Hearst Castle

We recently took a bonsai run down to Cambria which is about 5 miles or so south of Hearst Castle. The Picture is actually 5 shots I took without the advantage of a tripod and stiched together to make the panorama. Hearst Castle is just above the middle post and slightly to the left. We arrived to late to take the tour but bought a cool DVD about how the castle came to be. There are a lot of great exibits in the Visitor Center.


OK so why the Quick Trip?


A little over a month ago, my jeep was stolen right out of my front yard. I had just come back from Weaverville on a Saturday afternoon  from fixing a computer at a travel agency owned by Weaverville Hotel. The hotel BTW has just been restored and would be a nice place to stay if your in that neck of the woods. The owners did a great job of maintaining the historical value of the building.

Anyway so I had stopped a Quizno's to pick up a couple of sandwiches to suprise the cook when I got home. I was starved. So when i pulled up in front of the house I grabbed the cell phones and the bag of food and forgot the keys.

Normally I would park in the driveway but I'm currently in the process of converting the driveway to a front lawn/garden area and plan on putting a carport at the back of the lot. I have an alley on one side of my property. Blocking the driveway is a few piles of dirt and rocks that I've removed. I'm slowly moving the rocks to the alley to improve it.

After eating lunch, I stretched out on the couch and never gave the jeep another thought. I went out Sunday morning and was working with the rototiller for about an hour when I finally noticed the jeep was gone. I propmptly contacted the Sherriffs Office an an officer came out and took a report. Then notified my insurance company.

Besides losing a vehicle I needed to perform my work, I lost several tools and things I would normally carry with me. I was in deep shit! Well fortunately I was able to rent a car and buy a few baic hand tools to keep my job going with any impact.

Finally right after my insurance company decided to payoff on the jeep, the claims adjuster called me and told me they had recovered my jeep and it was located down in Cambria. I asked if any of my stuff was still in there and she patched me in to the tow company who recovered it.

Right after being notified of the insurance payoff I went and bought a newer Jeep...2002 Jeep Liberty Limited edition.  I'll be showing it off in another post. So of course the insurance company wanted to know if I still wanted my old jeep. I decided to let them keep it but made arrangements to go get my stuff.

So we left the gas station in Reddiang about 8 am the following Saturday and drove like a maniac to get there in the afternoon. Fortunately alot of things were still in the Jeep so I didn't lose everything. Value wise it wasn't really worth the trip. The things that were missing basically was anything that could be carried off easily. I lost several cd's, both music and data, and several hand tools.

The jeep had not been wrecked and looked in good shape. It had 283,000+ miles on it but was in excellent mechanical condition and ran great! Why the thief would abandon it off the road in the trees is anothe question. The interior was litterally trashed and took quite a while to re-package to take back home. Nothing was in its origional location.

I did find an empty can of refried beans and an empty can of corn which leads me to believe whoever took the jeep needed a ride to get back home or back to the farm. The rear plate had been switched but not the front plate. This kinda gives you a clue as to the nationality and level of intelligence of the driver. Headed south...beans and corn...can't change both plates. I'll let you draw you own conclusions.

So since we were so near to Hearst Castle we decided to check it out. We were there about an hour and decided to head home and took the coast route this time. Stopped in Big Sur and ate dinner at my favorite restaurant. We cut back over to highway 101 once we hit Monterey. it was getting late and I decided to drive straight home instead of getting an overpriced room somewhere. Arrival 2AM.

Here's some pictures we took at the wrecking yard for posterity....

Only have a few more pics

Besides sharing this adventure, it is one of the many things going on that delayed me starting my blog.


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Now This is a Hamburger...Really.

Took the Boss out to lunch today for all her hard work!



We had no idea how big this thing was gonna be when we ordered 2 of them. Came from a new deli down the street. Tony's burger is 1 pound of some pretty decent cow. Not bad for $20 bucks inc. the tip...and the fries were decent also. We of course will not be hungry for a few days after this I think.

