On the Reporting of Actual News

Yes my friends…there’s actual news to report from the Home Office this week.

Last Monday…Alabama and Clemson played in the National Championship Game…and as you saw Clemson won the game pretty convincingly. I’m not convinced that overall the Tigers are a that much better team…but they were definitely the better team that night so congrats to them. On the other hand…not to take anything away from their performance…Alabama just didn’t play like Alabama that day. They were outplayed most of the game and a lot of that goes back to Clemson just having a better game plan but a lot of it goes back to just not “following the process” as Nick Saban says. After the first two early touchdowns…one by each team…we figured it would be a back and forth game with somebody making a play at the end to win. Alabama decided to run the ball a lot to shorten the game as Clemson’s offense is pretty good…they put up 300 yards passing and almost 200 rushing…but were terrible on third down and just didn’t finish drives they way they normally do. Given the offense on the other side…going 1 for 5 in the red zone just ain’t gonna cut it. Saban’s press conference after the game said it all…couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down on defense, mistakes in the red zone, and didn’t capitalize on opportunities. A lot of credit goes to Clemson’s game plan for that though…changing pass coverage looks after the snap to confuse the quarterback and they made the key stops they needed to to end scoring opportunities. 

I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of them back in the playoffs next year…both return a lot of talent and both demonstrated this year that they’re the two best teams in the country.

Our friends Bill and Linda got here the day after the game for a week’s visit from NC…they’re glad to be here instead of up there in the snow and ice. We’ve been doing trailer projects all week and eating good food. They’ll head out Tuesday morning for visits to some other places.

We discovered a brake failure on Little Red this week…rear brake pads are shot and one of the rear rotors is toast as well…strange that after only 25K miles that pads are worn out and even stranger that it’s rear pads as usually they last much longer than front pads which do most of the braking. We have an appointment Tuesday morning and Neil will head down to get them fixed as well as an oil change.

The weather down here continues to be nice…mostly highs in the 70s to 80s and lows in 50s to 60s with occasional high 40s but it warms up pretty quickly in the morning.

Our mobile RV tech Gordon was by a week or so ago to replace the fabric for our slide toppers…the seams had failed due to sun and wind the past two summers. It’s a 2 person job to replace them…Gordon will provide a helper for a higher labor rate but Neil did it instead and they got them replaced in about 3 hours.

Connie’s getting closer to being done picking out campgrounds for the upcoming travel season…Neil will get to making reservations this week and also still has a few projects he needs to finish up…once Bill and Linda head out he’ll start knocking things out.

The eaglets are thriving…they’re growing rapidly although still don’t have anything but their downy feathers.

20190113 eaglets

Interesting things found on the net this week.

Remember the old grammar school pneumonic “I before e except after c.”…well, maybe not so much.

IBeforeEExceptAfterC

Not today they don’t.

NotTodayItAint

The rest of the story…as Paul Harvey used to say.

WhyChickenCrossedTheRoad

Food for thought.

GoodQuestion

Plants are amazing.

PlantsAreAmazing

Everybody thinks that Mount Everest is tall…and while it is the tallest mountain on earth located completely on land the volcano Mauna Kea in HI is actually taller…it’s total height above the sea floor is about 33,500 feet or nearly a mile taller. However…neither of those holds a candle to Olympus Mons which is located on Mars. The graphic below illustrates the relative height and size of Everest and Olympus Mons…it’s a pretty big hill I reckon. Everest is the foreground one…Olympus in the back and the scale is the same. Wow. Since Mars is actually smaller than the earth is…and since Olympus is over 60 miles wide…if you’re standing at the base you can’t see the top as it’s over the horizon.

MtEverestAndOlympusMons

And finally…you know what this is…right?

TheOldLangSign

No?

You sure?

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Why it’s the Old Lang Sign of course…

Cyas.

