Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Post

Sometimes you simply run out of titles for a new post...deal.

A little more than a year ago, we spent a week at the Riverview Rv Park on the Big Thompson River west of Loveland, CO. Here was our post where we shared some pictures.

In the below YouTube video you will see what it looks like now after the Colorado floods struck the campground. You enter the park off the main road immediately crossing on a small bridge and then into the park. Who would have known how handy a bumper mounted outboard boat motor would have been. They remain closed.

In other RV news, I am still keeping my ties with the rv world by helping out an on-line acquaintance he gave us a wealth of free knowledge over at RV.net. He has decided to go in business offering up his skills as a mobile rv repair tech in the Shreveport, La. If you are ever in the area, you can look up Chris at his website which I developed to help kick-start his operation.

Photo: Oh how fitting after my earlier post this week on DeathCare. Wolah, what greets us y'day in the mail--her new AETNA rate change. My 52 year old  wife, with Aetna for  2 yrs, 0 claims, 0 medical conditions, gets a rate change from $213 to $475 mo with a $5500 deductible---that my FB libs is a 123% increase thanks to your AFFORDABLE Care Act....I think  she will pass on what is now $11,000 when u add premium/deductible and she will opt for a Christian health care ministry--1/5 the cost, $300 deductible, she picks her care provider...the rest of u enjoy Error404Care....
Excuse me while I mount my soapbox. Yes, what you are seeing is correct--with no previous history or  claims, AETNA, due to the Affordable Care Act Unaffordable, Less Care Act, would like to raise Teri's rates by a mere 123%. "The average family will see a reduction in annual premiums of $2500"--what happened to that campaign promise? 

Only a 2 brain-celled voter could have believed it--how could  you mandate insurance companies to keep up to 26 year olds on parents' policies, force everyone to  pay for certain coverages (i.e, maternity, although that tunnel is closed for us), eliminate maximum coverage caps and take everyone with pre-existing conditions AND EXPECT YOUR PREMIUMS TO GO DOWN?? Oh, and how about that boondoggle of a website, Error404Care, where your wait time  to log in will only be exceeded by your doctor's wait time under Obamacare. Now voters, I  suggest you go and hide that GED plaque hanging on your wall.

"But, but Dave, you get free preventative care". OK, since liberal arts majors never take a math class, let me help you out--$475 mo x 12= $5700, not to mention $5,500 deductible to go with it. Now, care to define "free" for me? In Austin, you can get a wellness check for $40 and basic lab work for $10 at the Austin Medical Clinic. "Oh Dave, but some cancer screenings are free, like mammograms". The national average cost for a mammogram for those without insurance is $250. FordPintoCare is an epic disaster, regardless of how you try to couch your argument. The last I saw only 39% approved of the legislation and that was prior to the Fred Flintstone of a website being launched, but yet we have a President who insists on riding the Obamcare rocket straight into the ground.

Finally, I love traversing liberal websites who are now personally facing this sticker shock with a common theme to  their comments-- "Uh, I really did want to see more people get health insurance but I didn't realize I had to be the one paying for it". It really is  comedy gold to see their reaction when their unicorn bucks them out of the saddle and they land butt first on their checking account.

End of rant. Now if I can just step down from my soap box without injuring myself.

Speaking of finances, how about this logic. Our credit score is 840 on a scale of 1-850, but we have very poor debt--LOL. Uhhhh--no, those who are poor are often loaded with debt. Their  rating service must be based out of Washington, DC. But, Credit Sesame will provide you with a free credit report without any strings attached if you want to take a look here.

Ahhh, Sadie with her new besty-1 1/2 yr old daughter of new owner. I might get to see her this Friday.

If you like read a more soothing post on what is going on in our lives, you can always go to Teri's blog.

End of new post.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Queen Sadie Finds Her Castle

It wasn't easy finding the right home, but that being said, we believe we found her one that will fit her needs. Yes, for you dog lovers, it was as tough as you can imagine. IF it would have been my decision only with no other variables other than what  we knew in June, I would have kept her. And no, that doesn't mean it defaults to blaming Teri. This was a COLLECTIVE decision based upon what was best for us and the pup.

My situation changed by me taking on some home-based work assignments where there was a need for a quiet background. And with this canine's wail which rivals a colony of sea lions celebrating the arrival of a frozen fish truck, there was conflict. Additionally, a desire to return to some part time travel which reared after we acquired her made it hard for us to fathom toting a 100 pound fur ball around as she struggled with the boredom of an 1/8 acre backyard, much less with 250 sq ft. As for Teri, she battles situational blood  pressure and Sadie could spike it in a heartbeat. Ultimately, it came down to finding a forever home that would  put her in a better situation than she had here. Let's see how that worked out.

