Caveat: driving from 10°C to -10°C

Yesterday I went back from L.A. to Jenna and Braden’s in Indio. We didn’t depart for Montrose.

Then today, in the morning, we departed. We drove across the Mojave Desert, taking a non-interstate highway shortcut between Indio and I-15 just south of Primm, Nevada. There was snow falling in the high desert.

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Later we had lunch in Las Vegas, and we drove north on I-15. It went from 50 degrees (10C) in Las Vegas to 15 degrees (-10C) where we stopped for the evening in a motel. Much colder.

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[daily log: walking, 2km; driving, 750km]

Caveat: The Arroyo not-so-Seco

This morning, my dad, my brother and I went on a hike up the Arroyo Seco canyon, which stretches up into the San Gabriel mountains above Pasadena from the NASA-JPL campus on the north western end of the city.

Here is JPL.

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Here we are, setting out. A rather low-quality selfie. I’m looking pretty scraggly, these days: my new Alaskan look, I guess.

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Here are some pictures from along the trail.

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We hiked about 6 miles, up and back down.

Later, we met James and Leia and we had a brunch at the Red Hen Cafe, a somewhat historic location in Altadena.

In the afternoon, I walked around Pasadena some. I like Pasadena. I lived here for about half a year, in 1992. But it was my dad’s birthtown, and where my grandparents lived when I was small, so we visited here often. Here is Pasadena’s iconic city hall.

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[daily log: walking, 10km] 

Caveat: Poem #881

See, I went to bed rather early.
So I woke up at five thirty.
My dad has only decaf.
I stepped outside and walked.
There’s a donut store.
I got coffee.
The sky: clear.
Crows talked.
Dawn.

Caveat: brackets, hats

We spent some part of the day working on the Model A, some more. Trying to solve an oil-burning problem. And my brother Andrew manufactured ad hoc brackets to hold some non-standard modifications in place – an altered throttle lever, a non-standard alternator.

For dinner, my dad and I met with his friend Fidel and his family at a Thai restaurant up the street here in Pasadena. I really like Fidel and his family. For some reason, Fidel brought an exaggerated Mexican-style hat (which doesn’t even make sense – he’s Salvadorean) and gave it to my dad. But he wore the hat for this photo.

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[daily log: walking, 4km]

Caveat: life ain’t always lemonade

Well, I’m visiting in the gran metrópolis, I was driving around and had the radio on.

What I’m listening to right now.

Kap G, “A Day Without A Mexican.”

Letra.

[Chorus]
I got a question for the president
We been workin’
Where the hell you been?
Hol’ up, you better think again
What’s a day without a Mexican?
Hey oh
Mi gente bailando, mi gente gritando
Like hey oh
What’s a day without a Mexican?
Hey oh
Seguimos bailando, seguimos bailando
Like hey oh
What’s a day without a Mexican?

[Verse 1]
I got people in my family got no papers
Posted at the Home Depot searchin’ for some labor
Taco Tuesdays, yeah dawg you can thank us
Pops workin’ Ruby Tuesdays
They ain’t pay much
We ain’t goin’ back to broke, like I’m a banker
It could be 6 below, let’s get the paper
Got a bit’ from Sinaloa
That wear no make up
She just want to get to know me for the paper
You know when the heat on, we gon’ be on
Riding with no AC on in a Nissan
There’s some things we don’t agree on
We want freedom
Can’t treat me like a peon, king like Leon (king like Leon)

[Chorus]
I got a question for the president
We been workin’
Where the hell you been?
Hol’ up, you better think again
What’s a day without a Mexican?
Hey oh
Mi gente bailando, mi gente gritando
Like hey oh
What’s a day without a Mexican?
Hey oh
Seguimos bailando, seguimos bailando
Like hey oh
What’s a day without a Mexican?

