Sunday, October 29, 2006

9:15 AM MST Sunday October 29, 2006

Did you set your clocks back an hour last night or this morning? When I got up this morning at 7 AM, the sun was late ;-). No sign of old Sol until 8 AM!

Sorry to say, I have come down with the same cold that Phil is suffering with only my bug arrived three days later. So far I do not have the cough but I am feeling very tired and have a runny nose and sore throat. Our sightseeing activity has been pretty much curtailed here in St. George but as I am so fond of saying, we will just have to come back. Utah is such a beautiful state so returning some day soon will not be too difficult!
More when I'm feeling better.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

10:20 AM Thursday, October 26, 2006

It was bound to happen ... (we have been so lucky) ... Phil has come down with a major cold. So far, I have no symptoms and I've increased my daily vitamin C, used Zicam and am hoping for the best. He has an insistent cough and head congestion and after sleeping nearly all day yesterday says he feels better today. Our sightseeing and visiting in St. George has been put on hold until he feels better.

Yesterday, we heard one big clap of thunder, had sprinkles off and on but it wasn't real cold and the storm has passed over us now. Today, the sun is shining brightly and there isn't a cloud in the sky.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

1:37 PM Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Most of you who read my blog know that Phil and I are able to keep in touch via the Internet because we have a MotoSAT Datastorm F1.74 meter satellite dish mounted on Penny the Pace’s roof with a D2 controller and a 6000 modem inside our coach. Our installers, Bill and Janet Adams, made installation speedy and painless in December of 2004. This was the first affordable satellite dish manufactured that would allow RVs (trucks and vans) or any other mobile platform to achieve broadband speeds no matter where we are parked. Without this innovation I would not have considered wandering fulltime in a motorhome.

Once I was connected to the Internet (1994) and completely addicted, the idea of cutting the cord (in order to travel) was totally impossible to contemplate! I remember so well when I realized this advance in technology by MotoSAT would allow me to fulfill my dream of traveling and exploring our beautiful country all the while being linked up to the world via the Internet. What a moment that was! I can thank our friend, George, (the worlds most famous Rver) for that light-bulb moment. His blog, written daily at educated me over time and gave me hope that my desire could in fact become a reality!

MotoSAT’s main offices and manufacturing plant is located in Salt Lake City. This past week, while we were there, Phil called and found out that tours were possible. All we had to do was show up! VP of Sales and Marketing, Royal D. Lamb smiled his way into the reception room and we exchanged introductions. In spite of the fact that he was preparing to leave for the 3rd annual Datastorm Users Rally in Kerrville, TX in just a couple days, he took time out of his busy schedule to give Phil and I a complete and very informative tour of MotoSat’s facilities. We enjoyed the tour immensely and Royal’s sense of humor kept us smiling as we traveled from one department to the other. If you are a Datastorm user, (or thinking you might be some day) this stop is a must-see!

MotoSat - 1955 South Milestone Drive - Salt Lake City, Utah - 84104. Their phone number is: 800-247-7486 Posted by Picasa

Phil and our tour guide, Royal.  Posted by Picasa

A million miles of tape, imbedded with microchips. We were blown away by how far technology has come! Posted by Picasa

Finished satellite dishes being tested where they will live ... outside in the weather. Posted by Picasa

Inside the satellite dish ... precision personified; clean and effective. Thank you R & D department!  Posted by Picasa

A thousand miles of cable and connectors at the ready. Posted by Picasa

Satelitte TV Dome covers used for in-motion viewing. Posted by Picasa

Domes waiting for their covers. Posted by Picasa

This piece of equipment is full of cone-shaped ceramic pellets and vibrates machine cut parts to deburr them to a silky smooth surface. Posted by Picasa

Sturdy travel cases for portable satellite dishes used by emergency response teams among others.  Posted by Picasa

New machine for precision cutting using high pressure water and a fine abrasive. It has reduced MotoSAT's waste and recyling significantly. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 22, 2006

