Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!
Yes, it's a few days early, but at work we are celebrating it today since no one will be here on Sunday. The employees have been decorating the office for weeks (I have a fake spiderweb tent over my cubical) and today even more decorations have been put up. Most of the staff are in costume and we are having a big potluck lunch. Ah, it so nice to work for a company that allows a little bit of fun in the workplace.

Time has really flown by this week and it seems like only yesterday it was Monday morning and I was groaning about long it was going to take to get to Friday. Maybe I'll remember this current time warp feeling next Monday when I'm sure I'll be groaning about it again, but I have no idea what's responsible for this perception. My weekdays are very routine and there's not much time for anything other than work and household chores and that sort of routine usually makes the days drag by instead of speeding rapidly along.

There's that old saying that time flies when you are having fun so I suppose I could be having more fun these days than I realize. It's not something I've thought about before now, but things are certainly better today than they were six months ago when I was unemployed, heartbroken and about to be homeless. Those were some really tough times and so yes, I would have to say that life is definitely more fun now than it was at that time. Perhaps it's all relative to where one has been and time will start to slow down again when this current routine gets to be old hat. Well, to quote another old saying, "Time will tell."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A cornucopia is the sort of decorative item you might see around this time of year for the Thanksgiving holiday. I apparently have acquired an invisible small one because I've had all sorts of unexpected gifts appear this last week or so. I've received a free BBQ grill, four free outdoor solar powered landscaping lights, three free t-shirts, six free dinners, one free lunch and lots of free beer. I've even received unexpected money. Yesterday I found out that I'm getting a small hourly raise at work and then later in the day, I found two $1 bills. Pretty cool, eh?

Friday, October 22, 2010

RV living

This week has flown by! It continues to be very busy at work despite being "off-season" and the weather has been beautiful so it seems that everyone at the RV park is outside and visiting in the evenings. I escaped socialization only one night this week because I locked myself in my RV and didn't dare stick my head out so I could finish reading a book. Once the weather turns colder, we will probably all stay inside and then perhaps I will have plenty of time to play computer games, read books and be a hermit. For now though, this seems to be the time when everyone wants to be outside and visit with their neighbors and it seems I can't walk to the dumpster without being called over for a chat or two or three along the way.

The RV park where I stay is not a resort park or a vacation spot so it tends to attract long-term residents. Some are full-timers who live in their RV year-round, others are folks that are staying in their RV for many months while their new house is being built and a few are there because it's more convenient and cheaper than staying a hotel during long-term medical treatment in the Austin area. Most people stay at least a month or two and many residents have been there for over five years.

I expected to encounter predominately retired folks in an RV park, but a large number of the park residents are my age and are still working full-time. Some of these workers are "travelers" who work on long-term construction projects and move on once those are finished, but others have regular full-time jobs in the Austin area. There are even a couple of college students and people in their late 20's/early 30's who have discovered that living in an RV suits them better than renting an apartment. The one thing you don't see much of is people with children and that suits me just fine. It's not that I hate kids, but they are not always well behaved and I don't miss one bit the brats down the street from my old house that used to scream at the top of their lungs on a regular basis.

People live in everything from tiny campers to large "park models" which have up to 400 square feet of living space. There are a few million dollar diesel pusher motorhomes, but there are also a few well-maintained older travel trailers that might be worth $2000 on a good day. There's plenty of diversity here and a surprising sense of community that I thought I would be missing once I no longer lived in a traditional neighborhood. In fact, I've gotten to know more of my neighbors at the RV park in just 4 months than I ever got to know in my old neighborhood where I lived for 15 years.

I'm content so far with my decision to buy the RV and I suspect I'm much happier here than I would be in an apartment. My long term goal was to eventually buy some land and a mobile home, but I may rethink that and work towards buying larger RV in a few years instead. Either way, my current RV should provide me with some trade-in value at that time and so I'll come out further ahead than if I had rented an apartment for a few years. Of course, there's no telling what the future will hold; I could win the lottery and that would probably change a few plans.

