gypsyjournal2009

Dec 162010
 

Never underestimate the power of positive sniveling! It actually warmed up a bit in Fort Lauderdale yesterday, and it looks like the worst of this cold spell is about over. The forecast for the next three days is for highs in the mid-70s, and sunshine! Whatever will we do?

Yesterday morning J.C. and Beverly Webber came by to say goodbye and pick up a bundle of Gypsy Journals to drop off at their next stop, then they headed on down the road toward Marathon Key.

After they left, Terry and I ran some errands, stopping at the post office, bank,  and WalMart. I have to be honest and say that even if the weather was good, this area is just too darned busy for our taste. We much prefer a slower pace, and this is a big city, with all of the hustle and bustle that any big city has.

Paradise Island is a clean RV park, and the staff are all very friendly and helpful, but it’s an older place, with very tight spaces, and for us it’s really just a convenient place to park while we visit our friends Jim and Chris Guld from Geeks on Tour. If we wanted to play tourist in this area, it would be a good base from which to do so.

Fort Lauderdale is called the “Venice of America” because of the more than 300 miles of waterways that wind past parks, estates, and luxury hotels. If it was warmer, I’d have my Sea Eagle PaddleSki in the water doing some exploring while we’re here!

For some reason, I had started feeling really puny while we were out, and it felt like my cold or flu from a couple of week ago was returning. Back at the motorhome, I took some Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Formula and took a nap. I woke up an hour or so later, and felt better, so whatever it was seems to have passed.

I called my daughter Tiffany in Arizona and we talked a little bit about what the grandkids wanted for Christmas, and then I went online and ordered a couple of items for them. Isn’t online shopping great? No parking places to find, no crowds pushing and shoving, no packages to wrap, and no long lines at the post office to stand in. Isn’t technology a wonderful thing?

So many people seemed to enjoy the link I posted to a You Tube video about Florida snowbirds in Tuesday’s blog that I found a new one to make you giggle. This isn’t a video, just a funny holiday parody that appealed to my warped sense of humor, so turn up your sound and enjoy!

Chris has been working hard on our website relocation, and tells me she’s making headway. I’m glad she’s the one doing all of this confusing technical stuff, because I get a headache just thinking about it!

Chris and Jim are a real RV success story. When we first met several years ago, they were in the early days of operating their mobile computer education business, and since then we have watched the Geeks on Tour grow into the recognized experts in the RV world. Their seminars are popular at RV rallies nationwide, and they have taught literally thousands of RVers how to get the most out of their computers. They also offer online education for those who can’t make it to one of their seminars. Check out their website to learn more.

Thought For The Day – Wealth is a crutch for those who can’t handle poverty.

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Dec 152010
 

Today is the last day to take advantage of our Two For One Holiday Special. So if you haven’t clicked the link above, there’s still time. You can enter a new subscription to the Gypsy Journal for yourself, or renew your subscription early, and we’ll give someone on your Christmas shopping list a free one year subscription, with a note that it is a gift from you. All you have to do is enter your mailing address, and send me a separate e-mail with the name of the recipient of your gift subscription at editor@gypsyjournal.net and we’ll do the rest. The special ends tonight at midnight, so if you snooze, you lose!

It’s still unbelievably cold here in Fort Lauderdale, but at least the wind has stopped. We’d like to do some sightseeing while were in this area, but between having to get the new issue of the paper finished, and the weather, I don’t know if we’ll do much of anything but stay home and work.

I got an e-mail from my friend Tom Owen down in Key West yesterday, and he said they tied a record low, set in 1952, and that folks on that tropical island are running around in winter coats, gloves, mufflers and longshoreman caps. Tom said that the wind chill was 30 degrees in Key West! We won’t be going to the Florida Keys this year after all! 🙁

Speaking of the cold weather, I have been exchanging e-mails with a couple who are staying in their RV, in a relative’s driveway in the upper Midwest, until after the holidays. They wrote to ask for advice because their water lines were frozen, and I suggested that they put a droplight in their utility bay with a 25 watt bulb. That’s what we did when we were stuck in northern Michigan years ago during Terry’s battle with cancer, and it kept it toasty warm in the water bay.

