Thursday, August 31, 2006

Yep, I was right

Read my "A's to San Jose" post from 1/1/05

Nothing like tooting my own horn, but I predicted that the A's would never move to San Jose, and in today's fishwrap the owner of the A's said the same thing. Its hard to be humble when you're right.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

111, 000 miles

without licence plates on my Beetle. Over three and a half years. Civil disobedience at its best. Sadly that all came to an end last Sunday. Sandra and I were Malloryless, as she was with one of her friends. We got in the Beetle and went to In N Out in Antioch to eat, then drove out to Bethel Island, which is at the edge of the Delta.
Sugar Barge is a boat harbor/resort/restaraunt/RV park on the east side of the island. I thought this would be a good time to take a drive out there so I can see where it is. The roads on Bethel Island are quite narrow, and I didn't want to get into a spot in the 29 foot long Winnebago.
I hadn't been out that way in a couple of years and I was surprised how much new housing was right across the slough from the island, in the city of Oakley. Bethel Island used to be out in the boonies, but no more.
We found Sugar Barge. The RV park was pretty full, even for a Sunday afternoon after checkout. You would figure most of the weekenders would have already left for the day. I guess they get a lot of longer term RV'ers.
Sugar Barge has cable TV and a pool and costs about the same as Sandy Beach in Rio Vista, once you figure in the toll and extra gas. (I've blogged about Sandy Beach before and have a couple of pics in the queue to post) There's also a Times and Chronicle rack out in front of the office to appease my jones for reading the newspaper every day.
There's only one way off and on the island, so we made our way back to the bridge and took the long way home, driving through Knightsen and Brentwood.
Driving through Brentwood we were in the slow lane with a cop in front of us driving about 35 in a 40, spooking a driver in front of her. Sandra told me not to pass her but hell, I wasn't speeding or anything. So, I pass them both.
Well, she gets right behind me and lights me up. I had last year's regestration and insurance in the car, which she could have cited me for. She only wrote me for the lack of plates, front and rear. I was honest with her when she asked me, "What's up with the plates?" I told her it was to avoid the photo radar, which I thought was unconstitutional. That position didn't hold water.
To Sandra's benefit, she didn't bust my chops too bad about not listening to her. She's right, I shouldn't have passed the cop. Let me type this again. Sandra was right.
I was thinking last week that I should move the dealer plate off the front of the car to the rear, as the rear one was broken off. I think that's why I got pulled over. Oh well, its only a $10 fix it ticket. That, and 10 minutes of my time is an acceptable trade for the 3.5 years of civil disobedience.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Shasta County

The day after we arrived in Redding, we headed out to Shasta Dam. Finished in the early 1940's, Shasta Dam is the second largest dam in the country. Only Grand Cooley is larger, based on the total amount of cubic yards of materiel used in the dam. Hoover Dam is taller, but not as big.
We went into the visitor center and looked at some of the pictures before walking out onto the dam. You used to be able to drive across the dam without any issue. That's changed since the attacks of September 11th. Now, there's security that checks you for a sheriff's department issued permit to cross the dam. How sad.
The dam tour starts at the top of the dam. The last time I took the tour I was a kid and we started at the bottom of the dam. My mom tells me that when she was a kid the tour started up top.
We walked through the metal detector and took the elevator down into the heart of the dam. There was a bit more to the tour at Shasta than at Bonneville. We did look at the powerhouse and went down to the bottom of the spillway. One thing about the tour is that you couldn't take cameras or any other electronic equipment with you. As we were walking back to our car there was a bus load of Asian tourists that were going to be unhappy when they had to walk back to the bus to leave their cameras.
In the dam there's a long hallway that when you shut a set of doors and clap, you can hear the sound rush down the hallway and echo off the end. I've not heard anything quite like this before and it was cool. Mallory was chosen to help the guide in this demonstration.
After the dam we went to Olive Garden and ate, then had to make our stop at the mall. Women and malls.......
The Sundial Bridge is a new addition to downtown Redding. Click on the link, it will tell you a bit about the bridge. You can't see it from I-5, nor from SH-44. It crosses the Sacramento River, but is a bit out of the way. The signage isn't all that good, but we managed to find out and take our walk across the bridge. I took a couple of pics and I'll get them posted when I get to a PC away from work.
There's a lot more to see around Redding, we'll make it up that way again.
On our last Sunday, we all got up and ate at Black Bear, then I bought three Sunday papers and Sandra dropped me off at the coach and her and Mallory left for home. I was in hog heaven. Three Sunday papers, a pool to take a dip in, and cable tv.
Sadly, my vacation time was up. On Monday morning I heard a bit of thunder and about 10 seconds of fat rain drops. That was all the rain for the entire trip. I broke camp, ate at Black Bear and headed on home. I didn't fill up the gas tank before parking the coach at Rodies, so I can't give the mileage info as I have for the last couple of trips.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Rogue River and beyond!

