Posts Tagged With: reno


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In Oregon, on Thursday, my cabinets were delivered. They wait installation by another crew.

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I’m certain the delivery guys have to be careful. There was a tear in one box. I took a picture. They denied they had torn it. I could feel around inside and could detect no scratches. Two bugs came out of the hole. One was a  roach. Nope, they said, that bug must have just crawled in. One big cabinet barely fit through the sliding glass door. It scratched the paint on the door. Nope, that scratch must have been there. It was almost comic, but the scratch was no big deal.

On Friday morning, Jim drove north and I drove south. I arrived in Davis, about 330 miles later, to meet Cedric and Virginia. Cedric had just arrived after a five hour drive from Mendocino. We loaded into their Prius, the five of us, within about 15 minutes and hit the road for Reno to attend my oldest grandson’s graduation. Actually, not to attend it, but to be there for dinner and recognition.

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This is Momma Laurie who stated that her oldest son, Stewart,  is the first in her family to obtain a college degree. In my family and my husband’s family, my two daughters were the first to obtain college degrees. Seated next to Laurie is Cedric, his sons, Theo and Owen and Poppa Ken.

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On the other side of the table, Virginia and my two oldest grandsons, Mason and Stewart. Of course conversation all around table was much about what will you do with your life, from the youngest, Theo, who thinks he’ll probably be a vet, to our graduate, Stewart who wants to go to Japan and teach English as a second language, and, in the process learn to speak Japanese.

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After dinner, we spent some time in Ken and Laurie’s room, chatting. We drank a bit of wine and enjoyed our short time together after the long drives.

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On Saturday morning, while Stewart and family got ready to attend graduation, at his suggestion, we went to a local breakfast joint all the locals adore. It is Peg’s Glorified Eggs and Ham. The menu choices were wonderful and varied. The food delicious and the service excellent. Thanks, Stew.

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The boys had some variation of pancakes/waffle which came with has hash-browns and fruit or meat.

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I had a vegetarian eggs Benedict, that was delicious with spinach, onions, mushrooms, tomato, avocado and cheese. Yum.

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After breakfast we drove to the University of California Field Station for Virginia’s meeting on invasive plants.

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It was partly gravel road to get there. No fancy quarters, people pitch their tents.

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She reported to the office to join her peers.

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She noticed a nest of baby birds and took a picture for me. I love seeing baby birds and especially watching them fledge. She will get a ride home from a colleague.

Cedric drove us  back to Davis,  and for me, another two-hour drive back to Murphys. I guess  I can safely say, we went the distance. Laurie promised to take gobs of pictures of the graduation ceremony.  I hope to see all of my grandsons graduate college. Five more to go.

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Stewart Holden Matzek graduated with honors from Green Valley High School yesterday. He got dressed at home for a few pictures before leaving for their practice. Mom adjusted his cap and tassel.

Laurie says:  “Stewart is sooo ready for college.”  He will attend University of Nevada Reno as an English major.

The honors students are awarded this metal to wear with their cap and gown, and also an honors rope and hood for advanced and high honors.

Stew’s younger brother,  Mason was dressed to the nines in his tux since he plays for the high school band.  Both boys went ahead of us to the Thomas And Mack Center, a huge auditorium where many graduations are conducted this week. Weather was in the triple digits, typical for Las Vegas, and graduating ceremonies outside are out of the question.

The temperature on the dashboard reads 113 degrees, but Ken claims it isn’t that hot. The temp plate is simply in the direct sun on a black car. It was only 108.

Stewart paraded into the auditorium with the rest  of his class of 647 graduates.

Taking pictures in this immense room is difficult but they have television monitors just like they do for sports events which guarantees every person in the building gets to see the action and spot their own kid or grandson.

I managed to get a shot of brother Mason playing Pomp and Circumstance with the band.

And, one of Stewart singing in the choir in his cap and gown. The words to the song and the kids speeches were scrolled on the teleprompter for all to see.

After the ceremony, the kids were glad to put aside their regalia and into casual clothing for dinner out with the family. We discussed the difficulty of managing a ceremony for such a huge class and the efficiency with which it was accomplished.  The speeches were short and good. Green Valley High School is rated one of the best in the U.S. and graduates 91% of its students.

Then home for dessert and the chance to study that all important diploma.

Stewart opened his gifts and cards. The most important words of wisdom I brought back to share from this event are these:  “Don’t let any one tell you what you CAN’T do. Only you know all you CAN do.”  It was an eighteen year-long  journey and a new one is just  beginning. Stewart, your family is proud of you and very happy. Congratulations.

