Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The weather sucks

It is nearly the end of March, and we've had point zero something of rain. That's for the whole month. Some of that was yesterday, making this the second driest March on record, instead of the driest, which it looked like it was going to be. It's just sort of cold and damp all week, and not much actual rain. Looking online, I thought that it was going to rain from eleven in the morning til hours after dark, but that isn't what happened at all. It just rained a tiny bit, a sprinkle here and there, and then after not much it would stop and then maybe sprinkle again later. So you would go inside and then come outside and see that things had gotten just a bit wet, but not enough to water the plants or anything like that. I suppose that there's a chance of a tiny bit more rain today, it isn't as likely as it was yesterday, so we probably won't get much, if we get any at all. The good news is that without rain to interrupt me, I got a new asparagus bed dug. The bad news is that I think it was too late for those particular plants, that the roots might have been to dry, or the weather too hot, or whatever. So I might have wasted ten bucks on the plants, in which case I'll have a bed already dug for trying again next year. I'm about to give up on waiting for rain and just give all the plants a really good soak with the hose. I haven't even taken the foam thing off of the faucet. I don't expect a frost in April, but you never can tell. And I'm thinking that's one of Murphy's laws or something, that after you get everything in the ground there will be a late freeze. Anyway, whenever I take the foam thing off we get some near record late freeze, so I tend to leave it on for a very long time. So it's going to be cold and yucky for another day or two. I've had enough of it. Cold and yucky when it comes with beneficial rain is one thing, but this is just a waste. But I suppose in a couple of days it will be dry enough to dig again. Might as well get started on where the fruit trees will go next year.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The end of the world as we know it

I thought that with all the accidental traffic to my blog, I should write something important (like the 300th post message to home-wrecking sluts wasn't important enough). So, I've decided to say a bit about a book I recently read about surviving disasters.

Sadly, though I just read the book a month ago, I've already forgotten the name of it.

But, that doesn't matter much, and maybe I'll remember it and add it in later. It was a very general overlook, and if you are worried about a particular kind of disaster, you should get another book (or many books) specifically for that. Cause if you have a plan for surviving a world of mostly blind people that has been overtaken by man-eating triffids, that probably won't be as helpful in surviving nuclear bombs or anything else involving radiation. More than half of this book was about storing emergency food in case something happens, probably something that involves the electricity being cut off.

There was a lot of stuff, even for a very general book. The author made a couple of points that I thought I'd mention. One of them was about having a portable kit with stuff to survive for three days. Most of the book talked about nutrition and calories and make sure you have enough of this and enough of that, etc.... But, for the three day emergency pack, most of that goes out the window (except for obvious things like pack plenty of bottled water). Unless you have an allergy or diabetes or some other medical condition that requires you to eat special food every single day, don't worry about too much sugar and not enough veggies and such. Pack something that you like that you will eat for three days, stuff that needs no refrigeration, stuff that needs no preparation, and maybe stuff that requires little preparation but no electricity (and make sure that you pack whatever is needed for food preparation and maybe some paper plates and plastic sporks.)

In other words, pack peanut M&Ms.

Okay, maybe not just that. Pack energy bars and granola and raisins. Pack cans of tuna and a can opener. Pack a jar of peanut butter. Pack crackers to put the peanut butter on, and maybe some store bought cookies. (Crackers and store bought cookies will go stale, so every couple of months you'll have to eat those and buy new ones to pack.) Pack banana chips and other hydrogenated snacks that you've been told are bad for you. Pack nuts, even if they have salt on them. Maybe pack some canned pineapple (just remember that it isn't as important as important as the canned tuna, so if you haven't got room for both, stick with the tuna). And if you think you can get hot water (remember that you probably won't have electricity), maybe pack a bowl and spoon and some of that instant oatmeal with too much sugar and ramen noodles with too much fat and salt.

With the stuff that's been in the news lately, I wonder if packing for a whole week might be better. Except that I'd never be able to carry a week's supply of water on my back, so I don't guess that I'd be doing that.

