Feb 062013

Yesterday was a busy day for us. We were up and out the door early (at least for us) and drove about 70 miles east to Titusville. We really like this laid back little town, home to Cape Canaveral and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and we keep saying that somewhere (way) down the road when and if we ever hang up the keys, we could live there very happily.

We had three goals for yesterday’s trip and accomplished them all, sort of. The first goal was to check out a couple of RV parks where we may stay for a month or so next winter. The Great Outdoors is way out of our league, but there are some smaller places in and around Titusville we wanted to look at. We were able to rule out a place called Whispering Pines, which we had been considering; way too small and crowded. Manatee Hammock, a county park, is nice but most of the sites are heavily treed. We found a place called Northgate, a few miles north of town, in Mims, that might work for us.

Our second goal was to look at a small cottage for sale that one of my author friends has been looking at online, to let her know if it was worth a trip to Florida to check out. As it turns out, it is under contract and looks like it’s off the market.

Third, and most important, was to have dinner at Dixie Crossroads, one of our favorite seafood restaurants anywhere and a Titusville landmark for decades. I had the red shrimp, which are beyond description, and Terry had shrimp and grits, her usual order at Dixie Crossroads.

While we were there, I was thrilled to meet one of the restaurant’s owners, Laurilee Thompson, who was a pioneer in equality for women. A fifth generation Floridian, Laurilee’s father taught her to weld at age 7 by the time she was in high school, she had her own fishing boat and was supplying local restaurants, sometimes fighting alligators for her catch. She eventually talked “the meanest captain at the Port” into hiring her as a deckhand on an oceangoing fishing boat and went on to own her own, fishing from Cape Hatteras to Mexican waters. Some day I want to write a book about Laurilee. For an interesting look at her fascinating life growing up in Titusville in the 1950s and 60s, read the transcript of a speech she gave to a local environmental group. What a lady!

By the time we got home yesterday evening, sometime about 8:30, we were tired but pleased with our fun day of exploring. Of course, anytime we can spend a day riding around like that, just the two of us, it’s a fun day.

I reported in yesterday’s blog that I was thinking about replacing our old, broken crank up batwing TV antenna with a Jack digital antenna with the SureLock signal finder that replaces the old style crank up batwing, and asked for input from readers who had one. I got a lot of very positive feedback and decided to get one.

On our way out of town yesterday we stopped at Camping Connection in Kissimmee, to buy one. Just the antenna is about $70 and you can attach it to your old batwing mast, but since our batwing is broken and won’t crank up, I wanted the entire system, which was $169, plus installation, which just about doubles the price. But the salesman talked me into trying a very simple Winegard Rayzar for $42.99 instead and said, "Try it for a few days and if you aren’t satisfied, bring it back." We’ve done a lot of business with this Camping Connection for that very reason. They are into making the customer happy, not in making every penny they possibly can on every sale.

The Rayzar is a flat plane digital antenna that looks like a thin sheet of plastic with a coax cable. We connected it to our TV, hung it in a window with the supplied suction cups, and after getting frustrated trying to figure out how to do a channel scan (yes, I gave up and read the manual) I was very pleased with its performance.

Winegard Razar

We are getting 35 crystal clear, off air digital channels here at the Orlando Thousand Trails. Of those, 27 are in English and 8 are Spanish language channels. Of those English channels, 5 are religious programing. Pat Conway, one of my blog readers, is also here in the park and he has the Jack antenna system. We were e-mailing back and forth and he said he is getting 39 channels, 29 in English and 10 Spanish. We almost always do our TV watching on Dish Network and very seldom use the air stations, usually only when we are parked under trees where our rooftop dish won’t get a signal, or like now, when our receiver is broken. So for the $126 difference in price, not counting the cost of installing the Jack system, I think I’ll be perfectly happy. If we didn’t have the Dish system, I’d spring for the Jack.

And the good news is, my new Dish receiver will be here today.

Thought For The Day – If you’ve never failed, you’ve never tried.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  2 Responses to “Red Shrimp And Rayzars”

  1. We stayed last winter at Willow Lakes RV park in the northern part of Titusville. Way cheaper than G.O. They have a nine-hole par 3 golf course if you like to pitch and putt.

  2. Gary,
    Pitch and Putt. Thinking of Nick. His pitches and putts have little or nothing to do with golf. Thank goodness he does that in the privacy of his coach.
    I agree that Titusville is alluring. We’ve presented seminars at TGO a couple of times. It’s very nice.
    I replaced the my old batwing head for the new Sensar antenna. Made a world of difference. My crank-up mechanism was working fine, though. Good to know the indoor antenna works.

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