Monday, October 31, 2016

I was just wondering

 

All these political polls and early voting.  I was just wondering how the polls account for people who have already voted.  Polls are predictions of what people are going to do.  If people in the sample have already done what they’re sampling for, then it’s no longer a poll of what people are going to do, it’s a report on what people have done.  But if the pollsters don’t include people who have already voted in their sample, then they’re sampling something other than the general population.  The people who have already made up their minds and voted might be different from the people who have not yet been motivated to vote, or are still undecided.

 

Pollsters have to be clever enough to quantify what they think has already happened, combine that with their conclusions about what they think has yet to happen, and come up with a projection of the combined results.

 

 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Bumps and bruises

 

We’ve decided to go all-in with this “local” approach.  The two cockpit chairs are worn out and they’re terribly expensive to replace.  The motor to move Judy’s seat is broken.  The repair shop near San Antonio told us it would be too expensive to fix; we should just replace the entire chairs.  Jacinto knows an upholstery guy in Brownsville who will reupholster them in leather for a fraction of the cost of new.  Jacinto says he can fix the motor.

 

Our old couch is worn out.  We bought a newer one from a friend here in the park and delivered it to Jacinto.  He’ll switch them out for us.  Jacinto noticed that the chrome bay-door latches and some other parts were showing corrosion.  He’s got a guy that will come up to the border from Mexico to pick them up and re-chrome them.

 

There are pieces of our motorhome scattered all over now, and we’re not dealing with large well-established organizations.  Who knows, we may never get all the pieces back together in the same place again; but we’ve decided to take that risk, and take what we get.  It’s an adventure in trust.

 

We’ll keep you posted.

 

 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Judy

 

Judy’s hand is so much better, she’s been digging in the flower pots again.

 

 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Bumps and bruises

 

Know how when your car or RV is in the shop they say, no you can’t go back there, it’s not safe; insurance regulations.  Not so with Jacinto.  I think we’ve found an artisan.  He is so proud of his work.  He invites us to stop by.  He’s happy to show his progress.

 

The front end got worse before it got better.  There is a plastic rock chip barrier applied to the front that has gotten raggedy and has to come off.  It wouldn’t peel off, so Jacinto ground it off.

 

It looked better taped and primed.

 

And better still now that it has been repainted.  It still needs buffing and clearcoat, but it’s exciting progress.

 

Remember the main reason we’re here; we ran the bus aground in the mud in winter 2015?  That did the damage to the bodywork on the right rear.

 

Now all the right rear bay doors and bodywork are off.

 

And have been straightened and prepped for painting.

 

Looking good.

 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bumps and bruises

 

From a distance, the coach still looks great.  Closer inspection though, reveals a few spots that need attention.

 

The paint on the aluminum trim that goes all the way around the outside is bubbling.  The paint didn’t stick there like it did to the rest of the coach.

 

Around the slides, a little paint is peeling off the metal edges in places.

 

The clear coat on the front door is degenerating, and the doorframe is peeling.

 

Some of the bodywork and cabinet doors are bent from when I ran the bus aground in the mud last rainy winter.

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My wife is a rock star!

 

The surgeon says she is awesome; the perfect patient.

 

Her recovery is right on schedule.  I know she’s been doing well, because the middle word of her every sentence is “Ow”.  I take that as a good sign, because that means her hand feels good enough she forgot she still needed to protect it and tried to do something normal.

 

She’s done with the range of motion exercises and can proceed to strengthening.  The doctor thinks she should squeeze a small therapy ball.  I think my shoulders could serve the same purpose just as well.

 

We drove straight to Corpus Christi this morning and kept right on going to Port Aransas.  Got there just in time to spot the American flamingo that has been hanging out there.

 

 

 

American flamingos don’t belong here.  This one is a wanderer.  Year bird number 406.  Our year-record is 407.  Oh what to do…

 

We grabbed a quick Whataburger, and drove back to Corpus in time for Judy’s appointment.  Now we’re back safe and sound at home with a Dairy Queen Blizzard for dinner along the way.

 

Whataburger and Dairy Queen on the same day; we don’t get out much.

 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

We've done our part

 

If the red state of Texas doesn’t turn blue, it’s not our fault.  We early-voted today.  We didn’t want to take a chance on something coming up on election day and not getting our vote in.

 

So, for us, the election is over.  Maybe after election day, however it turns out, our government can go back to work.  Maybe even a Supreme Court Justice nomination could get a hearing.

 

 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Bumps and bruises

 

I’ve referenced them recently.  The motorhome has plenty.  It’s eleven years old now.

 

The time has come to freshen it up a bit; it’s had a lot of use.  We explored alternatives, a repair shop in Bend, Oregon; a shop in Mission, Texas.  We settled on a local solution:  Jacinto.  We like the way he works.  When he was doing his inspection for the estimate, I commented that he wasn’t writing anything down.  He smiled, but still didn’t write anything down.  When we got to the end, he just gave me a number.  When I started asking for specifics about what was included, he just answered “Everything.”  “Like new.”  That was it.  Any question I ask is answered with “That’s included.  Like new.”

