Thursday, February 28, 2008

Santa Cruz Harbor

Our Campsite At Santa Cruz RV Park.JPG The View Out The RV's Window At Santa Cruz RV Park.JPG
Wednesday: We came over to Santa Cruz to the Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park this afternoon. We'll be here through the weekend. One thing i forgot from our last visit is that there is no satellite signal here due to a ridge above the RV park with a grove od trees. No way for any signal so this post is via WiFi hotspots. Notice all the trees to the left of the RV with is the direction of the satellite. There are only 12 campsites and only one has a possibility of seeing the satellite.

The Big Picture Our RV is In The Center Of The Picture On The Far Side Of The Harbor.JPG
Dinner was at Gilda's Restaurant on the Wharf. We planned on eating at Stagnaro's at the end of th Wharf but they were closed for remodeling. Guild's is actually another Stagnaro family restaurant which we didn't know before. We all had their Wednesday Prime Rib dinner special an it was excellent.

Thursday: I cooked eggs and sausage with pan fried toast for breakfast.

We then went downtown to look around. We returned to the RV for lunch of terryaki chicken with rice and vegetables a leftover dish that Lou fixed.

We then went over to the Capitola Mall. They have a good hotspot in the food court. I managed to check email and update the blog.

Dinner was left overs. Dawn had her leftover prime rib with vegetables and baked potato from Gilda's the other night. Lou and I had terryaki chicken from a meal at home a couple of days ago. I had leftover rice and she had a freshly baked potato and we shared a little leftover grapefruit with dried cranberry and lettuce salad from the same previous dinner. I read a nice PC magazine that I got at the Santa Cruz Bookstore yesterday. I don't look at PC magazines much but it had some very good tips and also included a Best 157 Free Programs list. I do like free and find I prefer the function of the free programs that I use over the not free.

Walnut Street Café Santa Cruz.JPG

Friday: It was a bit foggy when we awoke this morning but it burned off very quickly. We drove to downtown Santa Cruz and had breakfast at the Walnut Avenue Cafe there. Lou and Dawn shared a smoked pork and eggs breakfast an I had Huevos Rancheros with carnitas. All very good.

Dawn hit the bookstores and Lou and I looked around and did a little grocery shopping nearby at Trader Joe's and at the New Leaf Market. About noon we enjoyed an ice cream at Fostor's Freeze and then Lou and Dawn looked around a thrift store while I utilized an open WiFi to check email and update the blog.

We looked around town some more and then had dinner at Zoccoli's Italian Deli on Pacific Ave. Lou and Dawn shared some portobello and pesto ravioli and I had a tri tip with roasted peppers sandwich. We had passed the deli earlier around lunch time and the line went out the door so we figured it was probably good. It was still good at 3pm when we arrived, but no crowd.

When we returned to the car where it had been parked for about 6 hours, we had a parking ticket. There were no signs about a three hour limit that we had seen even though we looked around for them when we arrived. Several cars adjacent to us had tickets as well. I took a bunch of pictures of the signs I did find. Most entrances have signs but not the one we came in on. That doesn't seem fair. I'll probably have to waste some time fighting the ticket now. I hate that. Why can't the officer be smart enough to look around themselves, notice that there is an unusual bunch of violations here and question why and report the problem or is this just a trap?

Our Parking Space.JPG The Entrance We came In.JPG
The pictures above show our parking space and no signs and the entrance we came in from with no signs.
A Properly Signed Entrance.JPG
The above picture shows one of the properly signed entrances to the parking lot.

Lou and Dawn went to an open house that the Vista Center was having at their office in Santa Cruz. Vista provides services to the visually impaired community.

The Arana Green Belt Above Our Campsite.JPG
I took the opportunity to walk back toward camp via Soquel Ave. Rather than follow the path we drive, I cut cross country through the Arana Green Belt. This is the open space that adjoins the harbor where we are camped. We had noticed people hiking there but hadn't seen the path yet. That's because the path isn't marked on the harbor side. You have to go down what looks like service road to get the the entrance. The views from the ridge in the Green belt are nice.