[Verse 2]
Send the money to family yo when they cash
Probably made the crib where you sleep at
It’s more than us trappin’ and bringin’ weed back
CEO dreams workin’ on key pad
See I been away
They label us as renegades
Let ’em imitate
It’s okay if you afraid
Yeah it’s better days
Life ain’t always lemonade
But there’s many ways
To put food on your dinner plate
We ain’t all big ballers, wit big commas
See I know we work harder, let’s work smarter
We could all flip dollars a bit taller
Just a lil’ bit farther
We on top, yeah

[Chorus]
I got a question for the president
We been workin’
Where the hell you been?
Hol’ up, you better think again
What’s a day without a Mexican?
Hey oh
Mi gente bailando, mi gente gritando
Like hey oh
What’s a day without a Mexican?
Hey oh
Seguimos bailando, seguimos bailando
Like hey oh
What’s a day without a Mexican?

[Bridge]
Drinkin’ horchata
My diamonds bachata
Do it for my mama
I do it for my papa
Yeah they risk dollars
You can be a doctor
Jumpin’ down your chopper
Listen to my offer
Drinkin’ horchata
My diamonds bachata
Do it for my mama
I do it for my papa
Yeah they risk dollars
You can be a doctor
Jumpin’ down your chopper
Listen to my offer

[Chorus]
I got a question for the president
We been workin’
Where the hell you been?
Hol’ up, you better think again
What’s a day without a Mexican?
Hey oh
Mi gente bailando, mi gente gritando
Like hey oh
What’s a day without a Mexican?
Hey oh
Seguimos bailando, seguimos bailando
Like hey oh
What’s a day without a Mexican?

[daily log: walking, 2km]

Caveat: A

I drove out to L.A. from Indio.

I arrived at my dad’s garage (adjacent to his old house – his current house is up in Pasadena, but he stills pays rent on the garage at the old place).

There, my dad and brother were working on the Model A.

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My father bought this car before I was born, in Kentucky. It was the first car I got to try to drive – I was maybe 12 or 13, and we were on some rural bit of road, I think up in Fieldbrook or McKinleyville (north of Arcata). My dad’s working on this car has been a kind of constant in my life.

The last time it was running and drivable was 1998, maybe. Recently my dad has been working on it.

The engine fired up and ran for a short time. There are some things that still need to be worked out – it seems be burning a lot of oil.

I saw the sun set in my old neighborhood, which is a striking memory of mine.

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Later, we went to my brother’s place and had a fine dinner with him and his girlfriend Lilit and James and Leia.

I’ll be meeting some friends tomorrow.

[daily log: walking, 2km; driving, 300km]

Caveat: west to Califerne

We left Phoenix and arrived at Jenna’s in Indio, California, around noon.

It was nice to see everyone here. This is where we will spend Christmas.

I took a picture of Arthur with a cat.

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Juli and I took a walk (as we often do when we see each other) and I saw a roadrunner in park.

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We walked up a hill and I took this picture of the Coachella Valley. It’s notable that the valley is below sea level.

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We had a big pasta dinner with everyone who is here.

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[daily log: walking, 4km; driving 400km]

Caveat: giant cookie party

My sister had a giant Christmas cookie party today.

I liked being there, and finally meeting (or meeting after such a long time) many of the friends she talks about.

Plus, there were a lot of cookies.

The Arizona lifestyle requires a backyard pool, and, perhaps, Christmas sweaters for the dogs.

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Earlier, my nephews Dylan and Jameson were put to work as slaves raking the lawn (because this is Phoenix, and the leaves are only now falling from the trees).

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Later, we went by a store where Jameson is working as a cashier. He is a very chill dude. When I lived in Korea, it was hard to explain to kids that most teenagers get part-time jobs in the US, but it’s true – this is the proof.

Personally, I think he could pretend to be a k-pop star and get away with it.

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We had pizza for dinner. Around the table counterclockwise you can see Mark (Todd’s brother), my sister in a santa hat, Dylan, Todd and, of course, the gruncle.

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Tomorrow, we drive to Indio.

[daily log: walking, 1km]