Palm Trees in southern Florida

Thursday, November 27, 2014


I did find a job, it's temporary with a very large big box retailer for a bit above minimum wage.
It is close to where I live and that is important, I'm not into long commutes anymore, I was spoiled by workcamping.

Do I really want to do this? Why not?

After I said 'yes' I did receive some other offers for a little bit more money but they were farther away... and I'd already said yes.

I spent two days learning to be a cashier and then moved into the Christmas layaway/photo area.

The actual labor is not bad, most everyone is pleasant, it is a friendly place, once I was finished with cashier training it's been mostly different tasks and it's gas money in the bank.
This area is the most expensive we've stayed in since we left two years ago so the gas money is important.

When I got paid that first time it had been four months since I'd been paid for work I'd done. It was not much money but it felt good!

Tonight will be my first Black Friday, this ought to be different.

On the other hand I'm already tired of the Christmas ads..
From the music to the car companies giving kick-backs it's going to be a long month ...

Gulf Coast sun rise
Santa Cruz sunset

A Hawaiian sunset

Desert sunset
The sun sinking into the Pacific ocean


 I really needed a picture or two and I'm a sucker for sunsets.

Friday, November 21, 2014


An odd thing just happened, my wife received a call from the IRS on her cell phone.

We put it on speaker phone.

It seems she had been defrauding them and they were coming to arrest her, seize all her assets, freeze bank accounts and the local sheriff was to be involved. They were going to tell her work about it too.
The guy had an accent that I thought was Indian and wanted to know the name and phone number of her criminal attorney.

When I asked for his number so I could call him back he hung up.

Just the other day I'd heard about this on the radio news/traffic channel and a quick search found this from back in March

With these modern phones the number calling shows up, 202-800-7363 is what showed up on her phone.

I needed a picture and liked this one

 Very Odd.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wholesale food stores

I was driving by and thought I'd stop at 'Cash and Carry', a wholesale food outlet. Back when we were dealing with the kids any wholesale food store was a worthwhile place. Plus this is the only place I can find the brand of microwave burritos I like.

There are so many different things in a food outlet like this.

I really can't use a 50 pound box of Krusteaz pancake mix anymore or a 50 pound bag of flour... I really don't need a 50 pound bag of anything!

I have to really reach to find a use for a #10 can of anything either, but sometimes I just have to.

Potatoes & burritos, that's shopping!

Then I saw those 50 lb bags of Baking Potatoes, a bag was less than $6.
Big potatoes too!

 There is a lot to be said for a BIG baked potato.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Shorts and flip flops

I woke up at 3am to pee and there was no water.... cold enough to freeze the water hose to the RV.
Not a water problem as we have an internal tank and pump and it will warm up come daylight but that is the 1st time this season
It's not shorts and flip flop weather!

Last year in Rockport TX we did not have this problem but it was not shorts and flipflop weather either

Were do I need to go to get to where the climate fits my clothes? I looked at the temperature chart.

14 Nov 2014, 0715 PST

The Florida Keys! I'm 3500 miles away from shorts and sandals....maybe next month....where did I put my socks?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Parking Lots and the Forest

I was sitting in a hospital room on the 7th floor looking out the window, there is a lot of sitting around in a hospital that seems to be the nature of hospitals.
I was being company.

Looking out the window I was watching people look for a parking place. I'd done that in that very parking lot just the day before, I ended up going to the other side of the hospital and walking back.

Where is the empty spot? That's always the question

You have to imagine me sitting up there, a good distance away hollering "No, no! One more aisle & there is a spot! Don't give up yet". I was just trying to help.
They left, my wife asked me what I was talking about & then I entertained myself for a while longer with the parking lot but I did it quietly. Parking lots are a big part of society.
I was not able to think of a better way to find a parking spot in a lot like that.

We have a lot of forest here in western Washington & they are regularly harvested, clear cut areas and growing back areas are just what you see. But... I don't ever recall seeing this much stuff in piles with a tarp on the top before.

A tarp on top

There were a bunch of piles

It gets cut down, it gets replanted and eventually it grows tall enough to hide the mountains. When it's enough the cycle starts again.

10 years ago we were wondering if this was going to be replanted

Forests and parking lots are part of life in this part of the Pacific northwest.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day

Mike Royko was a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, for Veterans Day 1993 he wrote this column.
I was stationed in Chicago then, I read in the Tribune that year and think of it every Veterans Day.
Mr Royko passed a away in 1997-

    I just phoned six friends and asked them what they will be doing on Monday.

    They all said the same thing: working.

    Me, too.

    There is something else we share. We are all military veterans.

    And there is a third thing we have in common. We are not employees of the federal government, state government, county government, municipal government, the Postal Service, the courts, banks, or S & Ls, and we don’t teach school.

