Monday, March 3, 2014

Oceanside, California (2) 2014

The last few days were very boring. It rained real hard and I did not feel like driving my car. There were too many accidents on the roads. I drove only to the Senior Center which is located next door to the Elks Lodge. It takes only five minutes to walk, but walking with an umbrella would have been no fun. The wind was too strong. I did my income taxes, organized my pictures and did some reading to keep occupied. Several of the WINs called me and wanted to know my health status. I will have a better idea after the MRI on Friday. It probably will take another week, after the test, when the urologist will call me and give me the good or bad news. Somehow I am not too excited about it. I have been unhappy for over a year now and this problem seems not to bother me much. I would like to know though what it is.  

The rain is gone and I can go again for a long walk in the morning. I came by this man feeding the seagulls. 

Today I went to the Home Town Buffet in Santee for the Convair Tooling Department lunch. It was a very small group but it was fun and the food is always good.  

This morning I walked to the Farmers Market which is held in down town Oceanside every Thursday morning. One of the major streets is blocked off for motor traffic for this occasion.

From there I went to the pier. A few surfers were in the water. 

After lunch I drove to Oceanside harbor.

The kayak and boat rental place is not busy yet. 

The Oceanside Pier is visible in the distance. It is the longest pier on the west coast.

The beach was deserted. It will be different this coming weekend. The temperature will be about 80 degrees F then. Today it was 69 degrees F at the coast. 

At the entrance of the harbor the Oceanside sign greets the visitors. 

This was a wonderful day. I even enjoyed an ice cream, while watching a small sail boat leaving the harbor. The last time I sailed was twenty years ago. The Convair Sailing Club is still in existence but a lot smaller than before the company was shut down.

This afternoon I went for an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) test. The test uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body.
I was laying on a bed like structure. The technician put a twelve inch diameter disk under my body, near the area to be tested. Then he put a similar device on top of my body.
Headphones were fitted over my ears. They have three functions. The machine is very noisy, they muffle the noise. The technician gives instructions how to breathe. And then there is soothing music, which cannot be heard most of the time because of the racket the machine makes.
The urologist had asked me whether I am claustrophobic. Since I had problems crawling under the house; I was not sure. The technician asked me the same question. I told him that I had no problem. He moved me into the round opening of the machine. I closed my eyes when he started to move me and did not open them until he brought me out again. The procedure lasted 45 minutes. Near the end I was brought out and injected with a dye. Then more pictures were taken.
Now I have to wait until the urologist or my doctor contacts me. 
We have summer weather the next few days. Even at the coast it is warm. It was a good day to go sightseeing. I went to the Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, named in honor of St. Louis, king of France.
The mission is one of the most architecturally impressive of all the California missions. Built in 1798, of adobe and faced with brick, it is a composite of Spanish, Mexican, and Moorish styles.

I like to wander around the cemetery and look at the old gravestones. 

Mary watches over the graves. 

The inside of the mission is very beautiful. 

The garden has the oldest pepper tree in the United States. The seeds came from South America. 

On my morning walk I saw this flowering tree. The flowers are almost gone and the leaves are popping up. I think it is a coral tree.

Just before lunch I left for San Clemente. Here, Richard Nixon had his vacation White House, Casa Pacifica. I stopped at the Farmers Market. Produce is very expensive at those markets. I only look. 

My next stop was the San Clemente Pier. 

On the pier is a very nice restaurant with views of the ocean and the beach.

There were people on the beach and surfers in the water. Since we have Santa Anna Condition the air temperature was today 80 degrees F. 

The pier is one of San Clemente’s tourist attractions. 

I felt like doing a bit of work today. Last summer, in Sheridan, Wyoming, a hailstorm bent the fins on the motorhome roof air conditioner. The hail came from the side. Most air conditioners have a fiberglass shell over the unit. On my motorhome the back is not protected. I had to spent a lot of hours straightening out the fins with a little screwdriver. A special comb did not work because the damage was so severe. I never want to do this work again. Today I bought some hardware cloth. It is strong chicken wire with quarter inch squares. I covered the exposed area and riveted the wire to the fiberglass.
I hope I will never get into a hailstorm again, but if it happens I am sure the air conditioner will be safe.   

