Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

This is my second Christmas on the road, and am going to a potluck dinner tomorrow with my parents, who are here at the park with me.  I think it will be a great and fun time and sure to bring the spirit of the holidays to me again.

As a single person my whole life I really haven't celebrated Christmas in the last 5 - 10 years, especially since I moved west to the Seattle area.  Not exactly sure why I moved to where didn't know anyone, guess it's one of those things that were meant to be.

Lately have always thought of Christmas as just another day, but another day where didn't have to work!  Growing up it was totally different and not sure why things have changed for me, but pretty sure it's due to not having anyone to share the holiday with so I typically withdraw into myself.

One thing I really enjoyed about this season though, is when hooked up with the Firkin Scooter club.  We/They put on an awesome rally each year.  Around the holidays take a scooter ride in December to visit all the businesses that sponsored the club, and potential ones for next year.  Have missed the last couple years, due to traveling.  Here is all the places they went to this year.  Looks like they had a super fun time!

Awesome Practice Video from 2013 with some members of the club!  Go Tom and Renee!!!!

Caroling in action from 2013!

Truly wish could've been there!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's a Wonderful Life

Just finished watching the movie It's a Wonderful Life, which is a movie that's over two hours long, and every time I watch it always notice something haven't noticed before.  It's also a very uplifting movie, one where I think should be mandatory watching once a year for everyone!  But that's just my opinion.  I downloaded the B&W version from YouTube last year and didn't find it this year after a quick search.

On another note, Olivia, a stray cat I took in, is on a "walkabout", and hopefully she'll return.  Olivia got out of RV through an open window that was open just a tad bit too much, and haven't seen her for over a day.  Have a feeling she's still around.  Won't be in this spot much longer, so hoping she'll come back before I leave....  We were just starting to connect!
Will be adding Olivia to my journal, wishing her the best, and hoping she'll come back if she's supposed to be with me.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Solstice and Scooter, SS for short

I think these are both good topics to think of, the Winter Solstice and my (or any) scooter!

Winter Solstice

This is nice because it means spring, which generally leads to more abundant times, new growth, new beginnings, and all that happy stuff.  This general theme is something that is also part of The Meaning.

According to Wikipedia, this is the shortest day of the year, and also the longest night (seems to me that would've made sense anyways).  It is also the start for where daylight increases (until summer solstice).

Barbara Carrellas, author of Urban Tantra (and a few other books), sent out an e-mail wishing everyone a Happy Solstice, so am passing on the well wishes to everyone!  I've met her in person and took a couple classes from her in NYC (group setting), and she's truly the real deal.  Here are her steps on:

How to Have an Ecstatic Solstice

Stay in the present moment.
Don't try so hard.
Stay in the present moment.
Drop your expectations and your judgements.
Stay in the present moment.
Stay in the present moment.
Be conscious.
Stay in the present moment.
Practice doing all of this throughout your holidays... the present moment.

Scooter news!

While this isn't the big update I have planned, it is something which I recently had the pleasure of doing with the scooter.  It is to fix it (one more time) by replacing the battery and the starter solenoid (relay).

Spent some time at an Escapee Coop in Florida for couple weeks.  I was due to go visit parents for Pizza (YES!) and, much to my dismay, scooter wouldn't start.  Was able to crank it for a little bit but wouldn't start so kept trying until one last spurt where it just failed to do anything other than one single click.  PHOOEY.  Had to call them to come pick me up, a small letdown to my pride, but such is life.

First things first, knew battery was dying, and almost dead, so decided to first replace it.  Took a trip up to Tampa, FL for couple different reasons, with this being the top reason.  Trip was nice and they replaced the battery without a problem.  At least on this scooter, batteries seem to last about two years. Got my last battery from Cycle Gear in Tacoma, WA, as a store brand, and it came with a lifetime warranty!  Now it comes with a one year warranty and can buy second year for $5.00.  Hopefully don't use it but feel that cost is acceptable so spent $5 for a battery with two year warranty!

Got back to RV and still no joy after installing new battery.  One click and that's all it gave me, even after charging it on both a regular charger and a trickle charger.  Next came some research and debugging which led me to this post that explains how to replace the relay.  The trick is, at least on my scooter, it wasn't in the location they showed...  Here is a description, and not so good image, of what the relay looks like, new.  Mine is all old and rusty and don't have a picture.

As mentioned, problem was finding it.  According to this parts diagram (page 59, part #1), it was in the general location of the battery and it seems like was slightly above the battery at first glance.  Nothing matching that description was up there.

I then remembered hearing a clicking and feeling it someplace. Assuming that this clicking was the relay, I simply kept pressing the starter button until pinpointed it and found the offending unit.  Turns out it was right above the radiator, tucked away in a little rubber sleeve.  Getting it out was a different story, but suffice it to say, finally got it out, unhooked the wires (after disconnecting the battery).  It was very rough and tough to get out.

Headed to autoparts store (AutoZone I think) and they were unable to find a relay similar to this one.  After that headed to Tractor Supply, which they had one but not exact one I needed, though I purchased it for $21.99.  After got back and looked at post again, realized this one looked exactly like what was in the post, and they had to do the same type of retrofitting I had to do.

Right out of box
I chose to do something different, mainly due to where this would sit and length of wire had to work with, and that is to solder wires onto the relay, then plug it into the wiring harness.  I utilized wires snipped off old relay, stripped little insulation off, and broke out the soldering iron.  Once heated up it was a breeze to apply heat, apply little solder, and viola, all done!  Used a 40 watt soldering iron from Radio Shack and worked like a charm!

Soldered on other side
Next step was to install it, start scooter, and take for a test spin.  All this was done fairly quickly and effortlessly (in comparison to finding it).  The starter relay worked as advertised and had no problems hooking everything back up.

Lower part, ziptied
In these three pictures can see how I mounted it.  There's a main structural bar just behind the radiator and fan.  It is to this bar that I ziptied the relay.

In the first picture can see I bent some metal tabs where routed the zipties through.  The upper ziptie is seen fairly easily, but there's also a smaller ziptie below so it doesn't ride up and down the pipe (insert "snarky" comment here).

Picture showing whole unit installed
 Second picture shows the whole thing clearly.  At the top is where the two battery cables are connected (with 1/2 inch nut on copper studs and lockwashers).  Then are the two wires I soldered on (to activate relay from ignition switch), then the two zipties I used to secure this in place.  Pretty simple stuff in reality.

View from top
Last one is a quick view from the top.  Doesn't show much.  The round edge at bottom of the photo signifies front of the bottom gas tank.  The "ribbed" round thing in bottom left corner is the ring which holds the fuel pump in place.  Put these two references in for those who can envision where it is.