Her new owner's leather couch--fast asleep with warm laundry on her face...oh the spoils....

A family with 4 kids where, per the mom, Sadie will pick which one to sleep with is where she will spend her night time hours now. The home is on 1 acre in a gated community where as the lone pet she will get all the attention. The mom stays at home and the dad wanted a pup to join him for evening exercise walks, which she excelled at. Their Vet is a personal friend who will come to their home when Sadie is in need of any kind of care. Best of all, she is only 22 miles east of us and I have been invited to stop by and see her when I want. I am waiting two weeks so she can establish she has a new home rather than a long term boarding.

And yes, picking up her yard toys, putting away her wash tub and every other reminder has been tear-jerking, but such is life, filled with imperfect decisions, which acquiring her and then rehoming her both became. Probably most disheartening is letting down our youngest son who had become her best visiting friend, by far. Life will go on celebrating the many joyous  moments she brought us.

Speaking of work assignments, I had mentioned in a prior blog post doing quality insurance testing for a company called  American Well, part of the soaring tele-medicine field. It got me to thinking of its various benefits, including how it blends in well with the RV-ing community, whether part-time or full-time. Starting Oct 1st, they go with a 24 hour schedule and licensed in all 50 states.

If you are away and need to be seen for the usual mundane ailment (sinusitis, allergies, urinary tract infections, rashes, strep throat, etc), what a great option for you on the road that let's you solve it from the comfy of your rig. You get a 10 minute consult using video/audio where the doc cuts to the chase upon sign-in all for a fee of $49. They do work with many insurance companies, as well, and will write a prescription to the pharmacy you desire in your traveling area. As full-timers, you will have to mention your domicile state to make sure you are  connected with a doctor  who is licensed in that state.

I actually had the chance to test with 5 doctors on their  production environment this past weekend. During testing, we just chat about whatever we want until the ten minute timer elapses so I had plenty of time to explore my inquisitive nature. Their next phase will be kiosks offered to employees of larger businesses where they will  roll  out  digital stethoscopes, thermometers and ear probes that can be used by the " virtual patient" to help expand their ailments menu which they can see you for. And you  RV folks thought electric awnings were cool! But I did warn their development staff that a kiosk with stirrups, a robotic hand for pap smears and male hernia testing would probably be crossing the boundary of  technology.

That's it from Central Texas...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Miss Us Yet?

Yeah, didn't think so.

Ah yes, Sadie. I am training her to be a Seeing Litter Dog. I guess even as a dog she understands the DONT MESS WITH TEXAS motto. Amidst our 1.5 mile walk each evening, she routinely will chomp on a plastic soda pop bottle, grab a local newspaper from a driveway, munch on an empty chip bag and bite down on an empty pack of cigarettes. 

She is officially on the "Off To A Better Home" marketing block. She admired me enough to ask me to author her a blog here . She is really improving overall as you would  expect as she approaches her sixth month, but we still feel she would be happier with room to roam and a canine playmate. There is not a human she does not like, so we feel a new family would be an easy transition. We had 2 interested and excellent adopters, but one had a dog who developed a contagious skin condition and the other lost her mom unexpectedly. But our commitment remains the same: "home must be as good or better than the care she gets here". 

Just a tad larger than a lap.

               Amazing what wearing a Col. Sander's costume out to the coop will do to stimulate production.

Ahh yes, something an RV'er never gets a chance to say--"I was busy repairing dry wall yesterday". Fun times, good  money-saving learning experience. A little sanding to go, gonna look legit. Thanks YouTube.

I concede, I have commented about unusual heat before. But, when you  have history to back you up, I feel justified. Yes, based upon days above 100 degrees at the measurement, this has been the 7th hottest Summer in 75 years, with 40+ days in Austin and counting. Durango, CO., Myrtle Beach, SC, Portland, OR, Petaluma, CA, Seattle, WA and beach-side, somewhere FL are on our 2014 Summer finalists list. Thank you Lord for my work from home opportunities.

