Saturday, November 29, 2014

VIRUS FREE & SUNSETS

All of my computers are now virus free !!  YAHOOOO !!

When they finished with my ‘main’ computer he told me it had 43 virus’s !!!  I was shocked !  I dropped off my mini computer plus my tablet to get cleaned once I got the main one back. 

The Tablet did not have any problems – nor should it because I just got it and probably had only used it once or twice.  They told me the mini has 11 virus’s.

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I was consoled though when I overheard them tell the Customer next to me that she had had 191 virus’s on her computer.

This is the anti-virus software they put on my computer.  That cost was included in the $200 ++++ that I paid for their service.

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They installed it on all three of my computers.

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I spent some time at the VFW and then the LTVA at Pilot Knob – I do like it there as it is so peaceful and quiet.  But then JEAN & SKIP came into the Yuma area and headed to Ogilby Rd.  So I moved over there to spend some time with them.

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Figured I put Skip to WORK right away !!

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I have a battery disconnect switch under the hood that I turn when I’m towing so I don’t run down the battery.  Well that broke so I went to Harbor Freight (love that place !!) to get a new one.

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And asked Skip if he knew how to put it on.  Of course he did !!  The GREEN round thingie is the disconnect switch.

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Wonder what this person’s total length is ??  Man oh Man, some people sure carry everything with them.  Wonder what’s inside that huge trailer ??

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Another “two story house” as I call it.

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Couldn’t resist taking a pic of this car.  You sure do see some gorgeous cars here in this part of Arizona.  They don’t have to worry about RUST !!

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Jean & Skip headed to Borrego Springs but I didn’t want to go there this year.  Was there last year and liked it but once was enough for me.  So I headed to Quartzsite.

Feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster running around every day doing some errand or other.  Yet right now I can’t tell you what has kept me so busy !!??

Been here a couple of days now and getting myself settled in.  Don’t plan on moving anywhere else for awhile.

Monday, November 17, 2014

I HAD A VIRUS ON MY MAIN COMPUTER

I’ve had a ‘home’ computer pretty much since the day they were available.  And over those many decades I’ve certainly had many.

And up until now I have NEVER had a virus.  Well I got my first one on my ‘main’ computer and it was a BAD ONE.

I noticed a problem on October 21st, by way of my data usage on my Verizon, jumped by the GB’S when I was not doing anything to use up that much data in such short periods of time.

The other sign was that – despite having a 4G signal and 5 strong bars – it took forever to get into even my Hotmail website and more often than not I got “THIS PAGE CANNOT BE DISPLAYED”.

The last weeks have been consumed trying to resolve this problem.  Thinking (naturally) it was a Verizon problem – something wrong with my JetPack or their Network - I went to the local Verizon Store numerous times.

Sometimes my Internet worked great for several hours – once even for a full day.  But the problem persisted and this last time I went to Verizon I spoke with their Technical Support on the phone.

During that time they were asking me to do something on my computer but I wasn’t seeing what they were asking me to do.  I called one of the store reps to come over to help and as luck would have it, he turned out to be their local technical guru – with degrees in computers etc. etc.

During the course of the call he was on with their main tekkie people he noticed Norton (the anti-virus software I had on my computer) blocking ATTACKS from something.  He said it shouldn’t need to be blocking any attacks as we were not anywhere on the Internet where these attacks could be coming from.

He said “You have a virus !”.

He wanted me to uninstall Norton and install Microsoft Security Essentials and do a full system scan on my computer.  He was kind enough to assist me in getting this started.

So when I went home I started the Full System Scan.  This is what it showed:

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But despite removing this BAD BAD BAD thing that was living in my computer several times – it continued to come back.

So now my computer is at Best Buys where I had to pay $200 +++++++ for them to completely give rid of this sucker !

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I have a little mini 10” computer that I’m able to use but it’s oh so painfully SLOW !!  I seldom use it, however, still did several Full System Scans on this one and thankfully it’s CLEAN !!

But EVERYTHNG is on my main one so I’m lost without it.  Best Buy said they will need the computer for A WEEK !

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

FOUR YEARS–EXPENSE REPORT

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On November 3, 2014 I celebrated (well I didn’t actually ‘celebrate’ LOL) FOUR FULL YEARS as a full time RV’er.  Who woulda thunk it !!???

