Year 2000 – Getting to Retirement

This Year















Feb 14

Drove RV to Fleetwood in Riverside CA.
They promised it back in 3-4 weeks. I scheduled myself for 5 weeks (it took 8).  Flew back to San Jose from Riverside.


San Jose working at Siemens for the month.


Apr 14

Fleetwood delivered RV to Tucson
Windshield fell out -- fixed by Beaudry.

Apr 15-22

CRA-Yuma Lakes and Emerald Cove

CRA is Colorado River Adventures. This is a complex of 5 RV parks along the Colorado River, 1 near San Diego, 1 near Los ANgeles, and 1 in Mexico on the Baja. These are really bad places. These parks are RV tenement parking lots with hookups and no saving graces. CRA's pride and joy, Emerald Coce on the CA side, packs the RVs so close that you have less than 2 feet on each side before you run into another RV or a cabana-thing. 125+ temperature.
I was called by CRA and informed my CRA and TT contract might not be valid and that they had to look at it. For the trip I was promised $60 for gas and a Satellite TV disk and promised NO sales pitch. The whole thing was a scam: I got a $20 gas 'certificate', no TV dish, and a sales pitch for another RV park. A total waste of my time and money. I found out how really bad CRA parks are and how dishonest these sales people can be. But then if they were honest and I had better things to do, my contract would not be in jeopardy and a FAX could have resolved the problem -- so I guess I went out to see what can of scam I was in for.
My RV seems to work. The dual AC's can not keep it cool when the temperature is over 115.

Apr 23-28

Back to San Jose to work at Siemens for the week.

Apr 29-30

Moved out of Country Club apartments.
U-Haul screwed up the rental but luckily some strong arguments to the right places got me a belated, dirty truck. Drove the U-truck to Tucson. Belongings to storage. Megan worked her heart out to leave my apartment clean. Flew back to San Jose.



Lived in a motel and worked on last Siemens project. Bring people up to speed. Ride my bicycle to get exercise. I worry about how much I can complete for Siemens. One more week to Tucson-Verde Valley during this time.


Jul 3-7

Retirement Week. Lunch or dinner with friends (Judy, Michelle) all week.

Jul 6

Going away party at Siemens.
Unbelievable. Everybody came including a few from other departments and a couple who had left the company. It made me so proud to have such good friends. Daksha, Xiaomei, Peter. The going-away card notes all commented about how helpful I had been. I took my role as 'Advisory' engineer seriously. Barry Janiss was better at helping than I ever was -- Siemens will miss him.

Jul 8-11

Packed up motel room in San Jose
Helped Amy's sister move up in Fremont
Left San Jose for Tucson in the Camry.
Arrived in Tucson exhausted. Bree still on Hamptons St.
Moved stuff from Camry and storage into RV. RV to Beaudry for minor repairs.

Jul 21-24

Took off for TT-Verde Valley.

Lost new windshield at Carefree. Stayed in Phoenix until windshield fixed by Earnhardt.

Jul 25-31

TT-Verde Valley

Verde Valley is between Sedona and Jerome in Arizona. The area is beautiful high desert -- the west end of the Mogollon Rim.
Organize organize organize.
I am trying to improve my health by making rigorous day hikes. I hike up to mountain side trail to the sales office for my long hikes. Only to the family center for my short hikes. I have 3 problems. I must reduce my weight: I weighted 265 when I started. My scales now say 145 but I think the RV vibration has set it down. The next problem is my lung capacity. In 1973 I had a very bad case of Valley Fever. My lungs are badly scarred and so I need to improve the efficiency of the remainder of my lungs. Also I saw some chest x-rays showing that my heart had more than doubled in diameter since an earlier x-ray. My heart is so large that it has crowded my lungs. The enlargement is due to lack of exercise. This is not good and is what I am trying to improve upon. Improve the heart, enlarge the lungs, get rid of the fat, strengthen my legs. Oh. Diet changes: Less out of cans and boxes. More off the fresh/frozen shelf.
I am amazed at how much dirt I pick up with this new life style: I am always washing dirt down the shower drain.


