Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Friday, August 11, 2017

Sioux City Adventure

Cold French fries at Wendy's Tuesday evening. Grainy frosty at Wendy's (same time and same place.) Burger was good though. I have to admit that it was late, after 10PM, and this is not the big city. This whole section of town seemed pretty dead this time of night, but there were two fast food joints (Wendy's and McDonald's) that advertised being open 24 hours. On the surface it doesn't seem to make sense that they should stay open all night long, but maybe they get a big influx of customers when the bars close at 2AM. Or maybe the two joints are in a life and death struggle to survive. If one offers something, the other feels compelled to offer something similar. This will either end with both of them retreating to some smaller number of hours that will generate enough revenue to stay in business. Or one of them will collapse and close.

Embraer E175 Regional Jet
Not hot breakfast sandwich at Omaha airport yesterday morning. We're flying on an Embraer 'regional jet'. 1500 miles and it's 'regional'. Pretty damn big region. It's small-ish. Only four seats across, but the aisle is wide enough to walk down, not like those skinny ass aisles they have on those damn 'Dreamliners'. Who gave them that name? And whose dream is it anyhoo? And how could you arrange it any better? With seven seats across and two aisles, what are you going to do? Make it six seats and one really wide aisle? Or six seats and two decent size aisles? I suppose you could do seven seats across and one decent aisle, but it would mean four seats together on one side of the aisle, which means that when the guy in the window seat has to use the john, three other people are going to have to move out of his way. The social pressure of having to make three people move so you can get out could lead to someone staying in their seat much longer than they should, which could lead to 'accidents' or possibly even long term health problems. (Look at that dude, he's so full of s*** that his eyeballs are turning brown. He musta got stuck in a window seat in one of those reconfigured Dreamliners.) The fuselage on those Dreamliners is just the wrong diameter. Or all seats need to be first class size.

The Famous Diving Elks
Good grilled tuna steak at the Diving Elk Wednesday night. I've been on a bit of a seafood kick ever since we went to Seattle. Usually I order beef, mostly because I like it but also because it's my god given right as an American to eat steak whenever I want and I intend to make full use of that right. Besides, I'm eating for all those people who can't get any beef due to politics and/or their uncooperative nature. But lately I've been ordering seafood. I cannot explain why.

Stoney Creek Inn Lobby, Sioux City, Iowa
The Diving Elk has a stuffed elk head hanging on the wall. The lobby in the Stony Creek Inn is kind of like being in a Cabela's diorama. They have a moose head hanging on the wall and a full size bison standing on a platform about the same height. And don't forget the giant fake trees or the piles of logs stacked by the gas fireplace. Kind of like Disneyland, completely fake and tourist-hardened Frontier Inn.

Grandpa was in the hospital when we got there, but they discharged him and sent him back to his retirement home that afternoon. A couple of hours later they send him back to the hospital, and then a couple hours later they send him back to the retirement home. He made a total of six trips that day which seems absurd. Are these folks incompetent? Did the presence of our of town visitors disturb the equilibrium and so their judgement? Or maybe grandpa is just in that gray area where there really isn't much they can do for him.

Socks packed into model of Kinnick Stadium. Iowa Hawkeyes birthday cake.
The whole point of this trip was to celebrate grandpa's 90th birthday. He's made it farther than any of my kids other grandparents. The others have all passed away. I think there might be (might have been?) some other relatives of my wife who lived longer. I seem to remember hearing about someone turning 95. Aunt Gladys, maybe?

Sleep Inn, Eppley Field, Omaha
We drove back to Omaha last night to catch our early morning flight. We stayed at a SleepInn near Eppley field. No place to wirte home about, but our room did have a cool semi-circular extension to the shower. And breakfast starts at 4AM, though I didn't get any. Instead I got the not-hot sandwich at the airport.

We all got approved for TSA pre-check, which means we get to go in the short line, which wasn't really any shorter than the regular line being as this is Omaha and not all that busy at oh dark thirty, and then the (middle-aged? older?) lady at the head of the line bawks at the metal detector. Whether she is afraid of radiation or is one of the new model cyborgs with the metal skeletons wasn't immediately clear.

Everyone was aboard and in their seat 15 minutes ahead of take off time so we got to take off a little early. Right now it is quarter to ten West Coast time and the captain has just announced that we have started our descent into Portland.

Contrary Exit
After the trip to Seattle and the trip to San Francisco (12 hours in a car is too damn long), the drives from Omaha to Sioux City and back were pleasant little pieces of cake. I did miss one exit on the way back to Omaha, or rather I took an exit I shouldn't have. It's not my fault though. Interstate 29 bends around to the right, but if you go straight, which is where the main route should go, you end up at a stoplight somewhere, which means a couple of miles wandering through a residential neighborhood until our smart phone navigation aid gets us back to the expressway.

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