Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Some updates to the last blog.

Location, At Home

Some updates first.

I did pick up the RV on the 16th.  The slide out did work this time when we tried it in the lot before I hooked up and drove home. I haven’t tried it since.

I did finally manage to get some satisfaction out of my new Dell Laptop. I have no idea what happened but I down loaded a few Malware removal programs, ran them, and then installed the Fire Fox browser and lo and behold,,, It worked. Not sure why but I won’t question it.

On to new stuff. I have been getting the RV ready to leave in January. There is always something to check, fix, or replace. The batteries are topped off and everything I removed before it went into the shop has been put back.

I needed to repair a small hole in the A/C shroud which happened somewhere in all this repair mess. The easiest way is to put a fiberglass patch on it. I bought a repair kit and then removed the shroud and found out that the repair I did a few years ago did not adhere to the shroud itself. I suspect that the shroud is plastic not fiberglass so it won’t stick.

After himmming and hawwwwing I decided to buy a new one on Amazon. It is due to arrive tomorrow so if it is not the correct one I can still do some repair on the old shroud before I leave.

I think we are ready for Christmas. We did have a problem with one package we sent to Texas. I was tracking it and found out the Post Office is returning it because of “Insufficent Address”. So now I guess it will become a New Year’s present. Bummer.

This is the small palm tree in our front yard. A California Christmas Tree I guess.

Merry Christmas to all who follow this blog.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The storm is gone.

Location, At Home

The storm of the Century, or decade, or year, has left the area.

We had intermittent showers yesterday which didn’t amount to much but the real storm started last night after I was in bed. The wind really blew and along with the rain left a mess of leaves and anything else that was loose and deposited it in our driveway. I swept up what I could of the mess this morning.

The power went out during the night but was back on when I got up this morning. We again had intermittent showers during the day but for the most part the sun was out by afternoon. My rain gauge has about 3.5 inches in it which is really good as that makes about 8 inches in the 3 storms we have had in the last couple of months. Last year we only had about 6 inches total when our yearly average is about 14 inches.


Clyda has some tree dahlias in our side yard which had just begun to bloom before the storm. They suffered from the wind.

 I have been spending way too much time putting together the Christmas letter and doing the mailing labels. With my cobbled together computer system, it is a real pain to get this all to work. It is something I have struggled with ever since I have owned a PC. Hopefully, I have it under control until next year.

My struggles with my new Dell 1100 laptop continue. I again spent the better part of one day on the chat line with Dell support trying to find out why I cannot use Mozilla Firefox as my browser. They gave up and had me install Google Chrome. I don’t really like Chrome but at least it works.

I much prefer Firefox as I have it on all my other PC’s and they are synced so all my bookmarks show up on any machine.

On another subject: my long awaited RV repairs appear to be done and I will pick the RV up tomorrow. It has been since the beginning of June when the RV was last parked beside our house. It will only be here until the 6th of January when I leave for Las Vegas with it.

We plan to use the RV for a prolonged trip this winter now that all the major parts of the running gear (tires), etc, have been replaced. After that??? It remains to be seen how long we will continue to RV.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ten days in Kauai.

Location, At Home

Of course we didn’t stay home!

We just got back yesterday from 10 days on Kauai, HI with our friends Cindy and Gary. They once again invited us to share their condo at Poipu for which we thank them very much.

We flew over on Tuesday the 18th and came home late Thanksgiving day on a “red eye” flight. Getting out of town now is not as easy as it used to be with the withdrawal of American Airlines locally. We got up at 3 AM and caught the Airbus to LAX. We had about a 3 ½ hour wait until we boarded the plane. Luckily we had an empty seat between us both ways on this trip which helps. We did land about 1 PM and a cab had been ordered by the Point at Poipu to pick us up. The driver gave us lei’s as a welcome and drove us to the condo. How nice!
Arriving at condo.

Our room is on left one story down overlooking the pool.

 Pool with pool bar in the background.

Kauai chicken looking for a handout.

 Nothing from me so she goes to Gary while still watching me.

The beach park at Anahole with sleeping woman mountain in the background.

