Sunday, October 25, 2009

Quiet time in the Keys

We had a very quiet day today, as have the last several as the hoopla that attends Fantasy Fest has not yet begun. Early this afternoon we took the dogs to DOG BEACH, an off leash dog park in Key West. As far as beaches go, it was something less than overwhelming. Dog Beach in San Diego was many acres and hundreds and hundreds of feet of beach. In Key West, the beach is about 50 feet long and extends between two piers. It was wet and the dogs had a great time. The water was very warm and had the turquoise hue that one finds in the Bahamas. It was a pretty setting as small as it was.

There were no crowds and traveling from Marathon to Key West and back was a breeze. I think I only saw one police car on the whole trip. Next week there will be many, many chances to pay a fine for speeding or poor driving. It's this quiet, laid back atmosphere of mid October that got us her the first time. We avoid holidays and lobster season completely. Things should start hopping mid week and next Friday and Saturday will be frantic. Sunday morning we'll be heading home and if it goes as it has in the past, it should be no problem. The heavy drinkers from Saturday night will not be up to making an early departure, so we'll generally have US 1 to ourselves.

That's all for now.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Enjoying our stay in the Florida Keys

From Keys

We're made it to our campsite at Knight's Key resort in the middle of the Florida keys. It's 47 miles to Key West, but it's a trip we'll only take twice. This far from the bedlam that one finds at Fantasy Fest it's quiet and relaxing. The management of the campground is very mellow. Want to change the location of the motorhome??? No problem. Keep your boat on the beach right in front of your camper? No problem. Can we walk the dogs anywhere? No problem. How about guests next week? No problem. All this accommodation and half price rent, what more could we ask.

From Keys

This is the view I have from my computer. Oh, did I mention free wifi? Yes, they even have free wifi, so I don't have to go to the library.

From Keys

This is a friend of Helen's. There are a couple of them around the campground. They are relatively small, compared to most we see in the Keys, but they are a lot friendlier than others we've encountered.

Looking west from the campground just after sunset. It sure feels like paradise to us.

From Keys

Our campsite as seen from the boat basin.

I took a tour with my little Jon boat today and circumnavigated Boot Island. It was a very nice trip and since I trolled for fish as I went, I caught over a dozen barracuda and a small pinfish. I saw several stingrays and one small spotted eagle ray. The area between Boot island and Vaca Key (Marathon is a city which is located on Vaca Key) is a huge boat basin. Closer to Marathon the boats are newer, larger, and more luxurious. Nearer Boot Island you will will find the older boats in poor condition or some that are derelicts. I guess this is where some old boats go to die.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another Successful Day

I had a great day today! An early run to the lake revealed that the boat is running perfectly. It was a very beautiful morning. The water was very calm and black, making everything reflect in the water and, of course, I had no camera. A white egret on a root, some colorful boats on shore, and a small island of cypress trees were all reflected to perfection. Rita and I will have to make the trip one of these days and record some great images.

The Cove Restaurant is just a short hop from the boat ramp. It took me a while to actually find The Cove, but the trip back to the ramp only took seven minutes. It would be a nice, and different, way to get to the chicken wings. Of course, it was raining when we left the restaurant yesterday and that would make the ride back in the boat most unpleasant.

I turned on my computer this morning and was horrified that I could not access the Internet. A bit of panic was setting in and I was starting to break into a sweat when I realized that I had to reboot the system in order. I removed power from everything and waited a few minutes. Then I plugged in the cable modem and waited for the proper lights to indicate. Then I plugged in the router. Next was the phone modem and finally the computer. Voila! Everything is working well.

I did a little more work on the boat trailer, nothing major, just fine tuning my previous work. Then I started on the motorhome by checking the air in the tires and adding air where necessary. It had started to pour, so I didn't get around to installing the pressure sensors on each wheel as that entails laying on the ground to reach a couple of the tires. Tomorrow is another day and I SHOULD get to it first thing.

That's all I'm saying for today!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dining at the Cove

We had an interesting day with Barb and Rita during another of our excursions to The Cove, an out-of-the-way bistro that specializes in chicken wings. Oh, there are other items on the menu, but we all pass up the "Big Ass Burger" in favor of the wings.

We returned to our house after, and had a couple of hours of stimulating conversation and gossip. It's always interesting when we spen time with these two wise-cracking friends.
Posted by Picasa

I'm making some headway and having fun!

Hooray!!! Hooray!! This is being posted from my desktop computer which I got back this morning. It's nice to see all my old applications and, I confess, my games. I have a lot of information saved on the desktop, and I back up by saving to a second hard drive in the same computer. If a hard drive goes down, I have backup, but when the motherboard died, I had no place to go.