Never underestimate the value of a card table. Yes, my new awesome, home office decor including an uncomfortable chair to help me stave off Cubicle Butt Syndrome. Speaking of, after only 2 weeks with the company I am dispatching for, I have been offered an additional position which will entail significantly more labor on my part. I am totally enjoying speaking with sane and sober technicians rather than the delusional, often brain-cell deprived transient calling 911 to report they have a foreign object impaled in a backside orifice and didn't know how it got there. Yes, it happened. More than once. Not to me.

I miss my Random theme from the RV days. But, is anyone else bothered by these ER "marketing" signs? "Honey, can you  check  on the tourniquet on my mangled ankle the lawn mower chopped off--we probably have enough time to run by the Home Depot first and get another blade before we arrive at the hospital". To me, an emergency means you don't have time to wait, but I am probably strange that way.

 Too bad we aren't paid per visitor-heh. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hollow Spaces-- The Wall, Shower and a Puppy's Head

Internet rumor mongers are complaining because we hadn't posted in awhile. Well, OK, I am starting off the post with a lie, but here is a forced update because we know you have nothing better to do than peruse blogs for blood, distress or other misfortunes. We don't have much to offer, unless you count ten days for a plumber to solve a slab leak leaving drywall and tile repair to me. Instead of having to dig up your floor and foundation, they route a Pex line through the attic and then down into your fixtures. I sort of like the glossy, plastic look though--trendy. Thank you very much Old Republic Home Warranty for covering that $940 adventure.

Somewhere in Central Texas a horse is  missing its front legs. Yes, our government puppy (cannot be trusted) continues to vary drastically on the behavior scale. In the middle of her 30 day probation period, I would  say one paw is in the grave and the other stepping on a banana peel. Geeesssh. Honestly, it's probably just as much our fault as it is hers. Our previous lab mix girl was a doll while this one is the canine devil incarnate, and we wrongfully presumed we would have an easy transition. Perhaps I have less patience, because I don't have to. No kids, not working and a town with very few red lights will do that to you.

She is sharp--knows "Sit", "Stay", "Down", "Come" and "Walk" at her 4+ month birthday. Now, if we can make progress on "Drop The Hen", "Your Howling Is Not Angelic", "My Hand Is Not A T-bone", "The Screen Door Is Not A Treat" and "My Scrotum Is Not Your Toy", then she just might find a long term stay in her future.

Perhaps her most annoying trait is her hearing--I swear from a hundred feet away she can detect me twisting off the lid to our cookie jar. She breaks into a full blown sprint faster than a group of Ethiopian children just learning the daily aerial drop will have cases of Skittles in it. Maddening.

Rest at ease readers--if we opt to release her back to a new caretaker, it will only be to an equal or better home. I think the Pyrenees breed, due to its livestock guardian nature, needs more land to exercise on and animals to harass protect. And yes, she gets plenty of opportunity to stroll around our back yard as well as a nightly, 30 minute prance around the neighborhood, but still her energy abounds.

Speaking of probation periods, our hens may go next as five hens averaging less than 2 eggs per day is not what we expected. I  guess my seven year career as a probation officer is being resurrected by my animals. I keep reminding them it is a short walk over to the BBQ grill. They just give me a chicken-in-the-headlight look.

My favorite time of the day--watching black fade to pale orange as a new day begins. For some reason, 3 months into her visit,  the pup cannot go past 515 a.m. So, we start our day for 2 hours together on the back porch, quality time with your child is important the experts say. I can't have my laptop with me as I have another  laptop outside already--of the 40 lb., fur variety. So, the compact Iphone with a Wi-Fi connection and a cup of Java is a nice start to  the day.

With our darling niece now back home and in school in Denver, the job hunt has been bumped up on the priority list. Ever ask yourself "What really do you want to do"? I am convinced what I want to create is a portable lifestyle,  one where I can be mobile and work. If I want to have my toes in the sand as the sun rises from the east in Myrtle Beach, I can. So, I have been scouring the Net for virtual positions where only Wi-Fi and a cell phone are required. I also do not want "gimmicks" (placing Craigslist ads, multi-level marketing, etc).

Teri the wizard of photo editing, huh? It worked as I was hired to perform 3 small tasks (performing video and audio grading using different browsers) by American Well , a viable telehealth company, where doctors and patients can video conference with each other. Myself as a "pretend" patient logs in via webcam and mic and communicates with a faux physician, another evaluator. Yes, I was tempted to tell my mid-50s female, fake doctor "let me zoom in my webcam and can you give you me your opinion on this oozing boil I have developing down here in my groin area", but I opted for professionalism in testing, since I think I am on probation. There's that word again.

