Monday, February 2, 2009

Quartzsite, Az, Week 4

Monday: (02/02) Lou and I did the wash and returned home and had breakfast. I had cottage cheese and fruit while Lou and Dawn had cottage cheese and squash with brown sugar. To each their own. They were then off to the bingo game. I walked over to Satellite Advantage and arranged to bring the RV in tomorrow. The Internet system still isn't working. I also took advantage of their Internet to post this.

I worked on the system more and called Motosat, my new provider, and he was able to change my transponder assignment but still keep me on the same satellite. He said it wouldn't take effect for 15 to 20 minutes. It didn't work for me tonight for the couple of hours I continued to try.

Lou and Dawn have been busy packing the car for their departure. Quite a project to get it all to fit. hey look a little like the Clampets headed to California

I warmed up the dinner. Left over pepper tofu soup with fondue and warm bread. All enjoyed outside under the stars. No campfire tonight though since we've managed to burn all the wood.

Tuesday: (02/03) We were all up early. Breakfast was some maple granola. After breakfast, Lou and Dawn headed off toward home. The back of the car was filled with the collected stuff. Te inside of the RV has much more room now. Lou will return in a coupe of weeks.

As their dust was settling, I started working on the Satellite communications problem again. What problem? It locked right on the satellite now that the new transponder assignment finally took effect. I then had to re-register the modem, all new stuff to me but quite simple to do. My old Ground Control NAP always just worked but it was too slow. The new modem increased my speed from like dial-up to like DSL speeds. Really nice. I called Satellite Advantage and told them I got it working and wouldn’t be in for them to fix it. It was just AWFUL being without the connection these past few days.

Don's Finger On The Mend.JPG
When I got up this morning, my problem finger hurt. It looks like a new cyst has formed adjacent to the recently completed surgery. Oh joy, something to do when I do return home. By then I should have lost the remainder of the fingernail and should know if there is going to be a new nail just before they slice it up again.

Lunch was a leftover corned beef sandwich. I ended up tapping the computer keys all day. I needed to catch up.

About 4pm, I moseyed over to Trina’s for a couple of her $1 burgers and a vanilla milk shake. On the way over, I noticed that one of the RV vendors, Paul Evert, had closed down and all his RVs, about 100 were gone. He was the RV peddler immediately adjacent to the RV show. How do they do that? He has a lot in Laughlin and one in Bullhead City, both about 100 miles away. That is fairly close but still seems like a lot of drivers are needed.

When I got back to the RV, I tidied up the yard some. I put away most of the chairs, the tables, and picked up the patio mat. I may leave here Thursday?

I worked at the computer some more then settled in for the night by watching an NCIS episode via AOL videos online. It worked perfectly. The speed is nice but may be a problem. There is a thing called FAP (Fair Access Policy) for users of satellite Internet systems. It keeps one user from hogging all the bandwidth. I guess I was a hog. I managed to reach the limit of my FAP and was throttled down to the minimum for the next 24 hours. Darn. In the 5 years that I’ve had my Ground Control NAP with its Hughes 4000 modems, I never reached my FAP, even with all evening heavy use. I guess my new limit is about 300M whereas I believe it was 500M before. The new modem is much faster and evidently I used a lot more than historically for me. Live and learn. It’s always something! I watched some of my Perry Mason episodes on DVD the rest of the evening.

Wednesday: (02/04) I fixed some corned beef hash for breakfast and then worked at the computer for a while. Seems like a trend? I got the bike out. Actually, the first one I got out was Lou’s. They’re in zipper bags. I decided to cart hers back in and get mine out. Shouldn’t have. I always have to air the tires up before use, especially after a prolonged non-use. My front tire valve stem had a leak, not the valve but about a ¼ inch down on the stem. It was a pressure sensitive leak. It kept about 20 lbs in the tire but I need 50lbs so it needs replacement. I should have used Lou’s bike.

About 11:00, I headed over to K&B Tools and picked up a couple of things, nothing I really needed, but I will, someday. I then had an ice cream cone while I watched some of the vendors packing to leave. Many more are gone.

I walked over the hill to the auto parts store looking for a new tube for the bike. No luck but they said the hardware store had them so off I went. They had lots of tubes but not my size (20x1.5). It seems the universal 20” tube size is for from 1.75-2.5. Not an exact fit so I’ll wait. Across the street from Herb’s hardware is the Palo Verde Restaurant. I had lunch there, some creamed broccoli soup and a slice of peach pie ala mode.

