Dark Tunnels and Steep Hills

Our photo group went to Devil’s Falls in the Auburn Recreational Area Monday. What I time we had! After shooting the falls in the “normal” manner I choose to slip and slide my way across the water, get into the falls, and take a pic.

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Needless to mention – I and my boots were a tad wet from this point on.

We came across an opening to a tunnel maybe from the mining days maybe natural? I had a small flashlight that immediately died of old age when we entered the dark tunnel. Out everyone went. I found my little 1/4 inch round by 4 inch long red infra micro light that I use at night to see my camera dials if need be and set back inside. The tiny light really did not illuminate much of anything but it acted as a security blanket for me. I made my way slowly into the tunnel using my camera’s modeling flash to catch a glimpse of where I was heading or not heading into LOL. After a few turns I was successfully confused enough to wonder if I would find my way back out. I probably only went a few hundred feet but it seemed like miles in the dark.


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Farther along the tunnel there was a split a tunnel to the left and a tunnel to the right. I would love to tell you that I remembered which choice I made so I could find my way back out – but not! I did note while taking a picture a bright orange arrow that lite up with the flash – this turned out to be a very good thing.


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I proceeded like this, model flash, step forward, snap a shot,  model flash, forward etc. until . … from somewhere much deeper into the tunnels than I -I heard strange voices. I noticed the used beer cans were getting thicker too. Emmm … I guess I should turn around and work my way back out. Turning around I discovered that – DUH – GASP – it all looked the same – there in the dark! Suddenly my little infra red micro light and my modeling flash method – well – for a second I thought Ugh oh – I might have to do the hug the tree thing here. But while flashing away I noticed the arrow – I have never seen such a fine arrow before LOL.  I zipped through the pics I had already shot and figured out that arrow did indeed point the way out to the main tunnel. Whew.

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And for all you graffitti lovers or haters – down one tunnel but of course – graffiti and some more garbage.

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Later on some of us drove down miles of more bumpy dirt roads to the Grouse Falls.

But that is another story.

Another Day Done

Stopped at the old burger cafe in Rio Vista this afternoon. The menu is taped to the wall near the cashier – I finally gave up trying to figure it out so I had Rae order for me. Just one of those brain not connecting days I suppose

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While waiting for Rae,Tim, and Galen to finish eating I wandered off – walking down the road. I became fascinated by the laundry mat window along the way. It amused me.

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I should know better than to wander away. I tend to not notice where I am headed, let alone remember where I started. Not always a good thing LOL. Realizing that I really had not a clue as to where I came from I decided the window was the place to be.

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I was finally found and returned to my trusty truck and off we went. But only after I managed to take numerous shots of the laundry mat window!

And like this guy – I still refuse to go down in flames!

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Scum Room

I decided it was way past time to file for social security disability yep the type you worked for – the one I paid into for most of my life – that one SSD. I have put if off because I hoped I would get to go back to work, I did not want to be a mooch, I have the classic I don’t want welfare attitude that is mentioned in legal ads that can be seen on television.

I called the 800 number and tried to explain that I wanted to sign up for the SSD cause I had strokes and excuse me but  I tend to get confused.  The lady went on about food stamps. I tried to tell her no I want the disability info I do not need food stamps. She just kept going like the energizer bunny. When she said you will need to provide info on your bank accounts and property you own I once again asked what does that have to do with disability. When she said cause that is what you need I hung up.

My room mate called again the next day. Explained what had happened and the lady she spoke with told her that the other lady was giving me info for SSI so I must have not been clear. Well, if angrily stating I will try again I want disability not food stamps is not clear – I suppose I was not. Now armed with the knowledge that I should file online so I would not have to wait for a date where someone could accompany me to the office to help me – cause I do get confused and lost etc – my room mate and I sat down at the computer and following a set of simple instructions began to navigate the SSD online filing process. It soon turned ugly. Page after page  what to answer and what not to ,when you needed to print and when not to . .. and then questions about how many kids I  do not have over and over again, and my parents and …. You get the point?

Pages and clicks later the last part says MAIL your ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE in along with …. HELLO??? I am slow, I am brain damaged, but – I am not stupid. So, we now have to drive to the Office that we were trying to avoid in the first place, now without an appointment, to show a live person my certificate and SS card.

We are now in the poster child office for inefficient bureaucracy and  rude workers. The security guards were all smiles as they scanned us. I kept beeping. I had something in my left pocket that was setting it off. I can not easily get stuff out of my left pocket – especially when my right hand is holding everything I took from my right pocket and my cell phone. Needless to say no one offered the little plastic container they have to hold my stuff so – I dropped it all. Now all the people in the room stared at me.

Next we get to choose from a computer screen why we are there – well there is nothing close to “show my certificate “ so my roommate selected other and I selected apply for SSD.

Now almost anyone can figure out that the S numbers are the food stamp etc people, the E ‘s are other and the A’s are SSD. The people waiting in this place can only be described as stereotypical – you can go where ever you want with that statement but it was what I had dreaded – I was in the scum room. . A real mockery of a social security system gone bad. I listened while one gal who got so loud and angry the guard had to respond – we think from what we over heard (she was loud remember) that she had not given a new address when she moved so her welfare was cut off. And that was the lady behind the windows problem. Then there was a gal that explained she did not have birth certificate available and it would take some time to get one sent – could she use her drivers license – she waited for long time to find out from the same lady she first explained it to – now at a different window – no. I guess the workers only know stuff when at the right window?

Finally my A number was called – yeah – I am starting to get the creeps and real depressed that this is where I am suppose to be – in this side show … We get up and walk toward the window and the guy starts hollering A568?  Hurry up if you’re here. Well dang we have to like walk to the window dude. Next a very angry and pissed looking jerk said what do you want? As if I was getting ready to rob or hit him! My room mate explained and he said so where are the papers? What papers? -The form for the release of medical records. Ok does she fill all this out or just sign them. Read the form he says LOL. I filled out my name addy etc and signed the same dang form 5 times. Then he say why did you fill all that out? You just had to sign. My room mate says “I told her too it said to on the form”. He grabs the papers – slamming them on his side of the window counter.  Several rude comments later he says “ your birthday” you made a mistake! We say no that is my birth date.  No you have the month and the date the same. Yeah? ( example 01-01-2004) The month and the date are the same. He says are you sure? Here is my birth certificate. Never mind , mutter mutter, grunt, here sit down and someone will call you – I don’t know why you have an appointment next month. I am thinking Whatever …

More waiting, more strange people, seems there were only two of us in the whole place that had actually worked at one time or another. The other person was helped by his daughter – he looked at least 70 and they were just as dang rude to him.

I did finally make it into the other “room” and a very nice professional gal helped us out. She told us that the form done on the internet was the first one  that she had not had to correct errors on. Now, after what we went through online trying to figure it out I can understand why.  Thank God I had someone with me! I get confused in normal circumstances this was not a do able thing for anyone with any brain damage!

Last night (early Friday morning) the site had a notice up that said the site was unavailable  Fridays from 5am – 1am Eastern Time.

Think that through a bit.