Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Protect from Freezing

Yesterday afternoon, Lisa and I were getting ready to drive into Reno, it being the last full day before Christmas (and I had the day off). We should have gotten away much earlier, but we'd slept in considerably that morning. Since we were going to buy perishables, I suggested Lisa put the powered ice chest in my van. When she opened the sliding door to do so, she saw that there was a bunch of spilled soda on the rear floor of the van. She started to sop that up as I came out, and we wondered where it came from. Then we realized what had happened.

I'd left two 12-packs of Diet Coke in the step-well of the van and forgotten to take them into the house from our last shopping trip. It got so cold here (it was -15° C last night) that one of the cans froze and burst, blowing out through the cardboard container as well and spraying half-frozen cola over the back of the van. Several other cans had swollen, but it doesn't look like any others burst. I tossed the burst can full of Coke slush aside and, at Lisa's direction, carried the two 12-packs into the trailer and put them in the bathtub so that they could thaw out and so there would be some place for the runoff if there was any more leaks.

Fortunately, I've had a desk-mat plastic sheet in the back of the van for the past few weeks to facilitate loading and unloading of the stuff I've been carrying up from Fremont. (This does make stuff slip and slide, however, so it's important to carry full loads so they don't shift.) Also, since it was diet soda, there was no sugar and thus nothing sticky. It was relatively easy to clean up.

Much later than we wanted, we headed into Reno. We'd ended up skipping lunch, which is very bad for me (I did grab a food bar as we left). At Lisa's suggestion, we went to eat first, going to the Atlantis, where we were fourth in line for their Friday seafood buffet when it opened at 4:30. (We'd actually arrived too early — they're closed between 3 and 4:30 — so we went and played The Monkees slot machine that Lisa likes. After a long dry spell, she hit a pretty good jackpot and quit while she was $4.25 ahead.) With a big appetite and the restaurant not filled up, we took our time over early dinner before waddling off for shopping.

Of course, we weren't the only ones out there, and nothing went quickly. We had many stops to make, and only minor successes at locating some of the things Lisa wanted. Near the end of the list was Whole Foods, and I was fretting while we shopped because they normally close at 9 PM and it was nearing that time when we checked out. As we put the groceries in the car, Lisa remembered one thing we wanted in there, but I figured it was too late, as it was now 9:05; however, we went back to the door and found that they were keeping hours until 10 PM that night, so we were in luck.

By that time, traffic had thinned out somewhat, and it was no big deal running up to Winco for our additional groceries before heading back to Fernley. But it had been a stressful day for me, and I'm afraid I wasn't the best of company for Lisa. The changes to LiveJournal haven't helped. Features that travelswithkuma regularly used have stopped working, which is very annoying.

We hope to take it relatively easy today, although we hope to get out once for a short drive in Lisa's van. She's found that with the cold weather here and the way that van is set up, if she doesn't run it at least once a day, it gets very difficult to start again later.

Meanwhile, we're now down to about 3/4 cord of wood, as I mentioned. But we do need to use it. I've been trying this morning to get the fire running again as it all but went out overnight. It takes quite a while for the thing to come back up to heat even when I do manage to kindle a fire from the remaining coals.
Tags: lisa, shopping, van, weather
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