They replied that their son didn’t want them to do that, because it would run up his electric bill. I also suggested they use heat tape on any exposed water lines, but the lady wrote back and said that was an “awful lot of trouble” and asked me if there wasn’t a simpler way to solve the problem. Uh, yeah, there is. Turn the key and get the heck out of there!

My friend Chris Guld from Geeks on Tour spent most of the afternoon yesterday helping me make some changes in our e-mail program, laying the groundwork for migrating our websites to another host, and talking about where we want to go with our online business in the future. The technology is changing on a daily basis, and it is amazing what we can now offer our readers online.

Later in the afternoon, Chris and her hubby Jim treated us to a wonderful seafood dinner at a restaurant called Catfish Deweys,  that is a local landmark. I had the blackened seafood platter and Miss Terry had blackened catfish, and both were excellent. Thanks Jim and Chris!

Bad Nick has been quiet for a while because he has been on strike, protesting the cold weather. But he finally got of his duff yesterday and posted a new Bad Nick Blog titled Snappy Comebacks. Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – You shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back sometimes.

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Dec 142010
 

I think we missed a turn somewhere along the way south, and instead of Fort Lauderdale, we ended up at the South Pole! I mean really, 33 degree overnight lows just 30 miles from Miami? Really? Isn’t that just a little bit ridiculous? Uh huh, global warming, sure. Would somebody get that damned penguin off my patio!

Yeah, I know, they are having blizzard conditions in Indiana and Michigan. I don’t care! I’m not in Indiana or Michigan! I left Indiana and Michigan and came to warm, sunny Florida!  Did I mention it was 33 degrees here overnight?

Yes, I’m sniveling. Get used to it. I intend to snivel until it hits at least 72 degrees and stays there. And don’t be surprised if I throw in a pout, a tantrum or two, and some serious bitching until it warms up!

Yesterday my friend Chris Guld, from Geeks on Tour, spent several hours with us, going over a lot of technical issues with our websites and e-mail. I would really like to move all of my websites off the Yahoo servers and to some other hosts. Over the years, Yahoo has messed things up so many times, and their technical support is terrible when you call with a problem. But I didn’t want to try moving to a new hosting company until Chris was available to help deal with any problems that might come up.

Chris has some concerns about moving the websites, and I’m not sure what we’ll end up doing yet. I defer to her in things like this, because that lady has more computer knowledge in her little finger than I do in my whole pasty, flabby body.  

Late in the day we went to the post office to mail out some orders, and when we came back, we stopped at J.C. and Beverly Webber’s beautiful Country Coach motorhome for a tour. Wow, what a palace on wheels!

The four of us went out to a great Chinese restaurant for dinner, called the Dragon Gourmet Buffet. The selection was huge, and everything was hot, fresh, and delicious.  

Even with the unseasonably cold weather, this is still snowbird season in Florida, and this great You Tube video pretty much sums things up. It’s just as applicable if you’re in the Rio Grande Valley; Yuma, Arizona, or any other snowbird roost. check it out, I guarantee you’ll get a giggle.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago that something inside our door lock got out of synch, and we had to have a mobile tech fix it. Yesterday when we started out the door, I stuck my key in the lock to turn it, and the entire lock cylinder fell out! We can still secure the door with the deadbolt, but I think it’s time to just replace the entire thing and be done with it.

The door’s been acting flakey ever since I slammed it on the burglar’s hand last year, even though the RV repair shop took it off the Winnebago and put it in a jig to straighten it. Apparently you’re not supposed to use your door as a weapon. Who knew?

We still don’t know where we’re going when we leave here on Sunday. The weather still looks funky, so we probably won’t go down to the Keys after all. I want to spend our time there kayaking and playing in the water, not sitting inside shivering.

I had better close for now, before I launch into another rant.

Thought For The Day –The measure of a man is not whether he falls down, but whether he gets up again.

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Dec 132010
 

Even though I knew it was going to work, and even though the folks at the Ford dealer who reprogrammed our Explorer’s computer brain so the four wheel drive transfer case would go into neutral for towing assured me it would, I still wanted to be sure everything was working properly before we took off, towing the SUV behind the motorhome for the first time.

So, once we pulled off of our site at the Orlando Thousand Trails yesterday morning, we hooked the Blue Ox tow bar to the Explorer, I went through the steps to put the transmission and transfer case in neutral, then had Miss Terry sit in the front passenger seat while I drove through the RV park, so she could let me know if the Explorer was making any nasty noises, or if the rear view mirror or wheels fell off.