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RV Trip Favorite Photos #405-417

Jim says:

Since I’m back on the road tomorrow morning, today will be the last installment of favorite photos taken during our 16,000+ mile RV Trip around the United States this past summer.

Today’s photos were taken at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada on September 21, 2010……


In other news…
Yesterday 38 degrees and rain.

Tomorrow is departure date for me. Mary will meet me in Phoenix, Arizona on January 5, 2011.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
My three books may be purchased at
Just enter Jim Jaillet in the search box.

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Yesterday, I visited the Nevada Museum of Fine Arts. Its changed considerably since my last visit. Bigger, new location in a beautiful modern building. No pictures are allowed inside but the roof sculpture garden and outside pieces will give you an idea of the quality of this museum.

This rock man seems to be doubled over in pain. A closeup even shows his rock fingers.

This beautiful sculpture is huge, as you can imagine. Remembering that outdoor work has to be weatherproof, it amazes me the physical work and ingenuity of pieces like this one.

I love the Inhale Exhale polished stone bench. You can sit on them and have lunch. They are of course best viewed without picnickers, but people enjoy sitting outside on this unique usable art.

The following piece was purchased and moved from Burning Man. (Not this year’s event.) The docent explained to me they wished they could have purchased the stacked semi trucks sculpture but it was just too big. The semi’s were open to climbing and kids were all over the thing. Makes me want to renew my commitment to attend  Burning Man some year.

An inside exhibit featured a metal artist named Bentson. He had his whole studio on display, with videos on  how he works. He calls himself a “blue collar artist” since he welds and hefts and brazes metal into pieces like this one from the roof top.

I liked this piece of his  with the buildings as a back drop.

This stone sculpture holds water in a narrow rivulet and birds fly in and out to drink from it.

A driftwood horse? It only appears to be driftwood. It is made of bronze and imitates driftwood. Driftwood for a permanent exhibit would be vulnerable to hands and weathering.

Reno’s downtown lampposts are artistically designed and beautiful. This one identifies the Arts District. Cool!

When I first looked at the indentation on this bench, it struck me as a spot for a shorter child to sit. Except, on looking closer, I see it was designed to miss the electric plug. Usable art design always tickles me.

From the roof, the views of Reno are refreshing, with the hills all around. Very enjoyable. Even so, the Museum has a Picasso, a Lichtenstein and many innovative and questing pieces. But one room was devoted to Chester Arnold. The exhibit is named, On Earth As It Is In Heaven. An amazing collection of mostly room sized paintings, vivid and thought provoking. His pieces have a message about America that  speaks to our proclivity for altering the natural landscape and questioning if we balance our exploitation with what is good for humanity. This exhibit is a must see.
His website has little icons that get bigger when you click on them. They don’t reveal the power of his room  sized pieces.

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Reno, Nevada – Day 4

Jim says:

Yesterday Mary visited the Nevada Museum of Art while I visited with my good friend Randy and read. Upon her return, we went to Costco and Wal-Mart to do some shopping.

The day before after visiting the National Automobile Museum, Randy and I walked along Virginia Street and I snapped this photo…


Mary wanted to return after dark to take pictures of the neon signs. I drove while she hung out of the Bronco’s passenger widow taking her photos. I managed to get the three photos…remember the proper technique for night photography is to use a tripod…not driving down a street at night…


Our visit to Reno is now over. My only previous visit here was stopping for one night on my way to California back in 1979. My only real impression is that it is a very small and older version of Las Vegas. I have no interest in gambling our variety shows as offered by these cities, so neither city holds much interest for me.

Today we will drive the motorhome to Davis, California so that Mary can pick up her car from her youngest daughter…then we’ll both continue our trip in separate vehicles to Mary’s home in Murphys, California.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
My three books may be purchased at
Just enter Jim Jaillet in the search box.

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Reno, Nevada – Day 2

Jim says:

Another nice day weather-wise.

First chore of the day was to clean the motorhome windshield of many bug bodies. In the photo below Mary captured me scraping them with my razor blade device. Once that’s done…about three times over with paper towels and Windex and we’ll be able to see the road once again. This has become an every-other-day chore in the last several weeks.

Scraping the bug bodies off of the motorhome windshield.

Mary had some shopping she wanted to do so I chauffeured her around town.

By time we arrived back at the motorhome, my good RVing friend of more than ten years, Randy Vining, joined us at our VFW parking site. It was nice visiting with him again as I haven’t seen him since last January in Arizona. We’ll both be here for another couple of days.

My good friend Randy Vining joined us at the VFW.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
My three books may be purchased at
Just enter Jim Jaillet in the search box.

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