Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Beware of Betas


Is there anyone out there who enjoys sitting in front of a computer for three hours working with a support tech person to work out a beta program bug? If so, would you like my seat at the computer?

I opted to be a beta tester for the newest version of Incredimail that was supposed to work with Windows Vista. The old version worked, kinda, but I have had great luck using beta programs in the past so I uploaded the new version. I should have given it greater thought when I read that once installed, you couldn't go back to your older version. That turned out to mean even if you did a system restore to a point a week prior to downloading the beta. Dang.

The scariest part was that the support tech worked on my program through the Windows remote access programs. Now that's scary stuff--someone in a third world country controlling your computer and making changes in your registry. Brr. I've had support tech cause a total computer meltdown in the past, so seeing my cursor floating around the screen opening this and closing that was just too weird and it made me very uncomfortable. The end result is that my e-mail program doesn't lock up now, but now it doesn't send or receive one of my e-mail accounts, no matter how many times I check and change the settings. Sigh. Beware of bugs in betas.

The frustration was high enough that I was willing to allow Patches to wander and sniff around the campground to her heart's content today. This is a quiet place with no kids running around nor are there a lot of people out walking dogs, so Patches is in seventh heaven. She can sniff all the bushes and cars and culverts looking for signs of other animals and little critters hiding under things, although she missed the chameleons near the clubhouse. The cool, crisp, crystal clear air was just what I needed to clear my head of all the things computer-related. I was able to appreciate the contrast of the brilliant scarlet train cars and cabooses scattered on the brown hillsides and the hunter green of the tall pines towering over them. The owners of the campground converted old train cars into rental cabins, activity centers and their office, which I think is extremely imaginative and fun.

I think we're going to like it here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Move on Down the Road

Yesterday the rvs left the campground in droves and today it's our turn. I'm going to miss the sound of the ocean and the scree of the seagulls, but it's time to move on.

Patches will be most vocal on this ride since it's been a month since she's been in the truck. She'll howl and caterwaul for at least 30 minutes and then settle down to snooze until we arrive. It will be a longish trip for us at 300 miles, but we'll be staying for two weeks this time.

I see by looking and Don and Vicki's pictures online that there are trees at the next campground--the bane of Denny's existence when it comes to putting up the satellite dishes. Add rain to the mixture and he'll be griping like crazy. Cross your fingers for an easy set up with a clear line of sight to the satellites.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Last Lazy Sunday at the Beach

It's hard to believe a month has passed since we arrived here in Myrtle Beach. As Denny said a week ago, it's been the most expensive places we've ever stayed, due to all the things that have turned belly-up on us and the projects we've started.

But it's also been one of our most enjoyable visits, due to the fact that we had dear friends staying at the same campground for a couple of weeks. I believe we had fun, but my memories are tinged with a bit of alcoholic haze--Vicki tested several of her favorite libations on me and we had each had to have several to make sure they were made properly. Whew!

Through it all, the beach and the surf have been the consistently good portion of our visit. Sunrises weren't always beautiful, sunsets were mostly blah, the weather varied from hot, to pleasant, to wind-driven sandy, to pretty darn chilly. But the peace and tranquility that the sound of the waves brought to me every time I stepped onto the sandy shore reminded me of why we keep coming back. Denny has promised me that if we end up working on his dad's garden again this coming summer our reward to ourselves will be another month at the beach. That's a happy thought.


We were promised a beachfront site once the horses left and this is what we saw out our living room windows once we moved. Not bad, huh?


The campgrounds along the Strand (Myrtle Beach is called the Grand Strand) are working hard to maintain the sand dunes, beach grasses and sea oats in an attempt to keep the sand erosion down. The softly rustling sea oats provide a counterpoint to the louder crash of the waves.


Some mornings I was the only person on the beach for a half-mile or so. Sleepy-heads miss out.


Some mornings there were no clouds on the horizon, so I just took pictures from the warmth of our trailer.


Thanksgiving weekend brought many more people out on the beach to watch the sunrise.



Often the sunrise would look like a sunset.


I'm going to have to work with the settings of my camera to figure out how to get a good shot of the full moon at night, but of course I won't have the surf reflecting the moonlight after tonight.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Horse Meets Ocean at Myrtle Beach

Okay folks, this is the last of the horse posts at Myrtle Beach. Many of the horses which were involved in the Heart Assocation ride on the beach were seeing the ocean for the first time, and there were those that wanted no part of it. This fella's introduction to the waves ended with his practically running backwards and alsmost falling on his rear end, but of course I didn't have the camera on video for that. What follows was the second attempt for the rider to get his horse to walk into the surf.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Parade of Horses at Myrtle Beach

Finally, I'm able to upload pictures. It's wonderful to have 24/7 access to the Internet once again--I'll be the first to admit I'm spoiled.

