Short Trip Got Longer

This afternoon we ran into Reno with the intention of doing two small errands: returning an item to Home Depot (not defective; we just bought more than we needed) and buying a couple of things from Bed Bath & Beyond because Lisa wanted to get more of a couple of things we bought there on our last trip. It took much longer than we expected.

Actually returning the item to Home Depot was routine enough, but for some reason we couldn't get the terminal to accept the PIN for the debit card we'd used to buy it. They refunded us in cash, but we wanted to get to the bank right away to make sure something wasn't wrong with the card. When we got to the bank, the card worked fine. We must have simply both been keying the PIN wrong. So then we went back to Home Depot and Lisa got the other things she wanted to get there. (It's a Sekrit Project, so I won't say more about it until it's finished.

At Bed Bath & Beyond, Lisa wanted to get more of the small stacking shelves they'd had on sale a few days ago. They had physically interoperable versions of the same shelf, but they were from a different manufacturer, opened differently, and the drawers didn't slide as well, so she balked. She also wanted to get another set of a particular kind of sheets she'd bought on the previous trip to down. She'd even brought the info card from the first set. Unfortunately, they didn't have any more of the color of the first set, so she settled for a similar but not the same color.

Along the way, we stopped at Winco Foods for some groceries, mainly as a "target of opportunity."

Leaving BB&B, it occurred to me that there is another BB&B in north Sparks, and maybe they would have the things that the Reno store did not. So we headed up that way, and we were pleased to discover that they had both the shelves Lisa wanted and the color of sheets she wanted. They even let her return the not-quite-the-same-color sheets we'd bought a few hours earlier in Reno.

By then it was getting pretty late, so I suggested we check out the Mongolian BBQ in the same shopping center as the BB&B. However, Lisa balked; it was too bright, too noisy, and was full of television screens blaring at us. I was ready to balk as well, as they apparently charged by the bowl, something I don't expect at such places. Instead, we went to the Iron Skillet at the Alamo truck stop on the east end of Sparks, where we had a good value buffet. Also, Lisa had good luck at the slot machines, winning enough to pay for our tip at dinner.

It must have warmed up some this afternoon after we left, for most of the remaining snow, including all that was left on the front porch, had melted by the time we got home. I had to go back to work, as there was one small report from Day Jobbe that needed to be done tonight because people will be expecting it first thing tomorrow morning. Flexible hours are good, but sometimes you can get behind the eight-ball, like I did tonight.
No Trains

Salvage Work in Fernley Yard

Today a contractor, presumably engaged by Union Pacific or possibly paying for the privilege, turned up in the small Fernley rail yard with an excavator, a flatbed truck, and a dump truck, and proceeded to make lots of noise.

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By the time they left, the dump truck was filled to the rim with scrap metal, and that's probably a a good thing, since it's easy to recycle. I only hope this is not a precursor to Union Pacific putting up a fence and blocking our view of the railroad.
Snow Day

Spring Break Ended Quickly

Sunday morning was bright and pleasant and sunny, but things changed dramatically in the late afternoon. While I was watching the Super Bowl, Lisa told me to look outside.

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After the worst of the wind and snow subsided, Lisa came out and spread ice-melt on the sidewalk. Very little snow actually fell (maybe 1-3 cm), but it got cold very fast and the snow formed an icy crust. Lisa and I were both happy we had no place we needed to be today. Listening to the radio scanner, I felt for the police and fire services who were out in that weather dealing with accidents. A big accident just east of Fernley on I-80 was made worse when someone came along, ignoring all of the emergency vehicles, driving much too fast on an ice-covered freeway, and crashed into North Lyon Rescue 61, the ambulance/paramedic unit responding to the existing accident. While according to the posting, none of the crew were injured, the rescue unit was seriously damaged. NLCFPD only has three such units, so this is going to hurt while they deal with getting the damaged unit replaced/repaired.

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Meanwhile, the Super Bowl did not go the way I wanted. Near the end, as the Chiefs were making their (ultimately successful) comeback, I was hoping that the 49ers could hold them to a field goal that would have tied the game, and then that time would run out, sending the game to overtime and paying off $100 to me on a "prop" bet. It was not to be. I lost all of my bets. Fortunately, I'd only wagered the money we won on the keno ticket last week, so we're no worse off than we were before that dinner. I do try very hard not to wager anything I can't afford to lose.

Winter Returns

Yesterday was a wonderful springlike day. The local wildlife enjoyed it.

