Monday, July 25, 2011

On Our Way Home

We left Dead Lakes County Park this morning, after staying there for over a week. We really enjoyed our stay. It was quiet and peaceful.

We arrived at Econfina River Resort around 3:30 pm, with time left in the day to kick back and relax. Knowing that it was 5 O’Clock somewhere (as Jimmy Buffet would say) I fixed myself a Bloody Mary. Life is good.

If you look closely at the picture of our motor home, you'll notice the "Sun Screen" that I installed the other day. Everyone needs one of these. It is absolutely great! I picked it up at Camping World before leaving on this trip, but didn't get around to installing it until the week at Dead Lakes. It helps tremendously to shade the patio area, it keeps a lot of the rain from coming in under the awning, and actually creates a Ventura effect that causes any air circulation to intensify through the under awning space. A word of caution, though..... I put the awning out after arriving today, along with sticking the two stakes into the ground, with bungee cords, then went in and activated the automatic leveling jacks. While the jacks were leveling the coach, we heard a loud bang..... When I went outside, both stakes had popped out of the ground. I found the stakes and one of the bungee cords a good twenty feet out from the motor home. I have yet to find the second bungee cord.

We will be leaving here in the morning, and driving to Port Richey. We are staying over there, in order to visit with Dodie's sister, Louise.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Congratulations Atlantis Space Shuttle and Crew

At 5:57 A.M. this morning, Atlantis’ last flight came to an end as its wheels touched down on the tarmac at Kennedy Space Center.

It was the 135th mission for the space shuttle fleet, which altogether flew 542 million miles and circled Earth more than 21,150 times over the past three decades. The five shuttles carried 355 people from 16 countries and, altogether, spent 1,333 days in space - almost four years.

After months of decommissioning, Atlantis will be placed on public display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex. Discovery, the first to retire in March, will head to a Smithsonian hangar in Virginia. Endeavour, which returned from the space station on June 1, will go to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

NASA's five space shuttles launched, saved and revitalized the Hubble Space Telescope; built the space station, the world's largest orbiting structure; and opened the final frontier to women, minorities, schoolteachers, even a prince. The first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn, became the oldest person ever in space, thanks to the shuttle. He was 77 at the time; he turned 90 this week.

I remember during the 60’s, when the Apollo program was in process, leading up to the Apollo 11 mission when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit. Five later Apollo missions also landed astronauts on the Moon, the last in December 1972. In these six Apollo spaceflights, 12 men walked on the Moon.

I was fortunate to have been directly exposed to the Apollo era, since my first wife’s parents lived in Cocoa, Florida. We met a number of the NASA executives involved in the program during cocktail parties, etc. Also, my in-laws owned a dress shop on Cocoa Beach. Their shop was directly across the street from Ramon’s Surf, an upscale restaurant and lounge frequented by the Apollo astronauts and engineers. As a result, I met a number of the key players in the Apollo program.

Note: Some of the facts I have listed above in regard to the Space Shuttle are compliments of Huffpost AOL News. Also, I obtained some facts pertaining to the Apollo missions from Wikipedia.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Obama's Burthday Bash......

I try not to push my political beliefs, but I felt compelled to share this article with you......

Obama Plans Pricey Birthday Bash on Default Day
Saturday, 16 Jul 2011 01:25 PM
By Martin Gould and Abigail Walls
As America’s poorest wait for Social Security checks that may never come on Aug. 3, President Barack Obama will be out celebrating a milestone birthday at a party where tickets cost up to $35,800 each.

Obama has chosen the first day of the potential default to throw his 50th birthday bash, combining it with raising money f or next year’s election. His actual birthday is Aug. 4.

Republicans are slamming the decision to have the party as “insensitive.”

“This really shows how unserious he is,” Republican Rep. Joe Walsh, a fellow Chicagoan, tells Newsmax exclusively. “I realize it’s his birthday, but he is a president who has said he doesn’t know if social security checks will go out that day.

“If that’s the case, I cannot believe he will be having a big party that very day.”

Obama said on Tuesday that he cannot guarantee that social security checks will go out from August 3 unless a deal can be reached on raising the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit. “There may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it,” he told CBS’ Scott Pelley.

Unless the deal is reached, government services across the board will be cut and in many cases closed down.

“My first thought was that he will have to fly to Chicago before the third because I can’t imagine airports will be open,” said Walsh. “And he’ll have to have a huge supply of candles because the lights are going to go out.

“I am amazed he will be able to have a party at all.”

Walsh said he hopes to be in Chicago on Aug. 3 himself to be with his family in case the calamity that Obama has warned about comes to fruition. “I just doubt I’ll get an invitation to the party,” he said.

Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson is expected to perform at the birthday bash at the historic Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. The event will be one of the president’s biggest fundraisers of the year. Publicity literature featuring a red, white and blue Happy Birthday logo has already been produced.

The event will be “multi-tiered,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The Hudson concert would cost $50; admission to the party $200; a premium seat $1,000; a souvenir photo with the president $10,000; and VIP seating and dinner with Obama $38,500.

