Spinning A Yarn

 Posted by at 12:32 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 282013
 

Yesterday was a much nicer day than the one before, lots of blue sky and in the mid-70s. So we decided to get out and have some fun.

We made a stop at the post office to mail out a couple of orders, then drove about 20 miles south to Breezy Oaks Campground near Bushnell. A while back we met Dick and Dorothy Tate from Michigan, and learned that Dorothy is an avid spinner and she invited Miss Terry to come down and spin with her sometime. Since Terry is still learning about spinning, she was excited to have some time to watch a more experienced spinner at work.

So Terry and Dorothy spent the afternoon sitting outside in the sunshine working at their spinning wheels and had a wonderful time.

Not only is Dorothy more experienced, she and Dick actually own several alpacas and sheep that provide her with wool. No, they don’t carry them in their Airstream travel trailer. The critters are back home and their daughter cares from them when Mom and Dad head south for the winter. (Trust me, if Terry could figure out how to get them into one of our basement storage bays, she’d sneak a flock in while I wasn’t looking!)

While they were doing that, I hung out with Al Hesselbart inside his Newell motorhome, checking out his progress on formatting his popular book on the history of the RV industry, The Dumb Things Sold Just Like That into an e-book for Amazon. I offered Al a few tips and made a suggestion or two, but he has a pretty good handle on things and is doing a good job.

While we were visiting, Al’s friend Dick Irwin came by for a visit. Dick and his wife are both licensed boat captains and worked on tour boats before retiring. At one time they took their boat on the Great Loop circle cruise, from Florida up the Intercostal Waterway to New York, down the Hudson River and Erie Canal, and eventually made their way to the Tennessee River and worked their way down to Mobile, Alabama and then across the Gulf of Mexico back to Florida. If you’re a boater, it’s the trip of a lifetime, kind of like driving the Alaska Highway is for RVers. Dick and Al are both members of the Tin Can Tourists (as are Dick and Dorothy Tate), so we talked about RVing and traveling for a while. So while the ladies were spinning yarn outside, I guess we were inside spinning some of our own!

Later on Dick and Dorothy introduced us (and Al) to a neat little restaurant called River Ratz Café in the little community of Nobleton. Located at the Withlacoochee River bridge, River Ratz is a dive in all the best ways. The menu includes typical fare, from BBQ wings and burgers to fish and chips, as well as Cuban sandwiches and catfish. The catfish dinner, either blackened or fried is always a hit. We had a nice time eating and visiting as we enjoyed the view of the river. This place definitely gets added to our Favorite Restaurants guidebook!

Thought For The day – I don’t want to be a grown up any more. It’s not nearly as much fun as it was supposed to be.

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Where’s My Snorkel?

 Posted by at 12:49 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 272013
 

Where is my snorkel? Where are my flippers? We had so much rain come down yesterday that I may need them!

It started raining early in the morning and poured off and on for the greater part of the day. We even had tornado warnings for a couple of hours during the afternoon. Fortunately, nothing developed out of them.

Now things are going to start cooling down again, from a high of 88 degrees on Tuesday afternoon to down into the upper 30s by Saturday night. If you don’t like the weather in Florida during the winter, just wait a few minutes and it’ll change.

I took advantage of the rainy day to get a lot of writing done. By the time I knocked off about 9 p.m. I had written 6,500 words in my current work in progress. It’s getting down to the wire now and things are starting to wrap up. The book has taken me longer than planned because I tore out several thousand words a while back that weren’t fitting into the flow of the story. The good news is that I have a heck of a start on the Big Lake book that will follow this one!

While I was writing, Miss Terry shortened and hemmed three pair of new jeans for me. When you shop in the Dwarf Portly section, most things need a little bit of alteration. I like to think that I’m like a sexy sports car, built low to the ground. Terry says I’m more like a slow moving wide body motorhome with an exhaust that backfires.

Speaking of slow moving, watch this video of some truck drivers and even an RV driver or two who need to learn to slow down. And maybe learning to read signs and notice flashing warning lights might be a good idea, too. Apparently taking the top off your vehicle is considered great sport when driving under this railroad bridge in Durham, North Carolina. Do you know your RV’s height, including rooftop AC units?

