Monday, August 31, 2009

Murals Of Wharton

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 75 degrees, high 91 degrees, mostly cloudy skies

The weather forecast was right for a change. The weather is a little cooler, compared to what it was just a couple of days ago. Can I stand the cooler weather? Absolutely, in fact I'm ready for some global cooling.

There's not much going on here today, except for the job. I managed to get in a walk after work, but the walk was a little shorter than normal for me. Just a little concession to being a little tired after work. When the long hours start in about a month, I probably won't have the time or energy for a walk. Fortunately, the longer hours will only last for about five weeks, and by then my part here will be finished. Then we plan to go to the hill country of Texas for annual doctor visits and some rest.

I talked to Carolyn this evening, and it looks like I will be going to Tuscaloosa over the upcoming Labor Day weekend to pick her up. We're both ready to get back together.

When I was in Wharton this past Friday, I took pictures of some murals painted on the sides of buildings in the downtown area. I like to study the murals we see in different places to see what the local people are trying to say about where they live. Many times, I can get a sense of their history and what is important to them. Some of the recurring themes are patriotism, important milestones in their history, and what they perceive as their future.

Many of the places we have been to have murals, but my favorite town with murals is the town of Eureka, California, located in northern California on the coast. They have about 20 murals scattered all over the downtown area, and have made a game out of finding all of them. The town has developed a tour guide to the town that includes where all of the murals are located, and it almost becomes a scavenger hunt to find them. By the time I found all of the murals, I had seen just about everything the town had to offer, and was much more familiar with the other sights.

Good night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Winnie, Texas: Gateway To The Gulf

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wharton County Courthouse

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 76 degrees, high 95 degrees, mostly clear skies

This was a slow day for me, with the high light of the day being a trip to the WalMart Mall for a few groceries and diesel fuel. The day started with my usual morning walk. It was really hot because I walked a little later than normal. The route home was into the rising sun, which meant I had to put up with the glare and heat. On work days, I have to wait until I get home to walk, and it is even hotter then. In the interest of not getting too hot when I walk in the evening, I usually cut the walk a little short. I have gotten too hot before, and it's not fun.

The WalMart Mall was not busy at all. I guess that's to be expected, considering the time I was there. There were not many registers open, and I just happened to get in a line that the customer making the store clerk double check every price. What makes people do that? Once I realized what was going on, I moved to another line and was soon out the door.

By the time I got home, I was getting a little hungry, so stopped long enough to eat.
Then I decided to see if there was anything I could do to get more water pressure with the equipment I have on hand. We'll see if it helped, but I don't have much hope.

I watched some golf in the afternoon, and saw Tiger Woods finish second again. Is he losing his touch? I don't think so, there have just been a couple of players that played better than him for a change.

College football starts this next week, and I'm ready. I used to like pro football, but I'm tired of seeing so many overpaid prima donnas think they should be treated differently than the rest of us because they're professional athletes.

When I was in Wharton on Friday, I took some pictures of the downtown area. This is a picture of the Wharton County Courthouse, which is still being used. It was built in 1893 and remodeled in 2007. The bricks, which are salmon colored, were made with clay from the Colorado River, which is a few blocks away. The downtown area is typical of so many of the small Texas towns that we have been to.

Here's a picture of one side of the courthouse square. If you look hard enough, you can see an old movie theater that has been refurbished and is showing first run movies. I can remember many Saturday afternoons spent in movie theaters just like it when I was a child. Ahh, the memories.

Good night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Wharton, Texas: The Best of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Matagorda Bridge

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 76 degrees, high 94 degrees, mostly cloudy skies

Some light showers moved through the area last night. The little bit of rain the showers brought was welcomed, but did little to break the long drought.

I went to a local hardware store this morning to see if they had an adjustable water pressure gauge, but had no luck. Maybe I'll have time to check for one in Tuscaloosa when I go up there to pick up Carolyn.

I left the hardware store and went to HEB to pick up a few groceries. They were really busy, so I kept my purchases to a minimum. It seems everywhere I go here I see people that I knew from when we lived here. Today was no different, as I saw five different people that I was acquainted with. It's nice to see and talk to people that I know from the past. When we go to my hometown of Ocala, Florida, I never see anyone I knew from when we lived there, other than relatives. Of course, we moved away from Ocala in 1980, so who knows what happened to all the people I used to know there.

When I returned home, it was time to take care of some housekeeping chores. Dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming took about 45 minutes. Then I did a light pressing of the clothes I will be wearing to work next week so I won't look thrown away. After the vacuuming, it was time to clean the vacuum cleaner out, so I used the air compressor to blow out the filter on the vacuum cleaner. It's good to go for a couple of weeks.

All the housekeeping made me tired, so I watched some golf on television. By the time I stopped watching golf, I was getting bored, and decided to take a ride down to Matagorda and the beach. They have been building a new bridge over the Intra Coastal Waterway for the past three years, and finally got it finished. It sure makes the drive down to the beach a lot easier. Before the new bridge was built, a swing bridge was used to allow boats and barges to go up and down the Waterway. Waits were long and the old swing bridge was rough. This new bridge is much better, and although you might not be able to tell it, there is a great view from the top. I can see where the area might really take off from a development standpoint.

The beach area was busy, as might be expected on a weekend. People were fishing, swimming, wading, walking, picnicking, and riding horses. The temperature was about ten degrees cooler there, compared to being in town. This is a great recreation resource for the area.

By the time I got back home, I was ready to settle in for the evening. A little television, some reading, a little surfing on the net..... Not a bad weekend. Now, if Carolyn was here.....

Good night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Matagorda, Texas: Where Texas History Began

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Low Water Pressure

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 77 degrees, high 96 degrees, mostly clear skies

I slept in a little while this morning, and it was 0630 hours before I got up. Sure felt good to get a little extra sleep. I hope I'm starting to get used to the trains, because they didn't seem to bother me as much last night.

I took a long walk this morning, then decided to do the laundry. On the way over to the laundry, I stopped at our dentist's office and made an appointment for my six months checkup. Before going on to the laundry, I made another stop at the old Bay City train depot and took a couple of pictures of the train depot and a caboose. This depot was built in 1905 and was used for many years. It has been designated as a Texas historical site and belongs to the city. There does not appear to be anything happening to the building to capitalize on it's history or unique construction. That's a shame, because this area needs all the boosting it can get.

Located in front of the depot in the middle of the street is a caboose that was given to the city. The caboose seems to be in good condition, but again, this appears to be a lost opportunity to boost tourism for the city.

