Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Riding Bikes

I eat with my parents and youngest brother every week. Last week we talked about motorcycles, which is par for the course. We all ride. My dad has a HD Sportster and a Triumph. My brother doesn't ride in the street anymore, he does some track riding however.
We got to talking about speed. My dad admitted to going 128 mph on his 1973 Kawasaki Z1. With a bike full of camping gear. Remember, this is a bike with spoked wheels and tubed tires. Modern for 1973 but still. He's had my mom on the back of the bike (back in the day) over 100 many times. He's had me (when I was a kid) that fast as well. My dad has also had my scooter up over 90. I can only get to 86 with my fat ass on it.
For the longest time I had a Honda CX 500. I got it up to 100 quite a bit, but not much faster. After all, it is only 500 cc's. I'd go riding with Charlie and couldn't keep up with him. Not only was his bike bigger and faster (Honda CB 900 Custom), but he's a better rider than I am. He made no bones about letting me know I couldn't keep up with him, all in fun.
In 1986, I bought a bike that I had dreamed about. I had my eye on a Honda V65 Sabre for a year or two. I had to wait until I turned 25 so I could afford the insurance. That time came and I bought the bike.
One thing about buying bikes is you don't really get to test ride them. Of all the bikes I've purchased new, not once have I gotten to test ride it. I pick up the Sabre and it had narrow handlebars and is quite top heavy feeling. I'm unsure on it for a while, but learn to ride it. I'll add here that the most dangerous time for a rider is the 6 months he's on a new bike.
Charlie came home from Basic Training and we went for our first ride with me on the Sabre. We rode to Reno for the night, then veered over to Walker Lake and Hawthorne before coming back into California.
We got on US-395 and were on our way to Death Valley and Las Vegas. (This was back in the day when we could ride like that)
Sherwin Summit is about 25 miles north of Bishop. We didn't see Johnny Law so on the way down the summit we got in the left lane and put the coals to it. While holding our speed at 125 mph, we passed a convoy of RV's in the right hand lane. And when I say passed, we roared past them at blinding speed. Whoo hoo! And, that's a no bullshit 125 mph. I had plenty of throttle left, but Charlie was about maxed out. ( I had 1/3 more motor than Charlie and was about 40+ hp to the good)
We back our speed down at the bottom of the hill. On top of the only overpass for miles is the Law. At this time the CHP did not use radar, and we weren't speeding. A short time later we notice another CHP on the opposite shoulder. As we ride past him, we're eyeballing each other and we notice he's starting the cruiser.
Now, Charlie and I are on the same page without talking to each other. We both know this guy is coming for us. So, I slow down a bit and Charlie speeds up so we're not riding together.
Well, the CHP is no dummy. He gets behind me and doesn't put on the red spot but gets on the PA and tells me to pull in behind my friend when he pulls him over. Ahhhh, shit.
So, the CHP hits the gas on his gutless piece of shit Dodge and pulls Charlie over. Of course I pull in dutifully in front of the cruiser behind Charlie.
I don't know where the pictures are, but there's one of me reaching into my pocket for my license. Also, the Sabre was still so new that I didn't have plates yet, so my VIN got run as well.
We had a nice visit with the officer. He reminded us that the speed limit on his highway was 55. "Yes, Officer." He did not want to see us speeding on his highway. "Yes, Officer." We all knew what the deal was. He knew we were speeding and we knew he knew. We also know that unless we were paced we were in the clear. And, he knew we knew that. But, the message needed to be sent and we got it loud and clear, at least for a while.
Meanwhile, the line of RV's are just now getting to us and passing the scene. We wrap it up with the officer and get back on the road. Bishop is about 10 minutes away and we decide to stop at Burger King and partake.
As it turns out, someone that we passed on the summit is also in like at BK. He turns to us all smarmy and asked how our ticket was, noting that we had passed him rather fast.
"What ticket?" I reply. "Hell, we weren't paced and none of them actually saw us speeding, passing your slow ass. We didn't get no ticket." Uh, er, ah, there wasn't much this guy could say. Charlie and I just laughed and enjoyed our lunch.
Riding south of Bishop, we did see the CHP hidden on the side of the highway. We had decided not to speed until we got off US-395. We headed towards Death Valley on SH-138 to SH-190 where we put the coals to it again.
The sun started to set and we really put the coals to it. I was finally able to put it all together and I put the whupping on Charlie. The better bike overcame his better abilites and all Charlie saw was my taillight fading in the distance. Usually I'm too clumsy to ride really smoothly but on this day I was one with the bike.
I stopped for gas in Shoshone and Charlie caught up with me. Even he was impressed that I was able to lose him like I did. I really loved that Sabre, but I sold it when I wasn't riding it anymore. I don't think bikes should sit rotting in the garage unridden and unloved. That and I had gone to work at the paper and really needed to keep my license.