Aug 1-8

TT-Verde Valley

Second week.

Aug 9


minor repair (vent lost later in the day). Bree at new apartment.

Aug 10-14

CRA-Yuma Lakes

Overheated and organized.
There is absolutely nothing to do here. And the little pool is so hot that people treat it as a sauna.

Aug 15-28

TT-Pio Pico (San Diego)

Organize, rest, exercise, cool down.
No Cell Phone, easy online, Hiked up 1 mile steep hill to get cell phone access.

Aug 29-31

  TT-Pio Pico -> San Diego

What a trip. I left Pio Pico, picked up my mail in Jamul (Thank you, Bree), drove to San Diego stopping at Wal-Mart, Fry's PetSmart, etc. Arrived in San Marcos to spend the night at Beaudry's to get part fixed.


Sep 1-13

San Diego -> TT-Soledad Canyon

What a trip. I drove I-5 from San Diego through Los Angeles to CA-14 to Soledad Canyon. Never again through LA. Next time I take I-15 around. I-5 through has truck exits for low bridges. Even still one bridge was 13'8" and my clearance is 13'6". I sweated on that one -- a bad bump and I lose an air conditioner. Traffic was not bad. I like CA drivers: you can count on them to not do totally stupid things like try to merge into your right side coming in on a ramp (ala Phoenix). Once out of LA I found Soledad Canyon. On arrival I did my laundry, got email, had dinner, went to bed by 8pm -- Exhausted.
I woke up with sore shoulders and back from tension of the drive through LA.  Soledad: Beautiful. A picture cannot do it justice. The 2 weeks here should be fun. This is a very large RV park. I stayed in today and got my PC in shape. Still need to fix scanner and SCSI CD-R. Took out modem because it conflicted with port needed for UPS and LapLink. Got to fix that too. UPS software works. Laplink works. Ready to go to war. I need to get the Dish-TV set up but I watch little TV so it does not seem critical. Need to watch finances to see what budget I have. I still need to get insurance.

The nearest town to the RV park is Lancaster. I have not seen it. If I need groceries in the next 2 weeks, I shall go into town. Scanner is dead. CD-R is dead. People here are obviously big city. First park where the people did not wave as they pass. Some people just ignore you when you say hello. Others are normal: friendly. PC Laplink works well but very slow -- much slower than a modem. UPS works but uses same port as the Laplink. So I can not lose power during transfers.

I need to spend more time walking and talking to people but I need a couple days to get my paperwork together and get some more files organized. I am looking forward to San Jose and my friends.

Sep 14-15  Siemens in Santa Clara

Visited friends from my old job.

Sep 16-29  TT-Morgan Hill

The Morgan Hill RV park is 40 minutes south of San Jose in good traffic. The park is typical Thousand Trails with one exception. So internet access is limited but very good for TT. My modem only connects at 24k but the guy next to me could get 48k. I really do not like the IBM-Thunkpad Lucent built-in modem. Cell phones do not work in the park but a short hike gets marginal reception.

The park personality is different: people live here. Kids walk up the road in the morning to go to school. The climate is great. Someday on this trip it shall rain and I shall be unhappy. But it has not happened yet. Friday I move out giving Megan back her car.

Sep 26-28  San Jose Embedded Software Conference

I went Monday night to a dinner/show by OSE/Mentor. I have always like the OSE model for operating systems. This partnership sounds like a good thing. I wish I had better net access to read some of their papers.  I saw my old boss from Siemens.  The guy can not let up.  People like him really ruin a company: you have to have at least some people skills.  0 on a scale of 0-100 is really bad news.  It would have ruined the evening if I had not enjoyed the OSE/Mentor people I met.

I enjoyed the show.  The technology has really moved forward.  The show previously had a myriad of emulator hawkers.  No it has moved seriously into productivity tools.  There are still emulators but now we have CORBA, OS's, consulting firms, etc.

