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So, since I’ve got a few days off work for Christmas I thought I would finally get around to trying to find the leak under the dash of Wally, our old super beetle. With all the rain we’ve been having I’ve had to pull the carpets out to keep them from molding. That and the fogging problem has been horrible.

After some muttering, cursing, and totally destroying the glove box, I finally got the dash completely out of the car.

From Wally the Superbeetle

And what should I find but an old mouse nest tucked up in the heating system.

From Wally the Superbeetle

After cleaning that out and pulling the heating ducts loose I get this.

From Wally the Superbeetle

Not looking too bad so far. But where the heck is my leak. Ahh, crap! Found it.

From Wally the Superbeetle

On both sides no less. The window sill on both sides is rusted clean through. This is going to be an ugly fix.

I spoke with Roberta and we both seriously thought about saying “bag it” Time to trash the money sucker. But, I’m going to strip the windows out and see what I can do. Not sure, maybe some fiberglass. I’ll have to update later.

So, note to self. If a 1974 Super Beetle starts leaking out from under the dash, run away.


Sitting in Applebee’s in Salinas having lunch, when it dawns on us. 5 years ago today Roberta and the girls arrived here in California from the aftermath of Katrina. It was in the hotel a block from here that we spent our first Californian Christmas.

Time sure does fly by some times.

As some folks know, the state of California has deemed the level of drugs Roberta is now on fighting cancer, is such that she is no longer eligible to drive a motor vehicle safely. As such, she’s been grounded from driving.

Others are also aware that Megan turned 15 1/2 this week. As such, she can now sign up for drivers education and get her driving permit.  Well, today on the way to get some lunch Megan pops up and says “I need to practice my Morgan Freeman voice!” What? Why?

Remember the movie “Driving Miss Daisy??” That’s going to be us! (She unwisely says to Roberta). I’m not sure how I keep from crashing the car we’re driving due to laughter over the image in my head and Roberta’s dire threats of violence on our daughter.



I usually don’t post much about Roberta’s cancer. I let her do most of that.

However, today I’m going to make a post. As some who have followed our ordeal know, we debated long and hard about doing another round of Chemo. The last time she tried it she ended up fighting pneumonia for 2 months. This time we figured it was gonig to be a roll of the dice. A chance it could kill her, a chance it would do nothing, a chance it would let her live longer. There is no cure, but we might be able to buy more time.

She was supposed to do 6 rounds of Gemzar this time, but her liver enzymes shot up after the 3rd and they pulled the plug after the 4th round. So, she’s sick as hell, still has hair, but didn’t finish the course of treatments.

She had an MRI on Tuesday to see if the Gemzar had helped at all.

Comparing to 4 months ago ALL tumors are either the same size or smaller. All of them. So, luck was with us. She’s better than she was 4 months ago.Now we just need to keep her from getting pneumonia again and this will be a complete win. (ignoring the pain, vomiting, etc).

Now a few weeks to a month of recovery from the chemo, a month or so of breathing, and then we talk about doing it all over again.

Here is an article from the Daily Newsminer discussing the ARSC’s possible loss of it’s DoD contract and the laying off of most of the 46 employees. Most of whom I know and have worked with in the past. This is terrible news and I hope something comes along to change this from happening.

Daily News Miner

I heard rumors and spoke with some of the players at Supercomputing. This isn’t coming as a surprise, more like a slow nightmare I think.

ARSC was my first Super Computing center. I helped build and maintain the IBM systems icehawk, iceflyer, and iceberg. 3 1/2 years of my life were working there. I have a lot of fond memories of the place, people, and life there.

For the last 17 years the town of Pacific Grove has put on a “Snow in the Park” event down in Caledonia Park. It’s where they bring in a snow machine and cover the basketball court in a big pile of snow for the kids to play in. There’s also a smaller pile at the other end of the park for the littler kids.  Then there is the Kids crafts and gifts down at the retirement center, the Masons lodge does kid identification and cookies, Santa shows up on the fire truck, etc. A lot of little events surrounding the Snow event.

I was worried that no one was going to show up this year. The event was supposed to start at 10AM and I finally got out of bed at around 8:30 to the sound of rain hitting the roof. Uh Oh. It was raining pretty good too.

I chatted with Molly and Nora and we decided we would give it a go anyhow, seeing as the park is only about a mile from us. We drive down and are happy to see the number of kids playing/swarming the snow pile and parents huddled under their umbrellas.

Here’s the view as we walk down to the park.

From Monterey Living

Understand, the whole Snow in the Park is a pile of snow on a basketball. But the kids have a blast.

From Monterey Living

This year the rain was pretty bad so all of the adults were standing around hiding under umbrellas.

From Monterey Living

Then Molly took a snowball/iceball to the face.

From Monterey Living

A fat lip and bloody nose later and we called it a day. Headed down to Lynn and Chucks restaurant SeaHarvest for some hot chocolate and to warm up. All in all the girls seemed to have a pretty good time at the event.

This is one of the reasons we tried so hard to get back into Pacific Grove after moving back from Scotland. It’s such a small town. Events like this get half the town out to support it. Our Parade of lights Thursday night had about 20 groups marching in the whole parade, and the streets were packed with people to be here for it. Drinking coffee/hot chocolate, chatting with friends and neighbors, having a good time.

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December 2010
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