Speaking of speed, I had the Gold Wing to 105 a couple of times. Josh and I were riding from Needles to Barstow on I-40 and this one idiot was messing with us. He would come up along side us, cut in front of us, then get in the slow lane and let us pass. Then, he would do it all over again.
Finally I got tired of it, clicked down two gears and hammered the throttle to the stops. I heard Josh whoop it up as I shifted into 4th and then 5th gear.
I kept the throttle open and got it almost to 110 before it became unstable. The Godl Wing had a big fairing that blocked the wind, but wasn't very aerodynamic. That and the crappy Dunlop tires made for a squirrly ride at 110. Hell, that bike wasn't made to ride that fast anyway.

Halle Berry


I know this is from a few years ago, but this is one of the best dresses I've ever seen on a gal and Berry certainly shines in it.

Don't Lose a Bet

This is Tex, he used to work with me at the paper. He's a diehard Dallas fan who lost a bet with some of the Niner fans here at the happy homestead. His punishment was to wear a Niner hat all day. Of course one of us had a camera and he'll never live it down.


Josie Kreuzer


Back in the last century, Rockabilly had a resurgence. I heard a clip of Josie singing back when 28.8 was a quick connection. I bought her album directly from her web site and bought all three of them. I did see her once in a roadhouse in Riverside County. She was also kind and gracious when I went and spoke to her after the show. She hasn't put anything out in a while.

Black Bear



This is what we'll see when we go to Alaksa once Sanra and I retire

One Of My Nicer Pics


This is the real Smokey Bear's grave in New Mexico. Charlie, Katy and I went on a trip the winter before I met Sandra. I took a couple of pics on the trip to put on Match.com, as I decided on the trip to take the bull by the horns and seek out a partner. How could anyone resist such a handsome devil?

What a Loud Shirt


This is one of my favorite shirts.

Inside Black Bear


Here's Sandra posing at Black Bear.

Sandra at Black Bear


I had to find out early if Sandra liked Black Bear Diner or not. If she didn't, well, she would have gone hungry more than once, he he.

Geiger Grade


We got someone to take our picture at Geiger Grade on SH-341 between Reno and Virginia City. I think this is the first picture of the two of us together.

Smile


This is about all the smile I can muster.

Sandra again


Here's Sandra in the back yard of the Buca.

What a Handsome Devil


Your humble blogger.

Sandra


Here's Sandra at a turnout on SH-88. Note the fire in the background.

Old Pics


Sandra and I went on our first trip together almost 3 years ago. We snuck up to Reno. Here's Sandra posing with the Beetle at the state line.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Genarlow Wilson

http://www.blogmaverick.com/2007/01/27/genarlow-wilson/

I'm surprised that a man of Mark Cubans' stature and fame has taken a public position on this matter. I'm torn between it. I agree that I wouldn't have objected to sex at 17 years old (nor would any boy I knew at 17), but I now have two daughters and as a father I certainly don't want my 15 year old daughter having drunken sex at a party.
Does this make me two faced? I can see that point. But, should this mean a 10 year prison sentence? Or is that against the Constitution for cruel and ususual punishment? And/or, as one blogger posted in the answers part, does the fact that Wilson is black and this occured in Georgia have anything to do with it?

We're Not Trusted

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070121/OPINION08/701210324/1109/OPINION

Atheists/Agnostics are the least trusted people in this country. What a shameful commentary.

Things I Like

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2007/01/things-i-like-about-no-longer-being.html

Though I'm not a "former" Christian, having been an Agnostic for as far back as I can remember, here's a good post from a former Christian that tells some of the things she likes about shedding her faith.
I like the last one about sleeping in on Sunday. Don't click on it if you suffer from terminal panty wrinkling.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Daily Dose of RV

http://vagabonders-supreme.blogspot.com/ is a daily blog of a full time RV'er. Currently they're in Mexico.

Soft Brain

My mom warned me that in her family the gray matter starts to turn soft when we hit 40. That was 6 years ago and I can't say she was wrong.
I needed 6 carts of product in my last truck. I wrote 6 on my paperwork and told the driver 6. For reasons that I can't explain, I had 8 carts on the brain. So, when I didn't have 8 in the truck, I had the pressroom print me 2000 more copies. Uh, Scott W asks me why he's got 8 carts in the truck when he only needs 6. Oh Shit. I had serious HUA (that means "head up ass") and had to tell the production people it was my error. They did enjoy busting my chops over it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Suffocation

