kevin_standlee: (To Trains (T&P))
This morning we slept in a bit (which for me means 7 AM instead of 5 AM), had breakfast in the lounge, and packed out of the hotel room. The last took longer than expected because lots of other people were moving out at the same time and all of the luggage carts were in use. But we eventually got everything out of the room. Lodgecombing takes a lot longer for a one-bedroom apartment than for a typical hotel room. We said goodbye to one of the best hotel rooms we've ever had and turned north on US-95 heading for Tonopah.

The driving was a balancing act. If we drove at full speed, we couldn't run the air conditioning, but if we drove too slowly, it also caused overheating. So Lisa kept our speeds down (but not too far down) and balanced that against running the AC. Even on full Max AC, it was hard to hold out the 45°C temperatures with which Las Vegas and Beatty were cursed. Beatty was our last fuel stop before we get home. I did not buy more sugar-free chocolate raisins, but I did get some very nice (but also very expensive) wild boar jerky.

Today's trip was only about 200 miles, but on occasions, both Lisa and I got really tired and had to swap drivers to try and keep us fresh. One of the stops was the Area 51 Travel Center, where Kuma Bear had an Alien Experience.

Our inability to do long stretches (particularly on a hot desert highway like US-95 in Nevada) at the end of a long road trip is one of the reasons we planned to stop at Tonopah tonight. The other reason was so we could stop in Goldfield.

Museum Day )

Heading north from Goldfield, it started to cloud up, which was wonderful. The van's air conditioning started working better, and we only had to turn it off for the last heavy climb into Tonopah, and during that climb we even started getting bits of rain. Although it was still in the mid-30s C, it was still 10°C cooler than Las Vegas, which was really very nice.

We got to the Tonopah Station Hotel at about 5:45, roughly seven hours and 225 miles after we left Las Vegas. After checking in (they gave us the same room as the last time we stayed here) and getting me some milk from Scolari's grocery next door, we had dinner in the restaurant. The restaurant had a nice rib-eye steak special that we both ordered for dinner, and we remarked as how much nicer we find these smaller places than the over-pressured places in Vegas. Reno/Sparks is the "big city" for us. Vegas is too frenetic and loud.

After dinner, Lisa and I had a pleasant evening walk — something we couldn't do in Tempe or Vegas because of the heat &mdahs; and we went back to the hotel. Tomorrow we have the last 200 miles to go before we get home, regroup, and begin planning for the Worldcon trip.


Sep. 22nd, 2011 01:42 pm
kevin_standlee: (Match Game SF)
When I arrived at the office today, I had two packages: An ICOM IC-2SA radio I purchased on eBay for Lisa (the one she'd been using as a white-noise source broke last week, which is Very Bad), and a box from the John Mansfield containing the innards of one of the home versions of Match Game. The home game isn't very much like the television game, but then again, it was probably a little difficult to get enough people together to play a version equivalent to the television show.
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
F.P. Santangelo, former San Francisco Giant who was the host of KNBR radio's 7-10 sports-talk show (and a darn good one IMO) is moving on. He's taken a job as the color analyst for the Washington Nationals TV broadcasts. Congratulations to him, but I'll really miss him on the evening sports-talk on KNBR.
kevin_standlee: (Soccer)
Yesterday afternoon after lunch, I needed to run to the post office to make sure a package posted that day, and as I got in the van I turned on KNBR's The Razor & Mr. T show, where Tom Tolbert was flying solo. He started off with talk about the World Cup that raised points about the officiating to which I wanted to respond, so I called the show and got an answer right away. The show producer put me on hold, and the way Tolbert was talking, I figured I'd be the second caller he took.

Two hours later... )

Ordinarily I wouldn't have waited that long, but since I could move around with my mobile phone while I waited and could get other things done, it wasn't so bad. It could have been embarrassing if they'd come to me at an unexpected time, however. And it was a pretty slow day at the office, too.
kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
While closing out some of my tabs, I uploaded a brief video of the SeaPac Convention Floor showing one of the vendors demonstrating his rotating antenna mount. We later found that he was powering it off of a single 9V battery.
kevin_standlee: (Seaside)
I have now uploaded lots more photos to my Seaside Photo Set, and I'll be calling out many of them in this post, so don't complain if you click through the cuts below. Today was a pretty good, and eventually pretty lucky day.

Welcome to Sea-Pac )

Kevin can't attend any event like this without thinking about conrunning )

Lisa and I made our way through the dealers and flea market tables. Lisa bought me a new belt-pouch for my mobile phone. We bought the current one from Western Case, who are here every year, but it's getting worn and I could use another one. Lisa bought electronic connectors, odd bits of electronics, and old laptop computer (original Pentium, 2 GB hard drive, Win98 OS) someone was selling for $20, and an unopened installation disk for Windows 2000, the latter being very useful on account of she has a couple of older Win2000 boxes and had no installation CD-ROM, which was worrisome if she needed to re-install the software.