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Happy New Year Everybody

Well…I guess in retrospect we coulda just cancelled the whole college football season and proceeded directly to the Championship game…as the two teams that everybody said back in August…Clemson and Alabama…were head and shoulders above the rest of them…anyways they proved everybody correct last Saturday by beating their semi-final playoff opponents. Clemson won 30-3 gradually pulling away from an overmatched Notre Dame squad. Alabama was up 28-0 with 2 minutes gone in the second quarter…as predicted Oklahoma had no defense and at least for the first 17 minutes of game time no offense either…before winning 45-34. Neil was kinda surprised that they jumped on the Sooners that much that early…and also surprise that given the ability of the Sooner offense to score bunches of points that Coach Saban took his foot off the gas as early as he did. Oklahoma scored 10 in the first half of the second quarter then the Tide used up the second half of the quarter on a long field gold drive to lead 31-10 at the half. In the second half…the Sooners did manage to find some offense scoring another 24 while our side mostly ran the ball and used clock to score twice and were on the verge of a third score after a 7 or 8 minute drive when time expired.

Clemson and Alabama will meet next week for the championship…they’ve met each of the past 4 years in the playoffs and they’re clearly the best two teams. The talking heads…one would call them headlets I guess…keep talking about Alabama and Clemson fatigue and want somebody else to win…but at least to this point over the past few years no other team has stepped up and shown they are in the same league.

We had a nice Christmas…then this past week got back to work. Gordon came in and he and Neil replaced the slide topper fabric on the rig…they were falling apart after 3 years in the winter sun down here in FL and summers spent in hot and windy places. They also worked on planning for next summer’s travels…as of today we have our route and stopping places all figured out and Connie will start picking out campgrounds next week sometime I guess.

The other big news…well at least it’s big in the space business…is that NASA’s probe New Horizons…and no, it wasn’t built at Camp Horizons in Kansas…anyway the probe passed an object known as Ultima Thule or 2014 MU69 as it’s astronomical designation today. Thule is a 20 mile long oblong object/planetoid Kuiper belt object about 4 billion miles from the sun or about 300 million miles past the minor space system formerly known as the planet Pluto. From there…because the probe had some fuel left after passing Pluto…it was given an extended mission to pass through the Kuiper belt to investigate whatever might be there.

Nothing much else going on down here though…

We did see the hatching of the second egg down at the nest of Harriet and M15…it hatched on Christmas Eve and both eaglets are alive and kicking as they say…here’s a shot of mom feeding the two of them a fish the was delivered a few minutes ago by M15.

Screen Shot 2019 01 01 at 2 17 38 PM

They’re still little bundles of gray feathers at this point…all they do is eat and poop.

Not much else to report…so let’s see what interesting things were found on the net this week.

As you can see from this graphic…the cost of getting things into space is coming down…but it’s still not low enough to make exploration of planets outside the earth any cheaper or more likely…Musk and his ilk keep talking about a mission to Mars…but the real problem is that it would take most of an entire year’s worth of all global launch missions just to get the vehicle, food, oxygen, water, and spare parts needed into orbit. At minimum a mission to Mars would take 200-250 days each way plus however long the crew stayed there for exploration. With zero possibility of external support…they would need going on two years of food, fuel, water, oxygen, and parts…and even the ISS only has 6 months or so of food, fuel, and oxygen onboard…and it took something like 70 space shuttle missions to put it together. 

SpaceLaunchCost

Another space related graphic…the closest galaxy to our own Milky Way is the Andromeda Galaxy at about 2.5 million light years away. It’s not visible to the naked eye…and I always thought that you needed a telescope to see it. Turns out that actually what you need is more sensitive eyes…here’s a graphic showing what Andromeda would look like to the naked eye if you could see it.

AndromedaGalaxy6xMoonSize

It’s over 6 times the angular width of the full moon…I never realized that.

Now we all know that the earth’s surface is about 80% covered by water right? So how much water is that exactly. Well…according to scientists…the earth has 330 million cubic miles of water on it…but that doesn’t really mean anything to most people. I found this graphic and it turns out that if you do the math 330 million cubic miles would be a ball of water about 800 miles in diameter. Again…that doesn’t mean much to most people but maybe this graphic will help. The earth is obviously on the right and the blue marble next to it is a sphere 800 miles in diameter…the other planet looking thing is the moon Europa which orbits Jupiter. Me…I would have thought the ball of water would be much larger compared to the earth than it actually is.

HowMuchWaterEarthAndEuropa

Borrowed from Real People of Walmart which is a series of photos by Greg White of http://www.ourrvadventures.com. Jammies…really?

RealPeopleOfWalmartGregWhite

From randysrandom.com.

DarkMatterDuh

Fixer upper snowman for sale.

