Sunday, November 30, 2008


Judy already has a bike, but she wanted something different too. She got a tricycle with a big basket to haul cargo. She can take clothes to the laundry, or trash sacks to the dumpster. She can also ride Annie all over the park. Annie loves it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Bald eagles and osprey catch fish with their talons. Pelicans, terns, gulls and wading birds fish with their beaks. Great blue herons are waders. They fish with their beaks, but they don’t just bite them. They spear them. What a setup! They use their entire face as a spear-gun.

Then, without using their hands, they have to get the fish off their beak and into their mouth without dropping it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I have a question

The Jet Lag question. I know there was such a thing as Jet Lag. I know there was rapid travel before jets. No help from readers. Google didn’t help. I asked Judy.

Judy found references to “Rapid Time Zone Change Syndrome” and “Desynchrony” from as early as the thirties. Disturbances to the circadian rhythm. Charles Lindberg wrote about it. Pan American flew piston engine powered Lockheed Constellations around the world from the mid-forties to the mid-sixties. They had to deal with it. They dealt with desynchrony.

There just wasn’t an easy reference term for the problem before jet travel. Nothing so convenient as “Jet Lag”.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


All leading up to a great dessert table.


An early dinner at Bear and Shortie’s. They cook the turkeys. Everybody else brings a dish.

The setup. And the cooking. It takes one person to deep fry a turkey. There is no limit on the number of supervisors.

Morning light

Sixty eight degrees. One hundred percent humidity.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I have a question

I was thinking about Brother Bill’s recent trip to Bali, which led me to recall the time-zone torture of arriving in London years ago after flying all night, then trying to stay awake all the next day in an effort to adjust to London time as quickly as possible.

Which brings us to today’s question: What did we call jet-lag in the old days when we were still flying in piston engine powered aircraft?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nothing going on

Judy does chores and errands. I work. Nice weather. Saw the white tailed hawk fly over again today. Dramatic bird. Coots in the pond. The occasional blue winged teal. Not uncommon to see great blue heron, little blue heron, great egret, snowy egret, long billed curlew, killdeer, or snipe along the edge. The occasional long billed dowitcher. Caracaras fly over. Pelicans. Cormorants. Gulls.

Day two of life after Plavix. I like it.

Nothing going on.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gulf Waters

One year of Plavix. Enough. This is day one of my post-Plavix life.

The weather has changed. In October it was hot and hotter. Now, in November, it is just warm and comfortable with the occasional storm that passes through and makes it cold and windy. Today, we’re back to eighty and calm.

We’ve started up with the Christmas decorations. Old habits… We’ve wrapped some palm tree trunks with light strings. We’ve got colored lights on the shed. Judy is accumulating yard decorations. She’s covering the solar yard lights with colored cellophane for the season. We won’t light much until after Thanksgiving, but we want to be ready. No more talk of a yard train so far.

Judy is organizing a parade of lights. Golf cart. Three wheeled bikes. Maybe even the Trikke.

Life on the beach.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mercy Rule

This summer, I started the blog. I set it up so each new trip report would automatically post to it. Since then I’ve gone back and posted all the old trip reports, starting with 2004. We were still living in the house in Louisville at the start of that year and ended it full-timing in the diesel Bounder. The trip reports are all in one place now. They’re even indexed and searchable if that would ever make any difference.

I wrote trip reports before 2004 too. Not every day, but I wrote reports each time we were on trips. Not easy to find stuff that old; I’ve been through several computers in that time, but I’ve found some of those old reports, so I’ll add those too, as I can.

What does this have to do with a mercy rule? Having everything on a website changes the dynamics of my trip reports. If anyone wants more control over whether and when they get the reports, they can opt out of the direct emails and get them from the blog instead. Anybody wants off the email list; let me know.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Finished up with the neurologist today. They went looking for brainwaves with the EEG on Tuesday morning at the hospital. It took an hour. We had to get all the electrodes attached to my head. The technician demanded that next time I come back I should come back without all this hair. Guess I made her life difficult. She also told me how she found me. She came out of the hospital elevator at 4 o’clock in the morning. Judy and I were sitting in chairs outside the elevator bank because my room was uninhabitable (think sick people). We said Hi. She said Hi, and walked on by, pushing her machine. A few minutes later she came back.

“Mr Taylor?”


“I went to your room. You weren’t there. I asked at the nurse’s station and they said you were out for a walk. I asked them “You mean that old white guy that looks like Santa Clause?” and they said “yeah”. She was my EEG technician.

This was a more extensive EEG than I’ve had before. Just as I was settling in to fall asleep, she made me hyperventilate. I had to do hyperventilate breathing for three minutes without stopping. I did. Hell of a buzz. Once I got comfortable again, she told me to open my eyes and look at the ceiling. Thus began the strobe-light-torture phase. I think she was trying to break me, but I didn’t crack. I never revealed a thing. After that she let me fall asleep, then woke me up to point out on the screen when I started to doze and when I fell asleep. That was it, except for part where she had to rip off all the electrodes she had stuck onto my head.