My RV Made Apple Pie.JPG
As I walked into the RV, Dawn called and said they were finished at the open house. They met me at the RV We then went by Save-Mart Supermarket for a few things. When we got back we had a barbecued chicken from the market and some mashed potatoes for dinner. I then started to make an apple pie. I haven't done any baking in th RV yet, especially pie. Primarily there is the problem of rolling the dough for the crusts. There is also the problem of work space and mixing the dough. All problems had been considered and the decision was that it was possible and no, we didn't need a bunch of stuff like rolling pins and food processors to do the task. I do like the food processor and that is what I use at home to mix the dough. I also use a rolling pin there. So how did I do it? The dough was mixed using a knife and fingers. More messy than the food processor but kind of fun. I pressed the crusts between two of the rubber cooking sheets. I got them for doing cookies but they worked great as a press. The crusts turned out much better that when they are rolled and were less messy. Now mess is an important factor in the limited workspace. There is only a 16" square surface to prepare the crusts and the range top. No problem. I also made a batch of tarts as well. One mess, two deserts. I wasn't finished until 11pm so Lou and Dawn were already asleep but I enjoyed a tart or two before going to bed.

Saturday: Breakfast was apple pie, of course. We then went looking for a new keyboard to use with Dawn's laptop. She has a program that requires a numeric keypad and laptops don't and there is no workaround so we'll get a keyboard. We found one at Staples, a wireless Logitec keyboard and mouse. It seems to work. With our work done, we went to Capitola Village for look through the shops and around the interesting village. It has a bunch of tourist trap shops but the stuff doesn't all come from China. They also have nice beech and a wharf.

Taqueria Baja In Capitola.JPG
We had lunch at Taqueria Baja. Dawn got a carne asada plate and I got a couple of rellenos with rice beans and salad. Lou shared with us both. The rellenos were very good.

We then went to see the movie Spiderwick at a theater near the Capitola Mall. It was a very enjoyable movie. We try to keep unnecessary costs down so, of course, didn't have popcorn at the theater. However I love real popcorn so I made some when we got back to the RV. It really hit the spot. After a little relaxing it was dinner time. Lou fixed some hamburgers.

Sunday: Final preparations to leave. Lou fixed French toast and bacon for breakfast. We then took a walk around the green belt area above the harbor.

When we returned it was time to leave. We had a quick trip back home. The entire round trip was about 85 miles. This may seen an oddly short trip but it's a nice place to visit and explore from. We've enjoyed our stays in Santa Cruz both at the harbor and near the lagoons a little further South.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Lou was off early to her doll making class in San Jose.

Dawn went to work at Stanford abou 10am.

I enjoyed the morning shows and worked at the computer all morning. It' a tough life, But some one has to do it. I did trim my hair as well.

Lou called about 12:30 to arrange for us to go to lunch at New Tung Kee Chinese food in Mountain View. I had planned to go up to San Francisco today for a Bay Area Application Developer Adobe User Group (BAADAUG) meeting. It wasn't until 6:30pm but I had told Lou I would probably leave early. After lunch of our usual shared #21 Combination Chow Fun and a Sour Sop smoothie, Lou then dropped me off at the train station.

When I got to SF, I took a nice walk-about. I walked through China Town, North Beach, Up to Coit Tower for a look around the bay, then back toward down town. I also stopped by the ferry terminal to watch the ferries depart for the evening return home trips. It was then time for my meeting at Learn-It, just off Market Street.

There was an unusually large crowd for the meeting. Today, Adobe launched Flex Buider3 and AIR. Some people from Adobe made a nice presentation on the new features and answered a llot of questions. The meeting was even free this evening since Adobe paid for the pizza and drinks. I didn't win any of the nice door prizes, this time. I left a couple minutes early to walk back to catch the 10pm train. I enjoy these meetings and the occasional visit to San Francisco.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wet Palo Alto

Wednesday: Home in Palo Alto for about a month. It's been quite wet here recently but now that I'm here that can change, I hope. It was cloudy but no rain since I arrived back in the Silicon Valley.

When I arrived, I was a little late for some excitement in the neighborhood. Our street was closed just before I arrived due to a police action in the next block to arrest a guy accused of a murder that occurred in Fremont. Two good things about that. They caught him and the murder wasn't here in Palo Alto, the town of little violence and crime. And then, I heard that earlier today, a guy was found with two hand grenades a few blocks down the main street near our house. So there! See what happens when I'm away! The place goes to pieces. This isn't a typical day, or even a typical decade in Palo Alto.

