Facebook No More

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Facebook for a long time. Their intrusive monitoring is what ticked me off from time to time. From time to time I would suspend my account but I always came back.

Not this time.

I have given up Facebook for good. I downloaded all my data and then asked to delete my account. They provisionally deleted it but gave me 30 days to change my mind.

I didn’t.

I also posted my last post on Instagram. Basically telling people where to find me. And where can you find me now?

Parler

MeWe

What really cinched it for me was the amount of censorship going on. No matter what your political affiliation you deserve as much a change to get your message across as anyone else. The fact they were singling out one party isn’t as important as they were trying to silence people. Not cool.

So if you’re looking for me, that’s where I may be found.

Sewed My Ripped Upholstery

For about 4 years the driver seat in my truck has been ripping. The rip got to about 8 inches long in that time. I was looking into calling an upholstery shop until I saw this video:

I decided to give it a try and although I don’t have a before picture I do have an after picture. Not bad for my first try!

All sewed up!

You can tell it wasn’t done by a professional but you also can’t see the threads… much. I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out!

Durango RV Resort

This past week was our 33rd wedding anniversary. We decided to spend it at an RV resort. I chose Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff, California for no other reason that it looked nice on Google Earth. Google Earth did not lie, this was a great little RV resort! I booked three nights there, Thursday through Sunday.

We drove up on Thursday and had no issues. It was about a 3 and a half hour drive. The hardest part was getting past Sacramento. Before and after that was smooth sailing. We pulled into the resort about 20 minutes before their official check-in time of 2pm and they were fine with that. They checked me in quickly and within 5 minutes of arriving I was being guided to my site. It wasn’t the site that I reserved but that’s okay. It wasn’t a bad site. In fact, in the end it tuned out slightly better than the site I booked because it was quieter.

After setting up, as on all travel days, the first order of business was a nap. We spent the rest of the day reading and catching up on political intrigue as this is an election year here in America. It was warm and very windy so we decided not to take a walk around the park until after sunset.

Our site well after sunset
Three large fountains in the center of the park

The next day was our actual anniversary. We drove down to Nancy’s Cafe at the Willow’s Airport for breakfast. I was a little disappointed. Even though they are still open during the present COVID-19 crisis, the food being served has suffered greatly due to supply issues. I’ll have to take Cristy back when things return to normal. After that we drove up to Redding for a surprise massage I had booked for her. She REALLY enjoyed that.

To round out the day we did some grocery shopping and then cooked dinner. Then it was time for my anniversary present, spending some time in the resort’s hot tub! It felt so good on my muscles.

Enjoying our day in the park

On Saturday we just decided to hang around the park. We spend the day reading, watching movies, and taking walks around the park. Just doing nothing!

Just hanging out

We drove into Red Bluff to buy some ice cream for dessert and took a quick drive through the downtown district.

I spent more time in the hot tub that evening, we took another night time walk, and then called it a day.

Sunday morning we ate breakfast, dumped the tanks, and then hit the road home. All in all a very restful and enjoyable weekend.

See you all next trip!

Work Shift / Paradigm Shift

Work Shift

This past week I started a new shift at work. For the past 4 years I’ve worked 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. It’s fine but at previous employers I’ve been allowed to work a 4×10 shift. This started at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Co when they introduced their Commute Alternatives Program. You were given two choices. First, you could work five nine-hour days one week, and then three 9-hour days and one 8-hour day the next week with every other Friday off. Or you could work four 10-hour days per week and have every Friday off. No brainer. I took that one.

Then I got a new job at a bank and they didn’t offer this. After a couple of years I pitched it to my coworker and once he agreed then to our boss. My coworker would have Mondays off and I would have Fridays off and we’d both work 10-hour days. The boss finally agreed and I was back on my favorite shift! We were all laid off and I spent the next 11 years working at a newspaper who would not even consider such a thing.

Two weeks ago we were notified that the Alternative Work Schedule was being proposed as a response to COVID-19. We could either work from home two days per week or we could work 10 hour days and have one day off per week. No-brainer. I put in early for Fridays off. I got it and started last week. So far I love it!

Paradigm Shift

Social media was really fun when I first got into it. Now it’s just a faster vehicle to foment hatred. I can’t stand most of what I see on there. I put up a test post this past weekend that I crafted to be slightly incendiary. It work. It was only a matter of hours before a few of my so-called “friends” (that’s what Facebook calls them) began name calling and using profanity towards others and myself. I took the offending comments down and ultimately deleted the post. I learned everything I needed.