Everything went fine, though Terry said some people we passed acted like they had never seen a guy stick his wife back in the dinghy when he hit the road. Don’t those people have any appreciation for peace and quiet? 🙂 (You just know I’m going to pay for that one, don’t you?)

We pulled out of the  campground a few minutes before 10 a.m. and followed U.S. Highway 27 south down the state, passing through the small towns of Avon Park, Sebring, and Lake Placid.

As we passed the M RV Resort, just north of Moore Haven, I told Miss Terry that the place sounded familiar for some reason. A mile or two down the road it hit me – that’s where our good friends Stu and Donna McNicol are spending the month of December! Well, duh! By then it was too late to turn around and go back, and we didn’t know if they were home or out riding their motorcycles anyway. I guess we’ll have to catch them next time around.

We battled a very strong wind all the way south, that alternated between hitting us head on, to slamming us broadside. The wind really took a toll on our fuel mileage; according to our Silverleaf VMSpc engine monitor, we were only averaging about 5.8 miles per gallon.

We passed through mile after mile of sugarcane fields on both sides of the highway, which is a major crop in this region.

Canefields

There were canals alongside the highway most of the way, turning off here and there at right angles back into the cane fields. I told Terry they might be fun to kayak in. Shortly afterward we noticed several cars pulled off the road on the other side of the highway, their drivers and passengers all out and looking down over the guardrail. Terry said they were probably checking out the alligators that surely live in the canals. Here in Florida, any body of water bigger than a kid’s backyard wading pool probably holds a gator or two.

Waterway

In different areas, we noticed several huge plumes of smoke off in the distance, and when we passed by close to one, it looked like the farmers were burning off their fields. As windy as it was, I sure hope they were being careful, because if one of those fires got away from them, it probably wouldn’t have stopped until it hit the Atlantic beaches!

Crop fire 2

Crop fire 3

Eventually we reached Interstate 75 and tuned east for a few miles, and then got onto Interstate 595. Traffic was noticeably heavier, and by the time we reached Interstate 95 it was really hectic. We pulled into Paradise Island RV Resort in Fort Lauderdale about 2:30 p.m., with 220 miles behind us. I sure was glad to be off the road after our windy drive south!

When I got out of the Winnebago and headed for the office to check in, I was met by Gypsy Journal subscriber J.C. Webber, whom we had spoken to briefly at the Thousand Trails last week. Once we were in our site, J.C. and his wife Beverly came by to check out the custom desk units that Carlyle Lehman from Focal Wood Products made for us a while back.

Later in the evening, Jim and Chris Guld from Geeks on Tour also came by to visit. It’s nice having friends everywhere we go!

We’ll be here a week or so, and then, depending on the weather, we hope to get down to the Keys. But if it stays windy and cold, like it has so far this winter, we may scratch that idea and go to Plan B, whatever the heck that is.

Thought For The Day – Even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

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Dec 122010
 

Today is moving day for us. We are leaving the Orlando Thousand Trails preserve this morning, headed for Paradise Island RV Resort in Fort Lauderdale, about 220 miles south.

The “quicker” route is to get over to Interstate 95 and take the superslab south, but what fun is that? If you’ve been on one interstate highway, you’ve been on all of them. We prefer the “blue highways” that show us small town America, and where we can travel at a slower pace.

So instead, we are going to take U.S. 27 south, through Sebring and around Lake Okeechobee, hook up with Interstate 595, and take it to 95. Then it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump north to the campground.

Our friends Jim and Chris Guld, from Geeks on Tour, are staying at Paradise Island this winter, and we’re looking forward to spending some time with them, away from all of the hectic activity of an RV rally, which is usually where we cross paths.

We have had a very good time here at the Thousand Trails, and this is one campground we’ll be returning to again. Now that we have used up our allotted 50 nights per year that we get “free” under our Thousand Trails membership, any other stays are $5/night, which is a darned good price on a full hookup RV site! We do have to come back to this area in the next few weeks to have the nice folks at Camping Connection do our latest Norcold refrigerator recall, but during the winter the Thousand Trails keeps pretty full, so I don’t know if they will have an opening for us.

