Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Tripping Our Way Home, With Goats and Mattress Fires

Lisa doesn't come down to the Bay Area that often, so while we were there on Saturday, we took advantage of the trip to go shopping for electronics not generally available in Reno/Sparks. Our first stop was Fry's, where we did get her some things, but where I also bought a medium-ticket item for Cheryl Morgan's benefit. Then it was on to Weird Stuff Warehouse. Again, Lisa found a few things for which she was looking, but I was the one with the biggest purchase, as they had a good deal running on surplus 24" monitors. Lisa bought me one. It will trigger a cascade of monitors in our home office that should lead to Lisa getting a replacement for one of her monitors that is starting to fade away on her.

Goat Patrol

Across the street from Weird Stuff on this quiet Saturday morning was a cacophony raised by this herd of goats. The goats are for rent: you hire them to come clear brush from hillsides, which is in many respects better than using heavy equipment, and in this case, the goats are more sure-footed on steep hillsides than mowing machines would be. As the spring turns to summer with the Memorial Day Weekend, the growth triggered by the wet weather (thank goodness for rain) turns to a significant fire hazard, and these goats do a good job of eating everything in sight.

After Weird Stuff, we continued on to HSC Electronic Supply, who have moved to a new location not far from their previous warehouse. This time we struck out, finding none of the things for which we were searching. None were critical, but Lisa likes to look here when she gets the opportunity to do so.

Our errands done, we turned for home. I had assumed the that the worst of the traffic would have been over by Saturday, but it was a slog through large chunks of the Bay Area, and I-580 through Dublin and Livermore was clogged up something fierce. We bailed off the freeway to take Altamont Pass Road when we could see that I-580 over the top was at a near-standstill. Other people had the same idea, but fortunately not enough to clog up the road too much. When we got over the top, we saw that I-580 was still at a crawl and I headed over to Grant Line Road in the hope that things would be better in Tracy.

Burning Mattresses

As we neared I-205 in Tracy, we could see a big black plume of smoke in the distance. While stopped at this traffic light near the freeway, I snapped this picture. It took several light cycles before we could make it to the freeway, but as we made the turn to the east, Lisa could see that it was a mattress store fully engulfed in flames that was producing the smoke.

By now, the road was moving at a decent speed although still crowded. We continued on to Latrop, where we stopped at the same place I stopped a few months ago when the alternator on the minivan caught fire. They remembered me at that O'Reilly Auto Parts, where we bought a new fire extinguisher for the minivan so I won't get caught out again like I did that day. (I'm actually lucky they were there when I needed them, because the alternator fire might have set the whole car ablaze.)

By then we had been on the road for at least three hours and had gone maybe 100 miles or so, and I was already worn out. Lisa took the wheel. We stopped for a late lunch at the Denny's in Lodi Junction, then continued to Sacramento to visit my sister for a while. Lisa was still better off than me, and we went on with her driving to Colfax where we had a short rest stop, and Lisa continued driving us the rest of the way home from there, where as I wrote briefly last night we got home before 10 PM.

This morning, after a good night's sleep, I felt a little bit better, and leaving Lisa to sleep, I walked up to the Wigwam Restaurant-Casino, had a good breakfast, and once again managed to win enough playing blackjack to pay for breakfast.

I'm now using my new-to-me monitor, and it does make a difference.
Tags: bay area, computers, fire, lisa, traffic, travel

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