FixerUpperSnowman4Sale

Heroes…like the t-shirts on this organ donor and recipient.

Heroes

That’s Christmas dinner sorted out.

ChristmasDinnerSortedOut

What’s the worst that could happen?

WorstThatCouldHappen

Mexican fire opal…when illuminated it looks like clouds with a sunset behind them.

MexicanFireOpal

This is a hybrid corn variety named Glass Gem Corn…pretty neat.

GlassGemCorn

Another size representation graphic…we all know that there are about 7.3 billion humans on the planet…if you put them all in one place how much space would they take up? Superimposed on the island of Manhattan below…turns out that a cubic building of 1.07 km on a size could hold all of them. The Empire State Building and the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa) are on the side of the cube for reference. 1.07 km is 3,510 feet so that’s how large this cube would need to be.

WorldPopulationDensity

Is this the best color name they could come up with?

BestTheyCouldComeUpWith

Lenticular clouds over Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

LenticularCloudsCapetownSA

And finally…not what you want to see at the airport.

NotWhatYouWantToSee

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And Even More Christmas

Hey…it’s actually Christmas now…and I found some more funnies for ya’…so it’s time for another post.

Yeah…I know it’s 2 in 3 days…but don’t get cocky and figger it will continue…once the holidays are over we’ll just be back to reg’lar ol’ life down here in the sunny climes of SW FL…and like I’a’toll’ya before there’s only so many ways to talk about Bingo at the lodge and ‘citing stuff like doing laundry and bike rides.

 

NickRusselXmasgif

The above was shamelessly borrowed from Nick Russell’s GypsyJournal.com website…but I figure it’s OK because he most likely borrowed it from somebody else.

For those of you who…agnostics or atheists or whatever who might not believe in Christmas…let’s have an appropriately politically correct greeting.

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

In addition, please also accept our best wishes for a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2019, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make this country great (not to imply that this country is necessarily greater than any other country or area of choice), and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual orientation of the wishers.

This wish is limited to the customary and usual good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first. ‘Holiday’ is not intended to, nor shall it be considered, limited to the usual Judeo-Christian celebrations or observances, or to such activities of any organized or ad hoc religious community, group, individual or belief (or lack thereof).

Note: By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all.
This greeting is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. This greeting implies no promise by the wisher actually to implement any of the wishes for the wisher her/himself or others, or responsibility for the consequences which may arise from the implementation or non-implementation of it.

This greeting is void where prohibited by law.
 
 

OK…on to Christmas Eve stuff. Connie and Neil headed out about 1445 for St. Therese for Midnight Mass. It was scheduled for 1600…which might not be midnight but it’s what passes for it in SW FL…as most of the old people here don’t drive after dark. It was midnight in Dubai UAE when Mass started…so under the idea of “it’s 5 o’clock in Tel Aviv” that’s close enough. The choir performed for a half hour before Mass started…here’s a shot of them doing so. She’s the third one from the right in the front row…well, actually it’s the second row but work with me here and just ignore the front row that only has Mickey in it. She’s right at the aisle break in the middle of the choir section…you can see her long black skirt in the opening.

IMG 7221

Then there was this pair…Neil told him he was braver than Neil was…his response was that he lost the bet. He even had matching socks.

IMG 9021

After Mass we drove over to Che Tito’s for dinner…and they turned out to be closed. Our second choice was the Nauti Parrot…but after we ordered a pint o’ Guinness and glass of Merlot it turned out the kitchen was closing. Third choice was another place in the same area as Nauti Parrot named Sunset Grill…it was pretty good. Neil had a burger and Connie some conch fritters…then we headed home for TV and then off to bed.

Christmas morning we had breakfast…bacon and eggs on toast (cinnamon toast for Neil)…then opened presents. We got some tops, Argan oil for Connie, new slippers, a bike jersey, a new hoodie and ‘Bama ball cap, and a couple of ebooks…along with some new coffee mug warmers from the human kids.

Christmas dinner was lamb loin chops on the grill…pretty good although he should have put some more spices in the marinade, scalloped taters…again pretty good but would have been better without the fennel seeds, and ginger/orange glazed carrots…Connie liked them but Neil wouldn’t do them again…along with a nice bottle of blackberry wine we got up in PA during last travel season. Afterwards Connie headed up to the rec hall for Bingo here at Seminole. 

