Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Back Aboard in Maine

On the way to Mount Desert Island we anchored in Perry Creek and dinghyed over to North Haven. What a picturesque harbor! 

The next day we went into rocky, little Blue Hill Harbor. I know these Mainers are just going about their business as usual, but everything is just SO PHOTOGENIC!

Then we made our way down Blue Hill Bay and into Bass Harbor on the southwest corner of Mount Desert (pronounced dessert) Island. The big draw on Mount Desert Island is Acadia National Park and some folks spend weeks here. You'll  understand why in my next post.

Tea and Touristing in San Francisco

My first big adventure in San Francisco was a tea party for the birthday girl. She likes to dress in Lolita style fashions and opened her closet to me so I could dress for the tea party too.
Based on my preference for a more somber and mature look, she selected a dress from Alice and the Pirates, Teatime Nostalgia, and I selected this accessory for my hat. 

Here we are at the tea party. We had a wonderful time feasting on salad, sandwiches, fruit, scones, and tea. And of course, the birthday girl got a tiny cake with a candle. I can see in this photo that she's taller than me. Dang!

One day I walked down to the Hyde Street Pier where the ferry boats disembarked for Sausalito and Berkeley before the bridges were built. See the "Hwy 101" sign on the right?

Today the pier is home to San Francisco's Maritime Museum, and historic ships like the Balclutha, C. A. Thayer, Eureka, Alma, and Hercules are berthed there.

I also visited the Cable Car Museum. The cable cars in San Francisco are literally the only cable operated transportation system in the world! At some point the city wanted to eliminate them, but thank goodness the fine citizens of San Francisco raised a stink and these three lines were restored. Who could imagine San Francisco without cable cars?
At the "barn" I learned that the entire system is powered by these huge pulleys. See the names of the lines on that beam above the pulleys? Each line has miles of cable running under the streets, but they all lead back to this building where the cars are stored at night, and maintenance is done.
If a cable shows signs of wear, the cable maintenance team splices on a new piece of cable, runs the new cable out through the line, and splices it back into a new loop in about five hours. This work is done in the middle of the night so the line is up and running the next day to the delight of the tourists and locals.
Here you can see a huge pulley guiding the cable out to the California Street line. For perspective, those are 55 gallon drums on the floor.

I also rode Caltrain to Palo Alto to visit Machine Zone where my daughter works. It was interesting to see the modern, open workspace where the magic of game creation happens.

All too soon my time in San Francisco was over and I crept to SFO in the wee hours of the morning and boarded my flight to Newark. Eventually I landed in Portland, Maine and the Captain picked me up. It was good to be "home" again because really, home is where the boat is, isn't it?

Surgery at UCSF

My daughter's surgery was on August 7th and she was released the next day. She's spent way too much time in hospitals, but this visit was reasonably quick. 

I continued my fresh, healthy food regime when we got home.
Well, maybe this tart wasn't all that healthy, but it was home made and darn good!

We also spent our time visiting friends and relatives, binge watching old Survivor episodes, and painting rocks and this goofy garden gnome. And I walked three miles every morning. That sure felt good; I'd missed it. So gradually we both got healthier, and when she went back to work I realized it was time to go home to Maine.

Early on the morning of August 20th I said "Goodbye" to Stockton, and my daughter drove me to the train station. I started my long journey towards Maine, but with a three day stopover in San Francisco at my younger daughter's.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My California Trip

My trip home from peaceful Maine, with its laid-back ways and rocking chairs at the airport was a little unsettling.
My younger daughter met me at the SFO Bart station and we rode into the city together. We popped out at the Civic Center Bart station. Trying not to touch anything or breathe in the smell of urine, we quickly took the stairs up to the equally filthy streets of downtown San Francisco and walked to her apartment. After all the clean, quaint New England towns I'd recently been in, it was a bit of a shock.

I arrived home the next day and was happy to see my older daughter, visit her Trader Joe's,  and begin caring for her. My first task was healthy home cooked meals.

Meanwhile, back in Rockland, the Captain was enjoying the Seven Seas Cruising Association Gam and the Maine Lobster Festival with friends.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I Need To Learn To Say "No"

I don't even sew for myself anymore, so I don't know why I agreed to adjust these curtains for cousin Kim. I should have said "No".
First of all, they were so big I couldn't even lay them flat anywhere at the condo. I guess I could have removed all the furniture from the living room, but that would have been a little difficult.
Then the quality wasn't good, and that's always a dilemma when hemming curtains.
All my sewing stuff is back on the boat so I had to go buy thread and pins, and sharpen the one pair of scissors in the house.
Then I had to use a sewing machine with which I'm not familiar. That took me a while to figure it out, but luckily the manual was with it.
But it is a home duty machine, and stuffing all that fabric through the machine was a pain.

In the end I did get them trimmed and hemmed, but I really need to learn to say "No".

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lame Verizon Coverage

I'm still experiencing problems with my Verizon service and although I've called tech support several times, no one has really helped me. Every tech says, "I totally understand your frustration", but seriously, unless they themselves use Verizon, they DO NOT understand my frustration and I wish they would stop saying that.

Verizon is proud of their coverage map, and they display it prominently in their advertising. Since I am right in the middle of a solid red area, I should get good 4G coverage, but I don't.

Verizon also has a coverage map where you can enter your address to see if their 4G coverage works in your neighborhood. Below you see the map for my location. Again, it shows solid red 4G coverage, but it's a lie, I tell you, a lie!  There seems to be a dead spot on our side of the street because we are not the only ones in the area with problems. If we walk across the street and sit on a rock in a landscaped area under the shade of a large tree, we can get a signal. That's what we did yesterday for an hour and a quarter to try to solve the issue. And after all that, they said they would send a technician to the area to check it out. Of course, no one will actually come to our door to help us; it's all done with cryptic emails and behind-the-scenes techie secrets.

The techs have a different lame excuse every time I call. The first excuse was "there's too much water around where you live". The second excuse was "you need a new SIM card". The third excuse was "you need to reset/restart/adjust your phone". The fourth excuse was "prepaid plans use a different network than postpaid plans". The fifth excuse was "there's too much water around where you live". And the sixth excuse was "were installing a new 5G network, and it's causing problems with the old 4G network". Why do they all use a different excuse and who tells them what to say?

Although it has been entertaining in a twisted sort if way, I'm tired of talking to the techs at Verizon, so I'm just going to cancel the plan and go back to AT&T. It's only marginally better, but at least I can use it in the front yard so I don't have to cross the street and sit on that rock.