I also took the boat back out today and thought it ran better than last time, it still hesitates intermittently at full speed. It's starving for fuel, but between the fuel filter and the tank. I thought I'd check the fuel tank, thinking that a filter there may be clogged. When I went to remove the fitting, the syphon tube fell off. It was a very loose fit and it could very easily allow some air to be picked up. The tank filter was perfectly clean. I put a small hose clamp on the tube and will try the boat again tomorrow. This afternoon I also made a few adjustments to the trailer.

Now for the fun!!! The BARITA GIRLS (that would be Barbara Kennedy and Rita Lang), came over around noon time and joined Helen and me at the Cove. Best wings in all of............. well, I don't know how far, but we all love them. With the nice lunch, we had a session of stimulating conversation. Then we moved back to the house where the conversation continued for quite a while.

A few minutes ago I finally got around to connecting the computer and now I'm in 'puter heaven. I had been using a 1999 vintage Dell and although it worked well, it was S L O W. So now my HP seems to sizzle.

That,s all I'm saying for now.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Unfinished Business

Here it is October 13th, and I still have so many things that are not done. Most of it is not my fault, but I'm getting upset anyway. I still don't have my computer back. I talked to the owner of Computer Doctor and he said he was having trouble getting a replacement motherboard. This morning I went on the internet and found numerous places that had the replacement board. I have a list and will visit him later today. As the owner of the shop, it's his duty to make things happen and this lapse is inexcusable.

I finally sent my dive watch to a Citizen Service Center for repair and refurbishment. It's a place I've dealt with before and their service was very good and very fast. This time I was a bit put out because a lot of time went by and I didn't hear from them, so I called. The shop is in Atlanta, GA. They are located in an area that was very badly flooded after the great rains a couple of weeks ago. They are still in business, but it has taken awhile to get set back up and their backlog is great. Something else for me to wait on.

I did finish the boat trailer and I'm delighted with the way it turned out. The rust was so much more than I expected that I had to cut off the springs and suspension and get new parts. Fortunately, there is a trailer parts place in Homosassa that stocks all the parts and they are relatively cheap. I hope to take the boat out later today to make sure that all is running well. We had a little problem last week, but that was due to an air leak in the fuel line. The new fuel line will take care of that.

Next on the agenda is to attach the boat trailer to the motorhome and ensure that the lights on the trailer will work properly when connected. I'm not expecting a problem, but........... Then it's merely getting ready to travel to the Keys, doing all the little odds and ends that must be done prior to the trip.

I guess that's all I have to say for now.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Capitalism, a love story

Today Helen and I went to see the latest Michael Moore movie, Capitalism, A love story. I'm sure that this movie is not everyone's cup of tea, but Helen and I enjoyed it. It chronicles the capitalism movement in the US since the depression and shows how the current work ethic of greed at any cost is damaging to our country at many levels. Now, Michael Moore is considered to be something of a fringe liberal, so I'm a bit surprised that Helen and I did not disagree with him on a single facet of his film. He makes it so obvious that it's not the people who Congress supports, but the powerful financila interests. No surprise there.

That's all for now.
Posted by Picasa

More things to do 10/01/09

Here I am again complaining about all I have to do around here. This time it has nothing to do with the house or motorhome. PT brought back our boat Saturday and he had a minor problem with it the last time he had it out. The engine would run poorly at full speed and PT thought he had fixed the problem by cleaning gunk out of the fuel line. I checked the fuel line inside the engine cover and thought all was well. Helen and I took the boat out this morning to try it out and make sure that it is running well for our trip down the Keys. It seemed to run for awhile, then started to run very poorly at full speed. By squeezing the priming bulb, I was able to keep enough fuel going to the engine to keep it running strongly. I believe that the fuel line between the gas tank and the engine has a small leak that lets the engine suck air into the fuel line. I expect to replace it tomorrow. Another test ride is needed, but will have to wait until I get the trailer back together.

Yup, the trailer is all apart. There has been a lot of rust on the trailer because I often use the boat in salt water and I've wanted to repaint for some time. It was a lot more work than I thought and I had a devil of a time taking the axle and springs off. I found one of the springs broken and one of the grease seals on the axle needs to be replaced. Fortunately, the parts are easily found and not too expensive, so I should have the trailer back in service in just a few days.

I'm still waiting to get my desktop computer back. I called Computer Doctor last week and got the girlfriend of the owner's son. Apparently the owner was in the hospital and the family was there also. How can you press people when they are already in a fix?

That's all for now.