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California - 27th July 2010

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Day 6 - real life in Kristin's world - but with my interruption.

I woke up sometime between half eight and nine - which was to prove the last time I woke up that late while I stayed with Kristin. Her day tended to start between half five and half six, with a correspondingly earlier bed-time than that first night had been, so it seemed natural to adopt similar hours.

Today Kristin had to work, and wondered what I'd want to do. I wanted to share her day - and so we set off to walk a couple of dogs - but did a lovely ride around some of the area first - twisties practically on the doorstep, wonderful!

First there was Niko - a magnificent Afghan hound, who still thought he was a puppy even though fully grown, and so often showed some impulsive behaviour which didn't always jibe well with human comfort. He'd been to "Reform School", but I suspect the discipline hadn't been fully kept up thereafter.

Then there was Kiwi - a charming Labradoodle. I think his coat could be described as a creamy apricot, with a wool texture. No moulting, just needing a trim once a year. He was very well behaved and eager to please, an ideal family dog.

With the dogs exercised, it was time to open up the shop - Vespa Walnut Creek, over which Kristin reigns supreme, while also keeping an eagle eye on what "must-do"s the on-hands owner Darragh at Rockridge Two Wheels had done or not done in the last day or so.

Scooters had to be wheeled out of the not-too-wide doorway - minding those US-mandated reflectors! Perhaps those should be fitted on final customer delivery - I expect fully half get replaced while they are in any showroom. About seven or eight LX's of varying engine sizes and colours stand in a row out front, with a couple of Kymcos (Super 8's?) behind and a lonely Kymco People pushed somewhere so as not to look too out of place. The larger scooters - GTSs and MP3s, Scarabeos, Beverleys - were left inside, with an Aprilia RSV4 in the window. There was plenty of clothing for both men and women, a good selection of helmets, and some accessories. This was all in the shop's new location on Camino Diablo in Walnut Creek - no longer at the previous expensive but centre-of-town spot on Mt Diablo Boulevard. This made sense to me - if you want a scooter shop, you hunt it out, scooter buyers do not tend to be passing trade indulging in impulse buys.

It soon became apparent that despite a reasonable tool-kit, the shop was missing one vital instrument - a multimeter. There was a modern battery tester - but that's not what's required for quick and easy diagnostics. This lack was remedied later on, and proved extremely useful about twice a day thereafter!

I don't think I did anything particularly useful that first day at the shop, but there were some techie things to be done in future days - but more of those later.

After the shop there were two or three cats to feed in various locations - I was still unfamiliar with the local roads, but over time I got to know some of them very well. :)

Track of the day:

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© Jim Crowther and Kristin Gallagher 2010