2016/03/01 (T) Super Tuesday Nutpods
Today was officially our fifth month away from home this winter; not full months, of course, but the fifth month by name nonetheless. I got up briefly at 6:45 AM to add food to the cats’ bowls and went back to bed. With less pestering from the cats we slept in longer than usual and did not get up until just before 8 AM.
I made coffee and tried the new Nutpods non-dairy coffee creamer that arrived yesterday. To our mutual disappointment, it separated almost immediately. I was able to blend it back in by stirring, but it would just separate again if I let it sit. We were both disappointed. The reviews of this product sang its praises and made special note of it not separating like other non-dairy creamers. We bought four containers of it for $3.50 each, so I will use them up, but we won’t be buying any more of them. What we both find odd is that we do not recall having this problem at home where I have used unflavored soy-based creamers for a long time. The only obvious difference between the bus and the house is that we have a dishwasher (machine) at home, but neither of us think this is related to the mugs not being clean on the bus as they are washed in soapy hot water.
Breakfast was granola with fresh blueberries and a small glass of juice to wash down our vitamins. After breakfast Linda went to Mara’s motorhome to take care of the morning cat chores and I settled in to work at my computer. I dealt with BCM- and SLAARC-related e-mails and investigated why the ES|ET Smart Security 8 software on my ASUS notebook computer was apparently not synchronizing with the Windows 10 update function. I discovered in the process that there was a Smart Security 9 upgrade available so before requesting technical support I installed the upgrade.
While the upgrade was downloading and installing I called Ed and Betty Burns and arranged to meet them for linner at Sweet Tomatoes on University Parkway in Sarasota at 3 PM. We needed to drive to Petco for cat food anyway and the restaurant is just across the street. Since they now live in Florida, no longer work at the Middleton’s berry farm north of Detroit during the summer, and have given up RVing (at least for now), we probably will not see them again any time soon and wanted to visit with them one more time before we left south(west) Florida for the season.
When Linda got back I turned off the outside water and tested the fresh water pump. It appeared to be working normally, so I left the outside water off and we resumed using the pump.
I proofread yet another draft of the April issue of Bus Conversion Magazine and marked up a few final corrections to my featured bus article on Ronnie and Diann Mewbourn’s 1969 Model 07 Eagle conversion. Soon enough it was 1 PM and time to leave.
We stopped at the Shell station on FL-70 in Lakewood Ranch and filled up the tank. Regular gasoline (10% Ethanol) was $1.79 per gallon. A week ago I bought fuel at this same station for $1.56 per gallon. We arrived at the Petco, in the massive University Town Center shopping district, at 2:20 PM. They were out of the exact food we needed (Royal Canin Sensitive Digest Thin Slices) but had the loaf form of the same food so we bought all nine cans of that. That will be enough to get us past Mara and Michael’s return from the Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise.
We were at Sweet Tomatoes by 2:50 PM and had just started to go for a walk when Ed and Betty drove by, so we turned around and met them at the front door. We were at the restaurant for almost two hours and had a good meal and a nice chat. We talked about our upcoming travel plans and Ed and Betty, who have taken care of some important medical issues, indicated that they are thinking about getting a Class B or B+ motorhome or possibly a pull-behind RV. There is an outside possibility that we might cross paths with them in the Canadian Maritime provinces over the summer. Towards the end of our meal Ed and Janet Roelle showed up with Nathan. We chatted briefly with them, said “fair well for now” to everyone, and headed back to Arcadia.
We stopped at the Publix supermarket on FL-70 in Lakewood Ranch for a few grocery items we cannot get in Arcadia. (It should be noted, however, that Publix is building a supermarket in Arcadia.) We got back to our coach just before 6 PM and spent a few minutes with our cats, both of whom were very glad to see us and wanted our attention. At 6:20 Linda walked down to take care of Mara’s cats and I walked down about 30 minutes later. Linda had the TV on and “Super Tuesday,” with 11 states holding presidential primary elections, dominated the news cycle. We walked back to our rig at 7:45 PM under dark, clear skies and bright stars.
We watched NCIS and NCISNOLA but Limitless was preempted by Super Tuesday election coverage so we found a documentary on PBS about the Statue of Liberty and watched that. Linda fell asleep before it was over but it was followed by an equally interesting documentary on the public health hospital on Ellis Island that operated for nearly 30 years in the early 20th Century.
2016/03/02 (W) Windshield Caulk
Our day started, as it usually does, with coffee, breakfast, and iPads. While Linda tended to Mara’s cats I made a few changes to the ES|ET Smart Security 9 settings on my computer. I then selected and processed three possible post card photos from last week and e-mailed them to Linda’s iPad.
When Linda got back from tending to Mara’s cats and motorhome she worked on creating this week’s photo post card for Madeline and uploaded it to the PhotoCardApp service in San Diego, California. She then got to work on tax returns. I finalized the bonus photo captions for the BCM featured bus article on Dave Aungier’s 1977 MCI MC-5C bus conversion, uploaded everything to my Dropbox, and e-mailed the magazine staff to let them know it was there.
