This was my first time flying into the Charles Schultz Airport in Santa Rosa, CA. It's a tiny little airport with a tiny little airstrip and a tiny little terminal that somehow makes getting in and out a lot easier.
I don't know why it caught my eye and not Ana's, but there was a US Coast Guard HH-65 on the tarmac there when we landed:
You don't really expect to see a lot of Coasties in land-locked towns, but whatever.
My mother was waiting for us in the terminal and apparently there was some nutjob in the terminal acting crazy. He was carrying a tiny US flag and kneeling and bowing in the passenger terminal while exclaiming that the other travellers were all Commies and deserved what was coming to them. I'd have snapped a picture of him, but he was already being hauled away by Sherriff's deputies about the same time as we were landing. I got to go outside just in time to see him being placed in a squad car while yelling "they're gonna kill me!" and somesuch to the onlookers.
I suppose it wouldn't be a proper welcome back to California without some sort of crazy.
Once we were back at the folks' house, it was time to sort through my mail, uncover my car, play with my dogs, assess the whereabouts of all my projects, and unpack a bit. I also got to chat with dad about his Rat Rod project and snap a few updated pics:
Over the next few days we did a bit of running around in my fun little car:
Along the way we tried on a lot of hats:
I also made a few quick copies of some helmet sculpts I'd been working on:
While I was tinkering in the workshop one day, Ana took it upon herself to brush the dogs:
After removing several pounds of fluff from both of them, she decided we'd be better off calling in the professionals. We took them both over to Petaluma Pet Groomers at 117 Washington Blvd. The staff there were wonderful and very patient and, after quite a bit of whining on the part of both of my sled dogs, they were returned clean and dry and fluffy. Now their whites are whiter and their colors are brighter:
The weekend while we were in California coincided neatly with my scheduled drill weekend with the naval reserve. Since I've been out of touch with all things Navy, I figured it would make a lot of sense to run down to Alameda for the weekend. Since I'd be mired in all sorts of navular noise for the weekend, Ana went ahead and drove down to Long Beach to look at apartments.
Things started going wrong when I drove up to the building where my unit was training right before I deployed and found it completely locked with the lights out. Then I went over to the support center's admin shop where I learned that the unit I used to drill with now meets in a different city on a different weekend and since I was new to the unit the same weekend as I was processed for mobilization to Afghanistan, nobody thought to let me know about all of the changes. So basically I'd gotten myself the world's worst haircut for no reason at all.
All the same, I managed to sort out a lot of the administrivia that had been haunting me for some time now. The Navy now has posession of my medical records and several pounds of other official paperwork at this point, so at least I've got a bit less to haul around now. So that's the good news. The bad news is that I had to get up at ridiculous AM, drive an hour to Alameda, get a couple of hours worth of runaround at the reserve center, and generally waste my time.
By 0915 Saturday morning I was finished with all things navtastic and decided to stop and visit my newest 2nd cousin; Zoe Dell Thorsson:
She's the freshly squeezed daughter of my cousin Desmond and his wife Laura and absolutely, cheek-squeezingly adorable:
From what Desmond and Laura tell me, she was born 8 lbs 5 Ozs, and 19 inches long. Her bloodsugar was a little bit low at birth, but she has a high midichlorian count so she shows a lot of promise...
After spending an hour or so shaking the baby, I headed back to Petaluma where I finally got started on the much-prolonged work on board the Heart of Gold.
Unfortunately, writing about both a Navy drill weekend and my work on the boat would exceed the level of frustration and anger that this blog can host in one post. Stay tuned for some grisly yacht maintenance pictures and stories in the next post.