Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Catching Up

Been a few days since my last post. Just been busy.

Last week I made several trips to the airport, to drop off and pick up friends and family members on various flights. My friend (see Feb 18, 2005) and her family left for NYC at 12:30am (yes, o'dark thirty!), and the return pickup was at 10:30pm. Then my brother and his fiance flew to Las Vegas for a few days, and they needed to be dropped off at 4:30am! I discovered the easiest way to pick anyone up at the airport is to make sure they have a cel-phone, then have the pickup driver wait in the parking lot of the AM/PM Mini-Mart there at the airport entrance, until the travelers pick up all their luggage, and haul their butts to the curb. Then they can call the pickup, and zoom, the pickup pulls up to the curb, loads 'em up, and zoom, they're off!. No parking fees, no security lines, no fuss.

My daughter Emily has raised her guide-dog-puppy, Ronald, from 8-weeks old to 20-months, taking him to school with her, to work, on trips... basically everyplace. Literally. He has been her constant companion and friend for almost 2 years. This last Sunday was his recall date, to go back to the "company" and begin his hands-on Guide Dog Training to become a real, honest-to-goodness Guide Dog. So, Emily and I drove to San Rafael on Sunday to drop Ronald off at the Guide Dogs for the Blind kennels. What I feared might be a very emotional event actually a big nothing. We checked Ronald in, Emily walked him to the kennel, put him in, said "see ya", and we left. I think a part of Emily is glad to have him return. He is a wonderful dog, but she's ready to be "dogless" for a bit. It's kind of like having a child: she had to take the dog everyplace she went.

Anyway, after that, we drove south toward SF, and before we hit the Golden Gate, we took the road off to the west and went driving down toward the Marin Headlands, and and the Point Benita lighthouse. It was raining off and on, and the hillsides were all so green! We stopped at some of the abandoned "batteries" to check out the old military sites, and watched 4 deer feeding on a lawn. We wound up down at Rodeo Beach, and walked out to watch the surf in the rain. Yeah... we got a little wet. Then we drove on down into SF (in pouring rain! Do you understand how hard it is to drive the streets of SF in pouring rain? Gawd, people are CRAZY!), and wound up at Pier 39 and had Bubba Gump's for dinner, watching the Bay as the sun set and it got dark. We were soaked (long walk from the parking lots to the restaurant) but we had a nice time.

Bought three new cel-phones. Yes three. One for me, and one each for my two younger daughters. I got three Nokia 2270's, which are good but pretty basic phones. Since I use MetroPCS, I singed us up on their new family plan, so now I have unlimited local and long distance (continental US), text messaging, voicemail, call-waiting, etc, and the girls each have unlimited local (all of Northern California, north of Modesto) calling, for about $100 a month. With zero credit checks, and zero hassle. I know, it sounds like a MetroPCS commercial, but if you live and work and play in Sacramento & San Francisco most of the time, it's unbeatable. So, with us all having cel-phones, I took the plunge, and turned off my home phone. Felt weird not having the home fone at first, but heck, it only rang about 5 times a month anyway!

Bought 4 new tires for my car. They all had almost 50k miles on them, and the car was starting to bounce down the road, instead of roll. Rolls like a new car again. Purrrr....

Ok... I guess that's all for now. No pithy comments, no deep or meaningful insights. Just life happening.

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