Monday, September 12, 2016

Yes, Want That!

Even before the iPhone 7 was unveiled all of us in this house knew we'd be upgrading.  

We don't get new phones every year.  Rather, we've kept the pattern of upgrading our phones about every three years.  None of us are techies nor do any of us earn a living informing others about gadgets.  We use our devices but we don't live and die by them.  

So, when you combine the smartphones expected life span with the newer features three years is just about right for the Geofamily.  

Over our lunch break last Wednesday Geogal and I viewed the Apple event although we wished they had covered the iPhone a bit sooner.  The Apple Watch material is somewhat interesting yet neither of us pine for the wrist tech.  Plus Geogal already has a FitBit which meets her needs just fine.  

They then got to the phone but just a few minutes in we had to leave and head back to our respective salt mines.  No problem, just resume the playback later in the evening when we had more time to relax and really absorb the features.  

No more analog headphone jack?  Doesn't bother me a bit.  Apple is right, technology is headed in this direction anyway so why not be a little early?  

I liked what I saw.  So did Geogal.  So did Geoana, who voiced her desire for an iPhone 7.  

Both Geogal and I have our eyes on a 7 Plus.  The superior camera is a nice feature but I really just want a device with a bigger screen.  I admit it, I'm getting older and more real estate on my gadget is better on my eyes.  Should be a nice upgrade from my current 5 s.  

Just as my 5 s was a great upgrade from my iPhone 4 back in October of 2013.  

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Leisurely Saturday

As my gals are at the Kansas State Fair I'm doing the bachelor thing most of this weekend.  

Therefore I have a low-key couple of days at my disposal.  

After doing a few household chores I decided to take a little drive and check out the lake level.  

We had some significant storms last Saturday which caused flooding in the southern part of the county.  I'm sorry to say the weather resulted in tragedy (one death and significant loss of home and property for others).  

All of this aside I was curious about the lake's water level given it's been down for the better part of two years, although the snowfall and spring storms earlier this year did well to raise it at least a foot.  

First I drove over the dam.  And as I suspected the lake was higher, although not anywhere near the high-water mark.  Still, looks a lot better than it did in December 2014 when I last drove to the bluff overlooking the whole thing and was shocked at how dry our "fishing hole" became.  

Have to take some pictures, right?  This one is from the dam itself:

Then I head south to the aforementioned overlook area.  Since we are in the Sunflower State one must get the state flower into the shot, right?

Some folks believe this entire area is a treeless prairie.  A lot of it is but every now and then you do encounter what could accurately be labeled a thicket:

You might notice there wasn't a cloud in the sky.  In fact, yesterday was nearly "chamber of commerce weather."  Not only bright sunshine but the wind was rather calm, which is rare for here.  

An enjoyable drive well-earned.  I came off a work week that was busy and loaded with stress and demands, more than the usual amount.  Nor was it finished.  Due to my position and commitments I needed to stay close to town this weekend.  Which is why I wasn't at the fair with my two favorite ladies.  

Even with all that I fully enjoyed the day.  Actually got in some relaxation!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Using It All!

A great morning to relax and write!  Slept well (first deep sleep in several days) and overnight got nice and cool.  How cool?  I'll say this:  I went to sleep with the window open, hearing crickets, which isn't unusual given this time of year and our yard backing up to a creek.  

I wake around 4:30.  I hear nothing from outside.  No chirps, no insect songs.  

I'm no entomologist but I suspect even the crickets knock it off if the temp is cool enough.  Thermometer this morning read just a bit below 48 degrees.  

Autumn is on its way.  We're not even into mid-September but in addition to some cooler nights I'm also seeing leaves falling from my black walnut tree.  


Speaking of the season, yes, I enjoyed last weekend's college football offerings as much as anyone.  Great matchups and a few surprises.  

Loved seeing the Houston Cougars take out OU.  Then the following night the Longhorns went toe-to-toe with the Fighting Irish and won it in overtime.  I love it when the games show (as they do every year) that preseason polls mean nothing.  