I finally arrived at the laundry and got my clothes in the machines. About an hour later, I was finished. On my way home, I stopped at McDonald's and had a small hamburger for lunch. Then I went home and put everything up. By then, it was time for some meditation, which has been lacking since I went back to work. Oh, well. I guess I can put up with no meditation for a few weeks. This won't last forever.

Once my meditation was finished, I decided to tackle another project. Most people who live in RVs have a problem with their water pressure at one time or another. The water lines in the RVs are only rated for about 50 psi, and we are advised to use a water pressure reducer so the pressure doesn't damage the water lines. The problem with the reducers is that they usually reduce the pressure so much that the water hardly runs. In an attempt to have water pressure that is more dependable, I have been looking for an adjustable water pressure gauge that I could install on the water faucet in place of the reducer. Then I could adjust the water pressure to 40-50 psi and have pressure that was adequate and consistent. I have been looking in this area for what I need, but haven't found it. I decided to go to Rosenberg, where Home Depot and Lowe's are located to see if they had what I needed. No luck, and I even tried some hardware stores along the way. I'll keep looking for what I need, because it sure is hard to wash my hair with the pressure so low. And I don't have much hair left to wash.

Late in the afternoon, I went over to Lori's house and visited with her and her family. School started again this week, and they were all tired. We decided to go out to eat, and ended up at Victoria's again. It wasn't bad, and I ate all of mine. Usually, I have some left over to bring home. Not today.

By the time I got home, it was time to call Carolyn and check in with her. Everything's fine in Tuscaloosa, except that Thomas went to visit his dad this weekend, which means it's quiet at Terri's house. Carolyn says it's nice to have the quiet for a change.

Good night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Rosenberg, Texas: The City That Works

Not all wander are lost.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 75 degrees, high 95 degrees, mostly clear skies

The weather forecast for the next few days shows the temperatures moderating a little. As in the high being about 95 degrees versus 97 degrees, which we have been seeing on a daily basis. Granted, a couple degrees cooler is not much, but we'll take what we can get. After all, this is the gulf coast of Texas, where the only seasons are summer and not quite summer. I can remember years when we were seeing 90 degrees in December. Many times I wore short pants on Christmas Day. Any cooling is welcomed.

My background check at work went faster than expected, and I received my security clearance approval today. That's at least a week faster than I expected, and it means I do not have to be escorted. Freedom! Actually, being escorted was not bad. My escorts were very understanding, because we all go through that sooner or later in this business we're in.

Even though I did not have my security clearance until today, I spent my time getting to know all the people involved and what is going on with the project
to date. It looks like there has been some good work done so far, and I don't have any doubts about us having a successful project. The people involved are first rate, and the facility has a culture of teamwork and ownership which has been developed over a period of about 15 years.

I talked to Carolyn tonight, and she said that they are continuing to get rain in Tuscaloosa. It's too bad we can't ship some of that rain down here. We talked a little about when I will go pick her up, but it's still too early to make that decision. As long as I can do it before the long hours begin, I will be happy. Hmmm, I wonder if tomorrow would work?

Good night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's State - Connecticut: The Constitution State

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Training Finished

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 80 degrees, high 95 degrees, mostly clear skies

I finished my training and orientation late this afternoon at the new job. I'm still waiting for my security clearance to come through, and that may take a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I can start doing what I was brought in to do. It will require having an escort whenever I'm inside the protected area. That's fine with me.

The hours on the job at this time amount to working ten hours a day for four days a week. That means we have three days a week off. In about four weeks, we will be going to an outage schedule, which means we will be working 12-13 hours a day for six or seven days a week for about five weeks. At the end of that time, I will probably be finished with what I was asked to do. There has been some discussion about me doing the same thing beginning in February or March of next year. I have not made a commitment on that yet.

Carolyn is still helping Terri in Tuscaloosa, and she reports everything is going well up there. We haven't decided when I will go pick her up, but it will have to be before I start the longer hours here. If I don't go get her by then, We'll have to wait until the job is over. I don't want to think about waiting that long. The obvious question that most people are probably asking is why not have Carolyn fly down here. The answer is that her vertigo will not allow her to fly. Believe me, she would rather fly than have me make that long drive up to Tuscaloosa and back down here in a three day period.

That catches me up on what's happening here.

On my way home from work, I stopped at the public library to check out some books. There was a time when it seemed that whoever picked out the new books for this library had the worse taste in reading that I have ever seen. I'm happy to say that the selection of new books is much more to my liking, and I was able to check out the new novel Wicked Prey by John Sandford. They have several other new books that I plan to borrow before we leave here.

I went for my daily walk this evening, and the weather was not too hot. There was a nice breeze with a cloud that hid the sun. It's amazing how much cooler it feels when there's a breeze or cloud.

Good night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Atlanta, Georgia: Gate City Of The South

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Irritating Bugs

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 78 degrees, high 95 degrees, scattered showers in the afternoon

We have not lived in this area for several years, and I had forgotten how bad the bugs were. Especially early in the morning when driving. The last two mornings, I have had to use the windshield washer on the truck to clean the bugs off the windshield when driving to work. The bugs are worse about two miles from the job site, when it seems like I drive through clouds of them.

The bugs are an irritation, while the wild hogs and deer that get on the roads here are a real hazard. The wild hogs are so numerous that there is a year-round hunting season on them. I have seen as many as 20 deer on the road at a time. There have been many bad wrecks because of them. Then there are the cattle that somehow get through their fences and stand on the road. Can you imagine the shock a driver would have when he collides with one of those things? If a driver is lucky after hitting any of these animals, he only suffers damage to his vehicle. It's still dark when I drive in to work, so I am extra careful while watching for anything that's standing on the road.

The day at work continued my training and orientation. I was able to get an escort to show me where my work space will be, and renewed acquaintances with people I had worked with in the past, both here and on other projects. I did hear that some of my former co-workers were either ill or had passed away, which was sad to hear. When we don't see people for awhile, it's usually nice to hear how they're doing. This negative news is not what I'm looking for. Sometimes, we don't realize that people are getting older, with everything that comes with it. I don't feel like I'm getting older. What happened to these people when I wasn't looking?

Good night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Hazelton, Pennsylvania: The Power City

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day Back At Work

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 79 degrees, high 96 degrees, mostly clear skies

The alarm on the clock went off on schedule this morning, waking me for my first day of paid work since June of 2007. Paid is the operative word here, since I have been busy doing work that I didn't get paid for. Maybe it's my imagination, but this paid work seems easier than what I was doing and not getting paid for it. We'll see how I feel about it when I start putting in those 13 hour days. It looks like this little job will last 8-10 weeks.