The other really good point made by the author was that you probably don't want to buy someone else's prepackaged emergency food. You would probably pay too much for it and/or not like the food. It might be low quality stuff that couldn't be sold for profit at places that you would normally buy food, but after it's been repackaged for "emergency supplies" not only do people buy it, but now they pay extra for it. And the calorie count is probably lower than what you would need in an emergency, so you'd probably have spent all this money and then still not have enough food. So then there's all these tables and charts (most of which I did not read, cause I'm not going to go out tomorrow and buy all of this stuff) suggesting that you might need this much of something and that much of something else, and how to store it, and canned is probably better than dehydrated if you have the space, though you probably want to try a bit of both.

There was a whole chapter about frozen food. I'm not sure why. In most disasters we'd be preparing for, there would be no electricity, the freezer would stop working, and then you'd probably be stuck with a lot of food that would thaw out and then go bad. Have you even seen this type of disaster movie with the electricity and everything still working?

Night of the Comet. Maybe? Flip a few switches at the mall, and the lights came on, music played, and the escalators worked. Maybe a week later, the traffic lights still worked. This never made any sense to me. I'm assuming that when whatever it is comes that without the guys going to work at the power plant the electricity will soon go off, and there will be no traffic lights, no music at the mall, and no working freezers.

Okay, there might be a few working freezers. There might be some rich "green" people who have totally switched to solar and wind power, and they will have working freezers. And there will be a few people who bought gas powered generators for Y2K who will have working freezers and other things until they run out of gas. But for most of us, our freezers probably aren't going to work. Little is said about this in the book, just if you have a bunch of frozen stuff and the power goes off, you'd better have a plan to store the food some other way, like drying and canning. I'm not sure how to can a frozen steak, so I'm probably better off just buying Spam and canned tuna to begin with.

Anyway, you're supposed to store enough food for about two years, and then not everything you want to store will last for two years, so you'll have to store a lot of different things. And then before the two years are up and you're out of food, you'll have to do stuff like learn to plant corn. And so you'll also have to store three years worth of garden seed, cause you're first attempt at gardening might not be what you hoped for, and the second year there might be a drought and/or a late frost, and so forth. You'll always need to store several years worth of extra seed, just in case of one year's crop failure.

I read this book and thought it was all a good idea, though even with all of that it would only work for certain disasters. A few months ago, I read One Second After, about trying to survive following an EM pulse, and I think that it would really help for that (and maybe the world taken over by triffids), but I don't think it would help much in a nuclear attack (unless I knew ahead of time where the attack would be and moved all of my supplies someplace safe). I think that I'm too far inland to worry about tsunamis, but if I were hit by one I guess that my supplies would get all wet and ruined, or at least scattered and/or buried under debris. Also, if terrorists poison the air, I'm not sure what I'd be able to do about that, unless again I knew ahead of time and were able to leave the area being attacked, or maybe do some short-term thing involving gas masks and/or oxygen tanks. And if there's an outbreak of smallpox, I'm unlikely to be in the minority who survive.

Two years supply of food and three years supply of garden seed won't help me survive either poison or plague. In the unlikely event that I survive either of these things while the majority of other people die, I won't need to worry about my own emergency supplies, cause I'll just take stuff that used to belong to the dead people. So again I'm back to thinking that this plan is mainly good for surviving after an EM pulse (or maybe survive hiding in the basement from people infected with Rage, except that I don't have a basement to hide in anyway).

So after reading this book, I'm thinking that I need that three day emergency supply pack for short-term emergencies, and that if I want to prepare for a long-term emergency, I'd better decide which emergency to prepare for, probably the EM pulse.

Only just before I started writing this, I made an attempt to find the name of the book I just read last month, and I came across a website that reminded me of the other emergency I should be planning for.

The Tribulation is coming.

Not that I'd really forgotten about it, just that I wasn't specifically thinking too much about it when I was reading through this book decided what might be useful. So that might be similar to the plan for surviving the EM pulse, except that I'd need seven years of supplies in someplace so remote that I'd never see any other people. So I guess if I win the lottery I'll be buying a bunch of "green" stuff and moving to an underground bunker in someplace like Montana.

I think I'll buy a Spam cookbook.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What is an All-Con?

Following recent posts, a reader has asked, "What is an All-Con?" Reader must have sci-fi conventions explained to her, as she has recently moved to the land of the Big Chicken, just down the street from Atlanta. Atlanta, of course, will be home to Dragon Con in September, and she'll need to know stuff in order to decide whether to attend it or get the frak away from it. (And in case you didn't know, frak means f**k, in some other language, long ago in a galaxy far away where machines have taken over and decided to wipe out the human race.)