Oh well…on to other things I guess.

They used to laugh and call him names…emphasis on the used to.

UsedToLaugh

Google it if you don’t understand…most millennials won’t but more seasoned and experienced people will. (Editor’s note…Connie was clueless about this one so obviously not all more seasoned and experienced people will understand.)

ErnestChristmas

Best Nativity scene ever.

BestNativitySceneEver

Little known fact…about the origin of fruitcake as a Christmas tradition.

FruitcakeFourthMagi

Ok…quiz time now.

Everybody knows that after Jesus was born…well Christians know for sure and I’m pretty sure that most Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and insert_other_religion_here folks are at least familiar with the concept…anyways…after he was born there were the shepherds out tending their flocks in the field with night watch…and an angel of the Lord appeared to them to tell them to go and visit the manger to see him.

So the quiz is…what was the name of the angel that appeared?

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Give up yet?

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OK…I’ll tellya…the angel’s name was Lo.

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Yeah…Lo…that’s his name…still is since angels are immortal ya know.

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‘Cuz it says right there in the Bible…right there in the Gospel according to Luke…in the King James version it’s chapter 2 verse 9…in the Catholic version the angel’s name isn’t specified…”And, Lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.”

She did say she wanted Frozen© stuff for Christmas.

FrozenStuff

Conspiracy theorist dies…

ConspiracyTheory

I have to inspect your load.

HaveToInspectTheLoad

Are these Christmas lights…or just XXXXXXXL panties?

XmasLightsOrPanties

How kids write to Santa in 2018.

SantaLetterIn2018

This is the rare Elk Cat…the most common pet at an Elks Lodge.

RareElkCat

And finally…the changeover from reg’lar time to Daylight Savings Time (AKA just foolin’ ya…there really ain’t any savings involved, just a parlor trick) is obviously much more difficult in the UK.

StonehengeDST

Happy holidays to one and all…

Cyas.

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Merry Christmas Ya’ll

Yeah…I know it’s only Christmas Eve Eve today…but work with me here.

Lemme see what we’ve done in the almost three weeks since my last post.

Neil’s been struggling with getting his bike fixed; just after we got here to Seminole he discovered that if he gets into the smallest cog on his rear cassette…that’s the highest gear for you non bicycle types…that it kept trying to shift to the next smallest cog every 10 seconds or so. He took it into the local bike shop JRA (for Just Ridin’ Around) since they had done a tuneup, cable replacement, brake pads and adjustments back in the spring. He ended up going in 3 times trying to get things right…the first time the co-owner told him that it was a bad chain…he found this strange since the chain was replaced in the spring and he’s only ridden less than a hundred miles since then. So they replaced the chain for free…but it didn’t solve the problem. Took it back in and the other co-owner said it was because the rear wheel wasn’t properly seated into the lugs it fits in. So they reseated it and said it’s fixed…again it wasn’t. Took it back in the 3rd time and they said it was the rear derailleur bracket that was bent…so $30 for the bracket and $25 for installation…and they claimed it was fixed…and you guessed it…it wasn’t.

At that point…they became so fired and he asked Tommy on the Seminole staff who bikes a lot who was good and they sent him to Paradise Bicycles about 6 miles down the freeway. He went in there, described the problem and the failed attempts to fix it…they asked him who worked on it and when he told them Greg said “Ugh.” He didn’t want to badmouth another shop but said that he had heard more than one complaint about them. So Greg went out for a test ride behind the shopping center and came back with a diagnosis of worn cassette…that’s the gear section that is on the rear wheel and contains the cogs. He put one on order and also suggested replacing the derailleur itself as it’s springs were worn and it wouldn’t shift smoothly anyway. So another $112 for the parts and installation and lo and behold…it’s fixed. Paradise has earned his business down here from now on.

Connie went out and sang Christmas carols at one of the local retirement homes last week…she was supposed to go again on Thursday but it got cancelled due to rain…the old ladies in the choir convinced the director that going out when it was raining was too dangerous.

We had the strangest rainstorm this week though…high winds both Thursday and Friday along with rain both days. Thursday it was pretty much steady all day rain but Friday was really strange. It would go from dead calm winds with a beautiful blue cloudless sky to 40 knots of wind, ugly dark gray skies and deluge rain in 15 minutes…then another half hour later it was back to beautiful again…this happened 3 or 4 times throughout the day. Very strange weather indeed.