God has decided to smote me with the flu. I don't get it all that often and it hit me like a fist on Monday. I got up tonight and ate with Sandra and Mallory then went to work. I had some DayQuil in the car and took a couple when I got to the happy homestead.
Well, they're like horse pills and they didn't go down all the way. Nor did they come up. They were stuck. I tried to throw them up and that didn't work. Hmmmmm. I then had Scott W hit me hard on the back a few times to dislodge them and it kind of worked. Scott offered to do the Heimlich on me but I didn't want to revisit dinner.
Finally, the pills made their way down. Gaaaaa, what an uncomfortable feeling, that gagging, choking feeling.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Let's Reply to Todd

My fellow blogger, Todd, answered one of my posts with this: Here are two verses that may help explain the way you feel about this guy....“… don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.” 1 John chapter 4 verse 1 (MSG)“Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ‘Lord’ but they still won’t enter the kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue iswhether they obey my Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
Y'know, my question (and I don't mean this as a smartass) is "How do you know, for sure, without doubt?" The verse from John makes it clear that God knows people are scamming using his name, and the Savior himself makes note of it as well.
A long time ago, I went to church with my first wife while we were still dating. For some reason I had a Sunday off and, well, decided to go. (actually, I got nagged and bitched at to go. I went just to shut her up)
The church had Bible study in the mix, and I went. I was respectful and all, but you know I just can't keep my mouth shut.
They were talking about the travels of Jesus and how there were other preachers out and about. They all knew that they would have recognized Jesus as the Son of God and would have gone with Him.
When I asked how they would know for sure, nobody could really tell me. They hemmed and hawed about Jesus, but couldn't answer my question, "How do you know, for sure, without doubt?"
I then added that there were a lot of versions of Christianity for people to decide on today, much less the other competing religions.
That was the only time I ever went to Bible study. And please note that in an earlier blog that the preacher of that very church (Elmhurst Baptist Church of Hayward, California) went to prison for stealing from the flock. I guess the people in Bible study didn't do a good job of figuring out who was honest and who was a thief. Or, as Todd pointed out in the above verses, "Not everyone who talks about God comes from God" and "not all people who sound religous are really godly"


Driving While Old

I have a Commercial Drivers License. I've had one for at least 15 years. Every two years I have to get a DOT physical to see if I'm medically fit enough to hold the CDL. No CDL, no job. Its that simple. ( I got my renewal today, so this post came to mind)
Now, in all the time I've had the CDL, I've not seen (Internet or newspaper) or heard (radio or tv) one single person say that we shouldn't be getting these tests. No crying about how good we are as drivers, or our "right to drive" or any such stuff. Nothing.
But yet, apply the same criteria to old people and the outrage is nation wide. Why is that? The two age groups most likely to be in an accident are young people (who now have a restricted license in California) and old people. (65+)
There is no restriction on older drivers. They're more likely to have an accident than professional drivers like yours truly. But yet, no restrictions, no medical exam, no nothing. I have restrictions and random drug testing, a Constitutional violation of the 4th Amendment found to be acceptable by the Supreme Court because it is a "safety" issue and for the "common good."
If that is true, and according to the SCOTUS it is, then why are we not holding drivers over say, 70 years old to some kind of added testing? Isn't there a "safety" issue for the "common good" here? I think so.

Lottery

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/23/business/23lotto.html?ei=5094&en=58857af0bae9d2d3&hp=&ex=1169614800&partner=homepage&pagewanted=print

I got this link to the NY Times from www.divisionoflabour.com a blog that I look at. I remember the California Lottery going to vote before I was able to vote. I wasn't really for State sponsored gambling at the time, and though I have played the Lotto, I don't think the State should be selling it as "our schools win too."
Then again, there is casino gambling allowed in Nevada and New Jersey for example, and many many Tribes have casinos. Is there really much difference between the Lotto and Keno? I don't think so, its all "running numbers."
But to privitize an operation that was sold on benefitting the schools, well, I don't think that's right. There shouldn't be any profit on the state run lotto, the income after expenses ("profit") should be going to the schools, or wherever it was intended to go in the first place.

Tired Baby


All that holding and the bottle has done tuckered out the baby. Here she is sleeping with the binky.

Beautiful Baby


Kyleigh is a beautiful baby.

Grandpa and Baby


Here I am with the baby.

Happy Kyleigh


Here's a good pic of Kyleigh.

Grandma and Kyleigh


The baby came for a visit on Sunday.

CJ and Leandra


My godson CJ and my goddaughter Leandra in the snow.

The Kotcher House


Charlie and Katy bought a new house in the Midwest last year. Here's the first big snow of the season. Get that snow shovel out!

CJ in the Snow


Here's my godson CJ in the snow in front of the Kotcher house in the Midwest.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Kent Hovind

Noted Chirstian Pastor and all around tax cheat and thief Kent Hovind was put in the slammer for a good long while yesterday for not paying employment and income taxes on his business. I didn't see a single article on this Good Christian in any of the 4 papers I read today. Only on www.daylightathiesm.com did I catch it.
The link to a Pensacola newspaper article follows: http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070119/NEWS01/701190332/1006

It seems to me that somewhere in the Good Book it talks about "rendering to Ceasar what is Ceasar's." Of course this means PAY YOUR TAXES!
The link has comments at the end of the article and there's still people who think Hovind is being wronged and he's a good guy.