And now scooter is humming along like a champ!  This worked and am quite happy that have wheels again, other than a bicycle.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Elio - To three, or not to three, that is the question

While I was listening to Coast to Coast AM one day, there was some talk about a three wheeled car, which is 90% made in America!  At first I was somewhat skeptical at claims of 80-90+ mpg, but the more I looked into it was convinced there is some truth in them thar hills.

I checked out Elio Motors website and became convinced that this is the real deal.  The further and further I looked into it, the more I wanted to see it before plunking down some deposit money.

At the time didn't have any plans to leave Texas until February/March time frame, but some circumstances changed and I found myself heading to Florida.  Turns out, at the time I was leaving for Florida, Elio had a tour and they would be in New Orleans as I was passing through the area.  Their location was at a mall downtown near the French Quarter, The Outlet Collection at RiverWalk.

I decided to drive down there and park RV at the mall as it had a pretty large lot.  Drive up to the gate and it wouldn't let me in.  Had to repeatedly press the buzzard to get someone to open the gate, but, turns out, they wouldn't open up the gate unless I paid $150.00 to park for one day, in the RV....  I was baffled...  The person I talked to wouldn't even lift the gate up (says he "couldn't", suuuure Wilbur) for me to turn around...  If anyone's backed up a long RV, with a scooter on the back, onto a busy road, it's not exactly child's play.  So, to the mall's policies, I present The Finger....

Wandered around a little, went to Home Depot (about 1.3 miles away), got couple things, then decided to go to Walmart (next to a police station of sorts), which was about a mile or so away.  Took my bicycle and headed off to the mall.

When I got to the mall, turns out the lot was still 75% (or more) empty, so they definitely deserve the Finger.

Was able to find Elio Motors fairly quickly, they were on North end of the mall.  Quite a few people here, but no real line to speak of.  I was able to sit in the car, fondle the steering wheel, and get a good sense for how it feels.  Was impressed.  It seemed sturdy and positions of items were well thought out.  Looked like there was ample room in the back seat, though the "trunk" was a little lackluster.

The main selling point for me, and my lifestyle, is that this can be flat towed behind the RV, with no additional modifications (other than tow bar stuff).  The light weight, three tires on the road, and low profile should make it so don't see a significant impact on the diesel mileage.  For comparison, I know someone, with a gas motor home, and they lose about 15% (1 mpg) when towing their small SUV.  According to what they said there (think on website too), is that it can be flat towed with either their automatic transmission, or the standard one (which comes standard).  I prefer standard vehicles when possible so this is music to my ears.

The only major drawback I see is lack of a tried and true engine design, as they're redesigning a 3-cyclinder engine.  This is slightly offset by fact that they have quite a few well respected names as suppliers in building this car.  The partner list can be seen near bottom of their main page.

Another drawback is that it's not available right now, but they anticipate it being available in about a year....  Will see what happens but feel good about this..

I was able to take advantage of their 50% holiday bonus reward by putting down a deposit.  Maximum can put down is $1,000.00, and least is $100.00.  If put a non-refundable deposit down then get a number of your place in line.

I like sounds of this car for several different reasons.
  • A unique design, similar to the Can-Am Spyder, but fully enclosed and car-like
  • Uses less materials than traditional cars
  • Fuel efficient
  • Less maintenance
  • Light weight
  • Internet connected (additional upgrade)
  • Some things standard, such as Manual transmission and air conditioning

Am sure there are others but that's all I can remember now.

After seeing them again at The Avenues Mall in Jacksonville, FL, decided to plunk some money down, take advantage of the 50% bonus, and reserve my spot in line.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Undercover Boss

I normally don't watch TV, but am currently staying next to my parents at a campground in Florida.  Every night so far we've had dinner together and spent some time socializing and watching TV (which I generally don't watch on my own) and playing games.

While I get TV is just that, TV, and over half of it is pure ickiness, there are a few decent channels/shows out there (if can tune out the commercials).  One of them was Undercover Boss, and tonight was the first time I saw it, must say am very impressed.

Tonight was a season premiere and had the CEO of True Value on it.  I would like to believe this is one of the few shows that are truly unscripted.  The "unscripting" aspect doesn't take into account the final editing which can make anything appear great, or ungreat.

John Hartmann, the CEO, is a great man and, on the show, it seems like he understands people are truly one of his greatest assets, and everyone is going through their own struggles.  What he does simply dumbfounded me as to how much it seemed like he cared about his employees!  Am sure a good amount of it was due to editing, but he seemed awesome!

If everyone treated their employees like he did, Corporate America could be transformed.  This show seems like it brings some humanity to leaders, hopefully.

I'll be looking for True Value stores whenever I need something that they provide.  Their prices are a little pricey but feel good for supporting this company.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Online communities, then came Reddit

Just something quick and easy.  I've never gotten into the Facebook craze, but vaguely recall making an account way back in the day.  Never really felt it was my "thing" though.

Then came Slickdeals (a great website), of which I keep my eye on, but don't actively pursue deals in a way which I have done in the past.

A website, well, online community, that I currently favor is place called Reddit.  They have a little alien logo that somewhat reminds me of Mork & Mindy (RIP Robin Williams).  I truly hope this doesn't fall prey to the buyouts that we've all seen in the past, like Woot! and other websites.  When those websites were bought out it was all about monetizing the content and scaring away consumers.

Reddit has couple favorite things that I like.
  • Sub reddits for particular interests, such as for different geographical locations, sports, or even for different types of cars.  If can think of it, probably exists to some degree
  • Mostly unfiltered news source, contains things not found in typical mainstream media (Fox, CBS, ABC, etc) from all over the world.
  • Wide range of articles in popular sub-reddits (such as in Science, Technology, and others)
  • Reddit gives back to it's members, both as a corporation and helping to promote a sense of community among it's community
  • The Reddit Hug of Death, for websites.  Something interesting pops up and people, en-masse, go to visit it. Noticeable for smaller websites.
  • Gift exchanges.  This is my first year doing it, but sending gifts to random people after finding their likes/dislikes by viewing their history.
  • Meetups for local areas, where can meet other Redditors (I've never done this), and this increases a sense of community generally.
  • Celebrity Q&A sessions called AMA (Ask Me Anything).  President Obama and Robin Williams, among many others, have done them.  Bill the Science Guy is very popular (I don't agree with all his views, but just me)!
  • Some small businesses have a large surge in traffic, such as this Candle Maker.

With anything that offers some degree of "anonymity" (being truly anonymous is getting harder and harder), and Reddit is no exception.  There is a sense of being anonymous, but also a sense where want to be involved to some degree.