Lisa says that she's not too worried about the small-capacity laptop, because she plans to run it under MS-DOS as it has a 3 1/2-inch floppy drive, and MS-DOS runs like the wind on a Pentium.

Having our hotel just over the bridge was very convenient, because we could carry our stuff back to the hotel room easily. As I mentioned in a previous message, Lisa had parked her pickup truck to show off its best assets.

Intended to Cause Antenna Envy )

Something Sea-Pac has in common with BayCon )

Sea-Pac has hourly prize drawings, where they post your name and/or call sign if it's drawn, and you have two hours to pick up your prize or else it's forfeited and goes back into the next draw. This is of course to make sure the attendees stick around and theoretically spend more money. Folks do wander away to have lunch and enjoy the charms of Seaside; however, things get crowded again around 2:30 for the first Special Prize Drawing, for which you must be present on the convention floor and call out quickly if your name comes up or they'll go to the next card in the draw. Prizes consist of radio-related equipment and gift certificates, but also donations from local merchants. In 2007, we won a free hotel night certificate, which I gave to one of my co-workers who lives in Vancouver WA near PDX and who let me park my van at his place for the three weeks Lisa and I were in Japan.

Lightning Strikes Again )

After the prize drawings, we went out for lunch. We both got a big bread bowl of clam chowder. As we later were looking around Seaside, I realized that every place we've eaten lunch on Saturday of Sea-Pac for the past three years was closed the next year we were there. The latest victim was The Happy Clam located near our hotel. I said to Lisa, "Uh, oh. That means we just killed Bee Bop Burgers!'

Going walkabout; Hardware Store; Ghost Hotel; Drizzle on the Boardwalk; Ice Cream! )

After all of our walking about, we were getting a tad footsore, and besides, it was raining harder, so we went back to the hotel by way of a final pass through the Convention Center. Things were winding down during the 4 o'clock hour. Sea-Pac is one of those events where everyone seems to think you need to be up at the crack of dawn and queued up to get in the door first thing, and the only reason to stay past noon at all is because of the 2:30 drawings.

Demand must be down here at Sea-Pac. Although both ICOM and Yeasu, major radio manufacturers, had their usual booths, a number of the dealers I've seen here each year in the past didn't come. There was one empty booth, and another had someone selling specialty food (things like gluten-free mixes and specialty dip mixes), not radios, radio-related stuff like t-shirts aimed at the radio user, or tech gadgets.

Lisa has shown great patience while I processed photos and wrote this, but we will probably go back out again. I foresee a round of miniature golf in our future, and then probably dinner. We can't stay out too late, even though it's still light out, because unfortunately things close earlier than I would like for what is supposed to be a seaside amusement resort. However, if we're really lucky, we might even get a chance to enjoy the indoor pool and hot tub, which are open until 11 but have signs that say "no children after 10 PM."
kevin_standlee: (Default)
I listen to KNBR sports radio a lot, including usually when I'm out for my afternoon walk. They have contests in the form of "caller X wins prize Y." While I was out this afternoon, I heard the sounder for the contest and reached for my phone, where I have their contest number on speed-dial. I am of course not the only person who has done that, and in fact I've never got through before. Today the phone actually rang instead of sounding a busy or all-circuts-engaged signal.

Alas, I was caller number six when they wanted caller number 9. Had I been the correct caller, I would have won a $50 gift card from Target, which could have been handy.
kevin_standlee: (Default)
Anyone whose day normally starts, as does mine, by turning on a CBS radio affiliate has heard the CBS World News Round-Up, a morning radio news program that is a fixture of the CBS radio schedule. Yesterday, the program's regular host, Christopher Glenn, retired after 35 years with the network.

I had only just woke up yesterday when I turned the radio on to KCBS, so I may have misheard what happened, but I think what I heard on what presumably was Glenn's last broadcast was Glenn introducing a news story but instead having Charles Osgood deliver a short tribute to Glenn and wishing him a happy retirement. Glenn was apparently taken completely by surprise, and, with a catch in his voice, delivered for the last time the signature line, "Time on the Round-Up is six minutes past the hour."

Glenn's voice, but not his face, have been part of the background sound of my life going back to my childhood, as he also did In The News, a series of short news items aimed at young people and broadcast during Saturday morning cartoons when I was growing up. Mark Evanier has another take on Glenn's career on this entry on his News From ME weblog.

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