Fairfield CA II

Well…ya know how they say that bad things happen in 3s? I can tellya…they do for really sure.

Ya’ll already know about the Charlie Foxtrot situation over at American River Resort which led to us staying at the most excellent Elks Lodge in Rancho Cordova…but we had two more issues since then.

First…on our drive from Rancho Cordova to Fairfield…we pulled off into a clearly marked Walmart entrance since there were no rest stops, no truck stops, and we needed a potty break. Only once we turned into it…it turned into this narrow dirt road that did not…in fact…go to the Walmart parking lot but to some sort of construction area. In the midst of backing around to get out of there…Neil elected not to make Connie get out of the car and be his mome-backer…(small aside here…a mome-backer is the guy that gets off of the back of the garbage truck down south when the driver of same is backing up to get the dumpster or empty his load or whatever…he got his name from what he says…as the truck backs up he keeps saying “mome-back, mome-back”. It’s a southern thing I reckon…and a close relative to ho-de-do…which is what you call out to the guy who’s got the door open in front of you…although with all the automatic doors these days ho-de-do is getting less and less common…but I digress.)…anyways she was having a bad day and he knew he should have made her get out and talk to him on the radio while he backed up and turned around…but his heart was in the right place and he let her stay in the car on the driver side of the rig and talk to him on the radio. Unfortunately…with her single eye vision and therefore a complete lack of depth perception…she failed to see the depression that the passenger side tires went down in to. That woulda been just fine…but then he cut the wheel sharply to the left to finish getting around as he went forward…and the skirt under the rear end of our LR slide dragged into the ditch…bending up the skirt and the T-molding on the rear of the slide. He ended up cutting the broken piece off of the molding when we got to Fairfield…and we’ve got an appointment in mid August at Camp Horizons to get it fixed.

Lesson learned…always, repeat always…get out and look (he did that…just didn’t make things clear enough to her and make her get out and watch) and make sure that Connie is back there to mome-back and stop him before Bad Things© happen.

Second…on Friday we did laundry in the AM and then went over to the commissary and package store for booze and food. On the way to the car…he was pushing the basket and walked around it to open Li’l Red’s rear hatch. In the process…the cart slowed down some and curved to the left…directly in front of Connie. With her non-functional in daylight right eye…and her head was turned to the left…she didn’t see and and walked right into the back of the cart. Neil didn’t think she hit it that hard…but she her hand got sandwiched between her belly and the cart with the back of her hand hitting directly on the corner of the handle with pretty much her full weight. 

We continued and finished loading the groceries…but by time we got to the rig she had shooting pains up her arm past her elbow and down into her fingers. She’s not normally a wus about pain…but it was getting worse and since it was 1500 by that time we decided to run over to the ER on base to get it looked at…the last thing she wanted to do was head over there at 2200 that night with a broken hand.

Some 2 hours and 3 X-rays later…luckily it was just a deep bone contusion…she had some ice on it while we waited over there and by the time we left it was feeling much better.

So…another lesson learned…wait awhile before heading to the ER unless you can’t walk or a limb is bending some direction that is clearly not normal.

Next up…a couple of corrections/updates from a previous blog. I had posted the following shots from our railroad museum tours.

We wondered what this screw thing was on this RR car.

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One of our readers actually knew what it was…thanks Bill. This is the coal tender for a locomotive and the screw thing is a transfer mechanism that moves coal from the tender into the locomotive…then depending on age and size of the locomotive either puts it in a ready use bin for the fireman to shovel into the firebox or on larger/newer models puts it directly into the firebox. The screw turns inside a pipe with only a small clearance and the threads carry the coal through the pipe.

Second…I posted this photo of what was described as a wye or an engine roundtable that only turned part way around…at least that’s what the signage said. Again…one of our readers…thanks John …knew (actually he was curious I guess and asked the folks at Trains magazine) that this is actually an Anderson Roundtable…and does indeed turn all the way around…Neil confirmed on google satellite view that it does have tracks all the way around. What you might not know…we certainly didn’t…is that the rotation of the roundtable is done by hand…in other words a bunch of strong backed railroad guys turn it by hand. It is well balanced and the locomotive gets right into the middle…so although it is a strongman job…it’s apparently not as hard as one would think. The arms sticking out at the ends…one is right in the middle of the shot…is where the strong railroad guys push it ‘round.

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OK…on to what we did so far here in Fairfield after our trip to Sacramento. 

We headed up one evening to the Putah Creek Cafe up in Winters just a bit north…had a really good pizza there cooked in this outside oven. 

