Saturday, February 29, 2020

Three Weeks Fly By -- Valintines Day, Anniversary, Repairs

Yes, it has been just over 3 weeks since my last blog posting.  Sometimes I wonder what to blog about, until it gets to the point that there is so much to blog about...

This is a picture of our display case last night with all our light out except for the display case.  We have added a few things to the case...especially this...

...a Rose in Glass which is wrapped with Warm White LED lights.  Marcia did not want flowers that died, so I got this to celebrate Valentines Day and our Anniversary which is about 10 days later.  You know, a few years ago I awoke in March and realized that I forgot to celebrate our anniversary...and she forgot to.  Well...lightening struck twice.  On Monday Marcia has a special exam at the Dermatologist due to a 'growth' which turned out to be nothing...but it worried us and she called Friday and they saw her on Monday.  Earlier that week we had talked about what we might have for our 9th anniversary dinner.  By Monday, all thoughts of that vanished and by Tuesday, our day, it was gone from memory...until I woke up Thursday and started laughing.  "What are you laughing about?", Marcia asked.  "Our anniversary!  We both forgot our anniversary again!!!"  (At least the rose under glass was still there...)

I also ordered a couple strings of LED Fairy Lights, and some USB cords so that everything could be powered up.  The display case with all the lights is on a timer, coming on at 5 pm, turning off at 11 pm.  Gives us a warm feeling each and every night.

The first repair which was desperately needed was re-caulking around the fiberglass cap on the RV, especially on the slide side.  This was a two day, 8 hour project, and we had a huge rain the other day and the leak we had along the slide was gone.  I need to do the other side, but the awning makes it difficult without actually getting up on the that will have to wait until we get to Sacramento area where I feel more comfortable getting up on the roof.  That side looks to be in pretty good shape, but it just needs to be re-caulked.  I ordered two tubes, and used one, so I have plenty to do that side and the front and back too.

A couple of years ago I pulled up the carpet where the slide out covers when it is in, and put down Carpet Squares.  Although it took a number of days to pull up the original carpet and prepare the floor a few years ago, to replace this same area now is fairly simple...pull up an old tile, put down a new one.  Bought two boxes from Home Depot for about $75, the same style as last time.  Over two days, about three hours each day, I replaced the carpet.  Using some left over from last time, I only used one box, so the other one will be taken back to Home Depot for credit.  Heck, for what I paid for, I couldn't have rented a shampoo machine with cleaning chemicals for much less, and this looks so new again.

Meanwhile, the fluorescent light in the Guest Bathroom started acting up...looked like it needed a new ballast, a type which is not easy to come by now days.  So I did the same thing I did in the Master Bathroom and also in our kitchen...I put in a LED shop style light.  The hardest thing was working in the small space over the sink / toilet area while standing on a step stool.  Thank goodness this was our last light system like this, and these LEDs are suppose to last for many, many years.  Sure nice having lights come on immediately when the switch is turned on, and not a 2-4 second delay, flicker, flicker, flicker as the fluorescent started up.

I have groomed Bubba a few times since we have been home, and have taken him to the dog park a few times, and make sure he gets his treats a couple of times each day.  Bubba turns 17 this year, and he is really showing his age.  He has a heart murmur, and sometimes he has this cough which will last a few days, especially if it is hot and humid.  With the cold front going through this past Wednesday, dropping our temps back down to the 60's during the day and high 40's at night and low humidity, he has been much better these past few days.  But then he hurt his leg yesterday jumping off this chair where his bed is on, taking a big awkward slide as he hit the floor.  Didn't cry out, but was limping real bad. So his bed is not relegated to the floor, although he keeps looking for the chair before remembering there has been a change.  Two baby aspirin last night gave him a good nights sleep, and is better today.  Oh ya, the maintenance man caught me giving Bubba his afternoon break out back the other day.  He drives his golf cart up to me and asks, "So, I guess things are all settled now, huh?"  I said, "I have not heard ANYTHING from ANYONE, but I figured no news was good news."  He went on to tell me that the lawyers told them to back off immediately...would have been nice to get a letter or a 'knock on the door', but they chickened out and asked Ken to tell me next time he saw me.  I wondered why he was driving around our backyard a lot this past couple of weeks.  