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Last night, Lisa and went for a walk after dinner, and there were absurdly warm spots, caused, we assume, by a storm pushing warm air ahead of it. It was also quite nice this morning when I went to breakfast and for a walk after breakfast. This afternoon, however, near-gale-force (30 kts / 55 kph) winds have blown into Fernley, sending tumbleweeds rolling, trash cans blowing over, and anything not tied down heading for the hills. Me, I'm staying indoors and watching the Big Game, once they finally get around to playing it.
SMOF License

Grime Fighter

After breakfast this morning, I drove to Big R to buy an 40-pound bag of birdseed. On the way home, I decided with the fine spring-like weather we've been having to stop by the car wash and scrub off the large amounts of road spray we picked up on the trip to Utah.

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The Astro really needs to be repainted. It seems unlikely that GM intended for the paint to last for thirty years.

Follow the Bouncing Balls

I've been following the Australian Open tennis as my time permits and as ESPN3 (the free online channel) permits. As we near the end of the tournament, the only feed I've been able to watch is the "multi-cam" replay of the previous days feature match. This is a feed that shows the main coverage in the center of the screen, with two picture-in-picture shots focused on the players. This would ordinarily be okay, but for some reason, the two player feeds are running about one second ahead of the main feed. That ruins the show for me, because it makes the player feeds effectively "spoilers." It was so distracting that I've tapes pieces of cardboard on my monitor covering up the player feeds, so I can watch the main feed in peace.
  • Current Music
    Australian Open Tennis
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Fernley House

Spring Break

A warm spell (relatively speaking) we're having means we don't need to burn nearly so much firewood to keep the house warm, but eventually the box by the front door got to the point where it needed refilling. It being good weather, I used the wheelbarrow to move wood from the "reserve" in the garage, rather than the large wood box in front of the house. It's good exercise, although I only needed two loads to refill the front porch supply (38 logs).
  • Current Music
    Australian Open Tennis
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Bad Luck and Good

After work today, we went into Reno to look for a few things. Our first three stops were not so lucky. We wanted to price a new window for the living room, and Lisa walked out immediately when they explained that they only replace the exact same type of window; that is, if your windows open left-right (as opposed to up-down), they'll only replace it with the same type of window. One of the reasons we want new windows is to replace the left-right windows with up-down ones.

Stops 2 and 3 were camera shops for lighting Lisa wants to get for her camera. The first store didn't have the kind of lights she wanted. The second store wasn't there at all, as it had gone out of business.

At stop 4 (Home Depot), we were able to get some of the things we wanted but not all of them, so we'll call that an even break.

We then went to dinner at the Peppermill, where our luck turned good. I marked the same $10 keno ticket that I usually mark, and this time it hit nicely, and I won $78.50, which paid for dinner and then some.

We'll see how much my luck holds this weekend, as I put down $50 on the San Francisco 49ers +1 at -110 to win the Superb Owl. This means that if the 49ers win, I win $45.45 on top of my $50 bet. If the Kansas City Chiefs win by exactly 1 point, I get my $50 back. If they win by more than 1 point, I lose. I wish I'd gotten in there earlier when the spread was +1.5, but I reckon there's enough local money on San Francisco that it pushed the spread to +1.

I also put down a couple of "prop" bets. I'm cheering for a safety by either team, and if the came goes into overtime, Lisa and I will be able to afford an extra trip to the Peppermill buffet.

Back to Work

Today was mostly consumed with catching up with Day Jobbe after two days away, but I've written so much over the past four days that I don't feel guilty about it.
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    tired tired
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Conrunner Kevin

Long Weekend Getaway, Day 4: Routine Run Across Nevada

With good weather (or at least no bad weather) forecast ahead of us, we felt no need to rush today, and took our time over breakfast at the hotel (chatting with the manager about the newly-opened property and given her feedback based on our own travels and experience) and moving out for the remaining 250 miles to home. We were slightly worried over a few flakes of snow we saw falling from our fourth-floor room, but by the time we finished packing, the snow was gone and none of it was on the roads. It was time to go home.

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This trip shows us that, using Elko as the midway point between Fernley and the Salt Lake City area, we can easily make a four-day trip like this for attractions in the SLC area, even if I should try to stretch my time off by taking half-days on the weekdays as I did on the Loscon-SMOFCon trip. We may do that in the future, as there is at least one more train-related attraction there that we want to visit someday.