Stay in San Francisco Bay Area

Stay in San Francisco Bay Area

Click here to see the Settle in Portland series.

Click on the back button of your browser or click here to see the previous page of this series.

Click on any of the little pictures to see it full size (as big as it goes).

Terrible, Horirble, Very Bad Day

Well Monday, December 9, 2002 was the end of terrible, horirble, very bad day. Nothing really horrible happened, but there were innumerable little upsets. Let's put the innumerabe to the test.

  1. On Saturday I seem to have lost my checkbook. I checked my car where it may have slipped off my notebook into a big pile of stuff (time consuming) but didn't find it. Hence, I probably lost it at Berkley University Library and it will probably be in the Lost And Found, but there is the uncertainty and time wasted factor (and it may not turn up, in which case I have to start a new register, ....) Yuck.
  2. My bag that I take to Bally's when I shower turned over when I was driving and I lost my lock (for their lockers). I spent a few minutes looking for it (more wasted time), but to no avail. Sigh! Need to buy a new lock some time and risk my stuff unlocked until then. I had looked for spare lock at 'Dollar Tree', but they had been out of stock. Grrr!
  3. I couldn't find the file with last year's Christmas card list. I spent about an hour looking for it, but only found the one from the year before. Not a disaster, but a pain trying to remember/recreate the changes. Sigh! Same for old scanned images for e-mailed cards. No access to scanner that I can see. What to do?
  4. When I left the library, I left my coat (and cell phone in pocket) on the chair. Took about half an hour to go back and get it. Grrrr! Less sleep last night.
  5. At 4:30AM a Hayward police officer knocked on my window and checked my ID. That doesn't bother me very much (now pretty routine after about five previous occassions). She was very reasonable and suggested that in the future I should be less obvious (I wasn't being very discrete) as they have an ordinance against sleeping in vehicles (she didn't even ask me to move along). However, as I am curious about stuff like that, now I want to go to the police station and library and research their ordinance as I find it hard to imagine how they could make a somewhat involuntary act like sleeping illegal under any circumstances. Anyway, less sleep and another thing I want to do. Argh!
  6. When I was getting out my ID for above, my car key slipped into a pile of stuff (I was half asleep). So, in the morning I woke early (wasn't sleeping well) and spent 15 minutes looking for it. Unsuccessfully. Got out my spare key and considered making another spare. Sigh!
  7. At last minute on my way to work I realized that I hadn't bought my lunch yet (usually get it the day before) and where I am working is in the far out boonies. Stopped just in time at Safeway and got my lunch for only a little more than usual. However, it was a little unsettling to stop at the last minute at a strange store, etc.. Yuck.
  8. After breakfast I noticed that the lid had come off the margarine tub with sugar for my cereal and that there was sugar all over my breakfast stuff. It took a few minutes to clean that up. Jeeesh.
  9. It was cold with a light drizzle most of the day. I was only working outside about a third of the time. Enough for my shoes/socks/feet to get soaked and then cold and miserable even when I was indoors. Brrr.
  10. As my glasses were wet and foggy (and I wasn't in such a good frame of mind) I banged my head on scaffolding a couple of times. No big deal, but ....

OK, ten is not quite innumerable, but it sure seemed like a lot at the time (and I have probably forgotten a few lesser problems). However, things are looking up. When I was getting out an alternate spare car key (as the other will surely turn up eventually) I found my lock. Yippee! Also, hunted and found some old archive CD's and they had all five files I was looking for. So, other than time wasted, all is doing OK.

Also, at work they said that they would like to keep me until the 20th (humm, I should make sure they know that I will be travelling on the 20th, so the 19th will be my last day). They are nice folks and I know the drill of where to shower, shop, surf the net, etc.. The pay is also pretty good, so that is nice. Also, in just eleven days I expect to be seeing my sweetie, so all must be right in the world.

Well, things did look up and I got all my holiday cards out and on my last day in SF Bay area I visited the Hayward police department (shown here) and after some delay they gave me a copy of the zoning ordinance saying that vehicles can be used for sleeping only in properly designated trailer parks. An unusual twist on how to make a place unfriendly for transients.