So I’m beginning now my 5th year.

I keep track of all my expenses – like any good ex-finance person would.

I wrote about my first years expenses HERE

My second year HERE

My third year HERE

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Here now are the numbers for 4 years:

GAS

I now have spent a total of $25,243.92 in gas (for the RV only) in those four years.  That is an average of $525.92 per month.  This average will decrease over the coming months as I just spent $1,650.31 driving from Ontario, Canada to Yuma, AZ.

However, overall, I really don’t see getting that monthly average down much more due to the distance I have to travel back and forth to Canada.

YEAR ONE – AVERAGE WAS $ 661.16

YEAR TWO – AVERAGE WAS $ 679.15 (that was the year I drove all the way back to NL)

YEAR THREE – AVERAGE WAS $ 571.75

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CAMPGROUND FEES

That total has come in at $11,050.74 – meaning an average of $230.22 per month.  Remember, I include any ‘dump’ costs in that figure when I’m boondocking and I’ve also included the cost of my solar, batteries etc.

YEAR ONE – AVERAGE WAS $ 311.36

YEAR TWO – AVERAGE WAS $ 224.84

YEAR THREE – AVERAGE WAS $ 270.59

In my report last year I said I wanted the total of these two main expenses to not exceed $1,000 per month and as you can see at an average of $842.34 I’m way under. “

After the fourth year that monthly average is now down to $756.14.

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PROPANE

A total of $2265.16 – A monthly average of $47.19.

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LAUNDRY

A total of $655.17 – a Monthly average of $13.65.

Boring stuff I know.  But I like to keep a record of these things.  Plus it might help any wanna be RV’er who might be reading this.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

‘DA MONEY IS FLYING ----- OUT !!

As I normally do each year, when I first get to Yuma, I pull into the VFW and get the ‘chores’ out of the way.  The BLM land behind the VFW is very convenient and close to anything you might need done in Yuma.

First up was an oil and filter change for Ms. Daisy.  Pioneer Express Lube is only a few miles away and I had been there before.  She also needed the positive terminal replaced on the battery.  They also check numerous other things like the lights, wipers, power steering fluid, check the tire pressure etc. etc. etc.  AND this year you got a free car wash coupon (which is right next door).  All that for $52.60 so I thought that was pretty good.

Next was the same for the RV.  The following day I brought the rig over there and got the oil and filter changed.  The rig also needed a new fuel filter.  Again, they check all of the same things and I got another free car wash coupon.  All that for $127.03 – I wasn’t complaining.

Plus they are really nice there.  They show you everything and explain anything you need a better understanding of.

Didn’t want to put it off any longer so got four new tires for Ms. Daisy.  When I bought her last Spring I had the tires checked while I was stopped in Deming, NM.  Despite their age (2003) they were in perfect condition – ie. lots of tread left on them and no indication of any cracking on the sides.  The guy at the tire place even went so far as to say “I’d love to sell you 4 new tires but you simply don’t need them.”  So with Lee’s nod of approval that sure worked for me.

So that, combined with my TPMS and CAA, I felt ‘reasonably’ comfortable driving her for the last six or so months. But I knew new tires HAD to be in the budget for this year.

I went to Discount Tires and boy is that a busy place !!

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There’s my little girl in there waiting for her ‘new shoes’.

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$676.94 (all amounts are in US dollars of course) later and Ms. Daisy has 4 new tires. Looking good !

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It’s be HOT HOT HOT here (high 80’s to low 90’s) so these errands had to get done in the mornings and the afternoons were spent resting and sitting in the shade.

Of course I had to put out a blankie for my little guy to lay on.

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But what does he do ???  He lays NEXT to it !!

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First one of these I’ve seen this year.  It flew very low over the VFW.  Will see lots more of these when I get to Q ! Boy would I ever love to take a ride in one of those !

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I call this guy Jim (505-269-1133) every year to do the generator oil change.  He comes right to the VFW so it’s very convenient not having to move the rig.  I asked him to check the air filter this time.

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He said the oil was really bad and really needed changing.  He said he’s seen worse with the air filter but replacing it would be a good idea.  It’s never been replaced that I am aware of.

