Thursday, January 24, 2008

Let the visits begin!

We are at the Fremont Elks Lodge (map), a very familiar place. The price has gone up here, to $15 per night, but it is still cheaper than San Jose. More importantly, it has something San Jose does not: a dump station. Since our route had us driving right past here anyway, we decided to spend the night. That will give us a chance to dump this morning before we leave, so we'll start our eleven days in San Jose with empty tanks.

There is also an Olive Garden just across the street from the lodge, and we called our friends Joe and Dee from neighboring Milpitas to join us there for dinner, kicking off the cavalcade of visits for the next week and a half. While we are in the bay area we will have separate visits with no fewer than ten different sets of friends and family, our financial planner, the vet, and possibly our accountant and some as-yet undetermined number of doctors (I still need to go back through medical records to see which visits are overdue).

In and among all the visits, I need to get over to our "closet" and dig up the tabletop stand for the old LCD TV, without which I can't really pass it on to anyone. Speaking of which, I have received a couple of inquiries about the TV. It will go to the first person who can get his or her butt (or an emissary) over to the San Jose Elks to pick it up at a mutually agreeable time. In the event of a tie on that score, I am open to bribery (dinner at Olive Garden or even the Creekside Inn next to the lodge, offers of perpetual free parking spaces in otherwise hard-to-visit locations, bottles of red wine -- you know the drill).

While I am excavating enough stuff out of the closet to reach the LCD stand, I'm probably going to go through a lot of items and, umm, "clean house." This on the theory that anything in there is something we haven't needed in three and a half years, and so it is unlikely we will ever need it. Unlike the LCD TV, which I am unwilling to ship (because it's hard to pack and susceptible to breakage en route), I can make things I find in the closet available to a broader audience, possibly on eBay. Watch this space for further news.

That said, the closet is actually quite small, perhaps four feet by six or seven feet. We kept exactly one piece of furniture, an heirloom chest, in which we still have family crystal and flatware and china. Most of the rest of the closet is taken up by seven years of business and tax records, plus extra materials for our rental property, to which the closet is attached. When we moved aboard Odyssey, we got rid of anything else that didn't fit -- furniture, clothes, housewares, you name it. I am guessing that I will only come across a small handful of items that, four years ago, we just could not bring ourselves to discard but couldn't or wouldn't take aboard.

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