It's too late this year to sign up for the Reddit 2014 Christmas Gift exchange.  Keep an eye on it for next year!

Truly hope Reddit stays similar to what it currently is and doesn't sell out like so many others have.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Another small piece to the puzzle

This is in relation to The Meaning.  It's only a small piece of the whole puzzle but still a piece somehow.  It's the first time have seen a list like this before.  The full article has more "stuff" in it, and I've lifted a good portion of it here.  Italicized (and bulleted) is verbatim

In other news, have been riding scooter around recently.  All Hail the Scooter!  Will be having a multi-series post regarding that.

On to the Meat..

Strong Relationships

Use relationships to teach you how to be whole within.

  • Relationships aren’t about having another person complete you, but coming to the relationship whole and sharing your life interdependently. 
This is soo true in what I've seen.  Relationships are for the mutual benefit of both (or more?) parties.  Ones that are mainly one sided might last awhile, but it's like running a marathon one legged, takes a huge amount of effort from the one leg.

See your partner for who he or she really is.

  • When you realize that more often than not you don’t really know your partner, you begin to discover who they are and how they change and evolve.
Most couples I see, at least on the surface, don't have this deep understanding of each other, and don't realize, or understand, what this truly means.  Nor do I truly understand what this means.  I feel that it's a special bond between two individuals where they just "know" each other subconsciously.

Be willing to learn from each other.

  • The key is to see the other as a mirror and learn from the reflection how you can be a better person.
I don't think this is limited to people, but rather our pets too.  I am going through this process with Olivia now and don't fully understand why she does some things.  Scatter and I bonded almost instantly, but she's a different matter.  Olivia and Scatter bonded well too, after she came out of her initial hiding.

Get comfortable being alone.

  • By feeling safe and secure to be on your own within the framework of relationship, you will feel more complete, happy, and whole.

If one is uncertain, or overly needy, about their role in a relationship, or even a slight bit unhappy, this undermines the whole relationship.  It's like building a Bugatti frame with aluminum foil (like Reynolds Wrap (nothing against them)).  Everything looks great in terms of the relationship, but at the slightest breeze everything crumples.

Look closely at why a fight may begin.

  • If you become aware of what you fear about intimacy, you’ll have a better sense of why you’re fighting—and likely will fight far less.
Am pretty sure this is another piece of The Meaning I have yet to uncover.  Some people have alluded to certain things but will find out the reason(s) soon enough as my conscious memory holds no clue.

Own who you are.

  • We generally grasp at romantic love because we’re yearning for something that is out of reach, something in another person that we don’t think we possess in ourselves. ... You can only get from another person what you’re willing to give yourself.
 Enough said here.

Embrace ordinariness.

  • After the fairy-dust start of a relationship ends, we discover ordinariness, and we often do everything we can to avoid it. The trick is to see that ordinariness can become the real “juice” of intimacy. The day-to-day loveliness of sharing life with a partner can, and does, become extraordinary.

Believe that this ties back into so many of the other items above.  For me, and my feeble thought process, this is the meat, the crux, of a relationship.  It's why, in most (if not all) of the long term relationships I've seen while RV'ing, couples still have that little spark in their eyes when they are near each other!

Expand your heart.

  • To create real intimacy, get in touch with the spaciousness of your heart and bring awareness to what is good within you.
  • It’s easier to recognize the good in your partner when you’re connected to the good in yourself.
A good number of people seem to either overlook this step, or are blissfully unaware of it.  As a result of being unhappy with who we are, this translates directly into the relationship by not always recognizing the good your partner brings to you.

Focus on giving love.

  • The unintentional outcome of loving others more deeply is that we are loved more deeply.
Now that I can say this word, the ability to give, and receive true love is a massive part of any relationship, and impacts it in more ways than we know, or understand.  I am finding this out with Scatter and Olivia.

Let go of expectations.

  • You may look to things such as romance and constant togetherness to fill a void in yourself. This will immediately cause suffering. If you unconsciously expect to receive love in certain ways to avoid giving that love to yourself, you will put your sense of security in someone else.
I think of this as being similar to watching (expecting) water to boil in a pot.  If you're expecting it to boil, it'll take forever to boil, while if walk away and do other things, it seems to boil of it's own accord (and quicker).  This is, in my mind, a very good analogy for expecting certain things in a relationship.


Nothing to quote here, but wanted to separate it.

Being around retirees most of the time has definitely opened my eyes to what real relationships are, how they work, and what makes them tick.  Not sure when, why, or how I'll use information have shared today, but who knows, life works in mysterious ways when we least expect it.

Time for a scooter ride!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thoughts for the Road

I was just in Livingston, TX, where the headquarters for Escapees is, as well as the C.A.R.E. organization that Kay Peterson (founder of Escapees) was instrumental in setting up.  Here I toured the C.A.R.E center and spent some time getting to know quite a few people!  Meeting everyone here was very interesting, yet very humbling, in that a vast majority of us will wind up in the same general physical condition as they are.

One reason I really enjoy Escapees parks is that everyone, well, most everyone, here is very good natured, happy, and upbeat, even if they don't seem like it!  Another (or many) reason(s) why I like Escapees is in an article from the rvers website: article

After more than 36 years being actively involved in Escapees, and probably more years in the RV community, Kay Peterson wrote her last column in the Escapees magazine, where she talks about the stories, and messages, she has shared in more than 200 columns.  As she enters her "winter" season, she shared with us these last nuggets of wisdom, which I share with you, verbatim.

  • Believe in your ability to accept whatever challenges life brings.
  • To have great experiences, you must be willing to take risks.
  • If you jump into a lake, don't complain about getting wet.
  • Don't let today's enjoyment get lost in the dreams of tomorrow.
  • If you want advice, ask the person who has succeeded.
  • Winners don't always come in first, but they enter the race.
  • The only real limits are those you accept as being true.
  • Don't waste your time on complainers or getting revenge.
  • Being in the driver's seat doesn't mean you can run over people.
  • Being alone is not the same as being lonely.
  • Life is a matter of perspective.  A worm thinks digging is more fun than going fishing.
  • Life isn't tied with a pretty bow, but it is still a gift.
  • People cannot hear praise at their funeral or see flowers on their tombstone.
  • Kindness crosses all barriers and erases all differences.
  • If you place someone on a pedestal, don't blame them for falling off.
  • Life is a grand adventure to enjoy through all it's seasons.

Memories are the music to which our hearts sing.  I hope all your songs will be happy ones.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A NEW Species!

I have not fully confirmed this so please take it as is, but believe have found a new species, heretofore unknown and undiscovered.  As the evidence is presented, please look past the grainy pictures.  These pictures had to be taken at a higher magnification than normal for my safety.