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Another $82.00 and that’s done.  But the best news was when we got talking and I was telling him about the oil changes on the rig and the car.  He said he does those also !!    He looked at my bills and said he could have saved me about $30.00 but the best part would be I wouldn’t have to go anywhere. So I’ve certainly made a note of that for next year.

He now even has his own website.  Check it out HERE.

Obviously something going on today at the VFW for the bikers.  There are often a few in the parking lot but not this many.

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I still have to get an oil & filter change for the bike – but that will be sometime over the next weeks.

Sure glad to get all of that stuff out of the way so I can now go to one of the LTVA’s and settle in somewhere nice and quiet – put out my solar lights and mat and just relax and read.  I went to the Yuma library and got several great books.

Staying at the VFW is great in many ways – but QUIET is not one of them !!

P.S.  Thank Gawd for Credit Cards !!

HAD TO TIDY UP THOSE WIRES

This is the mess they were…

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But they worked so that was the main thing !!

But I wasn’t happy with all that joining so I stopped at an Auto Parts place and got a new 15 ft. length of the wire.  This way I will have plenty of slack so that when I have to make a sharp turn the next time there will be plenty of wire to handle the turn.

Even though I don’t have the proper gizmo ( I actually did in my previous life !! ) to cut off the rubber part I managed quite fine.

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Got one end all done…..

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And now onto the other end.  I would have preferred to have the new length of wire go right back to the tail lights so that there would be no joining here – but that is beyond my capabilities.

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Got that done and before I did anything else I pulled the car behind the rig to make sure everything worked.  Yup, SUCCESS !!

So then I put more electrical tape on all four wires – on both ends - to keep them together.

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JIM would be so proud of me !!

Oh My – The excitement in my life is so off ‘da charts I can barely stand it !!  Winking smile

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I MADE IT TO YUMA !!

I went from Ontario, Canada through Michigan – Indiana – Illinois – Missouri – Oklahoma – Texas – New Mexico and finally reached Arizona.  This was by far the nicest sign I saw……

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I left Ontario on October 10th and arrived in Yuma on November 4th.

Here are my stats:

MILES DRIVEN

Since leaving the area of Hamilton, Ontario to arriving at my destination in Yuma I drove 2,602 Miles – that’s 4,187 KM’S for my Northern friends.

According to Google Maps, had I driven via their route – no detours etc. – it would have been 2,353 Miles or 3,787 KM’S.  So it appears I drove only 249 Miles extra.  That’s pretty good.

The first detour was crossing the Border at Sarnia, Ontario – whereas Google Maps wanted me to go through Detroit = NOT !!

The other slight detour was stopping in Nappanee, IN to get that work done on the ramp door.

So overall I think I did pretty good staying on track.

GAS COSTS – PART 1

I spent a total of $1,650.31 CDN dollars in gas.  That’s about $1,426 in US dollars. This dollar amount includes starting with a full tank of gas and ending with a full tank of gas.

GAS COSTS – PART 2

On this trip across the Country, it cost as low as $2.67 a Gallon to a high of $3.16 a Gallon.

CAMPGROUND FEES

I spent a total of $79.00 – I include in this category ‘dump fees’, which cost me $15.00 at a Park in Canada before I got on the road.

This amount also includes the fees paid while staying at Leasburg State Park and one night at Lee’s Park in Deming.

So for 25 days on the road, that’s would average out to be $3.16 a day !!  LOL

OTHER COSTS

WARMTH – SUNSHINE – NO SNOW ===== PRICELESS !!!

And of course the BEST NEWS is that I managed to stay out of ditches !!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

VISITING LEE

After a very enjoyable week at Leasburg State Park it was time to hit the road again.  The week was made even better because of being able to spend some great time with Barbara and meeting two new fulltime RV’er, Jeanne & Holly.

I wanted to stop in Deming to see Lee and knowing that, I also had some mail sent there.  Lee told me there was a gal in the Park (Margie) that has been following my Blog for years and wanted to meet me also.  Margie later confirmed indeed that she had been following along on my (mis) adventures (but has never commented) as she reminded me of several things back in my Class C days.

AND the icing on the cake was that Carol & Steve arrived the same day as I did.  I had met these Folks briefly last year at Q and immediately knew I liked them.

Lee took us all out to dinner to the Adobe Deli – which is soooo NOT a Deli and the food was amazing.

