Saturday, December 16, 2006

Shopping trip

It seems like about every twenty years or so, we have to buy Christmas presents for little kids. I haven't quite figured that one out yet. Anyway, Mrs. G didn't like my idea for a baby-sitting device:

Maybe it's because they're her sister's latest batch of grandkids. Maybe it's because duct tape's hard on the drywall. I coulda just gift-wrapped what I have on hand and saved us a trip, but nooo...

So over the mountains and through the woods to Carson City we did go. First to Costco, then to the exclusive boutique Tar-zhay*. Mission accomplished.

We left home in clear bright sunshine, but while we were gone the weather turned to shit. Did I mention that from Carson to my house, it's up 2500 feet, through a 7000'+ high pass down a thousand, up a thousand to another 7000'+ pass, and then down over a thousand feet in a final three-mile stretch of the steepest two lane state highway in California?

That last stretch was spent in 4-wheel-drive low gear coming down an icy mountain road with people who should have known better following too close. I didn't mind the Porsche Cayenne S too much because I'm sure he had good insurance, but I actually had to stick my arm out the window and wave "Back you people! Back, I say!" at the guy in the twenty-year-old 2WD crapcan. I flashed my brake lights at him and slid, so there wasn't going to be any stopping if an incident should occur. You can't always count on 'em sliding directly under your hitch receiver where they can't do much damage.

Go slow, leave lots of room between cars, don't touch the brakes. 4WD's for traction, not for speed. Leave earlier.

The Tacoma goes into 4WD with the click of a dash knob which I assume is hooked up to something under the truck. It's a far cry, but not removed so long in time it seems, from stopping, getting out, getting all wet, putting the hubs in, selecting "in" or "out" on one floor-mounted lever and "high" or "low" on another, and proceeding on your way in a rig with no heater to speak of, a shop rag for a defroster, cable-operated, or worse, vacuum windshield wipers, and maybe an AM radio. Good thing, too. I'm gettin' too old for that shit.

I'm very content at this stage of life to poke along at a safe pace in a comfortably heated cab with my favorite tunes coming out of the speakers, thank you.

It does seem, however, that when it took a little suffering to go places back in the old days, there was less traffic. It's probably just me.

And how did your day go?

*Actual spelling: Target.

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