The first shot I was able to take of this mysterious creature in it's new habitat...  Look at that MENACING mouth.  Am assuming this is how this creature eats, though can't be too sure at this stage.
It seems that this creature is a hunter of some sorts due to this striking pose I was able to capture.

I was spotted in this picture, had to run for my life and barely managed to get away unscathed!

The following long range pictures are of this creature in more intimate settings.  My cat, Scatter, was able to befriend this creature and, with his assistance, was able to bait creature with incriminating evidence, in the off chance some "persuasive materials" are needed to coax it out of hiding, or vote for me in a certain manner.
Very questionable.  Wonder what was going through their minds...

Just a simple cuddle, or is it?  Could be deceiving, at least I wasn't chased away.

Is this the afterglow creatures have?

So, while I can't truly ascertain much about this new species without getting closer (which am working on), am pretty positive it's a female.  As such, have a preliminary name for it.


Prior to release into it's current environment, was able to get a quick picture of Olivia, but since release has been very difficult to get close to.

Her full album is here (think linked to most of the pictures.

Scatter has an updated album, and his is located here!  But here's a teaser!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Kickstarter, Part Five

Still waiting on item from Post Office, which, oddly enough, UPS supposedly delivers to, so figured would do more KickStarter goodness instead of Scooter update...  i.e. Projects I've backed and whether or not it's good/bad/great/indifferent.

For your reading pleasure, my last installment of Kickstarter, Part Four.

Kickstarter, Funded!

Shroud of the Avatar

This is a game, and one produced by a game designer that's highly sought after.  My reward includes Alpha and Beta access.  One thing, at least with the initial games, is it requires you to be online in order to play it, which instantly turns me off.  Can choose not to play with anyone while "online", but it still requires an internet connection.  Due to this, I haven't given game time enough to prove/disprove itself, but seems like a solid game and very well thought out.  Maybe will enjoy it a little more after they disable the mandatory online connection.

Mind afire: A Graphic Novel of Nikola Tesla

Some may disapprove of my opinion, but it's just that, my opinion.  I truly believe Nikola Tesla is very underrated in terms of what he's given society, not to mention that, upon his death, the government confiscated lots (all?) of his work papers.  He truly was on the way to change the world even more!  If only he wasn't so naive with business dealings.  The Oatmeal nailed his accomplishments home!  I really enjoyed this book, and did receive it in a timely manner with very little, if any, delays (I forget).  Wanted to show my support for a man that no one ever truly understood....  Somewhat like me, but he was much more brilliant, and he remembered his dreams!

Kissing // A Documentary Short

This is another project which have no clue why I backed, but at the time it seemed like a decent idea.  I did get to watch the documentary, but there was some "drama" between some of the people who created it and unsure if it's fully resolved or not.  I do my darndest to avoid drama of any kind.  Think one of the reasons I liked it is that it's a unique topic in that don't think anyone's ever made a documentary about it.  The documentary was very well put together and am quite happy with this project! Not counting the drama.

Kickstarter, NOT Funded!

Whoremoms - A documentary on Sex Work and the Family Court.

While I don't financially support this profession, I do see it as a valid profession that's not fully recognized, or understood, within our country.  In a lot of other countries, like quite a few in Europe, the professionals are subject to strict scrutiny, and protection, under the countries laws, and they're generally seen as providing a valuable service.  In the U.S. it is severely shunned upon, and one of those "trigger" topics politicians use to get voted into office saying they're tough on Sex Workers (a.k.a. Elliot Spitzer).  So, it was with some sadness, that this project didn't get funded, but such is the nature of KickStarter.

The BEST DUVET, made with corners that STAY!

So, I have to admit, something about this totally slipped my mind until just now..  Am a little (a lot) embarrassed by it too, but everyone who knows me understands.  This project wasn't funded as it didn't get the required minimum, however, the project creator still went ahead as she already had the fabric.  I chose to only get the Organic Duvet cover (as have a Nikken Comforter already).  She shipped it out within a month or two of this project not being funded, and sent me an invoice.  Turns out, hence my embarrassment, is that I NEVER PAID her...  OOOOOPS...  She had faith in me to pay and I totally blew it!  Another story of my life, but why am on this journey.  Not sure how will make amends with her but am sure there's something I can do... Reason I liked this project is have been searching for an organic Duvet cover for awhile and never truly found one that I felt good about, until this came along.  I also liked idea of corners that "hung in there".  Want to do that with my comforter but haven't yet.

The 8-Key: 8GB USB Key - Find Your Keys, Save Your Day

This project was over 1/2 way there, but didn't have enough oooomph to make it.  Believe this was before the Snowden revelations.  Am sure if they relaunched this, with better encryption, it would make it.  Encryption, in any form, is always a great idea, and it's nice to see more and more organizations see that!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Internet, current issues.

This is somewhat in relation to the last post (Internet Woes), though it's specifically about what people have been calling Net Neutrality.

Now, to me, and I'm sure most of the public (American and otherwise), this is a no brainer, all traffic should be treated equally over the internet connection you're paying for....

HOWEVER, thank goodness for "capitalism" and the need to try and monetize from every ... single ... (and married) aspect of life, internet included.  Isn't it bad enough that American's are 42nd (or so) in the world for internet speed when we invented the internet?  Seems strange to me and am sure "many" factors are to blame..

While I do my darndest to steer well clear of politics, and for good reason, some politicians don't quite get who they work for.  It's US, you and me, and not some faceless corporation which gave them some cashola to get elected.

I almost never read The Oatmeal, but this struck me as so true!  Please read at your leisure, it's not far off from what can happen, and is already in the works.

Oatmeal's take on Net Neutrality

My apologies for not divulging exactly what has happened to my scooter yet, but kinda waiting on one thing to include...  Will post when have it.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Internet woes... The good and icky of mobile internet

Well, I was quite happy to finally get Reliable Internet back in the day, while bypassing the BIG cell phone companies policies and procedures, and of course, their astronomical rates.

Well, today (actually yesterday) I was totally dismayed about having to bite the bullet and deal with Verizon directly..  Brings shivers to thee spine I tell ya.

For my work, and blog needs, internet is a necessity, as important as water and electricity.  It is this way to most of society too, yet it's not treated as a necessity, more as a "luxury", with a price to match.

NOTE:  This post is more of a rant than anything constructive, so please hit back button if easily offended or don't want to know some of my inner thoughts.  These opinions are my own too, and no one else's.

This directly affected me when got a followup email regarding Verizon's apparent refusal to continue reselling their services through a company called Millenicom.  I was very dismayed when called Millenicom Thursday morning and they confirmed what happened.  Knew it was bad news indeed, though it happened couple weeks ago.  Verizon, being the "good" company they are, gave us an additional week or so in October, to make up our minds.  How kind (insert sarcastic tone)...

