What Was New: August 27, 2000

Fremont, Alameda, Lick, USS Hornet

(Gregory Melle's Web Diary / Blog)
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August has been a month for hard work but the work has been interesting and creative. I wrote a lot last month and posted some nice photos. Have a look.

I am currently staying in a succession of East Bay motels while I work at the New United Motors Manufacturing Inc. "NUMMI" car plant in Fremont. The job is quite interesting. I am using Delphi software to create part of a control system that schedules truck bodies between painting and final assembly. It is a good test of my developmental and analytical skills.


In mid-August I took a drive east of San Jose to the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton. From San Jose I often noticed the white buildings high in the mountains and wondered about the view from up there. I was quite impressed with the Observatory and the 19th Century instruments that are still in use.
One building has a 36 inch refracting telescope. It was built in the 1880's and remains in original condition. It was the world's largest telescope when it was built.

View of San Jose Lick Observatory View of San Jose Lick Observatory

They have six more telescopes including a 120 inch telescope that is now used for planet hunting. Many of the 30 planet systems discovered in the last few years were discovered by the spectroscopes here.


The next Sunday I headed to Alameda. There is a large naval base across from San Francisco that has only recently been turned over to civilian access and control. The biggest attraction there is the Aircraft Carrier USS Hornet. Its almost 60 years of history includes tours in WWII and Vietnam. Later it was the vessel which plucked the Apollo 11 and 12 astronauts from the sea.

I spent a couple hours climbing the decks. The view of San Francisco was lovely. When I stood on the deck I was surprised at how small 800 feet can look. It is amazing to consider jet airplanes landing and catapulting from a platform less than the length of a modern cruise ship in the midst of the vast Pacific.

View of Hornet Aircraft at Carrier View of Hornet Aircraft at Carrier

I am still having bad luck with accommodations. My idea of finding a reasonably priced apartment in this area has fallen away until I see what happens in October. The place where I paid $1300 in January now asks more than $1700 per month. And in addition they require leases and huge deposits. Instead, I am staying in a series of highway motels. A few days ago I found about the 28 day rule. I was casually told on day 26 that I would have to move from my comfortable accommodations on day 28. It is some silly California regulation conflict between Landlord and Tenant regulations versus Innkeeper rules.
I had noticed that California motels never quoted monthly rates but no-one had ever told me why.

So I spent today packing moving and to another motel in Hayward. It is more expensive but with larger rooms. For next weekend I have made a reservation for a 'Studios Plus' suite in Fremont. Yet another step up in quality and price. But at least I will be able to stay there until October.



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