We did do another trip by catamaran up the Napoli coast which was great as we had no wind so the sea was flat with large swells. We saw spinner dolphins, regular dolphins, sea turtles, and fish near the boat when we stopped for people to snorkel. Some people spotted a whale but I did not. The whales are just now arriving to their winter feeding grounds near the islands.

We did a lot of pool time and game playing.

It was all good.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Good Bye Death Valley!

Location, At Home

Good Bye Death Valley until next year.

I had a great trip to the desert this year. I left home on Saturday morning the 18th of October and met 2 of my fellow travelers at the Boron Rest Area East of Mojave. We drove to Boron for lunch at Domingo’s, a great Mexican restaurant and then on to Baker, CA where we camped back of the Mad Greek restaurant overnight. The fourth member of our group joined us there.

On Sunday we drove to a BLM area near Tecopa, CA where we circled the wagons in our usual spot. Later we drove to China Ranch which is in a canyon South of Tecopa. They raise dates and have great date shakes which we all partook of.

While at the BLM area we did day trips and hikes into the southern end of Death Valley. We did a hike into a canyon which is called Kaleidoscope Canyon by others who have visited it. It really is a stunning canyon of contrasting colors.

 Rhoads cabin, one of many such miners cabins in Death Valley
 Coyote looking for a handout.

After a week we moved to Furnace Creek in Death Valley for the remainder of our trip. Here again we did 4x4 trips and hikes the entire time we were there. I was a great trip and very rewarding in that we saw things we had only heard of and found out information which will be put to use for next year. Speaking of which, we already have our pre-trip schedule to Tecopa already planned.

Skull rock.
 Miners signature on a rock.
 A "slot" canyon.

A herd of 21 Big Horn sheep. Largest herd I have ever seen in Death Valley.
 Herd Ram standing guard.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Busy month.

Location, At Home

Much has happened since I last posted.

A cruise on the Star Princess.

On Oct 1 Clyda and I joined our friends Cindy and Gary in San Francisco for a 10 day round trip cruise to Mexico. We had great weather, (as in hot), low sea state (as in no waves), and a great time. We played lots of trivia against other teams and even won twice. We enjoyed the prize, a bottle of champagne for one win while the ladies won while we were ashore in Cabo San Lucas.
 Under the Golden Gate Bridge as we get underway to Mexico.

 Trivia in the VIsta Lounge with people from Illinois.
  The reason for the cruise.

Birthday cake from Princess.

Cabo San Lucas was our first stop where Gary and I tendered ashore. The sea was a little rough for the ladies to disembark. The town has been decimated by Hurricane Odile and all hotels were closed as well as many of the waterfront establishments. In particular was the demise of Senior Frogs. The only way we knew it was the correct building was because someone had spray painted the name on it.
 Plywood from store fronts in Cabo San Lucas.

We walked the waterfront, had a beer in one of the few open restaurants and went back to the ship.

Our next stop was Loreto which is a new port for Princess. Again we had to tender in but it was worth it as the town while small is unspoiled by tourists. We hired a cab and had the driver give us a town tour. Later we ate at an outdoor restaurant near the city center and then strolled back to the dock.

 On the waterfront in Loreto with Star Princess in the background.

The next day we were in La Paz where we docked but had a one half hour bus ride to town. La Paz is a nice enough town but it happened to be very hot while we were there. Instead of riding the bus back to the ship we opted for an air conditioned cab ride.

Our last stop was Puerto Vallarta which is well known and a fairly large city. Again we hired a cab to give us the town tour. As part of the tour we visited a tequila distillery, sampled the wares, and purchased a bottle to bring home.

 Gary, Cindy, Ed, and Clyda on the dock at Puerto Vallarta with ship in background.

The Star Princess visited Santa Barbara, CA today.

Yesterday I drove to Lompoc and picked up the RV. Everything was fixed but the new fender skirt is a much darker grey than the original. Of course, some of that is sun bleaching I am sure. The insurance company has already paid to have it repainted after my desert trip.

Speaking of which, I have been working like mad to get everything ready to leave Saturday morning. I bought food today, gassed the truck and did all those things that need to be done before any trip. Tomorrow I will load the truck and finish all the other chores.