I’m not sure what today holds for us. If the rain has moved out of the picture and we can swim out to our Explorer, we may run down to Breezy Oaks Campground in Bushnell to see Al Hesselbart and so Terry can talk about spinning with a lady who is staying there.

Thought For The Day – Sometimes my typing is so bad that auto-correct is like, “Sorry, I’ve got nothing, man.”

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Feb 262013
 

There’s a reason fulltime RVers write their plans in Jello. Because we never know when anything from weather, to a mechanical breakdown, a health issue, or simply a whim will find us making last minute changes. Isn’t it a wonderful lifestyle having that kind of freedom?

Sometimes the Jello stirring is major and sometimes it’s no big deal. My buddy Al Hesselbart who has been hanging out at Breezy Oaks Campground in Bushnell, Florida, was going to head back to Elkhart, Indiana last weekend. But forecasts of the storm that’s currently slamming the Midwest convinced him to delay his trip and it’s a good thing he did!

The Jello got stirred in a minor way on Sunday. I’m not a NASCAR fan, but I decided that since I’ve never watched a NASCAR race and since we had nothing better to do, I’d watch the Daytona 500 on Sunday. I think about 15 laps into the race I realized why I’m not a NASCAR fan. I’ll admit, it was better than the one time I tried to watch a pro football game. Or the time I tried to watch a major league baseball game. Let’s face it. I’m just not a sports fan.

Anyway, I was rescued Sunday when John and Kathy Huggins from the Living The RV Dream podcast stopped in for a visit. We got to chatting about everything from the RV lifestyle, to working on the road, to some of our favorite RV parks, and the race was soon forgotten. While John and Kathy were here, Darwin and Bonnie Bearrows stopped in to say hello and to let me know that after picking my brain about Thousand Trails a while back, they came here to Three Flags and bought a membership. Darwin and Bonnie have been to a couple of our Gypsy Journal rallies and it was nice to get to visit with them again.

Not wanting to allow that Jello to set up, yesterday we stirred it up once more. We had planned to leave Three Flags on Wednesday and start our westward trek, but we knew all along that might change, since we didn’t know where Miss Terry would be with her dental work. We hoped things would be finished and we could head out, but after two appointments yesterday it was determined that she needs just a little longer to be sure everything is okay. So we’ll stay here another week. It’s no big deal. It’s just Jello.

We met some new fulltimers who are already getting the hang of Jello stirring. When we got back to the campground yesterday afternoon we bumped into a lady who said, “You’re Nick and Terry from the Gypsy Journal!” Since I couldn’t deny it, I agreed. It was Susan Pezzano, who we met at the Hershey RV Show a few years back. Susan and her hubby Rod are brand new fulltimers, like in just a few days into their new adventure, and they were headed for the Peace River Thousand Trails when they read about how much we like it here at Three Flags in Wildwood. They decided this place sounded nice, so they changed their reservation and came here instead.

Gee, with all the business I’m bringing here, you’d think they’d give me a commission. Or name a street after me. Or at least a dumpster. No, cookies! Chocolate chip cookies! They should at least bake me cookies! I wonder if Joanne, the nice manger here, reads my blog…. Smile

Thought For The Day – I’ve reached the age where Happy Hour is a nap.

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Feb 252013
 

Don’t tell Miss Terry, because I don’t want to disillusion her of the notion, but I really don’t know everything there is to know about everything in the world. There are a lot of things I just don’t understand.

I tried to watch the Daytona 500 yesterday, but after fifteen minutes of watching rednecks driving fast and turning left, I got bored. If you’re a NASCAR fan, I’m glad you enjoy it, but I’m sorry, I don’t understand the attraction.

Have you ever noticed that people always drop their trash in the front of the campground dumpster instead of making the tiny bit of extra effort to toss it to the rear? Pretty soon it’s so full in the front that the lid won’t close all the way, and the back half is still empty. Why is that? How much harder is it to throw stuff to the back?

Here’s another one I don’t understand. This outfit has built an indoor RV park in North Dakota. You can pull your rig in, have full hookups, and not have to deal with weather. All it takes is a lot of money. Would you pay $1,000+ a month to live inside a garage in your RV? I understand that they are up in the oil patch where separating the workers from their big salaries is a way of life, but I just don’t see this going nationwide.