Got the results back at our visit with the neurologist today at his office. Nothing. No trace left behind. They went looking for brainwaves and actually found some, but no other junk, so the news couldn’t have been better.

The conclusion? TGA, Transient Global Amnesia. It wasn’t a stroke. It wasn’t a seizure. It isn’t Alzheimer’s. It was most likely TGA. Probably a tiny bit of plaque broke off into the bloodstream and blocked flow to my brain momentarily. Whatever, he said once it happens, it rarely happens again. I’m done. No further examinations or treatments. No reason to expect a recurrence.

It’s all good.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Remember Mom’s cat Rocky? It was so important to Mom to get the cat to a good home. Rocky is still alive and well at Becky’s house. She’s eighteen now. Becky’s house ended up being a good spot for her.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


That was a great night’s sleep. Eleven hours uninterrupted. A little catching up to do. It’s good to be home.

Home is more than just the motorhome. Home is the community we live in. We’re surrounded by friends. We didn’t ask for any help on Monday. We never got the chance. The coach was taken care of while we were gone. The Trikke got wheeled off to Pete and Kit’s. Annie went to Leon and Sharon’s for a sleepover. More offers of help than we could accommodate. Thanks all.

It’s good to be home.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


That certainly sucked.

Monday morning I was working with a client in Colorado; talking to them on the phone; talking to Janis in Yuma on the phone. Then, somewhere around eleven o’clock, I realized I wasn’t doing anything and I had no idea for how long I hadn’t been doing anything. I was confused. There were thoughts and partial thoughts flying everywhere in my head, but I couldn’t pull any of them together. I knew who I was and where I was, but couldn’t seem to assemble anything beyond that.

I proceeded logically. It might be a stroke, so I looked in the mirror and was encouraged to see my pupils were evenly dilated. That was good. I ate an aspirin. It might be blood sugar. I ate some food. No change. Maybe I should look at the job I was doing on the computer. Couldn’t make sense of it. Maybe some exercise would help shake me out of it. I rode the Trikke around the big pond. Didn’t help, but riding the Trikke takes some coordination and balance. I was symmetrical. Maybe it’s not a stroke. I called Judy.

Judy came home from shopping. EMS arrived. All the neighbors came over. I remained confused but stable. Judy drove me to the hospital. I got admitted. The hospital ran every test I can name. Chest X-ray. CAT Scan. MRI. EKG. Carotid ultrasound. Echocardiogram. EEG. Blood vials drawn day and night. All the tests came back negative except the EEG. It hasn’t come back yet.

That was a really crummy place to be. All that noise and activity in my head; knowing very little of it had to do with what was actually going on around me. The fog in my head started to lift about dinnertime. By about midnight I was feeling real clarity again. We don’t know what happened. There are technical terms like Transient Ischemia Attack (TIA), and Transient Global Amnesia (TGA) being bandied about, but so far, no trace of anything left behind for diagnostic purposes. No trace left behind is a good thing though. I’d much rather they look inside my head and find nothing, than they look inside my head and find a flaming skid-mark across my brain or something. Whatever it was, it was transient. We don’t know where it came from, what it was, or where it went, but at least for now, it’s gone.

The hospital is no place to recuperate. They have too many sick people there. Judy and I walked the halls, sat in chairs in the reception area, and visited all night. By mid-day today we had helped the doctor’s decide that since none of the tests had come back positive so far, we should probably just check out of the hospital, go home, and get some rest. They’ll call us if they find anything.

In the meantime, except for being lack-of-sleep goofy, we’re doing well. Judy was awesome, as always, and shepherded me through the process. Now, I feel fully alert again. And, like I’ve said before: It’s good to be here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


We got lots of suggestions about how the trailer got to where it is without any truck tracks on the grass in front of it. A vision of an old guy lugging the tongue of the trailer while the wife pushes from behind. A suggestion we check the bottom of the lake for the truck. Or maybe the trailer was pulled in by a boat. Perhaps the sites here need to be described as pull-in, back-in, and “push-in”. Well, thanks for all the help.

We’ve never seen anyone there. It looks like storage. Turns out someone bought the lot and put that travel trailer on it. They did it with a small tow dolly. Not exactly what was expected on a motorhome pondside site. The exception to that rule happened before anyone thought to make the rule.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our pond

This year we got here before the ducks did. Our pond has been duckless. Plenty of shorebirds and waders, but no ducks. But now it’s different. The coots are back. They have to be the same pair that was here last year because they came right up to the patio and demanded food. Now, we’re getting blue wing teal and whistling ducks off and on. That’s more like it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I never followed-up on the question I sent out last spring about trains. I was wondering why it made sense to run those giant hundred car trains with two engines in the front, three in the middle, and one in the rear, instead of two fifty car trains. When you look at them it’s easy to imagine two fifty car trains, each with two engines in the front and one in the back, that just happen to be stuck together.

