September 11, 2009

Car crashes, classes and city clatter - welcome home!

SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - The Admiral and I have been back in Sacramento for a little more than two weeks and already packed in two road trips (San Francisco for a birthday dinner and Camp Connell for a Four Headlamps reunion), taught two weeks worth of university classes, and dealt with matters automotive.

Because our two Mexico vehicles are in, well, Mexico, we are relying on the little red Nissan truck that I purchased new in 1990. With 105,000 miles on it, it's practically a new vehicle, except that it lacks one necessary accessory for this latitude (and this time of the year): an air conditioner.

When I bought the Nissan in February of 1990, air conditioning seemed like such a luxury. Today, driving to the university in 100-degree heat, it didn't seem so.

Nissan gets a new muffler
Nissan gets a new muffler

When we picked up the Nissan from its winter, spring and summer home at Ruth and Brian Gray's house in Murphy's it was obvious that either Brian had put on a new hot rod muffler or - and more likely - the muffler had a hole in it the size of Rush Limbaugh's mouth.

The Rush's-mouth theory won out when I inspected it and we made a quick trip to a muffler shop in South Sacramento, where we had a new muffler installed. When I went to pay the bill, I thought I had accidentally warped to Mexico. It was $53, total.

Fender bender in Sacramento
Fender bender near our Sacramento house

No matter where you live, people always seem to claim that the worst drivers in the world live there.

Sacramento is no exception, except there's evidence that people do drive like maniacs, particularly on the freeways that criss-cross the town like a tic-tac-toe board. The Admiral and I have had a few close calls, but mostly been witness to numerous cases of horns blaring, people shouting and much wild gesturing involving fingers. One fellow swerved across three lanes of traffic to shout at me because he thought I was going to swerve into his lane.

Three lanes!

Luckily, we have two bicycles (my ancient KHS and a borrowed unit from Sanders Lamont) to provide most of our local transit. Less time on the freeway and less wild gesturing of fingers and shouting will be good.

Class at Sac State
One of my classes at CSU, Sacramento

Admiral Fox has already started her countdown-to-Mexico calendar, now that we have two Sacramento weeks behind us. I'm a little more sanguine and won't get really excited for, say, another week or two.

Part of the reason is my four classes are taking up much of my attention - as they always do at the outset of the semester. But the other is we are seeing our granddaughters Sami and Kami more and they are a hoot to be with.

This morning I spent an hour chatting with daughter Anne while granddaughter Kami decorated my head with her collection of plastic bugs.

Kami at her birthday party last week

I will really miss her decorative skills this winter and spring while I'm in Mexico and real bugs are climbing on my head.

But that's, oh, three months from now.

No comments: