11-30-09 Monday (Conflicts)

Thanks to Facebook and reconnecting with friends, Jim started a part-time-temporary job at his friend Laura’s title company. It’s pretty exciting really. He’s been longing for something to keep him busy. Sure, family and friends volunteer to utilize him to clean, cut grass, repair this, repair that, but we all know that’s not fulfilling at all. Aside from making a wage, working is so much more sometimes. A perk of Jim working is me getting some alone time. AND at the end of today, maybe he’ll have some events to share with me – things I finally wasn’t at his side for.

Another side effect: Christmas music! Last year I barely listened to it. This year, so far when Christmas music has been on the radio, 95% of the time Jim has turned it off.


Making Sno-Cones

Other mundane tasks? Packing up meat. We stopped at Costco last night for steaks, chuck roasts, and pork tenderloins. I wrapped the duplicates up and put them in the freezer. Please, hold all applause and displays of excitement until the end of the blog entry. Thank you.

Warning: Computer Rant

I know I have many a reader who use Macs. I’m not against them, I’ve never used them. I just know they're expensive. I guess for something that doesn’t get a virus or “breakdown” it’s worth it. Sometimes I wonder if they are virus free because hackers don’t bother with them. OR because Macs aren’t used for anything important (that I know of). But on the PC side of things, think about how many of you and people you know have computer issues? Runs slow, crashes, spyware, virus’, etc. Today’s technology is tomorrow’s doorstop. Why do we consumers put up with this shit? My laptop was purchased before we hit the road. We bought an HP Pavilion Entertainment PC (DV9700 or DV9910) for me. Larger screen, came with a remote control to watch movies. It’s the ENTERTAINMENT PC dammit. Irony? The speakers suck. Most of the time we could barely hear what we were watching. Then we’d watch something and half way through the computer would lock up (I think it overheated). Eventually after a lot of frustration we’d never use it as an Entertainment PC. Months ago the sound stopped working. I looked up the problem on the net. A lot of people seemed to be having that problem. I can get it working for a short time here and there. It’s too complex to explain really. Recently Jim has been looking up the extended warranty on it. He thinks that something we’ve paid for should work properly. Silly, isn’t he? He contacted HP to get proof of the warranty date so that he could pursue the extended warranty. Me? I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to part with it for a week to 3 weeks. I don’t want to figure out how to protect my documents and photos and links and settings and everything else.

HP emailed me. They’re wanting to help my problem. How nice. I explain. I explain in detail. With photos. They don’t get it. Try this, try that. I do. Last step: Reformat your computer and return it to factory specs. The infamous last step of every computer manufacturer. Bite me (I edited my original phrase, trust me). I’ll just bitch about it here. I ain’t doin’ it anytime soon. I also won’t buy HP anymore. Their product sucked out of the box to begin with. Even before sound issues we couldn’t watch a movie without problems. Maybe when my portable harddrive and desktop computer come out of storage. Does the support person really know anything or do they just search a database for problems and then insert the steps into our on-going messaging?

I’m just tired of software conflicting with each other. Hardware that fails. Support that sucks. I just want it work like it should. I wonder what those Amish people are up to these days?

End Computer Rant

I just vacuumed and mopped. Looks purdy, don’t it? My Swiffer Wet Jet stuff smells good too, right? C’mon, throw some compliments out there, would ya?

My Christmas music listening quest is going quite well. Below is one of my favorites. It’s a duet. Bing Crosby and David Bowie. The music actually starts at 1:44 if you’re impatient.

Jim is home from work. Wow, I haven’t said that in over a year! We went to the gym for chest, back, core, and cardio. We’ve taken showers and now I’m grilling a steak, steaming some fresh broccoli and doctoring up some left over mashed potatoes from Tim’s. They were quite good when I ate them at Tim’s but I prefer them smothered with gravy. Since I’m gravy-less AND it’s real bad for us, I’ve mashed in some minced garlic, some powered cheese flakes and then topped with a little real cheese and slid it into the oven. They came out delicious.

You may now do that applause thing. Thank you. Encore tomorrow.