Well, that just about wraps things up, doesn't cover everything, but covers the major items that I can remember.  Two more months and we are off again on another trip...details to follow 'one of these days', probably not soon though.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Trip to Orlando Area - Loving My New Phone

Since we were only going to be gone for two nights, it did not take long to gather what we needed, a little food for Wednesday night and Friday morning, and off we went.  Tuesday I went over to the motorhome and turned on the fridge, and did a quick vacuum job and a few other quick things.  Wednesday Marcia had her second Doctor's appointment of the year at 10 am, which went faster than usual.  Sometimes with this doctor we have had to wait for an hour...Wednesday we got there at 9:40, did the required paperwork, and they called her at 10:30 we were out of there.  Took Marcia home, and I went to get the motorhome filling up the car with most of what we were taking.  By the time I got back it was 1:30, and we were on the road before 2.  First thing, a motorhome bath at Blue Beacon Truck Wash about 35 miles to our northeast.  As usual, we were not the only RVs getting cleaned...

This baby here must be owned by a racing enthusiast.   In no time at all we were in the wash, and out.  Next, we got gas at the Flying J...just our luck, the pump I pulled up to did not work, but the other RV pump opened right up and I slipped in over there.  Full tanks, we are clean, it now close to 5 pm.  As was our plan, we drove ten miles south on I-75 and pulled into the rest area for the night.  The ADA site is nice and wide, I pulled as far to the left I could, up against some grass, so that it would leave plenty of room away from any other RVs which might pull in.  I like this rest area because trucks have their own area...but you know how that goes...some truckers come over to the RV area, especially if the truck area is full.  Although it was a bit warm at first, we did get to sleep around 10 pm.  Around 4 am I look out our kitchen window and what do I see?  There is a motorhome right next to us...and when I say right next to us, I mean it was in our parking slot!  I could open the door, but that was about it.  Had Marcia needed to get out into her GoGo, that would have been very difficult.  On top of that, this motorhome did not have ADA plates or placard.  We pulled out around 7:30, and left that motorhome there...I can only hope a Florida State Police came by, they deserved a ticket big time!  And that is a $250 ticket!!!

We made it over to Orlando at 10:15, I picked Marcia's friend up at 10:45, and by 11 we were in LongHorn Steakhouse.  (Yes, the "H" in LongHorn is capitalized).  The ladies had Salmon and I had a Ribeye thinking I would save a little for Bubba...but it was so good, cooked perfectly medium-rare, that I just couldn't save Bubba any.  About 1:15 we left the restaurant, I took her friend back to where she is staying, and off to Sanford we went.  Marcia's brother Dean and his wife Caryl arrived at the Cracker Barrel about 20 minutes after we did.  We all sat and talked in the motorhome until 4, went in to eat, and by 5:30 we were hunkered down for the night and they drove the 20 minutes to their house.  And what a night it was!  Above you can see the storm system that moved through Central Florida last night, hitting Sanford around 12:30 am.  It was way worse over in Tampa where they had a probable small tornado and considerable damage in a few areas, including a construction crane falling across I-275, but thankfully not hitting anyone.  An oak tree landed right on top of a lady's 5th wheel in a mobile home park, but thankfully she was only pinned under the rubble and not seriously hurt.  For us, it was windy for about 10 minutes, and it rained, a bit hard for a little while.  However, there went our nice clean motorhome because the wind picked up dirt and dust and we have massive water spots all over the driver's side of the motorhome.

Bubba did real good on the trip, despite the fact that I forgot his treats!  I think he was hoping that we were headed out to California so that he could see his Uncle Arny and Aunt Sandy...but sorry buddy, that is way off still.  

So I have had my phone for about 10 days now, and I really like it.  Compared to my other Flip Phones, this one is rugged, and it can do things the other Flips could not do.  Here is a list of the goods...

