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Sunday, October 10, 2010

I had an Out-Of-Century Experience in Lakeland GA.

I had an out of century experience this week. I took the motorhome for gas in Lakeland, Georgia. There was no card reader on the pump, which isn't SO unusual. Then the guy from the gas station came out, put gas in my tank, checked my oil, other fluids, put air in my tires! I started to wonder if I'd slipped back to 1970 or something. He ran the sliding embosser gadget over my debit card and gave me my copy... Haven't seen one of those in a while either. Hmmmm - customer service - what a neat idea. Think it'll catch on?



Lakeland is called The Mural City. It's called that because it's got murals of people, places and scenes from the past painted on the buildings in the historical part of town. Complete with placards explaining who they were.





It's earned its name Lakeland too. I headed out on the scooter after work and found 4 lakes without trying. 3 were small lakes in parks in town. That's a lot of lakes, and a lot of parks, considering the size of the town.



The largest of these was adjacent to a nature trail through the woods where the stream went beyond the dam.







While I was there, I got a good look at the little red antique car belonging to the lady whom I'm told is responsible for arranging the murals.




If you've been reading this blog, you know I like lakes, walks through the woods, antique cars, and interesting oddities. It was a good town.

Then I went just out of town, to the Banks Lake Wildlife Preserve. There, of course, I found my fourth lake. Much bigger, cypress trees growing in it... I took a bunch of pictures and vowed to return when the Outpost was open to rent a boat.



There are a few houses / cabins / dock houses right on the edge of the lake. I'd love to have one - it'd make a great home base.








I did come back, and rented a kayak. I've always canoed, but now I'm hooked on kayaks. It was way fun, and easier on my bod. And I got more pictures.













I'm at Ebenezer Park in Rock Hill SC tonight, with a whole bunch of new pictures to add to the files full of old pictures - because I have been to neat places in the last year - I've just been working too hard to post about most of them. This week the work let up some and I have a few brain cells available for writing a blog post or two. Maybe I should start with this week and work back through the files.

Ebenezer Park's on Lake Wylie. There's quite a lot of Lake Wylie. I want a kayak. Now. Today.

First I have to figure out (a) how to carry one on my motorhome, (b)what kind of kayak I want, and (c) how to pay for the darn thing.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The end of a relationship

When we first got together, it was blissful.  We had 15 good years.  Then things changed.  When I tried to communicate, I would be reduced to tears.
They say insanity is repeating the same thing, expecting different results.  I'm done.
It's over.  I will no longer allow you to treat me this way.
Bank of America, I have negotiated your voice response system for the last time.  What would take a human being less than 2 minutes to deal with, requires major chunks of time listening to inane menus, selecting the closest inadequate response, and not resolving the issue.
Most recently I spent nearly an hour trying to tell your voice response system that buying propane for my RV is NOT unusual card activity.  Eventually, I had to go online, text-chat with a live person who couldn't actually DO anything but who did give me a number where I could reach a live person.  Total time: 2 hours.
Does it make sense that I can go online and type to a human but can't call one on the phone???
If you were my boyfriend, this would be an abusive relationship.  I don't stay in abusive relationships, so I'm out of here.
So is my money.  It's going to another bank which employs actual human customer service people.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A weighty issue

Space, of course, is at a premium in an RV. Although I have lots of good intentions about getting in shape now that the weather is somewhat cooler, there is not space for a Bowflex, or a weight bench, or a rack of weights... I have a set of exercise bands and a pair of one-pound weights which as the weather cooled I discovered were really too light to accomplish anything. I knew there had to be adjustable weights out there. I'd seen them on the internet - expensive ones...

Sunday evening I stopped at K-Mart and browsed around and found these.



They are WEIDER PowerSwitch 25. Each dumbbell adjusts from 2.5 pounds up to 12.5 pounds by moving a knob, adjusting a slider which keeps varying amounts of weight plates attached to the handle. It's like having a rack of weights in the space of one pair. And they'll keep me busy for quite a while before 25# becomes too light.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

National Museum of the Marine Corps

Last Sunday after I broke camp, I went to the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico VA.
I've been to museums, and museums - but this one is Really Good. The following pictures do not do it justice, but I'll try to give you an idea.




USMC history goes back to the Revolution. Here, colonial era Marines tend to the rigging overhead.


In the Making of a Marine section, you learn about Boot Camp and are screamed at by DI's - drill instructors as they begin to train you to withstand the stress of combat.
Here, a recruit is on the rappel tower.



A look at a Marine's personal articles.