For your reading pleasure (I've already read), here is some information regarding what went down that we know about.

As a result of this change Millenicom also had to lay off a majority of their workers (so I read someplace).  It was a real pleasure to have dealt with them and I hope they get another alternative soon as will definitely go back!

It seems like Verizon doesn't really like heavy mobile users, or they see a cash cow, as the prices keep going up!!

When first signed up paid $69.99 for 20GB (tax/fee included)

Month after signed up paid $89.99 for 20GB (tax/fee included)

NOW, pay $99.99 for 20GB (PLUS taxes and fees) so approximately an additional $10-15

If highway robbery was legal this would be it.
If Extortion was legal this would be it.
If being sodomized with an unlubed pineapple was legal, this would be the result (stolen from someone on reddit).

Am sure some people are wondering why I say these things about such a fine and outstanding company as Verizon..  Let me shine thy light....

Due to recent FCC talk about "Net Neutrality":
Comments from FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler

Verizon threatens to sue unless weaker rules are implemented
Verizon caught throttling Netflix traffic, after pay for faster service
Using VPN on Verizon FIOS allows normal Netflix speeds
Verizon intentionally slowing speeds

Supercookies are a THING! And guess who's using them...

Most people will say "This doesn't affect me, why should I worry".  This is a double-edged sword.  On the one hand they're right, it won't affect them if they don't use.  On the other hand, if other companies follow suit (there are only four major cellular providers in the US) then it could affect them.  It's just like when one airline raises, or lowers, their fares, other airlines generally follow suit.  Cell phone providers could act in a similar manner.

There are also certain comments that their CEO has mentioned, but can't recall them nor can I find them in my quick search.

When signing up for the service, I had to call twice. First time was on hold for 45 minutes (yes, forty five) then get abruptly disconnected (yes, hung up on).  Was then on hold for 42 minutes until a nice young lady answered from Maine who got me setup.  I apologize to her as I was a little bit grumpy about the whole ordeal, but she was a pleasure to deal with.  Though am sure will have "adventures" later on.

Compare this to Millenicom, where if I had to call (like to sign up), the phone was answered within five minutes, and everyone I talked to was quite pleasant and happy (could tell it was real happy too, instead of forced happy).

I truly wish there was a clear alternative to broadband for mobile users but sadly there isn't, unless Google, or someone else, can enter the market with some super cheap mini satellite things or unkown alien technology that would render the cellular networks obsolete.  I would consider using T-Mobile, but their coverage, and speeds, leaves a lot to be desired for someone as mobile as me.  Sprint is also an option, but their coverage is abysmal outside of big metro areas.  Could use AT&T also, but they're "almost" as bad as Verizon.

So, here we are, hoping and praying alternatives exist, but finding next to none.  Will see what happens, with a lot of luck will get a better nationwide alternative.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

WestWard HO, a sequel

So, while I didn't document my first trip west four (or so) years ago, this is the sequel, and a bit delayed in being jotted down.  Unfortunately don't many have pictures.

I left Connecticut, for the second time, on a Sunday, and drove straight through, almost, to attend a Humans Being More course.  I didn't register for the course too far ahead of time as wasn't sure if could make it, as this one was on the Idaho/Wyoming border.  It is the first, but not the last, outdoor one!  This is one reason why did such a long and grueling drive to get there.

The Drive

For the most part, the drive was a nice, uneventful trip, though it was quite long and boring in some instances.  The roads were quite icky East of Chicago (where they generally charge tolls), though not every road was icky, there were some spots that were just a dream to drive on.

This trip also helped me fine tune where a "sweet spot" was when driving the RV.  As mentioned previously, was getting worse mileage due to following what I was told was the sweet spot.  Think this was sometime after Chicago that I figure this out.

The general route I took was leave Connecticut along I-84 Wast, and then believe I hooked onto I-80 West that went through New York, Pennsylvania, and westward.  I also had made arrangements to pick up something in Jefferson, Ohio, where I stayed couple weeks previously.  It is a wonderful community!

Enter, the Scooter

While in Jefferson previously, I rode MY scooter into town to get groceries, food, etc, and parked in a supermarket parking lot.  As I got done doing what needed to be done, an older gentleman came out and talked to me about my scooter, and he mentioned had an old Lambretta in his garage.  One thing led to another and I set the stage to purchase this scooter for a good friend from the Firkin cooter club in Tacoma.

This picture is when I delivered the scooter to recipient, he was very very very happy with everything!  In Ohio, It was a real PAIN to get it inside.  The person I got it from helped me load/push/manhandle it into the RV.  It was a chore and then some!  But worth it in the end.

 From what I was told, everything on this scooter is original, except for the seat.  It was parked in a barn for 40 years, and the title/registration proved that.  He rode it on some island in the general vicinity, but name escapes me.

It was very nice to see this town again, and am very happy I had the opportunity of picking up such a wonderful little scooter for a great friend!

Continuing on.....

After making sure scooter was safely (almost) stowed away, hopped in RV and continued my scintillating journey westward.  Prior to leaving the Jefferson, Ohio area, stopped by a local store to pick up more chicken burgers (from a smallish farm nearby) and some of the owners beef that she and her husband raised.  Quite tasty!

JUST after leaving this store and heading to the freeway (highway) I had mishap number one with my scooter...  Will detail that in my next (or next next) post...

The next stop was already programed into the GPS, and that was Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  There is one company there I did consulting work for that is top notch in my book for couple reasons.  One is that they're really knowledgeable and want to do things right, instead of rushing a solution.  Another is that they also really care about everyone they work with (in my experience).  This is what truly makes a difference and why I'm proud to do everything that I do for them.

Trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa was pretty uneventful, just highway miles, gritting teeth when went over bumps in the road, and just general boredom while driving.  Met with former people I consulted with, and we went to lunch at a little quirky seafood place in the area, it was about 15 minutes from truck stop I parked at.  I really enjoyed this restaurant, though I ate a burger, it was a really tasty and yummy burger, one of the better I've had!  It was full of juicyness, piled high with melted cheddar cheese, and all around an excellent burger!

We discussed some things they were planning to do and we caught up on life in general.  Found out that quite a few people share some aspiration(s) to do parts of the RV (or trailer) lifestyle.  More people than I've realized in the past.

On the way here it was actually quite windy and was heading into the wind.  It was difficult to keep going 65 or so without going over temp on the exhaust.  Was always around 1100-1200 degrees Fahrenheit, and max they say is 1300 (due to a Banks Power Pack).