 

So now the motorhome is in the back yard of his house in Harlingen, about an hour away, pulled up in front of his shop out back.

 

 

He puts whatever part of the rig he’s working on closest to the shop door and goes about his work.

 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

This weekend sucks

 

Formula 1 is in Austin, so they’re broadcasting all of FP 1, 2, and 3, go-fast, and race day.  We’ve got Texas football and Colorado football the rest of Saturday, and the NFL all day Sunday, with Anthony Bourdain, Lisa Ling, and Elementary in the evening.  There’s barely time to go outside for a walk!

 

A cold front came through.  Now our highs are down into the 80s.  Super comfortable.

 

 

 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Sometimes

 

Sometimes you don’t even have to travel to connect with traveling friends.  Even though we’re way out of the way here, we’re not on the way to anywhere else, we got a call from Pam and Dan, friends from the old Gulf Waters days in Port Aransas.  We’ve kept in touch but our paths haven’t crossed in years.  They were here in the Valley briefly, and we got to get together for lunch.

 

We met up at a South Texas barbecue joint.

 

The kind of place with picnic bench tables, a roll of paper towels for napkins, white bread, lots of character and folksy signs on the wall.

 

Got some brisket, ribs, and chicken and lots of catching up on who has been doing what where.  When Pam and Dan are not out on the road, they’re in Tucson now.  Since our son and family have moved to Phoenix, we’ll be more likely to run into Pam and Dan again, now that the swing through Arizona will be an annual event.

 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The migration continues

 

This morning it was turkey vultures.

 

They didn’t hang around long enough for the camera lens to unfog.  (A nice cool camera inside the house hitting the warm moist air outside.)

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The moon continues its northward march along the horizon

 

Every night we watch.  Every night it comes up a little farther north of east.  It is slowing down though.  Soon it will start to work its way south, but we won’t see that.  Tonight’s moonrise was at 10:30.  Tomorrow will be at 11:28.  We’ll not be setting the alarm for that one.

 

When we can catch the moonrise again, after the new moon, we expect it to rise well to the south of east.  We’re going to pay attention this time.

 

 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Along the way

 

While we were in Arizona.

 

Broad billed hummingbird.

 

 

 

Monday, October 17, 2016

The results are in

 

Based on data from one 24 hour observational period, we can state that the moon does not rise in the same place on the horizon each night.  Tonight it rose at least a couple degrees to the north of where it rose last night.

 

What could cause that?  Does the moon follow a wobbling orbit?  Probably not; not with a daily wobble anyway.  Maybe it has to do with the tilt of the axis of the earth’s rotation.  That tilt relative to the orbit of the earth around the sun creates the seasons, where the sun appears to rise farther north in the summer and farther south in the winter.  Maybe the orbit of the moon around the earth is off from the axis of the earth’s rotation, so the moon appears to move up and down the horizon as well.  That might explain it.

 

The cycle of the seasons, our trip around the sun, lasts a year.  Maybe the cycle of the moon appearing at different places on our horizon lasts about a month.  I wonder if the moon rises at the same place on the horizon every full moon.

 

Further observations are planned.

 

 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Watched some college football yesterday

 

Our teams (University of Texas, and University of Colorado) won.  Know how you can tell whether you’re watching college football or the pros?  College games are the ones where they act like adults after they score a touchdown.  J

 

There is a new dog park in Edinburg.  PAWS.  We took Henry there today.  He got really excited when we arrived, but then got bored pretty fast when there wasn’t anyone else around.

 

Watched the full moon last night and tonight.  When we watch the moonrise it seems like it’s not rising from the same place on the horizon each night.  We don’t really know though; we haven’t paid that much attention.  We’re tracking this one to see if it comes up in the same place tomorrow night as it came up tonight.  Even if it comes up in a different place though, it won’t be until an hour later, so we won’t really know if it was in the same place on the horizon as last night at the same time (an hour earlier) while it was still below the horizon.

 

 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

I get to enjoy most of the things I see

 

I feel bad about this Texas Tortoise submerged in the salt lake though.

 

He belongs on dry land.  No telling what he was thinking, but he seems to have suffered from poor decision-making skills.

 

 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Flamingos

 

In the afternoon light.

 

(This is my photo, but they’re not wild.)

 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Along the way

 

American Avocets.

 

Probing the mud flats in Phoenix.

 

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Verdin

It’s a tiny little bird.

 

I’ll make him look really big!

 

 

 

Monday, October 10, 2016

This is not a white sand beach

 

 

La Sal del Rey, National Wildlife Refuge.  The King’s Salt.

 

A closed lake over a salt dome.  Water flows in but it doesn’t flow out.  Summertime.  Evaporation exceeds rainfall.  The water level is low.  The walking is easy.

 

The surrounding sand is brown.  As the super-saturated water recedes though, it leaves behind a layer of salt.  Artifacts left behind might start out looking like this.

 

But end up looking like this.

 

Or this.

 

Or this.

 

A winter wonderland on a ninety degree day.