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Saturday we headed off for a winery tour and a visit to the Pacific Ocean to officially celebrate the end of our westward half of US-50 even though the highway stops in West Sacramento. Wine tastings have gotten to be big business here in CA…they’re no longer free and generally run $15 per person although if you buy two bottles of wine they comp one of the tastings…and they also take about an hour and a half sitting out on the veranda instead of crowding ‘round the tasting bar like it used to be here and still is pretty much everywhere else…in CA they’ve turned the tasting room into a profit center.

Our first stop…of an intended 3 but after one and a big lunch we were too tired to do anymore…was at the La Crema Winery owned by the Jackson Family (of Kendall-Jackson fame). We sampled 2 Chardonnay’s and 3 Pinot Noir’s (one of the latter twice as our server brought the wrong one out). We spent 20 minute or so talking to a guy that turned out to be the director of employee safety…he bought us a bottle of the Chardonnay we liked and presented it to us…we would not have paid $55 for a bottle of wine. Connie picked out another Chardonnay and one Pinot Noir that we brought home…all in all two full tastings and 3 bottles for an outlay of $90 isn’t too bad…it’s CA after all and you have to pay Disneyland prices for everything.

We then headed to the Garden Cafe for lunch…ribs and pulled pork…and while CA does a lot of things well BBQ really isn’t one of them. It wasn’t bad…we ate it…but it wasn’t really great either.

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This is our waitress…with her paisley and lace pants we wanted to tell her “The 60s called and they want their pants back.”

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We continued another 12 miles west to the Pacific then drove home via the Pacific Highway and Petaluma CA.

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Sunday after Mass…we did some chores ‘round the house including sawing off the broken piece of T-molding I talked about before and sat outside under the shade tree for lunch. Neil was doing some calibration on the bird lens…and got some nice shots of this cooperative Western Scrub Jay.

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He even hopped over to the leaking hose bib in the neighboring site for a drink.

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Monday we were going to head up to Sacramento again…but it’s 55 miles from here and neither of us really feels like going…so I think we’ll just stay ‘round here and sit in the shade again…although we are going to head over to the Exchange area for a haircut and a stop at the GNC for some Lysine tablets. Dinner will be leftover chicken curry from the other night…and we’ll have to just drink at home since the Elks Lodge isn’t open today. There’s a dive bar outside the gate near where we had the sushi the other night…but it looked even too low for our standards.

Interesting things found on the net.

A grasshopper walked into a bar. The bartender says “we’ve got a drink named after you.” Grasshopper says “You have a drink named Bruce?”

I ran across an article today that talks about a study completed by the UN…the article is here. The article headline says “U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked” and here are a couple of quote from the article. “…governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control.”…and…″the question is will we be able to reverse the process in time? We say that within the next 10 years, given the present loads that the atmosphere has to bear, we have an opportunity to start the stabilizing process.″…and…many similar predictions of doom and gloom by the end of the century.

The article’s dateline…June 29, 2989…so maybe, just maybe…the disaster isn’t quite as imminent as the climate warriors claim it to be. Sure…the temperature has been warming for the past 100 years or so…but we’ve been able to accurately measure temperature only since about 1800 and all previous temperature graphs going back millions on millions of years are based on ice cores which may…or may not, it depends on whether you believe in the “settled science” that climate warriors preach…represent anything.

The fact is that the earth has had ice ages before as well as much warmer periods in history than we have now…and another fact is that climate changes. Solar flux, volcanic activity, asteroid impacts…all of those things affect the temperature of the planet. Now I’ll admit that it’s possible that people and their use of fuels might be contributing to the rise over the last 100 years…but I think the jury is still out on whether that’s the only thing in play…my guess is that people play a part but of an unknown significance. What we really need to ask ourselves is…do we want to torpedo the economy of the country to significantly lower our emissions? It’s a great idea in principle…but if renewable energy was so great the power company infrastructure would have already changed over. Wind and solar power availability are plentiful in the vast desert and farming regions in the center of the country…but there is no viable power grid to get that many megawatts of generation capacity to the coasts where the power needs are higher…we’ll need trillions of infrastructure spending to produce that. Add in the inherent inefficiency of solar and wind power compared to steam or gas turbine plants…and we need to triple or quadruple US power prices to make non carbon energy possible. Climate warriors also ignore the carbon cost of making all those solar panels, windmills, transformers, high tension towers, and copper wires that carry the power…not to mention any environmental costs of building that much infrastructure in the middle of nowhere…not to mention the cost of getting all the aforementioned pieces to where the plants and transmission lines need to be built.

I’m all for reasonable efforts to lower carbon usage…but let’s not bankrupt our country to try and stave off disaster when the two (or 3 depending on which chart you believe) countries ahead of us in carbon emissions are doing nothing to slow their emissions down and…at least according to the climate warriors…need to have a free pass and not be required to help since they are “less developed countries”.

If it is serious enough to bankrupt the US…then Brazil, China, and India…not to mention Europe…need to bankrupt themselves as well.

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About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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