Neil made a few campground reservations for us…while the detailed planning is still in progress for the upcoming travel season…we know where we’ll be for Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day so he went ahead and made those reservations at Cañon City CO, Foster OR, and St. Louis MO respectively. Others will come later on. He also changed our arrival date at the NHOG Rally in Kerrville TX to arrive Tuesday before the rally rather than Thursday…he’s got a floor project and several fellow NHOGers have graciously volunteered to assist…for pizza and beer naturally.

Connie had her annual eye checkup since she had retina and cataract surgery on her good eye…all looks great so she’s clear for another year. We also had our bi-annual dental cleaning…the hygienist down here is much more gentle that the ol’ Tooth Nazi that we used to go to up in Fairfax.

We’ve been watching the news with all the hubbub about the Wall, the government shutdown, fixing DACA, immigration reform, and all the various other topics of the week. While I have to agree that sometimes the President says dumb things on twitter…he did win the election after all and elections have consequences as a former President used to say. Seems to me from what little we watch and read of the various talking heads…would that be headlets…on both sides that the left is now against what they were for 2 years ago just because they don’t want to give the President a victory on anything. What the hell happened to reasonable discourse in politics and the ability to compromise and give a little/get a little in return so that good legislation can get passed. I wish I thought it would be different now that the other side will be running the House in the new year…but I’m pretty certain that all we’ll hear is impeachment and let’s hold some more hearings into “what did the President know and when did he know it”. I dunno…methinks we should implement the election requirement that Neil has proposed since he was 18 and could vote for the first time. He thinks that in addition to the candidates names on the ballot…there should be a choice “None of the above”…and if None wins then there must be a new election and none of those candidates can run in it. Maybe that way we could get some common sense back in DC. Unfortunately…the folks in DC, NY, and CA think that they should run everything and everybody in flyover country in the middle should just let them do it…they seem to forget they work for we the people…and getting reelected and making the other side look bad is more important than actually getting their job done.

Connie’s been on a roll at Bingo…she won 3 times at the lodge 2 weeks back and in two of those games she had two winning cards. She also won the jackpot at Seminole Bingo this. Week…$80 for that one and about another $75 for the ones at the lodge so she’s keeping ahead of her expenses.

She also joined the Resurrection Choir at St Therese…well she actually joined up last year…this subset of the normal choir sings at funeral and memorial masses as required. There’s a lot of old people down here so she’s been pretty busy with that since we arrived.

Nothing much else really going on I guess…and no Fun Stuff© to report on so let’s see what else I can babble about.

Here’s a photo of the two eggs with Harriet down at the eagle nest nearby…this was taken 2 days ago.

Screen Shot 2018 12 23 at 2 37 28 PM

I just noticed when I was there to get this image that as of 1126 today (Dec 23)…the first egg has hatched and E12 made its entrance into the world. The second egg is about 2 days behind based on when it was laid.

Neil looked at the live eaglecam…M15 is sitting on the nest but the li’l guy…or gal…is nowhere to be seen. Not surprising since it’s only about 65 degrees today and he’s all of 3 hours old at this point…I’ll keep an eye out and if I can catch a baby photo I’ll put it up for ya.

Ok…let’s see what interesting stuff was found on the net this week…holiday related and otherwise.

This is what a Nativity scene would look like if Jesus had been born in 2018.

IfJesusWasBornIn2018

What a rack.

WhatARack

This is a Russian tank modified to have two jet engines on it…it’s used to generate wind to blow out oil well fires.

BigWindOilWellFires

No words necessary.

SantaInstagram

Owls not only have very silent flight due to their wing and feather design…but they’re smart enough to attack from the blind side of their prey…this guy has no idea what’s in store for him.

NoIdeaWhatIsComing

Interesting factoid…I did not know that tropical cyclones don’t cross the equator…but then I guess it makes sense since those in the Southern Hemisphere rotate the other way from those in the Northern.

CyclonesDontCrossEquator

Another interesting one that illustrates how much space humans take up on the earth.

WorldPopulationDensity

This is an actual un-retouched photo…not a painting…from a park in Namibia. The trees are Camel Thorns and there is a dune in the background.

CamelThornTreesNamibia

Again…no words necessary for this one.

Askhole

Cyas.