Too bad this weekend doesn't have such juicy contests.  As one commenter on SiriusXM's College Sports Nation channel remarked:  "Now we have the big-name institutions playing the schools with directional names."  


Why is today's post titled the way it is?  

It reflects our taking the camper to the lake a couple of weekends ago.  Since we were not far from home the gals did a little grocery shopping for Saturday night's meal.  Inexpensive steak (cooked over charcoal), salad and then a dessert.  

They decided to buy a frozen cherry pie and bake it in the camper's oven.  

Like many RV-ers I don't have great use for the oven.  Reminds me of the time, years ago, where Geogal and I were casually looking at some used campers.  We looked at one in nearby Oberlin, where the owner pointed out that neither he nor anyone else in his family ever had used the oven.  It served as a storage compartment.  He remarked:  "How many people say, 'We're camping.  How about baking a cake?'"  

That phrase has since stuck with our own household.  Yet Geoana likely will bake a cake in the rig before she leaves for college, just to say she's done so.  

Back to the present.  I had to pull out my camcorder and go back over the recording of my walk-through the day I took possession of the travel trailer.  Sure enough, the guy explained how to light the pilot, which then ignites the oven burner.  

It worked!  Made the inside a little warm but that's why you have air conditioning, right?

Cherry pie was good and they remembered to grab a container of Cool Whip as well.  

With successful use of the oven, I can now say I've used everything in the camper.  

Plumbing?  Yes.  Kitchen sink, bathroom sink, tub, toilet.  

Furnace?  Check.  

Refrigerator?  Done.  It works off of both electric and propane.  

Water heater?  Yup.  As with the fridge, works with either electricity or propane.  

(Geoguy's father is reading that last sentence with some jealousy.  When he and Geomon had their 5th wheel he said one of the more aggravating things was trying to light the water heater's pilot.  Almost always it was windy and the camper was pointed in the "wrong" direction.  Sorry Dad.  Industry has made some advances and not only do I have an electric element, the gas burner has an auto-ignite feature.)

Range?  Done.  

And now the oven.  Works like a charm.  

Not too bad for a guy who knew next to nothing about RV-ing just a few years ago.  

Monday, September 05, 2016

Summer Trip To Minnesota, Conclusion

Heading for home!

On the brief (to us, anyway) four-hour drive back to our domicile in Kansas we check out the license plates of cars/trucks either passing us, or that we are passing.  Usually the latter.  It's a rather lame attempt to catch some states before we're done.  

But over the five days we had plenty of luck.  It’s easier to just list the states we didn’t see this trip:  Hawaii, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Delaware and Vermont.  

And here’s a humorous side note about the Aloha State:  The previous day (evening, really) Geogal said she knew where we could go in Omaha where we’d likely see plates from the state halfway out in the Pacific Ocean.  

Creighton University.  

However all of us were exhausted and ready to just get out of the vehicle, relax and eat the evening meal.  So we skipped another catch.  

Another side note:  I think we had just merged onto Interstate 80 at Elm Creek, Nebraska when we started the game.  I mentioned we should just go ahead and write down the four “gimmes:”  Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota. 

Not a bad head start. 


In the words of John Denver, hey it’s good to be back home again.  

Then it was resume life as usual.  

Did I enjoy the Minnesota journey?  Of course.  Never hurts to enjoy the Midwest during the warm months.  Bug splats and sweating sure beat the crud out of possible frostbite. 


While in Rochester I visited a few places in search of something strictly for the camper.  I’ve been looking into purchasing a generator.  Not only will it give much more versatility to where I camp (and how I camp) but it also can come in handy for the occasional power failure back home.  

Yet I didn’t have a lot of luck in seeing one that would fit my needs.  I’m after a 3000-watt variety because if I’m making my own electricity I want to be able to run the air conditioner.  Unfortunately Home Depot, Mills Fleet Farm and Harbor Freight only had the 2000-watt versions.  

Then what do I learn once I return home?  Wally World sells one of the ones of which I am interested.  Hmm, the ship-to-store option sounds really tempting.  Who said I need to go four states away just to have “power?”