apel: (shoes)
Yesterday when I got down to the car, I saw the clouds rolling in over the hills. It looked to be raining in places. So I decided to go to Santana Row for shopping instead of hiking.

stuff I bought or didn't )
apel: (light)
Yesterday was a day for chores. I had really been planning those for Monday but I didn't do a whole lot on Monday. So I laundered and shopped. The washing machine in the hotel isn't any better than it was before. Anything white or light still looks as if it was dipped in a light greying dye. :-( I hope that comes out eventually.

I spent the evening watching TV. [livejournal.com profile] ciaran01 doesn't have a TV, so I kind of got out of the habit while staying with him. It was nice to watch NCIS and other favourite cop shows. Mark Harmon is still very cute. :-)

Today I was planning on going shopping for more clothes but the weather is actually nice so I think I'll go hiking instead. The next band of rain is coming tomorrow and will stay until Monday, so this is my chance. I can shop for clothes tomorrow. Once I have enough clothes, I could switch to service washes. It's more expensive than washing at the hotel but if the clothes actually get clean, it's worth it.

Tonight is the lunar eclipse. It would be cool to be able to see it. Then I've got a meeting in Los Altos. That's important.

Just finished an Amazon order I've been polishing for months. It ate up most of the gift card [livejournal.com profile] ciaran01 gave me for Yule but it's all useful things, like a Brita pitcher, San Francisco guide books and stuff.

With the free one-month trial of Amazon prime I saved about $50 in shipping. That's quite a lot. If I continue after the first month Amazon Prime costs $79. That means that I would need to save another $30 in shipping during the next 12 months for it to be worthwhile. I used to shop loads at Amazon.co.uk but I'm not sure I'll do the same here. Back in the UK, shopping in RL was hard. Here it's sometimes a bit too easy. The stores here actually have stuff and getting to them isn't an ordeal. I'm within strolling distance of Borders and Target right now, for instance.
apel: (grain)
So I got home with lots of loot from Gilroy. That place is definitely worth going to, even if it was about an hour's drive there. There are so many stores there with so many deals that if you don't find what you're looking for in one, there are four more stores worth looking at. I spent a solid 3 hours there and only went through about a quarter of the shops but still came home with the stuff I needed at deep discounts. Well worth the drive.

The "village" layout does nothing for me, though. It means you walk along a blustery outdoor path in front of the shops, being blasted with overly loud mall muzac, occasionally dodging cars and being inappropriately dressed when you go inside one of the shops. Anybody who thinks this has anything to do with old world villages has never been shopping in a real one.

When I got home, the maid had cleaned the room, sort of. I'd never thought I'd see this but she'd actually forgotten to take her tips. I'd placed them prominently on the TV, so how she could miss them is a mystery to me. She had changed the sheets so I know she'd been that far into the room.

Still thinking of getting a Roomba. If I'm still here when [livejournal.com profile] ciaran01 comes, I definitely need to invest in some cleaning supplies too.

Today I'm getting the bumper on my new car sprayed. It had some damage when I bought it and as part of the negotiations I got the dealer to promise to get it sprayed for me. Now that the weather is sunny again, that's going to happen. They called yesterday.

The process is going to take 2-3 hours, which I will have to while away somewhere. The car dealer suggested a mall but I'd rather be outside. I just need to come up with somewhere that's nice enough within reasonable driving distance from the dealership.

I don't really have a well-formed opinion about the election today. I think it's very cool that there's a choice between a white woman and a black man on the Democratic side. Both of those candidacies would have been impossible not so long ago. I can just see some people squirming at the prospect of having to choose what they consider "the lesser evil." It fills me with glee.

Having said that, I'm deeply uncomfortable with the subtle misogynistic undercurrents that I detect in some of the commentary. Well, some isn't very subtle. At Borders, of all places, they were selling a voodoo doll of Clinton with the slogan "Stick it to her before she sticks it to you." Sexism is still the more acceptable of the isms. What would happen if Borders tried to sell voodoo dolls of Obama?

