Friday, July 05, 2019

Wow, almost a month!

Somehow it's been almost a month since I last blogged.  It's been mostly kind of dull (which I don't mind at all!) and a little excitement.  It's getting something over 100F (38C) most days but that's pretty normal.  We like to get out before 06:00 for our walk and it takes at least 50 minutes.  We aren't power walking so talking about what the neighbors are doing in their yards, etc. takes time.  There is also the big discussion about what's for breakfast!

Last last month we flew to San Francisco for four days to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary.  That was fun.  We stayed in a place on Hyde Street where we could go up on the roof and see Alcatraz.

The hotel is part of Wyndham's Shell Vacations Club.  We don't belong but they let a few rooms to civilians I guess.  Anyway, it was a nice little 1 bedroom apartment.  It wasn't cheap but nothing in the city is.  The rooftop area is clearly quite small but there aren't a lot of apartments in the place.  As you can see we had great weather and even managed to get a little sunburn.  Grrr!  Here we leave the desert and get a sunburn in what is supposed to be a nice foggy city. 

This is looking the opposite direction.  It was taken over looking what had been the parade ground.  There were quite a few parts of the island that were off limits.  We were there at a time when the birds have had their young and the park service didn't want us disturbing the birds.  They were everywhere!

We like to just walk around so did a pretty good job of covering the tourist water front from Pier 33 where the Alcatraz boat docks over to the Presidio.  We had two days of over 10,000 steps per my wife's Fitbit.  When we wanted to go farther or come back in comfort we used Uber.  The rides were in the $10-13 dollar range which we thought was pretty reasonable.  The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is reasonably nice to older tourists:  round trips from the airport to downtown and back were $9 each for seniors.

We like to take a ride around town sometimes and this time we took a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour.  It was 2.5 hours roundtrip but we got to see quite a bit of the city AND it took us across the Golden Gate Bridge where you could catch another bus to Sausalito if you wished:  we didn't.  I must admit going across the bridge was a chilly trip.

We got home and resumed that quiet life until just yesterday.  For the 4th of July nature threw us a party:  an earthquake!  The quake, 6.4 in magnitude, was centered in Searles Valley in California but we sure felt it here!  By the road it is 160 miles away but it is actually only 84 miles away.  (I use a great site called Freemaptools.com to give me the distances.)  It was quite a long quake and our house got quite a shake.  All that lead me to checkout earthquakes around here and I found www. earthquaketrack.com.  We get a lot more that I ever imagined.

Well, that's all the news that's fit to print.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a good one.


Friday, June 14, 2019

Getting warm!

Well, the unusually temperate weather has pretty much left and now we have been looking at 105F (40C) or so daily.  That means having the air conditioning on 24/7.  The forecast is for that to go back down to 95F (35C) but we'll see!  We are getting out to walk as soon as we wake up since it's already 70F (21C) and the sun is warm.  Our usual walk takes in about 2.5 miles (4km).  It is flat as a pancake and paved but it's better than sitting inside and losing our ability to walk anywhere!  Usually we make a game of counting the rabbits; we have both regular bunnies and jack rabbits.  We will often see a small hawk but that isn't a sure thing.  There are a few neighbors who keep horses and we have to check on them.  The past week or so we've seen balloons.  Please forgive the quality of these photos; they are taken with my phone then enlarged a lot!

Usually we see 1 to 3 balloons.  We are only having very gentle breezes so it makes for a nice flight.  We do have a balloon festival in the early part of the year.  We have quite a few balloons flying then and, of course, there are all the other parts to a festival. 

We do check out the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.  Personally I feel it is mis-named because most of the people there are some sort of craft person.  You can buy art glass, leather work, wood work; all kinds of craft work and I was happily surprised at the high quality of the work.  Fruits and vegetables are in pretty short supply though. 

We are planning another trip or three but they are down the road a bit.  As usual I'll report on them when we are back.  Until then, thanks for stopping by.  Take care!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

More quiet times

We haven't been doing a whole bunch lately.  The weather has been odd to say the least.  It's been quite cool with highs of maybe 70F (21C) but it's been fairly windy as well, like 15 mph (25 kph).  It isn't awful just not what we expect at this time of year.  To add injury, my wife managed to fall down and do something to her right side that makes walking painful.  THEN she did something to her right shoulder that caused her doctor to prescribe physical therapy.  All in all, it's not big problems but enough to keep us from wandering around much. 

We did make it in to Las Vegas a few days ago and bought a small table from IKEA.  We've been fans of the store since we lived in the Netherlands.  You wander around in the maze they call a store and can actually come up with some interesting ideas.  Anyway, the directions for the table were fun I thought.
I mean, 36 different languages to tell you how to clean the table???  It also speaks to how dull things are that I counted them all! 