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Welcome to TechZilla's Blog!

I'm not sure exactly what I need a blog for but my son thought I needed one so here I am. I believe it was his interest in computers that eventually got me into the computer field so I'm gonna take a half-hearted stab at this even though I don't have time.

I currently work for a international service company based out of Dallas, providing warranty service on Dell desktops, laptops, and printers. In addition, I service travel agency accounts, Lexmark laser printers, and CSAA desktop and server support for all thier northern California offices from Redding to Oroville and accross to Willows. On occation, I get called out to go to Eureka, Yreka, and some of the offices.

And in between all that I manage to squeeze in warranty repair for another warranty company as an independent contractor. Along the way I usually pickup a private client or two that occationally needs help.

You would  never know it by my desk, but it takes a lot of organizational skills to manage all this. Especially since I drive around 200 miles/day.

I can't say that I like replacing parts on computers all that much but I do like the people I meet. That's the real bonus. I'd probably make more money working entirely for myself but the income isn't as stable as holding a regular job. Anyway my income has gone from squat, after I moved to Redding, to being able to buy a modest home in the City of Shasta Lake.  I get to be somebodys' hero at least once-a-day and get paid for it anyway so its all good.

Of course it's not all about the money. I spend a lot of time helping people in a couple of user groups on Yahoo as well as take phone calls from clients and help them for extended periods without billing them. When I first moved to Redding, I volunteered time in the computer lab at Shasta County Public Library and tought an Internet safety class there also for a few years. Maybe someday I'll get back to that but I'm fairly bushed when I get in at night.

Oh BTW, the name TechZilla was given to me by Teressa. She would kill me if I never said anything about her. She puts up with my long hours and general BS and always has a meal for me when I come home. I make her play secretary for me and allways get great comments from my clients.



I've actually been working on computers practically since I got my first one back 16 years ago. Personally I believe I'm an excellent technician. I'm one of the few at work that consistently get good surveys and comments from the clients. And alot of people are amazed by what I can do. Of course, I could let this go to my head, but I maintain a certain level of humility to keep my hat size in check. There's is allways something new to learn, or a new challenge to overcome where I know absolutely nothing about.

In the last few years, I finally found something that I WAS INTERESTED IN on the computer. The Internet is boring and I get a gazillian emails and instant messaging has lost its luster. I actually stumbled on this.

Having a rather large VHS collection of SCi-Fi movies, I decided I needed to be able to back them in case they get to old I can't play them any more. So I bought a video capture card and burn them to DVD. The card has a tv-tuner in it and I quickly found I could expand my collection by recording tv shows. That lead for the need to edit out commercials. needless to say my collection has grown to over 700 movies. My goal is to have enough personal entertainment I can stop paying for sattelite and never have to see a commercial again.

I've gotten pretty good at editing out the commercials. You can bearly tell where the commercials were if you dind't know what to look for. I've kind of set that project aside for a bit....well a long bit to work on a dvd project. For the last year or so, in my spare time, I've been working on the first 5 minutes of my dvd that I plan to sell sometime.

Seems like I may never get done at this rate but what I'm trying to accomplish is rather unique. My theme is based around the days of the drive-in movies. Alot of people have never experienced a drive-in and I'm trying to re-create that experience as best I can from memory visually on a dvd. Unlike attempts by other people, my dvd will not only be suitable for the living room but also could played through a digital projector system in someones backyard. And no drive-in would be complete without intermission footage urging you to buy something at the snackbar and stuff. I've gathered quite a collection to use. Who knows if I'll ever make a buck at it or not but what the heck. I'm enjoying it and getting satisfaction out of it.

The cable guy just called. I'm gonna see if I can get him to restring my Internet line so it doesn't interfer with my remodeling plans on the house. The idiot installer, strung the wire to the far side of the house and ran the line back around the entire back of the house back to the side they should have gone to in the first place. Its about 200' of wire I don't really need.






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