I've heard people ask if it's Clinton that's divisive or if it's the kind of supporters she attracts. It may be a bit of both but there's definitely a third factor at play too -- some people are deeply uncomfortable with the prospect of a woman president. I mean, what are we? Iceland?
apel: (goodMorning)
I've changed my mind about today. I'm going to Gilroy for some outlet shopping. Desperate for more clothes. Probably some RnR too.
apel: (mellow)
I've just had a successful nap in my new bed linen. At Target I bought a pink duvet ("comforter"), two duvet covers ("duvet"), pillow cases ("shams") and an electric blanket ("electric blanket"). One duvet cover set is from Shabby Chic and has pink rose sprigs one one side and pink paisley drops on the other. The other set is in Bordeaux, striped damask. Before I went to bed, I removed the hotel's mangy blanket and flat sheet and installed my own duvet, electric blanket and bed linen. What a difference! I felt cosy, content and warm. Money well invested.

Now I've brushed my teeth with my new super duper tooth brush too. Actually, I think it's super duper but it was one of the cheaper models they had at Target. Still, it has three different modes, buzzes when it's time to move on to the next quadrant and when you're done with the whole mouth and has lights that indicate the charge. Incidentally I think I could probably use the base to charge my UK tooth brush too. They're the same brand: Braun Oral B. So I went from no functioning tooth brush to two. :-)

I also got a throw to put over my legs when I'm sitting at the laptop. It's wine red and made out of quilted fleece. Stylish, practical and lovely to touch. Still need a lap tray, though.

Now I've got about half an hour before I need to set off for Los Altos. I think I'll invest it in creating some order here. It will make it all the more inviting when I come home later tonight. That will make it easier to sleep too, I hope.
apel: (trail)
I went to the new REI in Fremont. It's in the middle of nowhere with a Home Depot and a Starbucks. The car park was deserted, so at first I wondered if they were open.

My two main buys were a pair of shoes and a day pack. The shoes are Merrel Siren Sport cross-training shoes in grey and blue ("periwinkle"). I've had another, similar Merrel shoe before and they were very good. When I put them on, I could feel right away how much easier it was to walk in them compared to my stylish boots.

The day pack is a Jansport Agave 32-litre day pack in red pepper and grey. I packed up my stuff in it and I think it will do the job nicely. That it's better quality than the one I used back in the UK is already obvious. The zips work without first putting up a fight.

I resisted the cute tops, because I don't want to buy too much clothing now. After a month and a half with Kieron I'm pretty chubby. Experience shows that the outdoorsy lifestyle here makes me lose weight and of course there's nobody here who tempts me with yummy cheeses, chocolates etc. :-/

I did however buy a book about East Bay trails. Will report when I try them.

Membership
Back in the nineties I became an REI member. In fact I think I'd already earned back the membership fee. It's only USD20 for a lifetime membership. The clerk couldn't find me, mostly because I couldn't remember my phone number from back then. Instead I decided to purchase a new membership. I'm already more than halfway toward earning back the fee after today's purchases. It's a total bargain.

Reflection
The experience of driving to and from the shop was a bit surreal. I'm rather out of it because I didn't sleep last night so I have to concentrate and focus strictly on traffic. No gaping at the scenery. But every now and then I'd get a glimpse of something I love -- Fremont Mission Peak, the little black, starling-like car park birds, huge conifer cones in the middle of the road, rows of cute pastel-coloured bungalows with giant garages and I would get a jolt of elation. But then I had to make myself focus on the other cars and the GPS again, so I wouldn't get in trouble.

And yet, every time the feeling of having finally arrived in the right place grows stronger.
apel: (mellow)
I'm sitting on Kieron's couch, LJ:ing on his PC. My laptop decided to sulk on Friday. Unfortunately that meant I couldn't work, so I'll have to leave at 2 to go home and put in the 3 hours I was supposed to do on Friday. I felt rather guilty about that, not the least because my PM called me on Friday and said that the client had been frantically trying to get in touch with me to arrange a meeting next week. But today when I was finally able to access my work email, there was no email from them there. Besides, I called the client right after getting off the phone with the PM and left a voicemail. The client didn't call back so maybe the house wasn't on fire after all.

In the afternoon I got glasses. Two pairs, one of which has Armani frames, for less than £250. The other pair are shades. I'm very happy with both. Kieron likes them too.

Yesterday morning I got the embarassing rattle from exhaust fixed at a garage here in Cheltenham. They didn't even charge me. A good start to the day.

