Sunday, December 29, 2013

Oceanside - California 2013-2014

In the morning I went to the Shanty Shakers monthly breakfast meeting at Denney’s in El Cajon. Chappy was there, his son had brought him since Chappy, because of his health, had his driver’s license suspended.
In the afternoon I did some minor repairs inside the motorhome. Also my new computer did not let me go on the Internet. It worked yesterday. I played with it for a while without success. My old laptop computer is in repair in Eureka. They try to find a cable connecting the computer with the monitor. The cable wore out from opening and closing the computer.
At 8:00 PM I called Hewlett-Packard and a technician from India worked with me for five hours to solve the problem.
Nothing worked, so we had to bring the computer back to its original setting. All the programs I had installed are gone. I always back up files and have very little loss that way. I went to bed at 1:00 AM.
I am not blaming HP yet. Tomorrow I will try some things on my own. I could be in a bad spot for WIFI here at the Elks Lodge.

My computer worked this morning, but not for long. I turned it off and restarted it and went outside, away from motorhomes which are in the way of the WIFI antenna on the roof of the lodge. It started again. I think I do not get a good signal and will move to a different spot in three days when a large group leaves for home. Yesterday I went inside the lodge and had problems there too. That is why I called Hewlett- Packard.
I walked to the Oceanside Pier in the afternoon. I believe it is three miles one way. 

There were people walking along the beach and surfers were in the water. 

Two little boys showed me the fish their father had caught.

A large flock of small birds were diving into the water and catching fish. Nobody could tell me what kind of birds they were. I had never seen something like this before. 

The campground host at the lodge decorated his trailer and site with inflated up figures. He had also a small carousel which was turning and playing music.  

Today, the Convair tooling group had their annual Christmas Luncheon at the Home Town Buffet in Santee. The attendance shrinks every year. Since the company does not exist anymore, and former employees are leaving this earth or moving away, the numbers are dwindling. It is always a pleasure to see the people and reminisce about old times.

On the way to the restaurant and on the way back, I checked out five Target stores for Dr. Seuss pajamas. Claudia had noticed that I did not wear pajamas at the pajama dance at the dance rally. She bought me a set for Christmas. Unfortunately it is extra large. I try to exchange it for a smaller size. All stores are out of them though. They only have Budweiser Beer pajamas. I think Dr. Seuss pajamas are cool. While at one of the stores I bought a Blu-Ray Disc Player. The DVD Player in the motorhome is acting up. When I came back to the motorhome I installed the new disk player and noticed that I need a HMDI cable. The coaxial cable does not give sound. This was a very good day. The weather is perfect. 

This is the last day of the year 2013.
It was a good year for me. The stock market was kind to me. I traveled most of the year with the WINs. The group was like family. We saw some beautiful sights, did interesting things, enjoyed dances and get togethers. I would have liked to have somebody with me to share those adventures, but I have to heal first.
This morning I went to Kaiser to get my flu shot. I did two lots of laundry and finished the installation of the Blu-Ray disc player. The HMDI cable makes a big difference.
Pam and Hans had invited me to attend the Camino Hills annual New Year Party. I went and had a lot of fun. I saw some of my old neighbors. I enjoyed living in this beautiful park.
Hans and I always got along fine.

The women like line dancing.

There are a lot of new people now in Camino Hills. Some of the old timers were there though.

Yesterday I helped at the Camino Hills Clubhouse with the clean up and visited friends.
This morning I walked in the neighborhood and when the camping club left, I moved the motorhome to a new site. Now I have a better Internet connection.
I the afternoon I washed the Saturn and one side of the motorhome. This was a summer day. I feel for my friends in the Chicago area and in Minnesota. They have terrible weather.  
This was supposed to be an exciting day. Unfortunately it ended up to be just a regular day. I had cleaned the inside of the car for the occasion. I went to plan B and did a lot of walking. Besides my morning walk I had another long one at Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad. The weather was perfect again today. 


The last few days I did my morning walk, walked to the Senior Center for lunch, took naps and worked on the motorhome.
I finished the washing of the outside of the motorhome. The motor needed a new air filter. Replacing one windshield wiper blade assembly turned into a chore. I broke a brittle, little plastic jet which is held by the same bolt which holds the wiper blade assembly in place. I finally found a kit with replacement parts. I bought engine oil for an oil change. I will do that in Borrego Springs. I also added air to all the tires. Today I found a base for my new GPS. The windshield it too far away to see the information on the screen. Instead of mounting the device on the windshield I have it now on the dash board.
I am waiting for a letter. As soon as the letter arrives I will head for the desert.  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Eureka - December 2013

I left the Oceanside Elks Lodge at 3:45 AM and had no problem getting through Los Angeles. At the Oxnard Costco parking lot I ate breakfast and at the rest area near Gaviota I took a one hour rest. I actually slept on the couch.