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Nothing Much Going On Really

Well…another going on 2 weeks gone by and while I wish I could tell ya ‘bout all the cool Fun Stuff© we been doing the fact of the matter is that it’s mostly just been life.

The adults celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary on November 20…the destination for the evening after Connie slipped into something more comfortable was Che Tito’s Steakhouse down on Cleveland Avenue right before you cross the bridge southbound into Fort Myers. It’s an Argentinian Italian steakhouse…they thought it was a strange combination but as it turns out there’s a significant Italian immigration presence in Argentina so in addition to steaks the cuisine there has a lot of Italian. They arrived promptly for their 1800 reservation and seated themselves at the bar for dinner…because you meet a much better class of bum sitting at the bar doncha know…but the place was pretty deserted as it was Tuesday night. The bartender was a really friendly lady and opened a fresh bottle of Argentinian Malbec wine for the first two glasses…which she then finished for the second round…quite a generous pour.

After poring over the menu a bit…they decided on Proveleta for an appetizer…basically a plate of oven baked Provolone cheese with some marinara sauce on top and some really nice bread to smear it on. Quite tasty…but rich and filling. In fact it was so good that they considered just having a couple orders of empanadas before dessert…but since it was a steakhouse went for meat instead. Connie had a ribeye and Neil a skirt steak…both were grilled to perfection and topped with chimichurri sauce on top…that’s a combination of shallots, garlic, and jalapeño peppers mixed with wine vinegar, oregano, cilantro, and olive oil…it’s sort of like a really thick Italian dressing. Fried plantains came with both of them and although they gave it the old college try there were leftovers…but they made a great dinner the next day. Neil had the brilliant idea to get an order of tiramisu to go for later and they headed home. They considered stopping by American Legion post 336 for a cocktail but were too stuffed and tired so headed on home…followed a couple hours later by the aforementioned tiramisu…it was scrumptious and light but made a perfect ending to the day.

The following Saturday was the Iron Bowl where ‘Bama hosted Auburn…it was close at the half at 17-14 but pulled away with 5 scores in the second half. Next up was Georgia in the SEC Championship the following weekend…and the men in crimson iced the game in the fourth quarter with 2 scores…scoring the winning TD with just about a minute to play. It wasn’t over yet though…Georgia got to about the 45 yard line and a Hail Mary pass into the end zone to tie the game was knocked down as time expired. Another thrilling game…although both Neil and Connie would prefer not to have last minute heroics…they’re much happier with a 30 point win. With the win the Tide clinched the top seed in the upcoming playoffs and will face #4 see Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

Lessee…other exciting stuff. They got their teeth cleaned, Connie had Lunch with Friends out with 17 of the other ladies from the Elks Lodge, she sang with the choir at several funeral and memorial masses over at Saint Therese…and that’s about it.

Neil set up an appointment to get our slide topper and awning fabric replaced…went on a couple bike rides…made 2 (going on 3) trips down to the local bike shop to get some adjustments to his ride as it won’t stay in the small cog on the rear derailler correctly…the owner of the JRA (Just Riding Around) Bicycle Shop here has some parts on order for that.

Sunday December 2nd was Connie’s birthday…there was a scheduled Sarasota Orchestra concert at 1430 (they are season ticket holders) and afterwards they headed to Duval’s Fresh Local Seafood up in Sarasota. They had a complimentary glass of champagne for their anniversary and Connie had a complimentary glass of wine with her dinner…both are Duval’s traditions along with Scallops Rockefeller for Connie and Shrimp and Lobster spaghetti for Neil…the latter had a wine and lemon sauce with a metric buttload of garlic in it. They skipped dessert afterwards and had a couple of Chocolate Lava Cakes from the freezer later in the evening after they had driven back from Sarasota.

Can’t really say much more about goings on…the weather has been mostly hot requiring us to close up and put the A/C on but there have been a couple days where it was nice enough to open the windows and door…and even a couple of days that required wearing jeans instead of shorts…yeah, I know it’s tough and Neil in particular really doesn’t like it.