The clouds tried to ruin our view of the lunar eclipse, but didn't, totally. We took our evening walk and stopped by a neighbor who had his telescope out and a hole appeared in the cloud to let the moon shine through, giving everyone a chance to see the moon through the telescope.

Thursday: Lou fixed French toast and sausage for breakfast.

I started work on the sump pump. Lou replaced it a week or so ago when she returned. Handy girl. Unfortunately, the float switch didn't work correctly so she operated it manually since. The problem is the wagging float switch supplied with the pump won't work in our sump. Not enough depth. I needed to get a diaphragm switch like was in before. The old diaphragm switch is probably what failed and destroyed the old pump so we need a new switch as well. Lou wants me to get a TV for my study. The room needs cleaning out and she hopes if I replace the TV there, I'll hang around in there and clean it up. Foolish girl. The last TV left the room a couple of years ago. I thought that maybe I can use the same one both in there and in the RV. I broke the in dash TV just before our last trip. The trip was quite nice without it but it needs replacing anyway. I wanted a cheap and full featured TV. As it happens, the TV's need replacing anyway due to the disappearance of analog TV next year, so something would need to be done anyway.

We visited all the office supply stores, Best Buy, Frys, Sears, Target and Walmart. No decision. Not much out there. Lunch at Costco. Dawn had a hot dog, Lou had a polish dog and I had a chicken bake. I also stopped at OSH hardware to look for the float switch. Nothing there. Next stop was Barron Park Plumbing. They had just what I needed but it was expensive. Since it was needed, and they had it, we got it. When we got home I installed the switch and adjusted it. All is now well in the well, I mean sump.

We just relaxed the rest of the evening. Dinner was grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for Lou and I. Dawn had some leftover liver and onions and sweet potato.

Friday: An easy morning. Lou fixed biscuits and gravy for breakfast.

We headed out about noon. Dawn had a class at 2pm at San Jose State. We shopped our way there.

There aren't many small LCD TV's around and even fewer with a VGA input. I eventually decided on one from Target.

Just before Dawn needed to get to her class, we stopped at Chili's restaurant for a bowl of soup. We each had a different soup. Lou had tortilla, Dawn had potato and I had broccoli.

After class we headed back home. About 8:30, we went over to the Fish Market restaurant for dinner. We shared a fish and chips and a clam linguine but started with a Cream Bruele desert. There's always room for desert if you start with it, as we did.

Saturday: Lou fixed one of here omlettes for breakfast.

Not much happening today. A big storm eased it's way into town. Nice steady drip starting about noon and continuing the rest of the day.

Don's Apple Pie.JPG

I baked a couple of nice apple pies. Pretty good. As you can see, it didn't last for a picture before it was sampled.

Lou fixed a roast for dinner with fresh asparagus and baked potatoes.

I finally posted the pictures from the past couple of weeks.

Sunday: (02/24) Pie for breakfast.

I looked for a wall mount for the new LCD TV. I'd seen a good one somewhere but didn't find it again untill the last place i looked. Sear's.
I installed the TV in the study. I got a second mount to allow installation in the RV with a common mount. The mount has a simple release for easy relocation.

I then worked on cleaning up the study. This will take a while.

I worked on Dawn;s desktop computer. It ran out of memory on it's drive C and also her logon profile crashed. I cleared out a lot of junk files and used Partition Magic to resize the drive C for more room. It seems to run better now.

Lou fixed a nice stew for dinner from the left over roast from yesterday.

Lou has a bit of a cold.

It rained pretty good all day.

Monday: (02/25) We enjoyed breakfast in the front yard watching the neighbors tree being trimmed by the city. I`wish San Jose wasn't so cheap that they require the residents to maintain the street trees. Here in Palo Alto the city does it as a city should. Same with the sidewalks. Last year the tree maintenance and unnecessary sidewalk repairs for our house in San Jose cost us about $4k. So how much does it cost to move a house 25 miles from San Jose to Palo Alto?

