Early On A Frosty Mornin'

I wish I was in the land of cotton
old times they are not forgotten
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie Land.

In Dixie Land where I was born in,
early on a frosty mornin'
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie Land.


A Very Nice Weekend

...and the beauty of it was, we didn't drive all over half of California.

Ms Darlene came out again on her birthday so we visited her new favorite place in the world...Sausalito.   It's the town just across the Golden Gate from San Francisco, home of jewelry and fashion shops and trendy little Trip Advisor restaurants. We spent hours, Saturday, just walking around, amazed at the people who, like us, were out to see what others were gawking at.

That along with a trip up Highway 1 toward Stinson Beach and back toward the overlook at the Golden Gate filled the day.  It was great but the full moon shining across the bay made it a special event.

Sunday, we ate early at the Hollywood Cafe at a sidewalk table.  It was really great with large breakfast portions at a reasonable price and the service was just outstanding.

The rest of Sunday saw us walking up and down the streets from Ghiardelli Square to Pier 39 and lots of places in between.  That afternoon, we took an hour long boat ride out underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island.  We were told that 90% of San Franciscans have not been under that bridge.  (84.7353% of statistics are made up.)  As for a tour of Alcatraz, that's just not something I want to do and have to think about the pure misery of the prisoners on that rock.

Anyway, here's some pictures.



It probably occurred to me a couple weeks late but this past weekend, I thought it might be nice to check out the salmon run on the Stanislaus River.  Up north of Oakdale, California near Knights Ferry was where I thought was the more optimal place without having to drive through half of California.

I had it all to myself on a nice cool morning and with my back to the sun, the golden trees were simply magnificent.

Arriving pretty early Saturday morning, I took the trail down the Stanislaus for a mile or so.  Along the way, I was puzzled by perhaps a hundred buzzards in the trees.

I stopped to ponder them, taking a few photos before I settled in to check out some fall flowers and the bees and butterflies that found them attractive.

After doing my best to annoy the insects, I continued down the river and could hear a light roar from rushing waters.  This would be the Russian Rapid.

As I approached the water, I understood why the buzzards were roosting in the trees nearby.  In the water, there was one huge salmon that had died but not floating yet.  I watched the small rapids for quite a while and never seeing a fish jump in the attempt to go upstream.

 Apparently, I was a couple of weeks late and the main salmon run had already run it's course.  That's pretty much appropriate for me.

Returning back near my starting point, I was able to see several dozen large salmon under the large concrete bridge.  Some were a beautiful reddish color while some were gray showing white spots caused from a hard fight upstream from the ocean.  Parts of the skin were literally coming off right there in the water.

Reading up on the migration; once a salmon hatches out, it goes downstream to the ocean where it stays four or five years then begins it's migration back to where they were born.  Once they spawn, this is where they die and complete it's life cycle.

On the Stanislaus, the migration stops just above the old covered bridge, being stopped by a water control dam.  It was a nice day, walking the woods, fields and climbing over the rocks there.


"No, you're going to get off this plane...RIGHT NOW!!"

I had closed my eyes briefly as the remaining zones loaded onto American Airlines 1602 in Dallas.  Moments earlier, I watched as one passenger, two seats in front of me, attempted to stow his roller bag in the overhead compartment and in doing so, the backpack, still on his back, nudged a woman in the opposite side of the aisle.  It seemed like a very light brush but no one likes having a pack in their face.   The woman complained and the pack wielding man, turned and apologized profusely.  That pretty much ended the incident and I rested my eyes a bit, thinking about what time I had to get up earlier that morning to make the flight from Baton Rouge that would connect me to the flight to Sacramento.

Moments later, I was startled to hear, "No....you're going to get off this plane, RIGHT NOW!"  The flight attendant yelled again, "Yes you are!  Get up, you're not flying on this plane!"

I couldn't  tell exactly what had happened so I leaned over to the grinning guy next to me and asked, "What's up?"

"That woman two seats up took a swing at the flight attendant."  He added, "The flight attendant pulled a bag out of the bin to repack it and the strap dropped down on that woman so she took a swing and hit the bag the attendant was holding."

Further commotions erupted with some more words I couldn't make out, then the attendant headed up toward the front with haste.  The woman turned and pleaded her case that she was merely trying to knock the bag strap away from her to protect her $1,000 pair of glasses but a couple of other passengers, told her that wasn't what they saw.  Now, I have some pretty expensive glasses and I was a eyeglass wholesaler in a previous life and I can tell you they were not a thousand dollar pair of glasses, but that's another issue.

Five minutes later, another flight attendant approaches the lady in seat 21D and asked for her version of the story.  After a bit of discussion, flight attendant number 2 gets the lady to come up to the front to work things out with the captain.  Good cop, bad cop thing going on here, I think.

Now, we're 20 minutes late on the departure already.

A few minutes later, the woman comes back and starts retrieving her carry-on bag and while she's doing it begins to once again, tell her version of the incident.  Several other passengers, already looking at their watches tell her just to "suck it up and get off the plane, lady."  Thankfully, she relents and heads back up to exit.    A few minutes later, another female passenger, who was on standby, takes the seat.

Flight attendant #1 came back and joked and laughed with the passengers regarding the incident.  She collected a half dozen business cards, I'm guessing to have some witnesses that would take her side in case the disenfranchised passenger decided to lawyer up.  She admits that the captain wanted to let passenger #1 fly if she would apologize to the flight attendant but the ladies told him no.  "If she flies, we don't"   So, to avoid a mutiny, the captain ejected passenger #1.

By this time, we're already 45 minutes late closing the front door.  That, with the car rental agency being temporarily out of cars, caused me being an hour late getting to Modesto.