First off let me say that I really hope USC loses tonight. I'm not much a football fan. And I sure could care less most of the time. But I did go to a UC school and after the spanking that USC gave to their rivals UCLA it would be nice to see them kicked from their pedistal.
Anyway on to more meaningful stuff. I only have about a half hour before I have to go home so I'll try to cram in as much as I can before then.
First off, Becca's big present was a Cell Phone this year. This has special signifigance becuase I promised I'd get her a cell phone for our anniversary almost a year ago and then I was slapped with such a huge tax repayment burden that I was unable to buy her the phone she wanted until December. Well it wasn't without hemming and hawing becasue those things are expensive, about as much as a nice new TV or Refrigerator. And I really shopped around for the best price...well I guess you get what you pay for becuase now the thing isn't working at all and I have been unable to get ahold of the customer service people at the place I got it. I am really upset about this...why can't shit just go smoothly for once...always got to be a brown ring of shit around every sunbeam (or some such metaphor). So that sucks.
My presents have turned out great as I mentioned before, so no complaints there.
I had a lot of anxiety about driving up to Nevada this year. I can't say why. Just this lingering feeling of dread. I really wanted to fly, but by the time I had figured out when exactly we were going to be going up to Nevada the flights were about 500 bucks, PER PERSON!!! And it looks like my instincts were right this year. Driving was AWFUL...miserable, treacherous, tedious, dangerous, and just plain horrible all around. My car is still having some lingering power issue dispite the fact that I have replaced the battery, starter, alternator, battery wiring, starter solenoid, and removed the alarm system. On our way up it started to do the shit where the lights dimmed lurchingly and the fucking radio started to cut in and out...It is really scary. Especially when your in the middle of bum-fuck NOWHERE and there is a fog so thick that you can barely see ten feet in front of your car. When I stopped to get gas in Tehachapi on the way up, I stood in the stinging freezing rain convinced that the car would go no further...perhaps ever again. This adds to tension IN the car becuase I am sitting here wondering if we're going to even make it and Becca, who is not used to travelling such long distances is going stir crazy with no radio and me bitting my nails through. It can turn ugly REAL fast. Luckily on the way up, the fog was the worst part. The drive through Nevada was some of the best weather I have ever seen this time of year. There was no snow through most of the Lund cut off and as far as Ely I didn't even see a snowflake fall. I was dog tired though and passed out right when we got in to Wells at 1PM (after being awake for 26 hours straight, 14 of them behind the wheel of the Integra). When Raleigh and Emma showed up later that night I could hardly even form complete sentences...I felt like someone had been beating me about the skull with a hammer.
In my 13 years of driving between California and Dad's House (either in Idaho or Nevada) I have never had a drive as bad as the one I had going back to LA. The first leg of the drive was filled with miserable weather. A horrible half frozen rain that iced over the highway and caused every Semi Truck to jet a muddy cloud of mist behind them for a good 100 feet. Everytime a truck passed my car going the other direction my windshield would become completely caked with a thick brown sludge of liquified road salt. Each truck that passed made the windshield wipers work less and less effectively. The worst though is that as I'd come up behind a truck the mist would get so thick that I could not see or clean the windshield at ALL...many times I had to blindly speed into the oncoming traffic lane just to avoid slamming into the back of a truck going 35 MPH and shooting off a film of dark filthy mist. As I'd pass these lurching trucks, swerving in the sever winds, I'd slip across the frozen pavement nearly losing control on several occasions. It was like this for three hours and was capped off by the trip through the Humboldt National Forest where the drifting snow reduced visibility to around 5 feet and obscured teh roadway from view...I crawled along at around 40MPH unsure if I was even still on the road at all. After we came down from the high altitudes in Northern Nevada the drive was smoth if a little rainy. But then we got to Vegas. It took us 2 hours to get from the strip to the State line, a distance of about 37 miles. We got of to get gas and I was mortified to find a thick knot of cars unmoving both in and out of the gas stations at Primm. It took nearly an hour and a half to get off the freeway, get gas, and get back onto the freeway. People were screaming and Honking. It was bad bad bad. The freeway was no better. Crawling along at around 15 MPH it took us around four hours to reach Barstow. In the end the drive, which in good conditions takes around 9 hours, took us about 15 and a half. It was awful. I am never driving again if I can help it. Greg and Genevieve had the right idea. Fly to Boise and let the old man drive you around. I mean worse comes to worse rent a car...but It just isn't worth it. I mean basically two out of my five days in Nevada were spent suffering on the highway. It sucked.
I'll get into the meat of the visit...which was far more enjoyable than the drive in my next update. Until then, keep the faith true believers!!!