May 032018

Definition of potpourri – 1: a mixture of flowers, herbs, and spices that is usually kept in a jar and used for scent. 2: a miscellaneous collection. The second definition above pretty much describes today’s blog. This is another post in a collection of miscellaneous thoughts and info that I’m sharing because I really don’t have anything else to talk about today.

After reading yesterday’s blog about the haunted antique mall, somebody asked me if I believe in ghosts, and if so, have I ever seen one myself. No, I’ve never seen a ghost. At least, not one that I know of. But I do think there are things that defy explanation, and I’ve had some experiences in my life that you probably wouldn’t believe if I told you about them.

I have heard from several blog readers asking me if we have maintained our membership in Thousand Trails or in any of the RV clubs we belonged to when we were fulltiming, or the Elks or Moose or any other membership that gave us free or discounted overnight RV parking. We sold our Thousand Trails Elite membership when we decided not to travel by RV anymore, and I have not renewed my memberships in the Moose or the Elks. We remain lifetime members of the Escapees RV Club and of Passport America. While we will probably never use either membership again, there are no annual dues and we like to get the Escapees Magazine and keep up with what is going on with so many people from our extended RV family. The only reason we’ve kept Passport America is because I really don’t how to go about canceling it. But again, there are no annual dues so I’m not too worried about it.

Somebody forwarded me a blog post yesterday, and I didn’t know whether to shake my head or laugh out loud. I won’t share the name of the blog because I don’t want to give them any publicity, but it’s put out by a husband-and-wife team who are “life coaches.” They started fulltiming in early January and they already have the answer to anything you ever need to know about RVing. Want to know what the best mail forwarding service is for fulltime RVers? Just log onto their blog and send them $2.99 and they will email you a report on just that topic. Is a diesel pusher or a gas powered Class A motorhome your best choice for fulltiming? Again, send them $2.99 and they will email you a report telling you exactly what to buy, where to buy it, and how much to pay for it. Not sure about campground memberships? Guess what? If you send them $2.99, they’ve got a report about that, too! And a lot more. Yeah I know, that sounds ridiculous. And you don’t have to give them that kind of money for information like that. No, for just $650 per year you can have access to all of the RV knowledge they have acquired in their time on the road. But wait, that’s not all! That $650 also entitles you to an hour long Skype conversation with them to discuss your goals in life and how you can achieve them. Where were these people when I was a young man and didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up? Come to think of it, I’m an old man now and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Maybe I’ll send them some money and see what they say.

I’ve mentioned several times that years ago Terry and I converted a 1976 MCI bus into a motorhome, which we lived and traveled in, fulltime, for over eight years. It was quite a project. We stripped the bus down to bare metal inside, insulated it, removed the bus windows and re-sided it, then installed RV windows. By the time we were done, it was a very comfortable rig. I occasionally hear from people who are thinking about converting a bus, asking me for advice. My first thought is to say “don’t do it!” Well, not unless you have a place to work on it and the tools and knowledge to do so. We had none of the above, and we flew by the seat of our pants, learning as the project progressed. Back in those days we were still broke after dealing with Terry’s cancer, and we called the bus our buckboard, because every time we got a buck, we bought another board to put in it. It was a great experience, and that old bus got attention everywhere we went. But it was a lot of work. My best advice to anybody considering building a bus conversion is to get a newer 102 inch wide coach with a four stroke electronic diesel engine and an automatic transmission. The old 8V-72 Detroit diesel that powered our bus was bulletproof, but it was also very underpowered and tended to overheat when we were climbing. And, it’s getting harder to find mechanics that know how to work on those old engines.

Finally, a new free drawing contest starts today. People are always asking me what they can do to increase their odds of winning. Nothing, because the winners are selected at random by a computer program. But here’s what you shouldn’t do in the hopes of upping the odds in your favor. Do not enter multiple times. Only one entry is allowed per drawing, and if you enter a second time it gets deleted. If you continue to submit multiple entries you go into the spam folder and you will never get a chance to win. And one other thing, even though it clearly states that you have to use your first and last name to enter, not made up names, and not just your first name, people still do that. Those entries get shuffled to the trash immediately as well. I’m not comfortable with the computer program picking a winner and just announcing that Joe or Bill or Sally won. First and last name, that’s how it works. My best advice is to just enter every week. I’ve had a lot of winners who have told me it was the first time they ever won anything in their life. I guess consistency pays off.

Speaking of which, it’s Thursday and time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Mountain Angel by my friend Suzie O’Connell. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – If you’re gonna go down, go down swinging.

Nick Russell

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

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