The motorhome that was next to us on the passenger side for most of the winter pulled out on Sunday. On Monday the resort put another rig in that site. It stayed for two nights and pulled out this morning. We never even met the people. Early this afternoon the resort brought in another rig, a 42 foot 5th-wheel being pulled by a suitably large pickup truck. Phil, from the resort office, was the escort and parking attendant. I popped out to see if I should move my car and Phil said it would help, so I backed deeper into our site and well out of the way. It took some doing but Phil managed to get the rig backed into the site.
As long as I was outside I had several chores to take care of before we pull out of here on Monday and today seemed like a good day to take care of a couple of them. I found some silicon spray lubricant and managed to pull the emergency breakaway key out of the lock on the front bumper of the car just far enough to spray some in. I let it sit a minute and then wrapped what was left of the tethered cable around my hands and pulled hard enough to finally get it to come out. With the key out I sprayed the inside of the lock and on the key and then inserted and removed the key several times. I sprayed a bit more, put the key back in, and let it sit.
Our new neighbor was outside setting up their rig so we got to meet him. His name was also Phil and his wife’s name was Marylou. Phil was retired from the U. S. Army and they recently became full-time RVers. We chatted briefly and met their two adorable Dachshunds. We let them get back to the task of setting up camp and moved on to my second chore, which required Linda’s assistance.
The other day I pulled the caulking out from between the new passenger side lower windshield and the new windshield gasket. I let it sit a couple days to see if the gasket would reform to the glass as a result of warm temperatures and hot sunshine. It didn’t, so I got the tube of black caulk I found the other day and got it ready to use. I used the small 3-step stool to get high enough to work and Linda prepared several wet paper shop towels. I applied the caulk, which is designed for window trimming and should work with glass, to the gap between the windshield and the gasket. Linda held the windshield wiper out of the way while I worked and handed me the wet paper towels as needed. I did not do a very good job but hopefully it was good enough to keep the windshield from leaking water and prevent wind noise. The caulk was water cleanup, so that made it easy to take care of putting everything away.
By 4 PM the outside air temperature was about 80 degrees F with a nice breeze, scattered clouds, and a hot sun. That made for very pleasant conditions outside in the shade, but inside it was 85 in spite of having the windows open and the exhaust fans running. Linda went outside to read and I was having a problem getting my laptop to connect to the NAS so I shut off my computer and the NAS and went outside to join her.
As we move towards spring we have the sun on our windshields for more of the day and are now getting the late afternoon sun on the passenger side of our motorcoach. Linda commented that if we ever buy an RV lot somewhere she wants it oriented and/or landscaped so the passenger side of the coach is always in shade. Duly noted and agreed.
I worked on this blog post for a while using the new MobiSystems OfficeSuites app. Now that I have figured out how to use it with Dropbox, and have learned how to create folders and move files, I am satisfied with how it works and might go ahead and spend the $19.99 for the full-featured “Premium” version. Not that I am using most of the features of the free version, but why limit myself.
We skipped lunch today and by 4:30 PM Linda was hungry so she went inside to prepare our dinner. I played a few games on my iPad and when the sun dropped below our patio awning and obscured my screen I went inside. Linda had just set our salads on the table so it was good timing. She made large salads with a kale and spinach base and lots of yummy toppings including sliced fresh apples. She put our monthly dose of four Brazil Nuts on the side and served still water with half of a Meyer lemon squeezed into each glass. I eat faster than Linda does so I packed up our computers and iPads and loaded them in the car while she finished her dinner.
When Linda was done eating we grabbed our smartphones and drove over to the activity building. Dominoes and pinochle are scheduled on Wednesdays at 6:30 PM in the main room, but the library was not scheduled for use so we set up our technology in there. We got both computers, both iPads, and both smartphones connected to the resort Wi-Fi system and then connected through to the Internet. I had ~300 MB of app updates for my iPad and Linda had ~425 MB of app updates for hers. I had six app updates on my phone and Linda had three. Those tend to be smaller than the iPad updates but probably totaled another 200 MB combined. We both had critical updates for Windows 10 and have no idea how many MB they were since Windows 10 does not think that is information the end user needs to know. People using limited data plans, however, probably differ with Microsoft on this point.
Folks started showing up for the games at 6 PM and they were underway by 6:30. Linda’s devices were all up-to-date by then so she walked over to Mara’s motorhome for her evening cat chores. I finished up with my updates by 6:45, packed up our tech toys (tools), and drove back to our rig.
Wednesday night is PBS nature and science night for us and the theme this evening was space exploration. But first we had to get tuned in to the results of yesterday’s Super Tuesday primary elections. After three hours of space exploration documentaries Linda went to bed while I watched Charlie Rose. He had four guests, two from each end of the political spectrum, and they provided their analysis of the current presidential candidate race, to the extent that anyone understands what is going on. Reassured that the world really is in chaos, and that the American electorate has crossed the boundary into collective insanity, I went to sleep.