Then Kieron and I had a picnic at a lookout point near Stroud to test my new glasses. Unfortunately the Met Office was right about the heavy rain, so we went for a drive in the countryside afterwards. Miserden was particularly cute. Nearby Sudgrove looked to have some very nice walks, and easy parking.

Today we've been domestic. I've used my steam cleaner to clean the windows. They were filthy. Now it looks as if somebody dialled up the wattage on the scarlet pelargonium on the balcony. Cleaning the windows is the "low-hanging fruit" of household chores. Kieron has been washing and dusting and stuff. He took some of the things I brought. He particularly liked the candle holders. Being a typical Pagan, I had rather a lot of those. Next week I'm bringing the candles.
apel: (promise)
I've had problems with my sink flowing slowly for some time now but on the weekend I noticed that the level of water in the toilet bowl was lower than normal too. That can be a sign of impending blockage so I thought I'd get a plumber in before it got that bad.

He put in a lot of effort but in the end he had to give up. There are two 90° bends where the waste pipe goes into the main waste stem and apparently something was lodged at least in the first bend, probably in the second bend too. I paid him £60 for his trouble but before he left, he gave me some advice.

So I trundled off to buy the product the plumber had recommended in the shop he had recommended. The name of the product was One Shot and it cost about £6. Apparently it's a very strong acid. The plughole unblockers you buy at HomeBase are all bases, i.e. have a high pH. Acids have a low pH. So this is the opposite approach. The plumber said that DIY shops aren't allowed to sell One Shot. I can only imagine what it does to the environment.

Anyway, I got home with the hallowed bottle and tried it. Following the directions and flushing with lots of hot water, the sink is now showing definite signs of improvement. I'm sold on this stuff.

The plumber's first guess about what was stuck in the bend was one of those plastic disinfectant baskets people hang in their toilet bowls. I've never used those, so if it is, it came from the previous tenant. That would make sense since I had problems with the sink more or less from the day I moved in.

It says on the bottle that you'll get the best effect in the morning. On the theory that the acid works better if the pipes are dry, I'm going to give it another go on Sunday afternoon when I get back from Cheltenham. I may still have an unblocked sink in time for moving out. That would be awesome.

Update: OneShot is only available from plumbing supply shops. Search yell.com for "plumbing supplies" near your postcode.
apel: (goodMorning)
Most UK store locators are simply based on postcode. Waitrose is an example of that. This simple approach works most of the time.

But Tesco's locator also has an interactive map that shows the locations found. It allows you to zoom in and out and you can widen your search by clicking on the "More results" link. That makes looking for a store near a planned route much easier. With the advent of GPS navigation, finding shopping along a planned route is going to become more and more common.

Today for instance I'll be taking the M25 to Shenfield. It took me only a few minutes to find several stores near where I'm going. When I click on the store name in the results list, I get the information for the store, e.g. postcode, opening hours and facilities. So I was able to tell that the London Road Tesco Express shop (CM14 4QG) was much bigger than the Shenfield Brentwood Express shop (CM15 8JD).

The map uses Microsoft Visual Earth but it's obvious that Tesco have thought farther than slapping an expensive mapping solution onto the page. Very good!
apel: (garden_inthe)
For the plantaholics on my friends list, I present RarePlants.co.uk. They ship worldwide.

Just look at this page with 10 species Nerines, for instance. Nerine sarniensis corusca can probably be grown in the Bay Area. Or their Paeonies and Trilliums.
apel: (star_thoth)
I went to the mall today. It was a successful trip -- I got everything I wanted. Thanks to GTD I had a long list of things I wanted and pursued it with vigour and determination. :-) That felt good. But the first thing I did this morning, was getting a haircut by my favourite hair dresser. So I felt good about my looks too.
apel: (my face_smiling)
I've got some exercise DVDs from eBay. Rosemarie Conley and Yogalates. Both of these are in my wishlist on Amazon and the eBay price ended up cheaper. Depending on how the wind blows, I may also end up with the Firefly DVDs.

Ah, yes, the camera. I got it from BestCameras.com. Don't know when it will arrive. They may not have begun to dispatch them yet.

Update: Got the Firefly DVDs. Looking forward to watching them.
apel: (Default)
apel
September 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 2017
RSS Atom
No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios