Saturday, June 28, 2003


We need a new bed. We have the air bed. I like the adjustable firmness, but I can't get past the naugahyde couch effect. I always had the same problem with the water bed. I have the same problem with foam beds too. The air bed has a rigid platform supporting it, engineered to mimic the look of a box spring.

We just bought a new innerspring mattress for the motorhome. It lays on top of a solid platform, just like the air bed in the house. We like it. It is comfortable. And it breathes. In fact, most nights we sleep in the motorhome instead of the house. It has the best, newest bed, and it cools down quicker in the evenings than the house does. And it's air conditioned.

So my question is this: Since we already have a bed platform, is there any reason why we should go buy the box spring and mattress combination for the house? Are all the people full timing in motorhomes consigned to inferior beds because they can't have box springs? Are box spring and mattress combinations better?

I could just buy a full size queen innerspring mattress for a motorhome and drop it on top of the rigid air bed platform in the house.

Comments? Experiences to share? All I need is a firm bed that breathes.


That's it!

Busy season is over.

I declare it!

No more nights and weekends. Not for the rest of the year.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003


Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

Got a nice early start, with a twelve-foot Mistral Maui laid on edge and bunjied to the couch and dinette. The mast is a lot longer, about fifteen feet. It goes in through the driver’s side window and feeds back to lay in the bedroom, sticking out into the hall. The boom lays on the bed. The mast and boom come out and go under the motorhome every night. The board stays where it is.

Drove north to Kingman to turn right to Flagstaff, so we could head diagonally up through Monument Valley into Utah and home. Didn’t do it. Changed our minds on Interstate 40. Continued on east until just before the New Mexico border, then turned north to Canyon De Chelly. Spent the night there. Watched a woman demonstrate the no-hose-dump technique at the dump station. That was disgusting. Looked around at the park the next morning. Headed north into Utah and joined up with our planned route there. We continued north to have lunch in Arches National Park (have to go back there), cruised on and ended up just outside Glenwood Springs for our last night out. Got a camp spot in an RV park at No Name exit with our rear-end hanging out over a nice noisy part of the river. Picture attached. The river was wonderfully noisy, but not as noisy as the trains rounding the bend in the river on the other side. Honking, thundering, screaming steel-on-steel trains.

No telling where you mind will wander while you’re wandering about. This trip I decided what my next book will be about. Hey. My brother David can write books, why can’t I? I even have a title for it: “RV for Free”. Beyond WalMart. Here is the plan. We drive all over the country for an entire year, finding all the different places you can stay for free. Legally. Then we write a book about it. How hard could that be?

This morning we were admiring the river and cliffs and watching the swallows swirl. Made it home by eleven and I was off to work by twelve. It was a good day at work, and I’m all ready for tomorrow. Back to reality.

Oh. But before I get back to reality, there is one more thing about racquetball. Before I left on this trip, I finally got the long awaited opportunity to share my racquetball stroke mechanics breakthrough with Woody(coach). I gave him my four paragraph analysis of power strokes, which concludes in the fourth paragraph with my breakthrough. He was great. He read it, thought about it, analyzed it. He said it got me to a good place. It works for me. He also told me I need to reorder a few of my observations in order of priority. He told me to throw out some of my observations as irrelevant, or misguided. Then he told me that the reason I needed to do what I described in the fourth paragraph, was because there was a point I had missed in the first paragraph.


I liked getting his analysis of my analysis. Now I have to think about it some more to see if I can agree with him. That could take awhile. I really like where I ended up. But then again, if I can get to the same place in one paragraph instead of four …..

OK. Now. Back to reality.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003


Thursday Friday Saturday

We’re here. Life on the river. It all kind of runs together. We sleep a lot. Our motorhome fit nicely across the lot in front of Sue and John’s, and we discovered a 30-amp outlet in John’s garage. We sleep in our own bed in the air conditioning (not that Sue and John don't have air conditioning). We get up and have coffee on the deck overlooking the river. Watch the water. Go for a run. The water is low in the mornings. Not much boating. They divert water just upstream for irrigation. By lunchtime, though, it is starting to come up, and it’s getting very hot, so we have to figure out what we want to do in the boat that day. John has a boat. Picture attached.

It’s a very nice boat. It’s a jet boat. No propeller. Steering is a little goofy. You have to be under power to get any steering. Power is supplied by the unmuffled V-8, right behind your head. Sometimes we blast up the river and drift back down. You can go across the river to the cove, park against the bank and get out into the water for a while. Once we motored/drifted way down the river to a sandbar, beached it, got out and played in the water and watched the sand bar disappear as the water continued to rise. Then we stood around in water up to our knees while we had the afternoon snack.

There was a boat show to visit. V Boats. Giant blown V-8s in the shiniest, gaudiest, fastest boats you can imagine. For the show they were all trailered. We saw a few blasting up and down the river later. Some of these are 100mph boats. Picture attached.

Did I tell you there is no speed limit on the river? That’s what John tells me. You can do whatever you want as long as it involves beer. There are the aforementioned drag boats blasting back and forth. There are just plain fast boats like John’s. There are big slow pontoon boats, big jet skis, little jet skis, and children floating down on tubes. There is another rule too. You have to be at least twelve years old to fly a jet ski.

It’s pretty noisy too. On the weekends. Even so, I was surprised by how many birds we saw as we drifted down river. They didn’t seem all that disturbed.

So after we’ve boated the afternoon away, it’s time for dinner and standing under the misters on the lower deck. It’s still a hundred. It feels good to stand in the late afternoon sun with the chill of the spray all over you. Then it’s time for coffee and watching the river hawks, swallows, sunset, and bats. Or you can go sit on the edge of the floating dock, hang your feet into the cool water, lie back, and let the wake from the boats rock the dock. Next thing you know it’s time to head for bed, get a lot of sleep, and do it all again.

Saturday, June 14, 2003



It was pretty hot, way over a hundred when we got here. We parked the motorhome under a couple eucalyptus trees, closed the curtains, opened the louvered windows, opened some ceiling vents, and turned on the exhaust fan. We decided to just let the exhaust fan run the whole time to keep the motorhome from getting too hot and stuffy inside. It worked. Every day, the solar collector on the roof recharges the batteries enough to keep the fan running again all the next day. Overall there is a net loss of battery. We couldn’t do this forever, but it’ll work for four days. We only have one collector on the roof. The system will allow for two more collectors, but they’re kind of expensive. I think we should get one more collector this year. We should be practically electrically independent with that.

Today, at the conference, we focused on leading indicators, rather than trailing indicators. I think there is some merit in that. Everything we do now is historical. Well, except for the graphs. But the audited financial statements are about what has already happened. The 990 tax return is about what has already happened. The graphs are about what has already happened, but as I talk about them, we get to talking about what works and what doesn’t work, and sometimes where they’re headed if they keep doing what they’re doing. I think that is the real opportunity to help: Talking about their choices, and the effects of the different options.

My racquetball guy was a no-show tonight. I did find another guy to play, though. Had a good time with him. I got to pretend I was really playing lefty, and try out all the serves and strategies I would have used against him.

The water park is keeping Judy well occupied during the day.

Room service dinner is pretty good.



Last day. Today I learned more about paperless offices. I’ve always thought this sounded like more trouble than it was worth. Paper storage doesn’t really cost much in Denver. Staff time does. But now with everything residing on the server anyway, I’m thinking it’s probably time to go ahead and eliminate the paper files, starting with the current year. We originate almost all the paper on our own computers anyway. We can carry a scanner for the occasional client paper we want to include and reference in to our work. I’d start with the current year, and let the older ones in storage just fall off by attrition.

Yeah. I think it’s time.

Out of here by twelve-thirty. Went straight to see our new friends Steve and Linda. Scored the windsurfer. OK. The windsurfer case was slightly overstated. There were not two masts. Only one. Steve gave us a like new, intermediate board, one mast, three sails, three dagger boards, and all the miscellaneous goodies and gear to hook it all up.

It doesn’t hang anywhere on the outside of the motorhome. We just dropped it all in the front room of the motorhome and took it to Susie and Johns on the river. Then we dropped it all in their garage. We’ll figure out Plan B later. Now, I just want to sleep.

Oh wait. I have to tell you about Judy’s red pickup driver. We picked up this red pickup truck on Interstate 10 in Phoenix. We drove north on Highway 51, a freeway, for miles and miles. He stayed right with us. He was driving erratically. I expected him to pass, but he never did. He would get right next to us on our shoulder, then just ride right there in my blind spot. That’s not easy to do from the adjacent lane. Every time one lane slowed down, it would throw the whole thing off. But for all his lane changing, diving in and out of traffic, he never got by. Finally just as he started to peel off at the exit, he started honking like crazy. Judy looked down and he was right next to her waving. He wasn’t wearing any pants, and his hand was in his lap waving furiously.

Friday, June 13, 2003



I really like this place. Buildings scattered all around with wandering pathways, crossovers, shortcuts, long cuts, hidden courtyards, swimming pools, fountains. It’s always interesting to walk from one place to another. It’s well planted and well kept.

We have great-tailed grackles, mockingbirds, hummingbirds, mourning doves, and a roadrunner.

A hundred ten degrees is not really all that hot. It is so dry here that you still get an evaporative cooling chill when you get out of the water. And besides, it cools down to less than a hundred degrees at night.

OK. This place is great. I’m not leaving. Just send all my mail here from now on.

Let’s see. Monday. Today I learned about succession planning. Yesterday I learned about staffing. CPAs are still concerned about staffing, just like they have been for years. It is the issue most on our minds. Except this year, comments have shifted from: “I can’t get good people.” Or “I can’t get good people to stay.” To “All of my people have been with me so long now, and are so well paid, I can’t make any money any more.” Sucks huh? Sure glad I don’t live in their world.

Succession planning. Everyone needs a succession plan. They all seem to revolve around how to get your partners to give you money when you want out, though. Maybe I don’t get to have one at all. Not having a partner, I don’t get to pick who should give me money.

This is a conference of CPA firm owners and partners. Looks like 15% of CPA conference attendees are women. Looks like 5% are minority.

No-one answered the challenge on the conference message board. However, know how lucky I am? Tonight is challenge night at the racquetball court. They open the club to local players who come here practically every night to play. I got one of them tonight. Young left handed guy. Hit it pretty hard. I got to play a few other people too, but I got thumped by Lefty. We got to talking, and he was kind enough to agree to come back tomorrow night and do it again for an hour.

Here are a couple pictures of the lazy river we floated.

Thursday, June 12, 2003


Oh. There is more.




I just have a half-day of class today. Judy was kind enough this morning to be today’s racquetball victim. After that, I went to my class session. I got out at 2pm, so we lathered up with sunscreen and spent the afternoon in the water park. The water park is great. Grass, lounge chairs, chair-side service, streams, bridges, fountains, waterfalls, water jets, palm trees, cabanas, waves, bubbles, and slides. There is a lazy river. It winds its way through the water park at a leisurely pace while you float along on a tube. Judy and I selected a double tube and circled the endless loop together for an hour. What a nice thing to do. We laid in the sun, drifted down the river, bobbed about in the wave pool, and went down the water slide. The water slide. This is a serious water slide. A speed slide. This water slide is 60 feet high. Six stories.

Going down the speed slide is easy, really. You just climb to the top of the tower and sit down on the ledge at the top. Looking down to the bottom, you can see the bottom of the slide, but nothing in between the top and the bottom. You just let go, slip over the edge, and trust that the middle part of the slide truly is there, and it’s not all just a terrible. Awful. Sick. Trick.

You keep your legs extended straight out and crossed at the ankles. Fold your arms across your chest. Then hold that position as you fall out of the sky, accelerating to about 40 mph, your body keeping touch with the slide every now and then on the way down.

Now you might think that sliding down the slide is about letting go to start, and the thrill of the slide down, and you would be right. But there is more. There is re-entry. Somehow all that falling energy has to be converted back to earth molecules as we know them. This is accomplished amid a great roar and spectacular spray on the run-out at the end. The run-out starts with about an inch of standing water, and gets progressively deeper until it is several inches deep. This is the reason for keeping your legs crossed at the ankles. It is very important to keep your legs crossed at the ankles. We don’t want to lose any parts along the way. But there is something else that is important to do that they don’t tell you about at the top. When you hit the standing water at the end, focus. Shift your mind from, “Oh Shit! I’m going to die. I can’t breathe. Who’ll take care of the children?” to “Keep your feet down. Hit the water with your feet.” Something has to absorb the energy of this progressive impact. I know from personal experience that if your feet don’t absorb it, the next body part in line will. I can also tell you that all the little fat particles in your butt vibrating at supersonic speed can leave you a little sore the next day.

After going down the slide once, I wasn’t sure I actually remembered all of it, so I felt I needed to do it a few more times, to be sure I had absorbed the entire experience. I’m now certain that I’ve absorbed enough. I never did feel I completely mastered the part about keeping your feet down at the end, though.

Monday, June 9, 2003


Saturday. 04

Got up and just hung out today. No hurry leaving. We only have a hundred miles to go to Phoenix, check in time isn’t until two or three, and I don’t want to leave anyway. Why would I want to leave this to stay in some crummy fancy resort? This park just feels way too good. We’re parked next to some small mulberry trees, and some other trees and bushes I don’t recognize. Not pure desert landscape at this altitude. We’re not down into the Saguaros yet.

And today I got the perfect run. Now that’s what runs are supposed to feel like. Ninety degrees, light wind, hot and sweaty out running in the desert. It felt great.

Saw a phainopepla. Same size and shape as a cardinal, except it’s black and has red eyes. Neat bird. Haven’t seen a phainopepla in fifteen years. We don’t spend as much time in the desert southwest as we used to.

Met another couple about our age; Steve and Linda. They’re the ones camped under the giant sycamore trees. They have a little Cockapoo kind of dog, so Judy got her puppy fix. This is a business trip. Annie and Rags didn’t get to come with us on this trip. Steve and Linda are just here for the weekend, then back to Phoenix and back to work. Somebody gave Steve a really good windsurfer, but he doesn’t windsurf, and he doesn’t have any lakes around. He said if I wanted to stop by he’d give it to me. A windsurfer with two masts, five sails, three dagger boards; who could pass that up? We don’t have the tow car, and we don’t have anyplace to hang it on the outside, but we’ll think of something. We’ll call him before we leave, and stop on the way out.

There are two ways you can attach the tow car to the back of the motorhome. You can have a tow setup that resides on the back of the motorhome and hooks or unhooks from the tow car, or you can get a setup that resides on the tow car and hooks and unhooks from the back of the motorhome. I thought it would be a no-brainer to get the one that resides on the motorhome, so the tow car is clean while you’re out driving around, but my brother Tom said no. He said there was good reason to want the one that resides on the tow car, and in fact most people choose that configuration. We’re now conducting our own tow survey, inventorying all the tow setups we see on this trip. So far we have seen twelve, and to our surprise, they are perfectly divided, six each. I actually thought my brother Tom might be wrong.

Made the drive to Pointe South Mountain Resort for the conference. Very fancy. Lots of fountains. A golf course. An entire workout gym. Six restaurants. A water park. AND A RACQUETBALL COURT. TWO RACQUETBALL COURTS! I had just happened to throw my racquetball gear in the motorhome for this trip. Hate to miss an opportunity, you know. Now if I can only find a racquetball victim. I left a note at the gym in case anyone wants to play. I almost got the kid at the front desk to play with me but it turns out he didn’t have any court shoes with him. The conference starts tomorrow. I’ll post a challenge on the message board for the conference attendees as well.

Sunday, June 8, 2003



Got our twelve. Now that felt about right. We were up and about and washed and off by eleven. Rolled down the highway, across the Great Divide (all 7,200 feet of it), and out of New Mexico.