After setting up the motorhome at the San Luis Obispo Elks Lodge I walked to Smart and Final and bought milk and bananas. I had planned to go to the Thursday Evening Farmers Market in Down Town San Luis Obispo. A couple of days ago I bought a new laptop computer because mine was acting up. Today it quit working. Now I am trying to figure out Windows 8. Somebody at Microsoft should go to jail for making peoples life miserable figuring out how it works. I wanted to use the old computer and slowly learn the new system. I spent a few hours today on the computer and this wore me out, and I was too tired to go to the Farmers Market. Several years ago I went and it is a lot of fun. The main street in town is closed for vehicular traffic and vendors sell food and all kinds of other wares.

Today I took a different route to bypass San Francisco. Normally I go over the Golden Gate Bridge which is toll free northbound. I had set the GPS to avoid toll charges. While going north on I-680, through Walnut Creek, the GPS wanted me to get off the Interstate at every exit. I thought it would recalculate soon, but it did not. When I arrived in Martinez it announced: “Pay toll ahead”. I had forgotten that there is a toll charge just before entering I-80. This cost me $ 20.00 for four axles. In Salinas I had stopped at the Pilot gas station and paid $ 195.40 for gasoline, at $ 3.31 for the gallon. It is going to be more the further north I come.
The Elks Lodge in Napa took a $ 25.00 donation for the one night stay. This is the most I ever paid at an Elks Lodge. I suppose I am in wine country and everything is more expensive.
In the afternoon I drove to the Napa River Walk. It is not very large but has a couple of elegant restaurants.

From there I walked to the Oxbow Public Market. It is an indoor market with small fancy stores and cafes and other small eateries.

The displays are fancy.

 The Wine Train left for its daily run. 

It was cold last night. In the morning it was 38 degrees F. in the motorhome. The windshield of the car was all iced up. I left Napa at 7:00 AM and enjoyed a red sky. The sun was just coming over the mountain and the clouds were in different red colors. The drive on highway 29 was reminding me of driving through the French wine region in 1962. From Napa to Calistoga are hundreds of wineries and most of the buildings could have been transplanted from France, they look like French Chateaus, constructed with stones and having one or more towers.
People who purchase the wine do not care about the buildings, but tourists who come to Napa Valley for wine tasting, appreciate the atmosphere. Wine tasting is big business here. People come on the wine tasting train, by car and little and big buses.
Next time when I come through the valley I will stay a few days.
I arrived in Eureka at 11:00 AM and after a small rest went to Claudia. Scott and Claudia were at home. Their new big puppy greeted me enthusiastically. Nicolette and Jacob were at friends for a sleepover.
When I came back to the motorhome I turned on the electric heater. While watching the news on the television I heated up some food in the microwave oven. I am always careful not to run the microwave oven and the heater at the same time. Today I was distracted and have to pay the consequences. I lost all power in the motorhome. I checked the outside box and the converter. I finished heating up the food by running the generator. With the generator everything worked, which makes no sense.
I have a 15 Amp. outlet under the couch with a cable connected to the outside box. This way I can run the electric heater.
I have figured out the new computer and now I am having another problem. Everything can be fixed though.

I started the day with a big breakfast at the lodge. Every Sunday a different organization serves breakfast. Then I went to the big building supply store and looked at the breakers. I have not yet solved the electrical problem, but I know I have power up to the breakers. At the store I checked how to remove the breaker. As soon as I remove it I can test it with my volt meter. Today I had no time for this. I spent some time at Claudia’s house.
We had lunch at the Chinese Buffet in Arcata.
Back at the house Nicolette is trying to get Dakota to stay still while I am taking a picture. Dakota is a border collie puppy. 

Late afternoon I went with Scott and Jacob to Samoa Island where Jacob and his team played soccer. On Jacob’s yellow team were three boys and three girls. On the red team were six girls. Members of the teams rotate positions. Jacob was the goal keeper for a while.

Later he played defense. 

It was cold and foggy again today. The sun came out for a few minutes.

In the morning I worked on the converter. There was nothing wrong with the breakers. Yesterday, at breakfast, I sat with three local men. When I told them about my electrical problem they advised me to go to the Century Service Center. I paid them a visit and was told to bring the motorhome in. Two hours later I was on my way back to the Moose Lodge. The connections from the outside electrical cable to the converter were corroded and burned. One wire nut was melted. I should have known better since the same thing happened on my first motorhome. The repair was easy, finding the problem was costly.
In the afternoon I brought my old laptop computer to a repair shop. The monitor shuts off most of the time. The cable near the hinge is broken. The technician does not know whether they can find a part to fix the problem.
When Nicolette and Jacob came home from school I visited with them for a while. At 7:00 PM I went to the lodge where the Friendship Circle-Senior Dance Club has their Monday Dance. It is a friendly group and some of them remembered me from April, when I attended the dance. There are mostly couples and a few singles. Besides regular ball room dances they have some special ones. One dance starts with one man and two women.

One woman leaves and ends up in a circle of women.

