kevin_standlee: (Reno)
Because we called off the originally planned trip to the Bay Area by train today (it's just as well; the train was three hours late), we instead went and did a fair bit of shopping. [livejournal.com profile] travelswithkuma and I got to hang around a bit.

Hanging Out With Kuma Bear )

By the time we finished all of the grocery shopping, we were getting hungry, so we went to the Sparks Nugget and had a very late lunch or early dinner at the Oyster Bar. The food is as good as usual there. How well the resort is doing overall is another story. They're doing a big renovation. It sort of looks like the Gilley's "cowboy" nightclub they put into the space where Trader Dick's Polynesian restaurant used to be is closed down. Whether that's permanent or not, I haven't heard. Not that I was ever going to go to Gilley's. I wouldn't ride the mechanical bull even before I hurt my back a few years ago playing "whirlyball" at a company outing in Chicago, and the music there was both too loud and not to my taste. The Nugget just hasn't been the same since the Ascuagas sold it (and then the new owners resold it not long thereafter). But we'll keep going back to the Oyster Bar as long as it's there.
kevin_standlee: (Kuma Bear)
Sunday afternoon, we decided to go ahead and make a second trip to Reno, this time with the insulated cool-bag so we could buy good cheese and other perishables. The deciding factor was that Cost Plus World Market was running a one-day sale on many thing we would normally get.

Bears Knows Whats He Wants )

We seem to be spending more time at home and, this past weekend notwithstanding, making fewer trips to Reno/Sparks of late. That may just have been an effect of the winter weather, but it also shows how much we have come to like our house.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
We've not been going to Reno as much as we once did, and consequently when we do go in to do our shopping, we typically buy more at once. We had fairly elaborate plans for a day of grocery and other shopping in Reno today. With the Astro laid up in Fremont for repairs, Lisa got the Small Orange Pickup out to stretch its legs. When we refueled it at the Pilot station on the way out of Fernley, she said, "The last time we put gas in was in February."

Knowing that she hasn't used the pickup much, I said, "2016?"

"No," she replied, "2015." Yes, this was the first time the pickup had been refueled in more than two years.

The pickup ran just fine even though it hasn't run much of late, but when we got into Reno we realized we'd forgotten the insulated bags, and thus couldn't buy any perishable groceries. Consequently, after our first two stops for non-perishables, Lisa elected to cut the expedition short and take us home. We'll make another trip later. Nothing was critically urgent.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
We were too tired to do all of our grocery shopping last night, so this afternoon we went back into Reno/Sparks to finish the weekend shopping. First we went to the Cost Plus World Market in North Sparks, where we'd not been before, hoping to track down some Fentimans Curiosity Cola. We'd been told by the people at the Reno store yesterday that they were in the process of discontinuing carrying it "because it was too popular," which doesn't make a lot of sense to us. We hoped to catch the last of the stock in North Sparks; alas, we were too late and they had already sold the last bottles. An inquiry to CPWM's web team returned a useless, non-committal answer. Now we have to hope that Whole Foods Market (also listed as a retailer of this cola on the company web site) will actually stock it, because Lisa likes it a lot.

The rest of the day was routine. The stores were busy, but not utterly jammed, which is good. We skipped eating dinner in Reno again this weekend and headed home, arriving just after full dark. After dinner, we went for a walk in the -6°C chill. No clouds tonight, and even in town, there were a lot of stars visible, but the lack of cloud cover means it's apt to get even colder tonight. Time to throw an extra log on the fire and blanket on the bed.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
Today Lisa and I went to Reno/Sparks to deal with accumulated errands and shopping, including getting the minivan's oil changed. We got an oil change just before the Kansas City trip and more than ran through it (and burned up/lost about a quart of oil in the bargain) during that trip. Then it was a round of grocery stores, RV supplies, and clothing stores as we replenished the larder and I bought a new pair of slacks and a shirt — and moved down one shirt size, just barely. I hope that lasts, and is not just temporary stress-related weight loss due to Day Jobbe.