As soon as I entered the work place, I started seeing people I knew and had worked with before. I'm sure this is going to continue. This first day was composed of training and orientation, with a little more training scheduled for short times on Tuesday and Wednesday. The place I'm working requires a security background check, so it may be a few days before I can go out and work by myself. In the meantime, I'm sure there will be plenty for me to do.

The first day ended at 1730 hours, and it was after 1800 hours before I got home. I had some supper, then changed my clothes and went for what used to be my morning walk. Some adjustment is in order since I can't quite get up early enough to go walk and then get ready for work in the morning. It was hot, but there was a nice breeze that helped with cooling. When I arrived back at home, I called Carolyn and caught her up on the first day. She says everything is going well in Tuscaloosa, and Terri and Thomas are doing fine.

Good night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Elgin, Texas: Sausage Capital Of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

And The Rain Came

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 78 degrees, high 97 degrees, heavy rain showers in the afternoon

I decided to try to help these folks here with their dry weather. The best way I know to help them is to wash the RV or truck. It was the RV's turn today. About three hours after I finished washing the RV, heavy showers passed through the area. I looked at the weather radar, and was surprised to find that this rain came from a little cloud that was local in nature. Looking at the rest of the state, it appeared that this was the only rain occurring. How about that? Am I good or what?

Since I will be reporting to the temporary job tomorrow, I spent a little time today making sure everything was ready. Clothes were taken out of storage because I had been wearing nothing but causal clothes for the last two years. Clothes like t-shirts, shorts, jeans, etc. Everything that needed it was pressed, and shoes were cleaned up. Paperwork was put in order. I think I'm ready to go.

Late in the afternoon, my brother Terrell and I went to play golf, and the quality of play left a lot to be desired. I guess that's to be understood, since today was only the third time I have played this year. Looking on the bright side, I was able to spend some time with Terrell. If I really stretch the good things, I could say I lightened the load on the RV because I came away from the golf course with less golf balls than when I arrived.

Good night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's State - Arkansas: The Natural State

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Luch With Julian And Zoe

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 75 degrees, high 97 degrees, mostly clear skies

When we were parked in Coker, at one time our next door neighbor was Billy Plowman. We received the sad news today that Billy passed away yesterday after a hospital stay with heart problems. Billy was a simple man that we considered a friend. Unfortunately, he had friends that took advantage of him for a long time. I hope those friends were there to give him comfort when the time came, but I have a feeling they weren't. We'll miss him.

Remember in last night's post that I washed the truck? Remember what usually happens when I clean up the outside of the truck or RV? It usually rains, and not long afterward. Well, yesterday was no exception. About 2200 hours, a heavy shower went through the area. As dry as it has been here, I'm sure my little contribution was appreciated. Next on the agenda is to wash the RV. That should bring on a little more rain.

I couldn't find the sewer hose coupling I needed so I could empty the gray water tanks, so I went over to Lake Jackson this morning and picked one up. That's a long way to go for one part, but I didn't have a choice. The coupling was installed this afternoon, and now I can dump waste water.

When we're in Bay City, we try to go to K-2, a popular restaurant. I invited Lori's family to go, but Lori was working at her school, getting her classroom ready for the start of school on Monday. However, Julian and Zoe went with me, and we had a great time. It's amazing how quickly our grandchildren are growing up. Julian is a senior in high school, Thomas is in the eighth grade, and Zoe is in the seventh grade. I can remember when they were still in diapers.

Good Night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Chattanooga, Tennessee: River City

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Larry And Larry

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 78 degrees, high 97 degrees, partly cloudy skies, humidity 44%, heat index 107 degrees

We only had about eight trains go through here last night. Let's see, that's an average of one every hour. And the economy is slow. Think how many would have gone through if the economy was good. What gets me is that the noise wasn't that bad for all of them but two. Those two seemed to be trying to blow everyone out of their beds with the train horns. They almost succeeded with me. Maybe I'll be used to the noise by the time I leave here.

When I'm by myself, I tend to try to stay as busy as possible. Today was not an exception. I was out doing my morning walk well before daylight, in part due to the trains waking me up. After the walk and a cool down, I removed the fifth wheel hitch from the truck and placed it in the basement. Then I took everything but my tools out of the truck tool box and stored those items. Of course, I was taking breaks as I tried to not get too hot.

Installing the sewer hose was next on my list of things to do. I got the two lengths of hose out and prepared to join them together with a coupling. Wait a minute, where's the coupling? I searched the basement, but couldn't find it. I needed to go to the WalMart Mall for some groceries, so I decided to pick up another coupling while there. At least that was the plan. The Mall did not have any couplings, so I went ahead and bought the other things I needed, then stopped on the way home at another store that usually has a good selection of RV parts. I said usually, because today, they were out of couplings. What is this, a shortage of couplings? Do we need to get the government involved to solve this problem? I still have plenty of room in my holding tanks, so I'll work on getting a coupling tomorrow.

We have had problems with ants while in this area before, so I took the precautions that I normally take when faced with that issue. Vaseline was placed on all the connections to the RV (water hose, power cord, satellite dish cable). Then I sprayed ant spray around the landing gear. Those simple precautions seem to do a good job of keeping ants out of the RV.

By this time, it's getting close to lunch, so I stopped and had a sandwich and cooled off some. Then my brother Terrell called and said they were back from Lake Jackson if I wanted to go to their house for a visit. We had a nice visit for a couple of hours, and I saw a couple of former co-workers, both with the first name of Larry, that we call Big D and Buddy Ro to distinguish them from each other. Great guys, and it was good to see them.

When I got back to the RV, a little rest was in order, so I did a little meditation. By the time I recovered from the meditation, I felt like it was time to clean up the outside of the truck. With a little water and some elbow grease, the truck looks decent for a change.

It was a busy day, but I accomplished a lot. More to do tomorrow, and I might be able to play golf on Sunday.

Good Night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Gainesville, Georgia: Queen City Of The Mountains

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back In Bay City, Texas

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 79 degrees in Jennings, Louisiana, high 97 degrees in Bay City, Texas, mostly clear skies in Bay City

I arrived in Bay City about 1300 hours this afternoon. Pulling into the RV park where I will be staying, I couldn't find anyone to tell me where to park the RV. I called the phone number listed on the sign in front of the park, and the lady who answered said pick any spot I wanted. Since it was so hot (97 degrees, but felt like 109), I decided a little shade might be good to have. Driving down through the park, I saw several sites that had potential. The only problem was that all of them had cars parked in them. No RVs, just cars. Some people were outside working on an RV, so I stopped and asked them who the cars belonged to. I was in luck, because all of the cars belonged to the men. They offered to move as many cars as needed so I could park. Ten minutes later, I had the RV parked and was putting my landing gear down.

