Category Archives: Rochester

Texas BBQ

Texas BBQ

We discovered a new BBQ place called Texas BBQ.  It is true to form of the service station BBQ joints you find in Texas, however, it is not in an old service station building.  It’s over in the RIT bookstore plaza in Henrietta.

The portions are generous, the food is tasty, and the place is clean. The prices are reasonable too.  I had the 2-meat combo and Elizabethe had their huge, loaded, baked potato plus our 2 drinks and tax came to $30.

Dim Sum After 1pm

I learned in San Francisco’s Chinatown that dim sum is breakfast food.  As the Chinese lady at Dick Lee’s Pastries explained, “Dim sum breakfast food.  Like Chinese donuts.”

We stopped at the Asian Market to see if they had sesame balls.  They were sold out.

Glen’s Off

Glen’s off to California after spending almost a week here.  We had a great time together.  I told him to plan on spending more time the next time he comes here.

Vertigo

We came home and I took a rest.  I got up this morning and experienced a bit of vertigo (twice).  It’s the only time in my life this has happened, so I’m taking things really slow today.  It only happened when I got out of bed.  (First, when I got off the bed, and second whey I took about 6 steps towards the bathroom.  I may have just got up too quickly.)

I’ll be carefully watching my blood pressure and what I eat and drink.  While I think it might be related to my SHL (Sudden Hearing Loss) casual about this stuff.  I was fine the rest of the day, but a little cautious about how quickly I’d stand up.  (And, to think Elizabethe has dealt with this sort of stuff her entire life.)

 

Driving 101

Driving 101

I will deviate today from photography and other happenings.   It’s time to say something about people’s driving.  This is Driving 101 – lanes – their use and meaning.  If they still teach driver’s ed and driver’s training, lots of people are failing while still getting a license.

Definitions

Lane – guide for where you drive.  It is delineated by lines – either solid or dashed, and either yellow or white.

Yellow line, solid – divides on-coming traffic lanes.  Solid on your side means you cannot cross it except to make a left-hand turn in to a driveway, or u-turn, where legal.

Yellow line, double-double – this is to be treated as if it were a concrete wall.  You cannot cross it even to make a turn.

Yellow line, dashed – divides on-coming traffic lanes.  May be used to pass a car in your lane if it is safe to cross the dashed yellow line.

White line, solid – may only be crossed in an emergency, or making a legal right turn in to a driveway, or to cautiously pass a stopped vehicle (that does not have its right turn signal blinking) in your lane.

White line, dashed – divides your lane from the one to your right.  May be crossed to change lanes, but may not be crossed to pass a car on its right.

Passing – overtaking a slower vehicle

Number 1 Lane – the left most lane in your direction.

Number 2 – X lanes – starting with the left most lane, lanes are number from left to right.  Thus, if there are 2 lanes in your direction, then the #2 lane would be the right lane.  #1 would be the left lane.

Lane Rules

When there is only…

1 lane in your direction – then you may only pass on the left when you have a dashed yellow line.  You must stay in your lane if the yellow line on your side is solid.

2 lanes in your direction – Lane 1 is for passing only.  Lane 2 is for driving.  Lane 2 may not be used for passing.

3 lanes in your direction – Lane 1 is for passing only.  Lane 2 is for passenger cars.  Lane 3 is for entering and exiting and trucks.  Lane 3 may not be used for passing.  Lane 2 may only be used for passing vehicles in Lane 1.

4 lanes in your direction – Lane 1, if not designated as a HOV lane (High Occupancy Vehicle Lane – aka Carpool Lane) is for passing.  Lane 2 for fast passenger vehicle traffic.  Land 3 is for trucks.  Lane 4 is for entering and exiting and slow vehicles.   In all cases, passing is to the left.  If lane 1 is an HOV lane, then treat lanes 2-4 as you would a 3 lane highway.

5 or more – see 4 lanes, and figure the extra lanes are for passenger vehicles with the slowest traffic to the right, and fastest to the left.  Lane 1 is either HOV or passing only.  If lane 1 is an HOV lane, then lane 2 becomes the passing lane.

4 Car Rule – if there are more than 4 cars behind you AND you are leading the pack (i.e. no cars in front of you for a considerable distance), move to the right, and let the others pass.  This applies to all cases, regardless of the number of lanes, with the exception of where there is a double-line to your right (e.g. HOV lanes).  In this case, you probably should have got in to that lane in the first case.  If you are the leader of the pack, and there are more than 4 cars behind you, you are impeding traffic and can be cited.  In the case of being in the right most lane, you must find a safe spot to pull to the shoulder and STOP until traffic has cleared.  (This is the case with farm equipment, and slow moving vehicles that cannot drive the speed limit.)