We broke camp and headed east on US-20 on our way back to the Willamette Valley. The drive is scenic and not too steep. We met up with SH-34 in Corvallis and headed to I-5. We then took I-5 south for a couple of hours, remembering to watch our speed in Coburg.
Our destination for two nights was Rogue River State Park, between Grants Pass and Medford. Our spot was just about a minute to the river. This was the best equipped of the state parks as the spots had 30 and 50 amp power, sewer, and laundry at the bath house. I'll remember this for our next excursion to Oregon.
The coach runs on 30 amp. The power at your house is probably 15 amp. Coaches with two air conditioners run on 50 amp. If you have a 50 amp coach at a 30 amp campsite you use an adapter, as the plugs are not the same for 30 and 50 amps. This is your RV lesson for the day.
Sandra and I had considered driving up to Crater Lake on our full day there, but we decided to wait and make that drive another time. We ended up driving to Grants Pass for some supplies as Mallory wanted bacon almost every day and we didn't quite have enough. That, and we needed a supply of reading material like the National Enquirer, Star, Us and other such magazines. We had to keep up on what's wrong with Baby Suri. When I didn't want to do something, I'd tell Sandra I was too upset about what was wrong with Baby Suri to do much of anything. What amazes me is that there really are people that care about celebrites. I sure don't.
The full day we were at the camp, there was a BBQ and band at the ampitheater. We wandered down about 6 or so and they ran out of food right as it was our turn to eat. We managed to get back to the coach, eat, and make it back for the 7pm music. A three piece band played old school country and bluegrass. There must have been at least 200 people there. A few custom cars and hot rods were in the parking lot, not everybody there was from the campground.
The next day we broke camp and headed south on I-5 to Redding. I've got family in Shasta County and Redding is central to some good spots to sightsee. I-5 takes you through the Siskiyou Mountains, over Lake Shasta and into the northern part of the Sacramento Valley.
We're cruising along just coming into Mt Shasta City (the home of Black Bear Diner) when Sandra calls me on the cell phone to pull over so her and Mallory can use the bathroom. Never mind that we just passed a rest area about 10 minutes prior to the phone call. I'll never understand a woman's need to use the loo in only operating room cleanliness. Geez Louise!
And yes, I pulled off at the next offramp. I still busted their chops.
The weather got warmer as we got into town. I couldn't remember where the rv park was and I left my notes at home. We looked for a bit and then parked the rv. Redding RV park was right there, but I wasn't sure that was our destination. We drove in and found out that yes, we were in the right spot. I thought it was more off the freeway. I managed to pick yet another place that you can hear the freeway. I sleep with earplugs, but still.
There was nothing wrong with the park. They had cable and a pool which again made Sandra and Mallory happy. The three of us ended up going for a swim later in the day.