I don’t understand people who push their dogs around in baby carriages. I know you call it your furkid, but it’s a dog. God gave it four perfectly good legs and then you steal its dignity. Why is that? Somebody said they do it because when they go to the store or to a flea market, its easier than trying to keep it on a leash. Here’s an idea, leave it home! Hell, I was a real kid once and my parents didn’t feel the need to haul me around with them everywhere they went! Of course, they also taught me not to pee on the floor or chew on the furniture while they were gone.

Something else I don’t understand is why people feel the need to post everything they do on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. “Stopping at Starbucks.” “Back in the car, driving to work.” “Having lunch at Olive Garden.” Trust me, nobody cares! Your life’s not that interesting.

And why are ten year old kids texting? Why do they even have a cell phone? What do they have to say? Their lives are even less interesting than their parents I wrote about above.

These are just some of the things that confuse me. I could write more, but I need to get on Facebook and let folks know I just finished writing my blog.

Thought For The Day – Marriage may be made in heaven, but the maintenance must be done here on earth.

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Feb 242013
 

We love small towns. I spent most of my working life publishing small town newspapers, and though I have done it a time or two, if we ever hang up the keys I could never imagine living in a big city again. We have found in our fourteen years of fulltiming that it doesn’t matter if you’re in Arizona, Iowa, Florida, or anywhere in between, small towns all have a lot in common.

The people are all friendly and don’t hesitate to smile and say hello to you even if you are a stranger. The folks in the mom and pop stores and restaurants appreciate your business. And there is a certain civic pride you don’t find in a lot of big cities. If you ask a citizen of Celina, Ohio or Long Beach, Washington, or our old hometown of Show Low, Arizona what they like about their community, be prepared to sit a spell because they’re probably going to bend your ear for a while.

We spent yesterday afternoon exploring a nice small town we recently discovered, Inverness, located halfway between Interstate 75 and the Gulf Coast. With a population that hovers around 7,500 people, Inverness is a reminder of Old Florida, with its handsome 100 year old courthouse, quaint shops on the Square, and live oak trees draped with Spanish moss.

Located on the Tsala Apopka chain of lakes, which are popular with boaters and fisherman, Inverness and the surrounding area is laid back and friendly. A lot of snowbirds have found it to be a very affordable place to winter, and many who came for a one time visit have bought small homes or mobiles as their winter headquarters. While the community is small, it has everything you could want or need, from restaurants to a WalMart SuperCenter, Lowes, a good hospital, and easy access to larger communities like Orlando and Tampa.

Built in 1912, the old Citrus County Courthouse is unique in that the building sits on a square lot at a 45 degree angle. Built in 1912, the building features a copper cupola topped with a belvedere, and if it looks familiar to you, it may be because the courtroom scenes from the 1961 Elvis Presley movie Follow That Dream were filmed there. The superstar and his entourage, including boat, RV, and Cadillac, spent six weeks in sleepy little Inverness. If you’re in the area April 26 – 28, be sure to check out the original play/musical When Elvis Came to Town staged in the courthouse.

Citrus County courthouse3

Today County business takes place at a new courthouse a block away, and the old courthouse is the headquarters for the Citrus County Historical Society, which has an impressive local history collection. People here are proud of their history, and many of the old commercial buildings on the square have brass tablets that tell the history of the buildings and what businesses were housed there over the years.

We found an interesting little shop called Old Inverness Antiques tucked away in an alley behind the square and spent some time looking at all of the old treasures on display. Am I dating myself when I say that they had stuff for sale there that I remember using or having as a kid? Does that make me an antique too?

We really like the Titusville area on the east side of the state, but after spending a day poking around the shops and backstreets of Inverness, I have to admit that if we ever hang up the keys, I could be quite content there.

Somebody who has no intention of hanging up any keys, or letting any grass grow under his creative feet, is my friend Robert Thomas, who is my featured independent author on my self-publishing blog today. Check out Robert’s interview, and then his books. He’s a nice guy!

Thought For The Day – Time flies. It’s up to you to be the navigator.

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Feb 232013
 

Terry and I spent the morning checking e-mail and doing some online chores yesterday, and I think I got five or six new pictures of oddball RVs for a future installment of the blog. Thanks everybody, keep them coming.

