Old Diary

Winter Stock-Up Accomplished

Thursday morning we woke to 38º and sun.  Our high for the day was forecast to be only 55º and it was a good day to get our pre-trip stocking up out of the way.  Three stores later we were ready with those items that we missed last time in S. Texas.  5 lbs of whole bean coffee, corned beef, nuts, a molasses granola — not a lot of items but comfort food items I guess.

We’re making a point of getting in our daily walk — mostly at the mall but we’re keeping moving! I’m looking foward to the warmer temps down south and hoping to get in more outdoor walking.  I’m such a wimp when it comes to walking in the cool.  I’ll do it when I have to — at Highland Ridge I had no choice but to get out each morning and hang reservation cards and it made sense to do that circle through the campground on foot.  Here I actually have to tell myself:  “GET OUT!”  Without the gig,  it’s easy to get lazy…. mumble, mumble, mumble.

Friday Peg has a play date with her buddies.  I’ll be batch’ing it for the evening.  In years gone buy I’d use the opportunity to go out for a fish fry.  Now, however, with the emphasis on losing some more weight, the idea isn’t as appealing to me.

Which brings me to something completely different.


  • Wisconsin, more particularly MILWAUKEE!
  • After church
  • 1 lb. of Hot Ham
    (nothing more ‘special’ than pre-sliced pullman ham — packaged in 1lb. aluminum foil insulated baggies — it really does arrive at home still hot!)
  • 1/2 doz free sandwich rolls
    (Kaiser Rolls for the purist)
  • a tradition!

It’s a strange little thing this infatuation with “Hot Ham and Rolls” that you get in Milwaukee.  They say it’s an after church ‘thing’ but I suspect that really means it’s an after MASS thing.  Milwaukee was heavily Polish for a long while and the Poles are heavily Catholic.  Even though there are more Germans (who tend to be Lutheran) in Milwaukee (at the turn of the 20th Century 75% of all the business in Milwaukee was done in the German language — there were THAT many Germans in town) than Poles this seems to be more of a Polish than German thing. Minnesota has the ‘hot dish’, NY has ‘beef on wech’, other states have their unique foods as well.  In Wisconsin it’s Friday Fish Fry, and in Milwaukee it’s Hot Ham on a Kaiser Roll.

hungarian-pot-roast-slideMe?  I’m Polish.  I went to church. Dad hated sammiches!  Mom always had a hot, cooked dinner on the table after church!  I know nothing from Ham & Rolls!

What I do remember was pot roast with noodles! Thrown in some time after the pot roast was partially cooked, the raw noodles would cook in the pot liquor from the roast and were obviously overcooked after a couple hours in the oven — but also definitely infused with all the goodness and some of the fat from the roast.  Not a low calorie meal; not very high in fiber or vitamins; but those egg noodles were to die for!  It wasn’t Hungarian, or Polish, or French or anything — it was just roast beef with noodles and pan juices.  Yum Oh!

On a non fattening wavelength…


The Hover Camera — program it to follow a body or a face. Imagine the uses for a dedicated stalker!

Technology is coming for you… I mean it’s coming to get you!  I saw two little videos that scared the living daylights out of me.  One is for a miniature hovercraft that flies itself and can be operated from a smartphone. I know this selfie-obsessed-nation is infatuated with themselves, but there is something really weird about putting a little baby drone up in the air to follow you around and take your own picture.

The second items is the that you can use to power any kind of electric or electronic hardware. — It’s a fully functional $5.00 Linux computer.  This idea has revolution written all over it.  I mean, sure, there are revolutionary implications to such a simple fully cloud integrated operating system that runs on Linux.  But there are also fully revolutionary implications as well.  omega2-computerI’m going to be interested to see how this plays out.  We’re at the point where we can do the most outrageous things with technology.  The question is, to what use will we put them?

Well, that’s all the further I’m going today.  I’ve been enjoying a 6 months of someone else paying our WiFi fees — First 5 months of free DSL through the CORPS, and now a month of in-park WiFi — Next month I’m going to have to actually pay attention to how much bandwidth I use.  Silly boy….

Alexa this and Alexa that…

screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-9-16-46-amI was shopping Amazon for a last minute purchase — something I could have delivered before we leave Milwaukee — and the automatic adverts landed me in another world.  I was already awed sufficiently by the $5.00 computer and the baby drone, and then I was inundated by Echo ads.  You already know that I don’t pay attention to TV commercials — I’ve confessed that along with a lot of other character faults of mine.  But looking at the online ad I realized that I’ve been seeing pictures for Amazon’s product called ECHO and I had no idea what it was.  screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-8-23-17-amSo I paid attention this morning.

I noticed that they say it’s easy to set up and to use.  And I thought “Sure, sure.”


My 1980’s Kaypro!

I remember the days when my Kaypro computer came with manuals weighing in at twice the weight of that heavy old computer!  For all the things they tell you it can do for you surely there are going to be manuals — and of course — there aren’t.


