"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

back from "la-la" land

I flew out Sunday evening to Los Angeles to attend some company training. Rudee dropped me off at the airport in Indianapolis for my evening flight. I was scheduled to arrive around 11pm Pacific time and I figured maybe an hour to collect my bags and get to the motel. Kind of a late night for me but not too bad. That was until we approached our only stop, Denver.
I didn't have to change planes and the stop was only scheduled for 35-40 minutes. I could tell something was up when we kept making slow turns and not loosing any altitude. I could see clouds and occasional lightning below us, Oh Oh! Sure enough they announced we were in a holding pattern because they had closed the airport due to a storm.
We circled for about an hour and was eventually cleared to land. Once on the ground they unloaded and re-loaded the plane quickly. Then we sat, and sat, and sat. They eventually made the announcement we were waiting on connecting flights to arrive and unload because we were 2 passengers short! They held us at the gate for almost 2 hours of course once they finally arrived we had to wait for their luggage to be transferred.
The only good thing about the wait, the thunderstorm was long gone when we took off.
I eventually made it to the motel around 2 am and had to be in the lobby ready to go at 7am. I only unpacked my shower stuff and clothes for the day and hit the sack!

The class was a lot of review for me with a couple of new twists. I really didn't do much outside of class. They only had a few cars assigned to us and I really didn't feel like trying to find my way around in LA traffic to see the sights. Speaking of the traffic, I would hate to try and pull our 5th wheel around on those highways in that mess!

I arrived back in Indiana Friday night after a short delay in, you guessed it, Denver. Rudee was there to pick me up at the airport when I arrived about 20 minutes late. I was sure glad to be back in my little home on wheels again.

I got a nice comment from Kev on my last post and if you wouldn't mind sending me an email I can reply with some info for for you. My email addy is in my profile (click on the link by our photo). Thanks for reading.

Rudee has reached the end of her commitment with her employer and had to pack up all of her office equipment and turn it back into them on Friday morning. She has mixed emotions about this whole turn of events and Friday was hard for her to go around the office and say goodbye to everyone. The rest of her now former team all got together and went to lunch since they were all there turning their stuff in as well. They all kind of helped each other get through the day.

We are planning to leave on Friday for a short vacation. We are traveling down to Knoxville with friends for the week to attend the GWRRA motorcycle rally. We are both looking forward to getting away and relaxing. We are really looking forward to being able to get away "for real" and start our full time "adventure" which is looking closer and closer. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

being prepared

We have still been really busy at work trying to catch up from all the storm damages, enough about that though. I'm sure you don't want to hear, again, about how boring and busy my job is :-).

Speaking of storms, when you live fulltime in a rolling box you need to be prepared for bad weather. We have a weather radio and have a place to flee to should the storm get bad so we thought we were pretty well prepared. Well, we were not, at least until yesterday :-).

My employer gives out "atta boy" points when you do something above and beyond or get a good report from the public and things like that. The points accumulate and you can use them to "purchase" goodies from a catalog.

I had several points built up and decided to do some shopping so this is what I bought:

Not sure we will ever use it but I'm sure the grand kids will get a kick out of it and it didn't cost us anything.

So now, like Noah, we are prepared for the flood, as long as we don't spring a leak :-)!

Rudee and I both have lap tops (actually mine is a netbook) that we use. Wednesday night her Toshiba took a dive and would not come on. All we got was the "black screen of death".

The computer is 4 or 5 years old and has been getting slower and slower the last couple of months. I blamed it on her being on Facebook playing games everyday. I guess I was wrong and there was a more serious issue.

Last night we went to the UPS store to pick up our "yacht" and stopped into Wal Mart to look at laptops. They had a bare bones, bottom of the line, Compaq for under $300. We decided to stop in at Best Buy and see what they had. Big mistake. We headed for the laptops and looked them over. They had the same one as Wal Mart for the same price. We decided to go ahead and get it so asked one of the "kids" that work there to get us one. He kept asking us what we planned on doing with it. We told him we just did a little internet and email type stuff, pretty basic for today's computers. He then started explaining how this computer wouldn't work for us and we needed "dual processors" and a lot of "other stuff". I told him we didn't need that stuff for what we do but he wouldn't let it go so we finally just said forget it and walked out! He just stood there watching us leave when all he had to do was unlock the case and give us the computer we wanted. Hopefully he learned a little life lesson here, or at least maybe he has a topic for his next report in economics class this fall when he goes back to High School :-)

This morning we drove to Lebanon to go to the Post Office and apply for our passports. I had gotten on line and researched the process so we had all the forms filled out, had our birth certificates as well as copies of our drivers license's. We were ready. Unfortunately the camera at the post office wasn't working right so they sent us to the local CVS where we got the photos done and made it back to the Post Office before they closed. We should have our passport cards in 4-6 weeks.

There are 2 types of Passports these days. The traditional book style and the passport card which looks like a drivers license. The card is a lot cheaper but is only good for land or sea travel into Mexico, Bermuda, Canada and The Bahamas.

We doubted that we would ever be flying into or out of any of these countries (or other international countries) so opted for the card and saved a few $$.

Tomorrow I fly to Los Angeles and have a week of training with "Professor Burke" at the "University". The classes end on Friday before noon and I fly back in Friday night. Rudee is dropping me off and picking me up so she will get to spend some time with her family both days since they live just a few miles from the airport.