As a result I have deleted my Facebook account. It’s not deactivated, it’s deleted. In 30 days I will not have existed on Facebook. I will do the same for Instagram, also owned by Facebook. I am tired of the left-wing rhetoric on that site. I am tired of having my posts “fact-checked” and removed because they don’t conform to what the liberal left is saying. There is no freedom of speech on Facebook, only freedom of conformity. We are in this position because conservatives tolerate dissenting speech but, as we have found out, liberals do not.

Therefore, this my blog, LinkedIn.com, and Parler.com will be my social platforms. Friends and relatives may come here to see what’s new in my life. They may contact me via email, text message, or (gulp) phone. I’ve threatened to leave Facebook before but have always gone back. Not this time.

Angels Camp RV Resort

This past weekend we got away to the heart of the California Gold Country in Angels Camp. We booked Thursday night through Sunday morning and were really looking forward to this getaway. In some ways it did not disappoint but in other ways it did.

We made the hour and fifteen minute drive from our house to the RV park with no issues. The front office staff was very friendly and we were guided to our site. Always a nice touch rather than just giving you a map and wishing you luck. The pilot vehicle driver helped guide me into my back-in spot and we settled in and set up camp. We rounded out the day by napping. Always fun!

The next day we took a longish drive to Grass Valley. It was a fun tour of Highway 49 and the gold country. We didn’t take any pictures because we were in a hurry but still enjoyed the scenery. Cristy had a massage appointment and we didn’t want to be late. As we were pulling in to Grass Valley at the far end of our two and one half hour drive, Cristy got a text from her masseuse saying she had to cancel! Great. We made lemonade out of lemons by having coffee and then lunch in town. Cristy got a rose petal cardamom latte (yes it had rose petals) and I got a goat caramel latte (caramel made from goat’s milk). Both were delicious. If you’re ever in Grass Valley, CA stop in at Fable Coffee. Then we walked over to Sourdough and Co for lunch. Also very good and dine-in was available! Afterwards we made the 2.5 hour drive back to the RV park and… took a nap.

Hot off the disappointment of the massage being canceled we hit the second big disappointment of the trip. We could see that at the end of our row of RVs that a big party was being set up. It was Flavio’s 50th birthday party (whoever Flavio was). The noise for the rest of the day up until 11pm was unbelievable. We called the after hours number but the woman who answered was dismissive of our complaint. I told her we were trying to get away for some peace and quiet and she said “Well, it just depends on what part of the park you stay in.” Seriously, could you know have told me about the party when we were checking in? Maybe give us the option to stay in a different part of the park. At any rate the talking went on until 4am. We got NO sleep that night.

We were grumpy gusses the next day.

We decided to stick close by and headed to Columbia State Park. We shopped half-heartedly before leaving because most shops were closed. We headed into Sonora and hit a local candy store to buy some chocolate because… why not?

Highway 49 bridge on the way to Columbia and Sonora, CA

We took our chocolate and headed back to the campground to find the party mostly wound down. It was around 2pm when we got back and the campground was almost completely silent. Why couldn’t it be this way at night? Around 5pm the revellers all got back from the lake or wherever they went during the day and the party continued until 11pm! But.. hallelujah then it went dead silent. I guess two days of partying was enough for this crowd and they finally all passed out. It was the best night sleep we got all weekend.

This same day we were treated to the most beautiful sunset we had seen in years. Even so, I’d like to say we’ll be back, but we probably won’t.

We’ll see you next month in Red Bluff, CA!

Red Skies At Night, Red Skies At Morning

Well, if California’s reaction to COVID-19 weren’t bad enough, we now have wildfires burning all over the state. Not only us but Oregon and Washington State as well. There is no escpape. A few weeks ago we could drive to the coast for some much needed fresh air. In the last two weeks even coastal air has been declared dangerous.

Red skies at morning, noon, and evening

California’s air is extremely dangerous in some areas. For instance, in my town a few days ago the Air Quality Index was 185. In recent weeks it peaked out at 390 or so. Bridgeport, CA a few days ago was at 1200! Here is a handy reference table for your shock and horror.

Daily AQI ColorLevels of ConcernValues of IndexDescription of Air Quality
GreenGood0 to 50Air quality is satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.
YellowModerate51 to 100Air quality is acceptable. However, there may be a risk for some people, particularly those who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
OrangeUnhealthy for Sensitive Groups101 to 150Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is less likely to be affected.
RedUnhealthy151 to 200Some members of the general public may experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
PurpleVery Unhealthy201 to 300Health alert: The risk of health effects is increased for everyone.
MaroonHazardous301 and higherHealth warning of emergency conditions: everyone is more likely to be affected.
I have woken up many mornings to find my truck covered in ash

We have been praying for clean air and our prayers might finally be answered this week with a storm system that could be moving through the area. It won’t give us much if any rain but it will at least stir the air up and send the smoke on it’s way. Sorry East Coast US.