Sep 29-30  TT-Morgan Hill->Pleasanton

I spent the last day in Morgan Hill resting. Then I took off for Yosemite. I tried to buy my 50 gallons of Priceline gas at the promised Shell station.  I hate Shell stations.  The pumps refused my card.  The attendant was less than helpful.  I had to email Priceline for a refund.  Sometimes I wonder if the 5 cents/per gallon is worth Priceline.  I know, it is 20 cents.  Not really. It is 20 cents off of Shell or Union.  They are already 15 cents higher than the local brands.  I save a nickel in change and it costs me dollars in aggravation.  I bought gas at Rotten Robbies and took off for Yosemite.

I got as far as Pleasanton, saw the BART, and called Megan.  I spent Saturday working on Megan's computer.  I left with her laptop returned from Acer with a new hard drive and a shift's work of new software.  Adding a new hard drive to her desktop PC resulted in an overheated power supply.  We bought a new one from Fry's: dead out of the box.  I had already moved the RV from Morgan Hill to the Pleasanton Wal-Mart and spent the night there.  We will get a new power supply when I return from Yosemite.

The rain should start any day.


Oct 1-15  Pleasanton -> TT-Yosemite

This is a nice park.  I am getting the idea that the Dallas operation is intentionally pocketing the dues to pay its Money City executives at the expense of the park upkeep.  Everyone talks about how great the parks were before Texas got involved.  Too bad.  The California flag is ripped and it and the US flag are so bleached that I am sure the flag police would arrest the manager if he could be found.

The park shut down its recreation facilities after labor day.  The laundry runs only cold water and the floor is dirty.  Maybe that is a result of the shut down.  I understand that the primary member area (they have a non-member area) shuts down in 2 more weeks.  I got here just in time.  Yosemite does not keep its east entrance, Tioga Pass, open after the snow.  When the weather turns, not many people come.

The park is nice.  The people are nice.   The weather is nice.  Who could ask for more?  Internet connects.  No cell phone.  No TV.  I shall try the Dish-TV again when I get the chance.  It did not work in Soledad.  I never got a chance to try in Morgan Hill.

Tonight I go to the lodge and see the presidential debate.  Mr. Analysis versus Mr. Emotion.  I sure hope Mr. Bush does not win: our parks and schools can not take any more Republican presidents.

Yosemite was great, met some nice people, improved a PC, nice walks under the pines.  Relaxing.  Still need to set up the Dish and get my finances updated.  This is a problem: it is too much like work.

Oct 15-21  TT-Yosemite -> San Jose

Back to Berkeley to fix Megan's PC.  I think it will be too late to go further north this year.  The rains are due.  I spent the week at Megan's and saw my girlfriend only once.  Sooner or later I shall close that chapter.  Really enjoy the time with Megan.  Someday some guy is going to figure out what a great person she is.  I hope he is the right guy.  Walmart is a great place.  Fry's is such a joint.

Last time we bought a power supply at Fry's and it was dead out of the box.  This time I bought 2 of them.  Different brands.  They were both dead.  I returned them and bought a fan for the old power supply. It worked.  Stupid.  And people think I am a pessimist?  Who else would keep trying Fry's components?

Oct 22

Down the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)

Oct 24-Nov 7

PCH -> TT-Rancho Oso


Nov 8

TT-Rancho Oso


Nov 8-Nov

TT-Rancho Oso


Nov 8-Nov 7

TT-Rancho Oso


Nov 8-Nov 7

San Jose

TT-Rancho Oso

Nov 8-Nov 7

San Jose

TT-Rancho Oso

Nov 18

CRA-Lake Havasu

Spent night outside CRA after driving down from Lake Havasu. OK Tonight but would be too hot in the summer.

Nov 19-Jan 5

CRA-Lake Havasu

CRA-El Golfo


Back in AZ for Christmas – otherwise El Golfo.

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Written:  2000          Updated: September 08, 2003                Back To Top