February 2018

OK, I bagged up all of the anchors, and have nowhere else to put them except here. But now I need that space for equipment! The code on the bag (PH SEA x 20) means it contains Precision Hayes Stressing End Anchors, 20 of them.

The job site reported that the remote switch wasn’t working. Hmm, I wonder why.

Life goes on here in Seattle. I actually made it to hockey practice last weekend. Tripped over my own feet and landed on the artificial turf on my right knee. It was badly grazed and is now healing nicely.

The company has picked up a contract to supply Post Tensioning cables to a project called Mission Hills Square and I get to deliver their stressing equipment. Just like I do around Seattle, except that the job site is in California. Julie and I will be gone for a whole week.

And given that we will be driving all weekend to get there, I have permission  for us to stay in the hotel in San Francisco on the Monday to recover, which just happens to be my birthday! We’ll be right close to Fisherman’s Wharf. We’re looking forward to being tourists again for the day. I found a Segway tour which leaves from there. Julie doesn’t think she could stand on one for that long, so I’ll enjoy it myself. More on that later.

We have asked Michael for Julie’s father’s war medals display frame to find its new home here. In this picture, the sun is shining in through a crystal and lighting up the wall in the background.

The ones on top are Bob’s from WW2 and the row below that are his Uncle Wall’s from WW1. And someone managed to souvenir a German Iron Cross as well.

In honour of Valentines Day, Angel came home from her haircut sporting bows of heart shapes and red background. You can’t see them very well because she kept moving!

Winter is certainly not over here yet.

I even managed (purely by accident) to capture a Police car going past!

I sent this to the boss to show that I’m ready for the trip to San Francisco to deliver these. Look, I even have sequential numbers!

When the snow that fell on the weekend then froze on the windscreen (sorry, that’s a windshield), using the heater the next morning caused a massive crack almost the full width of the bottom of it. Ugh! Better get that fixed quickly.

If I though that was cold, it was nothing to seeing what two of my customer job sites looked like.

With 3 big boxes cluttering up the living room, I threw out 2 of them. Buddy just had to claim the last one.

Saturday: With just one day to spare, the windshield was replaced and we’re off to California.
Update, months later: It’s amazing how many cracked windshields I see.

Sunday: After staying overnight at Grants Pass, this was a mandatory (for me at least) stop along the way.

This is taken from the Hunter Hill Rest Area, on the final stretch into San Francisco, overlooking Vallejo and San Pablo Bay. San Francisco is behind the hills in the centre, middle distance. On the right, you can see a dust trail from a dirt bike rider going down the hill.

I managed to catch him going back up again on what appeared to be his last run.

After a bit of getting stuck in traffic getting onto the Bay Bridge, we made it to Fisherman’s Wharf. Seeing Alcatraz in the evening sun, I took some pictures. With several seagulls taking off, I took a few more, ending up with this gem.

Monday: For my birthday, the day started with rain, but cleared to a beautiful sunny day, albeit with a cold wind blowing in off the ocean. just in time for the Segway tour. Super fun and so easy to learn! Within a few minutes, all of the party had the basics nailed, including the lady from France who was extremely nervous at the start. I also thoroughly enjoyed the company of 2 Aussies from Sydney. This was one of the early stops, with a great view of the city skyline.

“Anyone want a picture?” “Ye, please. Thanks, Josh.” You can’t really see it from the picture, but I’m pretty sure I was grinning from ear to ear.

Further on, a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge (stitched together of course!).

And from the same location, some fancy looking devices at a meteorological station.

Josh explained that after the 1906 earthquake, huge quantities of rubble was dumped into the bay and became the only really flat piece of ground in the whole area. For the 1915 World’s Fair, numerous buildings were constructed of Paper Mache, to be torn down soon after it finished. The Palace of the Fine Arts somehow survived this process, and was later rebuilt in concrete. He said that every time he has been in there, there has been at least one party of people is unusual clothing having their pictures taken!

Our party did so well on our mastery of the Segway machines, and since we were consistently ahead of time, we were given the option of travelling down the very steep incline of Lombard Street. Perhaps they all do, but it sounded good at the time. This was Muggins at the bottom, still grinning from ear to ear!

Well done to Josh at City Segway Tours on his first day back from holidays.

Tuesday: Time to deliver the equipment. At the first site, the 2 guys who were there had no crane and no forklift. OK, we’ll just have to unload it by hand. We dropped off the box that contained our luggage (because there’s no room in the cabin) and I proceeded to unload each set onto it. The guys then carried each set into the site. Then we simply lifted the empty box off, took it inside and packed it up again, which gave me the chance to explain everything that I had packed into it. The hardest part was lifting the luggage box back into the truck!

Then off to the second site, where at least they had a forklift. Again, I was able to explain everything in the box, as well as the process that we are still developing, to store a box of hot spares at a nearby Farwest facility, and get the spares activated as necessary and the used ones back to me. The first box of spares will be the the box from the first site, who should be finished with them quickly.

We stayed overnight at a casino a few hours North and a little East of there, after travelling through miles of orchards. Part of our package was a voucher for each of us to play the slot machines. We went over there for some early dinner and registered. The registration gave us each a $5 credit, plus the voucher gave us another $5 credit each. After some confusion about how to play our machines, we learned that we had to put some of our own money in, at least $1 each. OK, we can do that. All up, from our $2 investment, we won $23 plus change, which was enough to pay for most of our meal.

Wednesday: North and a little West to the I-5, and back into Oregon. The whole area is expecting a major storm over the next few days, so we have just made it through the worst of the mountains just it time. This is the view from our hotel in Grants Pass (also stitched).

I took a walk down to the river bank and captured this, which gives an idea of the flow in the river.