Tomorrow morning we're up fairly early to get me into Reno to catch the California Zephyr to Emeryville and then on to Fremont to collect the RV. Next week I'm in the Bay Area, and then I get to home for two weeks. As I told Lisa while we were driving home, "I want to come home already, and I haven't even left yet!" But at least I don't have to drive there tomorrow.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
Today was the day for catching up on all of the shopping that we did not do during the holidays or when I was down in the Bay Area.

All About Town )

It is our hope that we don't need to leave Fernley again until next weekend at the earliest, especially with another series of winter storms heading our way.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
We finally got in to Reno (first time since we got home) for larger-scale shopping this afternoon, after having taken yesterday off to recover from the snap trip to California on Friday night/Saturday morning. With the minivan still out of service, I drove us in the Rolling Stone.

We bought the very last small Alberta Spruce (living mini Christmas tree) from the nursery from which we bought one last year. (We'll try again to keep the tree alive for another year.) The Atlantis buffet was much busier than most Sunday evenings, due to all of the people coming in to spend Christmas week here. As usual, having dinner before going shopping reduced our impulse purchases at Cost Plus World Market, Whole Foods, and WinCo; however, refilling the larder that we'd run down before the Texas trip was still a bunch of work.

We got home about 11 PM. As we were driving in, we saw emergency vehicles heading east on US-50A, and while we were bringing in the groceries, we could hear on the railroad radio scanner the likely reason: it sounds like someone got themselves hit on the railroad. We heard the train crew asking the dispatcher to call the emergency response people and try to guide them in to where the train was stopped. The dispatcher asked the crew whether they wanted to take their train on to Elko (that being the direction they were headed) or return to Sparks (relatively easy to do with locomotives on both ends of the train, as is common practice these days), and the crew said they would rather go back to Sparks. I feel sorry for the train crew, but not especially sorry for anyone walking on the tracks.
kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
Lisa and I went to Reno this morning. Before we left, I took a photo of the poor pathetic jack-o-lantern who is still sitting by our front door because neither Lisa nor I have taken the time to put him out of his misery.

Help! I'm melting! )

First stop was brunch at the Atlantis (which serves in this case for lunch and dinner as well, and surprisingly didn't send my blood sugar into the stratosphere). We walked over the skybridge to the convention center, where Wizard World Comic Con Reno was going on. We did not buy a ticket. We just walked to the pre-function area and back. Some nice costumes about, though. Having walked some of that big meal off, we set off for the actual grocery and gift shopping.

Doing Our Part for the Economy )

We did manage to get home and get the van unloaded before Lisa ran completely out of fuel, even though I stopped to gas up the minivan because gas at Fernley has come down to $3.05/gallon, which is forty cents/gallon cheaper than Reno/Sparks and even ten cents lower than USA Parkway.
kevin_standlee: (Lisa)
I got home around 8 PM last night, including a long stop in Sacramento to visit and talk with my sister. Lisa had already gone to bed because her sleep schedule is very disrupted.

Digging Out of a Piled-Up To-Do List )

