8/10/2008

Greetings from a warm and sunny Livermore, CA. Yesterday we did another trip to San Francisco. We did not have any real plans – just head down to the piers and find stuff to do.

We took the BART train to the Embarcadero station and went to the street car museum. The museum was basically a gift shop with some pictures, memorbelia and videos to watch. They had a cool video of a movie that was taken in 1906 a few days before the big earthquake. The movie was taken from a movie camera mounted to the front of a cable car as it went down Market street. It was neat to see horses and old cars go down the street with the cable cars.

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Pier 7 at the end of Market Street

Next we walked down by the piers with the intention of hopping on a cable car and heading to Fishermans Warf. The cable cars were so packed with tourists they could barely close the doors – so we (John) decided to skip this and just walk down the pier.

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Restored, in use, street car from Italy

We stopped at Pier 7 and checked out the marketplace. It was very crowded so we did not stay long. We then walked along the piers to Fisherman’s Warf where we toured the USS Pampinito Submarine. I did an audio tour and it was very interesting. In the sub’s radio room there was an old ham radio operator that I stopped and chatted with. He operates a modern radio on board every other weekend and they do allow guest operators. I got his email address and I plan on contacting him to make some plans. I think it would be cool to make some ham radio contacts on board a submarine.

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Top deck of the USS Pampinito

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Torpedo tubes at front of sub.

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1940's Word Processor

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John reading about the history of the submarine.

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another pic of the sub...

Next we toured the SS Jeremiah O’Brian Liberty Ship. This is the only Liberty Ship that is still in origional and full operating condition. It was very neat to tour. You were basically allowed to walk around most of the upper parts of the ship and the engine room. Next weekend it is going on a cruise to see the moth-ball fleet out in Suisun Bay. This ship had a radio room, but it did not appear to be in operating condition. The boat appears to have guys who live on board to perform maintenance and keep it running. The gally was still in use – a cook was there getting ready to make supper. Most of the rooms with beds in them were roped off and appeared to have personal belongings.

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Shows construction date

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Engine room - it was steam powered

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Radio Room

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View of downtown from ship

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"Artwork" at front of ship

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Model of ship - showing it's participation during the D-Day invasion at Normandy.

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Steam powered motorcycle on display in cargo hold of ship - now a gift shop.

I get the general idea that many of the old-timers who work on the boat also play hard on it. I spied a refrigerator painted grey with a beer tap on front.

Food in San Francisco was expensive. We stopped at Fisherman’s Grotto #9 and had crab sandwiches with fries – $20.00 each. Then for supper we stopped at Burger Meister for $11.00 hamburgers. I probably come off as sounding cheap, but the food here is pricey, but generally good.

After touring the ship we went on a Duck amphibious vehicle tour. This is the same tour company that operates in Branson, MO. We drive through the Italian area, China Town, Market Street, then out by AT&T Field where the Giants play. We then splashed into the bay and went around a shipping yard and then into the bay that is behind the ball park. The tour was fun – John thought it would have been in the water more… A 90 minute tour for $32.00 was not that bad… Also – if you bring your plastic “quacker” back with you, you can get a discount on future tours and their trolly tour…

After the Duck tour, we walked up into the North Beach area in an attempt to hop on a cable car. Once again our attempt was foiled by too many tourists. The cable cars were so busy that they did not even stop where we were waiting. The driver would shout out – “All Full” as the went by. I think our cable car riding adventure will need to wait until tourist season is over.. probably October or November…..

Same with going to Alcatraz – tickets are sold out for the next two weeks. We will do this at a later date… I would like to go back and do some shopping. I saw lots of Hello Kitty items while going through China Town on the Duck…. Wonder if I can find a XXL Hello Kitty T-Shirt? Anyway….

We made it home by 7:30pm… the train ride back was uneventfull.. except for a girl behind us reading “Little Mikey” jokes from email on her iPhone:

“One day, little Mikey comes home from kindergarten for lunch. Not finding his mother in the kitchen, or the living room, he heads upstairs to check her bedroom. He opens the door, and what does he see, but his father, who had also come home for lunch, stripped naked, on top of his mother, also naked, heavily into the act of lovemaking. Not wanting to traumatize the boy, the parents continue as if nothing was wrong. Mikey watches, and after a couple of minutes asks, “Daddy, can I climb on and have a horsy ride?” “Of course, Son, we’re a family.” So Mikey climbs on and after a few more minutes his mother starts moaning and writhing wildly. “Hang on Dad!”, cries Mikey, “this is where me and the mailman usually fall off!”

The jokes made John blush….

Today we took a trip to the Promised Land… no we did not find Jesus, we went to Fry’s in Fremont, CA – about 20 miles away on I-680. The store was cooler then I expected it to be… They had lots of geeky, nerdy computer and electronics stuff. John would not let me buy the USB powered Pole Dancer, or the spool of magnet wire. I can do some real damage to our bank account at this place… lots and lots of cools stuff… We did purchase a Garmin Nuvi 260w GPS. It has turn by turn instructions with text to speech. So it tell you “Turn right onto Vasco Road” instead of just “Turn Right”. John accused me of buying too cheap of a gps unit, but this has the basics… nothing overly fancy. All I want it to do is tell me where I’m at. It is also updatable from the web – for a fee. It will be usefull to have since we don’t know how to get around very well yet…

Then this afternoon I did laundry and we had supper at home… Once I get this blog posting done, I’m going to run to the local Safeway grocery store and purchase some bus passes. I plan on riding the Wheels bus to work next week – starting tomorrow. This means that I need to get my butt to the bus stop by 7:11am…..

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