Okay, first off there are professional cons and fan run cons. "Professional" doesn't mean better, it means that it is someone's job and they expect to make money from it and keep doing it on a regular basis. Some fan run cons are very good. If there were not some very good fan run cons out there, it would never have occurred to anyone to start companies to have professional cons. See?

Okay, the professional cons I am most familiar with are Creation Con and Vulkon. On the one had, most of the cons I have been to were Creation Con. On the other hand, most Creation Con events I have been to were a bit on the boring side. I know that sometimes in other parts of the country, Creation Con has really big events and that they sometimes work with fans to do something different, but for the most part they don't do that here. At a Creation Con you have a star (or maybe stars plural), an actor from Star Trek or Stargate or whatever you are a fan of, and you go to hear that actor talk and maybe pay extra to get his or her autograph. You hear the actor speak in the main auditorium, and while you wait for that there are other things going on in the main auditorium, but if you aren't interested in that your only other option is to visit the dealer's room and maybe buy some t-shirts. There is nothing else going on, just programming in the main auditorium and shopping in the dealer's room. Sometimes the dealer's room is just the back of the main auditorium, so it's all just the one room. And, if all you want to do is hear the actor speak and maybe buy autographs and t-shirts, then you're fine with that, and Creation Con is just what you want.

Vulkon was a lot like that, except that they had two other rooms for fans to do stuff. So if you weren't interested in whatever was going on in the main room, you could go to another room and play a game, hear Klingon poetry readings, or watch a makeup demonstration. And of course, there was the dealer's room.

More recently I have been to another professionally run con. I don't remember the name of it, and I guess I've been ignoring it for years thinking that they only did Star Wars and comics. It was somewhat in between Creation Con and Vulkon. There's the main auditorium and an autograph room and a photo op room and a dealer's room. There was no fan run room when I went, but there were at least fan tables set up to promote local clubs. Creation Con and Vulkon usually have a costume contest (though it is usually short), but I don't remember this other group having one, though last time there were plenty of people running around in costume.

Fan run cons are usually different. There's always something going on in five or six different rooms, and you have to get out the schedule and figure out what is most interesting to you. You might even go to the con for some reason other than to see the actors. There are movie screenings, writing workshops, makeup demonstrations, model-making demonstrations, costume workshops, singing, and sometimes even children's programming. And there's usually a big costume contest, followed by a dance, and lots of parties. At the end there might be something called the Dead Dog, which I have never been to, as it sounds like a lot of people getting really falling down frakking drunk (but I can't say for sure, cause I have been, see?).

Some of the conventions are mainly for fans of a particular thing, like Star Trek or Star Wars or Babylon 5 or some animated shows from Japan. Or, some cons try to have a little bit for everyone. Some of the cons have gotten very big, and have just everything for everybody, like Comic Con in San Diego.

Dragon Con is sort of like Comic Con's little brother. Only it's getting bigger. Really Big. It's taken over four hotels and the underground. And there's a parade. A big parade, with costumes from just about anything you can think of.

Dragon Con is too big for me. My friends say that it's great and I have to go, but I don't think that I ever will. I don't really like crowds. And I can watch the parade on YouTube.

Okay, so what is an All-Con. All-Con is a fan run convention. It is not a big convention. It is more my speed. I liked All-Con the one time that I went, though not everything there is for me. Like, I did not watch the performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (I'm still thinking that there might be a prize for the oldest virgin). But, there are five or six rooms, movie screenings, workshops, parties, a costume contest, a dance, etc....

After a while, all the cool con names are taken. You have to call it something. Since this was one of those cons that tries to have a little bit of something for everything...All-Con.

This year's main guests at All-Con are Richard Hatch (of Battlestar Galactica, not the naked guy from Survivor) and Anne Lockhart (of the real Battlestar Galactica, not the recent re-imagining). But if that doesn't interest you there will also be Stormtroopers, Browncoats, people fighting ripe produce with swords, etc...

Okay, I hope that explains. If you like, I'll try to find some YouTube links for you.