I really do regret not exploring the whole  Work From  Home community while  on the RV journey. For those of you out there interested, let me save you  some time and give you the 3 websites: Work At Home JobsWork At Home Moms (it's ok to laugh at me) and Flex Jobs. The last one though you have to pay a $15 monthly subscription fee. If any of you are working virtually, let me know of any opportunity and I will likewise!

That's it from here, off to search the Internet for a "Home Kit Dog Brain Surgery Kit", well at least one that can detect the energy lobe.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

One Lady Ready To Leave, The Other Nearing Eviction

Yikes, August 1st--in Texas, places you don't want to be. In 2011, century-record heat for the area. We leave to "escape" it all in 2012 to experience--you guessed it--record heat in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. So, we strategically pick a town this Summer to move to which is at 1,300 feet elevation, one of the highest anywhere near Austin, and are stuck with temps 7 degrees above normal nearing 100 for the past week and no relief in sight. Yes, I confess--spoiled by Denver summers has me yearning for a return June-September. We shall see.

Well, we are winding down the Summer with two extra females in the house, one who is getting ready to return to Denver. Yes, color  me jealous. The other dame is being placed on 30 day probation to determine if she enjoys a lifestyle  of AC and pampering or prefers to be herding goats on a farm where a pond is her only relief. While the pup is improving, she still  has a way to go. Let's see what else is up in Burn-it.

For her last 13 days, we let Brynn identify 14 things she wanted to do with us before leaving back to the Mile High City. Wash the car (scratched off)--LOL--kid is gonna make someone a nice hubby. With only 3 days left to go, we are pace to finish off her list.

Hiking the trails at Longhorn Caverns State Park. I have no idea why we didn't see any wildlife--guess a couple ladies missed the Camouflage attire memo.

Two months on Purina, "Miracle-Gro" flavor.

Who is up for redneck aquatics? Stuck her in a storage tub and jetted water at her as she ducked for cover. Note: White dog in background.

Note: Dirty dog in foreground.

Optical illusion--do you see:
1) A young woman
2) An old lady

Do you see:
1) An adorable puppy
2) The Devil

"Alex, I will take Texas Things Seldom Seen for $400". Late July in central Texas and our yard looks like this---without a drop of sprinkler water-WOW. Eight inches of the Lord's blessing had the mower coming out of the shed as well as mosquito spray--trade offs.

Yummy, who is up for BBQ'd chicken? I got distracted bathing the pup looking toward the ground when Brynn reported "Uncle D, I think the grill is smoking too much". SMOKING? It looked like Al Qaeda had dropped a rocket-propelled grenade on the pit--darn flammable marinade. Great excuse though to try out Whataburger's new Avocado & Bacon burger.

Perhaps this was our rain dancer who brought us good luck--working on a science project where you take a half full glass of water, seal it off with shaving cream, then pour blue food coloring through it--simulating rain. See, she did learn something this Summer. Well, except rain isn't blue.

She truly has been as angelic as this photo suggests. We will take her tubing on the Comal River on Monday and then off to spend her last few days with the grandparents awaiting her mom and 3 year old sister to arrive and whisk her away to Colorado just in time to purchase school supplies and clothes.

Send A/C freon. Til next time.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sadie minus the Lady

A week's respite as Brynn was occupying her Grandma and Grandpa's time 50 miles from us this past week. We had a chance to catch our breath and head back to Inks  Lake for a couple hours of kayaking by ourselves. It mapped out to be about 3.5 miles of shoulder exercise. We can never stay too long as the "missing the RV" regret-a-thon kicks in. But we did learn, absent an eight year old in the house, we had a bit more patience this past week for the Queen of Chewoslovakia.  So all you get this week is a doggy report. (Yes, I know, RV blogging was much easier).

We went with Sadie because "NoOffStopBitingQuitCleaningYourVagina" wouldn't quite fit on the name tag.

Ahhh, look who has to get chained up, even in a fenced backyard. If you can't read a Pyrenees eyes, I will translate--"Dad, I am sorry, but your kneecaps just look like USDA Prime T-bones".

At the cost of dog foods, vet bills and supplies, we had to sit her down and have a discussion. NoOffStopBitingQuitCleaningYourVagina Sadie was informed she needed to pitch in with the budget shortfalls and at least find part-time work. So far, these are the positions we have determined may be a fit:

Hotel valet.

Poultry processor for Tyson Foods.


Hair stylist---awesome  at unraveling French Braid.


Runway model sporting her new designer belt--she even asked if it made her butt look big--all woman.