Note:  The ONLY time you can pass on the right is when the vehicle in lane #1 has come to a complete stop, and does NOT have its right turn-signal going.

2-second Rule – the distance between you, and the car in front of you, should be 2 seconds.  To measure that, pick a stationary mark on the side of the road.  When the car in front of you passes it, say, “One Mississippi, Two Mississippi.”  If you’ve already passed that marker, then you are too close.  Back off, and try it again.  Tailgating, as it is called, is illegal in ALL states.

Blind spot rule – driving in someone’s blind spot can cause an accident.  The blind spot is any spot where the driver cannot see you through their side-view mirror.  If you can see their face through the mirror, then you are NOT in their blind spot.  If you cannot see their face, then back off until you can, or speed up and pass if you safely can.

Flashers on – If a vehicle has its flashers on, you must move a lane to its left and slow down to pass.  If you are on a single lane road, then the 4-car rule applies and you may have to wait.  If the vehicle is on the shoulder with its flashers on, and you are in the right most lane, then you must move one lane to the left.  (e.g.  On a 2 lane in your direction, this means you would move to lane 1.)

If That’s Too Much…

If that’s too much to remember, here are some tips to help you remember…

  • Never cross a solid line except to make a legal turn
  • Never pass on the right
  • Never drive in a blind spot
  • Never tailgate
  • When in doubt, drive in the right most lane
  • Be courteous and let people pass if there are more than 4 behind you

There… I got that off my chest.  Of course, this comes after some moron on the thruway passed me on my right after I passed a semi-truck, and had my right blinker on.  They then, got on the bumper of the car in the right lane, and rode them like two snails in heat.

Where’s a state trooper when this stuff happens?

Trouble Tickets

Trouble Tickets

Utility companies have trouble tickets.  Repair personnel are typically rated on how quickly a problem is resolved.  When I worked for a certain telephone company, I complained about such policies.  The reason is, closing a ticket when a problem isn’t resolved may make for great report numbers, but bad customer service.

Such is the case with NYSEG today.

Fallen Tree

Around 1pm, or so, a big dead tree broke and fell in to a house.  On its way it took out a utility pole and wires.  This resulted in my entire block being without power.

After about an hour, I reported the outage.  At the time I reported it, they were unaware of any outage.

Around 6:30pm I checked the NYSEG website and it claimed power was restored at 4:30pm.  Ahhh… someone closed the ticket so the outage duration would be shorter.  (My guess is they have a goal of a 3-4 hour resolution time.)

Wire Watcher

So, they assigned a wire watcher.  This guy’s job is to sit in his parked truck near the downed wires to make sure nobody gets close to them.  During the time he was sitting there, the outage was reported resolved at least 3 times.  Each time I noticed, I reported it not being resolved.

YOU THINK THEY WOULD KNOW!!!  THEY HAD THE GUY THERE IN THE TRUCK!!!  THEY COULD HAVE CALLED HIM AND ASKED, “Has a crew been out there to fix the problem?”

Or, they could have called a customer, like me, and asked, “Mr. Walton, do you have service now?”

Unintended Consequences

This goes back to unintended consequences.  You make a stupid goal like, “4 hour problem resolution”, and so people get their annual raise, the close the ticket at 3 hours 45 minutes.  As a result they know darn well someone will call and complain and a new ticket will be created.

In the end, no single outage last more than 4 hours.  Statistically, it is better to have a lot of 3 hour outages than one 36 hour outage.

At least, that’s how it worked at a certain phone company many years ago.

Reported Up Again

It was reported up again at 9:30pm.  That’s funny.  The only guy out there from 6:30 to 9:30pm was the wire watcher.  He was most likely on Facebook or playing games on his phone.  How else does one stay away when their only job is to sit there and make sure nobody gets near the wires.  Of course, who the heck would be out walking around on a blustery night like tonight?

March is Here

March is Here

March is here and it’s a nice day outside.  The weather reports warn tomorrow won’t be so nice, so I’m enjoying it today.

We went to a late lunch/early dinner with our friends Ron and Mary Harris.  Elizabethe had a coupon for a free meal, so that governed our choice.  It wasn’t bad.  They had prime rib!

