For All The Susan’s, Pizza Lovers, and Idol Fans

We drove out of the Hilton driveway at 0900 this morning, right on time. Really. It was the time we picked to leave. I believe this is another First for us … actually right on time. On my way to get the Buick so I could stage it for loading, my new publisher friend, Paul, and his wife, Doreen, stopped to greet me on their way to play golf and ask if I got the cards her left. I hadn’t done that yet, but I did. Diane and I both find that meeting him is kind of an omen. We just don’t know what kind, yet.

We made it out of Las Vegas without mishap, which was pretty amazing, then Diane drove her 200 miles which placed us a little north of Tonopah. If you do a little math on a map, you may figure out that Tonopah is more than 200 miles from Las Vegas, but don’t tell Diane. We were looking for the Subway Sandwich shop for lunch, but drove all the way through town without seeing it. So, she pulled over to the side of the road and made us PB&J sandwiches. I got apples and our bag of grapes for dessert, Diane got peppermint patties and carrots. We were set, so I crawled into the driver’s seat, readjusted all the mirrors, the seat, and steering wheel the clawed my way back into the northbound traffic on US 395. It wasn’t too difficult because there wasn’t a lot of it.

I have to mention that while Diane was driving, we drove passed Cheech AFB and she was affected by all the UMDE fowling the air. Cheech is, perhaps, the main facility where Unmanned Drone pilots are trained. It may also be the facility from which all the overseas drones are controlled. I don’t know that, of course, but it could be true. We do know they fly drones because you can watch them takeoff and land quite often. Just like the ones you see on TV. The “E” on UMDE is for exhaust, of course. It’s probably not true that it really bothers her, but she started sneezing right about then. So, that could also be true.

I drove my allotted 200 miles, that actually worked out to about 170, then Diane exerted her authority and recaptured the driver’s seat and drove the rest of the way to Susanville. I expertly guided us to our abode for the evening, the High Country Inn. Nice facilities. Overpriced, I thought, until I paid $18 for a medium pizza that was about the size of a Papa Murphy’s small pizza. We can get their mediums for $5. Once in a while. A caveat to this is that tonight’s pizza was a pretty awesome hand-tossed piece of culinary wonderment. I ate all four of my pieces but Diane stopped at three. She has one left for breakfast, lucky duck.

Now we’re just lounging in the room watching American Idol. So far our favorites are Alex and Sam. We loved the guitars. Nice.

Perscriptions & BO

Today was cold enough that Diane invoked her feminine rights to crank up the heater a bit. I admit, it was a lot cooler than it has been the last few days. Today was about 60 degrees after 4 days in the 80’s, up to 88. I didn’t think I was going to ever quit sweating, but I had no choice because Diane insisted that I do “stuff” even though I was perfectly OK with just sitting quietly on the couch with my book.

Consequently, over the course of the last 4 days, I had to take about 8 showers. That’s just a huge waste of water, don’t you think? Her tactic for making me head for the showers is to tell my deodorant quit. Very subtle, huh? That’s good that she has a sensitive nose, I guess, because it’s rare when I notice when my deodorant quits. It’s not like something goes dark, like when you switch off a light, when your deodorant quits. It’s a nose thing. I think I’ve seen her nostrils flare just before she tells me that which I find odd because you’d think they would shut down a little if the odor is that offensive. Instead, they flare, as if to gather in as much of my manly aroma as possible before making be go wash it off.

Contradictory, if you ask me …

… but no one ever does. It’s just, “your deodorant quit.”

Makes you wonder if eye-glass prescriptions have a terminal date like other prescriptions. You know, like all the pills you take have a warning on the bottle telling you to “renew before 3 August, 2018,” or something similar. That’s the only warning you get. With eye-glass prescriptions, however, there is no warning. One minute you’re walking down the street admiring all the pretty people, your prescription runs out, and everything goes blurry. It would be especially bad if you were driving at the time, or navigating crowds on your Segway, or water skiing, flying a plane, watching TV … one of those important things. What would you do?

That’s happened to me. Honest. The first thing I did was tentatively say, “Diane?” because she’s always lurking around nearby, and she would hear the question in my voice.

She said, “yes, dear, what now?”

“I can’t see,” I responded.

“You can’t see what,” she queried back.

“I can’t see the TV.”

“Is it on?”


“Are you wearing your glasses?”


“Are they right side up, like the little nose pads are actually touching your nose?”


“Are they yours?”

“I think so.”

“Well look at them!”

“I can’t.”


“Because I can’t see.”

“Oh, why didn’t you say so before?”

“I did.”

“Did not.”

“Did too.”

And you know where that goes.

Finally, she tore herself away from American Idol and came to see what was going on. Turns out I fell asleep and the cat was laying on my face. I was hallucinating in my sleep during the entire conversation.

It’s good to know that I can carry on a conversation when I’m unconscious because that might come in handy one day. Maintaining control of what flies out of my mouth might be a concern, you think, but that’s never been one of my worries, awake or asleep.

Like at Lydia’s game last night. The umpire, Pete, has his own version of a strike zone and it’s different for every game. I say things throughout the game regarding what I believe are blatant bad calls and I hear Jennie in front saying, “Dad …?” which means don’t do this, while Diane is beside me doing the wife version of the same thing. They are, of course, afraid I’ll get kicked out and embarrass Lydia, or them.

Pete ignores me, so it’s really not a problem.

I think that’s it for now … it’s 10:36am and time to get started with my day now that I’ve shed the weariness of the night, and my morning 3-hour nap.

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.