  1. As spammers call me, I can quickly and easily add those phone numbers to a "rejection list", so I won't be bothered by that number again.  I 'wish' that I could export and import to that list, but it won't allow that.  I can physically input numbers, but that just isn't worth it.  So far I have 16 numbers in there.                                                                 
  2. The phone does have a much better reception, both to and from the phone.  I have talked to mom a number of times and she could hear me fine.  It is even better over the GPS-Stereo-Phone in the motorhome.                                                                              
  3. I love the notepad feature on all of Flips, but this one allows me to enter some info and then move down to the next line and enter more info.  This is REAL NICE when making lists, such as shopping lists, or a list of things to take to the motorhome on a trip.  All my other Flips would make me put in numerous spacebar hits until it moved to the next line.  Past Flips had small limits to how much info could be in the notepad, but I have not come close to finding the limit on this one.                                                        
  4.  This phone weighs in at 6 ounces...that's twice as much as other Flips I have owned.  But it is real, real rugged....I will have a hard time breaking this one.   The buttons are also bigger than most, and the screen is bigger too.                                                          
  5.  This camera is a bit better than my other Flips, and it is the only one which has a flash.  I forgot my camera for the trip, so the pictures at the truck wash and of Bubba were taken with this phone.  Better than my other Flips, but not much better.  If you look at the picture of Bubba, you can see streaks running up and down the picture.  But there was no lights on, this was at 6:30 in the morning, and with my other Flips I could not have gotten any would be all black.

And there are a few bad things... I am having a hard time getting use to the new phone rings, notifications for texts, missed calls, etc.  There are more choices, but the sounds I was use to just are not on this.  The text messages come into a thread for each phone number that sends you a text.  If you use Facebook Messenger, it is much like that.  I have not gotten use to this yet, and I typically delete threads pretty quick.  The biggest drawback is that I need to charge it nearly every is a energy hog.  Overall, I am very pleased with this phone.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

My Phone Went Bad...Gone, All Gone

18 months ago I picked up this phone from Amazon to replace a phone much like it which was still working, BUT the keys stuck so it was hard to operate, especially making text messages.  Knowing that the cell phone companies were moving away from 3G phones, I figured the $40 price tag was worth it.  Funny thing, had I waited six month I would have been able to pick one up for under $20, which is what I did when someone tossed their cell phone towards me and it landed in a pool of water.  Well, now days, you just can't hardly find them anymore for the Verizon Network.

Sunday morning the phone was working around 7 8:30 it was gone...totally died, nothing except for heat coming from it when I opened it up and took the battery out.  RIP little flip phone, along with ALL of my notes, ALL of my calendar info, and a few picture of Skruffy which I will never see again.

Now I was holding out for the new, 4G Razer Phone coming out this is a folding smart phone which, when you unfold, gives you a large smart phone screen.  Then I saw the price...$1,500!!!!   Nope, just not going there.  Besides, I am so hard on phones, which is why I have not bothered with a smart phone so far...and this new phone is a Kyocera DuraXV LTE E4610 Verizon, Rugged, Waterproof, Flip Phone for $150.  Besides the price, the only down side is that it's twice the weight of the old phone because it is twice as thick.  However, it is 4G, and I can actually browse the Internet with it, and I can actually get those 'smiley faces' that some people, names not mentioned, like to respond with which, with the old phone showed up as two small empty boxes.  Called mom, and she said it sounded like I was right in the room with her.  Connected it to our home Internet and to our Aircard for when we are traveling, and set the cellular data to off so I won't use any cell data on our main Verizon plan, but can use data on our prepaid Verizon Aircard with unlimited data for $65 per month.  Now, adding some of my old notes and calendar date will be a long process...but since I transferred my phone numbers to Marcia just 12 months ago, I re-transferred them back to my phone through Bluetooth and I was back in business.  This phone also has a better camera, has a SD Card to store pictures and back up your phone numbers to, and did I mention how rugged it is, and waterproof???  I am counting on it lasting for many years...time will tell.

It has been over two weeks, and no word from the Association pertaining to Bubba.  As far as we are concerned, Bubba is legal, and if they want to officially say otherwise, bring it on...we will win hands down.

Next Wednesday we are going on a two night trip to visit friends and family over in the Orlando area.  A friend of Marcia's who lives in the Chicago Area is down in Orlando for a few weeks.  We visited with her last back in 2017, and we have an early lunch date with her in Orlando on Thursday.  Later that afternoon Marcia's brother Dean and wife Caryl will meet us at a Cracker Barrel in Sandford for dinner.  So on Wednesday we are going to get into the motorhome, car in tow, and go over to the east end of Pasco County and get the motorhome washed at a Blue Beacon Truck Wash, fill up with gas and stay at the Rest Area along I-75.  Thursday we will head over to Orlando and have lunch with Gladys, and then move to Sandford and meet Dean and Caryl at Cracker Barrel in Sanford.  Dean, by-the-way, needs to visit Orlando for a VA Doctor appointment, so they will pass right by Cracker Barrel on their way home.