I'm not going tomorrow. I don't know if my friend is going either, she might still be too upset about the whole ticket situation. I already have Anne's autograph. I would like Richard's, but the ticket price, plus another thirty or so for the autograph, plus standing in line, plus I can't tell from the schedule even when I would be standing in line. Now there's a $15 Sunday only ticket, but on Sunday there's no costume contest, no Battlestar blooper reel, and I'm not sure when or if Richard and Anne are going to speak. At this point I'm going with my original decision. No $20 or less Saturday ticket, so I don't need to go.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Update on the All-Con Situation

Okay, after months of asking about one-day tickets and being ignored, and then being told that there will be no one-day tickets, and then even some people were told that they were being a problem for only coming to All-Con on the one day and having the bizarre thought that they should only pay for the one day that they attend the convention, All-Con will now be selling Sunday only tickets for $15.

You still can't buy a one-day ticket for Friday or Saturday, when the stuff that most of us want to see is going on.

What the frak???

So I don't know if at the last minute they've figured out that they screwed up and just can't do anything about it because they didn't have any one-day tickets made up and so the only thing that they can do is sell left over badges on Sunday, or if they don't think that they screwed up but they might as well try to make a few extra bucks on Sunday.

The person who told me about the Sunday tickets is really, frakking mad.

Still not going. If somehow there had been a Saturday only ticket, I'd have gone. If somehow there had been a Friday only ticket, maybe. Okay, Friday is tomorrow, and I have stuff to do, and this is short notice, so probably not. But at least there's stuff that I want to do on Friday, so I would have had to seriously think about it, even if I ended up decided against it.

Anyway, if you're out there and you're not totally mad like my friend, and Sunday is the day that you really wanted to go anyway, now you can go for $15. Just thought I'd pass that on.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Don't go to All-Con this weekend

Unless, you have already bought the $40+ ticket, or you were planning to buy the three-day ticket, or you don't mind paying the $40+ for just one or two days. Apparently, this year you can't buy a one-day ticket.

Attempts to find out about one-day ticket prices were at first ignored. Some people persisted, and were finally told that there would be no one-day tickets, and that if you just wanted to come for the one day you would still have to pay $40+ for the whole weekend.

The last people to inquire about one-day tickets reminded All-Con that some of the people wanting one-day tickets could only get one day off from work or other responsibilities, and if one-day tickets were not offered people would stay home rather than purchase $40+ tickets, an amount unfair and charging for events that they mostly would not be attending.

These people were told that "the higher demand put upon us by the people who support us the least (one day)that was the basis for the decision to do away with the discounted tickets."

I'm not sure how to interpret that.

For one thing, I've never thought of the one-day ticket as a discount. You go for one day, you pay for one day, and that's fair enough. That isn't a discount. You go for three days, and if you pay for a weekend pass ahead of time, the three-day pass is usually less than the prices of the individual three days added together. So buying the three-day pass is the discount. Like, maybe a Friday ticket is $10, a Saturday ticket is $20, and a Sunday ticket is $20, but a weekend pass is $40, making either Friday free after paying for Saturday and Sunday, or Sunday half-price after paying for Friday and Saturday.

I'm not sure about this "higher demand" part either. If it's just that they sell more one-day tickets, maybe they should be nicer to people buying one-day tickets instead of acting like they are some sort of burden. If a bunch of people were buying $20 tickets, and you do away with the $20 tickets, that's a lot of twenty dollar bills that will be spent somewhere else. And I can't quite picture what extra work the one-day customer is causing for the convention, unless maybe the customer actually had a good time and decided to come back the next day and pay for another ticket, and the cashier had to do the same job twice for that customer instead of just once for the customer buying a three-day pass.

If read another way, it just sounds like the one-day customer is just somehow more trouble to have at the convention. Like, people who just come for one day to get an autograph and buy a couple of things somehow make trouble for the convention and require more security than the people who stay out partying and such for three days.

Anyway, not much of it makes any sense. Several of us have just decided not to go. A few people are going cause they already bought tickets, but probably wouldn't have bought tickets if they had realized their friends were going to be treated like this. And then of course they will not get good word of mouth advertising, cause people this year either won't go or will go and get really mad cause either they were overcharged or they didn't get to meet with friends who had planned to buy one-day tickets. Bad experience this year means less people next year.