At least one of our cactus plants is happy.
It usually comes up with one or two blooms but this year it is out-doing itself.  It makes the bees happy as well. 

I'm to the point that I can hardly look at the news any more.  Our President is such a jerk; I keep thinking he can't get any worse then he trump's himself.  And some people still support him.  Driving into town we pass this house that is flying TWO "Trump 2020" flags.  The Democratic party seems to be trying to keep him in office given the huge group of losers they have running for President.  There are 23 of them!  Most of them are unknown except for their own family and the front runners are the same old white men that have been unelectable for years.  These fools are simply helping the President stay in office.  To make it even worse, Biden and Sanders are 76 and 77 respectively.  I mean they are older than me for crying out loud (and Trump for that matter). 

Well, sorry for the rant.  It just bothers me that we have such an unreliable fool for President.  Thanks for stopping by. 

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Just checking in...

I don't really have much to report.  It's quiet around here and getting warmer every now and then.  Now we are up to the mid-80's(29-30C) most days and we probably won't be gettting much more rain for a while.

Haven't really gone anywhere or done anything since my last post.  Well, I've been making good use of the bbq and the smoker but otherwise it's been quiet.  This week I did a personal best when I smoked beef jerky one day and smoked salmon the next day.  There's only so much excitement an old guy like myself can take!  High point of today, after waking up of course, is going to the grocery store and seeing this sign.




I'm not sure if $19.99 is good for Titos but considering it is a new product - VOKDA - I imagine it's good.

I did visit our local marijuana dispensary the other day.  Since it is legal in Nevada, I want to try it again.  I went into the store on Friday early afternoon and they did seem to be doing a fair business.  The other customers were clearly repeat visitors.  I sure felt like the newbie.  We tried some 2 years ago when they first opened and it just didn't do a lot for either of us.  I keep reading about what a huge market it might become and figure this is something I can test personally.  Besides, I was pretty bummed about how dull the stuff was 3 years ago.  I was impressed though that the guy behind the counter could see my previous purchase in their records!

We keep talking about going places but so far something seems to come up to keep us here.  The house was built in 2005 and we've lived here for 10 years.  Things are needing work; nothing big but lots of little stuff.  Well, it's better than not being able to take care of it.  Gotta go.  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Enjoying Spring!

This time of year is often pretty good around here.  It has been windy this year but reasonably warm.  When we haven't been out spraying weeds in our yard we've gotten out and about a bit.

Week before last we visited Death Valley National Park.  The park is absolutely huge and we'd never seen the other side; specifically over by Panamint Springs.  We decided to just drive over and check out the roads.  With the over-62 senior pass it is free to visit so why not?  I was surprised by the number of visitors though I guess I shouldn't have been.  Even in early April the high was going to be 97F (36C) so waiting until later would make it a bit warm.  We ended up taking no photos worth sharing but we did discover that the roads are excellent and wouldn't be a problem at all if we were towing our trailer.  I'm not a huge fan of high and windy roads but this was just fine even if there were places that we were happy they had installed a guard rail.

Then last week we took a bus tour on the Nevada National Security Site.  This is where the majority of our nuclear weapons testing was done back in the day.  Today the site is used for a variety of things where security, space and even nuclear debris is useful.  (They train police and fire fighters on dealing with accidents that include a nuclear component; like the stuff your dentist uses to xray your teeth.)  Public tours are available but they are few and far between, like once a month.  If you are interested in visiting you should sign up around a year in advance!  Really, all remaining tours being offered in 2019 are full.  They are pretty rigorous about security and two of the things you can't bring are cameras and cellphones.  You also need to pass a paperwork security check but after all that you get a 250 mile bus ride.

Anyway, I managed to get onto a board that is supposed to advice the site management on how local people think they are doing.  I've been on the board for several years and we usually get a special tour about once a year.  This year we went to a part of the site I've never visited before where some of the larger underground tests were conducted.  One of the concerns with underground testing is that the ground water can be contaminated with nuclear debris.  The Dept. of Energy has drilled many wells around the test areas to test the ground water.  There are also wells on other federal land outside the site.  Happily the ground water doesn't move a lot out here and testing has shown that the water has traveled off the site but won't reach private lands for several hundred years by which time the radiation danger will be well past.  (The primary traveling nuclide is Trinium which has a half-life of 12+ years; it isn't something that has a half-life of 500 years or anything.)

Finally I drove into Las Vegas the other day to buy a couple things.  On the way there and back I go past Red Rock Canyon which is really quite a beautifully impressive place.  There were zillions of tourists!  There is a sign where people like to stop and take selfies with the sign.  This time a tour bus had stopped there!  Anyway, the rock is really very beautiful and a real attraction for rock climbers.  This photo is from 2010.

On the way home I stopped to get a couple photos of the cactus.  They are having their moment and have lovely blooms.