We stopped at the Indian store after dinner.  Elizabethe noticed she didn’t have her purse (credit cards, phone, ID, etc.)  Back we went.  Thanks to the alert people at Golden Corral, the purse was recovered with everything in tact.

Good and the Bad

That’s the good.  The bad is I noticed a charge on my business credit card for about $200.  So, I had to cancel my card.  It’s ironic.  The charge occurred immediately after I purchased an update to my WinZip software.

More Good

I wanted to stop at Best Buy on our way home.  I saw a very nice hp 32q monitor.  It was on sale.  Elizabethe came in the store to use the bathroom, and when she saw me looking at it, she said, “THAT’S WHAT YOU CAN GET ME FOR MY BIRTHDAY.”

I’m jealous.  It’s a very nice, better than 4K, monitor.  Easy on the eyes and BIG.

I took her old monitor, a 27″ 720p, and put it on my office computer.  It looks like crap next to my LaCie monitor. (But, then, most monitors do.)  I’m getting a new monitor.  That’s all there is to it.

PCs

I then got looking at PCs.  Hmmm… 6 cores, 16 threads, 16GB, … well, if it had 32GB, I probably would have bought it.

Hill Cumorah Pageant 2018

Can you believe it will be Hill Cumorah Pageant time soon.  We already have people inquiring, however, with fewer rooms to rent, we’re limited to small groups (couples and individuals mostly.)

 

Toronto Traffic

Toronto Traffic

Toronto traffic sucks.  To save about $200 I decided to drive to Toronto and fly form there to Tel Aviv.  Let’s see how that worked out…

  • drive there – 3+ hours (This was because it was New Year’s day and no commuters on the road.)
  • Parking for 10 days in Toronto – about $270
  • Drive home 6+ hours (I’ve since learned it has some of the worst traffic in the world.)

Will I do that again?  Probably not.  I might do like my friends the Harmers did.  Fly to Toronto from Rochester and there to Tel Aviv.  I would have come out ahead.

On the bright side, I made it home safely.

Other Messes

I also came home to a mess left by a tenant who simply vacated on his lease.  I’ve never seen such filth in my life.  It looks like I have to replace a microwave oven, carpet, mattress and box springs, as well as paying to have it professionally cleaned.

We live and learn.  One lesson I’ve learned from this is if they are slow getting their initial deposit paid, you probably don’t want them for a tenant.

copyright 2017 db walton

Living in Filth

How do people live in such filth.  (This photo doesn’t do it justice.  That orange spot, center bottom is a bleach mark (and there are many) where he tried to clean the carpet with who-knows-what.  The sad part is, why bother cleaning the carpet when you live in filth?

To Do List

I have a major to-do list for today.  This is just one item.  I will be updating and adding updates from my trip in the next few days.

It’s nice that we don’t have Toronto traffic in Rochester, because I have some errands to run.

55 Plus Interview

55 Plus Interview

Paul and I were interviewed for 55 Plus Magazine — a magazine devoted to those over 55.  It was a fun interview.  We’re told our story will be in the January 2018 issue.  You can darn well bet I’ll be sharing links to it when it comes out.  I felt our 55 Plus interview went quite well.

Prior to the interview I was searching photos from the trip.  I didn’t look at all 40,000 images.  I selected certain days I knew contained good human interest images.

Cheap Dates

Elizabethe and I are cheap dates.  We went to Burger King and used a 2 for 1 coupon.  Two Whoppers, two fries and two drinks for the price of one.  And, if that wasn’t being cheap, we then went to Wendy’s and used our keytags for our free frosties.  (You must make a purchase, but cookies are only a buck.  A cookie and ice cream for $1.  You can’t go wrong.

After Thanksgiving Sales

I didn’t go to any stores or malls today.  I hate shopping crowds.  Instead, I waited for my favorite camera store — B&H to e-mail me.  They had 64GB SD cards for under $20.  And, they had 8TB drives, like the ones I use on my server, for $160.  So, I stocked up on storage stuff.

A photographer can never have too much backup space.

Cheesecake Factory

Cheesecake Factory

We order gift cards as our credit card rewards.  Often you can get more dollars for your points that way.  So, I ordered a $100 Cheesecake Factory card.

I took it today to buy a cheesecake for Thanksgiving dessert.  Asking if I could mix and match, I got the shock of my life… “Yes, but you will pay the per-slice price.”

