A Day Trip to the Moon

Somewhat inspired by [personal profile] delosharriman, Lisa, Kuma Bear, and I did a day trip to the Moon today, or at least something related to it.

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We did not rush out of the hotel this morning, taking advantage of the Hi-Desert Inn's room to have a leisurely breakfast before checking out, refueling the minivan, and setting out east on US-6 on a drive that would take us almost halfway to Ely. US-6 is a high-speed highway here, with a speed limit of 70 mph, and vehicles still passing us even when I could maintain that speed.

As it happens, the turnoff for Lunar Crater is only a short distance from Moore's Station Road, which is how we left Project Faultless in July.

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Between the two of us, we took a lot of photos. Click through any of these and you can explore the entire Lunar Crater album.

It seemed to take less time to get back to US-6 than it had taken to get out there. Lisa said that was because I'd gotten used to the road conditions and better at finding the less teeth-rattling sections of it. We set our course for Tonopah, and in pretty good time we were checking in to the Jim Butler Inn & Suites, where we are staying tonight.

Hotel reports will be forthcoming in a few days, but I wanted to get this tourism report written tonight. We enjoyed visiting this landmark, and we had the whole thing to ourselves for the hour we were there, as well as the drive from US-6 and back, except for meeting one car that was turning off US-6 just as we were coming back to the highway. This is of course a pretty out-of-the-way side trip (unless you happen to be driving US-6 from Tonopah to Ely or vice versa), but it was fun to visit. I thought it was an impressive site, and I'm glad we made the time to go see it.
Tonopah Westercon

Out of Practice

Lisa and I are on a "field trip" to Tonopah this weekend, partially to do some tourism to another place we would certainly never have time to go during Westercon 74. We also are doing something we would never do in most cases: change hotels during the middle of a stay in the same town. (We did stay in three different IHG hotels during our 2014 Worldcon trip, but that was a combination of moving between the convention site and hotels where we could make the most use of our IHG points, and in any event, we always stayed at least two nights in any one place.) We spent last night in the Best Western Hi-Desert Inn, from which we are about to check out as I write this, and will spend tonight in the Jim Butler Inn & Suites. Why would we do this, you ask? Because in practice it's the only way we can get the level of documentation we want of the hotels, and these are the last two of the four "downtown" hotels we'll be using for Westercon 74. We've already stayed and and photographed hotel rooms in the Mizpah and Belvada Hotels, plus the Tonopah Station, which is about 1.5 km south of downtown. (We're not planning on staying at the Old Brewery Hostel, so if you really want to keep your costs down, you'll need to look at the documentation on the Mizpah's website.) With an anticipated attendance of 200-400 people and around 200 hotel rooms in the "downtown four," we reckon most of our attendees will want to stay in these hotels. While of course staying in every possible room type is impractical, having representative photos seems like a good thing to us, especially inasmuch as in our experience most hotels' sites don't include all of the things we personally want to know when investigating a room. We'll have more to say about this when I write this up after we get home, and I'll update the Westercon 74 website with more photos later.

In the meantime, there's the practical matter that Lisa and I are clearly way out of practice when it comes to travel. With the exception of the trip we made here in July, we haven't been on an overnight road trip since January 2020. We both forgot a number of things for this two-night trip. Fortunately, none of them are critical, and in some cases we could back each other up.

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Of course, in this trip's case, I could have always gone to Raley's and replaced some of the things that I'd left behind. Also, I'd separately packed my bag of medications that I take for my blood pressure and diabetes, so I'm good there. I did leave my blood sugar meter behind, but for a short trip I don't think that's a big deal. However, I think I'm going to have to make an actual paper checklist of things to pack, because as we simply have not been traveling for a couple of years, things I used to do without having to think about it have dropped out of my memory. For some of our planned trips coming up later this year, I might leave behind something more mission-critical.


There are several flocks (I think they are family groups) of quail that visit the field next to us. Normally they seem to chase off other flocks, but a couple of evenings ago, while Lisa and I were sitting on the front porch enjoying pleasant weather, they seem to have put aside their differences in order to take advantage of the seed we had set out for them.

