September 23rd, 2007


To the Freeway, Which is Already in Progress

The alarm woke me up this morning. This is progress, because it means that I did not wake up in the middle of the night due to jet lag.

Having had a relatively leisurely morning, taken a walk after breakfast, and had a look at my schedule, I think I will swing over to Sutter when I get to Williams later today and visit my grandfather and drop off some small gifts for my family. The only person for whom I couldn't think of anything to get was my grandfather himself, but my family doesn't set much stock in these sorts of things, so I don't see it being a problem. Given that some of my presents are semi-perishable (rice cakes from the Choshi Dentestu), it's best that I get them to their recipients sooner rather than later.

A ride on the Yreka Western will have to wait for another trip, I reckon. Maybe one of these times I will actually be able to budget the necessary half-day for it.

This little Rodeway Inn in Yreka is pretty good value for the $55 I paid for it. The room is a lot larger than some of the hotel rooms in which we stayed during the Japan trip, the room comes with a microwave oven and refrigerator, and the wireless internet works fine. The one thing that would count against it, I think, is that it has only a shower, not a bathtub, and it's not a particularly good shower at that. I'm a tall person, and I thought the shower was set too high. Goodness knows how someone shorter than me would find it.

Anyway, time to put some more miles on the van.
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Conrunner Kevin

Sunday Driver

Mount Shasta was doing its Fuji-san impersonation this morning (hiding behind the clouds) as I headed south on I-5. I stopped at a natural-foods store in Mt. Shasta City that is the only place Lisa has found that stocks a particular brand of tuna she likes, but for a change I was too early, and I didn't want to wait around for them to open. I stopped for an early lunch at at truck stop in Redding, then hopped down to Williams, where the coffee shop with the free internet access beckoned. (As I've stopped here before, the settings are already in my computer, and they don't change the password that often, so it's convenient for me.)

It's only 2 PM, so I can head over to Sutter for a while, but not a long time, as it will take me some time this evening to get the house rebooted, you might say. I did, however, find out pretty much what the minimum electricity usage I can expect from the apartment is, as my current billing statement arrived electronically, and it closely approximated the past month that nobody has been in the apartment. Under the best of circumstances, it appears I can expect the apartment to consume around $25 worth of electricity even with nobody in it. Not that it's completely shut down, of course, because besides things like the refrigerator and entertainment center, one of the computers in the apartment and the internet connections are always running.

That reminds me that I'm looking forward to putting my computer on the "Kill-a-Watt" device to find out exactly what sort of load it draws, preparatory to complaining to Northwest about how their in-seat power supplies are useless for my computer.

I also continue to contemplate uses for the $800 voucher from Northwest. I'd use some of it to go to SMOFCon, but I'm already booked on a USAir trip that was on a "use-it-or-lose-the-miles" deal from the ex-America West mileage. Speaking of use-it-or-lose-it, having saved a Sheraton hotel night coming off the Japan trip, I need to come up with a reason to stay at a Starwood property for one night relatively soon, because that was a similar "use the points now or they expire" deal. I wonder if booking the room and then re-depositing the miles counts as sufficient account activity to keep the points alive.
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Kevin Standlee

Home, One Month Later

And at 20:00 local time, just over ten hours after I left Yreka this morning and just short of one month since I left, I rolled into the driveway here in Fremont.

Unfortunately, as I didn't call ahead to my grandfather's house, I discovered when I showed up that he'd gone to town. This is relatively rare, so I wasn't expecting it. I do have a key to the house -- I used to live there myself, many years ago, and the key is still there -- so I let myself in, left a note for him, and left bags and notes with the presents for my mother, sister, and nephew. For all that this was roughly a two-hour side-trip for me, it's still better that I got things to people now rather than later.

Then it was the too-familiar slog back into the Bay Area, with the permanent Sunday Slowdown from the I-505 junction to the I-680 junction, and another hour or so after that back to Fremont.

I am going to unpack the minimum necessary to get finished tonight and what I'll need for tomorrow. The rest can wait. My suit has been folded up in my luggage for three weeks now; one more night isn't going to do any further harm to it. (I reckon I should take and have it professionally pressed, though.)