By the time we got the minivan window replaced, Lisa's day was nearly done, so we headed back home. We have grocery shopping still to do in Reno/Sparks for Thanksgiving and to try and refill some of the canned food larder that is now somewhat depleted, so I reckon we'll have to go there again tomorrow, and we haven't actually unloaded the firewood. (I've pulled out enough wood to keep us warm tonight and tomorrow morning. The full unloading job is an hour or so of Lisa handing wood to me over the fence and me packing it into the wood box.) But the most urgent stuff is done, and we're feeling better. And I'm much happier doing these domestic chores than I was much of the past two weeks.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
After sleeping in until 9 AM (which is pretty good when you've been getting up before 5 AM most days for the past week) and spending several hours working on SFSFC business like getting the previous meeting's minutes finally up on the web site, Lisa and I went to Reno/Sparks to deal with a long list of different shopping errands. We started the day with "breakfast" (at about 3 PM) at Rosie's Cafe in the Nugget in Sparks, spent the day going all over town doing all of our shopping, and after the biggest grocery shopping stop at WinCo, finished our evening with dinner at John's Oyster Bar at the Nugget. We're now fairly well stocked again.
kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
Lisa and I went out to do specialty shopping for which she was saving up, going first to Weird Stuff Warehouse and then to Fry's Electronics. My pedometer reads more than 15,000 steps today, most of which were on hard concrete floors. At one point, Lisa sent me off to sit in the Fry's cafe with [livejournal.com profile] travelswithkuma while she continued to look for specialty electronic connectors. We didn't necessarily get everything we set out to buy, but we got other things and they will be useful as well, such as a first aid cabinet (like the one we have at my office, albeit empty) that will do well (and cost less) as a medicine cabinet for our secondary bathroom at home.

I was grateful to get back to the hotel and order pizza. Tomorrow I will head off to Day Jobbe but Lisa can sleep in a bit, leaving later in the morning and thus missing both the Bay Area and Sacramento heavy traffic.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
Lisa had a medical appointment with the tinnitus specialist (not much progress, but they're trying new therapies and there's more hope than there's been with anyone else who has tried to treat Lisa) on Monday afternoon. After that we were there when the Atlantis buffet opened. We took a walk around the hotel function space to sort of walk off the meal and also because the indoor waterfall is good for Lisa's tinnitus (she doesn't need the earplug pouring static into her ear when she is near that waterfall). Then it was on to Winco for larger-scale grocery shopping. It seemed busier than we would have expected for a Monday night, and the queues were long.

Kuma Bear Helps With Groceries )

We have to go back on Wednesday to drop the Rolling Stone to get the steering stabilizer reinstalled. I wish I'd remembered to call early last week in order to get a spot on their calendar for Monday so I could avoid multiple trips to Reno. I like my home and like staying in it.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
We did go to Reno this morning, and managed to make breakfast at the Atlantis just barely. (One minute later and we would have paid $4 more for lunch.) This was good because you get the last of breakfast and the first of lunch.

After a fairly leisurely brunch, we went to SAS and took advantage of the buy-one-get-one-half-price sale to get Lisa and I each a new pair of shoes. The place was very quiet, but the clerk said it had been madness earlier in the day. A couple more small errands included getting the stuffing mix we liked from Whole Foods (if they run true to form, you won't be able to get it outside of the holiday season), a specialty battery for the radio scanner (so it doesn't keep losing its programming when the power fluctuates as it does quite a bit here), and a small potted Christmas tree. We were able to get home before the sun went down, even with these short autumn days.

It was a pretty decent day until Lisa accidentally dropped her Panasonic CF-29 Toughbook. It wasn't turned on, but unfortunately, the Toughbook wasn't as tough as it was supposed to be and the hard drive broke. We had to start over from scratch with a new Windows installation and tracking down all of the drivers and hotfixes. Even after that, ActiveWorlds, which is very important to Lisa, won't install properly. The latest version won't give you an option where to install it, insists that it must be installed in the root of your hard drive, and even then only runs once; the second time you run it, you get a Blue Screen of Death. You can't even uninstall it; Add/Remove Programs gives an error when you try. You can install it again, and it will run one more time, but then the next time you run it you get a BSOD again. Lisa is Not Happy.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
Initially we really didn't want to leave the house at all on Friday, but Big R announced a one-day sale of 10% off everything, and we needed firewood anyway, so this afternoon we hitched up the trailer and went over to the new store. There was some initial confusion because every time I said "firewood," they heard "wood pellets," which is not what we wanted. Unfortunately, they'd sold their last three pallets of firewood that morning. Fortunately, they let us buy a pallet at the sale price today; we can collect it on Tuesday when they get their next shipment. Had it been an urgent need (it's not), we could have driven to Fallon, which is where they'll be getting their next shipment. (Fallon's store is much larger than Fernley's, and apparently is acting as a sort of sub-distribution center for it.) We then went around the new store getting familiar with it and buying some things we've been meaning to buy for a while (like more fireplace glass cleaner), so it's not like we're really being trapped by Black Friday sales, is it?