To the coast

After breaking camp in Coburg, we headed west on SH-126 for about an hour and made our way to Florence, where we turned north on US-101 for about another hour or so and we found ourselves at our destination, South Beach Campground.
South Beach is across the Yaquina Bay Bridge from Newport, the largest town on the Oregon Coast. The campground is one of the largest on the coast, and it was full for the weekend. I had made reservation 6 months previously, and I wanted to stay at Beverly Beach, which is 7 miles north of Newport. They were full up, 6 months early.
When a campground has full hookups, that means they have power, water, sewer and maybe cable tv. ( I've yet to see a county/state park with cable) Memaloose had a funny sewer connector that didn't thread. The bathouse had pipe problems so we used the shower in the coach and drained our tanks into the funny connector once, then at the dump site as we left.
If you're staying a while at one place, many people hook up the sewer hose and leave the grey water valve open. Grey water is from the sink and shower, black water is from the toilet.
South Beach didn't have the sewer hookup, so we had to be reasonably careful with our grey water use. I didn't want to have to break camp to drive to the campground dump site in the middle of our stay.
Our spot was close to the bathroom/bathouse. I didn't see it on the men's side, but Sandra was happy to tell me that there was a Oregonian rack on the women's side of the restrooms. That made me a happy camper. And, it was only .50 when it was .75 everywhere else we had been.
The weather was a bit on the cool side. The Oregon Coast is not known for a warm summer. Sandra and Mallory even turned on the furnace a couple of nights. Geez.
South Beach isn't right on the beach, it is about a 10 mintue walk to the beach. There are three trails to the beach, and one trail that went from the day use area to the South Jetty. One of the trails was wheelchair accessable to the beach.
Once we set up camp, we took a walk to the beach to look for a walking stick for Mallory to paint. We walked north on the beach to the jetty and back down the beach to the inland path. Mallory did find a stick that she later painted.
The next day we got in the car and drove to Sea Lion Caves, which is just north of Florence. Sea Lion Caves is a cave that is the largest sea cave in the world. The land is privately owned and has been in the same family for decades. You pay your money and walk down a couple of flights of stairs. Then, you walk along a path that takes you to the elevator. The elevator takes you down about 250 feet and to the cave.
Sandra and I had gone in December a year or two ago, and the cave and outlying rocks were full of sea lions. I guess most of them go other places in the summer because they weren't at the cave. In the winter they fight for position on the rocks and dominance over one another. In the summer there's a lot less bickering amongst the sea lions. Still, if you're out that way it is worth a stop.
After our stop, Mallory and Sandra were hungry now, so we drove into Florence and ate at famous Mo's. Mo's is right on the bay and we waited for a window seat. We ate good seafood and watch a couple of guys in a boat crabbing. They would toss the baited pots overboard, then come back in 10-15 mintues and check the pots for crabs. The undersize and female crabs were tossed back in.
Newport has a Blockbuster, so we managed to rent movies a couple of times during our 5 day stay in Newport. We walked along the beach and paved paths every day. We also played a lot of gin rummy, teaching Mallory the game.
One of the days, we went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. This is the pride of Newport. They do a good job and had displays showing fish and other aquatic life from tidepools to the open ocean. Mallory got to touch tidepool life in one of the displays.
After the aquarium, we drove across the Yaquina Bay Bridge to the Yaquina Lighthouse. This restored lighthouse was built over 120 years ago. It had a short life, as once it was built the government decided a lighthouse a couple of miles north on Yaquina Head would be better.
There's a nice little park around the lighthouse.
We finished here and drove north to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. There's a charge here, and a nice visitors center before you continue the drive to the lighthouse. The lighthouse was open on the day we went and we got to climb the 110 or so steps to the top of the lighthouse.
At times in the past, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse was called the Cape Foulweather Lighthouse, though Cape Foulweather is another couple of miles north of Yaquina Head. Nothing like confusion.
The day before we left the grey tank was full and we had a coach full of dirty clothes and no food in the fridge. So, Sandra and Mallory took the dirty clothes in the Suburban to the laundrymat in town. It isn't such a chore when you can wash multiple loads at once.
Meanwhile, I broke camp and went to the dump area where I dumped the grey tank. I usually wait until the black tank is full before dumping it. Actually, I like to have both tanks full when I dump the black tank, that way the grey tank water, which is soapy from the sink and shower, can wash out the sediment from the black tank dump. And that's your RV lesson for the day.
I drove into town and went shopping at Safeway, then topped off the propane. We left for greener pastures the next day.
Sandra and Mallory liked the coast, they weren't thrilled that it was cold. Sandra mentioned since we've been back that she'd like to go back, just not in the summer.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Eugene