L-R = Steve, Margie, Carol and Lee.

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I ordered the ribs !!

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Oh Me Nerves !  That is one BIG rack of ribs.  And NO I didn’t eat them all.  Actually what I took home did me for TWO more meals.

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I had wanted to stay another day to spend time with Lee but when I woke up the following morning – very early – the weather was awful so I decided to get back on the road.

But not before seeing the crowd again and getting a tour of the new (to them) ‘07 Allegro Bus Carol/Steve had just bought.  HOLY CRAP that is one gorgeous rig with every extra one can imagine.  Yes, even those MCD blinds that I want so bad !!!  But not only did it have the MCD blinds – BUT each individual blind was operated (opened and closed) by a remote control !!

Then Steve started SHOWING OFF and started pressing buttons to show me all the other great features of this beautiful home on wheels.  I was seriously in awe !!

I made it as far as just outside of Tucson that day and stayed over-night at Pilot.  First time on this trip I had to do an O/N at a Truck Stop.  I didn’t mind it at all.  But getting around the truckers parking lot I had to make several very sharp turns and when I finally found a good spot and got out this is what I saw….

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The gizmo that plugs into the rig so Ms. Daisy has brake and indicator lights while I’m driving had been pulled out and destroyed by the pavement.  I didn’t even bother trying to find an Auto Parts store in Tucson (way too busy) – and yes, I did check Pilot while I was there but they didn’t have it.

I continued on the next day but it’s funny how uncomfortable I was driving knowing Ms. Daisy had no lights.  Even though, because Ms. Daisy is so small, the rigs rear lights are clearly seen.

I pulled into the small Town of Eloy, AZ the following day to rest for awhile and found out there was a NAPA less than 1/2 mile from where I was.  Off I go and get a new gizmo to fix the problem.

A snip here…..

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A crimp there……….

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And VOILA problem solved.  HEY !  So it ain’t so pretty – but it worked !!

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And back on the road I get determined I was going to make it to Yuma that day !!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

BENNIE IN KATIE’S STROLLER

As I’ve said before, I’m really enjoying it here at Leasburg Dam State Park.  Nice and quiet just the way I like it.

I’m in what they call the ‘primitive’ area – no hook-ups – and as we all know I don’t need hook-ups !

The cost though is $8.00 a day.  Pretty cheap huh !!  The first year on the road – before I discovered boondocking – I stayed in regular RV Parks and State Parks.

If I could get something around the $20.00/night mark I was happy as I thought that was cheap.  Now I’m resentful having to pay $8.00 a day !!!  LOL

Getting many small chores done while I’m here and finally got around to re-stringing the blind that broke several weeks ago.

I’ve now had to re-string ALL of them over the last years.  This is the second go around on this one.  Man they are a PAIN to do !!

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Oh how I wish I could afford those MCD shades !!  Far too many other priorities before them unfortunately.

Look who came to visit one day.  I was told it’s a grasshopper – they don’t make grasshoppers like that where I come from.

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This one wanted to hang out on the Harley cover.

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I’ve been putting Bennie’s bed out each day and he’s quite comfortable sleeping there.  One day Barbara came by to get her chair (while I was inside puttering) and she said Bennie’s was sound asleep and snoring.  So she very quietly crept around him – so as not to wake him up – and got her chair.  Only a fellow dog lover huh !!

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Here we are at Leasburg Dam State Park.

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Barbara decided to see if Bennie would like to be in Katie’s stroller.  Here’s his thoughts on that !!

“MOM !  MOM !!  Get me outta this thing !!!”

“Hmmm,  This view is different from way up here.  Maybe I can JUMP OUT !!”

“I’m going for it !!”

“OK, So I wooosed out !!!  So if they won’t take me outta this stupid thing I might as well lay down and look very pitiful.”

“And what do I do when they finally do let me out ?  Get totally tangled up around the chair !”

Had a couple of lovely visits with Jeanne and Riley.  Riley is an amazing dog and so calm.  He was in the rig no time when he decides to just settle right in on Bennie’s bed.

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Of course you simply CANNOT be in the Las Cruces area and not check out the HD there.

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A view from the second floor (yes, it’s that big) of a small section of the first floor.

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That’s it for today.