Will photobombing Jim’s self portrait

So this week I was in the Bay area, specifically Pittsburg, California, for Dispatcher Training, as required by POST, to keep my certification current.  Since Pittsburg is only a 45 minute BART ride from San Francisco, you can be sure we snuck off to see the sights, and tempt fate.

I did two things on this little excursion that I’ve never done before, and since this isn’t Las Vegas, this is (some of) the story!  No names were changed to protect anyone…  as my “about” says, the guilty are hung out to dry!


Will and Jim, heading into San Francisco on BART.   Will is intent upon corrupting me in Baghdad-By-The-Bay, and is trying to decide just how! (In San Francisco, the straight guy is going to corrupt the gay guy? Weird, I know, but what can I say?  I’ve tried corrupting him, but he’s not falling for it!)

Here’s a short video of us strolling over to Pier 23 from the BART station.  YouTube crunched it up a bit weird, it’s not that fuzzy on my phone!


The scene of the crime, Pier 23.  I had the grilled fish tacos.  Pretty good.

So here’s what I did that night that I have never done before:

I ate an oyster off the half-shell, and was introduced to a White Russian.

(The drink, not a guy.)

Verdicts: oyster – eehh.  Not bad, but not particularly good, either.  In the future, I can say “been there, done that, don’t need to go back”.

White Russian – a bit too sweet for my taste.  Almost seemed like a chocolate milk made with Nestle chocolate powder, with too much powder settling on the bottom.  I had a bit more than a sip, several in fact, but not the whole thing.  Will finished it off for me, and when he took the first drink, commented on how strong they had made it!  He had asked me how it was, and I told him I couldn’t taste the alcohol, but I could tell it was alcoholic.  I’m not sure how that works, but there it is.

Good dinner, we enjoyed the evening and rode the BART back to Concord to our hotel.  I was not as nervous about going under the bay as I thought I would be.  In fact, I wasn’t sure we had done so until we were pulling into the Embarcadero Station.  Noisy ride, though.  They really need to do some sound deadening on those rails!


The official training was in this classroom, which for two out of the three days had no heat!  This was a Dispatcher Update course, and was a comedy (although not particularly funny to me) of errors.

Teachers got class dates wrong, and didn’t show up at the right times, multi-media presentations didn’t work due to computers having different versions of programs used to display them (thanks, Windows!), and a general mis-managed event all around.  Several modules were very interesting, so it was at least worth the trip for them.

On Wednesday, I ate an alligator.


Alligator ‘bites’.  Deep fried, they had the texture of pork, like a pork chop.  Flavor a bit different, but nothing too wild.  I had a taste of one, but had the fried chicken for lunch.  This all was at “Plan B“, a soul food place in Pittsburg.  Very good.

It got cold on this trip!


Thursday morning in Concord, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  brrrr.

Now I’m back home, dealing with the evicted cousin being in the house when I walked in, after being arrested TWICE while I was gone for being in the house!  Details on that, later.