Its time to tax the church. Time to obey the Good Book and render to Ceasar what is Ceasar's. Oh, and time to give all to the poor as the Savior Jesus directly tells his followers.

Zeus

Over time, I've told the bible beaters that I worship and believe in Zeus, King of the Gods. One day a long while ago, Mark and I were watching the A's and the Orioles on tv. The A's were down a run with one on in the 8th. Wayne Gross was up for the A's, a left handed hitter. Tippy Martinez was pitching for the O's. Martinez was tough on left handed hitters and Gross was at a disadvantage. The rain clouds were coming in and the skies were getting ready to open up.
Mark and I beescheed Zeus, the Summoner of Cloud, to allow Gross' ability to rise to the surface, and with Zeus' help, for Gross to hit a home run to put the A's ahead. To add, we also asked Zeus to summon the clouds to come and rain out the rest of the game so the A's would come out bathed in the glory of victory.
Well, you guessed it. Gross crushed a Martinez pitch way into the seats, and as Gross was rounding third base, the skies opened up and the game was called shortly after. That's all the convincing Mark and I needed. Zeus heard our plea and answered us.
On this idea, here's a link to a story about some Greeks who still believe in Hellenic worship.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070119/ap_on_re_eu/greece_ancient_gods is the link to the story.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sad Anniversary

Three years ago today my brother Kurt passed away suddenly while on vacation in Africa. He was a great brother to have. I still miss him terribly. The powerful dreams about my brother have mostly subsided. I'm still proud that I was able to get up and speak at his service. Except for the stutter, I'm a good public speaker. I'm certainly not afraid of it. I managed to give a powerful speech and not hardly stutter at all. (this stutter is sure a pain in the butt)
Kurt talked once about taking an RV trip around the country for a couple of months. He would have enjoyed it as Sandra and I are going to once we retire. Kurt had a knack for meeting and talking with people. He showed genuine interest in people and their stories.
I think Mallory is going to really miss out on meeting my brother. They have a lot in common and I think Kurt would have been a guiding light and mentor to Mallory.

Life does go on. I know that Kurt wouldn't want me to mope the rest of my life. In fact, you faithful readers of the blog can be assured that if I die before my time, you are hearby ordered to have a wonderfully fulfilling life and not mope. Ride, watch sports, golf, eat, do all the things I like to do. That's how to best remember someone who had passed.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Another Good Singer


This is Kim Lenz. Her backup band is Her Jaguars. Her website is here. She's a rockabilly singer who I really like. I've seen her twice. The first time was the Monday after Daddy Longball. I had to go to work that Monday night and I forgot to call in sick. By the time I remembered, it was about a half hour before my shift started. I called from the street in front of the bar and, well, people weren't too happy about it.
I drove to Arcata one day to see her play. It made a nice trip. I spoke to her after the show and she was very gracious. You just don't get that kind of interaction with a popular band. Somewhere I've got her autograph on a CD. She hasn't toured in a while, which is a shame.

This Gal Can Sing


This is Lavay Smith. Her backup band is The Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Her web site is here.
She's a blues/swing singer. Not only is she beautiful, she can really sing. It has been a while since I've seen her live, but I have both of her CD's. I've even gone up and talked to her after one of her sets. She was very gracious to one of her fans. In fact, she was gracious to everyone who came up to her. That's always impressive when a singer can be nice to their fans.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

17 Years Old

http://unorthodoxatheism.blogspot.com/2007/01/humanist-quotes.html

Here's a 17 year old Athiest with a list of pro atheist quotes from famous people. You're never too young for it.

