Apr. 30th, 2017

howeird: (localhost)
Had a good night's sleep, Spook slept elsewhere. Stayed in bed till 9 because I could, though morning Hgl was low, about 74. Usually I feel it, not this time.

Mostly did things online all morning, tried watching the NFL draft, but the NFL channel I paid extra for was stopping every 3 minutes to play 15 minutes of commercials, during which a line on the bottom of the screen announced each pick. During the 3 minutes of actual show, it was a panel of middle aged white guys discussing their clothes, what they had to eat today and basically not doing their job.

Had lunch - an "everything" bagel, soft sheep milk cheese as cream cheese, HB egg sliced, some lox. Yum! 

At about 1:30  drove to Boardwalk as planned, had a chocolate shake and an order of fries.  The shake was a FAIL, looked the same as a Carl's Jr. shake, half the size it should have been, topped with whipped cream, solid soft serve too thick to drink. The fries were good. Served with a tiny tub of chipotle something which I set aside. Ketchup in the bottle had been diluted. They had the NFL channel on, probably from cable, higher quality than SlingTV gave me.

The obligatory rape-screaming baby was there. Precocious, because the local cops don't teach that scream until the kid is in grade school.

This incarnation of The Boardwalk is much smaller, cleaner and organized than the old one.

Home, spent some time looking up names & numbers for the karaoke songs I wanted to sing. Took a nap in the recliner.

Just before 6 I headed for the church in Campbell where the meetup was, there's no quick way to get there from here, I arrived about 6:30.

Paid $10 for entry + 6 extra tickets. A ticket buys a song or a drink or snack.

Many good singers, some interesting/obscure song choices. The DJ was on top of things, it moved right along. The lack of booze, background noise and people hanging out by the doors smoking was a huge plus.

I did three songs - two on my own tickets and one "challenge". Anthem was my first number and I knocked it out of the park, though I had to drop the Big Ending an octave to do so. Second was With One Look which I screwed up a little when the machine chose a different tempo for the bridge than I'm used to, but I managed to save it in the end. The challenge was Some Enchanted Evening, which I started straight but snuck in a bit of French accent later. Nailed it too. At about 9:30 when I hadn't been called up for my 3rd ticket song, and the three singers coming up were all painful to listen to, I hugged the DJ goodbye and went home.

My project for next month is to practice Aladdin's Proud of Your Boy until I don't break down crying anymore.



I was a difficult boy for my mother to raise. One of the Stupid Things™ Mom's hospice care psychologist did was have her write letters to us kids, and maybe Dad too, which were given to us by said psycho while we were sitting shiva for Mom. I set it aside, almost threw it away. When I finally read it a couple of weeks later, it basically said what this song says. When I hear the song it reminds me, and when I try to sing it, I can't. Yet.

I know with practice and time I'll be able to do it justice. I managed to do that with Errol Flynn, a song which had a similar impact on me, for similar reasons, though my Dad was neither an actor, liar or drunkard.



Dinner was a late mac-and-3-cheese with turkey dog slices and fresh frozen oregano. My chef's knife is very sharp, a little slip as I pulled it out of the block caught the junction of my index finger and palm. Blue ice, peroxide and a bandaid made it stop bleeding.

Plans for tomorrow:
Try to get up & out in time to make the 90-minute drive to Suisun City's Western Railway Museum for the last day of the wildflower tour train. Sadly, Amtrak doesn't go there, though there is a stop for Suisun City/Fairfield.
Plan B might be getting the bike out and taking it to Shoreline park.
Temps in the 80s again predicted.
howeird: (Default)
Had a good night's sleep, Spook slept elsewhere. Stayed in bed till 9 because I could, though morning Hgl was low, about 74. Usually I feel it, not this time.

Mostly did things online all morning, tried watching the NFL draft, but the NFL channel I paid extra for was stopping every 3 minutes to play 15 minutes of commercials, during which a line on the bottom of the screen announced each pick. During the 3 minutes of actual show, it was a panel of middle aged white guys discussing their clothes, what they had to eat today and basically not doing their job.

Had lunch - an "everything" bagel, soft sheep milk cheese as cream cheese, HB egg sliced, some lox. Yum! 

At about 1:30  drove to Boardwalk as planned, had a chocolate shake and an order of fries.  The shake was a FAIL, looked the same as a Carl's Jr. shake, half the size it should have been, topped with whipped cream, solid soft serve too thick to drink. The fries were good. Served with a tiny tub of chipotle something which I set aside. Ketchup in the bottle had been diluted. They had the NFL channel on, probably from cable, higher quality than SlingTV gave me.