We are looking forward to our week long vacation coming up. We are going to the GWRRA 'Wing Ding" in Knoxville Tennessee. The rally stars on the 6th of July bit we are arriving the week end before so we can get in some riding in the Smokey Mountains. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

hot, hot, hot

Summer has come early here in Central Indiana with higher than normal temperatures. We rarely have days in the 90's until later in July but so far June is coming in as our "hot" month.

We survived Memorial Day week end here at the KOA which is the typical "first week end" of the summer camping season. True to form the KOA was pretty full and the pool got a work out.

We did get our cable TV working again and can now watch the "good" channels, you know the ones, History, discover, Travel Channel :-). The only catch is we had to hook a little box to each tv and use its remote to change the channels. The boxes belong to the cable company and the KOA is handing them out when people check in if they want cable. I have had several people knocking on my door needing help hooking them up and I have had only moderate success getting them going. The biggest problem seems to be the Class A motorhomes. Not sure why but they all have some kind of switch box installed to switch from cable to satellite to dvd and that seems to be the issue. I really cant see this set up working in the long run and the owner here says she may switch to Direct TV which has offered to come in and set her up a system. There is a hefty up front cost but the monthly subscription is quite a bit less than the cable company. We'll see, but I am sure glad I can watch "good" tv again :-)

We made the final payments to my brother and sister for my parents double wide in Florida. We are now property owners again. The lady and her sister who rent it are nice folks and really seem to like it there so hopefully they will want to stay for a long time. The house sits in a nice park in Zephyrhills and we own the lot it sits on as well so no monthly lot rent to pay. There is a condo association fee that covers trash pick up and street maintenance but that is part of the lease that the renter pays so our only recurring bill is the yearly property taxes and insurance.
The park has a nice pool/hot tub and a club house. We are still too young to live there, have to be over 55, but we are sure close :-(
Don't worry though, we have not abandoned our plan to be full time RVers, just looking ahead in case the sky falls in our us and we need a permanent place to live.

Rob and Jany Runyon have made plans to spend this week end here at the KOA and their visit coincides with the annual Strawberry Festival. I am sure we will visit the festival as well as take some motorcycle rides while they are here. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Storms keeping me busy

Several severe storms producing hail and tornadoes have rolled through Indiana in the last week causing a lot of damage. We have been spared the worst of it here at the KOA but work has been a zoo.

We have been able to take some motorcycle rides in between the storms. Yesterday evening we met up with friends Ron and Sandy Mendenhall and took a nice ride to Rockville Indiana to a nice little "biker bar" type of restaurant for dinner. We had a great time and a nice ride there and back. We even stopped at Ritters in Crawfordsville for some ice cream. We were having so much fun sitting and talking that we didn't even realize they had closed and locked all the doors and were cleaning the place up :-). Guess we had better leave before they shut off the lights :-).

Saturday I drove the Freightliner to the Wal Mart to finish fueling it up. The truck has two 140 gallon tanks so when it's low on fuel it really hits the budget trying to fill it up. We normally just do $200 or so every couple of weeks until we get it full which, if it's empty, takes a while.
The fuel price had dropped below $4.00 per gallon here so I decided to top off the tanks now instead of waiting. I ended up paying $3.82 a gallon which is the lowest it has been for a long time around here.
Once I was done with the truck we hopped on the bike and headed for Lebanon where we had errands to run at 2 banks and then the post office.
We have decided to go ahead and get our passports since we may want to go into Canada or Mexico at some point in our travels. Wouldn't you know it, the post office closed 10 minutes before we got there :-(. I thought they would be open until noon but closed at 11:00. We were able to get the forms we needed and will fill them out and take them back in another day.

We got a surprise in our mail box today. We are registered to vote based on our mailing address and I guess they don't like that. Got a letter from the election board that we had to have a "permanent" address, as in a house, to be able to vote. Too bad they don't require that when they dig in my pocket for their local taxes! Guess we may become South Dakota residents sooner than we think since they seem to welcome full time RVer's.

When we got back to the 5th wheel it was time to go to work. Last winter we cover the windows with a plastic film for insulation using double sided tape. The tape stuck pretty good. Too good as a matter of fact. I bought some "Goo Gone" cleaner to get the tape residue off the side of the 5th wheel and we got busy cleaning around all the windows. Once we got that done it was time to give the camper a bath so we washed the whole rig! The temperature was in the 90's and we were both a sweaty mess when we got done. I suggested we take a quick dip in the pool but we opted for showers instead :-)
Sure is nice to have that chore done and the 5er looks great again. We still need to clean the roof and I want to put some "Protect All" polish on the fiberglass to give it a shine.

I found out last week that I have to go to Los Angeles for training at the end of the month. I leave on Fathers Day and will be gone a week. I'm not looking forward to the flights there and back but the training should be no big deal. It is a "basic" class and since I have been doing this stuff for almost 15 years I should be able to pass fairly easily (I hope!).

Rudee's last day of work is fast approaching. She will be done the day I return from California. This past week her company asked her (and the others getting laid off) to work over time! What kind of nerve to do these people have? "sorry we don't need you anymore after 2 weeks but can you work overtime until we boot you out the door?" Fat chance of that happening :-)

We have some more storms rolling in and had to make a mad dash to roll the awning back up. We have the weather radio on and there have been a couple of alerts in neighboring counties but nothing here yet. May be another bumpy night! I'll keep you posted.