Looking at all of the things available from Big R, I continue to be happier and happier that they are here. For example, they carry many RV supplies. Indeed, if we'd known about the planned Black Friday/Grand Opening sale, we would have postponed our purchase of additional RV antifreeze. While we have nothing against Safari RV and are glad they are there, being able to buy supplies just down the street rather than 30 miles away in Reno is a big deal.

After taking the trailer home and parking it, we went to Walgreen's where there was a 25% off one-day-only sale. I'm running short on Breath-Right strips, and would have bought more than the one box they had on the shelf if possible. Again, we tried to restrain ourselves to buying things we've been meaning to pick up or that we would expect to be buying in the medium-term future anyway, in order to make the best of the discount.

In any event, we never went more than a couple of miles from the house, and we definitely didn't wade into Reno's anticipated mob of traffic and shoppers. OTOH, the buy-one-get-one-half-price sale at SAS in Reno is very attractive, Lisa needs new shoes, and it ends tomorrow, so maybe we'll assay a short trip there. But not to the mall, definitely not.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
We did not intend to go back into Reno before Thanksgiving, but there was a pre-Thanksgiving sale on the jeans that Lisa likes (and that are difficult to find) and furthermore, some things that we'd ordered months ago finally turned up and the store asked if we still wanted them. So after work it was back into Reno to collect the clothing. Dinner was at the Manhattan Deli because Tuesday's buffet usually has too much of a queue on account of they give free dinners to the Gold level club members.

Aside from some last-minute groceries tomorrow from Scolari's here in Fernley, I think we're ready for the holiday.

We will not shop on Thursday or Friday; however, SAS shoes has a sufficiently good offer going on shoes (and Lisa needs more shoes) that we'll probably head into Reno again on Saturday. We will try to avoid the shopping malls and other major hot spots, though.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
Saturday was crazy busy with errands in Reno/Sparks, some of which were less than successful. We started, however, with brunch at the Eldorado to get things off on the right foot. A stop by the luggage store to look into something Lisa can use to carry her camera (as carry-on in such a way that neither the TSA nor the airline nor fellow passengers cramming things into the overhead will destroy it) led her to think about buying a Pelican case instead because it's probably cheaper. A trip to the electronics store for something Lisa wants to make to take with her on the UK trip fizzled when we found that Sandy's Electronics is out of business, leaving Reno with no specialty electronics stores that we know of (save Radio Shack, which hardly counts). Everything else (new jeans for Lisa, groceries) went okay, but it was a very long day, and we had a longer evening getting the RV parked for the trip to the Bay Area.

Routine

Mar. 16th, 2014 07:13 pm
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
Although we have to to into Reno tomorrow afternoon for Lisa's dental work, we went in today to do grocery shopping anyway. Lisa is unlikely to be the mood to go grocery shopping right after having a root canal, and definitely won't want to go have dinner. So we headed in a little later than we meant to do, which meant we didn't get to the Eldorado for their Sunday Brunch until just before closing. The food was good, but we felt slightly rushed as the staff were trying to close up for the afternoon. If anything, we probably ate more than usual on account of the "if you're going to get anything, get it now because we're closing the buffet" warnings.

We waddled back over to Circus Circus, where I discovered that my affinity card was expired. That's okay; I probably created it before we moved to Nevada. I started over as a new member, and ended up with $10 slot credit. Lisa proceeded to parlay the $10 of non-transferable slot credit into nearly $7 of actual money, and we cashed out and went off to deal with our domestic errands at Grocery Outlet, Cost Plus, Whole Foods (good cheese and stewing lamb) and Winco.