While we were having breakfast a friend that lives down the street stopped by and filled us in on the big police action last week. The SWAT team responded to make an arrest related to a murder that occurred in Fremont across the bay. The house that they raided was that of a police officer and the person they wanted to arrest was a friend of his son. Numerous police cars responded and two paramedic units along with the CHP helicopter. It might have been really exciting to watch but I didn't arrive until they were just about ready to open the street. In the process they also raided this friends house. Turns out the result is, they arrested the wrong man and inconvenienced two households for apparently no justifiable reason. The only injury turned out to be a police dog handler bitten by his own dog. Cute!

I had occasion to work with the Palo Alto Police a number of years ago and these kinds of antics are typical of what I observed in their methods of preparing for the World Cup Soccer Games here. Palo Alto used to have one of the best police departments as recently as when we moved here 18 years ago but more and more officers have been hired from San Jose and it shows in the way they do their job. I worked with the SJPD for years and they scared me. Seems like the PAPD now are more interested in exerting their police powers rather than using there minds to arrive at the appropriate result. Now the kids aren't angels, possibly not even close, but I'm not sure this action was at all necessary. Think and investigate first? I hope this blunder doesn't cost us too much or I may have to start paying to trim the trees and replace the sidewalks here in Palo Alto as well.

My project for the day was continuing to clean my study. I can now report that I can now enter the room and turn around without bumping into anything. Unfortunately much of the gin in room is by neater stacking. The real challenge is to rid the room of most of the junk, which is actually most of the contents. I'm proceeding one step at a time.

Dawn had to work on her project at Stanford so Lou and I went to lunch at Marie Calendars. We each had the lunch special soup and half a sandwich. Lou had potato and cheese soup with a roast beef sandwich. i had the vegetable soup with a ham sandwich. It's been a long time since I've been to Marie's for lunch. it was very good but, unfortunately, there was no room for pie.

We all went over to the Ikea store for our evening walk.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Carrizo Plain National Monument

Tuesday: I got up about 7:30 to prepare to leave. Everything was secured, the windshield washed, and the leveling blocks put away in no time. Helen fixed a nice ham and egg breakfast and we chatted a while and I left about 10am.

I headed West on Rosedale Highway taking Highway 58 through Buttonwillow and McKitrick and over the mountains to California Valley.

Carrizo Plains NM Entrance Sign.JPG Soda Lake Overlook Parking Area.JPG
I stopped at the Soda Lake overlook and then took a hike out by the lake on the boardwalk.

Soda Lake With temblor Ridge Behind.JPG Soda Lake Salt.JPG
The mountains on the other side of the lake are called Temblor Ridge. the San Andreas Fault runs along the front edge of the ridge and provides some of the best views of fault activity, reportedly. I'll have to return and check it out in better weather.
Soda Lake Salt.JPG Information Sign About Soda Lake.JPG
Soda Lake has no outlet so the lake dries out when the water stops filling it. They mined salt here around the turn of the century.
Information Sign About Temblor Ridge.JPG Painted Rock From A Distance.JPG
The information sign about the fault on the left above. Painter Rock from a distance onthe right above.
Painted Rock Up Close.JPG Rock Pinted By Lichen.JPG
I then went by the Visitor Center which was closed. On up the hill about two miles on the dirt road beyond the Visitor Center is Painted Rock. The rock is about a 1/2 mile hike from the parking/picnic area at the end of the road. These petroglyphs are different because they are polychromatic, they are painted in several colors, not just chipped into the rocks or charcoal drawings. It was drizzling on the walk. The clouds were threatening. They are interesting. They are different than the typical petroglyphs we've seen al around the southwest using different symbols.
Painted Rock Information Sign.JPG Painted Rock Parking Area.JPG
The information sign about painted rock and the view of the Painted Rock parking area.
Trail To Painted Rock.JPG Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG
The train to Painted Rock where there are lots of unusual petroglyphs.
Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG
Some are faded or eroded. Many are damaged by vandals.
Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG
Some are very colorful.
Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG
Thee symbols are different than those in the southwest desert.
Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG
Here is a link to a photo album about my visit to the carrizo Plains NM.