We did the "child custody exchange" today and have Brynn back with us this afternoon. Hopefully, the weather forecast will hold true as we both would much rather be outside. Last week, a rare blessing for our drought stricken county, as we were showered with 7.75", in a month where we average less than 1.5"!

Brynn is a swimaholic now that she has the basic concepts down. On our drive to pick  her up, I asked Teri "will  the word "swimming" come out of her mouth today or tomorrow?" When we arrived to pick her up, Grandma told me during their car ride, Brynn asked "Do you think Uncle D will take me swimming today?" Question answered.

Summer continues to fly by. Our niece only has 3 weeks left. She may outlast the dog.

Until next time.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Summer of Fiestiness, Firsts and Favorites

(I apologize for the RSS feed issue as you may have missed the last 5 notifications--well, probably not truly missed in an emotional kind of way. Apparently, although they have my email address, Feedburner does not bother to notify you when your Blogspot feed size has reached its maximum. Hat tip to Google search combined with my Geeky son for solving it. I hope).

Well, we agreed to take in 2 females for the Summer and I guess we will count our blessings as one is perfectly well behaved. It's also nice she doesn't bite. As to the white, fluffy 4 legged Dame of Disobedience, the training curve appears to be a straight line. I am going to have to take her in for an MRI---thinking she has an inflamed ornery gland-- good grief!

Okay, I confess, we have one success training story. She goes and jingles the bells when she wants to go outside. Kudos to her as she has not had any type of accident in over a month, well, other than ripping one of the bells off the ringer which she barked was "accidental".

Our Great White Pyrenees Shark. Yes, she  is a biting machine, all  be it puppy type, still  not acceptable. So far, failed efforts include--- "NO", a shaker can, Bitter Apple spray in her face, time-out in her kennel, domination training where we hold her down, yelping like a litter mate and pinching her rib cage. I think all we have left on the list to try is a tranquilizer dart. If that proves unsuccessful, maybe getting her another animal "friend"-- I am thinking a mountain lion. And for  all  of  those who say  "she will grow out of it"--at the rate this is going, Teri and I will both be double  amputees.

 The 25 lb., 3 month old pup believes doggie beds are over rated.

She exits the house as a Great White Pyrenees and returns as a Chocolate Labrador. Between her and the 5 hens they could probably convert our backyard landscape to a garden plot in a couple of  days.

We have production! Our Texas hens are laying Rhode  Island sized eggs, hopefully to  increase in girth as they age. Only 3 of the 5 are delivering, but the first week they filled up an egg carton.

From Chicken Whisperer to Hen Hauler, Brynn has figured out how to get 3 of the laydies to submit to her. No drama, no coercing--they simply bow down when she is in their presence. Reminds me of what happens to me when my wife is around.

A day at Inks Lake State Park just hour northwest of Austin and 15 minutes from our doorstep. A GREAT RV campground for those visiting the area and for the first time since we sold our equipment, a slight feeling of regret. Funny enough as Brynn approached the shoreline, she started yelling "Uncle D, Uncle D, I see some gold flakes, now we can do some canning".

A little bow-high. I guess 50 lbs in front and 210 lbs in back isn't quite balanced, but Brynn held her own and paddled well. I do believe Teri and I found us a new favorite outdoor activity, what a blast spending an afternoon on Inks Lake in kayaks. An additional beauty is this is a rare "constant level" lake, unlike many in the area, which are now "former lakes".

From the homemade Arts&Crafts department, Brynn will now be tasked with "Keeping Littleton, CO. Weird"......

As we prepared to head out for her her first horseback ride ever, Brynn commented "I love my boot-cut jeans Uncle D". Huh? Guess you can take the girl out of the castle, but the Cinderella slippers have to come.

Cowgirl up! She told us,"This was a dream come true". Glad to make it happen for  her.

Best-Friends-R-Us. She thinks puppy loves her and Sadie thinks Brynn would look cute bald.

In other news.....

Excitement in our town is defined as Ricky and Bubba from A&E's "Storage Wars-Texas"coming to host an auction. To their credit, their good ole Texas gentleman traits remain with them as they were engaging, yet unassuming, with the 100 folks who attended.

Hard to believe our Princess Brynncess only has three weeks left of the Texas summer heat. We hand her off tomorrow to grandma and grandpa for a week followed by a night with her cousin who is our youngest son which she is phenomenally excited about. That will change quickly when she sees the contents of his refrigerator and pantry.

Til next time.