A while back, a gentleman named Ladd Lougee, an outdoor and fitness enthusiast, wrote me that he came up with the idea for a better travel chair when he was camping in the Mammoth Lakes area of the California Sierra Nevada Mountains. Ladd said that after squirming around in his chair in discomfort for the hundredth time, he asked if anyone else had a sore back from using the typical camping chairs. He was very surprised to hear that nearly everyone else in his group did as well. So Ladd said he set out to build a better chair, the result being the Strongback Chair.

Strongback Chair

Okay, a lot of companies and people contact me, telling me that they have come up with the newest and best whatever, from computers to books to widgets, and I have to admit that usually I’m a skeptic. Most of these outfits simply send me an e-mail press release and expect me to publish it, but I don’t do things that way.

I write back and tell them that if they want to send me one of their products to review I’ll look at it. But, they must be willing to accept the fact that if it is good I’ll say so, and if I think it’s crap, I’ll say that too. I seldom hear back from them after that. I’m never sure if they are just looking for free publicity, or if they don’t have enough faith in their product to let me try it. But Ladd offered to send me a chair to evaluate in his first e-mail. That’s always a good sign.

The chair arrived a couple of days ago, and after sitting in it a while, folding it up and stowing it in its nylon carry bag, and pulling it out to sit on again on different types of terrain, from grass and gravel to blacktop, it is absolutely the most comfortable camp chair I have ever sat in.

The chair is big and roomy, it has solid padded arm rests, a drink holder, and can hold up to 300 pounds, and best of all, its design incorporates a frame-integrated lumbar support that gives my lower back excellent support. Strongback Chairs come in two models, the Zen for smaller people, and the big, roomy Elite model that Ladd sent me.

My only problem with the chair is that Miss Terry likes it just as much as I do, so now we have to fight over it! Or maybe there’s going to be a new chair in her Christmas stocking this year?

Thought For The Day – Stop global whining!

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Dec 112010
 

I try to be a nice guy, and I think most of the time I come pretty close. But there are times when I just have to be a jerk. Or at least some people think that I’m being a jerk.

It has happened a couple of times in the last few days.

I got an e-mail from a lady who purchased our RVers Guide To Fairgrounds Camping a while back, and was upset because one of the fairgrounds had raised their rates and we didn’t have the new rate listed. She wanted to know what kind of satisfaction I was going to offer her.

I replied that while we are constantly updating our guides, it would be impossible for us visit each and every place on a repeated basis to check on any changes. But we do send out inquiries twice a year asking for any changes. If they don’t give us updated information, we can’t reflect those changes.  We have a disclaimer in the first page of the guide that we are not responsible for changes in site fees, availability, or access. I also asked her what “satisfaction “ she expected on a $7.50 guide that still lists fairgrounds with RV camping sites in states from border to border.  

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I got a second complaint on the same fairgrounds guide, this time because a gentleman stopped at a fairgrounds in Wisconsin to spend the night, and they told him that their RV sites were closed for the season and the water was turned off. He told me he expected us to not only refund his money, but also to pay him for his night at a campground he did eventually find open. Well, that’s just not going to happen. I did mention that it was Wisconsin, in December, right?

Back in August, just before our rally in Elkhart, Indiana, a vendor came by Elkhart Campground while Terry and I were laying out the vendor sales area, and demanded that we move him because he was too close to another vendor selling a similar product. We agreed to do so, and spent some time shuffling vendor spaces to make him happy.

A few minutes later I got a call from the campground’s owner because he was in the office making demands on who would be parked near him. So I had to stop what I was doing to go put that fire out, and to apologize to the campground’s owner for his rude behavior.

Then, a day before the rally started, he called me to say that he could not attend the rally because his wife had a medical emergency that required a trip back to California. He also said that his expected merchandise had not arrived, and asked for a refund, even though we don’t give refunds on last minute booth cancellations. But because of the emergency, I told him that we would refund his vendor fees, to help cover the cost of their unexpected trip back to California. Even though we had been turning away vendors because we were full, which meant we would lose money.

However, once the rally had started, this same vendor came through the campground, putting fliers on all of the RVs, advertising his products, which of course ticked off the dealers who had paid for their vendor sites. So obviously, he did not have to go back to California for a medical emergency, and he did have merchandise if he was distributing fliers trying to sell it.

I called him about it, and told him I didn’t appreciate that, and that if he wanted to sell his stuff at our rally, he needed to come and set up the booth he had reserved. He hemmed and hawed, but never came back.