Hmmm… $8.50 to $9.50 per slice… 12 slices per cake… there goes my $100.

She then added I could get half a cake of one and half of another.

Bingo!

Elizabethe likes plain, and I like something more exciting.  So I got 1/2 plain and the other half pecan chocolate turtle.  That’s about 1/2 the price of buying by the slice.

Early Taste

After dinner tonight both of us took an early taste of the cheesecake.  It’s not like we’re going to run out tomorrow especially since it will just be the two of us.  In fact, we might have cheesecake for dessert on Sunday when we feed the sister missionaries.

The pecan turtle cheesecake was really good with one exception… the pecans don’t taste very fresh.  It’s not worth the drive back to Pittsford to ask for an exchange.  But, I will mention it the next time I’m there.  When you spend that much for a cheesecake, you expect it to taste fresh.

Wegman’s Bakery

The Wegman’s bakery had a pretty nice cake.  I think the next time I’m in the mood to splurge for a dessert it will be their cake that is half cheesecake and half ultimate chocolate cake.

Note to Self

Note to Self

A note to self:  Don’t shop at Wegman’s on a Saturday!

Well, that’s not entirely valid.  I did run in to a friend at Wegman’s, but I hate the crowds on weekends and days before holidays.  So, I’d rather not shop on Saturday’s.

To top it off, I had a list a mile long of things I need to get — all at various stores.  I stopped at Lowe’s, Staples, BJ’s, and Wegman’s.  As a result, it took me hours to get through it all.

Coupons

I hate dates on coupons.  A couple of times at BJ’s I’ve got bit because I didn’t check the dates close enough.  Well, it happened again today.  Fortunately for me, the cashier had a book that was current and found coupons that applied to other things in my cart.

The problem would be solved if coupons had no expiration date.

Garden

Elizabethe worked all day on the garden.  She enlisted a few neighbor children to help move compost from the compost pile to her tires.  They worked hard.  At the end, Elizabethe said she wanted to go out to eat.

Burger King it was.

Speaking of coupons, I like that Burger King has an app.  The coupon is only good while you are there, and it is a one-time use.  That’s okay.  You walk in, bring up the app, and decide what deal you want.  Perhaps that is the future of coupons.

 

Anxious to Get Home

Anxious to Get Home

I’m anxious to get home.  It is nice seeing friends and family, but I really dislike California.  I didn’t realize how much I disliked it until this visit.

There are just enough crazy people on the freeway that it becomes scary.  I saw two cars playing cat-n-mouse and endangering everyone in their path.  I saw a LOT of very aggressive drivers, and others who are simply rude.

Just the traffic situation makes me glad I live where I live.

Spending the Day

We returned the rental car this morning.  Enterprise gave A-1 service.

After returning the car, we borrowed the van (I figured it wouldn’t overheat going to and from the NutTree).  We picked up our See’s Candy to take home, and had lunch at Rubio’s (a Mexican taco place you won’t find in NY.)

We planned to take Elizabethe’s mom to dinner, but just before we were ready to leave, Jeff and Brenda came and invited to take us to dinner.  We ate a nice dinner (ice cream) at Fenton’s.  This is my last chance to have Fenton’s Swiss Milk Chocolate Ice Cream with Fenton’s Caramel Sauce.

To the Airport

After dinner, Marilyn took us to the Sacramento Airport.  We’re on our way home.

Lunch with the Miners

Lunch with the Miners

Elizabethe and I had lunch with the Miners today.  Brent and Karen Miner work in the temple with us.  He is one of the counselors in the temple presidency, and prior to that, he was my shift coordinator.

copyright 2017 db walton

Brent & Karen Miner

We met for lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse in Victor.  We have a favorite waitress there who works on Fridays so we asked to be seated in her section.

Someone assumed we were coming with 20 guests.  (I’m not sure how they came to that conclusion.)  It was just the four of us.

We had some nice conversation and some great food.  It is Elizabethe’s favorite restaurant.  Plus, the chef knows how to cook a steak rare. Unfortunately, many restaurants don’t have a clue as to what rare, medium and well done mean.

We also had a couple of coupons which we shared with the Miners.

Cold Sweep

We have another cold sweep moving in, and it is coupled with high winds.  They have set up a Red Cross emergency shelter in Macedon.  Many homes are without power and that’s not good when the temperatures are dropping in to the teens tonight.  It is also supposed to snow tonight or tomorrow.