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Old 09-29-2012, 11:37 AM   #11081
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I am back at home, all tuckered out from RV'ing. RV'ing is fun, but the driving can be exhausting.

On the first leg of the trip, we drove through Joshua Tree NP, on the way to camping in Sequoia and Kings Canyon NPs. I have driven through Sequoia NP before. It was 30 years ago on the way to San Francisco, but one did not get to see much on a day trip. That time, we did not even have the time to take short hikes to see General Sherman and General Grant trees (the world's first and second largest trees by trunk volumes). In fact, the motorhome was parked in a campground not too far from the General Grant Grove. And the campground in Kings Canyon where we stayed was littered with huge tree stumps that must have been from dead or fallen Sequoia trees.

Next, we camped near Sacramento for a visit. We then drove by SF to go up coastal Highway 1 to a timeshare where we stayed for a week. We also took the occasion to visit Muir Woods. This small park is popular due to its vicinity to SF, but its trees are not too impressive compared to those in other California parks.

We have gone on parts of Hwy 1 on many trips, but had not been on this segment between Bodega Bay to Fort Bragg. After staying a week in the comfort of the timeshare cabin, I did not feel like driving further up the coast to Eureka. Before the trip, I had planned to camp out among the tall redwoods of northern coastal California (which I had also driven through many years ago), but decided to save that for a future trip when I wander through that region again. So, I turned south and went home, taking the interstates most of the way.

The last time I drove on the I-5 segment between Oakland and Bakersfield was 25 years ago. Traffic was sparse then, compared to now. There used to be just prairies along the road, spreading for hundreds of miles. Now, there are lush orchards of pistachio and almond trees, which run nearly continously along the freeway. The last time I was on that stretch of freeway, California was in a drought, and people in the LA area had to take showers standing in buckets to catch the gray water to use on their lawn. And now, there is irrigation all over the place. But along the freeway, there were signs by farmers blaming a House Bill and some congressmen for limiting their water. Where did they find water for all that agricultural activities in the first place?

So, I had to look up on the Web, and learned about the CVP (Central Valley Project) that supplies water to the San Joaquin Valley, and also the controversy behind all that water business.

The current political and environmental dispute over water rights reminded me of the intriguing water rights in the plot of the movie "Chinatown", set in the 1930s. I want to watch that movie again.

PS. By the way, the trackbar improvement that I did on the MH worked out great. I still cringe when thinking how I could survive that first RV trip, when I drove the MH for the first time towing the toad, sans track bar, anti-roll bar, and with mushy rear shock absorbers. I was constantly fidgeting with the steering wheel to keep the RV in its lane.

This time, I was doing OK on the twisty coastal Highway 1 and even some narrower roads.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:18 PM   #11082
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Last couple days have been dark and dreary with some rain.

Been watching the Ryder Cup matches. Boy those guys are good. The USA has been on a tear. Been particularly enjoying watching Keegan Bradley since he grew up in Vermont, just a couple hours south of us.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:45 PM   #11083
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I am back at home, all tuckered out from RV'ing. RV'ing is fun, but the driving can be exhausting.
Driving in general seems to be more exhausting than it used to be, to both F and me. Seems like the other drivers are getting crazier and harder to dodge these days. Or, maybe we are getting older.

Glad you are enjoying your RV.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:25 PM   #11084
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We've been home for four days and I've been surfing twice. I'm finally restoring the balance to my life.

The blog has been moved to Bluehost. That went exceptionally well, especially if you know how to screw it up on your own. Now it's just like any other move-- I have to unpack a bunch of boxes, try to remember where I put all sorts of important things, and end up with the place looking trashed for a few days until I'm done trying every possible combination of furniture in every room.

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Sea story: Simulate submarine life at home | Military Retirement & Financial Independence

I was asked to write it in a gender-neutral format...
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:53 PM   #11085
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Went out for a motorcycle ride, picking up a few items on the way like a prescription for DW and a gel cell battery for a gigunda flashlight that FIL gave us.

It is odd how on a motorcycle, a trip to pick up a prescription four miles away takes 60 miles to complete.

I decided to try some "light painting" which means making a long exposure in otherwise dark conditions and then "painting" with light to only expose the area you want exposed. The sky is that dark blue because the camera white balance is set to the color of the light from the flashlight. At the time this was taken it was too dark to see the controls on the camera. It is a 30-second exposure. The result has kind of a Halloween potential.
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:29 PM   #11086
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Went out for a motorcycle ride, picking up a few items on the way like a prescription for DW and a gel cell battery for a gigunda flashlight that FIL gave us.

It is odd how on a motorcycle, a trip to pick up a prescription four miles away takes 60 miles to complete.

