Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Vegas Baby!

Went over the hump to the big city today.  Nothing very important, just getting some supplies for our trip to Florida next month.  We are probably kind of weird travellers; we start late in the day and stop early so don't make a lot of miles per day.  It's 2,500 miles (4000+ km) to our Florida destination and should take us 6 to 8 days.  After we've been traveling for a few days, we need a break so we stay a couple nights.  We are also pretty lazy after being in the truck all day so we like to have something for dinner that's not difficult.  A big tupperware of chili and some salad stuff springs to mind.  We also eat a lot more Pizza Hut when we are on the road!

In actuality, we were making our usual monthly run to Sam's Club - buying kitty litter, dog biscuits & stuff like that.  We also read of an antenna you can make with a wifi adapter that is supposed to improve your reception in rv parks  (Escapee's magazine):  needed a long USB cable and don't have time to get one from the internet.  We can also check out the big city supermarkets where the cheese selection is better; the liquor stores, etc.  I'm hardly surprised about the lack of fine cheeses & meats here; after all, I was born in Iowa where pepper jack cheese is considered kind of out there!  I do find it slightly odd that we don't have a real liquor store here in town; the supermarkets & one of the drug stores sell liquor but it's a sideline.  When the new beaujolais nouveau came out this year we had to go to Vegas to get a couple of bottles.  

The remainder of the week will be more trip prep.  We need to get the trailer out of it's nice new shed and get it cleaned and prepped.  It's too cold to fill the water tank; we'll save that for the last moment but getting a nice coat of Protectall on the poor thing will save us lots of trouble down the road.  So, I'm slated for a bunch of "trailer housework".  It's late and I've gotta go.  I hope you are all having a good 2010; it's almost a twelve'th gone!

"I were it were bed-time, Hal, and all well."  Shakespeare Henry Iv, Part I

Monday, January 18, 2010


Yep, it's raining in Pahrump.  We are much too small to get careful attention from the weather officials but in Las Vegas they are saying that parts of the valley will get as much as .25 inches today - what, half a centimeter?  Guess I'm not looking forward to the rest of the week either - more of the same is forecast.  Cloudy days for not much rain.  Here's what The Weather Channel says for my zip code today:

Monday Jan 18
Rain/Wind, 90% chance of precipitation. Winds 19mph from SE. Humidity 60% Sunrise: 6:53 AM
51 °F
Rain/Wind, 70% chance of precipitation. Winds 21mph from S. Humidity 80% Sunset: 4:56 PM
35 °F

My wife has become addicted to the Wii.  Have you tried one?  It's an interesting way to get people to exercise.  There are lots of different things you can do on it:  yoga stances; games like bowling and tennis; aerobic and strength training exercises. I've done a little of it but I can't get by the fact that I'm playing with a video game.  Somehow that makes the whole experience less satisfying.  But if it gets her into exercise I'm all for it. 

We bought a surround sound system for the tv as and Xmas present to us both.  We got it installed ok but had to recess the speakers into the ceiling - didn't want them hanging down like I don't know what.  Anyway, my job for this week is to cut the molding to go around the speakers.  Not a big job for someone who knows what he or she is doing but for me...  I've already used 8 feet (2.4m) of molding to go around a rectangular speaker that is just over 3 feet (1m) in diameter.  Do you get the idea there is a little wastage?  Only three more speakers to finish!  But I enjoy doing stuff like this so that's my excuse.  One year I spent all my spare time, when I didn't have very much, rebuilding the fence in our back yard.  My wife was pissed but I was having fun.  She forgave me, finally, because the fence really did look super AND I finally got some time off and we spent three weeks in England. 

Have a good one!

Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage witout ferocity, and all the virtues of Man, without his vices.  This praise, which would be unmeaning flattery if inscribed over human sahes, is but a just tribute to the memory of Boatswain, a dog.  (Inscription on the monument of a Newfoundland dog (1808).)  Lord Byron

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wow, already the 10th!

Here we go on another year; hell, it will be November before we know it!  Anyway, let's enjoy the ride! 

Our daughter gave us a present of "The Lion King" in Vegas for Xmas and yesterday was the day.  It is a GREAT show; excellent presentation of a difficult story.  The people responsible for the presentation deserve all the kudos they've received and the actors were wonderful.  The people watching was certainly up to Vegas Style; very amazing!  Even driving up Las Vegas Boulevard was good; that's where the famous sign is and there were plenty of folks there having their photos taken. 

Otherwise we are quiet in Pahrump.  There is some desire to remove our senator and I'm of two minds.  Having a senator with seniority is good for his state BUT I'm not all that sure what he is doing is the best for the country.  I think term limits sounds good but limiting the benefits of those serving is more important!  Less likely too!  Life in the fast  lane, huh.

The town is more crowded than usual but it's because of all the tourists.  The rv parks associated with the casinos are almost full so the casinos should be happy.  There are often a few folks parked overnight in the Walmart lot; it's ok here especially since it's 2 blocks to the desert where everything is free.  As you know,  the town has quite a few streets platted out that are no more than gravel trails in the desert; people own lots out there and why shouldn't they park their rv there?  It's hard to tell who is on a lot they own and who is just hunkered down and who the hell cares anyway! 

Gotta admit, I gave away our snow shovel when we left Florida.  Hope you don't really need one wherever you are!  Happy days!

There is no more mistaken path to happiness than worldliness, revelry, high life.  Arthur Schopenauer

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone is doing well today; I'm sure some are recovering slowly from last night.  I'm doing ok actually but my wife is a bit under the weather.  We always stay at home and have a slightly luxurious meal and talk.  Making it to midnight isn't high on the hit parade and, sure enough, we didn't make it last night either.  Had a lot of good talk though. 

We are both getting excited about our trip to Florida in February.  We'll get to see family and friends that we haven't seen since we left in 2008.  We'll pretty much drop straight south and pick up I-10 and stay on it for 2,000 miles or so.  Navigation isn't too tough!  The other east-west interstate highways have too great a probability of bad weather to fool with.  Right now we are thinking the trip will be a month long; not a lot when you remember that the trip there will take probably five days & five days back.  We could make it in less time if we were willing to drive farther each day but life's too short for that.  Five or six hour days is our usual plan; gives us time to see a few sights, walk the dog and generally enjoy life a bit.

I did get one surprise last night.  My wife asked me to cook her steak a little more!  Now some people like a well-done steak but my wife has always gone for rare.  On the bbq I do hers 1.5 minutes on a side; now it comes out that they've been coming out a bit too rare.  Hmmm.  Wonder when she was planning on telling me?  Oh well, tastes change.

Speaking of tastes changing, I'm going to attack our portfolio beginning next week.  We've got way too much overlap in various mutual funds.  I'm looking for index funds that we can spread to get even more diversification.  In the last week I've read that the market is oversold and that it is fine; that there is a new housing bubble and housing is slowly recovering.  Who knows, but what are you going to do, you can't stand on the sidelines forever. 

Fear is an acid which is pumped into one's atmosphere.  It causes mental, moral and spiritual asphyxiation, and sometimes death; death to energy and all growth.  - Horace Fletcher