With the interruptions that took place and cooling off from time to time, it was 1500 hours before I was completed with setting everything up, including the satellite dish. Then it was time to fill out a registration card and get some help trimming some low hanging branches so the roof won't be damaged by high winds. By then, I was tuckered out, and it was time to head inside to take a shower and cool off. After a half hour or so, I called my brother Terrell to let him know I was in town. We'll get together later. Next on the agenda was to go see my daughter Lori and her family for a nice visit. Lori's husband John arrived home about 1800 hours and we went to Victoria's Mexican Restaurant for supper. The food was good and we had a good conversation.

When I talked to Carolyn tonight, she said a bad thunderstorm went through Tuscaloosa and Northport late this afternoon. I'm sure she was glad she was in something a little more substantial than the RV when that happened.

I had been hearing about how dry it was here this summer. I didn't realize how bad it actually is. All the ponds are dried up, grass in the fields is dead, yards have turned brown, crops died.... I remember several times that it was dry when we lived here, but this is worse than anything I saw before. Looks like I need to wash the truck and RV so these folks will get some rain. It's worked elsewhere.

A thought: If the proposed health care overhaul is such a good idea, why did Congress exempt themselves from it?

Good Night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Missouri City, Texas: The Show Me City

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

On The Road To Texas

Jennings, Louisiana

Weather: low in Tuscaloosa, Alabama was 74 degrees, high in Jennings, Louisiana was 95 degrees

Normally, when we are scheduled to travel, neither of us sleeps very well the night before leaving. Last night was an exception to that. Both of us slept well, and the reason I did may have been because I was so tired from lack of sleep the previous night. Whatever it was, I felt better when I woke this morning.

Getting ready to leave this morning was not difficult because we did most of the preps yesterday. By the time the gate opened at the park 0700 hours, we were ready to leave. We arrived at the place where Terri was picking up Carolyn a little early. Once she arrived, the transfer of Carolyn's clothes and other things to Terri's car was completed. I hugged both of them and told them I loved them and pulled out on the road at 0815 hours.

Traffic through Northport and Tuscaloosa seemed to be very light, and I had no delays because of the traffic lights. Fifteen minutes later I was pulling onto I-59 headed southwest. The only delay I ran into was when I stopped for a break and to fill up with diesel in South Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The first pump I pulled up to wouldn't give me any fuel. I told the cashier, and she told me to use the pump on the other side of the one I was trying to get fuel from. No luck, it didn't work either. At that point, I asked the cashier if she was sure there was fuel in the tanks. She said sure there is, back up a little bit and use that other pump. So, I tried the third pump - no luck. At that point, the cashier ran an inventory on her tank levels, and she found that two tanks were empty.

Well, now the cashier said pull over to pump 17, it has plenty of fuel. I asked her if I could run my credit card through that pump? She said don't worry, I'll turn the pump on. I pulled over to pump 17 and tried to pump fuel. No luck. I picked up the phone and called inside and asked the lady if she had turned the pump on. Now, this is when I started getting a little torqued up. The cashier said you will have to prepay before I can turn the pump on. What a fiasco!!

Eventually, I managed to fill the truck up, and I made a mental note to never stop there again. I guess I should be glad that was the worse thing that happened today.

Eventually, I got tired and stopped for the night in a park just outside Jennings, Louisiana. Very basic park, but at least I am well over halfway to Bay City, Texas. Tomorrow's drive should be fairly easy.

It felt strange to be traveling without my sweetheart and partner. I think the RV was probably in shock.

Good Night, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Jennings, Louisiana: The Cradle Of Louisiana Oil

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Chinese Restaurant

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 74 degrees, high 89 degrees, partly to mostly cloudy, showers late in the afternoon. Muggy, hot weather.

Our major task today was to move from the site where we have been for the past 12 nights to another one for the last night that we will be here. I will start driving to Texas in the morning, and if everything goes well, should be in Bay City Thursday afternoon.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Carolyn will be staying here for a period of time that is yet to be determined. She will be helping Terri with her stuff. This situation is not something that we're happy about, but Terri needs the help and has no one else to turn to. The old saying that your children are always your children, no matter what their age is, certainly rings true for us.

I had several things to do in order to be ready to leave tomorrow, and the most important was to dump our holding tanks. Our black water tank was about at the limits of it's capacity, and we had plenty of water in the two gray water tanks to do a good flush of the hose after the black water was out. While we were in the process of dumping the tanks and moving to the new site, I had clothes washing so that when I leave, everything will be clean.

Once everything was done that we could do today, it was time for a little meditation, and it was certainly at a good time. I didn't sleep very well last night, thinking about leaving my sweetheart here. The meditation helped me get some much needed rest. Then we started getting Carolyn's stuff together for her stay here. We took it over to Terri's and put it away, which will save time in the morning. An hour or so was spent visiting with Terri and Thomas, and we decided to all go to a new Chinese restaurant in Northport. All of us agreed that the food was better than we expected, and we have found a new place to go eat.

Thomas loves seafood, especially shell fish of any kind, so he had oysters, clams, mussels, crab, and even some shrimp. I don't know where he puts the food. I try to remember he's a growing boy. Thirteen years old and wearing size 11 1/2 shoes. By the time he reaches 15 years old, he'll probably be wearing size 14 shoes or bigger. And this is a kid that would never be classified as overweight.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Yachats, Oregon: Gem Of The Oregon Coast

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rain Sprinkles

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 73 degrees, high 80 degrees, windy, cloudy, light sprinkles

The rain that was forecast for the day turned out to be light sprinkles - at least to this point. Looking at the weather radar, it appears that we are west of the bad weather, which is fine with us.

We continued our preps for me to leave here on Wednesday. I had removed the fifth wheel hitch last week when we bought the new mattress, and put it back on the truck today. The slide-out roofs were blown off with our leaf blower to keep anything on the roof from getting inside the RV when the slide-outs are pulled in. Carolyn started putting things away inside the RV. There were other things we did that are part of our check-off list we use to make sure everything is done before moving.

Originally, I had planned to leave tomorrow, so the rent was only paid up through tonight. I stopped at the gate house and talked to the attendants about staying another night. No problem, except that the site we're in now is already rented for tomorrow night. That means we'll make a move around the corner to another site for one night in the morning. When we make the move, I'll dump the holding tanks. That will save a little time when leaving on Wednesday morning.

