Thursday, September 11, 2014

"America's Largest RV Show"

At length we figured out it merely bills itself as America's largest RV show (, but it was still pretty large, and we're glad we drove up to Chocolate City (Hershey, PA) and its Giant Centre to do the show. (Thanks, Rachel and Will, for use of the car, again). We've already made our decisions and commitments about our next camper, a Tiger Bengal TX 4x4 ( only it would ever get built!--so we mainly looked at accessories, new ideas, and services for RVers at the show, trying to keep the impatience and frustration in check.
A look at the expanse of rigs...

The accessory sales were mostly inside the Giant Centre arena

Thus; I wonder if the home team is called the Chocolatiers?

My role in these expeditions is to document all
the new or otherwise interesting items, many of
them gadgets or gimmicks not sold in stores
nor seen on television; for further consideration

Thus; incredibly, we spent most of the day at
the show and bought nothing

We would have bought this cute camping high
chair, but P is too old for it now

I don't think think we'll be working for Amazon during the
winters, despite its being very fulfilling work (nyuk, nyuk,
nyuk); their table was generally shunned so far as I could see

Martin the Geico Gecko was there

Finally, a decent-sized flask (from a savvy new
company called Grass Haven; from CO, of course)

The only vehicle that really interested us was this Sportsmobile
all-terrain Fuso, a prototype of which we had seen a few years
ago in CA; obviously we're not into slide-outs, outdoor entertainment
centers, hook-ups, or KOAs, etc.; has a Mercedes 3-liter diesel and
gets 17mpg, we were told; just 22 feet long; $240k

Vicki examines the escape package...for digging yourself out
of mud, sand, snow, quicksand, lava...

One can go into a swag frenzy at these shows, but this time I
restrained myself and came back with merely a few "useful" items 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Washington, DC Out-Takes

We took the American/US Air red-eye from SFO to DCA (via JFK) on August 21st-22nd, moving our act from Middle California to the Middle Atlantic, to stay with daughter Rachel and her husband Will--in their mother-in-law suite--until our new camper is finished. The camper is a Tiger Adventure Vehicle, a Bengal TX, or somesuch, being built with modifications too numerous to detail, or even contemplate, near Columbia, SC. Our plan was for it to be ready for pick-up in mid-August, but, obviously, that didn't happen, and we are here in DC, comfortably but very impatiently awaiting news of the camper or even of the arrival of the Chevy 1-ton truck it will be built on. Too much walking in Paris resulted in Vicki's getting the Fascist Planter's disease, so she's staying off her feet, and we're staying pretty close to home, especially on those wonderful Washington days when the temps are in the upper 90s.
Sun rise on the east coast

The flight was OK until someone decided to change the route from JFK to DCA
but neglected to add fuel to the plane; fortunately, the crew figured it out (are the
margins that thin?) and after taxi-ing back to the terminal and adding another
thousand pounds of fuel and letting half a dozen passengers and their luggage off
in order to avoid missing connections, or re-routing them entirely, we finally took
off, arriving at DCA only a couple hours late

The near-north neighborhoods where Rachel lives are undergoing considerable
change, especially the building of high-rises; and in some cases, the removal of
smaller buildings to make way...


DC's old Carnegie library, pictured here because we have already spent
considerable time in DC and other libraries here...

DC libraries have their own police force; we suspect this is not because of

At the Library of Congress' 14th annual National Book Festival; I attended quite
a few of these in my working days; here NEA's Amy Stolls introduces the
contemporary fiction panel

Hitherto, and sometimes very unpleasantly, the national festival was held outdoors,
on the Mall; this year it was indoors, at the Washington Convention Center; fun for
me, not because I attended any of the scores of sessions, but because I got to see a
few old friends...John Cole of the LOC, Maggie Coval from Colorado, and Alice
Meister from Montana

Under heavy guard from the Junior League of DC, Billy Collins signs...

Outside the downtown've heard of the doc-in-a-box... this is the

Labor Day Sunday we drove down to see Dave and Holly's Tardis,
a Tiger similar to what ours someday will be; in Chesapeake, VA

With the arrival of Vicki's sister Marie for a 4-day visit, we undertook a variety
of interesting American retail experiences; here, they are at the colossal two-story
American Girl store at Tyson's Corner; American Girl apparently is what you
graduate to right after the Disney/Princess phase, so I expect I'll be seeing a lot
more of these stores in the future

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Middle California Out-Takes

High-level work (one summer during college I did elevator
construction, brutal but high-level work)

View-shed; from the top of the Fairmont

Tidying up a black cab, before the next call

The Fairmont sources its own honey

Mercury Resting--San Francisco, as any great
city, is studded with sculpture; this one
commissioned by the University Club in
1915 for an international exhibition; "relocated
for the enjoyment of all"

On Market St.--dedicated to "the mechanics"

Commemorating the invention of the slot machine

Reminiscent of Paris

"Skip to my loo"--at Fairyland

Oakland's Grande Lake Theatre--notable historically,
architecturally, politically...

Disappearing into the fog...

On our smart phones, of course!