After Iowa

Well, what can I say, don't remember much of this trip other than seemingly endless miles across plains and undulating hills.  After some time got into the mountains in Western Nebraska/Southern Wyoming.  The altimeter in RV, at highest point, was about 8500 feet.

Kept following I-80 until came across Rock Springs, where took state road 191 into Idaho.  There was a good amount of construction on I-80 once got up to the higher altitudes, they were generally putting new blacktop on.  The road was really smooth basically from couple hours outside of Chicago all the way West..  Makes me wonder......  Where all the money goes for road maintenance....

Once got off the highway it was quite nice driving to my destination.  There was one time, going through a touristy area of the route, where had to drive the RV up a 10% incline, and a similar decline on the other side....  I felt really bad for people behind me due to combination of thick clouds of diesel exhaust and slow speed up the hill.  Going up this hill I pegged the exhaust temperature gauge at 1500 degrees Fahrenheit quite a few times, and regularly kept it above 1400, which is higher than recommended.

The hill was several miles long, and when got to top was able to pull over to let people pass..  I waited for quite some time.  To all those who might've been behind me I apologize!

Arrival at Camp

Arrived at camp, which will detail in another post soon, and it was inside (I think) one of the parks surrounding the Grand Teton mountains.  From a vantage point in the camp, I was told we could see one of the Grand Teton's, either way this place was blessed in many ways!  A true paradise, at least during this time of year!  Saw some cows and plenty of other wildlife roaming around the wilderness, and it was nestled right next to a small river/large stream that was babbling away all the time!  Truly a wonderful natural setting.


I wish could've taken more time to enjoy this trip, see more sights, and possibly stop by Zingerman's again, I felt a very strong urge to get to the HBM course.  The trip was delayed due to various things, and was well worth it even though had many long days on the road.

All in all, a bit rushed to get there, but well worth it and time to get back on the road exploring our fine country!

Monday, September 15, 2014

One word found!

Can't believe how long it's been since I've jotted down my thoughts.  A lot has happened between then and now.  However, this is a "quick" post in that I've discovered one of the things that I'm searching for, and it's limited to one word, which is great!  This is all related to The Meaning, but isn't the full meaning.


Now, this doesn't directly relate to meaning what's in something, though indirectly it does.

What I mean by this word is something along the line of this description (#2).
con·tent 2  (kn-tnt)
1. Desiring no more than what one has; satisfied.
2. Ready to accept or acquiesce; willing: She was content to step down after four years as chief executive.
tr.v. con·tent·ed, con·tent·ing, con·tents
To make content or satisfied: contented himself with one piece of cake.
Contentment; satisfaction.

This word came to me couple days ago as I was laying down either getting ready to wake, in lala land, or dozing off, can't remember exactly when.  But did remember!

I always fancied myself as a generally happy person, mostly looking at bright side of things and getting passionately lost in certain activities (3D printing as one example).  I am generally happy and go lucky, though realized one of the things I'm missing is contentment, or being content, with myself, my choices, and those I'm around.

So far in this adventure of mine, and didn't realize this until just now, is that I've been content in only a couple of places, very content.  Three of those times were even before I officially began my journey.  And it isn't just the cake as mentioned in example, because all gamers know the cake is a lie!

Looking back in fairly recent history, here are some, but not all, of the places where I truly felt content, not just happy, but content.

The last one is kinda strange as it's a store, but was truly wonderful being there!  The vibrant energy, awesome food, and great environment made me want to simply move there!

While I can't really pinpoint yet why have been truly content at the above locations, am sure the why will come to me when it's the right time.

I believe being happy and being content are related, but not the same.  It is like one can be happy that their team won at <insert sports game>, but would they truly be content about it?  Most likely not.  One can also be happy, or even ecstatic, at certain other events, but that doesn't mean they're content with life.

I don't think this is about where I am in life, what I have accomplished, or haven't, but simply being content with the smaller things in life, who I am with, what I am doing, and you know, just feeling content.

I also don't really remember ever being content ever for long periods of time.  Depending on where I was at, it could've been for an hour or two (yes that short and it was bliss), or couple weeks in the Permaculture course.

However, now that I know it will become a reality!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Time at "home"

Well, time at my childhood home that is, as the RV has been my full time home for about a year now.

I left Florida around April (I think) and headed north, destination truly unknown.  When headed north passed through Savannah and stumbled into an old friend living there!

While in Savannah area I was hemming and hawing about where I should go as originally wanted to head west directly from there (probably through Kansas City), though knew there were things happening back "home" that I wanted to partake in, or at least visit some people after a three year absence.

Heading to the NorthEast won out for a variety of reasons, and more than once.

It was during my time back there that I had some interesting experiences, from seeing couple coworkers transfer to other companies, Mia passing away, and morning waffles (blueberry and cheese).  I kinda miss the waffles.

I was able to spend several weeks at my parents house each time, plugged RV in and playing Yahtzee every night, with ice cream (on rare occasions popcorn) and cookies.  It was quite fun and I was actually able to tell my Dad "NO" without him reprimanding me.  This was when he made a "mistake" in counting the dice...

While there I gladly helped my parents clean out the house, which had 50+ years of accumulated "stuff" in it.  A fair amount of that was items they also inherited from their parents or other relatives.  They actually did a lot already and it was a pleasure that I could be there to help as needed.

While here, I also had a couple moments that helped me further define The Meaning, which is my purpose for this trip.  One of the things is I was able to relate more with my parents as they truly did the best they could, which is all we can ask of everyone.  Maybe this was due to absence of alcohol on my part, maybe because of my current trip, it's hard to say.  I did learn that I even taught my mother a lesson she needed to learn, which in hindsight is great to learn, though at the time it was painful (the booze helped though!).

The house is where I grew up, on 2+ acres with a good set of woods behind, a man made pond, and a lot of work that they did to raise us all, plus couple extra now and then.  Not sure how they really did it, and though I don't remember much of my childhood (or anything for that matter), am amazed what they (my parents) accomplished with what we had.  And how well everyone turned out, for the most part.

When I left both times it was very sad and many strange thoughts went through my mind.  It is difficult, very at times, to see a house once full of life and material stuff to be so empty and devoid of life.  My parents stayed in their trailer, I stayed in my RV, and house was just empty.  Even now I'm saddened a little about it, but this is all part of life. We grow up, move on, and whatever else that happens.

Know that this happens to countless people every day, but different when it happens to yourself.

Still have quite a few good friends, and great places to visit, back in the NorthEast, so who knows when will be back.  However, I am most positive that was my last time to stay at my childhood home.  Hope echoes of children echo throughout the halls again!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Questions and ... Answers

During my travels so far, people have asked me quite a few questions, often times the same ones.  I just visited my great friend, who helped me, unknowingly, with the meaning, and was asked a few questions...  But have included others too..