So he didn’t get his refund, and yesterday he e-mailed me wanting to know why. I told him why, and that he would not be attending any of our future rallies either. I’m a pretty easygoing guy, and I believe in doing what I can to accommodate my customers.

But sometimes I have to draw a line. I don’t like being lied to, and I don’t like being taken for a fool. That’s when the jerk in me comes out.

Thought For The Day – You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.

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It Do Feel Good!

 Posted by at 5:29 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 102010
 

Sometimes I have all kinds of things to write about in this blog, and there are other times when I sit down at the computer with no idea what I will come up with to fill the minimum 500 word quota I set for myself every day. Fortunately, one way or another, I always seem to manage to come up with something. My old man used to say, if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS. 🙂

But in writing today’s blog, I had a completely different problem. I couldn’t keep my eyes open long enough to type, and my fingers all felt like limp noodles when I tried to hit the keys.

No, I’m not sick, just super relaxed. Our friend Jean Damon gave Miss Terry and I full body massages yesterday evening that just turned us both into Jello. Jean was born and raised in the Philippines, where she studied Asian massage techniques before marrying Dave and moving to the United States to become a fulltime RV gypsy. Now they work the rally circuit, selling 303 products, and Jean gives massages.

Jean said she did about 10 massages at our Eastern rally at Elkhart Campground, and another 25 at the Escapade in Goshen. She offered us massages at our Elkhart rally, but we were just too busy to take her up on them. So when we ran into them here at the Orlando Thousand Trails, Jean said we weren’t getting away until she got us on her table. All I can say is wow, it do feel good! If you have never had a professional massage, trust me, you have no idea what you’re missing. Pamper yourself and get one sometime.

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Speaking of RV rallies, I’m thrilled to say that our friends Joe and Vicki Kieva will be presenting two of their excellent seminars at our Arizona Gypsy Gathering rally in Yuma. Joe and Vicki are two of the most well know RV writers and speakers of all time, and having them at our rallies is a real honor for us.

They will be presenting their ever popular  Alaska, the Ultimate RV Adventure seminar, and if you have ever wanted to make the trip north, you don’t want to miss this one. There are plenty of travelogues showing pretty pictures of Alaska, but Joe and Vicki’s presentation is a how-to type seminar telling people how to prepare for a trip to Alaska, and what to expect along the way.

Joe will also be drawing on his experiences as a police officer, and their years of RV travel, to present his Personal Security Tips for RVers seminar. Overall, RVing is one of the safest lifestyles that one could ever choose, but even so, we know firsthand that anyone can run into trouble anywhere. Joe’s seminar shows you the criminal’s point of view, and gives you tips and ideas on how not to become a victim.

Check out Joe and Vicki’s RV Notebook blog, and  be sure to take note of the books and e-books they have advertised in the right hand column. I’ve learned a lot from them over the years, and they’re happy to share their vast knowledge with you too.

For anybody planning an Alaska trip, you can’t have too much knowledge. This rally is going to be a real learning experience on making the big trip north. Besides Joe and Vicki’s seminar, my buddy Dennis Hill from the RV Driving School will be presenting his Preparing To Drive To Alaska seminar, and we will also have an RVing Alaska panel discussion with several folks who have traveled and lived in Alaska participating. So as you can see, we have the topic covered well!

Okay, I’m so relaxed I can’t write another word. I’m headed for bed.

Thought For The Day –  I am not stupid. Everyone else is just smarter than me.

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Who Knew?

 Posted by at 5:00 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 092010
 

News flash! As it turns out, you can watch TV in an RV after all! Who knew?

You may remember that I reported in a blog last week titled You Can’t Watch TV In An RV that Dish Network was supposed to bring us a new high definition DVR receiver, but on the morning of the appointment, the Dish installer told me that “you can’t watch TV in an RV,” and no matter how much I argued with him, or with the folks at Dish Network’s customer service center, the company position was that it just couldn’t be done. Never mind that we have had Dish Network all along in our RV, just like tens of thousands of other RVers, it just can’t be done.

After that happened, the owner of a local independent Dish installation company, ADO Electronics (321) 231-0355, called Dish for us, and knew who to talk to and what to say. Dish agreed to send somebody back out yesterday. He told us that if the second Dish installer wouldn’t do the job, to let him know.