During the afternoon, John and Kathy Huggins from Living The RV Dream, whose Fleetwood Expedition diesel pusher is parked a few sites away, came over for a visit. While John and I talked about the Google AdSense program and using it as an income stream for blogs and websites, Kathy picked Terry’s brain about weaving, spinning and all of her fiber arts hobbies, cooking in an RV, and life in a motorhome. We always enjoy visiting with John and Kathy. They are a fun and interesting couple.

Our pal Al Hesselbart showed up and told us he had postponed his planned departure for Elkhart by a week because of the nasty weather up north. Al said it didn’t make any sense to leave warm and sunny Florida to head north and get stuck in a parking lot someplace waiting for a blizzard to pass. They say wisdom comes with age, and Al is so old he’s darned near a genius by now.

When you’ve got five adults in a motorhome it’s a full house, but when you’re all good friends you never feel crowded.

After swapping lies for a while, we all piled into a couple of cars and drove to Inverness to visit with Bob and Rita Meredith. Bob is the RV artist I profiled a couple of years ago in a blog titled Art On Wheels. They recently bought a nice little mobile home on a lot big enough to accommodate their motorhome, a garage, and Bob’s studio, and the lot is on a canal with their own boat dock! I need a place like that so Miss Terry will let me buy a boat.

We all admired Bob and Rita’s new winter hangout for a while and then decided that we were famished and drove into town for dinner at a neat restaurant called Stumpknockers. It has amazing décor that included everything from stuffed alligators to antiques and serves excellent seafood and steaks. By the time we left, all of our stomachs were very full. We’ll be adding Stumpnockers to our Favorite Restaurants guidebook!

Back home, Miss Terry gave Al a loaf of her wonderful homemade bread and he headed back to his classic Newell motorhome at Breezy Oaks Campground in Bushnell. Then I spent some time on the telephone with our dear friend Barbara Westerfield trying to solve an internet connectivity problem I was having. Barb did some research, then called me back and patiently walked me through it and I was good to go again. Thanks Barb!

A few days ago Bad Nick had a blog about poor customer service, but apparently the folks at Wells Fargo Bank didn’t read it. Check out his new Bad Nick Blog post titled And You Want To Earn My Business? Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – Don’t stay where you are tolerated, go where you are celebrated.

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More Oddball RVs

 Posted by at 12:19 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 222013
 

We spent most of yesterday running to Orlando for two different dental appointments, so I don’t have much interesting to tell you about that. A while back I posted a blog of pictures of oddball RVs that we and our readers have spotted around the country and asked readers to send me any pictures they had of unique RVs they have seen in their travels. And as always, you all had a lot to share!

I really liked this vintage flatbed truck towing a vintage Airstream trailer that Jim Swan photographed in northern California.

Jim Swan northern California

Neil Hansen sent me this strange double truck camper that he spotted, but didn’t say where it was.

Double Truck camper

Phyllis Schell saw this log cabin bus conversion parked on a street somewhere and thought it was worth sharing. I do too.

Phyllis Schell

The log cabin theme carried over to this homebuilt camper that Rosalind Clifton found in Cody, Wyoming.

Rosalind Clifton Cody Wyoming 2

Rosalind Clifton Cody Wyoming

Here’s another nicely restored vintage truck that’s been converted into a one of a kind camper. John Lynch sent this picture and the one below, of a homebuilt Class C motorhome with a view to die for.

John Lynch custom Chevy camper

John Lynch glass top

Here’s another memorable Class C that my pal Joyce Space found near Shelter Island in the San Diego area. Some people have way too much time on their hands.

Joyce Space near Shelter Island near San Diego 3

Joyce Space near Shelter Island near San Diego 2

Joyce Space near Shelter Island near San Diego

This school bus conversion that longtime reader Ron Butler saw in Florence, Oregon brings back memories of the 60s, though folks say if you can remember that era, you weren’t there.

Ron Butler Florence Oregon 3

Ron Butler Florence Oregon 2

Ron Butler Florence Oregon

It’s been a while and I’m not sure who sent me these last two RVs; this interesting truck camper built like a railroad caboose (top), and the tri-level contraption below.

Caboose camper

Trilevel truck 

Keep your cameras handy and the photos coming in folks, maybe we’ll have another round of weird and wacky RVs to share with you one of these days.

Thought For The Day – They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad to realize that I’m going to miss mine by just a few days.

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How Can We Afford It?

 Posted by at 12:34 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 212013
 

When I wrote in yesterday’s blog that that just like swallows returning to Capistrano every year, fuel prices are going up right on schedule, I should have added that also right on schedule, people are starting to freak out and say this may be the year they have to hang up the keys. I heard from three different blog readers asking how we can afford to live and travel in an RV much longer the way things are going.

Okay folks, let’s put things into perspective. Yes, fuel is going up. Just like postage, groceries, and the price of just about everything. It’s a fact of life, prices go up a lot more frequently than they go down. But how much is a spike in prices really going to cost you?

I just looked at my blog for this time last year. We were in Yuma, Arizona where diesel was $4.05 a gallon, which isn’t that much less that what my friends in Yuma say it is today. When we left Florida headed to Arizona in late January, we filled up with diesel at the truck stop here in Wildwood at $4.19/gallon. Today it is $4.39/gallon, a difference of 20 cents a gallon.

It’s roughly 2,000 miles from here to Tucson, and we average about 7 miles per gallon in our Winnebago motorhome. So last year we used 286 gallons of fuel to make our trip west. Prices were lower the further west we traveled, but to make thing simple let’s use that $4.19 price all the way. That means we paid $1198.34 for fuel from Wildwood to Tucson.

Making the same trip this year, paying $4.39 a gallon, it will cost $1255.54. That’s an increase of $57.20 according to my calculator. That’s not going to make us hang up the keys. And it’s not like we’re going to turn around the next day and head all the way back across the country again!

Now, factor in that the last time we filled our motorhome’s tank was back was in November, and that we still have nearly a half tank left. Than consider that, using our Thousand Trails membership our camping cost for the last fourteen weeks has been $5/night for a 50 amp full hookup site. That’s $490 in campground fees between November 21 and when we leave here next Wednesday. How we can afford to live and travel in an RV? How can we afford not to live and travel in an RV?

Besides, the friends we have met in the RV community are the best in the world. In yesterday’s blog I wrote about visiting with our friend Al Hesselbart, and yesterday we had dinner with other good friends, John and Kathy Huggins, who produce the excellent Living The RV Dream podcasts. We chose Sonny’s Barbecue and it was excellent, as always. The restaurant wasn’t too busy, so after we finished eating we sat around talking for a couple of hours. In the next day or two Kathy is going to be talking to Miss Terry about cooking in an RV and how she incorporates her spinning, weaving and crocheting while living in an RV, and then sharing all of that in a future podcast.

Thought For The Day – How can the sky be falling? Didn’t it fall yesterday? And last week? And last year? And…

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Feb 202013
 

We spent the three day weekend at home, getting the last of the new issue of the Gypsy Journal ready to mail out, writing, and trying to avoid the cold weather. So yesterday it was time to get out and about for a while.

Our first stop was the post office in Wildwood to drop off a load of bins full of envelopes. When I start carrying those into a small town post office they always start going into cardiac arrest until I tell them they are all going out of town and already have metered postage labels on them. Then you can almost hear the sigh of relief when they learn they don’t have to some up with that many stamps (it’s a combination) and do all of that sorting.

With that chore put of the way, we drove up to Bushnell and stopped at Sumter Oaks, the Escapees campground, to drop off a couple of bundles of sample copies. While we were there I ran into Duane and Louise Wegley and visited with them for a few minutes.

Leaving the Escapees park, we drove a mile or so down the road to Breezy Oaks RV Park, where our friend Al Hesselbart has been spending the winter. We had hoped to get a chance to visit with Al’s neighbor, John Culp, one of the true pioneers of the RV lifestyle. John has been fulltiming in a 1947 Westwind Coronado travel trailer that he and his parents bought new right after World War II. Can you imagine fulltiming in the same rig for over 60 years?

Unfortunately, John is in poor health and wasn’t up to company. But we spent a couple of hours sitting outside with Al enjoying the sunshine until it started to cool down, then the three of us drove into town for dinner and more conversation at Beef O’Brady’s. Al is the historian for the RV Museum in Elkhart, Indiana and also the author of a great book titled The Dumb Things Sold Just Like That…A History of the RV Industry in America. I always enjoy spending time with Al and I learn something new about the history of RVs every time.