2007 HR Admiral SVE  30' Full Slide Motorhome.JPG 2007 HR Admiral SVE  30' Full Slide Motorhome.JPG 2007 HR Admiral SVE  30' Full Slide Motorhome.JPG
I then walked toward home but on the way looked at the RV4Less Lot at the corner of Central and Main. They fluffed up their lot and brought in a few new coaches. One was a 2007 Monaco Admiral, 30’, full slide with 5k miles.

2007 HR Admiral SVE  30' Full Slide Motorhome.JPG 2007 HR Admiral SVE  30' Full Slide Motorhome.JPG 2007 HR Admiral SVE  30' Full Slide Motorhome.JPG
It looks good. Fortunately, Lou isn’t here to look at it so no worries on resisting the temptation. Big coach for a 30 footer with a nice floorplan!

Last night it never got cold and today it got up in the 80’s again. The weather is interesting.

Just before sunset, I climbed on the roof and lowered the solar panels. It wasn't easy. I usually park with the nose to the West but this time i was parked with the nose to the East so we looked into the trees. I had to raise the panels to the opposite side (right side) I learned that the cables to the panels are a little short so more Mickey mousing was needed to get them up and therefore more un-Micky mousing to lower them. I then put away the remaining outside stuff. The lounge chairs hang on the ladder so they had to wait until the panels were lowered. The tire covers weren't needed any longer because the sun was down. Now if I can only remember to lower the dish in the morning. That's why a walk-around is always needed.

Dinner was chili with pepper jack cheese.

I watched some John Wayne movies and tested the Internet every now and again. It's neat how quickly the new system is ready for use after turn on. When I tested it at 1045pm, it was back to full speed so I started to do my best to cause another over limit. Needless to say, I didn't get to bed early.

Thursday: (02/05) I was up a little late and relaxed a while before taking my shower. Around 1120 I left our home of the past 3.5 weeks.  I stopped by the General Store Market and got some sausage to go.

I then filled the LPG tanks across the street. I sometimes don't pay enough attention. I have to wonder if I didn't experience a third world deception though. In Mexico I understand they still have to manually clear the gasoline pump meter before each use, and they often don't clear it  just to allow the sale of the same gas a couple of times. Anyway, I didn't check the LPG meter when the guy started to fill the tank. Now, I really may not have needed to fill the tank but I wanted to help the local economy if possible. The tank meter showed a little below 1/4 full. The attendant managed to put 17.5 gallons in the tank. On the last fill up, the meter needle was no where to be seen, a very empty tank. The attendant on that fill-up was able to put 16 gallons into the tank to fill it. That level of fill is the norm. So, if they were both the same full when through, why more gallons into a fuller tank? A mystery, but actually everything is relative. How full is full, how empty is empty. It may be that most attendants only fill the tank to 3/4 full thinking that the meter reads real tank level rather than normal tank level. I think (hope) the meter actually reads an adjusted full at 80% of full which is the recommended fill, the point that the stuff comes out the bleeder valve. I hope that is true. I believe the tank size  is 24 gallons? If that is true, then 17.5 may be accurate and the previous record fill of 22 gallon was possibly accurate, though a bit over filled. Just as likely, both times , the meter wasn't reset after filling a 5 gallon tank for someone else. So, I need to remember to check the meter. Of course, since I didn't, I had to assume it was accurate. As usual, it is actually more likely that it was accurate and I'm confused.

Now back to the normal blog.

I then headed on South to the dump site and took care of business with the tanks after which, I had lunch before departing. About 12:15 I headed off toward Yuma. I did a little shopping. One important item was new tubes for the bike. WalMart had some proper sized tubes and they included built-in Slime, the leak stopper stuff. Our bikes require Slime to make a trip out and back on the same air fill-up. I also picked up a few other things not available in Quartzsite. About 7pm, I filled-up the fuel tank and then headed over to something I saw on the way into town, a Golden Corral Buffet. I had dinner there and managed to treat it more like dinner rather than a challenge.

At several of the stops I made in town, I raised the satellite dish and browsed the Internet to find things. It also was a good test of the new system. The first time I tried, it didn't connect. I suspected it was on the wrong transponder and it was. Since the last manual transponder change by Hughes, they changed it again. It worked fine this morning in Quartzsite.  Hughes newer modems, not my old 4000 modems, can be reset to use different transponders (frequencies) as needed to manage the network traffic. They can do it on the fly. All works well until the dish is stowed and re-aimed. For some unknown reason, the dish controller can't read the modem and reset it's own settings to match. I can't even imagine why the firmware doesn't do it. It's obviously possible because an external program has that capability but doesn't do it automatically either. Seems like some integration is in order. Now that I've bought my equipment, it can now be fixed and make mine obsolete. The other two raises of the dish worked perfectly.

I headed back North to the Imperial Dam area and Senator Wash LTVA for the night.

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