Sure enough, yesterday morning a second Dish installer arrived, and within an hour or two he had our new receiver installed and hooked up to both our front and rear TVs, and we were good to go. We’re watching TV in an RV! Who would have thought that was possible? 🙂

Since he had to pull the old original equipment TV out of the cabinet in our bedroom to hook it up, we took the opportunity to dispose of that TV and replaced it with a 20 inch LCD Vizio we’ve been carrying around for that purpose ever since we got our Winnebago, but never got around to doing. The installer was a very nice young man, and when we asked if he had any need of the older TV, he was happy to take it for his son’s bedroom.

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The new HD DVR is cool. It’s a single box with two receivers built into it, and we can watch and record two different stations at the same time. How cool is that?

The only problem was that, after the installation we didn’t have our east and west coast distant network feeds, so I called All American Direct, who provides distant network service for Dish. The nice tech there deleted our old receiver and entered the serial number of our new receiver into our account, and within about five minutes our east and west coast feeds were back.

Well, they were back, but the on-screen menu that shows the upcoming programming just said No Info in every time slot. I called Dish back, they had me reboot the new receiver, and the updated program information downloaded. Life is good!

I wasn’t sure if we would have to reprogram our Winegard Trav’ler automatic rooftop satellite dish for the new receiver, but we pushed the button to stow it, and then deployed it again, and it went right up and locked onto the signal with no problem. Hopefully it will do the same thing at our next location.

With that out of the way, we went to a late lunch/early dinner (linner) at a nice Chinese buffet in Orlando, called Billy Wong’s, with Dave and Jean Damon, 303 vendors we know from the RV rally circuit. We had a nice meal, and lots of interesting conversation.

Speaking of our next location, we’re due to leave the Orlando Thousand Trails preserve on Sunday, and the plan has been to go down to Fort Lauderdale and spend a day or three bothering Jim and Chris Guld from Geeks on Tour, and then to go on down to Key West. But with the cold front that is coming through the area, even Key West will be much cooler than it was on our visit two years ago. I’m not sure if we’ll want to do much kayaking unless it warms back up. We’re hoping for rising temperatures soon!

Thought For The Day – It’s no coincidence that there’s only a one letter difference between “garage sale” and “garbage sale.”

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Dec 082010
 

I’ve been working on the new issue of the Gypsy Journal, which I will be sending off to the printer early next week, and we still had a few bundles of the November-December issue left. We needed to get them distributed so we’d have room for the new issue after it’s printed.

So yesterday, we spent the day dropping off sample bundles at RV parks along Interstate 4 between the Kissimmee area and Interstate 75, on the west side of the state.

It was interesting see how folks were bundled up, due to the cold snap that has hit the South. Everywhere we went, we saw people in jackets, scarves, hats, and even gloves! And they thought they were coming to Florida to spend the winter basking in the sunshine!

I was surprised by how many Carefree RV resorts we stopped at! They have a lot of RV parks in Florida! All of them were very nice, and I really appreciate the fact that Carefree Resorts also gives veterans a 50% discount on RV sites. That’s very nice, and I made it a point of telling their managers that, at the resorts where we stopped.

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One of the campgrounds where we stopped, Tampa East RV Resort in Dover, has a special weekly rate that is good until the end of December, so we may pop in there for a week between Christmas and New Years. It’s about a half hour away from my nephew Steve’s place in Pinellas Park, and might make a good place to stay while we visit Steve and the rest of the family in that area.

One place where we won’t be staying, or doing any business at all, is at Lazy Days, the mega-dealer just off Interstate 4 that has an RV dealership, campground, Camping World, and Cracker Barrel on the premises.

We stopped there to drop off a bundle of papers, and the manager on duty said no, because we had two ads for RVs for sale in the paper. One is a tiny little 1984 Mirage camper with an asking price of $4,000 up in northern Indiana, and the other is an eight year old Class A gas rig a couple have for sale in Texas.

The manager never actually gave me the courtesy of talking to me, the message relayed by the young lady at the counter was that since Lazy Days is a dealership, they don’t want to “encourage the competition.” Yeah, that sixteen year old $4,000 Mirage is sure some competition for the land yachts that Lazy Days sells!