Racism

This happened on New Years morning of 2000. I was still loading and driving, not taking the Dispatch job quite yet. There were six of us on the high dock waiting for product to come. I was standing at the end of the loading belt, and two of the others (both White, this does matter) were standing near me.
The other three guys, Robert, Art and Eli, were standing a couple of stalls away. The dock isn't so big that we can't all talk to each other, which we were doing. Robert and Art are PI, and Eli is a mix of Black and Asian.
We have had many conversations between us on race and racism. These guys told me the straight skinny on the stuff they've faced here. Even in the "liberal" Bay Area. I got an education from these guys, my friends.They aren't the type of guys who look for trouble either. Just regular schmoes no different from me.
We had hired a supervisor who I guess didn't look at things the way we did. He (a White guy) came up onto the dock. He spoke with Jim B, Al, and me. Then he glared at Robert, Art and Eli with a look of hate and disgust before walking off the dock. I couldn't believe it.
I looked at these guys and Robert said, "See, we told you so. Happens all the time." Art and Eli nodded in agreement. I was angry and embarassed that guys I considered my friends and guys I respected were treated like this in public.
I told them that I was going to address it and they told me not to worry about it. It was water off a duck's back to them. I walked off the dock and went to my primary supervisor, Phil. I pulled him aside and told him what happened. Phil told me that this guy was on his way out the door anyway, so not much could be done. Sure enough, within a week this guy (whose name I forget) was gone.
Part of me has thought I should have made a bigger stink about it. Part of me thinks I let my friends down by not doing anything about it, and part of me went along with what my friends said to do.
As it turns out, all three of these guys were put into Dispatch positions and Eli is now my supervisor. So things do turn out for the better. That's the only real case of racism I've seen first hand in the 19 years I've been at the paper.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Baby

Kyleigh spent the night with us on Sunday. She was a good baby as usual. I got more than one Grandpa smile out of her. We took her out to breakfast on Monday morning and the other patrons were smitten with her. Two people said that the baby resembles Sandra. Sandra was all happy about that but as I understand it one of the ladies said the baby resembles me, so how valid can this person's outlook be?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Ice

There was actually ice on Brokaw Rd this morning in two places within a block of the plant. That's the first time in over 19 years I've actually seen ice on the road. Still, its not that cold.

GI Bill

http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2007/01/gi-bill-returns_8220.html is a good blog praising the GI Bill for WW2 vets and the need to fight sexual harassment in the military. Give it a click.

A Cool Place

www.thedesertbar.com is a site I got from www.rv.net one of my favorite hangouts on the web. The Desert Bar looks like a cool place to go. From what the website says, it is in the middle of nowhere. Here's a place Sandra and I will see once we're retired.

3 Issues With The Church

1) When I was married to the first wife, (I have already blogged that she left me for Josh's biodad.) I was reminded "what a Good Christian" this guy was. Yeah, rrrrright.
What I didn't know was that my first wife was doing the married Deacon of the church she was going to. Yep, two for the price of one. This went on for a year after she gave me the boot. There's that good church leadership. Thanks for helping to end my marriage. That's the Christian thing to do.
I didn't know about it at the time but was told about it much later in life. As if I really needed to know.
Oh, and I'll add that the married church counselor who worked with us was boinking the married church secretary.
2) The Pastor that married my first wife and I went to Federal prison for stealing from the flock. Pastor Andy (another "Good Christian" who assured me I was going to Hell for not accepting Jesus into my heart) had gone to the seniors group at church, the "Golden Agers" with an investment plan. The only investing to be done was into the Good Pastor's pockets. Not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, he got caught and went to prison.
Later in time I was at the Sizzler eating lunch when lo and behold, who walked in. Yep, the Good Pastor. We looked at each other. I should have asked him how prison was. And how wide his ass was.
3) When I was going to marry my second wife, she was Catholic at the time and wanted to have the Mass and all that. I wasn't too thrilled about it but was willing to go along with it. We went to the local Parish to talk to the Padre. I told him that I had already been in a civil marriage, but not a Catholic marriage. (remember, marriage is a Sacrament in the Church)
The Padre told me that the Church would have to investigate my first marriage. They would want to talk with my first wife to ask about our previous marital intentions. The kicker was that the Padre told me I would have to make a down payment of $400 to cover the investigative costs. And it would probably be more. There's the church, always with the hand out for money. My second wife about busted a head gasket and once we got in the car told me there was no way in hell we would get married in the Catholic Church.
And, I'll add that her old Parish kicked her out of the Church for dating me. There's no love like Christian Love.

So, those of you who wonder why I have such a dislike for church and church leaders, well, doesn this give you a clue? Money, sex, power, control, is this what Jesus wants?

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Plan

I've had ideas for a plan to live my life since I was in high school. The first idea of a plan came to me when I was 16. I was still a year too young to enlist in the military, but Mark and I went to talk to the Coast Guard recruiter anyway. Though I don't do boats well, I thought the CG would be a productive way to serve the country. I thought I would serve for 20-25 years, then get a job with a pension and work for another 20-25 years and retire by the time I was 62. Then get the rv and see the country while triple dipping the pensions. (on edit I'll add here that when Charlie was in the police academy in Kansas he was classmates with a number of officers/deputies who were retiring out of the military. Others have achieved the same goal I had strived for)
After I graduated high school, I went to the recruiter again. I went to all of them and not even the Marines would take me. Why? Because I stutter. What a crock of shit. Guys I've met in life who served have told me that they served with guys who stutter worse than I do. But I still had to sign up for the draft. What a scam. When I want to serve my country I'm not fit enough, but if I get drafted suddenly I am good enough. Bullshit alert!


