Jan 042012

It’s so darned cold out that even I’m ticked off at me for coming to Florida! At noon yesterday it was 41 degrees in Ocala, but it was 54 in Bismarck, North Dakota, and 51 in Kansas City, Kansas!  Would somebody please explain that to me? 🙁

Yesterday was a triple whammy for me. I had to get up early, it was frigid cold, and I had to spend huge amounts of money. If this is any indication, I’m not liking the way this new year is starting off!

We had to be at Cummins Coach Care in Ocala at 10:30, and besides the cold, there was a stiff wind blowing that made me glad we only had about 45 miles to go. I was really impressed with the Cummins shop. It was easy to get to, just a little over a mile from Interstate 75, and Service Advisor Rich Stewart greeted us when we arrived. Besides the heater core problem, I had some other issues I wanted to go over with Rich.

I wanted to change over to synthetic transmission fluid, I needed a new air filter installed, and I wanted the cooling system checked and flushed if necessary. The service tech (that’s a fancy name for mechanic) took our motorhome right in and got started on it. The shop had a customer waiting area, but because it was near the front door, and because it was so incredibly cold outside, we were chilled all day long.

And it took all day. They tried to locate a replacement heater core locally, with no luck, so they finally had to order one from Winnebago. Rich told me I had two choices on shipping; Second Day for about $70, or Ground for about $20. Since we’ll be around the area for a while yet, I chose the cheaper option, and we’ll go back on Thursday of next week for that.

Terry and I took a break and drove the Explorer to a nearby Gander Mountain store to look at the goodies, and I decided I need to stay out of that place. Talk about a big boys toy store! Actually, I was amazed at their prices on firearms, as much as 25% less than I have seen anywhere else on a couple of handguns I’ve lusted after for years, and if I were a Florida resident and could buy one here, there would be a new toy in my desk drawer right now.

We have never eaten at a Zaxby’s, so we had lunch there, since it wasn’t far from the Cummins shop. While we were eating, we were watching footage of people shoveling snow in the upper Midwest and East on the Weather Channel. I didn’t even feel sorry for them. If I have to be cold and suffer, it makes me feel a tiny bit better to know that somebody else has it worse. I’m shallow that way. 🙂

I’m no meteorologist, but I do have a theory about why it’s warmer in the Midwest than in Florida; Tuesday was the Iowa Caucus, and I think maybe all of those politicians up there spouting all their hot air might have something to do with it. Could that be possible?

It was about 4:30 by the time they pulled the motorhome out, and I paid a bill that would keep a couple of banana republic dictators in cigars and cognac all year long. A hundred dollars here, a hundred dollars there, it adds up fast! But I don’t mind paying for good service, and I was really impressed with the Cummins shop. They have complimentary RV parking, with water and electric, but we wanted to get back to the Escapees campground before dark. So we hooked the Explorer to our tow bar and hit the road. Since our dash heat doesn’t work, due to the heater core, Terry fired up our Onan generator and we ran the Winnebago’s electric heat pump all the way back to Sumter Oaks.

We made it to the campground, got backed into our site, and I hooked up our utilities, finishing just as the last light faded. It sure felt good to get back inside, where it was warm! Terry did a load of laundry and I filled our fresh water tank, then went back outside to unhook our water hose so it would not freeze overnight, with the forecast for a low of 24 degrees.

Terry wasn’t feeling well, a combination of a sinus infection, and being so cold all day long, so we had a quiet evening, and got to bed earlier than usual. This cold spell is supposed to hang on a while yet, and we don’t plan to do much of anything for the next couple of days, until it warms up again.

Thought For The Day – Sometimes we need to stop analyzing the past, stop planning the future, stop figuring out precisely how we feel, stop deciding with our minds exactly what we want our hearts to feel. Sometimes we just have to go with the flow and just enjoy life.

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Nick Russell

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  17 Responses to “A Hundred Here, A Hundred There, It Adds Up!”