After our sightseeing in the Gorge, it was time to pack up and head to Eugene. At the south end of the Willamette Valley, Eugene is the second largest town in Oregon and the home of the U of O.
Sandra and Mallory had some shopping to do at Wally's, so we split up and headed to Eugene. I needed gas and the ARCO in Sandy was inexpensive. You don't pump your own gas in Oregon, it is done for you. So, I waited in line at the ARCO, got my spot and had the pump jockey start putting regular in the RV. I went inside to fill up my soda and pay. I did get change back from my $100 and was told to show the recipt to the attendant. I walked back out and didn't see anyone, they were rather busy with 20+ pumps to look after. Hell, I wasn't going to wait around so I got in the coach and left.
It occured to me as I was easing back onto I-84 that I could have gone in and only paid for the soda, come back out, waited until the attendants were busy, and driven off without paying for the gas. Or, if I didn't ask for a cash recipt, I could have been accused of driving off without paying for the gas and wouldn't that be an interesting conversation on the side of the road with the Oregon State Police?
I-84 to I-205 to I-5 and after a couple of hours we're in Coburg, which is just north of Eugene. I had reservations at a RV resort and to Mallory's joy, we had cable TV and a pool. We were here for three days. One nice thing about this park is that we got the local paper, the Register-Guard delivered to our site every morning.
The Eugene Emeralds baseball team happened to be home for all three nights, finishing up a sic game homestand. The first three nights were against the Vancouver Canadians. They're an Oakland farm team. We missed them and ended up seeing the Everett (WA) Aqua Sox, a Seattle farm team. Eugene is a San Diego farm team.
The Em's play at the best park in the universe, Eugene Civic Stadium. Built out of solid redwood in the 1930, Civic is one of the oldest parks in use in the country. And, it is old. The park is right in town just to the west of the university. There are some reserved seats down close to the field, but the vast majority of the seating is on benches.
Civic is an odd shaped park. The seating starts just behind the third base dugout, extends around home plate and runs all the way down the right field line 2/3rds of the way to the fence. This means that most all the crowd sits behind the home team dugout.
The most charming part of Civic is that the park has a roof. I can't think of another park I've been at that has a roof. Two years ago when I was in Eugene, I rode the scooter from Coburg to Civic to take in a Sunday game. It was a bit on the rainy side but once inside I was dry under the roof. The game did get rained out but I wasn't soaked to the skin waiting for the game to start.
Eugene hit a couple of homers and beat Everett.
The next day we went to the mall and to the movies. Sandra and Mallory didn't want to go to the game so I went by myself. While walking up to the park, I was asked to sign a petition to save Civic. I was under the impression that the City of Eugene owned Civic, but the petition guy told me that the school district owns the park and there was some talk of selling, due to the value of the land. To have this jewel of a ballpark torn down would be tragic.
Our last day in Eugene we went for a drive in Lane County. There are a number of covered bridges in Lane County and there's a tour that one can take. I did snap a couple of pictures that I'll get to post here one day.
The next time we go along this drive, we'll bring our swim suits as we saw locals swimming under and around a couple of the covered bridges. One of them even had a rope swing that extended into the creek. Mallory was unhappy that she didn't get to go for a dip.
We made it back to the rv park and headed out to Civic yet again to see Eugene take two of three from Everett.
That pretty much wrapped up our visit to Eugene. There's a lot more to see that we didn't get to, perhaps another trip. In Coburg, there are a couple of RV manufacturing plants that give public tours. I'd like to do that.
One other thing about Coburg is they are the only city police department I've seen that actively runs speed control on the Interstate. Two years ago when I was there I rode my bicycle through town and noticed a really nice BMW police motorcycle parked at the police station. Pretty ritzy for a town of 900 people.
I later read on RV.net that Coburg is a known speed trap. Lo and behold I saw Coburg PD working speed on I-5 with a car and a bike. They had two people pulled over as I got on I-5. All three of you faithful readers should make a note to watch your speed around Eugene and Coburg.