I putzed around for a while, got married and divorced, and tried to become a cop. No go on any of it. When I was working for the alarm company I knew I needed a real job so I went to work at the Merc. I figured I would be at the Merc until retirement, and so far so good.
I had thought about living in a rv when I worked at the alarm company. After a while at the Merc I was looking for a place to live and gave it serious thought. I didn't know what I would do about the motorcycle. Buying a trailer didn't occur to me at the time. If it would have I probably would have pulled that trigger then.
The rv idea has never really left the Plan. I got married again and told my second wife about the Plan. She wasn't as gung-ho for it as I was. Time passed and the marriage ended. Still, the plan to retire and live in the rv while seeing the country was always on my mind.
A couple of guys at work had rv's and told me how cool it was. Rick D was living in his on the other side of the plant. Sure saves on a commute.
Before I met Sandra I again thought about buying a rv and living in it. The idea of owning property in rural California and commuting once a week, for the week, to work and then towing a trailer "home" was an idea I really liked. I went as far as searching the Internet for rural property in Northern California.
Instead of this I lived with George for a while in the Buca.
I met Sandra and she had a Plan as well that was close to mine. Her plan was to retire in her mid 50's as well and see the country. Her dad and step mom Ernie and Cheri did just this. They toured the US and Canada for over 7 years, living full time in a 31 foot rv trailer.
When Sandra and I first mentioned the Plan to each other, we both were happy that we already were on the same page. Buying the rv after Kurt passed away was a no-brainer. Sandra grew up rv-ing so she already knew what to expect. I had never even ridden in one before buying the Winniebago we have now. I was absolutely sure I would like it and I wasn't wrong.
So now, the Plan is proceeding along. We are going to live in Clayton until Mallory graduates high school and we get her set up for college. Then we'll sell the townhouse, pay off the rental and every single other bill we have, give away a house full of stuff and drive off in the rv debt free. Between the pension and the positive cash flow on the rental, we will have plenty of money to live on.
Sandra has also talked about being a "traveler." She's an X-Ray tech and does mammograms. There are agencies that match people with Sandra's skills with temporary work at hospitals and clinics. Usually, the employer pays a stipend for lodging and expenses. So, for 3-4 months Sandra can work in a place that we'll winter in, then the rest of the year will be spent on the road around the US and Canada. Her traveling work is just gravy money to take a cruise, or for an unexpected disaster with the rv.
I like the idea of staying in a spot for at least a week at a time. Many private rv parks give you a break on a weekly or monthly stay. Staying two weeks in Eugene (for example) will be enough to see most everything within a day's drive and still have time to relax and enjoy retirement.

I'm happy with the rv we bought. It is a Winniebago 29B that sits on a Ford F-450 chassis with the V-10. This is a good motor that should last upwards of 200k miles. I expect the coach to wear out before the motor does.
Before I knew better, I thought I wanted the biggest Billy Bad-Ass rv. 40' diesel pusher with all the trimmings. Now, I see how much a diesel pusher costs to fix and I'm not so sure that's the answer for me. Also, there are older parks that limit the length of your rig. When we stayed in Big Sur the limit was 30'. We just fit in our spot. So, big isn't always best.

Retirement is less than 7 years away.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thomas Jefferson

http://nogodzone.blogspot.com/2007/01/thomas-jefferson-on-religion-and.html has a good post on the greatness of President Jefferson. If you suffer from chronic panty wrinkling, don't click on it.

27 degrees

There's a cold snap coming to the state and it makes front page news. The Daily Fishwrap mentioned the "Artic" chill and the predicted low Friday is 27 degrees. What a bunch of wusses.
In most of the rest of the country, 27 degrees is a balmy winter day. Not something to panic about. My cousin Judy used to live in Alaska, and has lived in Idaho and Montana. Now, Alaska in the winter is cold. 27 degrees, pfffffffft. I scoff at 27 degrees.
Two years ago I went to Kansas and blogged about going motorcycle riding in temps that were in the mid 20's. Hell, if its not too cold to ride, its not too cold.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

God's Representives

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/08/BAG1SNF7PV5.DTL

Another winning choice for God!