A female Marine in uniform.



Civilians learn of Pearl Harbor on their radio. Ignore the flat screen monitors - those are for us.



A Marine in Viet Nam - I believe the enemy is hiding under there.



Marines in town warfare. Note the Marine comforting the child near the house.


Many of the displays were immersion experiences. I was immersed, so you don't get many pictures of those. Here, we are landing out of the plane and right into combat.


War all around. Dead bodies.


Wounded.



Back in a main area - Marines at work.


I have much increased appreciation for what you Marines do. I salute you.

Blackbeard Festival, Hampton VA

July 10th - OK, so I'm slow updating the blog - I went to the Blackbeard Festival at Hampton Va. It LOOKS like a Rendevous (except for being in town) but it's a Pirate Festival. With tall ships and all.

It'd be a lot of fun anyway, but my main motivation for attending was to hear
House of Cadarn, which is my daughter and her singing partner.



I parked my motor home and walked toward the event. It was early, and the first open vendor I ran into was a clothing designer. She had a booth full of fun hot-weather clothing and some wonderful oriental-style silk outfits, and great prices. Carol only does festivals and doesn't have a web site or I would post a link. I will certainly be watching for her at future festivals. I bought a neat black silk outfit with purple flowers. She told me she'd sold a similar one the day before to someone who was at the festival and going to do an oriental pirate impression. (One of the first known female pirates was Chinese.) So off I went with my plunder tucked in a bag, to meet up with my daughter.

My daughter, the Chinese Pirate - who had bought HER outfit the day before. Needless to say, we had to go back to Carol's booth to share our amusement.


They sang, I enjoyed, we explored the festival, ate yummy food, explored some more...


Of course, we saw lots of Pirates.

And surprised a few friends from Rendezvous... Time travelers get around.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Today's Yard, August 6 2010

Sure beats a supermarket parking lot! Spending the weekend in this lovely campground Right By The Pool.

I arrived, leveled, plugged in, and jumped in the pool. Then the rest of the chores.

The odd contraption in the middle of the picture is my inversion table. Since I can't carry a chiropractor with me on the road (darn it!) I carry this instead. It really helps.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Surviving Summer Heat

108 degrees in Williamsburg VA this past Wednesday. I had hot running water - out of my cold tap. And I do mean hot, not just warm. My 3-day cooler where I keep drinking water holds ice for - maybe 8 hours, not 3 days - in this heat.

After work I went to Barnes & Noble and soaked up their a/c until it closed. The heat is just exhausting, and I am looking forward to a rig with a generator big enough to handle an air conditioner. Probably have it on the road about the time the weather cools off in the fall ;)

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: Air Conditioning is a recent invention but heat has been around a while. Sometimes it breaks down, sometimes you just don't have it. The best method I know for keeping cool without a/c is to get a golf shirt wet with cold water, wring it out and put it on. Golf shirts are thick enough to hold wet for a decent amount of time and they generally look the same wet or dry, which means you can go out in public without getting weird looks.

I have a knee-length roomy tee-shirt fabric sleep shirt which does the same thing for sleeping - put a towel on the bed. Put the fan on. Don't die of heat stroke.

Clutter

Remember the neat orderly interior of the Escaper when I first bought it? Now, I can't get out of my own way. It's comfy and cleans up nice but it is so not a fulltimer's rig. Not for someone with hobbies and interests and a job with tools. This is why the Holiday Rambler.
I love my little Escaper, though. Hope I can find it a good home.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


MG-T dashboard.




Another dashboard, with right-hand steering.








Red MG-T with wire spoke wheels








Another wire spoke wheeled MG-T








MG - T goes to America








And finally, the third model, with the headlights in the fenders and the slanted back grille. You can see my rig in the background.

Today's Yard July 6

After work I finished the book I'd been reading, looked up and noticed an antique car drive by and park. I know nothing about antique cars except that I really like them. I popped out of my rig - and found an MG-T club had parked their cool cars right in front of me, drawn apparently by the lure of the adjacent Bruster's Ice Cream parlor.
One of the owners was kind enough to tell me about them. 3 models were represented. The MG-TC have spoke wheels and they steer on the right. Few of them crossed the pond. Then there came the MG-TD, with rack and pinion steering, which drive from the left, made for the American market. The third model, MG-TF, is a bit 'swoopier', with the headlights in the fenders and the grille leaning back.
My personal favorite was the MG-TD.
More pictures will be up soon, next time I'm online with the laptop.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010

