Sunday, July 31, 2011


When I go out for my exercise, one street bordering the school has a strip of dirt alongside the sidewalk and every spring/summer there are several red ant nests spread out on that strip.

I notice that frequently, someone has gone to the trouble of kicking or spreading dirt to cover up those nests, so the ants on the outside are running around with no way to get back in since the entrance has been covered with dirt.

It makes me wonder, why do people do stuff like that? Same reason they kick dogs? Even if you don't like the ants, putting dirt over their nest isn't going to make them go away. They just dig themselves out.

Then I was thinking of how that is just like how our government tackles issues. Like the current budget crisis, or things such as the health care mess. They just try and kick dirt over it to cover it up but the problem digs itself out and is right back where it was. Meanwhile, like those red ants, the problem multiplies.

Yup, that's our government at work.. but then I don't think our government is much different than any other country's government. The Peter Principle is demonstrated no matter where you are.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

more SLO

In San Luis Obispo we stayed at a place called the Peachtree Inn, located on the northern end of Monterey Street along the strip with a good deal of the other lodging for the city.

The room was simple but clean, and it was quiet, too. I liked the charm of the place - one story, no corporate feel to it, just a pretty, friendly place.

We ate our continental breakfast out on the balcony/patio outside the main office area. It was so pleasant and relaxing.. here are some pictures:

That's a bird feeder hanging from the awning. Lots of blue jays were hanging around. Birds seem to be pretty stupid creatures. The feeder was filled with peanuts in the shell. A few had fallen onto the railing and could be had for no effort, but the birds ignored those and went for the ones in the feeder.

Here are some close-up pictures of the birds extracting peanuts:

After breakfast, sigh, it was time to head back to home base and its saturation of people and smog. On the way back we stopped at the Costco in Goleta where I bought a few bottles of wine that our local Costcos don't carry.

During our brief trip we went to the Costcos in Goleta, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo. They're all a little bit different as far as the merchandise each carries. Goleta had the best selection of wines.

And that was the too-short trip out of town.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

San Luis Obispo

After checking in, we drove to the downtown SLO area, parked and walked around. It seems like every single space has a meter, and the meter has a 2-hour limit. The downtown area is a very pleasant place to walk. The weather was gorgeous, it wasn't too crowded (I guess most of the students had gone somewhere for the summer) and everything was so clean and relaxed.

Here's some random pics:

The picture below didn't turn out too well. It was a space filled with rows and rows of computers, with people (mainly kids) just sitting there using them for the internet or playing games. That's all it was. I guess that replaced the pinball arcades I used to go to back in college.

My Yelp research said that the place to go was the Firestone Grill, where more than a few folks (out of 700+ reviews) said the tri-tip sandwiches were heavenly. So that's where we went for dinner.

Here's a picture of what made them famous, which is what I ordered. The reviews weren't kidding - this was some really delicious tri-tip, perfectly cooked, juicy and tender. The rolls were slightly buttered and toasted and the sandwich plain was plenty yummy although the BBQ sauce was really good, too. They piled the meat high and every bit of it was great.

The french fries were sort of like In-N-Out fries but had some seasoning on them. They were good but not great.

Julie went for a grilled chicken sandwich, which she said was really good. They didn't skimp on the portions of anything, that's for sure.

Now before you think they skimped on the salad, I have to say that I forgot to take a picture of it until we'd eaten most of it. So this is what was left by the time I remembered.

Here's the menu (click the picture or any of them for that matter, to enlarge).

After that huge meal we walked around some more to try and shake off all those calories. If you like tri tip and are headed up the SLO way, the Firestone Grill is highly recommended.

Monday, July 18, 2011

and still more

Before checking into our lodging in San Luis Obispo, we took a drive southward along the coast through Shell Beach and Pismo Beach. What a beautiful area. I'm not sure exactly what city we were in, but it sure would be nice to live in one of the houses right across from the ocean.

Here are some pictures:

It sure would be nice to say, hey, here we are across the street from our new home!

Here is some woman walking her bird..

The house on the right was for sale.

There were flyers by the sign and we discovered the house was listed for only $1,895,000. Must be because of the economy.. If you click here, you can take an online tour of the house and dream like we did (note: I recommend Internet Explorer to view it; as much as I hate that browser, it would not play correctly in Firefox).

The UPS guy found a great place to sort his packages:

After enjoying the area, we drove into town and walked around a bit. Here are some pictures of the beach town:

From there we drove up to San Luis Obispo. More tomorrow..

Sunday, July 17, 2011

and more vacation

As I mentioned yesterday, we were so stuffed from dinner we needed to do some walking, so that's what we did - over on one of my favorite places to walk, State Street.

I don't know if it is the economy or what, but I remember it being a lot more crowded in years past. Of course, this was a Monday night but if memory serves me right, the other times were during the week, too.

You can see below, not many people strolling around.

Alas, poor Borders.. we knew it well..

Now this was one pink store..

After doing our walk, we went back to the hotel room. This time we stayed at the Hampton Inn in Goleta. A pretty decent place, but just in a crowded neighborhood.