Drove through Gallup, Holbrook, Winslow, and Flagstaff. Got to Oak Creek Canyon early Friday afternoon. Oak Creek Canyon is so beautiful, and they have several campgrounds there, but still, we got shut out. We wanted to stop for the night at the one closest to the top of the canyon. Then we kept checking each campground as we went farther down the canyon. By the time we got down to Sedona, Sedona was so crazy with traffic and people, we just wanted to get out. Come to think of it, we had the same reaction the other time we drove through Sedona.

We drove on, and found a nice quiet RV Park outside Camp Verde Arizona: Zane Gray RV Park. Down at that low an altitude, 4,000 feet, we really needed to plug in for the night so we could run the air conditioner. This RV Park is a place Dad would have admired. It was the neatest place we’ve ever seen. Every site was perfectly level with freshly laid gravel. The freshly laid gravel in every site was freshly raked. There are only fifty sites, but there must have been six people raking, trimming, spraying, and picking up, all day long.

Saw several nice birds: western kingbirds, black-chinned hummers, a hooded oriole, a peregrine falcon, and a hepatic tanager. We hadn’t ever seen the hooded oriole or the hepatic tanager before this.

Oreo cookies. Has anyone else noticed how much of a pain the packages are for Oreo cookies? They are really hard to open. And once you do get them open, can you close them to protect the rest of the cookies from getting stale? Have you ever been able to? Well, finally, Oreo has improved their packaging. Now there is lots more plastic to protect the cookies from getting broken. But was that the biggest problem in the first place? But have they figured out how to make the package open without ripping to shreds? Did they figure out how to make it resealable? I can buy flour tortillas in a resealable bag. I can buy shredded cheese in a resealable package. Oreos? No way. I know what it is. It’s a conspiracy to get me to eat the entire package all in one sitting because the rest will just go stale anyway.



Right in the middle of the rainstorm, I looked at the humidity gauge and it only read 35%. I can understand how it would be less than 100% humidity. The air outside the motorhome is full of water, but there is some space between the water drops, so maybe it could be 99 or 98 or even 95%. But 35% inside? That just doesn’t seem right.

Got ten hours of sleep. That’s a good start. Drove off into more rain. I had my oatmeal for breakfast. Judy nuked an egg mcmuffin kind of thing, put her feet up on the dash, leaned her seat back, and went back to sleep. Drove south out of Colorado and over Raton Pass. By the time we got to the town of Raton, we could see out underneath the clouds to the south. We drove the rest of the day, just flirting with the south side of the storm. Intermittent showers.

We don’t have to drive very far each day. We left ourselves three days to cover the nine hundred miles to Phoenix. We kept driving and driving, trying to figure out where we wanted to stop today, until we realized we were in danger of driving a 500 mile day. We didn’t want to drive that far, so we pulled over at a rest stop picked a level spot, settled down, and cooked a nice dinner. We didn’t really want to stop there for the night, so we drove on to complete our 500 mile day at a nice State Park Campground, Bluewater Lake, west of Grants New Mexico. I got a picture of Judy air-drying her hair the next morning.

The legs felt better today, but I’ve been good about taking my blood pressure medicine, so I couldn’t get much of a heart rate going.

Saturday, June 7, 2003



We’re off again. We drove off in a light rain. We decided to leave the night before. We got all of a hundred miles before we stopped for the night. Not wanting to be left out of the adventures of our brothers, we stopped for the night at a Wal-Mart. Now we’ve racked up that cultural experience. There were several other motorhomes there, but nobody came out to play or talk with us. I had a nice big loop for my evening run. Patrolled by security. I’ve played hard at racquetball lately, and my legs are pretty dead. We got to listen to rain on the roof all night long.

We got a new bed. In the process, we figured out that the guy who had this rig before us had substituted a full queen mattress for the short queen mattress the platform was designed for. I’m not that big a guy, so the short queen length ought to be just fine. It’s as long as a double bed. Since we got the new mattress in, it is remarkable how much more walk-around room we have around the bed. It really is a walk around.

I have a question. How can it be 35% humididy while it’s raining?