They’re working jointly on plans for next summer’s travel season…we’ll start off with heading from Fort Myers via Gulf Shores AL and across I-10 to Kerrville TX for the New Horizons Owners Group rally in early May…then north to Kansas City. From there we’ll follow US-50 west to the San Francisco Bay area, up to Oregon and then head eastwards on US-20. Depending on how the schedule works out…we’ll either stay on 20 all the way to Elkhart to get the rig bearings repacked or head south to Kansas City from Nebraska and continue eastwards on 50 from there…eventually we’ll get to the east coast on 50 before heading southwards via Richmond to see Alex and his parents as we head back to Florida.

With no Fun Stuff© photos to show ya…here’s a couple from our recent travels. All are from the north of the border in Canuckistan portion of the summer.

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Ok, interesting things found on the net.

For the techie’s out there.

DeleteYourCookies

When you’ve just survived a grizzly bear attack but darn it you really need a smoothie.

BearAttackNeedSmoothie

Take that metric fans.

TwoKindsOfCountries

In view of the recent spate of E. coli infected romaine lettuce…I knew this day would come.

IKnewThisDayWouldCome

Neil’s thinking about installing one of these.

BarInTheShower

And finally…in case you’ve ever wondered about it…

GermanyIditarod

Cyas.

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Been Really Busy…

Sorry ‘bout no posting for 2 weeks…but we been kinda busy with life. 

First and foremost…I need to wish my staff (Connie and Neil) a happy 42nd wedding anniversary…it’s today and as Neil told her when they woke up this morning…it’s the Ultimate Anniversary…go back and read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy (of 5 books) by Douglas Adams and you’ll get the reference…it’s on page 16. Neil says he would do it all over again…as does Connie…but I say they gotta stick together ‘cuz nobody else would put up with either of their idiosyncrasies and annoying little habits…and he’s got a lot more of those than she does. They’ve got a dinner out scheduled at Che Tito’s here in town…an Argentinian Italian place…apparently there’s a lot of Italian influence in their food as many Italians migrated there back in the day…who knew.

We had a quick trip up to Sarasota for a Sarasota Symphony Orchestra concert…and lots of setting up, cleaning, Elks stuff and the like to keep us busy. We ordered and received our new iPhones…decided to upgrade after 3 years as our batteries are starting to lose capacity to the point where we have to charge them to make it through a full day…and between that and the improved performance and new features we decided to upgrade. Apple has a program where you pay interest free spread over 24 months rather than pay all at once…and with the cost of new high end phones these days that makes paying for them easier…at about $97 per month for the two of them that won’t really affect our cash flow at all.

We broke down and went to the Elks Lodge monthly meeting the other day…guess I can’t really talk in detail about what went on but it was mostly to do with the lodge building structural needs and interior design stuff…there was also an initiation of new members at the same meeting…who thought that would be a good idea…so the meeting ran very long.

After considering our options during this last travel season…we frequently found that there was no Elks Lodge nearby most of our campgrounds but that there was almost always an American Legion post closer…so we spent the $40 to join the American Legion…that will give us more options for cheap brewskis along the way. Next season we’ll keep track…we also considered the Moose Lodge and the VFW as additional options…we’ll see after another season if joining one or more of those makes sense.

Neil got out and washed the rig and both Big and Little Red…had to break it up over 2 days as it got hot and was too much for him. He’s also been out on 4 or 5 bike rides…trying to get back up to feeling comfortable after long rides but after a summer of no riding he’s able to do about 10 and is pretty wiped afterwards…another half dozen or so and things should start to improve.

He also fixed our bedroom vent fan…the raising mechanism was worn out and although he received the parts when we visited the human kids back in late October he needed a coolish day to go up on the roof and take care of both that and several other roof related items…he likes to wait late enough in the morning so that the dew has evaporated as he hates to fall off the roof…but also needs a cool enough day so he doesn’t melt up there. Finally got that done yesterday along with reinstalling the wind sensor for our weather station, redoing the electrical connections to our satellite dish, and verifying that we need to replace both our awning fabric and all of our slide toppers…the awning is 7 years old and the seams are coming apart; he’s sewn them back up and covered with silicone but it’s time. The slide toppers are all a casualty of the many windy days up in Canada…their seams have also given way where they attach to the rig. He’ll coordinate with our local repairman Gordon and then order the parts…when the arrive we’ll pay Gordon for the installation…it takes two people and Neil will be the second person rather than pay another $75 an hour for him to bring a helper.