Another GOP Congressman, Louie Gohmert of Texas was incredulous about the timing. “That’d be as crazy as setting up golf games in the middle of going after Osama bin Laden,” he said. “I’m sure he wouldn’t do something like that – or maybe he would.”

Obama has been leading contentious talks all week with leaders of both parties in the House and Senate to avoid the August 2 deadline. On Friday he warned of financial “Armageddon” if a deal cannot be reached.
© Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Changing locations

I awoke this morning to find gravel trucks and a grader working on the entrance road to Rustic Sands RV Park. It makes me wonder if they read my bog concerning the water standing in the park yesterday. I hope they fill the ruts at the RV sites themselves. Our site had water standing right outside the door, where you would like to have dry land, since they do not have cement patios.  

We pulled out around noon and headed back to the Gulf County camprgound, Dead Lake RV Campground, where we stayed last weekend. We like this little park. It is quite and peaceful. We'll probably stay here for several days before heading back toward home.

It has rained here most of the afternoon. In fact it just started raining again as I am writing this blog. At least the ground has good drainage, and we are not under water.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Side Trip to Fort Walton Beach

We drove to Fort Walton Beach to meet a couple representing Woodall’s Directory today. We drove along Highway 98 most of the way, and really enjoyed the scenery. It was a slow trip, due to the congestion, but worthwhile. It took 2 ¾ hours, I had estimated the trip at 2 hours. Luckily, I added an extra hour to our allotted timing, so we were not late for our meeting.
Dodie and I enjoyed the trip. We have never spent any time along this section of the Gulf coast. We decided that we would like to return in the future and spend more time exploring the area. Next time we are traveling west, we plan on allotting a few extra days and hug the coast rather than count mile markers on I-10.
On our return trip, we stopped and had dinner at a nice little restaurant called Mike’s Oyster Bar on Front Street in the Panama City area. I have been craving some good fresh seafood, and I got it tonight. I ordered a steamer bucket including crab claws, mussels, clams, oysters, shrimp, corn on the cob, and potatoes. They even threw in some sausage. We both ordered cheese cake, but had to take it back to the motor home for later. There wasn’t any room left for it by the time we finished our meals.
Rustic Sands has been a relaxing park for us to get some rest this week, but since it has rained every day, it has turned into an extremely muddy (actually wet sand with water puddles everywhere) park. They can definitely use some work on their interior roads and infrastructure. Both our motor home and Hummer are covered with dirt.
We leave here tomorrow, and are returning to Dead Lakes Campground through the weekend. Hopefully, I will be able to wash the motor home and Hummer, since they both look like we have been doing some serious ‘off-roading’.

Camping in the Florida Panhandle

We are currently staying in a nice, laid back park in Mexico Beach, FL. The RV Park is Rustic Sands. Mexico Beach is about twenty miles East of Panama City.
We pulled into Rustic Sands Monday afternoon and will be here until tomorrow. This is a region of Florida that we have not spent much time in the past, but it is a nice area, especially in the summer. There are a series of small, quant Gulf-side settlements lined along highway 98. It reminds me of areas in New England.
Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon fighting a virus in my computer. My email account began sending out emails to everyone in my address book with only a link inside. My daughter, Marcene, called me after receiving hers, and let me know that when she clicked on the attachment her computer froze. Fortunately, after getting some expert help, they were able to get their computer back up and running.
I contacted Norton, my main security software, and after hours with their techs, solved my virus problems. For $99.99, they took over my computer and rid my hard drive of the virus. I thought the charge was a little excessive, but I know nothing about how to go about virus hunting. While they were in my computer they also cleaned everything up and it is running much faster now. That helps me justify the fee. Life isn’t all that bad.

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Apologies

I would like to apologize to you that have not completely given up on me as a result of my failure to make posts for the last three weeks. There has been a lot going on in our life that has distracted me. Among other things, I was diagnosed as having cancer in my number 9 rib. My Oncologist has put me on hormone injections. These injections are for the purpose of stopping production of testosterone in my body. This is supposed to kill the cancer cells. Hopefully, it will work. There are a number of side effects to the injections, and I am researching ways to counter them. If anyone has any knowledge on this subject, please let me know.
We left Lakeland in our motor home and are taking a couple weeks trip up into the Florida Panhandle. Our first night out, we stayed in Port Richey and visited with Dodie’s sister, Louise. We had a great visit. We had dinner at Lone Star steak house. We had filet mignons, and they were delicious.
After watching the TV coverage of the jurors’ verdict on the Casey Anderson trial, we left Port Richey and drove to Dead Lakes Park, a county owned park just East of Panama City, where we will be staying through Sunday night. It is a great little campground. We are among only three campers in the park, so it is nice and quiet. It is just what we needed in order to de-stress and relax for a few days.
We will be leaving here Monday morning and heading to Mexico Beach on the Gulf of Mexico for the next week before turning toward home and making a leisurely return. We will probably take several days on the way back to Lakeland.