Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Dog Ate My Homework!

No, really!

Updating for the 21st Century...
I wrote half of today's blog before falling asleep around 1AM. At 0330 I woke up again and looked at the screen of the notebook, and clicked to finish my thoughts.

*POOF* All everything disappeared, vanished, zero, zilch, zip, nada. I clicked all over, tried history, refreshing...everything. Resigned to my fate, I thought of the Homework Eating Dog Excuse, and closed my eyes again.

My original title was "Cooling Trend" In the blog I brilliantly weaved a tale of the falling fortunes of my beloved San Francisco Giants, the cooling of the weather here in the Inland Valley, through skiing news from New Zealand, then ricocheting to the falling temps in the Arctic and Antarctic, and the continued trend of the PDO into the cool phase. I was Brilliant...honest!

So, I woke up, made a pot of French Roast and mixed up a loaf of Banana Bread. Not my old favorite's still safely ensconced in my recipe file at the DaveCave. I thought it came from one of my Mom's cookbooks, but I was mistaken. Old Fave uses honey in lieu of white sugar, and 1 1/2 cups of mashed bananas. It always turns out very moist with a heady banana aroma, and a fine texture. Next time I'm home, I'll make a recipe Word Doc for the Family Cookbook.

Today's Banana Bread was chosen because it didn't require mashing the fruit, and it uses sour cream, which I had in stock. I can smell the sour cream two rooms away from the kitchen as the loaf cools. Even the heel, eaten warm is rich...the recipe is named "Janet's Rich Banana Bread". Thanks!

As I was writing, I heard the mailman drive down the street. I looked at my watch...too early...I looked down the street, and it was a mail truck. I slipped on my jungle mocs and opened the door...voilà there was a package on the front porch! My copy of "The Lincoln Highway: California" has arrived!

I browsed the book, it's very nice, and the list of my personal connections is growing exponentially! Chapter One: Verdi, Nevada to Sacramento is all about my piece of the Lincoln.

I've driven Dog Valley Road a dozen or so times over the years, it was even the detour for Interstate 80 during a wildfire a few years back. I built a couple of houses on Prosser Dam Road. Near Cisco Grove, BajaBabe worked at the Big Bend Ranger Station. Old Highway 40 over Donner Summit...lot's of touchstones.

I'd often wondered if the Lincoln used Ophir Road between Auburn and Newcastle...yes. In Sacramento, Auburn Blvd and Greenback Lane were once the Truckee Branch. Folsom Blvd, the Pioneer Branch.

In my youth, the family always stopped at the Nut Tree in Vacaville...on Monte Vista Avenue, of the1928 Lincoln Highway. North Texas St, West Texas St, Suisun Valley Rd in Fairfield...

Lots of exploring ahead! History...Ho!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Road to History

Another bit of Lincoln Highway history found it's way into @CorduroyPlanet's timeline today. It seems that @LincolnHwyAssoc is making good use of the social media.

This bit-o-history is vaguely familiar to's from Auburn, CA's daily paper the Auburn Journal. I used to ride right through Riley's Corner on my motorcycle tours through Gold Country. Auburn's Lincoln Way used to be named Main Street until 1913 when it was renamed for the newly established Lincoln Highway.

I read the story and looked up the area on YahooMaps...from the newspaper story I couldn't pinpoint the location in my mind's eye. Thanks YahooMaps!

No baseball today, thankfully the Giants are off...traveling to Florida actually, where they play the Florida Marlins.

The Giants' slide has been painful...and sadly the spate of injuries continues...Just acquired right fielder Carlos Beltran injured his hand in his last at bat Tuesday, and Nate Shierholtz is nursing a sore hip flexor...this injury thing is just getting unbelievable this season. 

There's never much on TV that floats my boat, but tonight there was bicycle racing on the tube. The Tour of Utah from today's race. Several Tour de France racers are in Utah...I wonder if they'll race on any of the old Lincoln Highway pavement? Well, I checked the Lincoln Hwy connections...

I'm surprised at how cool it was this was a bit warmer in Truckee today than here in the Inland Valley. The forecast is for continued cool days for the weekend.

Yesterday's clichés are haunting me today...I'm waiting for "The Lincoln Highway: California" by Gregory M Franzwa to come in the mail. I know it's "in the mail", I saw the check posted to my account. The California Chapter is taking a little longer to process my map order, I guess...