We went into town and helped Terri with more of her business for about four hours. Then we came home to continue on with our preps for moving. After supper, Carolyn realized The Closer was on tonight, so we watched the last two episodes of the season. As I wrote before, we like the show, but had lost track of it with all that's been going on.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Spokane, Washington: The Can

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Little Detour On The Retirement Road

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 73 degrees, high 90 degrees, mostly clear skies

The weather forecast is for rain tomorrow and Tuesday, arising out of a tropical disturbance that will come out of the Gulf of Mexico tonight. At this time, it looks as though there will be less rain on Wednesday and Thursday. That's good, because I will be leaving here on Wednesday, on my way back to Texas. Carolyn will be staying here for a couple of weeks helping Terri with her business.

The reason I'm going back to Texas at this time? This last March when we were in Bay City, Texas, visiting family and friends, an old friend named Bill that I worked with for a long time came by to see us. During the visit, he asked me if I would be interested in working with him in the fall. The job would be for about 8-10 weeks on a project he is involved in at the place I retired from. The idea was intriguing to me because I still have a lot of friends and former co-workers in the area. In addition, I have the greatest of respect for Bill and the other people on the project. I took a few days to think about it and talk it over with Carolyn, and we decided that it might be fun to stay in that area for that time. Our daughter Lori and her family live there, so it would give us some quality time with them. Also, one of my brothers and his wife live there. I might even get a chance to play golf with him a couple of times. And, there are some places down there that will make good blog subjects.

Does this mean that retirement is over for me? Not at all. I love spending time traveling, staying up late and getting up when I want, visiting family, and doing all the things I never had time for in the past. This is just a little detour for a couple of months, and then back to the daily grind of doing what I want every day.

Since Carolyn is staying here for a few weeks, she has been working on cleaning the RV to her exacting standards. I only hope I don't disappoint her with how well I keep it when she comes to join me. While she was doing her thing today, I was outside doing the things that have to be done occasionally. Checking the water level on the batteries on the truck and RV, topping off the air in the tires, and several other items. Then I went inside and helped Carolyn finish up with what she wanted to do today. We'll do more tomorrow, and our list is fairly long.

Once our work for the day was finished, we sat down and watched the PGA golf championship. Tiger Woods looked like a lock to win, but an unknown from South Korea outplayed Tiger and won going away.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Fowler, Colorado: A Great Place To Grow

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

WalMart Mall Trip

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 90 degrees, clear skies early, then partly cloudy skies

Maybe it's my imagination and maybe it's just wishful thinking, but there seemed to be a slight difference in the air when I went for my walk this morning. The difference I'm talking about is what you feel when the hot weather has reached it's peak and has started to moderate. As in maybe cooler weather is not too far away. We can only hope. The fall season is our favorite time of the year, and although the first day of fall is still about five weeks away, the anticipation is starting to build. Speaking of the fall season, college football starts in less than three weeks. Yes!!

The big event of the day for us was actually a non-event: We didn't do anything on Terri's stuff, for just about the first time in more than three weeks. And we don't have any plans to do anything on it tomorrow.

It was time to buy some groceries, so we went to my favorite place, the WalMart Mall. I was a little hesitant to go today because the store is usually busy on the weekend. Not today, and the cashier that checked us out was very good. She scanned and bagged the items as fast as I could unload the cart. The cold stuff was all together, breakable stuff was double bagged, and like items were bagged together. You would think that would be an automatic thing, but apparently not.

When we got back home, we watched the PGA golf championship on TV. Tiger Woods still leads, but his lead was cut in half. Tomorrow should be interesting.

In the next few days, I have news to pass on to everyone about the next couple of months and what we will be doing.

More later, be safe.

Today's State - Florida: The Sunshine State

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mail Day

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 92 degrees, mostly clear skies

The new mattress seems to have been a good choice, at least for now. We slept well last night. Now to see if we think the same after a few more nights.

We picked up our mail from the post office this morning. No surprises in the package when we opened it, which is the way we like it. The next delivery will be in about two weeks. We don't worry about any bills being late because everything is paid via the Internet or automatic bank payments. Those conveniences sure make it easier to travel.

After picking up the mail, we visited our friends Ruth and Marsha in Coker. Marsha's husband Chuck was working, and we missed seeing him. Maybe next time, Chuck. We had a great visit, as always. These are good people, and we feel fortunate to count them as friends.

Before coming home, we stopped and helped Terri with more of her stuff. To our relief, the pace that we have been keeping for the last three weeks has slowed down. There is still plenty to do, but for now, we appreciate the slower pace.

The rest of the afternoon was at home watching the PGA golf championship. A couple of times, I stopped and helped our neighbor with his air conditioner. Originally, he thought the thermostat was bad. The thermostat was replaced and the air conditioner was still broken. I loaned Rick our electrical tester and he found that the starting capacitor was burned out. He went to town and bought another one for $30.00, installed it, turned the air conditioner on, and had cool air again. It's too bad the mind set was that the thermostat had to be the problem. Further testing sooner might have meant not having to suffer in the heat.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Denver, CO: Gateway To The Rockies

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Mattress In RV

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

The first thing to do today was get the old mattress out of the RV and take it to the Salvation Army. When I say old, I meant that it was getting the mattress out that we no longer have a use for. It is still usable, and maybe someone less fortunate can use it.

Before I went to the mattress place to pick up the new mattress, we stopped at Terri's apartment to help her with some more of her stuff. Part of that help involved me doing some errand running to several places. Then we did some work at the apartment and visited a little. The last stop before heading home was at the mattress store to get the new mattress.

When we arrived home, I brought the new mattress in with a lot of straining and huffing and puffing. Once I got it inside, Carolyn helped me get the mattress placed on the bed frame. Then we put linens on the new mattress and it was ready to sleep on. This new mattress is so much easier to make up. Why didn't we do this sooner?

I talked to Lori, our daughter who lives in Texas, this afternoon. They are back from vacation in Florida and had a great time. She is a science teacher, and is starting ready to go back to school in a little more than a week. She sounds a little like the kids, who say vacation wasn't long enough. Of course, she has many more responsibilities than the kids do. In addition, she took some classes this summer, so her time away from school wasn't that long.