The obligatory rape-screaming baby was there. Precocious, because the local cops don't teach that scream until the kid is in grade school.

This incarnation of The Boardwalk is much smaller, cleaner and organized than the old one.

Home, spent some time looking up names & numbers for the karaoke songs I wanted to sing. Took a nap in the recliner.

Just before 6 I headed for the church in Campbell where the meetup was, there's no quick way to get there from here, I arrived about 6:30.

Paid $10 for entry + 6 extra tickets. A ticket buys a song or a drink or snack.

Many good singers, some interesting/obscure song choices. The DJ was on top of things, it moved right along. The lack of booze, background noise and people hanging out by the doors smoking was a huge plus.

I did three songs - two on my own tickets and one "challenge". Anthem was my first number and I knocked it out of the park, though I had to drop the Big Ending an octave to do so. Second was With One Look which I screwed up a little when the machine chose a different tempo for the bridge than I'm used to, but I managed to save it in the end. The challenge was Some Enchanted Evening, which I started straight but snuck in a bit of French accent later. Nailed it too. At about 9:30 when I hadn't been called up for my 3rd ticket song, and the three singers coming up were all painful to listen to, I hugged the DJ goodbye and went home.

My project for next month is to practice Aladdin's Proud of Your Boy until I don't break down crying anymore.



I was a difficult boy for my mother to raise. One of the Stupid Things™ Mom's hospice care psychologist did was have her write letters to us kids, and maybe Dad too, which were given to us by said psycho while we were sitting shiva for Mom. I set it aside, almost threw it away. When I finally read it a couple of weeks later, it basically said what this song says. When I hear the song it reminds me, and when I try to sing it, I can't. Yet.

I know with practice and time I'll be able to do it justice. I managed to do that with Errol Flynn, a song which had a similar impact on me, for similar reasons, though my Dad was neither an actor, liar or drunkard.



Dinner was a late mac-and-3-cheese with turkey dog slices and fresh frozen oregano. My chef's knife is very sharp, a little slip as I pulled it out of the block caught the junction of my index finger and palm. Blue ice, peroxide and a bandaid made it stop bleeding.

Plans for tomorrow:
Try to get up & out in time to make the 90-minute drive to Suisun City's Western Railway Museum for the last day of the wildflower tour train. Sadly, Amtrak doesn't go there, though there is a stop for Suisun City/Fairfield.
Plan B might be getting the bike out and taking it to Shoreline park.
Temps in the 80s again predicted.
howeird: (Default)
Except for waking up an hour after I got to sleep and thinking it was almost a full night, I slept well. When I woke up at 6-ish Spook was in the BnB with her front leg stretched toward me. It was not a hint.

I was up and ready to go at 8, but my innards were not. I have learned to trust my gut, so to speak. When I get into the car, if there is any hint of tummy foo, I go back inside and deal with it. This morning it needed two trips & extra immodium and lactase.

Punched the destination into the car's GPS, it knew where the Western Railway Museum was and how to get there. As advertised, it took an hour and a half.

Easy enough to find, but the last stretch of Hwy 12, about 10 miles of it, is all torn up - ruts of crumbled asphalt where the tires want to go and concrete barriers to keep traffic off the shoulders and center line. Nasty. And making things worse is most people are driving 70 on this 55 mph - in the best of times - road.

The museum building is modern, clean, has a series of exhibits about electricity and the 1900's era RR system, which was very impressive. Train ferries made Sacto to SF train rides possible and pretty fast.

$9 admission for old farts, $10 for younger farts. A ticket to the "wildflower excursion" train is included. I got there at about 11:30, the next train was at 12:30. I hit the loo, then bought a Payday bar and a box of apple juice at the cafe. Took a walk through the barn where the collection of trolleys is kept. They are all in storage, only one or two allows people to board. Most are in seriously dilapidated condition.

Volunteers have done an incredible job of restoring an electric engine/car and three more vintage passenger cars for the excursion rides.



It was a short trip, similar to the Niles Canyon ride but without the rugged terrain. Very pastoral, rolling hillsides dotted with 3-wing wind catchers.


Except for the parlor car ($7 extra) the windows are all barred, and they don't open high enough to take pictures. The other bad news is there were no wildflowers except for a small field of gold-somethings at the end.



There was a conductor who gave a couple of short talks about the history of the trains and the track we were on, which would have been better if he hadn't been fighting a noisy engine starting up. There wasn't a word about the flowers. They had flyers showing about 20 varieties, but those were not visible on the ride. I saw some thistle...


