Southern California — a Good Week

Posted: October 3, 2013 in Random Thoughts
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
CA Los Angeles City Hall

“This is the city….”

This week came as a mixed bag of experiences, for the most part good.

First of all, I was sent to Southern California do upgrade one of our robots at a prison in Victorville, at the end of my rotation.  So, in the meantime, I was asked to go to two different sites, neither of which I could go to for different reasons.  Finally, as I sat on my toolbox, typing away on my laptop in LAX, I found a site where I could go to.  It was in Chinatown.  I’d never been to Chinatown, but I’d heard a lot about it in the movies….

When I reached the pharmacy, I found it was in the same building as a Best Western motel.  I parked in the hotel garage and stopped at the front desk to see how much a room would cost for the night.  In my budget!  So, when the pharmacy closed for the evening and I still had some work to finish up, I checked into the hotel.

CA Los Angeles Chinatown

For dinner, you know I had to try some Chinese food!  The restaurant I ate in didn’t even offer me a fork, so it was a good thing I still remembered how to use chopsticks.  Very good food, but I ordered spicy dishes and found them rather unspicy.

When I finished work the next day at lunchtime, I decided to explore more of Chinatown before leaving.  I walked around some markets and studied the menus of a few restaurants.  The markets reminded me of the times I wandered the markets on Okinawa, but when it came to the food, I was out of my element.  I didn’t recognize most of the dishes, so I just picked one that had the spicy symbol next to the name.  Again, it was tasty, but I found the chicken dish I’d picked to be rather bland.  I couldn’t help wonder if the restaurants tone down their food for non-Chinese folks.

From Chinatown, I drove to Costa Mesa and stopped at a Crowne Plaza hotel I saw, to see if they had any rooms available, and whether I could afford the stay.  Whoa!  In my budget again!  So, I booked a room for two nights.

The next morning, I called the pharmacy I’d planned working at, and they wouldn’t let me come to work there that day.  This was a first for me, having so much trouble finding places to work.  The store said I could come the following day, so I was left looking for a new place.  As it turned out, I found a pharmacy just down the street from the hotel — closer than the original pharmacy.  So, with two nearby places to work, I extended my stay another night.  Nice hotel!

Did I mention the lawn bowling US Open was going on?  Well it was!  From what I heard in the hotel restaurant, team Scotland won the championship.

After my time in Costa Mesa was up, I drove to the job that brought me here, the prison job.  I don’t know how I managed to work for my company for 4-1/2 years as a field technician without ever having worked at a prison.  This was my first prison, so I didn’t know what to expect.  I’d heard horror stories about going through security.  Well, I lucked out!  This pharmacy was in a minimum security prison, so the security was about like that at a military base.  It wasn’t too bad.  I spent three days at the prison, upgrading their system.

Sorry — no pictures.  A big sign on the road into the place said, “No pictures.”

This morning, I checked out of the hotel at 7am.  I had an errand to run before catching my flight back home.  As it turned out, I could have waited a while.  I have a late flight (still have about two hours before my flight leaves.  So what did I do with all the free time I’d have?

First, i ran my errand, dropping off a package at the UPS Store.  Then, since I would be driving by Rialto, California, a town I lived in when I was a kid, I decided to check out the ol’ stomping grounds.  I hadn’t been in Rialto since 1975, but I was able to find my old junior high school without using my GPS, then from there I was able to find my way to the house where my family used to live.

CA Rialto

Now, when we lived there, there was no playground in the front yard, and those big apartment buildings in the background were just a big vacant field (actually, to the right of the apartments, it’s still a big vacant field).

After seeing the old house, I drove into Los Angeles, had lunch at Denny’s, then dropped of the rental car.  And here I am, waiting for my first flight of two.  When I got here, I found a terminal packed with people and nowhere to plug in my laptop.  Sometimes it pays to be the explorer type.  I explored the terminal and saw arrows to a gate off by itself.  i followed the arrows and now I’m near the gate, the only person in the waiting area, hooked up to the only power outlet up here.  I’ve been here for over an hour and so far, I’m the only person who’s sat down.

And that’s where things stand.  Catch you later….

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