In the Gorge

The day after Sandra and Mallory arrived, we headed out for a bit of sightseeing. We decided on two half days of taking in the sights instead of one longer day. After the daily soda and snack stop, we made our way to Bonneville Dam.
Bonneville is right off I-84. Built in the 1930's, it was built for power prodcution. We drove across the locks and around to the visitors center. The dam complex is run by the Army Corps of Engineers. They have a nice visitors center with displays, movies and a glassed in viewing area of the fish ladder. During spawning season one can see thousands of fish in the windows.
We took the guided tour to the old powerplant where we saw the generators and some more displays.
After the dam, we stopped at the fish hatchery, which is next to the dam. They had a sturgeon viewing pond and I'll say they are one ugly fish. These prehistoric fish don't have scales but plates that protect their bodies. I've been told that they're good eating.
The next day we took a part of US-30, which is the old Gorge highway. This two lane road runs in bits and pieces along I-84. We stopped at a few of the waterfalls that are world famous along this stretch of highway. The most famous of the falls is Multanomah (sp) Falls.
We got out here and took a look. There's a paved path up the side of the hill and to a hundred year old bridge that spans Multanomah Creek between the two parts of the falls. It was pretty busy for a Sunday, we had to wait to get a good couple of pictures, which I'll get to posting.
This is also a trailhead for trails that wind up and along the falls. Also, there is a stone lodge with a restaraunt and gift shop. There is even access to the falls from I-84.
After our stop at the falls, we continued west on US-30. The road passes a couple more falls and starts to wind up the hill to Crown Point.
The overlook at Crown Point has been recently refurbished. The view is incredible. You can see miles up the gorge and downriver almost into Portland.
Making our way down the hill we met back up with I-84, got gas and drove back to the campsite. The famous wind had picked up a bit, but is was still on the warm side.

Friday, August 11, 2006

To the Gorge

After breaking camp in Bend, and stopping at Albertsons for provisions, ( fizzy water was only .50 a bottle instead of a dollar when you buy 20, so I bought 20. That made me happy) it was back in US-97 northbound and heading for the Columbia River Gorge and Memaloose State Park. I had made reservations 6 months prior for the rest of the trip. I didn't want to get locked out of any of the state parks.
I took US-197 and followed the Deschutes River through more beautiful scenery. Mt Hood was always visable on the left. US-197 ends at I-84 and it was only 10 miles westbound and I was at Memaloose. I got there on a Friday and it was a good thing I made reservations as the park was sold out for the weekend. Many of the other campers were from the Portland area which was only 75 miles to the west.
The spots were reasonably spread out and my spot was up the hill a touch. There was a path through the fence, over the tracks, and through the brush to get to the river and a nice swim spot. I didn't swim, but Mallory and Sandra did. One negative about the park was that there was no paper racks.
Mallory had flown home on the Friday I arrived at Memaloose and Sandra picked her up from the airport and left directly to meet me. They make it as far as Redding before sacking out, then they were back at it the next day. By 4:30 they had met me at the campground and would accompany me for the rest of the trip.
Friday night the ranger talk was about the giant flood and other geologic process. Back in the last ice age there was a giant lake in Idaho and Montana formed by an ice dam. One day the ice dam gave way and the lake empited. The onrushing water was a force 10 times the force of all the rivers in the world combined. The topsoil of western Washington was scraped off the earth and deposited over 250 feet deep in the Willamette Valley, which was turned into an inland sea.
This scouring of the earth left lasting geologic formations all throughout the Columbia River Basin. I had seen something on tv about this one time, so the story was a bit familiar to me. Between the talk of the flood(s) and the volcanic activity it was an interesting way to spend the evening.
The weather was a bit on the warm side with surprisingly no wind in the Gorge. I overheard some locals comment on the lack of wind. While in Bend, the tv was incessant on warning people of the upcoming heat wave. Hell, it hardly got to 100. Meanwhile in California it was pushing 115 in the warmer parts of the Bay Area and Central Valley. Heat wave, pfffffft.

Pressing On

Monday morning found me at Black Bear yet again, and no, I don't get tired of eating there. One is opening up in Walnut Creek and I can't wait. I tossed and turned driving all the way to Jackpot to stay at Catcus Pete's for a few days. I decided not to go, again being a cheap ass I didn't want to spend that much in gas, nor spend that much time driving.
So, after breakfast I headed out of Reno north on US-395. (One thing that I just remembered that should have been in the last post was that the Reno Gazette-Journal no longer prints the pitching lineup with stats like they used to. This is a vital took to bet on baseball, and when I bet on baseball I really bet on the pitchers more than anything else. Without pitching stats, I feel lost and this is the first time I've been to Reno for a couple of days in the baseball season and not made a bet.)
It was a beautiful day in the high desert as the highway took me back into California. I didn't bring my CD's but managed to find classic rock on one station or another for the entire day. I don't drive the RV all that fast and I don't make time like you can in a car.
US-395 winds up the eastern part of the Sierras and through towns like Susanville and Alturas. I got gas in Alturas and proceeded on.
The first town in Oregon is Lakeview. I needed to do laundry so I bypassed Goose Lake State Park and drove 11 more miles into town. Many towns have an RV park, or at least one of the mobile home parks will have a few spots for overnighters. The latter is what I found as I drove into a small park with one spot left for overnighting. Not the fanciest place, but with a laundry and cable tv, I was set. (I think this is where I lost my VW key in the washer)
I broke camp the next morning and continued north on US-395. I veered off on SH-31 and headed to La Pine and Bend. There was very little traffic and miles of scenery. When I got to La Pine there was much more traffic on US-97, which is the primary N/S route east of the Cascades in Oregon.
I had read of a nice resort style park in Bend and though I can't think of the name of it as I blog, I did remember the name of it when I took off US-97 and found the resort. I'm not normally one for fancy places like this, after all I am supposed to be camping. Anyway, the spots were the biggest I've seen and the place was really nice. I stayed in Bend for three days and spend my time taking my daily walk and watching tv. I don't watch much tv when I'm home, so vegging out watching tv is a treat.
I also like a park with newspaper racks and this one had the Bend paper and also the Oregonian out of Portland. I was a happy camper while in Bend.

Reno

On the Thursday after Diane's services, I loaded up the RV and drove to Reno. I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend the money to stay at an RV park or boondock at the Nugget. Being that I'm a cheap ass, I decided to boondock at the Nugget. They have a dedicated parking lot between the freeway and the railyard just for RV parking. I wasn't the only one to take advantage of the Nugget's kindness.
This year, the Golden Baseball League expanded into Reno. They wised up and don't play at Moana Field, which is a dump. The Reno Silver Sox play at Peccole Field on the UNR campus. I've seen UOP play UNR here before and it is a nice place to see a game. The field has been changed from grass to turf. What is odd about the field is that there are no dirt cutouts around the plate or the bases. I've not seen this before. The batters box and bases are right on the turf. Only the pitcher's mound was dirt.
Anyway, I sat in the general seats for $6 and watched Reno beat Yuma. There was a big enough parking lot behind left field to park the RV so I didn't have any issues there.
Friday morning I got up and ate at Black Bear, then went shopping for provisions. I read and relaxed until it was time to leave for the game. The San Diego Surf Dawgs (what a sad name) were in town for the weekend. I snuck over to the reserved seats and watched Reno beat SD.
Mallory had flown to Idaho to camp with her Papa, so Sandra drove up to Reno after work and met me at the Nugget. It was nice at night and we didn't have to run the AC to sleep.
Saturday we got up and ate again at Black Bear. We drove downtown so Sandra could gamble. We also had one historical based task to perform while we were downtown.
In the 1930's, Nevada had the most liberal divorce laws in the country. Divorce wasn't nearly as legally easy then as it is now. Reno was the biggest town in the state, and a thriving divorce industry was based in town. One catch was that one of the parties had to be a Nevada resident, and that took six monts of living in the state. Boarding houses and dude ranches sprung up to meet the need for six month housing.
The Washoe County courthouse is on Virginia St, about half a block from the Truckee River. The tradition, started in the 1930's, was to walk down the stairs after your divorce was final, turn left, walk to the Virginia St bridge, face west, and toss your wedding ring into the Truckee.
A couple of lives ago I had tossed the ring from my first marriage into the river. Sandra and I decided to uphold tradition as we walked to the Virginia St bridge and performed the symbolic tossing of the rings into the Truckee. Then we went and gambled. I won a bit at the craps table and Sandra won a bit on the slots.
Time passed and it was time to head to Peccole. San Diego beat the Sox to tie the series at 1-1.
Sunday was like Saturday, but I gave back my craps winnings. Sandra however, killed at the slots. She hit a $300 jackpot on a $5 machine and won a couple more jackpots. She doesn't win when I'm watching over her shoulder, but as soon as I leave Lady Luck finds her and she wins more often than she loses.
Instead of leaving Sunday night, Sandra decides to leave eary Monday morning and drive straight to work. That leaves us time to go the the rubber game at Peccole. Reno beats SD and takes the series. The first three games were in the paper with good coverage. Sunday's game wasn't even mentioned in Monday's paper, which I found to be odd.

Luck

Todd E busted my chops tonight when he called in too injured to work, the sissy. He called me a "non-blogger." For shame. So, I'm back!

Before I start on the trip, vehicle luck took a turn for the worse since I've been home. Somehow on the trip I lost the key to the VW. The ring had come off a while ago and I couldn't keep the key on a ring. Sandra's copy went away when her purse was stolen last year. We tore up the RV looking for the key and we were not sucessful in our search.
I get up Tuesday to run some errands. The scooter fires right up and I'm happy. I'm not happy when the VW dealer tells me that he can't cut me a key off the VIN number, that he has to physically have the car. Great.
So, I call my Good Sam tow service. I explain the situation and they tell me it will be two hours. I have to go to work, so we'll make it Wednesday.
I get ready to leave for work on the scooter and the battery gives up the ghost as I'm riding out the driveway. Arrrgh! I leave Sandra carless and take the Suburban to work.
Wednesday comes and I get up early to call Good Sam again. They tell me 90 minutes and I get up, eat and get to the RV storage lot where the VW is. Two hours later Good Sam calls me to see if service showed up. Well, no. They call the tow company to find out a mistake was made and nobody is coming. Another day wasted.
I take the Suburban to work and when I get in it to go home it won't start. Jesus! Good Sam gets it together and I get a tow truck out in only 2 hours and they tow the car to the Chevy dealer in San Jose. I get the $1000 message that the fuel pump failed (again). This is the second failure on a car with only 130k. I'm not happy about this.
OK, the only working vehicle I have is the RV, and I've got the only set of keys in my pocket.
I borrow a company car and drive home and take Sandra to work. She calls Enterprise and rents a PT Cruiser for a week. (On an aside, we've discussed buying one after we sell one of the rentals) For now, our immeadiate transportation problems are solved. I'll pick up the Suburban on Monday and have the whole day off to deal with getting the VW towed to the dealer. The selling dealer warned me not to lose the keys as they cost $500 each to re-key. Ouch!
I guess the bright spot is that the fuel pump didn't fail while we were on vacation, and I was at work and not stuck on the side of the road in Arbuckle like the last time.