I decided to try some "light painting" which means making a long exposure in otherwise dark conditions and then "painting" with light to only expose the area you want exposed. The sky is that dark blue because the camera white balance is set to the color of the light from the flashlight. At the time this was taken it was too dark to see the controls on the camera. It is a 30-second exposure. The result has kind of a Halloween potential.
Went to the annual Harley Davidson Open House in York, Pa, rode my motorcycle to attend an Apple Butter Boil, reassembled my trebuchet so that will throw a 8lb pumpkin a football field length, and finally ate some dinner at an Italian restaurant. It was a good day.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:25 PM   #11087
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After a really busy week at w*rk, I was really looking forward to today. I had a teleconference with a group of colleagues at 9 am (w*rk related, and I had to do an hour of prep w*rk for it). Then showered, dressed and had coffee. Did some housework, then drove 90 km south to a winery where I have a club membership. It was the day of the pickup party, when you get your case of wine for the year or half year. Last year I signed up for a case of reds. The party was free to members of the wine club, and included an excellent rock concert by a group of ERs who have been playing together since they were teens in the 1960s. A pig was barbecued, salads were eaten, wine was consumed, and 500 people enjoyed the view of the valley from the amphitheater in 24 degree C sunshine. It was, in short, delightful. On the drive home, I stopped at a vegetable stand and bought enormous yams, squash, and crab apples. I am now enjoying a dish of baked yams, squash, crab apples, coconut milk and mascarpone cheese, with steak, mushrooms and red wine.

It was a good day!

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Old 09-30-2012, 01:23 AM   #11088
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... and included an excellent rock concert by a group of ERs who have been playing together since they were teens in the 1960s.
The Rolling Stones?!? Wow!
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:54 AM   #11089
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Friday was my first physical therapy session for a torn rotator cuff. Another 8 or so to go. It's gonna be fun.

Went to see the Northwestern Wildcats play Indiana yesterday, and we tailgated after the game. Gametime was 11:00 am, I was there at 10:00 for some pregame socializing with my brother and his wonderful DW. Amazing the drinking going on at that that time of day.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:30 AM   #11090
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Today is my first day of FIRED. It seems like I am on vacation. Plan is no plan just putzin around. May go to lake if weather is good or may read a book or both or maybe not.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:19 PM   #11091
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Did some clean up around the yard, then brought in the alpaca ground crew to work on the weeds behind the house.

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Old 10-05-2012, 05:47 PM   #11092
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I have been watching the Blue Angels practice over downtown San Francisco for tomorrow's Fleet Week air show - all from the comfort of my living room.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:40 PM   #11093
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Today I decided to throw some money at my wardrobe. I have lost 22 pounds since retirement and have purged some of my wardrobe but now I have to purge the rest .I've written a list of what I need and now I have to find it . I find I only like certain retailers so that makes it easier . Chico's , JJill , Talbots , Lands End here I come !
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:51 PM   #11094
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I have been watching the Blue Angels practice over downtown San Francisco for tomorrow's Fleet Week air show - all from the comfort of my living room.
Cool. I've seen the Thunderbirds a couple different times but never have seen the Blue Angels. The son of a woman who I worked with many years ago was a member of their flight crew - saw the world.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:59 PM   #11095
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Lazy day today-- worked on the blog, got caught up on two months of credit-card bills, read everything on the Internet, churned through an old novel.

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Did some clean up around the yard, then brought in the alpaca ground crew to work on the weeds behind the house.
Speaking as a Navy veteran, I'm impressed. How did you get them to proceed across the property in such an evenly-spaced line abreast formation?
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:43 AM   #11096
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Yesterday got up at 0430 (the things I do for love!) to go with DW for a colonoscopy, but that didn't happen because she couldn't keep the prep stuff down so of course it didn't, um, "work". Both of us feeling tired the rest of the day from getting up way too early.

So instead I changed the anti-freeze on the truck, and I bought some flowers for DW since she was tired from no food all day and after a crash nap took her out to dinner last night.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:40 AM   #11097
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Speaking as a Navy veteran, I'm impressed. How did you get them to proceed across the property in such an evenly-spaced line abreast formation?
I certainly can't credit my Air Force experience (in some ways, that was like being a civilian without having to decide what to wear to work).

I've shown this shot to a couple of others who have commented on the nice alignment. Guess I can chalk it up to good cropping since there were two others on the far right that just weren't with the program that wouldn't fit in the view finder!
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:16 AM   #11098
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This morning Home Depot came out and measured in preparation for replacing my carpet, that was soaked and had to be torn out after Hurricane Isaac.

It will be so nice to not be living in a construction zone type of decor, eventually!
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:07 PM   #11099
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Went to the home show and got discouraged. It sounds like maybe I won't be able to afford all the repairs needed on that house I offered on. >>sigh<<

I was too tuckered out to stay for the second seminar I wanted to go to, "the ten pitfalls of remodeling".
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:59 AM   #11100
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It will be so nice to not be living in a construction zone type of decor, eventually!
That does wear thin after a while. It is reminiscent of the "early poverty" style of decor such as the bookcases made of plain pine boards and cinder blocks. Yup, I had a set of those!
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