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Later, a couple of helicopters, presumably out of NAS Fallon (we get a lot of them here) flew by while a train passed on the main line.

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In the spring and autumn (and autumn seems to start around the first of September for this purpose), we can enjoy our porch, as it's neither too hot nor too cold.

Deck Boards Secured

We reached a major milestone in the new patio deck yesterday evening.

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We're not done yet with this project, although this should be the end of the major wood work. Lisa wants to apply wood putty to the gaps in the deck to reduce water incursion, then sand it all down, then paint it with the same paint we have used for the front porch. Despite the outward appearance, this wood is not redwood, but pressure-treated pine, and we'd be happier having several coats of paint on it.

Lisa has not run out of ideas for the back porch area. One of the things about Fernley House is that there's always another project we can do to improve it.

Nearing the End of the Beginning

Lisa is nearly ready to start actually fastening the patio deck boards into place.

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I say this is only the end of the beginning approaching, because there will be more work to do once the deck is in place, but we are still happy with the progress Lisa is making.
Tonopah Westercon

Bogging Down

There are things I need to be doing for Westercon 74, but Day Jobbe has kept me working so much (10-12 hour days) that I can't think about much of anything on weekdays, and end up spending the weekend just recovering enough before I can get to work on the Tonopah jobs.

Speaking of Tonopah, though, Lisa and will be going there this coming weekend for another "field trip" to investigate some things and do some local tourism for which we'll certainly not have the time during Westercon itself.

More Decking

Lisa is slowly making progress on the patio deck.

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Lisa has started to install the long deck beams, occasionally calling upon me to lend a hand, or rather a couple of feet, as she has me stand on the beams while she drives the wood screws. The first board (the one closest to the concrete block) needed a bunch of trimming and adjusting, with Lisa using a wood rasp to plane it down on one side, because the concrete block is uneven on the side where the board goes.

There will be more trimming of boards as we near the end. Unfortunately, one piece of hardware that we do not have but that would probably be useful is a planer, as there's almost certainly going to need to be one board that will need to be planed down to fit into an irregularly-shaped space.

Air Clearing

We had thunderstorms on Thursday night/Friday morning that cleared the air considerably, and it's stayed clear through the weekend.

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Lisa and I went to Reno/Sparks to go grocery shopping, but Sunday afternoon is not a great time for doing so the way early on a Saturday morning would have been. WinCo's parking lots were so full that we balked entirely and continued on to Raley's in Sparks, where things were not only less crowded, but most of the customers and all of the employees were taking the mask mandate seriously. That makes us feel safer as well, and I made a point of telling the clerk at our checkout stand (who was double-masked) that I appreciated him wearing his mask properly, covering both his nose and mouth, and not wearing it below his chin the way so many other people seem to do.

I managed to get completely caught up on sleep this weekend, which of course means that I'm having trouble getting wound down enough to go to sleep tonight, and thus I'm apt to be wrong-footed on Monday.

Cabin Fever

Lisa and I plan to make a weekend trip to Tonopah next weekend (about which we'll write more later), and it's high time for us to get out and travel a bit. Lisa says she was so bored last night that she was watching videos of old WSFS Business Meetings.

(OTOH, it appears that it was a recording of a meeting that we haven't yet posted to the Worldcon Events Channel on YouTube, so we'll take on that challenge soon and see what other older meetings' recordings we have in our archives but not uploaded and linked to
Kreegah Bundalo


Day Jobbe has really gotten busy. Including the holiday on Monday in the total hours, my time card for this week had 50 hours total. I don't get paid by the hour, being a salaried employee and all that, but I do have to turn in a time card (online) and I prefer to have the hours accurate on it to show, if anyone is watching, that I'm overworked in this case.

Late this afternoon, 10.5 hours into my work day, I had to conclude that I just wasn't going to get everything done that was on the docket for today and downed tools as Lisa made us dinner. Thanks to thunderstorms last night and this morning, it was much cooler today (although more humid than usual in these high desert parts) and we could even get out for a walk this evening.
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