It's sad. I only went the one year, for the one day. I thought it was a good convention, and I missed some things that I would have liked on Friday, and I wished that I'd bought the three day ticket instead. I was planning to go the next year, but life happened, and I didn't go the next year, and so forth. I could have gone this year, probably just Saturday, but I currently have a limit of about $20 for such things, and so I am not going, and my $20 will be spent at another convention later that doesn't sound as interesting.

If All-Con hadn't made this stupid decision, they might have sold some one-day tickets to people who liked the convention enough to make plans to come back. But people who make stupid decisions are usually quite attached to them and usually keep them. So I don't expect that our complaints will do any good.

Next year, when the club is voting to move things around to accommodate All-Con, I'll vote that we not move anything, and that we might not want to bother with it at all.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Stressed out

A while back I went to Planned Parenthood to do the usual embarrassing stuff I have to do once a year. I don't like it, but this year I tried to get it over with as soon as possible. Usually, I pay about a hundred dollars, and I get a pelvic exam, some lab work done to look for cancer and such, a prescription for birth control pills, and a packet of pills, and then maybe make another appointment for a mammogram. Then I go home with my pills and hope that the phone call telling me I have cancer doesn't come.

I have to go back every month or so to pick up more pills. I shouldn't have to go every month, but that is the way it has been for a while, as I do not seem to have enough money in my pocket to pay for more than one packet at a time. It's not so bad. While I'm in the general area I watch a movie and do some shopping or go to the library.

Anyway, this year I got the exam, but I was told that no lab work would be done, cause there was nothing wrong with me last year so there was probably nothing wrong with me this year either. That doesn't seem very scientific. There could be something going on this year that didn't happen last year, or the year before, or didn't get caught the year before, or whatever. Safe last year does not mean safe this year or next year.

I didn't argue. I came to get pills. Trying to talk sense to medical people leads to arguments, and an argument would lead to high blood pressure, and high blood pressure would mean having to wait for my pills, or maybe getting no pills at all.

I'm not sure what the pelvic exam was for, if not to collect samples to send to the lab. It seems like a pointless exercise, sometimes an embarrassing and painful exercise. It would be like going to get a blood sample taken, and going through having a needle stuck in your arm only not having a tube to collect the blood. But medical people seem very fond of giving pelvic exams, any time anything might be wrong with a woman. I don't know what they are looking for. My appendix is not in there. My tonsils are not in there. If I have food poisoning, it is not in there.

So far the dentist has not suggested a pelvic exam. I'm pretty sure we all know that my teeth are not in there.

So, I had the pointless exam, no samples taken for the lab, and did not ask for any blood to be drawn or a pregnancy test or anything else that might be done there. I did get a warning that my blood pressure needed to be good or I wouldn't get anymore pills. My blood pressure was a little high that day. People who work at this place don't seem to grasp that it has something to do with being there for an exam, and that blood pressure goes up if the patient is upset, and telling her that she might not get her pills might upset her. And this has come up before, and I have told them that this is the wrong thing to do, and that if they leave me alone it will go back down. I have something called "white coat syndrome" and I've had it for at least five years and I've told everyone about it. Still, they hover around and make it worse.

For some reason, the bill for the exam was almost a hundred dollars. I can't see why. It is usually just about that, with the lab work and a packet of pills. This was the same amount of money for no lab work and no pills. I didn't have another thirty dollars, so I left without my pills.

A bit later my husband and I went to run some errands before going out of town. We went to the library and some other places, and then my husband turned the car to go home, forgetting the most important thing. I still needed my pills. I didn't have thirty dollars, so he would have to go to the bank. He didn't want to do that, and he talked me into waiting til after the trip. We were only going to be gone a week, so that shouldn't be a problem, just that it worried me a bit.

Anyway, we stayed longer than that one week, and I worried that we wouldn't get back in time to get my pills. That, and the long drives, and the caffeine and some other things probably weren't good for my health. So when I went to get my pills I felt a bit nervous. I didn't feel bad physically, I just worried that the blood pressure would be a little high and that I would be stuck there a bit while I waited for it to go done. And then when I got there the woman who went to get my pills was gone a long time, and I worried about the delay.

By the time someone took my blood pressure it was 170 over something. They would not give me my pills. That upset me. So they took it again. I was so upset that it jumped to 190 over something. They still wouldn't give me my pills. Now they want me to go to the emergency room.

I have not spent a lot of time in emergency rooms, but I know that they don't do anything good for my blood pressure.

