Last of the Regular Season Games

Second weekend of the year… I guess that means we’re settled in now. We kind of kicked back and recovered this weekend. I’m not sure exactly what we were recovering from, but it seems like as good an excuse for doing nothing as any. We started off Friday by going to our regularly scheduled appointment at the Foothill Beer Temple. Nothing too special to report there. It was about the same as last Friday. And the Friday before, and before that, and… You get the idea. We did make an impromptu stop on the way home to have dinner at The Place. It was dinner time, and there were a few parking places available (not always the case,) so we made the call. Well worth the stop. We ended up on the new side, which is pretty much a bar. We’d been there once before and gave it a solid B rating. The biggest upside is they have seating available, whereas the main dining room is generally full, and a lengthy wait for a table. It’s not quite as “fancy” either, which is a relative term in the area we live in. No tablecloths, and no waitstaff. Works for us. Our only real complaint on our last visit was that they only served pizza, not the full menu from the restaurant. Hey, their pizza is awesome, but so are their pasta entrees. Just seemed weird, considering they are only separated by a door. Well, I guess others had commented to that effect, because they had the full menu available this time. Bonus! We had a delicious meal, then headed on home for an evening on the couch. Turned on a movie, which as usual immediately put me to sleep.

Saturday, we got all prepped up for the Chiefs game. The day got a rough start when the coffee maker went kaput, but we were able to fight through that major inconvenience. (Anybody else think Keurig coffee makers only last one year? We seem to buy one every year. Yeah, slow learners I guess.) Anyway, that kind of sums up our Saturday. The game was moderately stressful and left us is such an exhausted state that we were unable to rally for any other activities.

Sunday, I decided to try my hand at making pozole. I’m not entirely sure how this made its way onto the menu, but I’ve been wanting to make it for some time and declared Sunday to be the day. Not too bad! I have to think it would have been even more enjoyable had the weather been a little more wintery, but we’re definitely due for some warmer temps so that’s OK. Our final rating was that we’d just as soon have a few other soups that we make semi-frequently, so it might have been a one-and-done, but it was fun. Check that box off, so to speak.

Snowmagedden 2021

I guess I missed my first update in a while. As always, I have a totally legitimate excuse though. We were snowed in without power! If that seems unlikely given our chosen region of the country, let me assure you it’s a fact. We had an inkling since we moved here that we’d gone just a bit too high in elevation, and that has now been confirmed. The snow started coming down Friday the 24th, and it just kept coming. We got a little snow last winter at this house, but nothing like this time. By Sunday there was over a foot, and it was still coming down. I, of course, elected to ignore all the warning to stock up on supplies in case things went bad. I don’t have to do that, I live in freaking California! Well, things went bad. Early Monday morning the lights started flickering. Once an hour or so, but they always came back on after a few minutes. About 6:00, things went dark… And stayed dark. Huh. Interesting. Glad I made my coffee already, let’s wait this out. By 10:00 or so, a few doubts were starting to creep in. What the heck is going on here. We’re on a low-rent power grid, so our lights go out occasionally, but just for a few hours. I checked the website, which offered the super helpful info that yep, we had no power, and there was no estimated time for restoral. I was starting to worry about the food in the fridge by now, so I reluctantly trudged out in the snow to start up the generator. Whoops, no gas in the cans. Well, there was some in the generator, so I got it started and strung a few extension cords around the house. Plugged in the refrigerator, the Internet stuff, and the coffee pot and called it good. I don’t remember at what time, but several hours later the generator ran out of gas, and we still had no power. OK, the jokes over PG&E, flip the switch. I did a little searching around on various websites, and the pictures I found were pretty grim. The lines had been snapping under the weight of the snow, and trees were falling over everywhere and breaking the poles. Uh oh. Well, my generator runs on propane also, so I scrounged up all the 1/2-full bottles around the yard and got the power going again. A little more research on the subject indicated we weren’t getting our power back anytime soon. So, I loaded up the gas cans in the back of the Jeep and headed out into the mess. As a side note, that Jeep turned out to be one of my better random stupid purchases. The other two cars weren’t going anywhere in that mess. The trusty Wrangler got through it OK though, and I headed up the street to the nearest filling station. Whoops, no power, closed. Didn’t see that coming. Option B was about ten miles the other direction, so I headed that way. I made it about four miles and hit a real mess. There were poles sheared off all the way down the road, trees blocking the way, and power lines strung around like spaghetti. (And no utility workers onsite.) Not much to do but turn around, so I took Option C, which is a long, slow, winding route through the back roads. It was slow, but it got me there. Filled up the two cans and headed back to the house, which was slowly but steadily getting colder.

It ended up that routine would repeat itself until late Thursday when the power finally came back on. By that time the house had dropped to 48, and we had bailed out for a friend’s house down the hill a few miles. The power company had been saying we could expect power to be restored by Jan 5, so I guess we were supposed to be happy with Dec 30. And, for that matter, we were. I was tired of running back and forth filling the gas cans, and I wanted to celebrate NYE at home. We didn’t do a lot of celebrating, because we were feeling a little beat up, but honestly we probably wouldn’t have anyway. We headed up to a nearby bar, had a plate of wings, and rang in the “English New Year,” which was at a much more old-person friendly 4:00 in the afternoon. At the end of the big storm, I guess I’ll chalk it all up to “lesson learned.” I’ll keep those gas cans filled up from now on, and might even buy a third one. Two would get me through the day, but a third would have saved me a few trips. More propane in the house tank would have been nice too. Our gas fireplace in the living room helped take the edge off the cold a bit (no blower without power,) but the tank was low and I was getting worried that would run out too. If the Tesla batteries we ordered 14 months ago would ever actually show up, the whole thing would have been a non-issue. Maybe they’ll get here in ’22.