Took a trip through the main building displays and gift shop, lots of t-shirts and other train attire, and a huge selection of wooden track to buy for the kiddies, who would get bored in an hour because they are kid-propelled. The model electric train exhibit was out of order. Of course.

Took the long drive home in one fell swoop, though I had considered stopping for a meal somewhere along the way.

Home, made 4 pieces of cinnamon raisin toast, uploaded the photos, then onto the bed (Spook was in the BnB) to read. Spook climbed out of the BnB and sprawled out between it and my legs. That didn't last long.

It was early yet, my body was sore from 3 hours of driving, so I looked up a new massage place. Not really new, it had been in the shopping center next to the UPS store for ages, but the ad showed it is under new management. Went for the 4-hands special, and that turned out pretty nice. They were speaking something which sounded like, but wasn't, Korean to each other, tried to tell me it was Cantonese and they were from Northern China. No dear, Cantonese is southern and Singapore. No matter, pleasant people, good rub.

Home, dinner was #4 of the 5 Koa Mok Gai packets. Ice cream dessert. Watching a series on Netflix called Dark Matter. Excellent use of sexy, powerful, technical women. Crappy use of he-man cross between Mal and Jayne. Mostly Jayne. Sexy android rip-off of Seven Of Nine. And yes, she's the 7th crew member.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Whatever
howeird: (Default)
Except for waking up an hour after I got to sleep and thinking it was almost a full night, I slept well. When I woke up at 6-ish Spook was in the BnB with her front leg stretched toward me. It was not a hint.

I was up and ready to go at 8, but my innards were not. I have learned to trust my gut, so to speak. When I get into the car, if there is any hint of tummy foo, I go back inside and deal with it. This morning it needed two trips & extra immodium and lactase.

Punched the destination into the car's GPS, it knew where the Western Railway Museum was and how to get there. As advertised, it took an hour and a half.

Easy enough to find, but the last stretch of Hwy 12, about 10 miles of it, is all torn up - ruts of crumbled asphalt where the tires want to go and concrete barriers to keep traffic off the shoulders and center line. Nasty. And making things worse is most people are driving 70 on this 55 mph - in the best of times - road.

The museum building is modern, clean, has a series of exhibits about electricity and the 1900's era RR system, which was very impressive. Train ferries made Sacto to SF train rides possible and pretty fast.

$9 admission for old farts, $10 for younger farts. A ticket to the "wildflower excursion" train is included. I got there at about 11:30, the next train was at 12:30. I hit the loo, then bought a Payday bar and a box of apple juice at the cafe. Took a walk through the barn where the collection of trolleys is kept. They are all in storage, only one or two allows people to board. Most are in seriously dilapidated condition.

Volunteers have done an incredible job of restoring an electric engine/car and three more vintage passenger cars for the excursion rides.



It was a short trip, similar to the Niles Canyon ride but without the rugged terrain. Very pastoral, rolling hillsides dotted with 3-wing wind catchers.


Except for the parlor car ($7 extra) the windows are all barred, and they don't open high enough to take pictures. The other bad news is there were no wildflowers except for a small field of gold-somethings at the end.



There was a conductor who gave a couple of short talks about the history of the trains and the track we were on, which would have been better if he hadn't been fighting a noisy engine starting up. There wasn't a word about the flowers. They had flyers showing about 20 varieties, but those were not visible on the ride. I saw some thistle...


Took a trip through the main building displays and gift shop, lots of t-shirts and other train attire, and a huge selection of wooden track to buy for the kiddies, who would get bored in an hour because they are kid-propelled. The model electric train exhibit was out of order. Of course.

Took the long drive home in one fell swoop, though I had considered stopping for a meal somewhere along the way.

Home, made 4 pieces of cinnamon raisin toast, uploaded the photos, then onto the bed (Spook was in the BnB) to read. Spook climbed out of the BnB and sprawled out between it and my legs. That didn't last long.

It was early yet, my body was sore from 3 hours of driving, so I looked up a new massage place. Not really new, it had been in the shopping center next to the UPS store for ages, but the ad showed it is under new management. Went for the 4-hands special, and that turned out pretty nice. They were speaking something which sounded like, but wasn't, Korean to each other, tried to tell me it was Cantonese and they were from Northern China. No dear, Cantonese is southern and Singapore. No matter, pleasant people, good rub.

Home, dinner was 4 of 5 Koa Mok Gai packets. Ice cream dessert. Watching a series on Netflix called Dark Matter. Excellent use of sexy, powerful, technical women. Crappy use of he-man cross between Mal and Jayne. Mostly Jayne. Sexy android rip-off of Seven Of Nine. And yes, she's the 7th crew member.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Whatever

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