First stop was the Pilot truck stop a short distance from home where I refueled the van and got coffee and a breakfast sandwich for the road. While I was waiting to pay, I turned and found Lisa behind me. She's seen that I'd left the power cord for my CPAP machine at my nightstand and thought I'd run off without it, and as she knew I needed to gas up before leaving, she quickly got her van started and chased after me. As it happens, I have multiple cords, and the one in the nightstand as home I leave plugged in there while I keep another one with the carrying case for the CPAP, but I did appreciate her worrying about me.
(As it happens, I did leave behind a tote bag I typically use when I'm in the Bay Area, which contained a couple of handy things. Nothing I couldn't replace on the road, but it's mildly annoying nonetheless.)
On the west end of Reno, where the highway starts to climb up the hills, snow started to fall. That was worrisome. Light snow continued to fall, and when I stopped briefly to use the bathroom at Donner Summit, it was starting to stick. However, the pavement had stayed relatively dry and traffic moved pretty well. I took it relatively easy coming down the west side, letting others zoom around me. Annoyingly (because of all the road grime being kicked up in the snow), the windshield washer fluid stopped running — frozen up, I think — making visibility difficult until I dropped down low enough that it warmed up and started running again.
I got lucky, really, and if I'd left at 7:30 instead of 9:30, I would have saved myself some heartburn. Chain controls went up on I-80 later that day (and are still there as I write this), but I managed to get off The Hill before things got that nasty. I'm delighted that there's snow falling in the Sierra, but I don't want to drive there when it's happening. The rain that dogged the rest of my trip was most welcome. Bring it on. Refill those aquifers. (Alas, by all accounts I've read, this storm is but a thimbleful when we need many barrels, but I suppose everything helps.)
I stopped for lunch in Sacramento and turned south on I-5, refueling at Lodi. Just before the fuel stop, the NFL Properties Brand Event kicked off, including the strangest start (and earliest score) to a Super Bowl® in my memory. I found myself cursing myself for not having put money down on the "prop bet" for "Will there be a safety?" I didn't have a dog in the fight, but listened to it on the radio anyway, marveling at how a team that should have been so good (the Denver Broncos) could be so bad and dominated so thoroughly by the Seattle Seahawks.
I got to the hotel in San Jose about 6 PM, delayed only a little bit by the weather, and loaded in to the hotel room where I'll be staying the next six nights. I'm surrounded by tech gadgets, as I've picked up a standalone hard disk duplicator (doesn't require a connected computer; in theory it should do a sector-by-sector clone without PC aid), and I set it to work on a test clone between two "scratch" drives I have to see how it works. If it does indeed work the way it claims, I may start using it for my system backups, as the new Win7 installation won't let itself be cloned by the same drive-cloning software I used in the past. We'll see how this works.
The wi-fi in this hotel room is terrible, so I've used my smartphone bridging, which, while not blindingly fast, is certainly much better than the dial-up-like hesitation and dropped signals of the hotel's connection. Well, you get what you pay for, I guess. Now I must try to wind myself down and get to bed, as I have to get up an hour earlier when I'm working down here than when working from home.