I had planned to camp here in the monument but the main campground is closed and the other campground is out a dirt road several miles. This dirt looks like it gets really slick when it gets wet and a storm is due tonight so I opted to leave instead. I don't need to be stuck in the mud for a few days! For the same reason, i back tracked on the paved road back to highway 58. The road South through the monument becomes a dirt road about 10 miles from Highway 58 and the next 25 miles on tho highway 166 is dirt. Probably would have been OK but why take the chance, with my luck. Evidently you can camp along the road on Elkhorn Road on the East side of the valley but it's dirt and not as level as most of the roads. I'm toadless, as in no car available, so my exploring on this trip is in the RV and that isn't the best way to determine how the roads really are.

I camped in a rest area North of Paso Robles near Camp Roberts army base on highway 101.

Wednesday: Up early and on the road by 08:00. It rained some last night but the dust from the dirt roads on the back of the RV just turned to mud. That problem was pretty much eliminated later during a deluge on the way to Salinas. No more mud, just the typical dirt from the road. Perfect timing. i stopped in Morgan Hill, South of San Jose for breakfast at Scramblez. They have a good country fried steak, hence the reason to stop here. Very good as expected. I continued on toward home stopping at the Oakridge mall for a look around and to update the blog before I get distracted at home.

Nice trip. Not exactly as planned but we don't really plan our trips so it must have been per our plan?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bakersfield Continues

Saturday: (02/09) Ernie fixed breakfast again. After that, we tweaked with his computers most of the day trying to get a couple of programs installed, all with little luck. Ernie's breakfast was still effective so dinner was nibbles from a party tray.

Sunday: (02/10 ) Breakfast at Carrow's with Ernie before he left to return to Las Vegas.

Bakersfield RV Show.JPG Bakersfield RV Show.JPG
I got the bike out and rode over to the fairgrounds to see the RV, boat, and sport show. It was interesting. There were a bunch of RV's from a couple of vendors. Motorhomes, toy haulers, fifth wheels, and travel trailers. And then there were the boats, and the ATV's. The vendors in the buildings favored hunting clubs, and fishing gear. Interesting and a good ride.

Dinner at Judy's. She prepared a wonderful tamale pie. They have a Wii game and we bowled a few games before dinner.

Monday: (02/11 ) Breakfast was some leftovers from a previous Ernie breakfast. Lunch at the Rice Bowl. Computer play most of the evening.

Tuesday: (02/12 ) Jay came over.. Helen had a doctor's appointment and Jay took her. When they returned, we chatted and tinkered all morning and into the afternoon. Then we realized we hadn't eaten anything yet. That seems hard to believe, but true.

We had a late lunch or early dinner at the Pantry restaurant. Helen had a bowl of soup, homemade vegetable soup. Jay and I had the special of the day, swiss steak. All very good. Every Tuesday is vegetable soup day and next time, I may have to have it because it is excellent.

I broke camp to go to Camping World to dump and get a few things.

Lou and Dawn arrived about 8:30pm.

Wednesday: (02/13 ) We all went over to the Ranch market for breakfast. Helen and Lou had nice omelettes with beans and tortillas for $2, and Dawn and I shared a torta Cubana (ham and pork sandwich). We all shared a nice flan as desert then did some shopping before leaving.

I worked on going through the mail that Lou brought with her. I paid a few bills and resolved a little other business.

Lou and Helen went over to friends to play Bunco.

I went by Lowe's to get a cable bushing to install in Helen's built in hutch to allow access to an outlet that became hidden inside. I also got some eye bolts to use on making a side gate locakable. I then went by Harbor Freight Tools to get some cheap deep sockets. The cheapest set of SAE deep sockets was $20, sockets only. harbor had a complete set with ratchet, screwdriver handle, extensions and swivel for $12, in a nice case, with a lifetime warranty. Good enough. I also picked up a new GFI outlet tester and a tool bag. I didn't get too carried away at the Harbor Freight Candy Store.

The wind was getting strong as I returned to Helen's.

Lou and Dawn went out thrifting again in the late afternoon.

Thursday: (02/14) Breakfast was a nice asparagus soufflé by Lou.

We went over to East Bakersfield to th Woolgrower's restaurant for lunch. It's one of the old Basque restaurants here. There are several that make this a nice destination to try Basque food. We just had the setup which is cabbage soup, beans, salsa, tomato, green salad and bread.