After supper tonight, we watched a French language film that was sub-titled in English. Normally, I don't care to watch French movies, and I like sub-titled movies even less. For some reason this particular movie ( A Very Long Engagement), about a French girl's belief that her fiancee' was still alive after World War I, even though she received an official notice that he had died. The movie told of her search for her sweetheart, and all the dead ends and road blocks she encountered along the way. The end was a little different from what might be expected, but still not a bad ending. If you get a chance to see the movie, it's worth the effort. If I watched it, that's saying something.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Nashville, Arkansas: Peach Capital

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Mattress

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 73 degrees, high 91 degrees, partly cloudy, showers late in the afternoon

In a post earlier this week, I mentioned the difficulty we have in changing the bed linens on the king size bed that came with the RV. The king size mattress is stuffed into a space that was realistically engineered for a queen size mattress. The big mattress takes up all the available room, leaving hardly any room to make the bed up. Today, we went in to town with the goal of finding a new mattress. At the third place we went to, we found the mattress we were looking for at the price we wanted to pay, and bought it. Since the weather looked a little like rain and we hadn't taken out the other mattress, we paid for the new one and will go back tomorrow to pick it up. Putting another mattress in that better fits the space will take care of a major gripe we have both had, since we bought the new RV.

I had to remove the fifth wheel hitch from the truck so the mattresses will fit. While I was out doing that, our next door neighbor Rick came outside. We talked for a few minutes, and I commiserated with him about his broke air conditioner, especially during this hot, muggy weather. We had an air conditioner break while we were on the Oregon coast in 2004, and it happened during the two hot days a summer that the area gets. I offered to loan Rick our RV repair book so he could see if any of his symptoms are listed and what the possible causes and repairs might be. He has a new thermostat being mailed to him, but maybe the symptoms fit something else that may be the problem. I hope the manual helps.

There are so many ways for people to communicate today that it almost boggles the mind. E-mail, instant chat, cell phones, texting, Twitter, Facebook, the old fashioned land lines, blogs, fax...... I can remember when the US mail or a telephone call was the only way to communicate. I guess I'm starting to embrace all of it, because today I finally started reading Facebook pages. I look at it as another way to keep up with family and friends. Does that mean I'm ready to start a Facebook page? Not yet, but you never know what will happen.

More later, be safe.

Today's State - Georgia: The Peach State

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Park Ranger

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 73 degrees, high 89 degrees, rain showers late in the afternoon and into the night

Light rain showers came into the area this afternoon, and the rain is still falling as I write this post. This is the kind of rain that is so good to the earth. Soft rain, no running water because it is all soaking in, and no wind. This is the kind of rain that farmers pray for.

We finished our laundry this morning and changed the bed linens. The bed is so big it takes both of us to change the sheets. The RV came with a king size mattress, and we wish now that it was a queen size. I like the queen size better.

When I took the laundry over to wash it, I met the Park Ranger. She has several other facilities in addition to the campground here that she is responsible for, but this one is her favorite. She listed all the reasons she likes this campground, and those reasons were similar to our reasons for liking it. The COE has started some renovations in the park, and she was here today checking the progress of the work, as well as following up on the contract workers who do the bathroom cleaning. I noticed she had the workers re-doing some of the cleaning they had done earlier today. I like that. The company that does the cleaning seems to have problems keeping a stable work force. As a result, they're always training someone how to do the work.

The number of campers in the park seems to be dwindling more every day. There are only about six sites occupied now. I have a feeling this weekend will also be slow and quite. The busiest times here appear to be around holidays and during football season, especially when the University of Alabama has a home game. We'll be gone before all that occurs.

The neighbor next door was gone for most of the day, which was a break for him with his air conditioner not working. I'm sure he's thankful for the rain because it has helped keep the temperature down.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Waco, Texas: The Buckle Of The Bible Belt

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Good Buy At Sam's

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 91 degrees, partly cloudy skies - it was a sweltering day

Today was laundry day, and we managed to get two loads completed. The campground only has one washer and one washer, so it takes time to get done. Plus, if anyone else wants to use the machines, we have to share them. We have one more load to do, and we'll get it done tomorrow.

I had several errands to take care of in town. Carolyn decided to go visit Terri while I was busy running around town. My first stop was at K-Mart, and then the post office. From the post office, I went clear across town to Sam's to get the tires on the truck rotated and balanced. While I was waiting on the truck at Sam's, I meandered through the store and found a heck of a buy on men's shirts. To give a couple of examples, I bought an Izod golf shirt with a pocket for $3.50, and a Van Heusen shirt for $4.00. Outstanding! I guess you can tell that I can get a little excited about a good buy.

My last stop was at the library to return some videos and books. Making a quick tour through the library, I found another book and three videos. I went by to pick up Carolyn, and to visit with Terri and Thomas a little. Thomas starts back to school tomorrow, and he didn't look very happy. Once he gets back into the routine and starts seeing his buddies again, he'll be okay.

Rick, the campground volunteer that I wrote about a couple of days ago must be having problems with his air conditioner. I saw him up on the roof of his RV earlier today, and now his windows and door are open. That's tough in this muggy, hot weather. I hope he gets it repaired soon. I'll ask him if there's anything I can do to help tomorrow.

More later, be safe.

Today's State - Alabama: The Heart Of Dixie

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bare Hands

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 89 degrees, partly cloudy skies

We took a day off to rest today, and it was needed with everything we've been doing with Terri's stuff. Back to the grind tomorrow.

The campground was full for the weekend, but started emptying out this morning. The campers that were here this weekend were quiet, almost as though the kids were mourning the end of their summer vacation. Late in the afternoon I took a walk around, and there are only about eight campsites occupied. Some of those campers are leaving tomorrow, so it should really be quiet the rest of the week.

One thing I've noticed about a lot of the weekend campers is that they don't use any protective gloves when they dump their holding tanks. They handle their sewer hoses with bare hands, and most of them don't even wash their hands when they finish dumping and putting the hoses away. I guess they don't realize what gets on their sewer hoses when they use them. It makes me want to enlighten them, but I don't say anything because you never know how they will take a suggestion.

This afternoon, we watched Tiger Woods his fifth golf tournament of the year and the 70th of his career. He entered today's round three shots back and won by four shots. This guy is unreal.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Childersburg, Alabama: Jim Nabors’ Hometown

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Bluebird Man

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 92 degrees, partly cloudy

We finished working on Terri's stuff that we could do at the RV for the time being. There may be more later, but it feels good to finish what we have. Someday, I hope to be able to relate what has been going on. For now, we have to respect Terri's privacy. If I'm ever able to write about what has been going on, I think it might be a little surprising for most people. Rest assured that none of this is related to illegal actions.

When we finished with Terri's stuff, it was close to lunch time. Since we hadn't eaten, we decided to stop at McDonald's on the way to Terri's apartment and have lunch. We didn't want much, so a small hamburger was perfect. Then we went to Terri's place and visited with her and Thomas for a couple of hours.

