The Good

There are certain things about Reno that I love, and others I can’t quite get the hang of:

YAY:

– The Deli Counter:  At a supermarket in NJ (I’m looking at you, ShopRite in Fair Lawn) I have stood in line for 20+ minutes waiting for some ham.  Here, they pre-cut everything.  While you don’t get them sliced exactly how you might like it, I’ve never had to wait more than zero people.

– The DMV: NJ DMVs are not known for their speed, except inasmuch as they lack it entirely.  If you hit the Reno DMV on a Saturday, it looks like NJ.  But during the week, they still staff it with as many people as on the weekends.  Seriously, there were like 20 windows open.  It took me less than 20 minutes to get my registration renewed and my driver’s license redone, AND my car inspected.  Not bad.

– Car Inspections: I laughed out loud.  They told me I had to be inspected.  My car had already been smog-checked (which is a big deal out here), so I groaned when I had to do it.  I drove around to the side where a woman asked me how many miles it had on it.  I told her, and she wrote it down and said, “Okay, you’re done.  Drive around.”  Seriously!?  That was it?  YES!

I’ll save the bad for another day.  It’s a new year, let’s be optimistic.

A Rude Alarm Clock

So at some point in the morning (I don’t really know) I randomly wake up.  There are some lights flashing or something, and I’m sorta half-conscious.  I look out of my room and see there are flashing lights in my apartment.  That’s not normal.  I don’t know if my living room lamp is fritzing out or what.  I stumble out of bed in my T-Shirt and Happy-Face Boxers and before I get into the living room, I hear “RENO POLICE!”  This can’t be good, I think to myself.

Still not fully awake, and clearly looking like I’m not fully awake, I see two officers shining flashlights at me.  I’m not exactly sure what to do.  They inform me pretty quickly that my front door had been open and a neighbor called them because apparently it had been like that for some time.  The other officer tells me to stay put while he searches in my room.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, of course.  My door doesn’t always shut properly, and the wind has blown it open a few times.  Of course, if I routinely LOCKED my door, this wouldn’t be a problem.  Anyway, just then a woman walks by the still-open front door and peers in.  I turn to the one cop and say, “Hmmm, something tells me I should be out here in just my boxer shorts.”  He says, “At least you’re not in a G-String”.  I think I like the Reno PD.

The other guy comes back and tells me there’s been a spree of robberies in Reno (not particularly my area) and that I should lock.  I briefly explain that I’m quite happy that they found me.  I said “I’m from NJ – if I left my door open there, they’d likely steal the bed I was sleeping on.”  He asked to see some ID, which I showed.

The left rather politely, seeing I wasn’t robbing my own place.

It was 7 in the morning.  I couldn’t go back to sleep.  But after the constant debacles with the Elmwood Park police department (see my blog entries about it), I feel pretty good about Reno cops.

p.s.  Please look at my other blog posts – I’m still not at my goal for the CD Charity Drive, and I was REALLY hoping to give some kids a good Christmas.  Please consider donating just $22.50 (total) for 40+ songs of music and a GREAT cause.

Acculturation and Engorgement

Acculturation: the process of adopting the cultural traits or social patterns of another group.

I am not doing this.  Of course, I’m not particularly trying yet.  I’ve spent most of my days indoors doing work on the ole’ Lappy or the keyboard.  The other days I’ve spent with Ash just enjoying why I made this move.  Did you know they drive the speed limit here?  Like most of the time!?  I know, it’s shocking.  There’s a place where it’s a 15 mph when school is in session.  You’ll never guess what I see: people going 15.  Like MANY people.  ALL people, going 15 miles per hour.  It’s like a funeral process in every direction.  Creepy.

I’ll be damned if I’ll start pronouncing this state “correctly” either.  Nuh-VAAA-duh?  No thank you.

But I do enjoy it, even if it feels more like an extended vacation spot rather than home (yet).  I have a feeling I’ll be more active once the weather turns warmer and they don’t close every road (to disc golf courses) prematurely.  And if I go out and actually meet people.

I may have myself a Scott Fourre and company at my place on New Years.  Looks like I’m startin’ to wrangle up my first party.

Engorgement: the act of devouring greedily 

I engaged in this this weekend.  Thanksgiving dinner with the other fam, Sunday dinner with the other fam, and eating a bag of pretzel rods the other day.  Hey, I have to store up fat for the winter, don’t I?

Crappy Quality Pics

I left my camera in a car in San Jose after a paintball game. But here are a couple of crappy phone-quality pics. When I get my camera back, I will snap some shots of my place, my area, and maybe even my girlfriend.

First, my war wound from the paintball game. When you get hit in paintball, you put your hands (and gun) up in the air, people stop shooting you, and you walk peacefully off the field. Occasionally, you’ll get hit in quick succession by a few errant shots, but after a second or two, they stop. You should NOT get hit seven seconds later, especially not in your ribs that are unprotected when your hands are up in the air. See illustrations.

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Feels lovely.

Speaking of lovely, these are REAL clouds. I did not touch this photo up (I assure you it looks so fake because of the poor quality of the phone’s camera.  Actually, it looks like an oil painting, but it’s real.  Taken overlooking a Target)

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My Trip in Photos

So here are the photos of before and after my trip. First, some of the goodbye party.

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They’re cute, but for some reason, I think they look better in sepia. You be the judge.

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Anyway, I left and about 3 miles before I hit PA, what do I see?

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Dead-stopped traffic. Ahh, NJ, I’ll miss thee.

As I said in one of my last posts, our country gets less interesting as you go west. Case in point. Above is some interesting topography in NJ/PA.

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PA – fall foliage and hills dot the spectacular landscape

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OH – traffic cones and bends in the road dot the rugged landscape

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IL – some trees dot the landscape

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IN – A tree… and, uh, some power lines, dot the rather drab landscape

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IA – some… well, some dots dot the… wholly uninteresting landscape

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WHYoming – only these billboards dotted the landscape, constituting the longest 4.5 hours of my life

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UT – absolutely nothing dots this barren landscape which can only be described as moon-like and godforaken

Hell, look how bad things are in Nebraska.

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NE – so unfun they banned the thumbs-up

Then the states starting lying to me.

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I didn’t see one.

But not all was bad. I hit four courses, and though I only took pictures of three, the one in Nebraska (of all places) was amazingly beautiful and photogenic. Here are my pics of all three courses (the first pic is a small course in IN, the second and third are at Kearney in NE, and all the rest are at Lake Hastings in NE)

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skipped off the top of the basket on my second shot

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Not a bad course. But nothing compared to these

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The third pic (hole 9) is one of the best holes I’ve ever played (especially considering the 20+ mph winds) It is 500′ long downhill, with a road (and lake) OB to your left, and schule all the way to your right. There is a 30′ stream that makes the green an island green. It’s possible to pump one down past the stream and give yourself a deuce putt, or you can play it safe for your three (hopefully avoiding the one tree). Great hole. I 4d it because I can’t up to save a monkey from being skinned.

And I’ll leave you with various sunset pictures which shows that my 80mph one-handed photography skills are still goin’ strong. They are in order of how I like them.

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Pics of my place and the area coming soon.