11-29-09 Sunday (Thankistmas)

There’s not much to report from today.  We did our now-as-usual work out at the gym (Core & 1 hour cardio). 

We did go to Ann and Morgan’s for a left-over Thanksgiving feast.  After dinner, we helped decorate their tree.  I left my camera at home so these are cell phone photos which are normally OK except that the low light isn’t favorable.

2009-11-29 01   2009-11-29 04 2009-11-29 05 Above: Ann and her sister Patty have a ritual of finding hideous female ornaments for one another.  This was one year’s winner.  Look at those fish-net covered thighs!  Ugh!

11-28-09 Saturday (Transformations)

Yep, another trip to the gym.  Yay!  With all this gym-ness I am a slave to the increased load of towels and workout wear.  I’m back to 1-2 loads of laundry per day. 

Since Jim and I go to the gym at different times each day, we haven’t yet noticed the regulars.  When we were working and going to the gym at the same time everyday, we saw the same people.  We made nicknames for them based on their habits or mannerisms.  Some are rude and heartless which I won’t share.    “Red” for the redheaded guy with the awesome muscles.  “Nipple Guy”, which we later found out was Carlos, who was a long haired muscle-head that wore a spaghetti string tank top and always exposed his nipples.  You get the idea.

Tim & Carl hosted a “family” Thanksgiving dinner.  It was amazing!  We have a running joke about Tim.  If Tim has some sort of big gathering, it means he’ll buy something big or do something grand.  Perhaps it’s his form of motivation.  His grand move?  He took a spare room (Larger than his dining room) and transformed it into something beautiful.  He painted the walls “pumpkin spice” for the occasion.  He’s a little nuts.  Look at this room transformation.  Look at this beautiful table setting.  I was so impressed.  I’m not saying this just because he reads the blog, maybe that helps, or because of the $20 he gave me last night, which always helps, but rather because it’s true.  I know, I know, enough already, let’s see, right?


Oh, sorry, that’s YOUR house… Oh, here it goes:

2009-11-28 01 Above: Gorgeous.  He bought 95% of what you see just for this dinner party.  I’m tellin’ ya, he’s as nutty as a fruit cake.


Here’s the slide show:

11-27-09 Friday (Excess Photos)

I awoke today (same groin pain) feeling as though I slept the night in stirrups at the gyno’s office.  Just for the record, I’ve never been to a gynecologist’s office – I’m simply theorizing so shaddup.

Animated Snowflake Jim looked through all the Black Friday ads yesterday.  Nothing we need; plenty we want.  There’s nothing we want or need that would make me camp out in line over night.  I’m sure it’s a thrill to some.  Maybe it propels them into the holiday spirit?  Whatever, I think it’s nuts.  If you go to Google image search and type “black friday lines” you’ll see ridiculous people both past and present.

imageAbove/Below: It’s hard to tell if these are Black Friday lines or job fair lines!   image

Hung Kitty Two phone calls later and the mobile repair guy has shown up and is talking to Jim.  I’m trying to stay out of it because I think I’ll get over angry and over excited about the situation.  He should have come over when we saw the water droplets.  Now if he wants to recreate the scenario he can haul his happy ass up on the roof with a hose and do it himself.  Jim just came back in.  Mobile dude said “sometimes that happens.  The awning needs to expand and contract so the threads will become tighter and if it’s not OK they make thread sealer.”  Jim told him we’re no novices to new awnings.  I guess Jim agreed to give it a chance.  Jim is going to call Carefree (awning company) and run it by them.  They’re closed today for the holiday.

image The good news is now that Thanksgiving is over, we can all start listening to Christmas music while we don our homes (or trailers) with holiday decor.  We’ve got our Charlie Brown Christmas tree up (not like it was hard to assemble), a lighted candy cane dangles from outside, and gel window clings.  We’re done.  We’ll enjoy everyone else’s decor.  I’m at peace with it, really.  I must tell you, this is year #2 in a row of not schlepping shit down from the attic, tripping breakers from excess outdoor lighting, or worrying about having a Christmas party.

