Sunday, February 03, 2008

N.C. Travelogue: Feb 3-5

Had to go to UCSF again, this last Sunday. Actually, I suppose we could of left on Monday but I felt more comfortable leaving Sunday.

We had a late appointment this time. Three in the afternoon. We'd probably need to get there by 1:30 to find parking and wait in line to get the wife's blood work done. That meant leaving early in the morning the day of the appointment instead of towards noon the day before as we usually do.

I certainly didn't want to have to leave that early and the weather we were having was giving me a good excuse to leave the day before the appointment. With all the rain, snow and ice, I wondered if I could be assured of making it there in the usual five to six hours.

Finally, I decided we should leave in the afternoon on Sunday and spend the night in Ukiah. That way we'd be past all the possible snow areas in the middle of the day but still wouldn't have to go all the way to San Francisco and beg another free night at Cathedral Hill from the Pacific Medical Foundation.

Worked out fine and there was little snow to be seen despite the closed roads of a few days earlier.

As usual, we stayed at the Ukiah Discovery Inn. That's probably our favorite motel of all the ones we've been in if only because the rooms give you lots of space. I felt a little frustrated on leaving Eureka, though. Driving past Eureka's Discovery Inn I saw they only charged $49.99 for single occupancy. Ukiah was charging around $90.00, single or double occupancy according to the rate poster in the room. winter rates down there?

Ukiah Discovery has changed their free wi- fi now, too. You used to have to log in to get online there, using a password they'd give to guests. Now I guess you just connect to it and you're online- a Hot Spot they call that? Took me about twenty minutes to figure that out but I finally connected. Problem is, that makes it a less secure network so I disconnected from it when I didn't need to be online out of security concerns.
I thought I'd slept fine Sunday night. I was planning on sleeping a little later than usual, too, since we should have had plenty of time to get to UCSF.

Woke up and saw the clock said it was 6:30am. I figured I might as well get up and get all my internet stuff done. Maybe twenty minutes later I realized my laptop's clock showed the time as an hour earlier than the room's clock. Then one of those weird dilemma's: How do you find out what the right time is?

We'd never even noticed it the night before. When the wife got up she said the room clock was probably right as we even used it with the TV guide and it seemed to be right. I figured the laptop was right and somebody had forgotten to turn the room's clock back for daylight savings time. I finally settled the issue by going out to my truck and checking the clock on the truck's dash. My laptop was right.

Regardless of waking up earlier than I'd intended, I must not have slept as well as I thought. After we came back from breakfast at the Inn's Breakfast Room, I became REAL sleepy, and it wasn't the kind of sleepy from just eating. I felt exhausted. This was NOT good.

We left the Discovery just after ten. I was SO sleepy. That was a long and dangerous two hour drive to The City. Even though we got to UCSF earlier than I'd planned, the timing ended up working out perfectly. The only glitch being the doctor was late in her appointments. She came in maybe 45 minutes late. Not too big a deal since we were staying that night in San Francisco.

We made it to the Cathedral Hill Hotel just after 5pm. Parking garage was filled up a bit more than usual. I figured it must be yet another meeting of some kind being held.

I was right. It was the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Maybe one or two hundred of them. I saw the label on one of the binders they had in their meeting room: Contract Caucus 2008.

Stereotypical bunch of union guys I thought to myself. Most of them big, burly guys. The kind of guys you'd expect to see busting skulls and breaking your legs at a strike. In fairness, though, they seemed very friendly. Every time one would approach me he'd smile and seem ready to shake my hand. I think they assumed everyone they'd bump into at the hotel was another union guy.
Left there about 9am next morning and had no trouble getting home except for physical problems. We've had them before as my truck's seats aren't the most comfortable. After a few hours my butt and legs hurt and my feet swell up in my shoes.

For my feet I usually stop and just loosen up the laces on my shoes. That seems to work for a while. This time I tried something different as my feet were bothering me more than usual. I took my shoes off and drove just wearing my socks.

Didn't work. It just felt different and the feel of the brakes and gas pedal was off. I really had to concentrate on what I normally wouldn't have to think about. It did feel good, though, when I'd put cruise control on and move my feet around. Couldn't use cruise control for any extended periods of time, though. When we stopped at Willits for lunch, I put my shoes back on and left them on. End of experiment.

Connie made herself a cushion to sit on this time going down. She said it seemed to help. I'll have to get her to make me one.
Ron Paul was the hands down campaign sign winner for the entire trip. Starting out with one big sign I hadn't noticed before on Fairfield Street in Eureka as we were leaving town, he had scatterings of signs all the way down the The City.

One good sized one on the east side of 101 in Laytonville. Another on the west side of 101 on the south side of Laytonville.

Stopped at the Moss Landing rest stop between Laytonville and Willits and it took me a while to notice someone had stuck a Ron Paul decal on the side of the pay phone there. Not too big a deal as there was already graffiti and such all over the side of the pay phone kiosk(?). Then, as we back out to leave I noticed that same person had put another Paul decal on the sign to the Men's restroom. Tacky, rude and probably illegal, although I appreciate their enthusiasm.

Seems to me there was another one on the west side of 101 right in the middle of Willits.

A few here and there at other places along 101, including a couple in Marin just before the Golden Gate Bridge. Saw one John Edwards sign along the freeway in what I think was Novato. All it was was white on black sign that said John Edwards- the only other candidate sign I saw until SF.

Don't know if I remember seeing any from GGB to UCSF, although we might have. I was too tired by that time. I do remember seeing a couple Obama signs in an apartment window on Irving Street, though.

When we left the hotel on Tuesday we saw a whole bunch of Paul signs.

As we approached Lombard Street from Franklin, three signs all clustered together on a building on the north side of the intersection. Then, turning left, for maybe half a mile, or more, at least one Ron Paul sign per block.

Some were just taped on poles and such but, once again, someone decided to be tacky and taped some up on traffic signs. There's all these No Left Turn signs on that street. Just below the NLT lettering the signs list the times no turns are allowed. They'd taken the Paul signs and taped them over the time listings. Again: Tacky, if not illegal.

So that was it for the Paul signs but, to add to it, we were listening to some morning talk show and the hosts were talking about Super Tuesday and voting. One of the brings up Ron Paul right after we'd passed all those signs. The other one said he agreed with Paul on some things but not others and then they moved on.

All in all, the drive was one long Ron Paul moment.


At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's "could have" not "could of." Common mistake I see on blogs and message boards.

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Thanx. Yep, I do that all the time.

At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Stereotypical bunch of union guys I thought to myself. Most of them big, burly guys. The kind of guys you'd expect to see busting skulls and breaking your legs at a strike. In fairness, though, they seemed very friendly."

Your description of union members is a stereotype, all right. A rotten stereotype. I've known hundreds of union members. They deserve better than this from you.


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