Tahoe… Napa… Landscaping

I think it’s going to be one of those “post a bunch of pictures” weeks.  For one thing, I’ve lost track of what I’ve done lately, and for another I have a lot of pictures.  Two weekends ago, we headed up to Lake Tahoe for a few nights.  Always a good time.  The main attraction of the visit was a Dave Matthews Band concert on Friday night.  I think that guy is ageless.  Heck, I’ve been going to see him for over ten years I’m sure, and he looks exactly the same.  But then so do I.  Mmmm hmmmm.

This past weekend, we headed the other direction down to Napa.  Not much to do in Napa but taste a few wines and take pictures of the scenery, so that’s what we did.  Nothing new to tell from that trip…  We stuck to our established places.  I guess we did go a new spot for lunch, Rutherford Grill.  Had a very good meal, I suppose we’ll be adding that to our “regular rotation” also.  Little on the pricey side, but then everything there is.  It was a long Saturday, so that kind of took the wind out of us for Sunday.  We ended up on the back patio watching the football games all day, which was just fine with me.

Excitement In The Hood

I’m enjoying a day off today, and hopefully you are too.  It got off to something of an exciting start, at least as “excitement” goes around here.  I was enjoying my morning coffee at my computer when I heard the nearby sound of sirens and screeching tires.  I thought, “Hey that sounds kind of close.”  I looked out the window and saw this little silver car go flying by, with the po-po in hot pursuit a-la Roscoe P. Coltrane.  (Actually it was CHP, somebody was off to a bad start on their holiday.)  Huh, now there’s something you don’t see every day around here.  I could hear the sirens getting louder again, and a few seconds later here they come again, fishtailing around corners and gunning the poor little sedan as hard as he could.  If I ever decide to initiate a police chase, I know one thing;  It wouldn’t be in this neighborhood.  I’m not sure how he got in the gates, but there’s no way to get back out, unless the police are nice enough to sit and wait for them to slowly roll open.  You’re pretty much limited to laps around the block, which is just what they did until apparently he gave it up over on the other side of the neighborhood.  I went back to my morning news, and then Donette came downstairs and noticed everybody out in the front yard.  Not too remarkable, but why is everybody staring at my lawn?  Well, I guess he’d hung a left at my house, and when he noticed it was a dead end he took a nice little shortcut through my lawn.  The neighbor across the street lost a tree in the deal, and I guess I’m out some sod.  I figured the next we’d hear of the deal was when we got a letter from the HOA wanting to know when we’re going to get our lawn repaired.  The CHP did come back and take reports though, like four cars.  They even had the guy cuffed and stuffed in the back of one of the cars.  They said they’d pulled him over for speeding nearby, and he didn’t have a drivers license so he took the exciting car-chase option instead.  Might have been better off taking the ticket on that one…  The almost-even-more-exciting part?  Where he cut through my mulch there in the picture is right where I was sitting at my computer.  Another 8 or 10 feet and my day would have been off to a bad start too!


New restaurant

I’m shooting for an on-time post this week!  Gotta set your goals high.  Since I didn’t really do anything all weekend, that should be pretty attainable.  Case in point, Friday night Donette went to a play with friends, so I sat home on the couch and watched the Royals game.  Boring, but not as boring as that event usually is.  It helped immensely that A) the weather was finally nice enough to watch the game on the back patio, and B) it was a quite exciting game for once.  (At least the ending.)  It was sort of the perfect crime too:  The weird water-break issue thing flooding the outfield caused just enough of a delay to keep me up until a respectable time, so I could actually say I was up past 9:00 on a Friday.

Saturday, I’m not too sure what we did all day, but it led up to an eventual epic dinner.  We went over to a friend’s house in the neighborhood and threw a 3+ lb tomahawk steak on the grill.  Now that was a hunk of steak.  It took at least 30 minutes to get it cooked.  We threw on some shrimp & scallops to go with it, and a few potatoes and salad just for looks.  Great dinner.  Any minor quibbles?  Oh, but of course.  I will say, I’ve caved to the whole gas grill scene.  I use mine 90% of the time I cook outside.  But for a nice steak, I have to say I still prefer a charcoal grill.  We tried the “smoke bomb” technique on his grill, but I couldn’t really detect any smoke flavor at all.  I have been wanting to try them though…  And now I can say I have.  The steak was delicious all the same.

Sunday, as the case has been of late, I sat around and waited for work, which is generally at 6:00 in the evening.  I occupied my time fiddling with my new DVR set up, which is going quite nicely.  I am pretty sure I’ve rambled about this before, but the current status of our TV entertainment is an antenna hooked up to pull local channels.  It works fine, gets everything I need.  I added the Plex Pass recently for the reasonable cost of $3 a month, and that gives me recording ability.  I had about 15 episodes of Gunsmoke queued up so that passed the time nicely.  My work went as well as could be expected.  (I think I can safely say that now without jinxing myself.)  So well, in fact, that there was still enough time in the day left for dinner.  After a brief consultation among some amigos, we decided on the recently opened Boulevard 41 just around the corner from us.  So recent that they were only sorta-kinda-almost open actually.  They’ve still got some kinks to work out, but our pizza was very good and I guess that’s all that really matters.  They also brought us out a few plates of complimentary appetizers to try, all of which were excellent.  (I think they noticed my ample belly and profiled me as a potential high-value customer.)

Staying Busy

Things have been quite busy out west, and not in the “fun” sense.  I need to squeeze out ten minutes to update this every week though.  Priorities, blah blah.  We’ve had a decent run of activities too.  A few concerts, a few cookouts, and a few trips.  This last weekend was all in my “two mile circle” though.  Friday we ventured up to Slingshots to play a few games of pool.  I should probably add that place to our regular list of entertainment.  It covers all my criteria nicely:  Cheap, entertaining, and cheap.  The rooster walking around the place doesn’t hurt either.

Saturday we took the pups to the dog park for some exercise.  They seemed to enjoy it, and it was a nice day for us to be outside too.  Afterwards we all went to the Saloon for lunch on their patio.  We picked that spot because the pups can go there, and they even have a dog menu for them.  They enjoyed their plates of scrambled eggs and chicken.  Matter of fact, it looked better than my sandwich, I was slightly jealous.  Later in the day we took them home and went to a fund raiser at the dog rescue up in Shingle Springs.  I guess the idea was to bring your dogs to the event, but they were worn out, and it was far too hot for them to be walking around the parking lot.  Matter of fact, it was too hot for me to be walking around a parking lot, but we stuck around for quite a while.  They had all kinds of junk for sale, (yes we ended up with some of it…) and a decent blues band to entertain everybody.  Felt a little bad for the band, it was easily 100 degrees out, but they held up well.

Sunday the usual suspects went out wine tasting at some of the nearby favorites.  I opted out though.  I enjoyed a peaceful afternoon on the patio with the dogs, listening to some tunes and smoking some pork.  Not a bad day to waste a Sunday.  Everybody came over for dinner, and that wrapped up the weekend.


I will do my level best to add some text soon.