little bit of time to police the areas they inhabit, cleaning up the mess they made. We found this especially true when standing in the long line, waiting to gain entrance. I have to add, however, that we didn’t see very many garbage receptacles around town. But, that doesn’t excuse people from not caring enough to find one.

We’d heard on the news that there was a rat problem in the city and leaders were working on a solution to control them. Looks like something controlled this little guy. Had Diane not warned me, I’d have stepped right smack on him. It appears as though he’s been posed equidistant between the two grey bricks. This photo was taken as we stepped into Lafayette Park and both of us found it very interesting that  no one found a need to pick  remove it.

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Perhaps one of these little guys is a serial rat killer

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After conferring for a bit, limping on our tired old legs, and sore hips and knees, we decided to go visit the Holocaust Museum. This was one of the incredible views we encountered on the way.

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If you haven’t visited the Holocaust Museum, you should. Especially those who are convinced that it never happened. It’s a very sad tribute to some very brave people who were victimized by a delusional world leader. Diane cried during most of our trip through the displays, and movies, but is glad she endured. There were many displays she couldn’t bring herself to view so we passed those by. It’s very graphic throughout and I didn’t take any photos of the displays. It just didn’t strike me as the right thing to do. I didn’t however, take some photos of the serene chapel at the end where people could reflect on what they’d seen in a very calm atmosphere. It was a good ending to a very sad story.

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The sign on the wall outside the museum was a good reminder for those who entered.

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When we finally rejoined the world it was late. We’d spent almost 3 hours in the museum. Thankfully, there were padded benches throughout where we could sit and rest a bit while trying to comprehend the atrocities that were on display all around us.

We decided to call it a day and head back to JBAB and our room. On the way we stopped at the base commissary so I could get an onion and another case of water. Water because we’d run out, an onion so I could make some proper tuna salad for our evening sandwich supper

By 8:30 pm we were both nodding off so doused the lights and called it a day. A good day. Tomorrow we’re just going to drive around looking at “stuff” and not use the METRO. Arlington Cemetery is high on the list.

Golf and Soccer

This morning I was once again forced to participate in a golf match with the Peal brothers, Junior & Doug. As some of you may know, when I began this association with them I was a neophyte golfer, calling anything under 70 for 9 holes a good day. And it was. Back then.

Now that we’re older apparently the competition has become more meaningful, or it’s easier to forget more of the bad shots I make, either of which could be responsible for me lowering my scores to the very low 50’s. Today I shot 53 which is really, really good for me. It would have been lower yet had I been able to make some pretty simple putts. One putt I made from about 10 feet out went into the middle of the cup, hit the plastic edge of the hole liner and bounced right back at me, landing about 4 inches from the hole. Remarkable. But, it was fun for all. Doug also had a 53 and Junior beat us both with a 52. In another couple of years I should be able to get my scores into the 40’s. Could be, too, that I’ll lose all my balls before that happens and I won’t have to worry about it.

After golf Doug brought me home. He agreed to do that because Jewel drove me to the course because I still need to put the windshield wipers on my old truck and it was raining. It rained on us most of the way around, but we didn’t care.

I quickly changed my clothes and jumped in the back seat of Diane’s truck and we headed for Dallas to watch Lydia play soccer. That’s Dallas, Oregon, not Texas. It’s near Salem, toward the Oregon coast.

The first half Lydia sat on the bench watching as the St. Helens defense floundered a little and went to the locker room down 2-1. Morgan, the first half goalie, didn’t get a lot of help from her team mates keeping the ball out of the net, and she made some really good stops. Lydia took over goalie duties in the second half and the girls’ offense kicked into gear for 3 more goals. The defense, aided by some pretty awesome saves by Lydia, held Dallas scoreless ending it with a 4-2 win for our girls. It was a really good 2-hour bus ride home for St. Helens I’m sure. They played very well as a team.

Now we’re home and it’s time for bed so I’m stopping.

G’nite.