Lou and Dawn went thrifting. Helen cleaned house. I relaxed doing??

Friday: (02/15) Breakfast of French toast and ham.

Helen's Tree.JPG No  more tree at Helen's.JPG
We removed a good sized pine tree from Helen's back yard.

All that remains of Helen's tree..JPG
All the remains were dissected and placed into the compost bins, and the neighbors bins or cut into firewood logs. Jay and Dawn helped with the removal.

I started preparing steel for use to raise fence. Uncle Doug raised about half of the rear fence, a concrete block fence. He used old bed frame rails bolted to the block fence and attached sheet concrete reinforcing wire, 6 inch grid #6 steel wire. There are two really big honey suckle plants that grow on the wire providing a living fence.

Doug had collected enough rails to finish the rest of the fence and had some more wire as well.

Lou started cleaning the garage.

Since we were moving on our projects, we had sandwiches for lunch nd then kept going.

We did stop about 5:30pm to cleanup and prepare to go to a show. Don and Judy had four extra tickets to the Stars On Ice show at Rabo Arena downtown. We had quesadillas and rice for dinner.

The show was Ok to good but not like the old Ice Capades. Part of the problem was the new arena that isn't as good as the auditorium/arena next door. I don't know why they built the new arena? Sound wasn't too good and lighting was bad. There were some thrilling routines by some of the skaters though.

I found myself spending more time watching how the show was done as opposed to the show. In my youth I worked as a stagehand and worked on the Ice Capades when it visited town next door in the Bakersfield Auditorium. Maybe I'm prejudiced, but we did a lot better job.

It was a nice evening all in all.

Saturday: (02/16 Cold cereal for breakfast.

I went over to OSH hardware to get concrete screws and drill bits for the fence project.Helens Fence Is taller.JPG Helens Fence Is taller.JPG
I finished preparing the steel. I installed the extensions using the concrete screws.

We took a break and had a late lunch at the Pantry restaurant. Helen had a chili verde burrito, Dawn had liver and onions, Lou had meat loaf and I had chile verde with rice and beans.

I then started to install the wire on risers as it got dark.

Lou continued to cleanup the garage today, defrosting freezers and refrigerators and got rid of some LPG tanks and old batteries.

Some of Helen's friends came by and picked up the firewood from the pine tree. No trace of the tree remains, unless you trip over the stump.

Dawn prepared a nice vegetable soup for dinner.

Sunday: (02/17) Lou and I started the day wandering around various stores looking for a combination long shank bike lock. Couldn't find one. The combination bike locks had too small of a loop to fit on the fence to lock it so no to plan B, any resettable combination lock and a short chain.

We we returned, I completed the wire on the fence nd cleaned up my mess. Lou continued in the garage and also packed to leave tomorrow morning.

Dawn did some book shopping.

We finished up and went to the Roadhouse on Rosedale Highway for dinner. Helen and I shared a rack of ribs, Lou and Dawn shared a prime rib. All very good.

Monday: 02/18 Breakfast was grapefruit and raisen English muffins. After breakfast Lou and Dawn headed toward home stopping in Fresno to see Lou's sister.

I started on the project list. I finally worked on the leaky toilet. I was kind of concerned because it is a fancy air pressure actuated flush with which I have no experience. Removing the tank and reseating the washer fixed the leak.

Next, I installed a solar yard motion detection light in the rear yard. I made a trip to Lowe's to get another resettable combination padlock for a gate and a smaller desk grommet for the buffet. I didn't have a hole saw big enough for the one I bought earlier and it would have been too big anyway. I drilled holes in the top and an inside shelf to allow access to the outlet. List done.

Helen and I went over to the Pantry for lunch. I had my usual at most restaurants but something i haven't had yet at the pantry this visit. Chicken fried steak. Helen had the sirloin tips and noodles. All excellent s usual.

When we returned home, I got the bike ready for a tour of town. I rode East on Niles street looking at how things have changed over the years. I went way out to Hillcrest Memorial Park where my father mother and brother are. It's been many years since I visited.

I continued over the open fields and up hill toward Panorama Drive. Panorama Drive follows the bluffs along the North edge of Bakersfield providing some good views North of town. The Kern River flows at the base and further out are nothing but very densely located oil wells on Round Mountain.