Even though feeling like the little kid who can't get to sleep on Christmas Eve isn't my favorite state of consciousness, now it's tempered by the knowledge that another tidbit of Lincoln Highway lore can come down the Information Superhighway when I least expect it.

Oh Twitter...serendipity be thy name...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Is Time a Cliché? or Does It Just Seem Like It?

Our American English is chock-full of time clichés. Recognizing two conflicting clichés piqued my musing muscle tonight.

First the slight of hand...the bird in the hand, not in the the bush, not the hand...wait a minute...d'oh!

Take two: A watched pot doesn't boil...time stood still...

The how time flies!

My Fantasy
So there I was...minding my own business...lamenting the seemingly eternal (three whole weeks) "Summer Break" of the Formula One season. Will August's last weekend ever get here? It seems like time is in slow motion...slower than molasses in January...

Formula One's first half ended on a high note, a second victory in a row for a team other than Red Bull Racing. After a meteoric start, and wild mid-season technical rule changes, ostensibly to "level the playing field", and the swirling hullabaloo surrounding the implementation of the new sporting regs, and the final reversal of said regs. Red Bull's dominance showed some chinks in their armor, losing two in a row to McLaren.

It turns out that Red Bull's "technical advantage"...widely believed to be their über-clever "blown diffuser", wasn't the key to the highway after all. McLaren and Ferrari closed the gap with their aerodynamic developments, not by playing with the delivery of exhaust gasses to their diffusers.

There's nothing that gets my motor running like the bleeding-edge engineering and close racing of F1...throw in some industrial espionage-style intrigue, some fever swamp conspiracy theorizing, and Mother Nature's heavy handed dealing, and you've got your basic World Class Entertainment!

The Belgian Grand Prix runs at the incredible Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium's Ardennes Forest. August 28th. Several of motor racing's most iconic corners reside at Spa-Francorchamps. Eau Rouge, La Source, Le Combes, Stavelot, these are the Mount Olympus of F1...breathtaking in every possible wonder time has become like Winter speed molasses.

My Reality
Tonight as I started writing this scratch, I noticed that it's already August 10th! Are you kidding me? Where did Summer go? Five weeks and change 'till the Reno Air Races take how time flies!

Holy Smokes! I read the first prediction for this Winter this week! Tahoe Weather Discussion predicts  winter snowfall of 75%-95% of average. To tell the truth, Winter is the farthest thing from my mind tonight. I closed the windows before 10PM tonight...that ol' marine layer is moving into the Inland Valley...bringing the Delta Breeze along for the ride.

Hey, I'm still waiting to find a decent tree ripened freestone peach...another cool Summer...oh, and Happy Birthday Smokey Bear! 67 years young!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Good and Tired

My weekend was all fun and games...
The dishes are done, the garbage cans and recycling are at the curb, and the San Francisco Giants won at home tonight, 6-0 over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Catcher Chris Stewart knocked his first Major League Home Run in the 5th inning. Long reliever Guillermo Mota looked like he could jump out of his cleats...I believe he enjoyed Stewart's homer more than Stewart did!

The Giants dugout, which has been the capital city of Dourville throughout the mostly winless slide over the last three weeks, suddenly looked like a birthday party at Disneyland. In fact, the whole sold out park was in a mood to was the second annual Grateful Dead Night at AT&T Park.

Tie dye and skulls were everywhere, and surviving Dead members, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir sang the National Anthem a capella with Giants' 3rd Base coach (and resident Free Spirit) Tim Flannery, to open the festivities.

Stewart's homer was just the kind of Feel-Good story to light up the Giants slumping offense, 1st baseman Aubry Huff got three hits, one a homer after Stewart's dinger. Stewart's ten years in Pro Ball, mostly in the minors, have been transformed into dues now...the little towns, the bus rides, and fleabag hotels are history for now. The TV cameras showed Giants publicity flacks in the bleachers talking to the teenaged fan who caught the home run ball. They made a bargain with the fan, and during the LIVE post-game interview, the reporter handed the ball to Stewart...a nice touch.

It's a good night to be a Giants fan!

And Fun:
Thanks to the wonder that is "The Information Superhighway" I'm finding more info on America's first coast to coast highway, The Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln Highway Association has a Twitter Feed now: @LincolnHwyAssoc Now news of the road comes along in my timeline...what a fascinating, modern world...