  1. Nick, it’s rather easy to explain, besides the politicians contributions.

    YOU are in Florida, if you were in Kansas or North Dakota, it would be well below ZERO there.


  2. I agree Butch. Sticking to my theory of going in opposite direction of tne Nick mobile.

  3. I didn’t realise until about February of 2003 when my oldest brother came down to Puerto Rico (when we lived there, btw) for a visit from Florida, just how flippin’ cold it could get in Florida in the winter? He was telling me some….well, stories. Almost bordering on “horror stories” ….of cold!
    What the hell? My simple Canadian way of thinking was that, “it’s always warm in Florida”.
    But hey, at least you will get your warm weather back. We’re stuck with about 7 Celsius here in Vienna (that’s about 45 if you’re in the US, and you’re welcome) and it’s not going to get too much warmer until spring.

  4. Can’t understand why you would have to pay shipping for one week delivery. Seems to me if they are an authorized service depot they should have parts or be able to order them without special shipping costs. GM dealers don’t stock much anymore but don’t charge for shipping which is usually next day!

  5. About Gander Maountain. When the one came to Wichita I was also pleased with the firearms pricing. and they have some experiened ones as well. Could a Florida resident buy one and do a private sale to you?

  6. Nick would it be possible for you to leave FL for a few days. We fly into Orlando on Friday for a cruise out of Port Canaveral on Saturday.
    Who loves ‘ya!

  7. We are in northeast PA and the temp this morning was 13F with a low overnight of 3F. We are going to be first time snowbirds starting Friday, In spite of you being in Florida, that is our current destination. Stay warm and hope Terry is feeling better

  8. Even though the last few days have been in the deep frreeze it’s supposed to hit near 40 degrees by the weekend up here in Ontario.

    It sounds like Terry caught what Kathy and I have been going through.

    It’s about time.

  9. Nick,

    Since this is an election year, there will be a noticeable melting of the Polar ice caps.
    You can quote me on that.

  10. You’re going to have to break down and go to southern Florida. Anything south of Punta Gorda is classified as sub-tropical, or so I’m told. It has been warm in Fort Meyers for several weeks now.


  11. Now you see why we love Coach Care shops. I never said they were cheap. This is the voice of experience telling you it would be prudent for you to call to make sure your parts come in from Winnebago before you drive back to Coach Care.

  12. You’re probably right about the politicians and hot air. It’s about all they’re good for. This time of year we’re always happy to see it get up to 40 degrees. It’s been a pretty mild winter so far, and that’s just fine with me. As to spending hundreds on repairs….aren’t you glad your book has done so well? Should help a little.

  13. Whether they separate the shipping as a separate line item, or wrap it up in the bill somewhere else, the customer always pays the shipping one way or the other Tim. Just like the customer pays for the utility bill, tools, etc. It’s all part of a business overhead and is passed on down to the customer in the final bill one way or another.

  14. Boy did you get ripped off! There is not one thing you paid them to do that you can’t do yourself. Changing an air filter is quick and easy, so is flushing a cooling system. And the synthetic oils and tranny fluids are all hype to separate you from your money. If they were any good the factories would put them in to start with. I’m glad you’re making big bucks with your books Nick because you’re going to need them if you keep this up!

  15. Wally,
    There is a line in an old Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry movie – “A good man knows his limitations.” I may not be all that good a man, but I certainly know my limitations. And my wife hung up her toolbelt when we sold our bus conversion.

    Even if I had the necessary skills and tools, traveling fulltime would make it difficult. I’ve never been to an RV park that would allow you to flush a cooling system while there. Most won’t even let you wash your RV these days. I’m comfortable with our decisions.

  16. Nick,
    Sorry to hear this. You should have zigged when you zagged. It is 79 here in LA.
    I enjoy your blog.

  17. Try to stay warm Nick and I agree and support your repair decisions 100%! Maybe this cold spell is supposed to make you feel like your right up there with your characters at Big Lake….. Inspiration!

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