This was probably our last visit with Al for at least a year because he’s heading back to Indiana in a few days and our tentative travel plans are to spend more time out west and we probably won’t get back east again until the Spring of 2014. Of course, we all know that fulltime RVers always write their schedules in Jello, so that could change at any time.

Assuming all of Terry’s dental work is finished on schedule, we’ll be heading out ourselves a week from today. And right on schedule, just like the swallows returning to Capistrano every year, fuel prices are going up faster than a rocket from Cape Canaveral. At the Pilot truck stop just across the freeway from us, diesel was $4.39 a gallon yesterday. But what can you do? You only have two choices, you can pay it or you can park it.

Thought For The Day – The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. – Mark Twain

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Why I Drive An RV

 Posted by at 12:26 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 192013
 

The RV lifestyle has so much to offer. Our snug homes on wheels can take us to wonderful places, we never have to worry about finding a decent motel, nor do we have to be concerned with finding ourselves in some local greasy spoon named the Ptomaine Palace when we’re hungry. We travel in style and have everything we need with us wherever we may go.

But if I had to tell you the one major reason why I own and travel in an RV, it’s because I always have my potty with me. Roadside rest area bathrooms range from barely acceptable to pretty darn disgusting, for the most part. You never know what to expect, but you can pretty well accept that your average rest area restroom isn’t very restful. Some, often on the back roads and old highways I love to travel on, don’t even have running water, just a pit toilet. I don’t like pit toilets. I have a history with them.

Back in my misspent youth, after returning from Vietnam in 1972, I was assigned to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, where I was a firearms instructor. It was great duty and if I could have stayed there doing that job, I probably would have become a “lifer.”

All noncommissioned officers who were range masters were required to carry a .45 semi-automatic pistol while on duty. The only problem with this was that base regulations said that if you wore a holstered pistol, your pistol belt must also contain a canteen, two loaded pistol magazines in a pouch, a first aid pouch, and probably some other things I have forgotten over the years. That added up to a couple of pounds hanging on your hips all day. (This was long before I had all the pounds hanging on my hips that I do now.)

Being rather lazy and always pushing the envelope, I did some reading and found an out ? nowhere did the regs say you had to carry the pistol in a holster. So I took to just sticking the gun inside my waistband. Then it was not holstered and I did not need all the extra junk. At least that was the way my mind worked, and nobody bothered to tell me otherwise.

I think you can see it coming. One day on the rifle range I made a pit stop in the pit toilet, set my pistol down beside me while I did what I was there for, and in handling the "paperwork," I managed to knock my weapon down into the hole. Ouch!

Now the Army frowns on you losing your weapon or I would have just walked away from it. But what to do? I darn sure didn’t want to go in after it! So I asked my buddy, another sergeant who was senior to me, for his advice. He walked into our range shack, grabbed a coat hanger and the nearest Army private, and sent them both after my pistol. "That’s why God made coat hangers and new recruits," he told me. Once the hapless GI had fetched (and cleaned) my pistol, I traded it into the arms room for a new one, complete with holster, pistol belt, two magazines in their pouch, canteen, first aid pouch …..

That wasn’t my only experience with a pit toilet. Fast forward to the mid-1980s. I was living in Tucson, Arizona and had just bought a sporty Mazda RX-7. My friend Lyle Worman and I met at the Pima County Fairgrounds for a gun show one Sunday morning and afterward we were going back to my home on the northwest side of town so Lyle could fix something for me. (This was in the days before Greg White and Ron Speidel.)

We left the gun show and were driving down Interstate 10 when suddenly the hotdog I had bought for lunch at the gun show caught up with me and I needed a bathroom, really bad. Fortunately, the highway through Tucson always seemed to be under construction and this time was no exception. There were a bunch of construction vehicles parked in the wide median and with them was a porta-john. I whipped off the road, jumped out and beat feet for the potty, while Lyle pulled in behind my car.