Really Mine

The continuing saga of Gypsy Jane's New Home. When we left off last week, I had sent my new rig off to the shop. But I hit a snag: co-owner signature needed, who was out of town. Having run out of weekend, I returned the title and took back my check and said call when you have it. So this weekend I went back to do it all over again. My first stop was the shop, where my rig had responded well to the mechanics' attentions and was now purring. I looked it over, pleased that I still like it as much as I did before. Then back to the seller, where the paperwork was now in order. Then the long wait at DMV for title and tags. Back to the shop to put the tags on the rig. MINE!!!
I have bought vehicles faster. I last ate at breakfast, have been going nonstop all day, and it is now definitely past dinner time.
I stopped for dinner at Flying J, thinking what better place to celebrate, only to find a new and yet-to-open Denny's in place of their old restaurant. On down the road, I found a family restaurant with spinach calzones. Mine is here - see ya!

Friday, June 25, 2010

My new home

I rode out this morning to look at this rig. I dearly love my Escaper but it's feeling really cramped and it's aging...
After much deliberation and after consultation with HP and an unbiased mechanic, I bought this.
It's a 92 Holiday Rambler, one of my favorite brands. Basement. Straight line kitchen. Twin beds. Coach is amazing. Mechanically, it needs work. So it goes to the shop in the morning and when I see it again it will start, run, steer and stop like it should. Then there will be some modifications in all my spare time so my desk can be aboard. So no, i'm not moving in right away. I want to do everything that needs done before my Stuff starts getting in the way.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Expletive deleted - the rest of the story.

But there are many worse places for this to happen and few better.

What happened is a quick storm - one of those "isolated thunderstorms" - went by. It mostly missed the pig picking but the wind did this to my awning.

What is really cool is that if it had to happen, it happened when and where it did. Not the previous week when I was alone and getting ready for a long drive to work. Not as part of the rain/thunderstorm that hit later that night. There were guys around who could get it off the roof and rolled up and screw the broken bracket to the rig so I could drive. And yes - no one was hurt.

That was the Attention Getting Event for me this weekend, but most of it I spent having a blast at a pig picking hosted by friends in Emporia. I met lots of neat people and ate lots of good food, swam, rode scooter, rode in their side-by-side... Lots of fun. Actually, I was too busy having fun to take pictures - the awning picture happened because I was taking them for insurance.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Today's yard, June 5, 2010


At the end of my vacation week, I am finally on vacation, enjoying Lynchburg's best-kept secret, the Izaac Walton park. My rig's in my favorite campsite with the awning out, and I've just returned from my first swim of the year.
Why so late? I don't know. I usually find my way into water sooner than this, but this year there were other things going on. Ranging from excellent weekends with family or time-traveling to staying in town doing vehicle maintenance. This week while I was off the road, my rig got inspected, tranny service, and a modulater valve. Seasonal clothing got swapped out. Other chores in plenty got done. I went to a Rendezvous (another post, coming soon) and a memorial service. And now: it's time to float around in the lovely lake, read a few stories, nibble sweet black cherries, have friends visit this evening, and rest up for work. The weather, I might add, is ideal despite predictions of isolated thunderstorms. Life is good.

My copper pot is copper again!

My sooty coffee pot prepares for Sokoff bath.

It's removing the crud from the bottom.

It comes off with a sponge or a brush

A few stubborn spots remain.

Shiny copper coffee pot after treatment.

Even the bottom is clean and shiny.

I love it when a product does exactly what it is supposed to.
I have a beautiful Westminster Forge coffee pot in my camp. Unfortunately, in my early morning decaffeinated state, when I first got it I didn't think to soap it, so the campfire soot stuck. It has built up over several years of regular coffee brewing.
Last summer I decided I wanted to at least be able to see that it wasn't granite ware under all that black. I tried everything I - or my friend Sue who has every chemical known to man in her pantry - could think of. Including the wire brush on my Dremel. Nothing worked. Nothing even made a dent in the built up blackness.

On my way home from the Shenandoah Longrifles Memorial Day Camp, I stopped at the Shenandoah Heritage Market to stretch my legs and hunt something cold to drink. One of the stores in there is Kitchen Kupboard, which is a very cool kitchen gadget store. I had to browse that - and that's where I found SOKOFF. It ain't cheap but I thought it just might remove my soot. That's what it says it's made for: removing soot and baked on grease.

Yesterday I painted it on my blackened coffee pot. And yes, it IS a copper pot.
Here are the pictures. And yes, this is an UNSOLICITED testimonial. I have lots of friends with sooty stuff, so I must share the find.