    If we did, we would be among the many millions of people who will spend Monday goofing off.

    Which is why it is about time Congress revised the ridiculous terms of Veterans Day as a national holiday.

    The purpose of Veterans Day is to honor all veterans.

    So how does this country honor them?

    By letting the veterans, the majority of whom work in the private sector, spend the day at their jobs so they can pay taxes that permit millions of non-veterans to get paid for doing nothing.

    As my friend Harry put it:

    "First I went through basic training. Then infantry school. Then I got on a crowded, stinking troop ship that took 23 days to get from San Francisco to Japan. We went through a storm that had 90 percent of the guys on the ship throwing up for a week.

    "Then I rode a beat-up transport plane from Japan to Korea, and it almost went down in the drink. I think the pilot was drunk.

    "When I got to Korea, I was lucky. The war ended seven months after I got there, and I didn’t kill anybody and nobody killed me.

    "But it was still a miserable experience. Then when my tour was over, I got on another troop ship and it took 21 stinking days to cross the Pacific.

    "When I got home on leave, one of the older guys at the neighborhood bar — he was a World War II vet — told me I was a ----head because we didn’t win, we only got a tie.

    "So now on Veterans Day I get up in the morning and go down to the office and work.

    "You know what my nephew does? He sleeps in. That’s because he works for the state.

    "And do you know what he did during the Vietnam War? He ducked the draft by getting a job teaching at an inner-city school.

    "Now, is that a raw deal or what?"

    Of course that’s a raw deal. So I propose that the members of Congress revise Veterans Day to provide the following:

    - All veterans — and only veterans — should have the day off from work. It doesn’t matter if they were combat heroes or stateside clerk-typists.

    Anybody who went through basic training and was awakened before dawn by a red-neck drill sergeant who bellowed: "Drop your whatsis and grab your socks and fall out on the road," is entitled.

    - Those veterans who wish to march in parades, make speeches or listen to speeches can do so. But for those who don’t, all local gambling laws should be suspended for the day to permit vets to gather in taverns, pull a couple of tables together and spend the day playing poker, blackjack, craps, drinking and telling lewd lies about lewd experiences with lewd women. All bar prices should be rolled back to enlisted men’s club prices, Officers can pay the going rate, the stiffs.

    - All anti-smoking laws will be suspended for Veterans Day. The same hold for all misdemeanor laws pertaining to disorderly conduct, non-felonious brawling, leering, gawking and any other gross and disgusting public behavior that does not harm another individual.

    - It will be a treasonable offense for any spouse or live-in girlfriend (or boyfriend, if it applies) to utter the dreaded words: "What time will you be home tonight?"

    - Anyone caught posing as a veteran will be required to eat a triple portion of chipped beef on toast, with Spam on the side, and spend the day watching a chaplain present a color-slide presentation on the horrors of VD.

    - Regardless of how high his office, no politician who had the opportunity to serve in the military, but didn’t, will be allowed to make a patriotic speech, appear on TV, or poke his nose out of his office for the entire day.

    Any politician who defies this ban will be required to spend 12 hours wearing headphones and listening to tapes of President Clinton explaining his deferments.

    Now, deal the cards and pass the tequila.

    - Mike Royko

Monday, November 3, 2014

Looking for a job

I'm sitting here waiting ...

Watching TV, watching movies, reading The Dresden files & the W.E.B. Griffin books. I really need a job.

Since we left to full time there was that few months getting to Quartzsite. Hanging out in Quartzsite then going to Iowa for the first season at the amusement park.

Not much time spent 'not working'.

That winter it was workcamping in Texas then back to Iowa for the second season at the amusement park.  Lot's of time off but I was working.

I'm paying rent here so I'm not saving gas money, a job is needed. I'm looking for gas money, I'm looking for people to react with, I'm not looking for a career.

I'm not looking at unloading overseas containers & shrink wrapping pallets either.

I am NOT in Rockport Texas or the Des Moines area any more. I'm not where the "Help Wanted' signs were plentiful! I'm not in those areas of the south west (I drove through) that has all the drilling going on and "Help Wanted" banners are all over the place.

I'm picky too, I want a job that is no further than it has to be. The workcamping commute has spoiled me ... but my home has wheels,  if I need to move for a 'good' job.

I have put in a lot of applications and talked to more than a few people doing this job search and one thing has jumped out at me.

Everybody asks for a passport as the 'single' ID they will take. No insistence, it's just mentioned.

They will take my social security card & my drivers license or my retired military ID (almost reluctantly) so pulling out the passport has not been necessary.

The last time I went looking for a job passports were not even mentioned. Things change... and it seems I don't goof off very well yet....