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December 01, 2002: Not exactly scenic

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Last week we went out and bought ourselves new bags for the laptops bags with extra pockets for papers and all the paraphernalia we have to carry with us, and also with wheels. It wasn't until yesterday, however, that we thought to check if the laptops actually *fit* in the bags. Oops. Back we went for a spat of frantic computer bag shopping, this time carrying with us piece of cardboard I'd cut out in the shape of the laptops, just to make sure. We spent a significant amount of time sitting on the floor at several stores with that little piece of cardboard, opening up every model wheeled laptop bag they had, inserting the cardboard, unzipping every little pocket to check all the nooks and crannies.

Somehow yesterday as well we ended up near a Pier One Imports and I suggested we take a quick browse. I was getting tired and achy (I've been running a low-grade fever for the past few days, and any time these antibiotics want to kick in and make it go away would be just fine with me) and figured I'd only have enough energy for a short pass. Ha. I wandered around and sighed wistfully over all the gorgeous pillows (made of material cats love to scratch) and the brown wicker furniture (that cats love eat), and the mission-style heavy wooden furniture that was wayyyyy too expensive to even contemplate. I'm not sure how much time we actually were in there, but it was more than enough to see everything the store had to offer, and manage to purchase a whole bag full of marvelous bargains. Plus we picked up a Christmas present for one of our friends, which made the trip perfectly worthwhile.

The new wheeled laptop bags were necessary because today we piled everything into the rental car we picked up yesterday and drove to Santa Barbara county for our next round of mollusk handler training fun. Since there's an awful lot happening in a lot of counties over the next two weeks, all of us at Benthic Creatures are spread a bit this time we're training solo. And having a bag with wheels makes it a lot easier to cart in all the stuff we need.

It was a long drive down here, and highway 101 isn't exactly the most picturesque of roads to drive. There were stretches of highway, however, that had character. There's one section where the signs clearly state that you shouldn't pick up hitchhikers, but only for a certain number of miles. Richard noted that this must really frustrate all those hitchhiking serial killers. We also drove by fields of squatty oil pumps, and at one point actually got a glimpse of the ocean. We stopped for lunch in Gilroy, hoping to find some kind of garlic restaurant, but alas, had to settle for Chinese food buffet instead. Not that it wasn't any good, because it was, but it wasn't what we'd been hoping for from the garlic capitol of California.

Once again I am taking part in Holidailies, and have thus made the commitment to try to post every day this month. You can find guaranteed reading material from all of us participating at the Holidailies portal.

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