camera-animated In keeping with the blog’s “unimportant pieces of information that you could really care less about” theme, I’m backing up our photos.  My big fear is losing 6,146 photos (not including video) that I’ve taken over our year long trip.  Yes, I did say over six thousand photos!  After they’re backed up, we’ll take them over to a relative’s house for safe storage.  I did back them up throughout the trip and periodically mailed them to Mike & Dave.  After taking so many photos, I can tell you that 1- It’s all important.  Take a photo.  It doesn’t cost anything unless you print them.  2- take photos of and with your family.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  You just never know!  3- Quit whining about not liking your photo taken; you know who you are.  Get over it.  Refer to reason #2.


We’re back from the gym!  I took a shower first so you wouldn’t get any noxious fumes.  We started out with core exercises and an arm work out.  ::grunt::  When our arms felt like spaghetti, we took a free 5 minute massage in the Shiatsu-type massage chair.  Ahhhhhhh.  An hour of cardio completed the gym work out.  Did you just get tired reading about that?  Good, good.  Relax now.  I’m happy to report that the elliptical machine leg movements eased my groin pain.  Once I sit my big ass down for a while, I’m sure it will feel bad again.

11-26-09 Thursday (Leg or Thigh?)

turkey05 Happy Thanksgiving!  We got up early and out of the house way before noon.  Being a holiday, the gym was only open until noon, hence the rush.  We did our usual core and cardio. 

After the gym, Jim showered first and then swiftly departed to join his dad’s side of the family at Grandma’s.  I had some time to kill so I cleaned the house (RV).  There was a possibility that later while at Jim’s mom’s, his Aunt Marty may want to come by and see the RV.

arg-nice-turkey-dinner-b-url I went to my cousin, Carissa’s, for my family’s Thanksgiving.  Good, huge, spread too.  There was only 13 of us yet we had a huge turkey, a pork roast, and a giant spiral cut ham!  Side dishes?  Too many.  So much food and all so delicious.  4 desserts.  I, as usual, over ate. 

After 5 or 6 hours of family socializing, I met Jim at his second Thanksgiving meal of the day destination – his mom’s (Ann & Morgan).  I want to tell you that yesterday at the gym was leg day.  I tried not to over do my legs.  Legs are the shittiest part of the body to have sore.  It just plain sucks.  It finally caught up with me when I got out of the Jeep at Ann’s.  My legs hurt. 

image Above: Hip adduction and abduction machine has left a painful groin in it’s wake.

Enough bitching, I know.

 2009-11-26 08Above: 2 tables ready to go for the festivities.

 2009-11-26 12Above: Carissa & Josh (hosts) say the bird is ready to devour. 

 2009-11-26 13Above:  The Spread.

 2009-11-26 14Above: Carissa & me (Garret) with our Grandmother (Nanny).

2009-11-26 22Above: My mom (JoAnn) and Josh ride an quad!

For those of you who have been asking about my mom.  She’s got a lot of medical problems.  Fibromyalgia is her biggest enemy along with chronic abdominal pain.  Most days she’s in bed.  Mom had a good day today.  She had some pain and had to lay down for a while.  After some rest she hopped on the quad with Josh for a 2 minute ride (he went very slow).

11-25-09 Wednesday (Naked RV Searches)

Sore-whinny guy here.  The pain has changed.  Now it’s “unpleasant” to lift my arm above my head.  I know so many of you are volunteering to “put me down” and end my misery.  Thank you so much for that support.  True friends.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  It’s divide and conquer day for Jim and I.  I have lunch at my cousin Carissa’s house with my family.  Jim has lunch with his father’s side and then dinner with his mother’s side. 

image Above: Allegedly this can be done by making a bikini with foil.

It’s been rainy all day.  It’s odd for Florida.  When it does rain, it happens, it’s over, the sun is out, the end.  Today’s rain reminds me of New York.  In New York, if it even sprinkled a little in the morning, the rest of the day was shot.  Overcast and gloomy all day.  It does make for a cool, damp, wanna have hot chocolate type of day.  I’ve glanced out at the new awning, noted it’s peculiar yet necessary angle and know that all is right with the world – sorta.