It was getting dark as I continued through downtown back home.

We had chili verde that Helen's son Jay had brought by earlier today. We didn't have any tortillas so we added toast. Another good meal.

I'm all packed to leave tomorrow morning.

Friday, February 8, 2008

McCutcheon Cousins Breakfast

Ernie arrived Thursday afternoon.

McCutcheon Cousins Breakfast Pam And Ernie Cooking.JPG McCutcheon Cousins Breakfast Table.JPG
Last night Ernie offered to cook breakfast for Aunt Mary, Aunt Helen and myself. After he went off to bed, We decided to invite a few others to breakfast, eight others. We called most of the McCutcheon cousins to come over for breakfast. We setup the table with settings for twelve. Ernie wasn't at all shocked like we thought he might be when he saw the table and learned of the additional guests. He and assistant chefs Pam, Mary and Helen fixed an excellent breakfast of Ernie fried potatoes, scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, and oven toast.

McCutcheon Cousins Breakfast Aunts Mary Francis And Helen.JPG McCutcheon Cousins Breakfast Don Jaye and Don.JPG
On the left above are Aunts Mary, Francis and Helen. On the right are Cousin Judy's husband Don, Helen's son Jay, and myself. Cousins Judy and Tom couldn't make it due to the short notice.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Goodbye Uncle Doug

Farmer Doug
Don's uncle Doug passed away peacefully yesterday evening. Helen is doing well. She'll have a memorial get together, like we had for Uncle Emery, later when the weather is better.That does it for the McCutcheon clan. My mother, the oldest, her two sisters, and now her last of three brothers. My father was the last of the Wood clan. His six brothers passed away before he did. Now we're down to the remaining next generation. Time passes, things change.

Douglas Alston McCutcheon
1927 - 2008
Doug passed away at home after a lengthy illness. Doug was a lifetime resident of Bakersfield, graduating from Bakersfield High School in 1945. Doug served in the U.S. Navy on a Destroyer during WWII and worked briefly with Southern Pacific Railroad then retiring after 31 years with the Pacific Telephone Company. Doug loved to travel, "camping at WalMart", dining out at "The Pantry", fishing at Balch Park and traveling down under to Australia to visit life long friend Bernard and also bringing things like Australian bearded lizards home in his pocket. Doug was preceded in death by a daughter, Martha Sue Payne; sisters, Evelyn, Ethel and Marcelene; and brothers, Ernest and Emery. Doug is survived by his wife of 27 years Helen; stepson, Jay Highfield his wife, Mary; 3 grandchildren, Alexandria, Heath and Samantha; 3 sisters-in-law, Mary McCutcheon, Frances McCutcheon, Loucetta Danzeisen; numerous nieces, nephews and friends. A memorial for Family and Friends to follow at a later date. Douglas Alston McCutcheon Oct. 26, 1927 - Feb. 3, 2008

A Windy Ride To Bakersfield

I had breakfast of leftover potatoes, peppers and sausage. I then started to prepare to leave. I lowered the solar panels, parked the Motosat satellite dish, put away my patio mat, and made the inside ready to roll. I had to go over to the fleamarket and get a couple of wire baskets that Lou wanted before I left. On my return trip, I walked by the big top tents. One of the three tents was on the ground and it didn't look like it came down intentionally. Evidently it blew down in yesterdays wind falling on some of the classic cars. I hope they have good insurance.

I left Quartzsite about 10:40 heading North on Highway 95 to Highway 72 at Parker to connect with the other Highway 95 on the California side to go up to Needles to catch Interstate 40 to Barstow. I ran into some heavy wind gusts about 60 miles before Barstow and had then for about 20 miles. The wind then returned to the normal light gusting. I stopped at the Desert Oasis Rest Stop for lunch about 2:30pm. I got gas in Barstow then caught Highway 58.

Coming over the summit at Tehachapi there was snow on the ground but the road was clear. The road had been closed last night due to snow.

I arrived in Bakersfield about 5:50pm Arizona time. I'd better change my clocks. When I arrived at Uncle Doug and Helen's place there were a few relatives there. Don and cousin Judy, aunt Francis and cousin Pam, aunt Mary and cousin Maryjane, and now me.