Why do you have a blog?
It's a process of self discovery.  I've led a sheltered life, a self imposed sheltered life.  Unsure why this is, but I have had a few clues along the way which need to look into.  This blog is a way of breaking free of my self imposed chains, being able to express myself in more than one way.  Have made great progress but still get choked up with certain things, my apologies to those that I get choked up with (am sure you know regardless), and am working on those too.  Plus, someone suggested I do it and sounded neat at the time, little did I know how important it was to do this.

Why are you living in an RV?
There are many reasons actually.  First one that comes to mind is it makes economical sense, at least for me, right now.  It is more cost effective than renting, even taking into account an occasional repair.  I was spending roughly $1,000 per month, plus utilities, at my last apartment and dealing with a rental agent I couldn't stand (I generally get along with most everyone, except that person).  My mortgage is about that same amount (I own a house too).  Now, some campgrounds are free, or fairly low cost, and don't have to pay utilities (water, sewer, power) at a majority of them.  What I estimate to spend on property taxes (for a house) I spend on fuel instead, so it all washes out for the most part.

Do you ever get bored?
Who doesn't get bored at times?  If I get bored I just move!

Can you cook (in the RV)?
Why yes I can, though I find it a pain to cook for one person.  I generally get something from someplace, whether or not it's healthy (or quicker) is a subject for another day.  I have a three burner propane stove, an oven (stores pots/pans now), and a refrigerator with smallish freezer, enough room to store quite a few things.  Even have portable induction desktop "burner", similar to this one, which uses magnets to excite metal (not aluminum) to heat it up for cooking.  Along with two cast iron pans, one of them being a FINEX!

Any favorite experience(s) to share?
Every experience is worthy of sharing.  I must say though that so far the best part is all the great people I've met!  From my past life play friends (and others) to just random people here and there, it all adds up to an overall great experience!  With many aspects of learning.

Where did you get this idea?
This idea was simmering in my mind ever since I went to a Permaculture Design course in Dayton, MT.  Some other people mentioned it after that and I kept thinking that sounds so cool!  When lease was up on Vashon Island apartment, extended it for several months as wasn't sure what to do.  Then had a dream about a specific RV, randomly browsed Craigslist to find it, and rest is history.

Any favorite places visited in RV?
I'll always have a soft spot for my childhood home in Connecticut.  While I don't envision myself living in CT again anytime soon, there are quite a few wonderful places there.

In no particular order

1 - Vashon Island, WA is a great!  Gotten a little pricey lately to live there, but it's a wonderful place, a small town full of quirkiness, so close, yet so far, from a big city.  Lots of wonderful, organic'ish (or better) small family farms, lots of great people, and even a good pizza place, for Friday night pizza of course.
2 - Yuma, AZ.  Not much here except orange trees and other "farms" in the desert, but the people in the Escapees RV park are wonderful!
3 - Oregon coast - magical moments happened there!
4 - Almost forgot, Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, MI.  Seriously, best place have been too since traveling!  Thanks to you who know who you are!

Why did you choose your specific RV?
I had a dream....  Really, a dream.  In the dream I pictured the front of an RV and thought it was weird, but somehow remembered it, which I generally don't do.  Was browsing Craigslist looking for ideas and inspiration when suddenly picture of RV appeared, the one in the dream, was right on my screen.  Was weird seeing it, but knew there was a reason I remembered, and found it.  Most things I generally don't remember, but this is one of the few that I did.

What type of mileage do you get?
Since my odometer started working have been tracking each fillup.  And taking mental note of speed.  I was averaging about 61-62 mph, with indicated engine RPM's around 1700-1800.  At this speed/RPM am getting about 10 mpg.  Decided to try going about 64-65, which is about 1900 RPM, and now it is about 11.4-11.8 mpg.  Several people have mentioned that with a Cummins diesel, the "sweet spot" is between 1700 and 1800 rpm for the best fuel efficiency (hope phrased that right).  However, so far it's a little different than that for me.  Will play around some more.

What's storage like on RV?
Have to get creative in this department.  It's more spacious than it looks, yet more limited in what you can store.  There are quite a few nook and crannies to place things in, but if expect to bring a large teddy bear selection with you you're sadly mistaken.  Like in a normal place of residence, it's important to remember exactly what you have where.  Might be a little more important in an RV as while there's a fair amount of space, getting to some things are little more time consuming.

Where do you spend the nights when traveling?
Up until recently I stayed most exclusively at truck stops, with the occasional Walmart thrown in.  After getting advice from someone who traveled like this (as a single person also), am switching to more Walmart's due to better security, which is both beneficial but concerning at same time.

How do you figure out where to stay?

This is a tough one.  I belong to a national campground chain and choose to stay in their campgrounds when it makes sense.  They have, for the most part, above average (in my view) places, even idyllic in some cases.  One big disadvantage is that some times they're fairly remote with very little cell phone access, which I need.  But it all depends on where I am and if I need to be in a certain area.  I like to stay at Escapees branded parks when I can as they have a real sense of community, though out of my age range, but very welcoming and accepting of all Escapees members!

That's all I can remember right now.  Am sure there are quite a few others, and will jot them down when remember them.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy 50th!

Can't believe it's been so long, yet it doesn't seem that long at all.

Happy Anniversary

We never know
or fully realize
How sweet and kind our parents are,
 How gentle and how wise

We simply take for granted,
From day to passing day,
Each sacrifice they make for us
In their own loving way.

But then we grow and finally learn,
The way that children do,
How much their love has really meant,
How thoughtful they've been, too -

And so this comes with all the love
You both deserve and more
For there aren't two dearer parents
Than the two this poem is for

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

I "lifted" this poem from a quick search of the web and felt it appropriate, and changed couple words here and there:

This sums everything up quite nicely and can't think of any better words to say.  Without the two of you, and your shenanigans, I would not have the opportunity to experience all that life has offered me, for good or for the best!

It's amazing that their love for each other grows day by day, with no end in sight!

Thanks for EVERYTHING!  Will cherish you forever!

This day was also monumental for me, but this is about my parents!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Thoughts for ....

I signed up for a personal success coach from someone named Darren Hardy.  Never heard of him before, but supposedly he's in charge of the Success Magazine.  He has a different website giving out daily coaching DarrenDaily.

I signed up for the list twice.  First time was couple days before July 28th (the "go live" date) and then signed up couple days ago again.  Have received a total of one e-mail from him (after signed up second time).  If I was in charge of his site things would've been different.

However, not all is lost, know of someone who signed up and gets them daily so they're gracious enough to forward!

On to a recent nugget of wisdom.  For those that know, and believe, this one is very similar to the Law of Attraction.

Unsuccessful people think about what they don't want most of the time.

Successful people think about what they do want and how they will get it.


Sunday, July 27, 2014


It is with great sadness that I had to let Mia finish her current journey.

July 26, 2014 was her last day in this physical body.

Looking like the Princess she is

I remember getting her when she was a little furball.  My neighbor at the time, Dawn, said she saw a wonderful little stray cat, huddled and wet, and as Pia at the time was a kitten, she asked me to take in this stray cat as a favor to her.  I just had to do it, not sure why.  This was in March and remember distinctly it was a cold and rainy day.  Dawn was very allergic to cats, yet she brought this little furry bundle of joy to me, cradled in her arms and swelling up herself.

At the time I was living in an apartment and had first floor of a house.  This house has a dirt basement and I put Mia down there for several weeks, hoping to get Pia acclimated to her smell.  Looking back on it this wasn't the best way to do it, but we can't change our past actions, can we?  This didn't work too well from Pia's point of view, as she started hissing right away when reintroduced.

After some time they grew accustomed to each other and would often lay next to each other in bed, and elsewhere.

I remember one time, where I let Pia and Mia outside in backyard at the house, that another neighborhood (or stray) cat came up to Mia and they rubbed each other friendly like.  I shoo'd away the other cat, but now that I think of it, should've just watched what happened.

There were many other moments, but these came to mind first.  We've been together about 18 1/2 years, and she was close to being 19, though can't say for certain.  It is amazing what we take for granted until we no longer can.  This is one of the main things I have learned with Mia, live each day to it's fullest..

I found out Mia was very sick when we were hanging out in Buffalo area.  The day I found out was July 25, 2014.  It is this day that I found she had advanced kidney failure.  According to the vet, there wasn't much that could be done at this stage.  If it was caught earlier there could've been a diet change but that wouldn't have cured her, according to the same vet, just prolonged her life for who knows how long.

The vet in Buffalo suggested I euthanize her right there.  Not sure what prompted me to, but chose to bring her to Connecticut, as was heading that way anyways, to get it done here.  This allowed one last night to gather my thoughts, and emotions. When the vet broke the news I was a shivering wreck, but did regain composure.

Drive to Connecticut was the hardest, and worst, drive have ever had to do.  At least on Friday.  Saturday morning was easier as both Mia and I knew what was coming, and accepted that it is the best solution.  Not sure how she knew, but she knew, and is totally fine with it, as have Scatter to help me along now.

Arrived at vet early on Saturday, about two hours early.  I went inside to let them know was here and would wait outside until my time, but they graciously let us take care of this now. It was very hard to keep my composure at this stage,  Even writing it now is very difficult.  Took care of all the paperwork then it was time...

Went out to RV to bring Mia in and soon as walked in, two things happened.  First is that Mia meowed loudly, was upright and erect, knew exactly what was about to happen, and welcomed it, or so it seemed.  The other thing is I stared straight into her eyes and totally lost it.  I went through a large amount of lactoferrin while we just stared at each other...  As stated earlier, we were both in agreement and she completely accepted what was about to happen.  Really hard to explain fully, but those who've experienced it know what I'm saying. It was the right decision to bring her to this exact vet.

I cradled her in my arms, just knowing it was time, brought her in, and everything was done very nicely, cleanly, and respectfully.  Felt the moment her heart stopped and then couple moments later some of her muscles relaxing.

One last kiss on her head and one final good night.

 "The greatest act of Love is ability to let go"

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Memory, and wallet, issues

Just today (yes, a current post), I was about to go out for breakfast, when I suddenly realize my wallet, as shown in a prior post, wasn't in my pocket.  I had no idea where it was.

So, I went into some cash reserves to get some money for breakfast at MUGS.  The food was amazing and the restaurant was great, it was a real local place, and very very busy.  It seems like everyone knew everyone, and I was welcomed there too!  The food was very good (had couple eggs, toast, and pancakes).  The eggs were standard fare, but the toast and pancakes were very good.  Bread for the toast was liberally buttered on both sides and placed on the grill (YUMMY), and the pancakes almost seemed like whole wheat, though not sure they were.  Either way they didn't taste like the "standard" pancake one finds at most restaurants, well above average and scrumptious.

After getting back spent over half the day going through everything in the RV trying to find it (not underneath), and came up empty.  Bewildered and unsure where to go, finally remembered that I had it last at a pizza place (couldn't think of that before).  Hopped on the scooter and went over there.

Before I finished introducing myself explaining that I was there couple days ago and might've left my wallet there, the lady who initially helped me produced the wallet from behind counter someplace.  I was amazed that she seemingly remembered who I was. Very amazed, didn't realize I left impressions on most everyday people I meet.  I did get another pizza (though wasn't really wanting one), and left them a decent tip!

And, for those wondering, Colucci's, in Jefferson, OH, is the pizza place.  Excellent pizza, little lacking on the sauce (for me), but everything else is spot on!  They even use the old Tar Ovens (think that's what they are). Scrumptious!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fine food everywhere!

So, with a little luck, and determination, made it to Ann Arbor, MI, as was informed of a MUST GO TO place there called Zingerman's. The wonderful person who gave me name of this place is into fine food, not glitzy food, but just best you can get without going bankrupt.

What caused them to share the newsletter with me is a hot fudge that is now being carried, called Coop's Hot Fudge!  Heavenly, one of the best things have ever had, and had it cold.  Everyone says, with just a smidgen of heat, this turns into Heaven Reincarnate!  It's a very rich hot fudge, and as all natural as it can be!

This link is direct to their website. Of the reviews I read, all of them speak the utmost truth!

While at Zingerman's, also partook of their sandwich shop and browsed around their well stocked store.  The first thing I noticed was the ambiance of this place, it was just my type of place.  It's in a college town so have a lot of college students there, but it's also a fun and natural company by the looks of it.  They have a thriving deli (didn't go to other locations), and the whole thing took up three or four buildings.  I couldn't get enough of this place!   If it wasn't for the frigid winters, would somewhat consider moving here just for Zingerman's, it was that great!

Had a pastrami sandwich while here and it was a cut above most of the standard pastrami sandwiches I've had in the past.  Can tell they take great pride in everything they do here!

Whenever I pass through this area from now on, Zingerman's is a must stop location!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Insightful quote(s) of the day

I posted this someplace as someone has been having some bad times lately, and figured everyone could benefit:

Quote from: Buddha
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.

My quote:

If feeling down think of the small things which make you happy!
If feeling unsure, look at the small things that make you happy!
It all starts one small step at a time.....