I can't believe that the nurse didn't just come out and apologize and give me my pills. If someone really thought that I was in danger, surely they would have done something to calm me down instead of suggesting I drive someplace.

That really made me feel bad. I told them I wasn't going to the hospital, that I was going to the movies instead. I had to do something to feel better, and I usually go to the movies anyway. Playing with a dog would have been better, or maybe a cat, but neither was available. I didn't feel much better after the first movie, but some was better than nothing, so I stayed for a second movie. I can't say that I felt good even then, just not as bad. So I thought that I would go somewhere else to see what my blood pressure was without the hovering people refusing to give me my pills.

Only the first place didn't have the machine, and the second place didn't have the machine, and the third place had the machine but when I tried it something seemed to be wrong with it. I tried it three more times and finally got it to work. By that time I felt even worse than before, and it was 185 over something. It was then too late to get pills anyway, so I gave up and went home. I'd probably feel better after some rest.

Looking online I found out that I'm not supposed to be using benedryl with the high blood pressure. So, I got some sleep, just not as much as I'd like. Still I felt so much better.

Until Planned Parenthood called, and apparently not to apologize and tell me my pills were ready. They just aren't going to part with those pills, even though that is why I'm getting the really bad high blood pressure. So I guess they just called to make themselves feel better, making me sick in the process.

After I calmed down some my blood pressure was measured at 163 over something. On a normal day, when there are not hovering people and idiots telling me that I can't have my pills, my blood pressure is 120 over 80. When I was on blood pressure medication a few years ago, it was 150 over something. I quit taking the stuff I gradually felt better, and a year later it was back to 120 over 80. So this is not something that I imagined. It is my body and I know what I'm talking about.

Funny that when you go to Planned Parenthood they totally buy that whole "it's my body" thing if you want to kill a baby, but if I want pills when I have high blood pressure it somehow isn't my choice to make.

Anyway, since my choice was taken away from me this month, I'm probably going to stay upset for a very long time, possibly get sick, etc.... And of course I don't have any birth control pills, so that's going to cause me a lot of other problems. People don't seem to understand that birth control pills are a medication that I need just like other people might need antibiotics or pain meds or anything else. People just think that you stop taking birth control pills and start using some other birth control method and that it's no big deal. It is a big deal. It's mood swings and physical pain and other problems, and for me it is also sometimes staying in the house and being afraid and depressed.

I'm going to have to get a new doctor. I'm going to have to go through this whole messy business with someone else, and I'm going to have to start from the beginning and say a lot of stuff that I don't like talking about, which probably will not help with the blood pressure. And I will have to pay for all this, after having already paid for Planned Parenthood to do this stuff, only I guess they think I just paid them a hundred dollars cause I wanted someone to look at my a**.

And then of course, there's no way of knowing if I will get a new doctor with half a brain, so I still might not get the pills, which means I will have to go through it all again.

Seems to me that I know a few bloggers who are in Mexico now. Maybe they could just buy some birth control pills for me.

Note to self

Today was Pie Day. Get it? 3.14. Today was also the first day of asparagus. And I found some purple asparagus at Walmart, so I'm going to try to plant that, even though it is probably too late in the season to start doing that. My first attempt at grafting was a fail, but I think that I will try again next year, with something smaller.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Home now

Well, we almost went to El Paso for a few days. The trip that was only supposed to be for one week was extended for a few days because another photographer was called for jury duty. We thought that was going to be on Tuesday, and that someone would tell us Tuesday either that we could go home or that we would be heading to El Paso. Only the photographer wasn't called on Tuesday, she was called on Wednesday. What she was saying was that she needed someone to cover for her on Tuesday because she couldn't work in north New Mexico (almost Colorado) Tuesday afternoon and evening if she had to be in a courthouse in Albuquerque on Wednesday morning. And then she might still get on a jury, but isn't less likely that you'll get picked for a jury on Wednesday than on Monday or Tuesday. So, pretty early on Wednesday she was told that they didn't need her. Not early enough that we could be told at eight in the morning when we called, so we headed to Albuquerque and called again when we stopped for lunch. We absolutely had to know then, as from Albuquerque we would either head south to El Paso or west to go home.