I find it interesting that Lazy Days has contacted us in the past suggesting that we consider holding one of our Gypsy Gathering rallies there, and they have sent me press releases in the past when they want free publicity for something. But I guess that’s a one way street.

But that’s okay, we found another campground just down the road that was happy to get the papers, and whenever anybody is RV shopping and asks me my opinion of Lazy Days (and I get a lot of people asking for advice), I’ll be happy to share it. Did you ever notice that the little mom and pop places are so much nicer to deal with, and that the biggest outfits are the most chickensh..?

By the time we were done, we only had two or three bundles left, and I’ll get rid of them at a couple of places we’ll be stopping in the next few days. It was twilight by the time we were headed home, and I don’t see well after dark, so Miss Terry took the wheel. We stopped for dinner at the Sonny’s Barbecue in Clermont, and by the time we got back to the Thousand Trails, it was downright cold again! It sure felt good to get inside, turn up the thermostat, put on our Teepee Creepers slippers, and warm back up!

Bad Nick is no fool. He stayed inside where it was warm all day, pounding out another Bad Nick Blog titled I’m Sorry, I Just Don’t Get It. Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

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Dec 072010
 

Can you believe  that three months from today, our Arizona Gypsy Gathering rally will begin? That may seem like a long time to you, but believe me, from our perspective, it’s coming up fast!

There is a tremendous amount of work involved in planning and pulling one of these events off. With over 225 RVs attending, and a ton of walk-in visitors who are staying at local RV parks, it’s a real juggling act to have enough different seminars to meet everybody’s needs. Not to mention the logistics of providing morning coffee and donuts for everybody, making sure the different seminar rooms have the equipment each speaker needs, and that we don’t have two seminars in the same time slot that compete too heavily with each other. And did I mention the evening entertainment, or feeding several hundred hungry people pizza in a matter of minutes at our pizza party? All of of that is after we get all of those RVs in and parked!

I’ve been giving our seminar lineup a lot of thought. One part of me says that there are already a lot of events with seminars on the basic RV stuff like how to hook up campground utilities, basic RV systems, RV tires, etc. So maybe we should concentrate more on seminar topics that folks can’t get everywhere else, like the seminars we had on Kayaking For Beginners and Bicycling For RVers at our Eastern Rally in Elkhart this summer. But then again, if you’re a brand new RVer coming to your first rally, you need those basic seminars.

I’d like to see more seminars on RV destinations, places to go, and things to do when you get there. If anybody who is going to be at the rally has an idea for a seminar that they’d like to put together along those lines, or on any topic, for that matter, or maybe a craft class, send me an e-mail at editor@gypsyjournal.net and tell me about it.

I’m not sure what we’re going to do about T-shirts for the Arizona rally. Everybody says that they want rally shirts, but we have to order at least 100 to get the pricing that we can afford. Then, we usually end up with 40 or more shirts left over, which means we lose money anyway. Somebody suggested that we only take pre-orders that are paid in advance, but then people at the rally say “I wanted one too!” So I’m just not sure if we’ll have shirts in Yuma or not. 

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Several people said that we could just donate the leftover shirts to charity, and that sounds good, but it’s still money that we spent and received no return on, and as a business, the idea is to make a profit. 

Miss Terry found a use for some of the T-shirts that we had left over from the rallies. The other day she made a rug from several leftover shirts. Looks cool, doesn’t it? The bits of yellow, black, and white you see in the rug are the printed logos from the T-shirts.

Terry Rug 2 

Speaking of my beautiful bride, two people have expressed condolences to us in the last few days over the loss of Terry’s mom. I don’t know where that rumor got started, and while we appreciate your concern, Terry’s mom, Bess Weber, is alive and well, and just as feisty as ever. My parents have been gone for many, many years, but Terry’s parents, Pete and Bess are still healthy, active, and very involved in life, their church, and their family’s activities. I know a lot of people half their age that are not in as good shape.

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Whatever you’re doing today, I hope you take a moment to remember our fellow countrymen who were lost 69 years ago today during the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. That terrible Sunday morning changed the world forever, just as the terrorists attacks of 9/11 did. The only difference is that back then, our nation had the cajones to kick ass and take names, as we used to say in the military.

Hey, I’m starting to sound like Bad Nick, so I’ll stop for now, but check out his latest Bad Nick Blog, titled Silly Sarah, and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – No matter how bad you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.

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