When the music stops the women in the circle pick the man next to them and the woman who was dancing joins the circle. They also dance the Waterfall. Men line up on one side of the hall and the women on the other side. They meet on one end and dance to the other end, and from there it starts all over again. There is also women’s choice, where the woman picks her partner.
At 8:00 PM they have a short business meeting and then they go to another room where refreshments are served.
After that there was some more dancing.  

At 5:28 AM the motorhome was shaking. Right away I knew that it was an earthquake. I had lunch at the Senior Center today. There were four people who danced last night at the Moose Lodge. After Claudia picked up Nicolette and Jacob from school I went to their house. This was a sunny, cool day.

I have not done any sightseeing since I arrived in Eureka. The weather is not to my liking. Because it is cold in the morning I get up late, at 7:00 AM. After eating breakfast I go to the lodge and get on the Internet. WIFI comes through the Internet Juke Box. I thought the bartender was kidding when he told me this. It is true though. The music gets downloaded.
Lunch I eat at the Senior Center. Today they had Christmas Lunch. A man played the piano and we all got a little bag with fruits and candies. The bag was decorated, with crayons, by school children.

I did not go to Claudia today. Scott’s mother picks up Nicolette and Jacob from school on Fridays and Scott and Claudia have a Date Night.

I took the children to a two and a half hour movie. We saw the second Hobbit film. Nicolette and Jacob loved it and for me it was exhausting, too much noise and action. It was a film without an ending. They want people to come for the third one.
After the movie we went to New York-New York, the pizza place, and ate pizza.

The houses across the street from the Moose Lodge have a lot of lights for their Christmas decorations. At one house the lights go up the redwood trees.

This was a beautiful day. It was sunny and not so cold. I washed the car in the morning. Nicolette and Jacob had their friends at the house, so I drove to the cheese factory in Loleta and bought Dill Cheese.
My next stop was the Victorian Town of Ferndale. I did some walking. Since I am in Eureka I have not done much of that. 

At 4:30 PM I went with Jacob and Scott to another one of Jacob’s soccer games. When I saw Jacob’s opposing team practicing before the game; I told Scott that Jacob and his team would get slaughtered. I was correct in this assessment. The blue team was comprised of Mexican boys with one non Mexican boy. They knew how to pass the ball. After the blue team scored four goals the referee stopped adding additional goals to the score board and had the blue team play with one less player. This made no difference. I felt sorry for the yellow team. The blue team scored about fourteen goals. The yellow team scored one goal.

Jacob spent again some time as a goal keeper. 

In the morning I spent some time with Nicolette and Jacob. In the afternoon they went to Scott’s mother to bake cookies.
I went to Target to buy my Christmas present. After their credit card security problem they had a fantastic sale on a GPS and other items. I bought a GPS with a five inch screen. Now I have a GPS in both vehicles.
In the evening I danced again at the lodge. At the 9:00 PM meeting and food break they had pizza, besides the regular food and sweet stuff. I met some wonderful people from that group. They love to dance. One man is 93 years old and dances every dance.

When I got up it was foggy again. Since the weather was lousy for doing outdoor activities I invited Nicolette and Jacob to a restaurant for lunch. The kids chose the Lost Coast Brewery. It is a weird place. The walls and ceiling are covered with strange items.

After lunch we went to the Boardwalk. It was cold and windy.

We hardly could see the fishing boats.

At 3:00 PM the sun came out for a short time.

This was a sunny Christmas Day. At noon I went to Claudia’s house. Jacob was playing with Dakota.

At 2:30 PM we went to Scott’s mother’s house where we had a Christmas dinner. First, gifts were exchanged. Since the weather was so nice it was done on the outside deck. I have now proper pajamas for the pajama dance at next year's dance rally. Claudia got me them for Christmas.

Then the eating started. Hanna had prepared German red cabbage. This was a perfect side dish for the roast beef. Laura, Scott,s mother, and her partner Peter cooked the beef, potatoes and carrots.

Nicolette was tired from all the excitement.

I left early and got the motorhome ready for heading south tomorrow morning. I emptied the holding tanks and hooked up the car. It is no fun to do this in the morning when it is foggy and cold.

I left the Eureka Elks Lodge at 5:00 AM. There was very little fog. I made good time until I came near San Francisco. There was an accident and three out of four traffic lanes were closed. Interstate 580 through Oakland was slow too. When I came to Interstate 5 I encountered more of the same. I had planned to take 580 to 5 and hoped this route would be faster. It was not, it was slower than taking highway 101 to 1 and going through San Francisco. At 2:00 PM I had enough and stopped at a Passport America associated RV Park in Patterson. After a relaxing shower I hooked up to the cable TV and also got the computer connected to the WIFI. It is a lot warmer here than in Eureka. 

The drive from Patterson to the Los Angeles area was boring. I stopped at the Flying J gas station in Lebec for an hour. I had an early lunch and rested for a while.
The drive through LA was no fun. Originally I had planned to stay north of LA and continue real early the next day. I did not feel to sit around most of the day at a place where is not much to do, so I faced the traffic. Because of road construction we moved about 30 miles per hour. I arrived in Oceanside at about 3:00 PM.