I suppose if it still wasn't decided, we could have maybe headed south to Socorro, called from there a couple hours later, and then either kept going to El Paso, or traveled home with a detour through Roswell. And Roswell can be fun when you are in the mood, but really we weren't, and by the time we got there we wouldn't have had time to do anything anyway. Really we just wanted to go home, though if they had told us early enough El Paso would have been okay for a few days.

Anyway, before noon we were told the jury duty was over, and we could go home. We were about ten miles away from Albuquerque, and according to Mapquest the drive home from Albuquerque is ten hours. But we know that Mapquest rarely tells us how long the trip really is. The drive is usually a bit longer than that, and then you have to stop to eat and to get gas and sometimes just stop to get out of the damned car for a bit. The trip from home to Albuquerque was well planned and we got an early start, but the trip took twelve and a half hours. The same twelve and a half hours, from when and where we started Wednesday, would have ended near Wichita Falls at about 10 pm. But my husband was already tired, so we only got as far as Amarillo. As originally scheduled, we would have had to drive at least to Wichita Falls, as my husband had been scheduled to work in Dallas Thursday. But the boss agreed to change it a bit so that he didn't have to work til Friday. He'd just done too much driving.

We'd stayed at the Fifth Season, or something like that. That's one of those older hotels that isn't the new cool place to be and isn't anywhere old enough to have historic interest. Someone is trying to fix up the lobby and the pool and the rooms near the front of the place. The rooms in the back are not too good, do not have microfridge or ironing boards or any of that stuff. My husband stayed there before, at my suggestion, cause I found a coupon and it had nice pictures and came with sausage and eggs for breakfast. He didn't like it, the air conditioner didn't work very well, and he couldn't get an Internet connection. It did have a hot tub, and it did have a nice pool, but he really isn't into pools that much and doesn't use the hot tub that much either when I'm not there. So he didn't like being stuck there for a week.

But on the way home I found the coupon again, and he didn't think that staying there just the one night would be a bad idea, especially since it wasn't warm enough to need the air conditioner and for just the one night we could live without the Internet and the microfridge and ironing board, etc....

I thought that it was okay. I really liked the pool area. The breakfast was nice, but I'd get tired of having the same thing all week. It isn't the usual stuff with sausage and eggs included, it is pretty much just the sausage and eggs, and toast, and oatmeal. No other cereal, no waffles, no bagels, no donuts, no muffins, no fruit. So I'm glad I got to stay there, but I probably won't stay there again (unless again it is just the one night when we don't need the air conditioner), unless maybe the amount we are allowed to spend on motels increases a bit and we can stay in one of the front rooms.

The next day we packed everything up, or I thought we did. I guess that I left my pillow. On the first day we lost one of my swimsuits, and sometime after that we lost one of his. And now my pillow is missing. Probably other things will turn up missing, but so far nothing really important.

I thought we would stop in Wichita Falls for lunch, but we didn't get that far. We stopped in Vernon, and I guess he was really hungry, cause he stopped at the first thing he saw, a McDonald's. Really, Vernon is a small town, but it isn't that small. It does have restaurants. Half an hour later, after we had eaten, we pasted what he really wanted, a catfish restaurant. Oh, well.

We saw a lot of stuff this trip, and I will have to blog about it all later. Just for now I thought I'd mention that we were home.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Summer season begins next week

It doesn't seem to matter what we are doing or when we are there, but we just always seem to be there at not quite the right time. One place we visited last week had half of the place closed off for the winter season, which ended on March 6th. Yesterday we visited a Navajo Museum that had a small free zoo, except that the zoo was closed March 7-14 to get ready for the summer season. A lot of restaurants seemed to be closed on Sunday, while other things seemed to be closed on Monday. Sunday and Monday are usually his days off, so that's annoying.

And then there were a few things that we might have done yesterday, except that it rained a lot, and even after driving only three hours or so we were tired.
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But we did visit Window Rock. If you're a Trekkie, imagine the Guardian of Forever's bigger less talkative brother. I've wanted to see it twice before, but just didn't have the time to make a detour of an hour or so, much less time to get out and take pictures and such. But we spent the night in Gallup, and we had all day to get to the next place about two hundred miles away, so we had some time.

While looking at Window Rock, a cow wandered past, and I wondered if we shouldn't tell someone about it. Only it turns out that cows just have the run of the place, that the fence only discourages them from being in the parking lot and doesn't actually keep them in any particular place. We later saw several more cows in odd places, and then four horses. They didn't attract any more attention than the stray dogs.