I am still waiting from a call from the urologist.
Last night I had dinner at the lodge. They served a typical St. Patrick’s day meal, I should say they tried to. Somebody forgot to order the potatoes. I cannot envision an Irish meal without those. The corned beef was good but there was not enough cabbage.
I had signed up late and sat at a table by myself. People at another table invited me to sit with them. They are RVers from the State of Washington and are on their way home from their winter location in Arizona. I had a good time with them. One lady told me that she has not danced with her husband for fifteen years. After I danced with her, her husband took her to the dance floor and they danced a few times. Ken, the Camp Host, told me who the single ladies were and I danced most dances.

On my morning walk I noticed the new pink gang markings. They are all over the neighborhood on sidewalks, walls and fences. It is a shame. The Elks Lodge is next to the Mexican neighborhood and there is gang activity. 

I walk through this area every morning and it reminds me of Mexico. There are gardens where people have a small lot to grow vegetables. 

Since some of people have no car the grocery truck comes to the neighborhood. 

This morning I walked again to the pier. An angler had just caught a fish, which he called a skat. It looks like a small spearfish. 

There were many surfers in the water. 

In the evening there was Karaoke in the lodge. Not many people were there. I believe they are still worn out from last night. I danced a few times and left early.

Today I took a leisurely drive down the Pacific Coast. The temperature near the water was 79 degrees F. The beaches were crowded and I did not find a parking space. At the Torrey Pines Gliderport, in La Jolla, I was able to stop. 

No gliders were in the air. Some pilots were getting ready. It should have looked like this.

People were enjoying themselves at the restaurant. 

Other people were walking down the long trail to the beach. 

La Jolla was barely visible in the distance. There was a fine mist.

On my way to La Jolla I stopped on the side of the highway and took a picture of the city and beach.

My next stop was La Jolla Cove. I was lucky to come at the right time. Somebody was leaving and I garnered a parking space. There were only a few people at the beach. I believe parking is the problem. 

There was a big growth at the children’s pool watching the seals and their babies. The little cove is roped off since the seals took over. Swimming is not allowed anymore. There is a lawsuit going on for years. 

At the Museum of Contemporary Art, Kayaks and other boats are assembled on the wall of the building. 

I drove today to Borrego Springs to see my friend Ron Carlson, and some of the regulars at Peg Leg Smith's Monument. At the top of Montezuma Grade I took a picture of Borrego Springs and the whole valley. Usually I can see a white area near the lower part of the mountains. This is Peg Leg Smith’s Monument with many motorhomes and trailers. There was no white area today.

The only regular camper at Peg Leg is Barbara. Everybody left early this year. There were also three overnight campers. I talked to Barbara for a while and then headed to Ron’s house. Ron and I went to our favorite restaurant for lunch. While we were eating, Bill and Millie Gallaher walked in. They came from Agua Caliente County Park where they had camped with the Convair Camping Club, and they were on their way home. They also ate lunch.
From the restaurant I went to Warner Springs and visited Guenther and Arlette Seidel, friends from when I lived in Clairemont, a section of San Diego. It is always wonderful to see old friends.
On my way home I saw those two statues near Vail Resort. They are made by the same artist who designed and built the statues in Borrego Springs.

I waited long enough for a call from the urologist. Today I went to his office and asked to talk to his nurse. She came with a bunch of papers and told me that I have no cancer. The urologist has made an appointment for me, for another ultrasound in six months.
I picked up my mail from the post office, went back to the motorhome and did my laundry, and started to get ready to head for Arizona. I will be leaving Sunday morning. I have not decided yet where I will meet the WINs.

I emptied the holding tanks and filled them half with fresh water. Tomorrow morning I will heat up some water and dilute tank cleaner and add it to the tanks. I hope when I arrive at Yuma the inside of the tanks are clean.
I am ready to go.

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