Sunday, June 27, 2021

...And Go!

 June 27,2021 and we finally started the USA tour.

We pulled out of Imperial Manor in Sacramento, wiping away a tear, and headed south.  we were supposed to go north to Bend Oregon, but 105 degree heat and a sketchy power grid convinced us to head instead to Laguna Seca in Monterey County to a) visit a grand daughter and b) enjoy the 65 degree weather.

Laguna Seca is one of RVers best kept secrets.  The campground is located above the world famous race track and while some people may consider that track noise a disadvantage, we consider it a bonus.  There is some low level noise from a nearby shooting range that the dog considers a nuisance.   Doesn't bother us a bit.

The campground is operated by Monterey County Parks and at $45.00 is one of the best priced options in the Monterey Bay area - Thousand Trails not withstanding.  It also has the advantage that you can usually get in there with little notice - unlike any of the other area campground.   Non-potable water (exceeds federal maximum for arsenic - very common on farmland these days.  A lot of people in the campground drink it anyway, the standard is questionable) and no sewers.  30Amp power.  

Caveat:  wife reminded me of the Monterey County Fairgrounds - which has RV sites.  We managed to get in there once during the AT&T open at Pebble Beach. - I didn't care for the RV sites that much, but beggars can't be choosers.

One other caveat:  During major Racing Events (NASCAR, AMA Superbikes etc) the county essentially cedes control of the campground to the event producer - who then rents out the spaces to their fans.  It is usually not possible (and probably very expensive) to get RV space during one of those events.  The ticket office told us that the RV spaces for some events are passed down in family inheritances.

We, unfortunately, had to cancel the run to Glacier National Park, Dubois Wyoming and the ESCAPEES convention at Rock Springs Wyoming.  We will remain in California until July 19.  We will stay at Laguna Seca until July 7, when we need to vacate due to the upcoming Superbike Race.  We are not sure where we will go for the 7 to the 15th.  (RV will parked outside our house 15-18).  Maybe Thousand Trail San Benito.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021


 A frantic couple of weeks.  the author and his wife have both retired now.  About 1/2 the garage is taken up with school supplies, which hopefully our youngest daughter will use in her new classroom and few days of frantically readying the RV.

The RV preps consist mostly of packing and evaluating what we have with an eye to reducing the weights and minor repairs 

Tentative start date, June 21, 2021.

Here's hoping.

Friday, June 4, 2021

One retirement down - one to go - the roadtrip is about to begin


Today I draw the curtain on a career in Computer Science that extended over 40 years. 

I started on computers that were car sized behemoths that we actually called "Minis". We programmed them using Hollerith punch cards, paper tape and the switches on the front panel.  I ended my career working on computers that didn't actually exist - virtual machines within other computers where the compute engine is smaller than one of the keys on that PDP-11/45 I spent hours happily toggling in my first job.

And that machine within a machine is located miles away accessed by this remarkable thing called the Internet.  A far cry from the from the TTY-33 over a 110 baud dial-up modem I used in college.  When we got a 300 baud Decwriter I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

And yes, the Internet.  I watched it grow from an interesting thing that a few computer people used to share messages, small files and tons of jokes, to a ubiquitous force that has changed virtually everything we do. 

It even allowed me to court my wife via email - though we worked in offices a couple of doors apart.

I've done fascinating things with computers - working with satellites, signals, commercial applications and even building new computers. 

I’ve met fascinating, capable people.  I’ve even hired incredible capable people that are still out there making a difference

All the companies I worked for were doing amazing things that I was proud to be a part of.  There was one, that I joined as a small operation, and we grew it by orders of magnitude to be the "gorilla in the marketplace".  Sadly, I also got to watch it implode down to be shadow of its former self.

It was that company that taught me that there is a big difference between a manager and a leader.  It taught me that it is not necessarily a compliment when senior management categorizes you as "excellent leader".  It also taught me that you really can't go home again.

My last company and jobs was picked by me for me.  It was a company I admired.  And much to my delight, I got to work with computers and radios.  And they even paid me to do it.  I think I would have done it for free.

 My last company also brought in the newest generation of Computer Scientists.   I stand in awe of their intelligence, knowledge and abilities.  To them I say “Ok, Kids, the torch has been passed.  Run with it”.