Hmmmmmmm


I got this from www.patriotboy.blogspot.com

Change of Plans

I looked into the cost of the NASCAR race in Fontana. It looked like for two tickets and the parking spot for a couple of days would run over $700. When I mentioned that to Sandra, she lost some enthuiasm for going to the car race. She told me she would rather go to a RV resort for the weekend instead of the car race. Since I'm not a car race fan, that was fine with me.
So, we've got reservations to camp in Furnace Creek for 4 nights, then we're going to the Oasis for a long weekend. The camping in Death Valley will be without hookups, though the camp site has a table and fire ring. We're fully self-contained, so we don't really need to hookup. The campground has water and a dump station so we can drain the tanks when they get full. Your RV lesson for the day is that most RV's have two waste tanks. One is for the toilet, called the "black tank" and one for the shower and sinks called the "grey tank". Usually the grey tank fills up faster than the black tank. There's also a fresh water tank. All three tanks in the White House are about 39 gallons each. That's one drawback to a Class C RV, the holding tanks aren't as big as ones in a Class A.
I'm not sure if we're driving the Beetle as well as the RV. It has been a while since I've stayed in Death Valley and I'm pretty sure we can get to most of the sites in the RV and we don't really need a car. It would be easier to take a car, but there's cost of fuel, and the cost to have an extra car in a National Park.
That's balanced against the 8-9 mpg the RV gets. I don't see us driving around much in Vegas, there's a trolley that takes us to the Strip if we so want to go. The Oasis has most everything we need anyway, and when we stop for groceries before we check in we're pretty much good to go for a couple of days.
One other bright spot about the Oasis is they sell the New York Post in the gift shop. Now that we distribute it every day, I'm addicted to the trashiness of it.
Mallory has decided to stay with her Auntie Sue for the week instead of us taking her out of school and coming with us. She said it was too cold in Vegas in Febuary. The last time I went to Vegas in Febuary there was snow over the mountains between Baker and Stateline. The gal at Big Dogs mentioned as I was buying stuff that I-15 had been closed earlier in the week due to weather. As long as Sandra gets to sit in the hot tub and read beside the pool she'll be happy. And, that's a good thing!

Mercury Flying School


If we hired pilots at the Merc, we would hire this guy.

Mercury Driving Test


Here's another prospective hire!

Raiders

Art Shell got canned last week and the search for a coach for the Raiders begins anew. With Al Davis unwilling to give up any control and his need to keep lackeys like Freddie B on the coaching staff, nobody with any real coaching talent will take the job. It truly is the black hole of NFL coaching. The Raiders peaked right before the Super Bowl ass whipping and we're in for a decade of darkness. This will continue until Davis dies, or gets too feeble to control the team any more. What a sad time for a once proud franchise.

More Barry Zito

Last Thursday, Zito bought a full page ad thanking the A's fans for their support during his time in Oakland. One problem. He bought the ad in the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, not the Oakland Tribune. Thanks Barry, I'm sure the people in Marin and San Mateo Counties really care about the A's, as well as the people in SF. Good riddance! What an idiot.

Eight States

Please note the eight states that prohibit Atheists/Agnostics from holding office. Take a look here at the list. Where's my religous freedom. Its not like an Atheist can get elected in this country anyway.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I'm an Ass

www.whywontgodhealamputees.com is a site I found on my Internet travels. One of the guys here at work is a "Reverend" and I've been known to bust his chops off and on. The last time I had the good Rev on the phone I went through all the spiel that is on the website. Then I sprung the question, "Why won't God heal amputees?" There wasn't much the good Rev could say.
One more thing about the Rev. A couple of years ago he was bitching about working on Sundays. Face it, we work in a 24/7/365 business and Sunday is our most important day. We all work Sundays. Rev thought because he was "Christian" and a "Reverend," he shouldn't have to work on Sunday. This went on for a while and he didn't win his position.
During his quest, I went to the Universal Life Church webstie (here) and got my "Church in a Box" package. I also paid to become a "Doctor of Divinity" and a "Reverend." My plan (if the good Reverend was sucessful in getting Sunday's off) was to form my own church, "The Church of the Invincible Sun." In my faith, we would need from sundown Saturday night to sunrise Monday morining to properly honor the Sun, Giver Of All Life. Hell, my plan was to play golf or ride my motorcycle every Sunday.
I started recruiting my fellow employees to join. Needless to say, I got a lot of positive response. Many of us would like Sundays off. What could the company say? If they're going to give the Reverend Sundays off due to his "religion," then why couldn't the 60-70 of us in The Church of the Invincible Sun have the same consideration? After all, respect one faith, respect them all. And, to discriminate against my faith would have been against written Knight Ridder and Mercury News policy. Yep, I can be such an ass.
In one of the company's better moves, they finally told the Reverend to stop calling in "sick" on Sundays if he wanted to keep his job, and if he wanted to work here he was going to work Sundays like everybody else on the schedule.

Missing Tree

The Holiday Tree that was out in front of my car got tossed. I'm not happy about it. My plan was to save it until the 4th of July when it would be good and dry. Then I was going to light it on fire out on the tarmac in front of my dock and watch it woooosh in a big fireball.
A couple of years ago we were watching football at George's house. He had a fire going in the fireplace. There was a wreath on the wall that had been there for a few years. George decided it was time for the wreath to go into the fire. (He's a scrooge like I am)
George tossed in the wreath and it was so dry it instantly turned into a fireball that spit flame out the front of the fireplace. We all felt the rush of heat and went "Ooooh cool!" Sadly, we coulnd't find anything else to light on fire. Yep, boys will be boys!