It’s been hot…we’ve had the A/C units on most of the time since our arrival…I think we’ve had the windows open all day and through the night maybe 3 or 4 days and another 3 or 4 where we opened up after dark and then closed up by noontime the next day as things got hot and sticky.

Let’s see…what else is happening. There are 2 eggs down in the nest laid by Harriet after she and M15 spruced up the nest for another nesting season…they were laid Nov 18 and Nov 19 so with the 34-36 day incubation period for bald eagles they should hatch somewhere between Dec 22 and Christmas.

EagleEggs

The adults are taking turns aerating, rolling, and incubating them although once incubation gets fully underway Harriet will be doing most of that while M15 takes a turn while she goes off to feed.

That’s about it…so see what Interesting Things were found on the net this week.

All wars should go this way.

AllWarsShouldGoThisWay

Santa is in trouble with EU.

BadSanta

For those who still wonder who shot JFK.

ConspiracyTheory

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | 5 Comments

Home at Last

I figured I should catch ya’ll up with the last few days of our travel season now that things have settled down just slightly.

We finished up our visit with Alex and the human kids and headed out from Chesterfield VA early on Saturday Oct 27…after some thought about out tank levels Neil decided not to dump on the way out. In order to keep our tank indicators working properly…the black and gray tanks need to be flushed periodically with some cleaning stuff…we use a combination of a half tank of water, 3 gallons of white vinegar and a couple cups of Dawn degreasing dish soap. Then we travel…normally just a single day…to let the sloshing around clean the insides of the tanks before dumping and flushing at our destination. This time…we had 3 travel days but given the relatively small amount of water we use on travel days we just put 50 or so gallons of fresh onboard and left VA with black and gray tanks both about 30% full.

It was still cool when we left…our first overnight stop was at Bass Lake RV Park in Dillon SC…pretty much a parking lot near the freeway. Nice grass pull sites that were plenty big…we left the rig hitched up and went over to Mass at the local church before heading back home for dinner. Still cool on Sunday morning…we pressed on and by mid-day it was nice and warm as we got into Georgia…stopping the second night in Brunswick at the Coastal Georgia RV resort…it was actually really nice and would be a good place to stop for a few days if one were visiting the Brunswick GA area…but just another overnight for us.

Monday we headed out for the longest day of the trip…the first two being just about 275 miles each; but the leg to North Fort Myers was another 100 miles past there. We took our standard bypass from I-95 around the Jacksonville beltway area and then head south on US-301…a nice 4 lane road…to the Ocala FL area where we jumped on I-75 for the last 175 miles or so…arriving at Seminole Campground once again around 1430. We quickly got backed in and unhitched…then Neil dumped the now thoroughly scoured out black and gray tanks before flushing both with clean water.

We spent the remainder of the week with setup tasks…all the outside furniture and stuff needed to go out and we needed to give the inside of the rig a thorough cleaning. Adding in choir practice and bingo on Tuesday and various other setup tasks we stayed pretty busy though Saturday morning. We watched ‘Bama throttle LSU 29 to zip Saturday evening…then headed back to Sarasota 75 miles back up I-75 for our first Sarasota Symphony Orchestra concert of the season, then had dinner at Longhorn’s Steakhouse before heading back home.

This week…we’re pretty much running on our normal winter schedule…most days we have something scheduled but nothing really complicated and we deliberately schedule them spread out over the week to keep from having to work too hard. Neil’s got a list of things we need to accomplish before the holidays…then shortly after that we’ll start detailed planning for next year’s travel season. I gotta tell ya though…we’re really glad to be home again for the season. We’re always ready to go by the last few weeks of winter…and we’re always ready to be home the last few weeks of travel season, and the bearing issue and subsequent extra 1500 miles to Indiana and back and the loss of our 10 day vacation in Cedar Key at the end of the travel season really made October seem to drag for us. We pulled in and parked and Connie said “It’s good to be home”…Neil had to agree with her.

No photos today…Neil’s working on an end of the travel season post to summarize our travel season and I’ll put some photos in there ya haven’t seen yet though.

Let’s move on to interesting things found on the net.

Shipping ships shipping shipping ships.

ShippingShipShippingShippingShips

Screw the rules sez this dog.

ScrewThePolice

Lion Menu.

LionsMenu

The truth about action movies.

TruthAboutActionMoviesI had to look twice at this one.

HadToLookTwice

Cyas.

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