So we haven't been just sitting around home but have gotten a few miles on the car if nothing else.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a good one.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

We are just hanging around home.

We were all tired out when we came home from our Panama Canal cruise so have planned for this year to be fairly quiet.  Lately, as I've been whining, we've had a full-time job spraying weeds but that is over for a moment or two.  This is a pretty good time of year in Southern Nevada and our daytime temps are squeezing into the 70's (22C) so wandering around is fun.  There are a few things we need to do around the house and this is the time to start in on them.  I'll whine about them when they get underway.

My wife and I are of an age when aches and pains are a regular part of life; therefore ibuprofen.  Unfortunately there are things the miracle drug cannot cure and one of those things has taken a woman whom I only met once but via her husband's blog felt I knew her.  Croft is a guy who liked to write about their travels and his wife Norma was always there keeping him 'in line'.  Lots of us guys need a woman like that and Croft was lucky enough to have found his.  I wish him the best adjusting to the loss of his friend, lover, wife and so much more.

Life here is going on with the usual panache.  The headline on our newspaper this a.m. was that we now have a Starbuck's store!  We had a Starbuck's counter in one of the local grocery stores but I guess that wasn't enough.  I'd put up a link but they haven't updated the website with that burning news.  In other local news, our county, Nye, has been involved in a reality tv show:  Live PD. The sad news is that our local sheriff's officers will not be followed by their film crews from now on.  I'm not sure why we are getting the boot but I expect it is because we don't have a lot of 'action'.  Let's face it, there aren't that many people living here (and most of them are old) so we can only have so many drug busts. There goes our moment of fame.

I manage our investments and I've been fascinated by the marijuana industry that seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.  Part of the reason I find it interesting is that it is legal to possess small amounts in Nevada.  We have a local dispensary for legal recreational and medicinal weed.  We also have a couple other places offering CBD, a non-psychoactive form, that is supposed to have considerable medical uses.  Of course every sleezy salesperson (sorry, financial advisor) is pushing one company or another.  Believe me, I have no special insight and haven't bought anything yet!  There is a lot of interest in Canadian companies since they have legalized marijuana nationally.  There are also the brands that are associated with alcohol distributors but that is also primarily a Canadian connection.  I'll probably buy into some of the Canadian interests only because President Nutbag (I mean Trump) and his idiot Cabinet could turn on marijuana in an instant and amp up the pressure on the states to resind legalization. 

Well, that's what is wandering around in my head today.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great day.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Weeds!

That's my curse word of the day:  weeds!  But I guess that's what happens when you take a moment and turn away. 

Actually we took more than a moment, we took two weeks.  We had a birthday celebration in Washington state so decided to make a trip of it.  We went over to the California coast by driving up highway 95 to Tonopah then on to Reno.  Then we hopped onto I-80 for a few miles and got off right after the Donner Pass onto California 20 and took it all the way to the coast.  That puts you in a little town called Fort Bragg.  Our timing was pretty good:  perfect weather going over the Pass then the next day chains were required!  Then we drove up highway 1 for a few miles until it ended on 101.  Let me tell you, that section of highway 1 is twisty and then some.  From the ocean to 101 was 22 miles and it took over 40 minutes to drive.  Then we just headed north.  It was a very pretty drive and we even managed to check out a few redwood groves.  There was a fair amount of rain and even a little sleet but nothing very serious.



The town we were headed for is Sequim, WA which is out on the Olympic Penninsula.  Of course, being Western Washington, it rained a bit but we lived in the area for something more than 15 years so there was no danger of us melting.  We got to see everyone, sing Happy Birthday and go out to eat a few times then it was time to head back home.  This time we were on familiar roads; south on I-5 then cutting across California back to Reno and down home.  Again the weather was just fine.  In places in California there were two or three feet of snow on the sides of the road but the roads themselves were clean and dry.

My wife is the navigator on our travels.  She uses Garmin software on her pc then enters waypoints in either the car's GPS or the Garmin we use for our truck.  Or sometimes, she uses both.
It's not every guy that has a woman and two machines telling him where to go!  Lucky me!  (Actually we took the Garmin because it has addresses for everyone in it's memory and the car doesn't.)  That photo was taken in the parking lot of our hotel in Sparks, NV.  They have a nice little lake there and we managed to wander around most of it after a day in the car.  I also got to see something I've never seen before in the park area by the lake.
I have absolutely no idea what was intended by whomever placed that sign there.  There wasn't anything really going on there; just a sign on a light post.  I guess it's an especially free area.  

So now I'm home and spraying weed killer like a madman.  We had rain when we were gone so the weeds are growing like crazy.  It will take a few days but I'll get them; every one of them.  On that note, I'll buzz off.  Thanks for stopping by!