I've seen a lot during this trip. Strange that I almost didn't go.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

It's been a nice trip, but...

I should be going home tomorrow. I'm not. My husband has to at least work in New Mexico again on Tuesday. And then, we will either have a long trip home Wednesday (and probably some of Thursday), or, he will be working a few more days in a part of Texas that we rarely go to. We won't know which until Tuesday night, and I'm not really sure which I would prefer.

I am getting tired of the long drives. If we go home on Wednesday, that would be the longest drive yet, and the least interesting.

The drive home next weekend would be slightly shorter, we would probably have two days to do it, and a detour would allow us to do something silly we've never done before. Also, we could think about going to another place we've never been before.

But, driving next weekend would mean that I'd be getting home a couple of days later than I should. This could cause me some problems later. And four days already in motel rooms without knitting have been a bit boring, so I can imagine how I'm going to feel after four more.

We've totally thrown out the diets. I'm sure that the little bit of weight loss that I've had will have disappeared by the time I get back home. I think that we've had Mexican food five or six times already, usually with Cokes, chips and salsa, and sopapillas.

Saturdays are usually the worst for me, with little to do other than watching whatever odd thing is on SyFy, usually movies they made with plots that make little sense. My husband gets home earlier on Saturdays, but usually he doesn't feel up to doing much if anything.

Tomorrow we will spend most of the day being tourists. Since we've already taken the direct route to where we are going Monday (and will be taking it again on Wednesday) we will take a detour and do whatever looks interesting between here and probably Gallup, and then drive the rest of the way the day after. So that will be probably be a rather dull day, with little or nothing to do after lunch, but it is probably a good idea to take it easy since either way will mean a lot of driving on Wednesday.

And there will probably be more Mexican food.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

...and technically Utah

Saturday, I was supposed to move things around in the living room and scrub the floor and get everything ready so that the thing could be moved out of the back room and the living room floor could be painted. As it turned out, I wasn't going to get everything done that I wanted, so I decided to not do much of anything. It would have been nice to have it all done and have the final bit of paint drying while we were both out of the house, but I was nowhere near that. If I had known sooner that I was going out of town, maybe I would have done some of the other stuff faster, but I didn't. It can wait.

So, other than wash dishes and try to get things packed, I went to run an errand, and then I didn't do much of anything. I thought about what knitting project I could take with me, and then I decided that I wouldn't take any knitting. I was going to spend one day in a motel in Colorado, and then three more in New Mexico, but then we were told that one of the days in New Mexico was probably going to be cancelled. So that was only going to be three days in motel rooms, and it didn't seem worth the effort of going to get yarn and such.

Anyway, the almost cancelled day in New Mexico got uncancelled, and the schedule might change even more after that, leaving me alone in motel rooms for even more days without much to do, so I'm really wishing that I had packed some yarn, or at least a loom or something so that I might go buy some yarn later.

Anyway, tomorrow I was planning to spend the whole day in Durango. Now it looks like we're maybe planning to have lunch in Durango before we have to be somewhere else.

Sunday was a very long drive to Albuquerque, but we left at 6 in the morning as planned and it really didn't seem all that bad.

The next morning we took some pictures and went to ride the Sandia Peak tram. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but that meant that we had a late start on everything else. Scenic drives and lunch and a slight detour to look at some ruins and then another slight detour to go to the Four Corners Monument.

Only we got there at 5:30, about an hour too late to do anything, and about half an hour too late to even get in. So we drove past some more really interesting views and checked into our motel, which did not have an indoor hot tub as advertised. But dinner was great. Didn't really want yet another Mexican restaurant (third already this trip), but we really didn't want to go looking for something more interesting, and this place was practically in the motel parking lot.

This morning we woke up early, and we went back to Four Corners. I didn't know that Four Corners was a flea market, or I would have brought more money. But we had enough money for fry bread, and we bought a few things, mostly a couple of necklaces from a woman who agreed to take a check.

I have eaten too much. Might be just as well that I don't have a hot tub. It probably isn't a good idea to get in the tub after eating too much.

So I've now added Colorado and technically Utah to the list of states I've been in. So that makes 42 of the lower 48.

It's been a busy few days.