Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year to all!

Location, at Home, CA

Today brings the close of another year. Looking back over the year there are several highlights to mention.

The visit this summer of our son Tim and family for two weeks is surely a highlight. We always like having them here.

Our trip to Glacier National Park in July and August was outstanding. We really enjoyed that trip.

Going up the "Going to The Sun" highway.

Big Horn sheep at Logan Pass, Glacier.

Looking back down "Going to the Sun" highway.

I was looking back at how many days we spent camping during the year. We were in the RV for 176 days which is almost ½ of the year. That is close to our annual average.

I was looking forward to more travel starting Jan 8th next year but we have cut our trip short. Let’s say that we got a “better offer”.  Our friends Cindy and Gary from the Bay Area asked if we would like to share their Timeshare on Kauai for a week starting the end of February. Of course we said “YES”. Who wouldn’t?

So, we will cut our winter trip short and come home several days before we leave for Hawaii. We will drive to Walnut Creek and fly out of Oakland with Cindy and Gary. I am really looking forward to that.

I will leave home on the 8th of January for Las Vegas where I and a few friends will once again attend this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). After a week in Las Vegas we will travel to Quartzsite, AZ for a few weeks of all the activities there. Clyda will fly to Phoenix later in January and join me in Quartzsite. We do plan to visit relatives in Casa Grande and then go on to Benson, AZ to use our tickets from last year at Karchner Caverns before the tickets expire. We were unable to use the tickets last year as I ended up in the hospital while in Benson.

Happy New Year to all!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Poinsettias mean Christmas.

Location, at Home, CA

Poinsettias are a sure sign of Christmas. We usually have one or two small plants in the house or at the front door during the holidays. However, this year we have a humongous plant at the front door as well.

It belonged to a neighbor down the street and when she left to visit family out of town over the holidays she asked Clyda to bring it to our house.

It is a welcome sight on the front porch and brings exclamations from most guests who see it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Still kicking in California.

Location, at Home, CA

Just a short blog to let folks know I am still alive. We babysat for my nieces twins last Monday I got what I think is the flu on Tuesday night. I have been lying around ever since. I’m ok now but have terrible heartburn which even Tums doesn’t appear to help control. I have eaten little since Wednesday so don’t know what the real answer is. I’m sticking to bland foods and yogurt to see if that helps.

I did get the Christmas packages mailed out this week and a few other things done. Mostly I read.

We attended a small gathering of friends this afternoon while Santa came to visit the small children and grandchildren in the group. Later we had pizza and cookies. So far, I’m ok as I didn’t over indulge.

This week I should finish up my shopping and maybe get a few more things done. The list never ends.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Water heater problems.

Location, at Home, CA
Last night we saw Mannheim Steamroller in concert at the local Indian Casino. Man, are they good! I bought the tickets as a birthday present for Clyda.

I have had some of their Christmas music for years and it certainly is popular around Christmas. Listening to it on the radio or from a CD has no comparison to being there in person. What a talented group of people.

It has been very cold at night. All the roofs and lawns are covered with frost in the morning. In fact, I don’t start my morning walk until about 7:20 each day. Just hoping for a little sunshine to warm me as I walk.

I have been fighting computer problems which can be really frustrating. My new Canon printer quit after using it 2 times. Something in the power supply must have gone haywire as the power light wouldn’t even come on. I must say that Canon was very helpful both in answering my emails and on the phone. Anyway, a rebuilt printer is on its way to me and should be here on Wednesday.

I still have my old XP unit running or I should say it comes on but is so slow. Also found out that I am missing Internet Explorer from the unit. Can’t get to the internet now. Must find a work around.

Tuesday evening Craig walked into the garage and saw water coming out of the top of the water heater. It was coming from around the vent flue. I do have a drain pan under the unit so all the water was collected there. He turned off the water and gas and disconnected the unit. He has water heater removal down to a fine science now. This unit was less than 3 years old.

Wednesday morning I went to Home Depot early and picked up a new same model unit as a replacement. Made for easy installation. I took the old unit back for a rebate. It hasn’t shown up on my credit card yet, nor has the cost of the new unit.

Here are a few more photos from Napa Valley taken before Thanksgiving.

The pumkin weighs at least 500 pounds.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lots of wind and computer frustration.

Location, at Home, CA

The wind finally caught us here last night. About 9 PM I heard leaves from the backyard tree swirling around on the metal patio roof. It sounded a lot like rain.

I heard something crash to the ground and found a broken 4 foot fluorescent bulb by the wood shed. It blew off the roof where Craig had stored it. The wind blew all night but no real damage had been done. Leaves from the trees swirl in a heap by the sliding door on the patio. It makes them easier to pick up. For the most part the wind died by mid-morning.

It was a most frustrating day. Some of the problems I think were wind related. The computer was slow, the cell phone didn’t make all of its connections, and I can’t get my new DVD/CD player to read a disk. Frustrating!

I am trying to get my old XP desktop unit cleaned up so it will operate a little faster. I want to use it to transfer my old record collection to MP3 files. I bought a turntable with the right outputs to do that while in the Bay area last week. I got the unit for about $45 so think I have a bargain. The records will be played at standard speed so it will take some time to do all the recordings.

I have a list of fall things that need to be done so I better start to tackle them soon. None of them are major but all need to be done.

A few trees need pruning, plants need to be fertilized, asparagus needs to be cut back and fertilized, and the compost bins need to be emptied.

Things like this I look forward to less and less each year.