When I came out a few minutes later my car was gone and Lyle’s truck was empty. Hmmm, I guess my buddy decided to take my new car for a ride. Okay. Then I hear a noise coming from Lyle’s pickup and went to investigate. He was laying across the seat holding his chest and seemed to be in convulsions. Fearing he was having a heart attack, I jerked the door open and asked if he could breathe and was ready to start giving him first aid when I realized he wasn’t in distress, he was laughing uncontrollably.

“Are you okay?” I asked him, just to be sure. He nodded because he still couldn’t talk, and I still didn’t know what was going on. Once I was sure he wasn’t dying on me, I asked him where my car was. Lyle tried to sit up, burst out laughing and fell back in the seat, but did manage to point and gasp out “there.” I looked and sure enough, there was my little yellow sports car, a few feet past the porta-john.

Finally Lyle was able to compose himself and tell me what had happened. “You went running into the john and then I looked and your car started rolling right toward the potty. I realized you must not have set the brake and I was trying to get out and catch it, but it rolled right on past and came to a stop. Then I had this thought that only Nick could get run over by his own car while taking a dump on a Sunday afternoon and I just lost it. Then I thought that if it had rolled up against the door and trapped you inside, I was just going to lock it up, take the keys, and go home.” Yeah, that’s my friend Lyle. What a guy.

And that’s why I travel in an RV, with my own toilet wherever I go. It’s just better that way.

Thought For The Day – I’m not sick, I’m twisted. Sick makes it sound like there’s a cure.

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Feb 182013
 

Saturday night was very cold and I don’t think it got much over the high 50s yesterday. So it was a good day for staying home and writing. So that’s what I did, knocking out about 4,000 words in my current work in progress. It was one of those perfect writing days when the words […]

Westward Trip

 Posted by at 12:04 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 172013
 

If things keep on schedule with Terry’s dental work, we will probably leave Florida the end of the month and begin our westward trip, so I’ve been looking at the map and planning our tentative route. The most direct route is north on Interstate 75 to Interstate 10 and then follow that all the way […]

Feb 162013
 

Sometimes I get up in the morning, take a look at myself in the mirror and get really depressed. I’ll tell you what, if I had known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken a lot better care of myself. Roly poly may look cute in polyester, but naked, it’s just wrong. […]

Feb 152013
 

A storm system came across central Florida beginning Wednesday afternoon soon after we arrived at Three Flags in Wildwood and it rained off and on all the way through yesterday and last night. I hope Cupid brought his umbrella with him, because the little guy really needed it. We didn’t have any plans for the […]

A Love Story

 Posted by at 12:08 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 142013
 

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you lovers out there, and especially to Miss Terry, the love of my life. My darling, everything I am and everything I ever hope to be is because of you. I love you with all of my being. A couple of readers have asked me to share a love […]

Feb 132013
 

Interstate highways make it quick and easy to get from Point A to Point B anywhere in the country. But what fun is that? A Denny’s or a Pilot truck stop in Tucson looks pretty much just like one in Paducah or Toledo. All too often we find ourselves traveling the interstates because they are […]

Last Day At Orlando

 Posted by at 12:41 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 122013
 

Today is probably our last day at the Orlando Thousand Trails for this winter. We leave here tomorrow to go back to Three Flags in Wildwood for two weeks. I say “probably for this winter” because we actually have another two weeks reserved here at Orlando after our Wildwood stay, but if all of Terry’s […]

A Date Day

 Posted by at 12:06 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 112013
 

We’ve been pretty busy lately and haven’t had a lot of time to goof off, and we were overdue. So we took yesterday off and made it a date day. We started out with a relaxing morning checking e-mail and our favorite blogs, along with a piece of toast made from some of the bread […]

Another Busy Day

 Posted by at 12:06 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 102013
 

Here at the Orlando Thousand Trails we are close to all kinds of major attractions, including Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, sports arenas, and a host of other fun places. This is our third or fourth winter here and we haven’t been to one of them. But that doesn’t mean we ever get bored. […]

TV Good, Internet Bad

 Posted by at 12:15 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 092013
 

We were up bright and early yesterday morning because Dish Network was supposed to send a tech out to figure out why the reception on our bedroom TV was so fuzzy. We knew he would arrive sometime between 8 a.m. and noon, so we were up well before then to be ready for his arrival. […]