The Dead South, out East

Good weekend, if a little chilly. We voyaged east over the mountains to catch a concert up at Tahoe for entertainment. Wow, it was cold up there. Being a mountain town, in the middle of December, I suppose that is probably to be expected. It’s quite a shock to the system though, especially for being only an hour away from our house. There was about 3 feet of snow on the ground too, which seemed to have the local ski community buzzing. Fine weekend, but I have to say I was more than ready to get back down the hill and see temps over freezing.

As for the show, it was great, and I guess the weekend in general. We kicked it off Friday night with a great dinner at a place called The Sage Room. It was in a casino, which I am generally against, but given the weather I was more than happy to keep the walking to a minimum. We split a ribeye, which was fantastic. After dinner Michael and I hit this fancy cigar bar, which was a nice little treat. I very rarely have a cigar these days and wasn’t entirely sure I was up to one this particular evening. But once I read the description of the place as the “newest hip ultra-lounge in Lake Tahoe,” I figured I pretty much had to go, since that describes me perfectly. Meanwhile, the girls gambled away down in the casino, and did pretty fair. Or not bad, at least.

Saturday, we went over to a friend’s house for brunch. They’ve got a fancy house up in the mountains that they just moved into recently, so I finally got to see it. Fancy indeed. Wow they were in some deep snow though, poor guy had to move several feet of that horrible stuff off his driveway, so we’d have a place to park. We had entirely way too much food to eat, so we went back and caught a quick nap, then it was off to the concert. We were seeing a group called The Dead South. It was sort of a random ticket purchase some time ago; I’m not really familiar with them, but the ticket price was good, and we always have fun in Tahoe, so we figured what the heck. It ended up being a great show, I really like them. Not sure exactly how you would describe the music… Power-Bluegrass? Speed-Folk? Got me. They pulled off whatever-it-was very well though. Certainly in the “fast and loud” category, but with their own unique sound. I’d see them again if I get the chance.

This guy opened for them, Willy Tea Taylor. Nice little acoustic set.

And this is a song from The Dead South.

And a few pictures from me.

Maybe a few pictures?

Eh that was a wasted weekend. All work and no play make a dull weekly update, as the saying goes. I had Sunday off, but didn’t get home until around 9:30 so I just fell asleep then, even slept through the Chiefs game. Wah Wah. What can ya do. Donette made some delicious curry soup for dinner, and that comprised my weekend entertainment. I took some pics, that’s all I got.

Birthday Weekend

That weekend was spent celebrating Donette’s birthday. Yep, the whole weekend, starting Friday. It was often, and annoyingly, interrupted by work, but we did what we could. We kicked it off on Friday at our standard haunt, the Foothill Beer Temple. Hey, what can I say about that? Sort of like last Friday, and the one before, and the one before, and… You get the idea. After that we headed back home, but stopped at another almost-regular spot, the Little Italian Place. It was only 5:30 so we were able to score a table and enjoy a nice pasta dinner. After that, back home to the couch to suffer the carb-coma.

Saturday, we drove all the way out to Roseville, to try the Top Golf place with some friends. I’ll admit I wasn’t too supportive of this idea. For one thing, I don’t enjoy golf. Secondly, I had to work all night, so I had that looming over my head. Both counts worked out ok though. As it turned out, everybody I bothered to watch was (nearly) as bad as myself, and work… well just not much to do about that anyway. I even managed to win one of the games, albeit the one where you just blasted the ball and hoped for the best. The “skill” games, I didn’t fare quite so well on. I may have been suffering from my extreme lack of an attention span by that time too. Eh, I’d go back for sure. It was fun and certainly something different.

Sunday, of course, was football and couch day. We did go out to a tasty breakfast at El Dorado Cafe, which I believe was the first time since moving to this house. Hasn’t changed much, thankfully. I’ll have to say, I didn’t think the chicken fried steak was as good as the Diamond Springs Hotel entry, but I cleaned my plate so it must not have been too bad. After that we rolled (literally) back home and watched the games. I threw together a pot of Green Chili that came out passable, and that wrapped up the day.

Monday was the actual birthday. This, of course, was rather limited in scope due to that silly work thing. I did make an effort to multi-task though, starting with a breakfast frittata. That went over pretty well, I’ll have to file that one in the “keeper” section. After a day of fun at my desk had concluded, we headed “downtown” to the big Placerville to see what was happening. As usual, not a whole heck of a lot. Mondays are even slower days than most down there. We kicked around in some of our favorite spots, then looked around for a dinner spot. First choice was the Thai spot we’d never been to, but a quick glance through the window indicated that was a no-go; Too crowded. We thought about a few other familiar places but ended up getting back in the car and driving a little bit to Smith Flat House. Worth the drive for sure. I don’t think we’ve been there since my mom visited last year; we should make an effort to put it in the main rotation. Can’t really go there too often though… It’s a small menu and I’m pretty sure it hasn’t changed since we last went there. I can only eat so many steaks. (Just kidding, I could eat steak every night.)