8:55PM Sunday October 22, 2006

According to Blogger I've done something wrong in my posting and as a result, our profile and archives, normally fixed on the upper right of our front page, have slipped to the bottom. I am not savvy enough to know how to fix it. This has happened before ... twice ... and eventually Blogger repaired it for me. I'm hoping that will happen again but until then, if you want to read an archive, just scroll to the bottom of the page. I'm sorry for this inconvenience.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

1:05 PM Saturday, October 21, 2006

One of the many delights of being a fulltime Rver and living this particular lifestyle is having the chance to visit our friends and family members who are scattered in every direction across the U.S.A. Every time we unhook from the grid and hit the road Phil and I are struck with a feeling of enormous gratitude that our health and our finances afford us this way of life. By comparison, we have given up so little in order to gain so much!

Just slightly more than two years ago we moved into our beautiful Penny the Pace, sold our house and made the decision to leave on our great adventure the Monday following our final Thanksgiving dinner and family get-together in 2004. Our path has not been without problems but my infamous saying, “If money can fix it, it’s not a problem!” still holds true. We certainly aren’t rich but every difficulty we have come across to date has been put right with money. We all know someone who has or had a genuine “problem” … where no amount of money could fix it … see my point?

None of our predicaments have been life-threatening or cause to end our nomad existence. Our health remains excellent and our home continues to keep us warm (or cool whichever the case may be) and dry and our little Lone Ranger carries us without complaint wherever we want to go as we examine and explore the area we are living in at the time. We do wish sometimes out little truck had a back seat and that will be dealt with someday down the road. For now, we continue to be happy with what we have.

Our latest family get-together was this past Wednesday at Phil’s 1st cousin once removed, (daughter of Phil’s cousin Randy-our computer guru—that I have mentioned several times before) Brandie’s house in Taylorsville. She called her sister, Jerri (a CNA in Riverdale) and she drove down with her four children to see us as well. Brandie’s husband, Jeff is a police officer and she works for the State of Utah. We haven’t seen them for several years so it was a wonderful evening. With their help, I caught up the genealogical information for Phil’s family tree, which was exciting for me

Beautiful sisters, Brandie and Jerri. Just as pretty on the inside as they are on the outside!  Posted by Picasa

No problem getting a smile out of this little ham! Jerri's oldest son, Kyle gives me a big one! Posted by Picasa

We finally coaxed a smile out of Jerri's youngest son, Alexander. Those eyes ... !!! Posted by Picasa

Brandie's (soon to be six) daughter, Bree and Phil posing for the camera. Isn't she a beauty? That's Brandie's son Zack in the kitchen. He's growing up fast! Posted by Picasa

Brandie gets a big wet kiss from her baby, Jo Jo. Posted by Picasa

Our darling Brandie and her husband, Jeff. She prepared a wonderful dinner for us of lasagna, tossed green salad and toasted garlic bread. Thank you Brandie, it was delicious! Posted by Picasa

Here is the whole gang in Brandie's kitchen! L-R, standing: Kelsey, Kyle, Jessica, Zack, Jerri, Jeff and Bree. In front: Jo Jo the Boxer, Brandie and Alexander AKA Xander and "Big Al". Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 19, 2006

8:15 PM Thursday, October 19, 2006

We spent part of our first full day in the Salt Lake City area touring Temple Square and photographing the Utah State Capital. The rain abated long enough for us to walk around, get a bite to eat and enjoy our tour. SLC has nice wide streets and we didn’t find any one-way streets so it is very easy to find your way around.

Here is an interesting tidbit of LDS history related to us on our tour: Everyone has heard about how the seagulls came to the early LDS pioneers rescue by flocking in by the thousands and eating the hoards of crickets that were devouring the crops, right? Our tour guides told us that the really odd thing was that the seagulls couldn’t digest the bugs so they just ate till they were full, drank water and then regurgitated them so they could eat some more; hence each bird ate many more times the amount they would have eaten to satisfy their hunger.

To be fair, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia states "... critical analysis of the whole story says many pioneer journals recount the frosts, the swarms of insects, but no seagulls. From these differing accounts it seems that seagull intervention might have occurred in relatively isolated places. Nonetheless, by fall several Mormons credited the seagulls and divine intervention for having any crops left at all. This story was quickly incorporated into Mormon lore.