I’m hopeful that this will happen as we have a camping trip scheduled for next week and we don’t want to miss that.

Clean air at the beach!

Prophecy From A Movie

I never watched the movie Network which was released back in 1976. I was probably too young and as the years went by I never gave it a thought. The other day I ran across this scene from the move and it couldn’t be more appropriate for today. The state of media was bad back then but it was more subtle, we didn’t notice it. But there is no subtlety today. No nuances. It is one side trying to shout down the other side. News anchors trying to tell us what we MUST think and people believing them because people do not know how to learn on their own any more.

Watch this. Think for yourself. Learn.

Even More Nightwish

Actually this isn’t really about their music but about them as a group. The more I learn about them the more I like them. This group genuinely cares about the others. You can see Jukka Nevalainen playing drums in the video on my previous post. He’s easily one of my favorite drummers to watch. But he had to step down and his band mates where very supportive. I hope he feels better soon and comes back. Insomnia is no joke.

Interesting side note. I’ve never heard Finnish spoken before. That’s interesting as well.

Flight To Auburn With Angela

This past Saturday was awesome not only because I got to fly, it was awesome because I got to fly with a young woman I love very much! My daughter Angela. When she was younger I took her flying a few times. She went because I was her dad and told her we were going flying. Well, she’s grown up now and I can’t make her fly with me any more. Luckily she has, without any intervention on my part, started to develop an interest in aviation. I never wanted to pressure my family to like my hobby, just accept that aviation is a huge part of who I am. So it came as a wonderful surprise to me that she was developing this interest.

So about 4 months ago we went flying and I let her take the controls and see what it felt like. It was a lot different that what she expected I think. The plane seemed to do whatever I asked but it didn’t seem to want to listen to her. I explained that after some time in the cockpit you develop a feel for the plane and it becomes much easier. We tried again last month but the plane’s engine didn’t sound right so I asked the owner to check it out. I belong to an aero club and don’t own my own aircraft any more.

Well the stars finally aligned this past Saturday and we got in the trusty little Cessna 152 and launched toward Auburn Airport (KAUN). As soon as we had reached our cruising altitude of 3000 feet MSL (mean sea level) I gave her the airplane. When an airplane is trimmed up properly and on course, there really isn’t a whole lot to do. She finally tried some turns with some coaching from me. She was having problems with the nose dropping when she turned the plane. I told her that what I do is pull back slightly on the yoke when turning. For a very gentle turn I told her to just squeeze the yoke, that would cause her to involuntarily pull the yoke back just enough. She tried a few turns and started to get the feel of it. Mostly she was just content to hold the plane on course for Auburn.

Wings Grill and Espresso Bar

Once we got to within 10 miles of Auburn I took the airplane back from her and brought us in for a fairly decent landing. We taxied to the transient parking area and tied the plane down. We walked across the ramp to the Wings Grill & Esspresso Bar. We ordered a couple of fancy coffees and then grabbed a table and watched the airplanes taxi, takeoff, and land. Coffee and a show! It’s always a lot of fun to be able to just sit and talk to my daughter. We don’t always communicate that well, at least I don’t, so it’s always a treat for me to talk to her and find out what kind of woman she’s become. Happily the one thing we do have in common is Jesus!

Watching the show out on the runway

After coffee we walked around the ramp a little at looked at some of the airplanes. She was especially interested in the Russian Antonov AN-2 Colt biplane that was parked there.

Antonov AN-2 Colt at Auburn Airport

It was starting to get hot so we both thought it best to start heading back. I didn’t want her perfect (so far) flight to be marred by a bunch of thermal turbulence on the way home. We got back into the airplane taxied out to the runup area and prepared to depart. I made sure to lean the mixture for best power prior to takeoff, Auburn is at 1500 feet elevation and with a temperature of about 85 degrees that made the density altitude (the altitude the airplane “thinks” it’s at) about 3500 feet. There was no issue during the takeoff run and we cleared all the surrounding hills easily. It’s mostly downhill back into the valley after that.

We cruised back home looking for airplanes, helicopters, or anything else that might want to ruin our perfect day. Angela flew a bit more but I think it was becoming a little fatiguing. Step by step, she’ll get it. I don’t think this means she wants to become a pilot just yet but I’m so happy she’s expressing at least an interest in aviation. But to be on the safe side I bought her a logbook and a set of aircraft headsets. Hey, a dad can dream can’t he?