All you need is internet connectivity… Seems you can’t do anything at all without Internet connectivity anymore.screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-8-22-49-am  It turns out that you talk to your Echo — calling it Alexa — why they couldn’t get that right from the get-go is beyond me.  Couldn’t they have named the Echo as Alexa instead?   Anyway…. you talk to your echo and it does stuff for you.  Instead of getting out of bed to turn off my bedroom lights I can ask Alexa to turn them off.  I suppose I could have done the same with a Clapper. the-clapper (Circa 1980’s I guess) But time moves on and we all have to move along with it. I’m unsure how much the interface costs to allow me to remotely turn on a single circuit but I’m sure it’s more than the cost of a Clapper.  Alexa will turn off my TV (isn’t that what remotes are for?)screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-8-22-38-am

If I want to reach beyond simple gadges I can interface with the world from the convenience of my Barcalounger.  I can get Automatic to tell me if I need gas.  Who is Automatic anyway?  And how do they know if I need gas?  I can listen to the latest Huffpost headlines, or find out if my 401K has tanked along with the rest of the stock market.  Oh my, Oh my.  This is surely going to make a world full of speed-heads even more paranoid about what’s happening around them.

Of course, as a Full Time RV’er I don’t have to worry about any of this.  I’m paying for 30 gigs of WiFi per month and just doing the stuff I’ve already been doing I usually get right to the limit of my monthly WiFi allottment even without streaming movies.  I don’t know if this kind of technology will ever (within the foreseeable future — or as long as I’m RV’ing) become feasible (spell that:  “A-F-F-O-R-D-A-B-L-E”) for the average Joe.  I know I can just about afford my monthly payments to Verizon as it is.

I come to believe that part of being a Full Time RV’er is knowing what you can do without.  In homes, in transportation, in technology…. and a lot of other ways. We have the choice of complicating our lives but with trimmed down kitchens, and limited storage it’s not possible to have all the toys that we might have when we were bound to sticks & bricks.  If you’re at all like me, this has been liberating.  But not without the ponder:  have I left myself in a place where I’m becoming obsolete just because I can’t stay current of technology?  Or do I need to stay current — at this point in life.  Because, of course, none of us knows whether we’ll be around for 2 minutes or 2 decades.

I think about my maternal grand mother who lived to 103.  She predated almost all the computers — I’m trying to remember if I even had my Kaypro when she was around.  Of all the older people I have ever known for some reason she is my touchstone about what it means to age gracefully. She didn’t complain; she adjusted to life. There was one year — almost 365 days precisely when she was not herself.  Right about 100 years she had hip surgery and when she came out of the anesthetic she was like a different person.  She stayed in that altered persona for almost exactly 1 year and suddenly she went back to the sparkling old gal she’d been before.  No one ever adequately explained the 1 year’s aberration; I was just glad to have her back.  Aside from that short period she was generous, kind, understanding — even when I had a hard time communicating with her in English when Polish was still an easier tongue for her than her adopted English. She didn’t gossip.  She accepted people for who they were.  And she loved life, and food, and friends.  If I do as well as she did — I’ll be more than happy. She needed no technology — I’m not as advanced and civilized as she was.  I still seem to need my digital persona.  But …. I think I can do with out Echo, and Alexa, and a lot of the toys and tools that merchandisers are trying to sell me. I’ll give it a good try, anyway….

Have a great day, and I’ll be here to chat in the morning.  Why not stop by and see what’s up!


8 thoughts on “Winter Stock-Up Accomplished

  1. Liz W says:

    I can certainly understand your frustration with not being able to find food items in South Texas. Have you tried getting them through Amazon? I have decided there is nothing that Amazon doesn’t carry! With Amazon Prime, it is often cheaper than a trip to the store. I would think, for example, that keeping five pounds of whole bean coffee fresh is a challenge. Just a thought, and probably one you have already thought of too. Safe travels.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Sand says:

    That roast beef and noodles looks wonderful!

    Our daughter’s name is Alexa. I have visions of her being someplace public and thinking all these people are telling her what to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cletus says:

    Just stumbled across my Kaypro in the barn a few weeks ago. Thought I’d gotten rid of it a few years ago.

    I am a pack rat, I can’t deny it. I didn’t live through the depression or live on a farm but my parents did and I believe I inherited a gene that makes me see value and worth in every little scrap of something. I find it very hard to throw things away but I often find another use for them, just not very quickly, sometimes it takes years.

    We are currently on the last leg of our trip to Rockport TX, Left on the 14th, will arrive on the 26th. So far so good, hope your trip goes well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Kaypro would make a good boat anchor now! Amazing what we did with a processor speed of 4K. I learned how to program databases on that thing. Built an entire cash accounting system in dBase! I was so proud of myself!
      I can sympathize with the see value in every little scrap. If it weren’t for RV’ing I’d still be that way. But with no place to store stuff… you know how it goes.

      My blog is behind real life by a little short of a week. We’ll be passing through Rockport on our way to Mustang Island on Sunday. Monday might drive back that way in the car and look around at RV parks there. Where do you stay? We might check it out for the future. I’ve talked with a bunch of people who winter there and they all like it. We ended up in Los Fresnos because friends recommended it, but we have no particular investment in going there — other than convenience and knowing what’s there…. if we investigate some place else, who knows.


      • Cletus says:

        We stay at Bay View, not a very posh park but we like the site size and the somewhat “looser restrictions” than other parks, i.e. we can store our sailboat on our site and can have firepits. Just got here this afternoon (Oct 26). Many people don’t care for it because the roads are not paved. We like the people here in Bay View and have quite a few Rockport locals as friends. We’ve been coming to the area for many years so if you do make the drive we may be able to answer questions. There are many, many RV parks in the area.

        I assume you have access to my email address and can contact me that way if you wish.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If it looks like we will have time to wander around Rockport I’ll send you an email beforehand. We’re @ Mustang Island 2 nights so we’ll see how far we get — could be that we make a trip up from Harlingen during the winter. That’s always a possibility too.


Comments are closed.