My Boy Pat

http://mediamatters.org/items/200501040010

More Pat Robertson silliness. I'm just not understanding why God chooses so badly in his representation here on Earth.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Mark Cuban's blog

www.blogmaverick.com is the personal blog of NBA owner Mark Cuban. I knew he had a blog but found a link to it today. He's a hell of a bright guy and writes well. I'm impressed that a guy with as much going on in life as he does finds time to write in a blog. Take a look.

Pants

For at least 8 months of the year I wear shorts. After all, when you've got legs like mine you need to show them. But it does get cold in the Bay Area in the winter so once I get back from the Fall League I go to the long pants.
A couple of years ago I took the Beetle to Kansas. I took the scenic route and ended up south of Salt Lake City for the night. This is in Feburary.
I had been looking for some lined jeans to buy. The ones I saw in catalogues were costing about $50 a pair. For jeans! Hell no, that's not going to fly.
After I settled in at Motel 6 I cruised up to the outlet mall in Sandy UT. The VF had two pair of fleece lined jeans for $15 a pair. What a deal! I bought them both.
I dug them out of the mess this year and have worn them off and on for the last week or so. What a difference they make. I don't mind the cold but I don't like to be cold. Remember, unlike most of you regular readers, I work outside like a real man.

The Baby

Sandra met me for dinner tonight at Pollo Loco and she brought the baby. Nicole wasn't feeling well and asked Sandra to watch Kyleigh. Once she woke up, I got to hold the baby and talk to her and coo coo her chin to make her laugh. When we put her in the car seat she didn't want me to stop holding her and she pitched a fit. This grandpa stuff is a pretty good gig.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Two Years

Two years ago today I started this blog. Thanks to Todd E who steered me this way, though he never writes in his anymore. And, thanks to my couple of faithful readers who wander by on their cyberspace adventure.
I had wanted a website for a long time, but this Blogger setup is the easy way to go.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Well Written Atheist Site

www.nogodzone.blogspot.com is a site that I came across in my Internet travels. The blogger writes well and I agree with a lot of what he says. Give it a click if you're so inclined. If it is just going to upset you, well, don't bother.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Christmas Tree

I went into the plant to get a soda and when I came back I noticed a small holiday tree in a pot in front of the Beetle. Even I have a sense of humor! I think I'll keep it for a while here at the plant.

I'm Getting Old

I actually had New Years' Eve off for the first time in a while. Sandra and I couldn't get Mallory watched, so we decided to offer baby sitting services to Chuck and Nicole. They took us up on it so we had the baby for NYE.
Sandra went to the store for a while so it was just Kyleigh and I. She had a fussy attack. I tried the bottle, the binky, lying her down, picking her up, et at. I even checked her diaper for a surpirse and found nothing. I eventually walked her around the house and that did it for a bit. I called both Sandra and my mom and let Kyleigh scream into the phone. My comment to my mom was, "does this bring back memories?" I had colic as a kid and was occasionally a screamer.
As it turns out, Mallory went to one of her friend's house so we did have NYE to ourselves. Sandra mentioned that she doesn't like to go out for NYE anyway. I wouldn't have minded seeing Y&T for NYE in Santa Clara or New Morty Show and Steve Lucky in SF.
By 10pm, Kyleigh and Sandra were sawing logs. I watched tv until just after 12. We're sure party animals!

NYE was my parents 39th wedding anniversary. They went to Reno to get married. I remember staying at my Uncle Woody and Aunt Jean's house. They had a big dog, Munster that I was absolutely terrified of. I wouldn't go downstairs into the rumpus room at all. I think the dog was as big as I was. It didn't help that I was scared of dogs for the longest time. My loving brothers and cousins just laughed at me.
My mom mentioned not long ago that they should have brought us up with them. Sandra and I talked about that with Nicole and Mallory. We ended up getting married just the two of us.
On the 1st we got together with my parents, brothers and Uncle Mel and Aunt Fran. We had a nice dinner at Rose Garden (which does really good Chinese food) in Union City.
My mom said that they don't like to go out for NYE. I reminded her that my Uncle Mel and Aunt Fran had a party one NYE and they snuck down about 11 or so. My brothers and I got out the explosives we had saved from the 4th of July and lit them off at midnight. I was about 14 or so.
I've told Sandra and Mallory some of the stuff we boys did as kids and she says she couldn't have handled boys. We were a handful.

Settings Change

I've changed my settings so only Blogger registered posters can post. I don't mind taking crap from others with a different view than my own, but to do it anonymously is weak.