And this just in… literally.  In my email was a guest survey from the Toy and Action Figure Museum.   What’s dumb is that we visited that place in June and they’re just now concerned about my visit?

guest  Above: Screen shot of the email from the Toy and Action Figure Museum as received “2 minutes ago”.

Since I’m feeling in a screen shot, humorous sorta way, I’d like to preface the next “screen shot” with an explanation of Google Analytics.  It’s a program that runs on the blog which tracks visitors by keywords they used to find me, someone’s region, what web browser they used, etc.  It’s more interesting than useful for me.  The funniest thing is seeing the list of keywords that people searched for which led them to our blog.  Take a peek:

keywords 1 Above: Google Analytics.  This is for 10-25-09 to 11-24-09!

1 year Above: Google Analytics.  A one year period from Google Analytics. 

Lots of nude keywords going on there.  Perverts!  Look at #11.  RV Zombies.  Who searched the internet 9 times, or 9 different people searched “RV Zombies”?  Maybe it’s a band?  Is it troubling that 14 people “want an elephant for christmas”?  Oy.

With all the rain today, I spotted drips of water all across the underside of the awning.  I’m not happy.  Jim placed a call to the RV repair guy.   It looks like the seam is faulty.  I won’t accept caulking on a new awning. Jim left a message with the guy’s wife (he wasn’t available) explaining that if he’d like to see the problem while it’s raining, to stop by.  I don’t think we need to climb up on the roof with a hose and demonstrate.  It’s already after 8pm by the time I got to typing this so it’s unlikely that he’ll be by tonight.

IMG_0002  Above: You can see the droplets of water as captured by the flash.  This runs from one end of the awning to the other.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Turkey - Sesame Street

11-24-09 Tuesday (Slack-er)

scared-cat- Owwwwwwwww. My shoulders and chest are sore from yesterday’s workout. It’s a good soreness. One of accomplishment. The last time we worked out was almost 2 months ago. This time we need to do better. We seemed to have had the gym thing down to a science. We worked out sometimes 7 days a week. What we didn’t do was control our food intake so our transformation was very slow and almost non-existent. We’re not working. Now is the perfect time to get in shape. I don’t want to start a new job and then be tired, and short on time – then the gym becomes a hardship – then I look back and think how dumb I was for not utilizing the abundance of time that I have! Duh.

image The awning repair guy is here this morning. Jim has been helping him. I don’t think replacing an awning is a one man show yet this guy is here by himself. Do we get a discount for our share of labor? Of course not. No, I didn’t ask, nor did Jim. It is what it is. Another $500 deductible. So far, we’ve spent $1500 in awning deductibles. I’m glad I don’t own a gun.

2009-11-24 06Above/Below: Awning repair dude. 2009-11-24 02 2009-11-24 03Above: Old awning fabric. We folded it up and saved it. Someday we’ll have the fabric made into new awnings for the other windows.

2009-11-24 04Above: Mobile Repair guy’s work truck. An exciting view out my window kitchen.

2009-11-24 05Above: Jim helping to install the new awning. I was busy taking photos and documenting this uhhhhh monumental day… or something like that.

Did you know armpits can hurt? Yep. Mine do. We worked out. We showered. I applied deodorant. Owwwww. I know, I just whined 2 paragraphs above.

Tonight we did dinner and a movie. Same scenario as the last time. Free tickets, discount at Applebee’s plus a giftcard. This time we got free popcorn and had to buy drinks. We went to see “Twilight: New Moon”. We recently saw the first Twilight on DVD so it was great to have it fresh in our minds. The makeup on Edward was much better this time around.

Here’s some photos while at the Beall’s Outlet (killing excess time before the movie started):

2009-11-24 08Above: With the new Eat and Gag Diet craze, Jim has successfully went from a size 55 to – a much lower number.


