As I was deciding to fly or drive to San Francisco (SF) from Los Angeles (LA) an article for the new BoltBus LA to SF bus-line came to my attention. So, I decided to make this an adventure and try out the new service.
$29 Dollar round trip ticket: LA Union Station to West Oakland BART station $14 each way plus $1 service charge. Seriously? This I gotta try.
The bus arrived on time to only five guest and myself. I was pleased. Although, I could see it could have been like flying economy class if it was full. The seats are leather, and sit high – luxury styled with no wheel well seats. The bathroom is stainless steel and airliner small. No surprises. Additional amenities; cup holders, spring loaded foot rest, ample overhead storage, two plugs for each pair of seats, air conditioned, free Wi-fi, and a distinctive new bus smell.
The ride itself was smooth and stayed on time. Driver was no-nonsense and quick to board. There was a thirty minute half-way point break in Coalinga, CA. – Burger King parking lot. Thank goodness I packed my own meal and snacks. Heading out again at 1:10 PM. There was a brief ten minuet stop in San Jose. Then, directly onto West Oakland BART Station.
The reverse trip home was an identical experience with a few more people. The only real complaint I have about both trips is the Wi-fi connection is not as fast as I would have liked and they blocked Netflix.com. Even other streaming video sites required major buffering time. However, the connection was still fast enough to do my online work.
But, don’t kid yourself, you are sitting for six and a half hours. Then again, for twenty-nine bucks and you get to enjoy the California scenery fly by on your way to San Francisco or Los Angeles! I highly recommend.
Update: since my experience in November 2012, BoltBus has added an additional stop in San Francisco on this line.
You have been a faithful and glorious companion. We have seen many many things; San Diego, New Orleans, San Francisco, Mexico, Baltimore, New York, Miami, Washington DC, Japan, Santa Barbara, PCH, Hearst Castle, Fort Lauderdale, Monterrey, Hawaii, Cayucos, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Puerto Vallarta, San Jose, Palm Springs, almost every nook of Los Angeles, many things we can not mention here, and you accompanied me to work via the Metrolink train nearly everyday for eight strong years.
You are made of stars!
Paint strippers can be caustic and expensive especially when you are restoring eighteen double sash windows and all of their hardware. I tried this solution to salvage my vintage window hardware. It’s simple, easy and works like a charm.
Supplies: Old cooking pot, DAWN original dish washing liquid, wire brush and a few hours.
Simply place the hardware in the pot and fill with water. Add a few table spoons of DAWN. Set to low on the stove. Bring to a shimmer NOT a boil. A boil will cause it to bubble over. Now let it on low for four to six hours testing and adding water occasionally.
I used a pair of pliers to hold the hot (be careful!) hardware while I scrubbed with wire brush. Viola! Paint be gone and any old gunk too. At this point, you can polish if you want them to look “new.” I prefer the existing brass patina and simply rubbed them dry.
Now, it needs to be said that this will take dedication. Lots of it. No, not the arguing with the teenager – that’s easy. The training of the dogs!
Please take time to review the many resources available online and at you local library that discuss the systematic approach to achieving this magnificent dog euphoria.
END THE POO HUNT
I have elected to crate train my puppies and maintain control of water, food, play time and most importantly, potty time . . . at least until the desired behavior is achieved. Along with our selected style of positive training we decided to train the new puppies to do their business in the same 4 foot by 4 foot location each time.
This is tedious! However, the payoff of cleaning and maintaining a tiny area as opposed to the entire yard seems well worth the effort.
RAISED GARDEN BED
I recycled 240 red bricks I had laying around into a double-wide square brick wall. Then, lined the space with weed resistant fabric, pebble filled to about 1.5 inches deep for drainage, piled on and tamped down twelve bags of top soil. Lastly, topped with two rolls of 2×4 feet sod.
I used the dog pen as my loose template for the layout. I built my wall around it and used no mortar or glue. This is free standing and only four (4) bricks high. I improvised some steps at the last moment. This is really a mid-length solution, as you can see from the photos – I’m merely a dirt farmer. This should last two Summers until the backyard renovation.
The metal pen will gradually be phased out as the dogs behavior is shaped and they take ownership of the space.
It just recently occurred to me that this is in fact a Lifestyle site, not just a DIY site.
So, I decided to see how well this (phone) could handle all the things I need to accomplish for a full blog post. You know, see how well I could accomplish this post while not attached to my laptop, chained to a desk at home.
• my most recent post was completed using my Motorolla Razor smartphone.
• Downloaded and used the WordPress app to organize and format.
• I dictated the entire post and only used the keyboard for corrections and fine tuning.
• Camera phone photos.
• Color corrected, cropped, doodled with basic camera software options.
• connected via my data plan and/or wifi.
• Checked formating via browser app.
• I even approved feedback.
I must admit, this was much easier than I anticipated. There goes another excuse for not maintaining a fresh lifestyle site.
A spare of the moment re-purposing that supplied some breathing room and much needed relief.
My Mom and I are feeling empty nest again with my kid back to Hawaii for school.
Looking for a distraction she mentioned the pile of family and friends’ photos that were piling up and looking a bit messy. It was also making her sad that she could not see all the faces she is so proud of. Transfer of emotion and all that, I guess.
So, I popped into action; I grabbed the project board I made for my son a few years ago, while in High School (You know, the one to keep all his school and extracurricular activities organized!).
We spent the next half hour reminiscing and pinning up all of those little but important photos. It was a great moment.
It is a temporary solution but, now she can clearly see what she is so proud of and can pull them off the board as she finds proper places and frames for them.
I realized with this small impromptu project, that that organization advice rang true – you have something around the house that will work better and harder, you just need to take another look around.
It’s such a positive change in her personal culture with very little effort. It refreshed her bedroom and made her happy, which makes me happy.
I say, “Look around. Is there something simple you can do to increase your happiness quotient?”