In a blog post the other day titled Finally Got It Wet, I wrote about our first outing with our Bennington pontoon boat. I also shared that while our time on the water was very nice, we ran into a problem once we had the boat loaded onto the scissor trailer and inside our garage. We had difficulty unhooking the trailer from our pickup truck, and when we did get it to come loose, the back end of the boat slammed about six inches down and hit the floor, while the trailer’s tongue was sticking up about three feet in the air. And to make matters worse, the scissor trailer was stuck under the boat and we couldn’t pull it out.
I was sure I had done some major damage to the boat and was just sick about it. But yesterday, Rich, the sales manager at Gerry’s Marina in New Smyrna Beach where I bought the boat, came by to check things out for me. He told me not to worry, Bennington’s are built like tanks, and there was no damage done. Then he had our friend Jim Lewis and me stand on the trailer’s tongue and gently bounce up and down a couple of times, and when we did, the back end came up enough that he and Miss Terry could put 4×4 blocks under the rear of the pontoons. Then Rich put two more blocks under the pontoons toward the front and cranked the trailer down, setting the weight on those blocks. You couldn’t do that on some brands of pontoon boat without crushing the tubes, but like Rich said, Bennington’s are made like tanks. It’s one reason I chose that brand.
So now the boat is level on the blocks, the trailer is loose and waiting to be cranked up the next time we take the boat out, and we know now to put the boat down on the blocks and then to crank the trailer all the way down before we unhook it from the truck. Lesson learned, and everything is right in my world again. Thanks Rich, you’re a lifesaver!
I’ve been getting quite a few questions from readers about the Facebook scandal, and how personal information was being mined from user profiles. People are asking me if it is safe to use Facebook anymore. Some also want to know how to protect their identity when they are on the road, using credit cards and putting down their personal information on campground check-in cards.
Is that any different than when you go to a hotel and check in, and give them your home address and telephone number? Or when you purchase something in a store and they want your information for the warranty? Or when you take your car or RV in for service? Face it folks, we live in a world where nothing is really private anymore. Sure, you can take precautions, but most people don’t realize how much information there is about you floating around out there.
Most people post so much personal crap on Facebook anyway that it’s a wonder anybody has to look hard for information. Just the other day somebody I know had a post on Facebook from her sister saying that she may not be home when they arrive, but to park the RV in the driveway and the house key is under a statue of a turtle on the front porch. Talk about asking to get ripped off!
And it’s not just Facebook. Google your own name sometime. You may be amazed at what’s out there. Some of you know that I am into genealogy, a popular hobby with RVers. Did you know that a simple subscription to Ancestry.com can give you all kinds of information, not just about dead relatives, but about lots of people who are alive and well, too?
If you don’t believe me, you can check it out without even subscribing to Ancestry. Just go to a public library and ask to use one of their computers. These days many libraries have Ancestry subscriptions. Log onto the website and type in your name, the state you were born in or a state you once lived in, and a birthday range of say 2 to 5 years. You will probably find addresses of places where you lived, quite often telephone numbers, possibly marriage or divorce records, names of close relatives, and a lot more.
Like I said, nothing is really private anymore. So don’t worry too much about giving a campground owner your name and telephone number when you check in. There are a lot more nefarious characters out there you should be worried about than the guy standing behind the counter at your local campground.
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Thought For The Day – Growing old is not easy. Sometimes the mind says “yes” but the body says “What the hell were you thinking?”