Because the Information Superhighway is a two-way highway, I fired off an email to Huell Howser the affable (read delightfully goofy) transplanted Tennessean who host's Public Television's "California's Gold" program.

Ol' Huell is a One-Man-Band when it comes to California-centric Gee-WhizTV! Huell hosts and produces "California's Gold", "California's Golden Fairs", "California's Golden Parks". "California's Green", "California's Communities", "California's Missions", "California's Water", "California's Golden Coast", "Visiting..." and "Road Trip"...and that's not to mention the Specials!

My email:
From: TruckeeDave
Date: Sun, Aug 7, 2011 at 12:18 AM
Subject: Finding Gold on a Road Trip

The Centennial Anniversary of the Lincoln Highway is coming up- 2013. I think it would make a natural "Road Trip"

The Lincoln Highway was America's first Transcontinental Highway, running from Times Square in NYC to Lincoln Park in San Francisco. Created by a car dealer (who built the Indianapolis Motor Speedway), a tire manufacturer, and a paving contractor, it was the model for the Interstate Highway System.

It was a match made in Free Market Heaven! The car dealer knew he couldn't sell many cars if they all wallowed in the mud-bog roads of the day, the tire maker knew he needed lots of cars using up his tires on good, long roads, and the paving guy needed the traffic to drive his business!

Motels got their start along the LH, as did service stations, in 1928 the Boy Scouts erected 3000 concrete Lincoln Highway Markers from coast to coast.

There's two branches of the Lincoln Highway in California, roughly Interstate 80 over Donner Summit, and HWY 50 over Echo Summit. Both converge near Sacramento and took various routes to San Francisco. The Berkeley Pier was part of the Lincoln was a Ferry Terminal before the Bay Bridge was built.

A few of the original concrete Lincoln Highway Markers are still around, Davis, CA has two, West Sacramento has one, I'm sure there are others around the State.

Livermore, CA has a Lincoln Highway Museum in a restored Garage (read Service Station) open the last Sunday of the month:

There's a  national Lincoln Highway Association with chapters in each state the highway traversed.

It's a rich vein to be quarried...right under millions of Californian's feet!

I touched on it in my blog this week:

Thanks for considering the Lincoln Highway, Huell!

I love the smell of diesel in the morning!

Tuesday I recieved the nicest Form Letter ever from Huell:

From: Huell Howser
Date: Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 3:25 PM
To: TruckeeDave
Subject: Re: Finding Gold on a Road Trip

I would like to personally thank you for contacting us.We always feel honored whenever people take the time from their day to write us and many of your ideas turn into future shows.

I can assure you that I do eventually read every single email and letter that we get. So even if you do not hear back from us -- other than this "form" letter -- it doesn't mean your story idea or request wasn't a good one, we simply receive many, many more good ideas than we could ever shoot or edit. I hope you understand and do not take it personally. We try very hard to be considerate and polite to every single person who sends us a request or story idea, but the truth is we are just not able to give it the personal, individual reply I would like to.

If you are searching for a show,please try our search feature on the upper right side of our website. It should help you find what you are looking for. If you are searching for the schedule that is front and center on our website.

In closing, I would like to personally express my appreciation for the time you took to write us at the show... and remember...

the adventure continues,

Huell Howser

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Funnies

Saturday I was watching the Giants/Phillies game, when the FoxTV cameras showed a deadly serious Bruce Bochy signalling to his batter. I almost did a "Spit Take"!

Bochy, the Giants' manager looked like he was guiding the Normandy Invasion or something else equally dire. The slapstick language of baseball signals just looked so totally ridiculous juxtaposed against the dour visage of Bochy on the top step of the dugout...the mirrored shades only contributed to the dichotomy. Boy, am I glad I wasn't sipping on my coffee!

After the Giants lost, continuing a nine game skid, I wasn't chortling any more. I ordered some Giants World Series embroidered patches...gotta get my fan on...the Giants need help...

Nine games (11 of 15 really) is a long slide...long slide? Like skiing? I could be starting to miss's what...only August?

About two weeks ago, I was behind a fire engine at a local stop light...I smelled the sweet smell of diesel exhaust...instant longing to smell my faithful old BR350's's high time I find some distraction. Perhaps the Cotati Accordion Festival? Two weeks out...better go to Plan B...