After leaving Terri's, we stopped at the WalMart Mall to pick up a few groceries. The Mall was busy with parents and kids buying all sorts of clothes and school supplies in preparation for school to start this next week. The parents seem to be happy with school starting back, but the kids are less than enthusiastic.

Arriving back home, I noticed that our next door neighbor was out, so we introduced ourselves. His name is Rick, and he serves as a volunteer for the COE. He does a little this and a little that, but primarily takes acre of about 150 bluebird nesting boxes located in the campground and along the river. He also performs a census count of the bluebirds and other birds, as well as deer, armadillos, raccoons, wild hogs and other wildlife in the park. he told us the bluebird population in the park was about 650 birds, which was a surprise to us. He traps nuisance animals, such as wild hogs, and relocates them. Rick has been here about eight years, and lives here year round, even when the park is closed in the winter. I wonder how many people would like to be doing what he does?

I was out for a short walk after supper this evening, and was approached by a man who asked if I was Dr. Howell. I told him no and what my last name was. He said I was the spitting image of Dr. Howell. I told him thanks, I think. The man said you look like somebody I know besides Dr. Howell, but I can't recall who it is right now. I said is it Jimmy Carter, and he responded, Yes! That's who I was trying to think of. Many times over the years I have been approached by people who told me I looked like Jimmy Carter. I consider that an honor because I have always felt that Mr. Carter was a good man. I never cared much for his politics, and thought he was probably the worse president we have had until the recent past. Still, that does not detract from the good things that Mr. Carter has done in his life time.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - West, Texas: Friendly City Of Progress!

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 70 degrees, high 90 degrees, partly cloudy skies

One of the things we like about the RV life is the ease of housekeeping. At least it's usually easy. The space to take care of is relatively small, there is a place for everything, and most of the time, everything is in it's place. We have found that the longer we're parked in one place, the more things can get out of their normal places. Today, we both noticed that the clutter was more than we are used to, and it was time to do something about it. Working together, we cleared up the loose stuff, placed everything back in it's proper place, and filed some paperwork we had been working on. It seems that the stuff we're helping Terri with has dominated our lives the last couple weeks.

Once our housework was finished, we worked on Terri's stuff some more. See what I mean about this dominating our lives? This time, however, we kept control of the clutter. Tonight, the RV looks like what we're used to. Everything is in it's place, and the RV feels right.

We had leftover pizza for supper. For some reason, both of us like leftover pizza. After we warm it up in the microwave oven and add a movie to watch that we haven't seen, we consider the evening a good one. So, we watched another movie that we hadn't seen before. It was a nice evening with my wife.

This is the last weekend before school starts for this area. The campground is busy with families taking advantage of the last weekend to enjoy the outdoors. I like to see families having fun together in the outdoors. Fishing, riding bicycles, hiking, swimming, playing basketball...... No computers, no cell phones, no television. Kids actually get to see what real play is like.

Alabama has a tax free weekend the weekend before school starts that people can save the taxes on for clothes, school supplies, and several other items. As you might expect, the stores are very busy at this time of year, so we try to stay away from them at this time. We didn't even leave the campground today, and I don't think we missed a thing by staying here. I love the peace and calm.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Tacoma, Washington: T-Town

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Senior Pass

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 71 degrees, high 90 degrees, mostly clear skies

We spent most of the morning working on Terri's stuff at home. Then we went into Tuscaloosa about lunch time to return some books to the library. While we were at the library, I picked up some books and another movie.

When we stay at COE parks, we receive a discount of 50% off the rates because of the Golden Access card Carolyn received several years ago when we were in New Mexico. The card is good in several different federal agencies which have camping facilities. Those agencies include the COE, TVA, Forest Service, National Parks, and others. Some states also give the discount to holders of the card. I have been looking for a place to buy a card for myself for awhile, and today we went over to Brent to the Oakmulgee National Forest office in Brent. They sold me a senior pass for $10.00 that is good for life, and can be used in all the agencies listed above. Can you imagine the money we have saved over the years on camping? And now we have more flexibility since I have a card. That means if Carolyn doesn't want to do something, I can still do it and save money. As the kids say, sweet.

It struck me on the way back from Brent that I purchased the senior pass in the town where my father was born in 1917. I don't know what the significance of this means, but it must mean something.

We stopped at Sam's Club on the way back and picked up a pizza for supper and a couple of other items. Since we picked up a new movie, we had a movie and pizza tonight. Nice evening with good company.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Brent, Alabama: Building Opportunities

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Not Quite So Busy

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 73 degrees, high 89 degrees, mostly cloudy skies

During my walk this morning, I stopped at the gate house and had a nice conversation with one of the park hosts. Mike has been doing this type of work for a couple of years. He and his wife own a home about 100 miles south of here. He would like to sell the house and go to full time RVing, but his wife does not have the same zeal about it that he does. I advised him not to push her about it because most women will dig their heels in if they're pushed. He is thankful for the times they are able to get out and travel, and says his wife seems to enjoy it, too. He has asked me a lot of questions about Texas, so they may stay there this next winter.

We worked on Terri's stuff again today, but were able to do it all at home. The truck was never started up today, and I didn't complain. It seems as though I have been on the road all the time since we came back to Tuscaloosa. The work on Terri's stuff didn't take all day, which gave me time for some meditation. This afternoon, I did some cleaning on the outside of the RV, concentrating primarily on getting the bugs off the front end. If I have time tomorrow, I'll work on it more.

Carolyn prepared supper at home, which consisted of chicken strips with salad. Very tasty food. Dessert was pecan pie. Ummm, ummm, ummm, good! After supper we watched a movie that I checked out from the library. Tonight, Carolyn is watching a couple of her favorite shows, Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters, International.

Today was a little more relaxed, and we're not as tired as we have been lately. I hope this trend continues.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Dallas, Texas: Live Large, Think Big

Not all who travel are lost.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

One Of The Things I Like About RVing

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 73 degrees, high 93 degrees, mostly clear skies

Surprise, surprise! I had to go back to Vestavia Hills today, and Carolyn went with me! The surprise is not that I had to go to Vestavia Hills, the surprise is that Carolyn went with me. It was nice to have some company on the drive. Especially company that means as much to me as she does.

The work continued on Terri's stuff, but we stopped early today. There are more long days to go, but we'll take a shorter one whenever we can. Carolyn and I decided to eat out tonight, since we weren't so tired. After talking it over, we decided to go to a Mexican restaurant a few miles away from the campground. I've been a little leery about trying Mexican restaurants in this area since our last time about eight months ago. The one we went to tonight was part of the chain we went to last, but this time was better. Maybe it was what we chose last time that turned us off. Tonight was a much better experience, and we enjoyed the meal. Is it as good as what we would expect to find in Texas? No, but then it's hard to find Mexican food outside Texas that is.