Hayward Police Statin
During my last two weeks I was in the Bay area they got a couple of serious rains. As a result, the neighboring pasture lands and wildlife preserve started greening up nicely. There were also cows on the pasture (though not in this picture). I also learned to try and do any indoor cleaning (sweeping and such) while it was raining (and early in the day). If it rained all day, then I would get wet at the end of the day so that my feet wouldn't be wet all day (much nicer). Pasture greening up.
When I was in working in Vallejo I mostly stayed in Pleasant Hill, CA as they had the nearest Bally. They also had a community college, DIablo Valley College with a really nice library (shown here) with pleanty of computers and and great internet access. They also had an indoor phone with a chair; great for visiting with Karyn. They had plenty of parking, but no visitor parking that I could find. I just parked in the 'restricted' student parking area and was never ticketed. Diablo Valley College Library.
The Bay area has a real lack of discount grocery stores. They have lots of Albertsons and Safeways, but no Wal-mart super centers or Fred Meyers. I found one K-Mart super center, but its prices weren't much different from the local stores. However, while I was in California Albertson always had a good sale on Banquet frozen dinners or their Albertsons equivalent. So, I managed OK hunting around for good prices on OJ, bread and such. Pleasant Hill, CA Albertsons.
Here is the Bally in Pleasant Hill, CA. It was the busiest Bally I have ever seen. They had a way cool Kwando class on Monday and Wednesday from 5:15PM to 6PM. It was taught by Debbie and had a huge turn out, about 50 people on most evenings. That seems about normal for their non-stop exercise classes. It was clear to me that she had studied the martial arts (her form was quite good) and she did some routines that many of the students knew very well. Also, most of the women around the club had great bodies, were dressed attractively (bare midriffs and such), wore makeup, etc.. Zowweee! Made me really miss Karyn! Pleasant Hill Bally.
Here is the Hayward, CA Main Post Office. I got my mail there quite reliably. I picked up my mail once a week (as I was mostly in Vallejo/ Pleasant Hill area), but on my second to last pick up, the clerk who handled General Delivery had left me a not e noting that General Delivery can only be used for thirty days (I was past thirty days) and asking for a change of address card (before they would start sending my mail back to the sender). On my last day I started sending my mail back to the sender. S o, on my last day I had my mail sent back to New York as I wanted to use a Post Office box in Portland, but couldn't get it until I was there (and hence didn't know where to forward my mail to). Hayward, CA Main Post Office.
This is the guy at American Labor Pool (I forgot his name, drats) who sent me out and mostly cut my checks. There was also a woman who usually did the afternoon shifts and brought in her kids. They were all very nice. The office had the more traditional layout with the office area in a separate area behind plexiglass windows. They had a restroom which they allowed laborers to use, though they kept th e key in the office. American Labor Pool Office.
On the 20th I left Vallejo, CA at 5:30AM and headed back to Portland. There had been cold rain on the 19th (with some ice crystals in it, so it really was a cold rain). On the 20th there was the same cold rain all day, but as elevation increased in the mountain passes, it turned to snow. At first the snow was not sticking. As I passed through Redding, CA I was electronic signs saying chains would be required 42 miles North. Yikes! I considered stopping to buy chains but decided not to (as I wasn' t thinking clearly I guess and was too eager to get to Portland and Karyn). Then I was stopped for almost an hour just sitting there on the interstate. Here is a view from my car of the road and snow and such. I5 North, CA.
I was a little worried sitting in the snow, but it still didn't stick on the road (I could see myself getting buried in). Then we started moving slowly. I made a short video of the road and snow as we traveled (it was slow going even though the road was in good condition). After about three hours I got to the exit where they were checking to insure everyone had chains and the officer told me to take the exit and head South on I5. I could come back when I had chains on my tires (my car being from Te xas). I took the exit and saw only a few houses (no place to get chains), turned around, and considered going back through the delays to get up here again with chains and .... I5 North, CA.
In my frustration I must have gotten confused (yes, that's right, confused) and took the freeway entrance going North (silly me). No one was checking chains on the entrance ramp and it would have been illegal to back up or make a u-turn. What to do? The road condition was actually quite good with at worst only about one inch of packed snow mixed with sand. The were no really steep sections and traffic was nicely spaced with no one stopping for no reason (an advantage of them stopping everyone to m ake sure they had chains and such). From my years of driving in New York winters I could have driven in these good road conditions with even Karyn's rear wheel drive Mustang (though I was happy to be in my front wheel drive Toyota Camry especially as I d idn't want any questins about how I got there without chains). I made a short video of the drive on sand. A nice thing about being in the same place so long was that I got to know the radio stations (which you can hear). I5 North, CA.
After a couple more hours of driving in slush and such (no problems at all) I made it to the border with Oregon and it was just rain the rest of the way. The view was pretty through all of the drive though visibility was pretty poor as you can see in this picture. I couldn't believe that they had actually closed I5 for the little bit of snow I saw with road conditions that I would call from superb (just wet) to good (just a thin layer of packed snow and sand). These folks in the Northwest really don't seem to know how to drive in the snow (as they can avoid it by just avoiding the mountain passes). Anyway, I arrived at Karyn's house at about 8:45PM (about six hour delay) and everything was alright as soon as I hugged her. I5 North, CA.
Click here to see the Settle in Portland series.

This page was last updated on October 26, 2009