Also, other more mundane events may have helped save the crops. Some pioneer diaries recount success had by forming lines and thrashing through infested fields together. This forced all of the crickets into adjacent areas. Some of these accounts also describe seagulls at the edge of the field pecking away at the exodus of bugs. With or without seagulls, this technique may have saved much of the Mormon's first harvest in Utah. Historical evidence furthermore suggests that the gulls arrived after much damage had already been wreaked by frost and drought and that the "miracle" was not commonly recognized as such until after it occurred."

Eagle Gate, which had served to mark the entrance to Brigham Young's estate, was reconstructed to allow traffic flow.
 Posted by Picasa

Utah State Capital Bldg. It is undergoing a major renovation and earthquake retrofit and will not be open for tours again until 2008. Even surrounded by a jumbled up mess of construction equipment, the beauty of the building was very evident. It will be spectacular when they are finished. Posted by Picasa

The "Sister" Missionaries from Mexico who were our tour guides. They were very sweet and of course had a captive audience for the 30 minutes of LDS doctrine they had memorized. Members of the church from all over the world apply to "volunteer" for 18 months at their own expense (except for a nominal stipend from the church) and if chosen have no control over where they are sent. Mostly girls go to SLC Temple as tour guides and mostly men go out into the world as "door knockers" (their words not mine). When they come to the USA, they have two months to learn English before they are assigned their duties. They did very well. Posted by Picasa

The construction of this Assembly Hall in Temple Square was started in 1882 with "leftovers" from the construction of the much larger Salt Lake Temple. It is no longer used regularly by church members but serves as an example of craftmanship and ingenuity for tours as well as an occasional concert. Posted by Picasa

LDS Salt Lake City Temple on a rainy day. Posted by Picasa

I wish I had taken this picture but of course, I didn't. It is a LDS souvenier postcard given to us at the end of our "tour'.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

12:22 PM Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Riding along with us in our Penny the Pace is a cupboard full of musical CDs and audiotapes as well as books on tape. We have a good quality radio/tape player and CD player with an excellent speaker system built into our Penny. In over two years we have used it no more than an hour or so. Phil and I both appreciate good music and are enthusiastic readers but as we travel we especially enjoy discussing the countryside/terrain/flora and fauna as well as other places and things of interest we observe as we maneuver our way along the highways and byways (we call it “new territory”) so we never turn on the radio or play our tapes and CDs.

One of our fun things to do as we travel happens when we spot an obvious industrial plant by the road. If their sign offers no explanation as to just exactly what their product or service is, I write down the name of the company. Then later, I look it up on the Internet and sometimes we have guessed correctly and other times, we’re totally surprised. I also write down anything we stumble across in our conversations that we don’t understand or wonder about to look up later as well. It’s amazing to us how much more we have to learn—even at our age!

Since we are both losing our hearing gracefully (ha!) in our old age, Penny’s engine noise is more than enough distraction for us. We still use the infamous “huh?” word way more than we’d like but since we’re not millionaires, we can’t afford hearing aids! I believe one of the reasons we have adapted so well to being full time Rvers is that we still enjoy talking to each other along the way.

Our trip south to Sandy Utah was very pleasant and uneventful. Just the way we like them! Phil spent some time the day before we left Idaho trying to run down any possible problems concerning the Gear Vendor and found nothing. He did clean and check all connections and Penny ran perfectly—without a hiccup all the way. We had hoped to stop in to see a Gear Vendor dealer when we went to Boise but they weren’t open on Saturday, the day we managed to get there. We have no idea why her trouble has gone away (for now anyway) but we are very pleased it did.

We were a bit intimidated by a weather front moving into Utah when we arrived but now that it has passed, according to the weatherman, nothing but clear skies are forecast for the near future. Not warm mind you but clear and we can live with that! Our next more southern destination (St. George, UT) even had some heavy rains but fortunately no snow. We have heard that their weather is more like Las Vegas and that’s a good thing although LV recently got some very heavy rain!

Beautiful cloud formations as we leave Twin Falls, Idaho.  Posted by Picasa