Late this evening, I was strolling around the campground when I walked up on two men fine tuning a satellite dish. Since I have a little experience, I stopped to see if I could help. They said no, that they had just finished up. As we continued talking, it occurred to me that this chance encounter with strangers was one of the things I like about RVing. We talked about all sorts of things and solved a few of them. At least to our satisfaction. By the time I moved on, I had been invited to stop back by anytime. If someone gets lonely while RVing, that condition can usually be fixed easily by just getting outside and talking to the first person that walks by. Or, even better, raise the hood on your truck and just wait for people to stop and see if you need any help.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Memphis, Tennessee: Barbecued Pork Capital Of The World

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Normal Life For Kids?

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 74 degrees, high 92 degrees, mostly clear skies

Our day started early, with me going back to Birmingham. My issues with Birmingham and the roads and traffic have been written about enough, so I won't go into that again. I was at my destination by 0820 hours, and then had another stop in Vestavia Hills. I was back in Tuscaloosa by 1230 hours, and stopped by the library to return some books and videos, as well as check out more. Then one more stop to take care of some insurance business and it was on the road back to the campground. Lunch was a little late because of being so busy.

After lunch, we continued working on Terri's stuff, and didn't finish until about 1900 hours. Another long day, but it was productive. At least I shouldn't have to go back to downtown Birmingham.

As I work on this post, Carolyn is watching Jon and Kate Plus 8. What a tragedy that their problems can't be worked out because the people who will be hurt in this are the children. One thing I have a problem with on this program is that they say they're raising their kids normally. How can it be normal to have cameras watching every move they make? How many normal kids take part in all the things these kids do, such as being on The Today Show and Oprah, all the neat vacations and places they go to, and on and on? It appears to me that these people are deluding themselves.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - West Pittston, Pennsylvania: The Garden Village

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bad Boating Accident

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 74 degrees, high 89 degrees, partly to mostly cloudy skies, showers in the afternoon

When I was taking my morning walk, I saw some wild hogs inside the COE park. This was the first time I had seen any hogs here, and knowing the damage they can do in a short time, I told the camp hosts. They were surprised, and said they would be notifying their district ranger so plans could be made to trap and remove the hogs.

The camp hosts told me about a bad accident that occurred on the river last night after it became dark. Two boats collided head-on with each other, with one person sustaining a severe head injury. Boats running at night are required to have running lights, and one of them did not. That's too bad, because this accident could have been avoided if they had followed the law and safe boating rules.

When we stay at a COE campground, we know that there are limits placed on how long we can stay. That limit is usually 14 days, but we were allowed to stay a few days longer when we were in Georgetown, Texas and I had to go to a funeral in South Carolina. Since our 14 days here would be finished this coming Thursday, I asked the camp hosts if they knew of a commercial campground that we might be able to stay in for a week or so. There are very few campgrounds in this area. Imagine my surprise when they said why not stay here, since business is so slow? I said that would be great, but I thought we were limited to 14 days in a 30 day period. The camp hosts said that is usually the case, but since business is so slow, they felt the district ranger would be agreeable to us staying longer, if we needed to.

As we were leaving the park about 1500 hours to go buy a few groceries, one of the camp hosts stopped us and said that the district ranger gave the okay for us to stay longer. Since we have not had any success getting a satellite signal, we asked if we could move to another site. No problem, so when we got back from the grocery store, we got the RV ready and moved to the dump where we emptied all our waste water tanks. Then it was on to our new site, where we parked the RV. I set up the satellite dish and got a strong signal. Life is good.

We did a few more chores today, but did not finish everything we wanted to. I guess the pace over the last ten days has tired us out more than we thought. At least we got enough finished that it will make the next week easier.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Euless, Texas: Tree City, USA

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Chore Day

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Weather: low 73 degrees, high 89 degrees, partly cloudy skies, showers late in the afternoon, hot and muggy

Heat index. What a benign sounding term. Basically, the heat index is an index developed by Robert Steadman. The index combines air temperature and relative humidity to determine the equivalent temperature. In other words, how hot it feels, compared to the actual temperature. The body cools itself by sweating, which evaporates and carries heat away from the body. When the relative humidity is high, the evaporation rate is reduced, so heat is removed from the body at a lower rate causing it to retain more heat than it would in dry air. The reason I brought the term up is that often the actual air temperature may not be as hot as it feels. Today is a good example of that. The air temperature was 89 degrees today, while the heat index was 100 degrees. Yuk!! Way too hot with this humidity. This information came from Wikipedia, and is more of the stuff that is probably useless to most people.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that the camp hosts were concerned about possible noise makers last night. All I can say is if there was any noise, I didn't hear it. I'm a light sleeper, waking at almost any sound out of the ordinary. If I didn't hear anything, it was quiet. Thank goodness, because we were very tired last night and we didn't need that aggravation.

I have a long list of chores we want to get done this weekend since we have been ignoring our work to help Terri. There was no way we would be able to finish all of the items today, but many of them were finished. We'll keep working on the chores tomorrow so when we're busy next week, it won't seem to overwhelm us.

First thing this morning I went to the post office to pick up our mail. We have it forwarded to us as needed when we're in a place long enough for it to catch up. Then I stopped and had the truck serviced since it was time for that. Next on the chore list was to do a little shopping at the WalMart Mall for some things we needed. The mall is a great help to us, since we can usually find everything we need there. Carolyn is not a big fan of the mall, but she understands why I use it. I think most people have a love/hate relationship with the WalMart Mall, and that's the way Carolyn approaches going there. She says they never have what she wants, and what they do have is moved around all time so it makes it difficult to find items. I, on the other hand, see the flaws she's talking about, but I really like the convenience of getting everything in one place. And the mall tends to have the lower prices. I wish more of their products were made in this country, but all stores sell merchandise from overseas.

Carolyn was busy doing her chores while I was gone. Sometimes when I write about how busy I've been, I neglect to mention that she is working away, doing all the things she can. So, don't think this is a one person show.

When I returned home, we had lunch and did some meditation for the first time in over a week. Ahhhh!! That felt so good. We have a lot to do, but we need to take care of ourselves. Then the chores continued. I dumped some shower water, cleaned the inside of the truck (how did it get so dirty?), and got rid of some trash that had accumulated. There were several little things we did, but that was the major stuff.

Tonight we watched a Harrison Ford movie, surfed the net, and did some reading. It was a good day, and now for some well earned rest.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Aberdeen, Washington: The Port Of Missing Men

Not all who wander are lost.