Does anyone, especially “young men”, call pants “slacks”? That seems like an old school term. The other day, our friend Carl said he wanted to watch his “program”. “Program”? Really? Isn’t that another old people term? Sure, I wonder what words/terminology I use today that will be dated in the future.

Have you seen that program about the young man with the magical slacks who can travel through time?

11-23-09 Monday (Ah, Forget It)

We started the day with our usual new gym routine.  We did chest/back, core and then cardio. 

image image We’ve been eating those breakfast sandwiches everyday since August.  Sometimes we’ll have them on a lite english muffin or on a sandwich round.  Oddly, we haven’t tired of them.  I have since cut out the milk.  Unnecessary calories.  The fat free milk didn’t really seem to do much to it.  Maybe it was fluffier?  I have tried the Morningstar Farms veggie bacon.  We didn’t care for it.  It reminded us of dog treats - Beggin Strips.  The smell and look you idiot.  We never tasted them… that I’ll ever admit.  Anyway, I’ve also cut down on the amount of cheese I use.   Remember, they’re under 266 calories and delicious. 

I’m a geek so I took some photos of my creation.

My ingredient list:

2009-11-22 04

Above: If you like ‘em, you can get them in bulk size packaging at Costco or the like.

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Above: Large Egg Beaters container.  Try the flavored cheese and chives or southwestern too.

2009-11-22 06

Above: 2% milk!  We’ve experimented with some other cheeses but the Pepperjack just gives it the best flavor.

2009-11-22 02

Above: Large Egg Beaters container.  Try the flavored cheese and chives or southwestern too.  I pour it into a greased (Pam) 9X12.  I then lay the cheese in strips on top of the egg which kinda float.  Then I put the sausage on top and carefully place in the oven at a temp of

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Above/Below: It comes out puffy but as it cools, it will deflate.

2009-11-22 08

Below: When it’s cooled, I cut them into squares and freeze some.  We toast our english muffins and nuke the refrigerated egg stuff for 2 minutes.  From frozen, not sure.

2009-11-22 09

Yes, I suppose that was a product of boredom.  Thanks for asking.

We’re kind of a prisoner here for the afternoon.  Jim has a phone interview for 4:30pm.  By the time we came back from the gym, showered and ate lunch, another lead called and scheduled a phone interview for 3:30pm.  I offered to go grocery shopping myself but I got the whiny “Nooooooooo”.  I guess he wants to get out of the RV too.

So I sit here, blogging, reading blogs, devising a way to take over the world and doing laundry.

OK, Jim had his 2 phone interviews.  How’d they go?  Yeah, a common question after an interview right.  He says good.  The 1st one seemed more promising than the second.

Dinner was delicious.  We ate veggie burgers.  This time, I put 2 on 1 bun to eliminate a roll.  I had corn and baked beans.  Jim had corn and tater tots.  Eventually I’ll find the strength to resist having 2 veggie burgers or eliminating both rolls.

I have a computer pop-up reminder program that is wonderful.  It reminds me to take my cholesterol meds, things I have planned, birthdays, anniversaries or anything else I want it to remember on my behalf.  Twice in a 2 week period I have acknowledged the “take cholesterol meds” alarm but couldn’t remember if I actually took them.  For 68 cents, I now have a daily pill box thingy. 


Excuse me while I go read my AARP, fill my pill box, and check the local bingo schedule.

11-22-09 Sunday (Lunk Head)

We went to the gym today!  Yay!  I must say, it’s difficult to get past everything being yellow and purple inside.  Here’s some generic website photos:

image image image

Pictured below is the “Lunk Alarm”.  We haven’t witnessed it being sounded just yet.


It’s the judgment-free gym yet someone has to judge you in order to  sound the Lunk Alarm.  When I Googled “Lunk Alarm”, I found so many blogs, articles and news clips about this.  I must admit, it’s nice to be at a full sized gym again.  I think it will be worth every penny (fortunately few).

For all of our meals, we made good, lean choices.  Any snacking was done with low cal popcorn or yogurt.  The calorie count was pretty low.

Some day we’ll be lunks, and have to find a new gym… here’s hoping for such problems…