Monday, October 18, 2010

This is so cool!

Click on the link below to read the article and see the video:

A father and son send an iPhone into space using a weather balloon

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Perfect weather
We've had daytime highs in the mid-80's and night-time lows in the low-60's these last few days and that is exactly my cup of tea. I wish it could be like this all year long. If anyone knows of a place with similar year-round weather that is not California or Hawaii, let me know!

I ended up not driving out to Cedar Creek today since Z had to drive into Austin to help his cousin and it made more sense to grill burgers here at the RV park instead since it's only 10 minutes away from his cousin's house. And man, it sure was nice to chat with him in person. It's been a long time since we've actually seen each other and while we've kept in touch by phone and instant messaging, it's just not the same as having a face to face conversation. Technology is definitely better than nothing, but I don't see how it could ever completely replace physical interaction. Although I could see where a really good holographic system might come close. Ah well, maybe in my next lifetime...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Woof! It's bedtime!
Heh, Theo is barking at me, annoyed that I haven't come to bed yet and after midnight it is late for me to be up, but hot damn, I have internet access! One of the RV spaces between me and the wireless source is vacant at the moment so I've actually got a pretty stable connection right now. I don't have it in me to stay up all night surfing the web and I really can't do that anyway since I'm going to another car show tomorrow, though I don't have to get up near as early as I did last weekend for the other car show. After the show, I'm meeting another friend for beers and conversation in the evening and then on Sunday I'll be making a drive to visit with my friend Z out in Cedar Creek who I haven't seen in a couple of years. It's all gonna be fun, but I gotta wonder what happened to quiet weekends at home? I kind of expected that I'd be having a lot of those now that I'm "single", but it hasn't happened yet.

Pictures from today's car show. Too bad my camera only holds 5 pictures or I would have taken more. Need to buy a memory card one of these days.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Feels cold to me...
Last night the temperature got down to the mid-40s which is not really all that cold, but it sure feels cold after a daytime high in the mid-80s. My RV has insulation, but it also has a lot of windows, more than most trailers it's size, and two uninsulated doors so it gets chilly inside in a hurry. I remember back in the 70s during the fuel crisis there was a saying "Conservate at 68" which has stuck in my mind, probably because of the discussion of whether conservate was or was not an actual word. But anyway, I decided to give that a try since 68 degrees seems like a balmy temperature. However, I have discovered that while it's plenty warm for sleeping and hanging around the RV, it is definitely not warm enough for my morning shower. Even cranking up the heater to 74 degrees wasn't warm enough and who knows how much propane I burned this morning while getting the entire RV up to that temperature.

I've been looking for an electric heater to use just in the bathroom, but it needs to be a very small size and most importantly, low wattage. It's really hard to find anything under 1500 watts which is way too much amperage to be pulling through my RV wiring and most of the "personal" size heaters are so cheaply made that I'd be afraid to use them. After some research on the internet, I think I may have found one made by a company with a good reputation that might work in my tiny bathroom, but I'm not confident enough to order it on-line. Of course, I can get the dimensions off the internet and measure, but it's not the same as actually seeing a product and holding it in your hands. So it looks like I'm going heater shopping even though I hate shopping in stores. But I hate it far less than I hate feeling that cold air after stepping out of the shower in the mornings.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Checking in
It's been almost a month since I last posted and although things have been rather tumultuous, overall I've been doing okay. I rarely have internet access at home so I have to rely on getting a break in activity at work to hammer out a post and there haven't been many of those in the last three weeks or so. That is good news though because it means there was enough business for the company to hire me on as a regular employee after my temporary contract ended last week. I also got to keep my M-F, 8am-5pm schedule. The only downside is the long commute and spending two hours every day in traffic. It might be time to start thinking about getting a new car and I really like the new Camaro. I think I may go visit a car lot this weekend and take a closer look at one. I have no idea how I would be able to afford one, but it never hurts to dream.