My long hours catch up to me at odd times. I was so tired as we walked out of Winco that Lisa offered to drive us home. I'm actually looking forward to working from home this week as much for being able to get up at 6 instead of 5. That short commute of ten or fifteen steps from the bedroom to my desk is really easy to get used to.

Rack 'Em

Mar. 8th, 2014 06:12 pm
kevin_standlee: (IKEA)
Lisa informed me this week that she's managed to clear enough wall space to accommodate more shelves, and asked me to buy two more BILLY bookshelves. So after breakfast and checking out of the hotel this morning, I went up to East Palo Alto and did so. This was indeed my second trip there in a week, but that's because we didn't know we'd have room for the shelves when I went there to return the desk extension I can't use.

I arranged me errands to travel clockwise, on account of eastward is the free direction on the Dumbarton Bridge, and my next stop was Fremont, where I got a long-overdue haircut from my "regular" barber in Fremont, bought coffee from Suju's (across the street from where I used to live), and then went for a walk in Quarry Lakes Park, taking a picnic lunch with me and listening to the Giants get thrashed by the Mariners in spring training baseball while taking in the great weather (boo, we need more rain, the lakes are empty) at Quarry Lakes Park.

I've made it to the Crowne Plaza for tonight. To my disappointment, they've bricked up their hot tub. After 13K steps today, I wanted to soak in the hot tub. Oh, well.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
...that trying to go grocery shopping on the first day of the month, particularly when that falls on a weekend, is a bad idea, considering that we did the same thing a month ago. But forget we did, and once again we balked when we got to Winco and found the store so full that there were no shopping carts. We'd done some shopping earlier at Whole Foods Market and Grocery Outlet, and Lisa says she has more than enough to keep her going for the next two weeks, so not to worry.

This morning we went to the El Dorado for their brunch, which was better than I thought it would be, and reasonably priced, too.

And the Internet exploded over Loncon 3's choice (and later that same day, the withdrawal) of a host for their Hugo Awards ceremony. It's interesting to me that a whole lot of Americans said, "Who?" when they heard the name. I am deeply conflicted over what happened, given my own history as a former Worldcon chair and as a past Worldcon Events Division head.

One side point: In the many, many electrons spilled over this mess, someone wrote (approximately), "The Hugo Awards ceremony doesn't need to be two hours long. It wasn't that long in 2005." Well, while I don't have the exact timings (which I did do, obsessive as I was about it at the time), I don't think we were quite that breathlessly quick. I responded, "The Hugo ceremony in Glasgow in 2005 did run more than two hours; however, it probably didn't feel that long because, unlike most such events, we actually started on time." And we did, to the extent that there were people who turned up at 8:20 because "these things always start at least a half hour late" and who were cheesed off that we'd started on time.

("How dare you have the 5:20 express train actually leave at 5:20!" was a cry of annoyed commuters when the Rock Island resolved to clean up their chronically delayed commuter rail service. Commuters had gotten so used to the trains' late performance that they'd adjusted, to be dismayed by trains that actually ran to schedule.)
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
For the second week in a row, we were unable to do a "big grocery" shopping run in Reno, although we did get all of our other chores done.

The Sparks Shuffle and Reno Runaround )

I was concerned that Lisa would be in trouble on account of us not having done a big grocery trip two weeks in a row, but she assures me that she can get by. We always keep a pretty large stock of non-perishables (having enough room to do so in Fernley House helps a lot), and she can run over to the local Scolari's Grocery if necessary. If she gets too far behind, she can drive herself into Reno/Sparks and deal with it. The pickup (or the Big Orange Van) needs to get out and stretch its legs periodically anyway.

Weather for tomorrow forecasts a chance of snow developing over Donner Summit in the afternoon, so I need to consider getting up relatively early (like my normal work-day early) and get on the road as soon as I can, to avoid the weather. I'm partially packed anyway, so it should be relatively easy to get going in the morning.

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