We got lots of good possible answers involving logistics, unions, bar loads, and cost analysis. The most targeted had to do with “Distributed Power” and came from a guy in Kansas who works on the railroad. Thanks to Casey for forwarding my question to him.

There were lots of details in the explanation. 143 tons per car. 4000 horsepower engines. One horsepower per ton on mostly level ground (like Kansas). Details that contributed to the credibility of the answer about Distributed Power. It all comes down to knuckles. With trains, you have to protect your knuckles. A train slows down when it goes up a hill. When the train tops the hill, the front end of the train wants to run faster as it’s going downhill, but the back half of the train still wants to go slow as it continues to go up. This creates stress on the coupler knuckles. The engineer can manage this with distributed power (engines in the front, middle, and rear of the train. Don’t want too much stretching and compressing and slamming of knuckles. The front end could even start to go up another hill while the middle was going downhill and the back end was still going uphill. Distributed Power manages that.

And scheduling. Imagine the scheduling challenges to keep track of every train on the continent, making sure there is only one train at a time using each section of track. You can schedule a gazillion 50 car trains, or a half-gazillion 100 car trains. I think I’d want to schedule the half-as-many-trains option.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Yeah. It’s a whole ‘nother place.


Schulenberg. Small town Texas. Gotta love it. It’s a whole ‘nother place.

Can’t quite make out that sign in the background. Can we zoom in a little?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Things change

A few days of wind blowing in from the southeast. The water rises as it gets pushed up against the coast. The surf gets disorganized, and we have a seaweed beach again.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Austin to Port Aransas; by way of a couple state parks we haven’t been to before. We did the drive-through, and found a tiny little back road that wound its way through the eleven miles of hill country forest between them. A charming drive.

I remember my parents taking me to Hearst Castle when I was young. We did the tour. A house like that; a castle; such excess. It was so outside the realm of the possible it was a stunning experience. Now, we have resort hotels. Excess outside the realm of personal possibility. An atrium the size of a city block, complete with streams, waterfalls, pools, and fountains with pedestrian paths and yard trains winding throughout (they had me with the yard trains). Rambling manicured grounds. More paths, pools, fireplaces, and a vineyard outside. Now, access to castles is more easily attained.

But we’ve moved on. A wandering drive on country highways. We watched at least twenty-five dolphins on our little ferry boat ride across the channel. We’re back on the island, reunited with our motorhome and our neighbors. Home in time for a home-cooked dinner; a dinner that cost less than a hundred dollars.

It’s good to be home.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Today, developing a technology plan, and how to deliver positively outrageous service. Paroled at noon. We’re free to go.

Another visit with Ron and Linda and we’re reunited with Annie. Thanks again Ron and Linda. An afternoon drive and we’re in Austin for the night.

Tomorrow; back to the beach.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Today, “what’s new with the audit software suite” we use; blogs, podcasts, and social media for CPAs; more about our audit software; and how to create a totally virtual office (one totally web-based).

Tomorrow; more.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


A day of inspiration. Talks on “futurizing” the firm, creating the “next generation” accounting firm, operating in an internet environment, and crafting the perfect website. All this stuff is so technical, there is no way to absorb it all this fast, or even learn any of the specific tools. The best hope for me is that I’ll emerge with some understanding of which tools might apply to what we do so we can investigate them further.

Tomorrow; more.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Tuesday. Port Aransas to Austin. Wednesday. Austin to Fort Worth. We’ve gone north for a conference. North in the Jeep. Since we’re going to stay at the conference hotel anyway, we didn’t need to bring the coach. We’re Jeeping and hoteling it.

We had a nice visit with Ron and Linda at their new house in Fort Worth and dropped off Annie. They’ll watch her for us while we’re here. Then it was off to the conference hotel, the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas, just northwest of Dallas.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Padre Island

Our lunch.

His lunch.

Padre Island

A few more images from a weekend drive down the Padre Island National Seashore beach.

Padre Island

Images from a weekend drive down the Padre Island National Seashore beach.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gulf waters

There are two kinds of RV sites here: pull-ins and back-ins. You can tell which is which by where the utilities are. On RVs, the utility hook-ups are always on the left side, so if you look at a site and see the utilities on the left, it’s a pull-in site. If you see the utilities on the right, it’s a back in site.

Pull-ins only work for motorhomes. Back-ins work for motorhomes or trailers. So usually, you find motorhomes in the pull-ins and trailers in the back-ins. You have to reserve the back-ins for trailers, because what happens to the people with trailers if there are only pull-ins? If you pull your trailer in to a spot with your truck, then how do you get your truck out?

But then there must be an exception to every rule, and here is the exception to this one. First time I’ve ever seen a trailer in a pull-in spot. Don’t know how they did it. No truck tire tracks on the grass. It was like this when we got here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Happy anniversary to us. Four years. Four years ago today was our first day of full-timing. We drove the motorhome from our house in Louisville to Dakota Ridge RV Park in Golden; a distance of twenty-five miles. It was cold and snowy. We stayed in town a few more weeks before our first foray out of town.

Many miles and adventures since. We’ve come a long way.