The turkey is ready to put into the oven, the pumpkin pie is cooling on the counter and Denny's favorite cranberry salad is jelled in the frig. That means I can blog and surf guilt-free for the afternoon. We had thought about attending the turkey dinner provided by the campground (they make the turkey and ham, and campers bring a side dish), but the best part of Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers and there are no leftovers at a potluck.

As promised days ago, here are photos of the parade of horses and some of the costumes worn by the riders and the horses.

video

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

All Work and No Play

It's a good thing we got all our fun beach time in while Don and Vicki were here, because we have been working hard the past few days. In addition to dealing with modem hassles and finding new washing machines, Denny started ripping up (literally) the ceramic tiles in our kitchen/entry so we could replace them with wood laminate flooring. Whoo boy, talk about misguided intentions.


Denny started off slowly by removing the tiles from the edge of our kitchen slide out. This was our first indication of how difficult the job was going to be. 3/4 inch tiles firmly glued to the plywood subfloor are extremely difficult to pry up.


We had to lay down a layer of floor leveling cement because a lot of the plywood splintered while prying up the tiles. Of course. Because nothing is ever easy when we do a project.


You work with what you've got when you're on the road. Someone left broken bricks behind at the campsite next to us, which worked perfectly for weighing down the new flooring while the glue dried.


Next, starting on the big job--the 12 inch tiles. Denny could only do 6 tiles before he'd have to stop for the day as it took a lot of hard pounding to shatter the tiles and pry them loose from the floor. The bits and pieces flew all over the trailer to boot, so the vacuum cleaner saw a lot more use than it normally does.


Denny girds his loins for the next batch of tile prying while a section of leveling cement dries.


Strangely enough, Denny kept his plumb bob line marker when we sold the house, so he could mark a straight line to lay his first course of boards.


It's starting to look pretty good. The floor is finished between the kitchen slide out and the kitchen island, but we still have the entryway to do off to the upper right of the picture behind the island. But we'll work on that in Georgia as we're celebrating Thanksgiving by being grateful that the job is halfway done and leaving the rest for next week.

In case you're wondering why we'd do this to ourselves, just a few months after we bought our trailer Denny took a rough railroad crossing a bit too fast and a tile cracked right in the middle of the floor. Eventually, a couple other tiles developed a couple of spider cracks and they just bugged me, so a new floor was in order, since our trailer manufacturer hasn't made our model of trailer in four years. I didn't think they would continue to stock individual tiles and there is no way we could have pried a single tile out of the middle of the floor. Ergo, new floor.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Horses on the Beach

I promised pictures of the horses that were here for the American Heart Association Beach Ride. Better late than never, right? Having the horses here was truly a unique and enjoyable experience and part of why we enjoy this lifestyle so much.

Finally!

The modem arrived, we're back to 24/7 Internet access. Yay.

Quiet Time

The word from Hughes is that our modem should arrive late this afternoon. Finally. That's good news, but we're distracted by news from the family right now. There's emotional upheaval going on and life will not be the same for one of our own from here on out. Being so far away makes it hard for us, because we want to be there to help naturally. Nothing different from what thousands of families go through all the time, right? Well, that doesn't help.

The last few days have had a pattern for us; water aerobics in the morning for me, followed by a couple of hours of hand-and-arm-numbing labor for Denny as he pounds away trying to pry up those hideous tiles. Patches gets a walk to make up for being subjected to the noise of the hammering and the vacuuming up of all the bits and pieces that follows, and then we relax a bit in the sun, listening to the sound of the surf. Sometimes a nap occurs later in the afternoon, sometimes we have errands to run, sometimes we just read. The rhythmic sound of the surf soothes us as we walk the beach searching for beach glass to add to Vicki's collection, bringing back memories of our extended stay here after we first sold our house and hit the road as full time rvers. The only thing we haven't done this month is walk all the way up to the state park for ice cream cones, as was our habit of our past visits, because it's been too cool for ice cream so we promise ourselves "next time we come back". Because the pull of the ocean is strong, and we will be back.

Someday.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Different Lazy Sunday


Sunrise over the Atlantic is not nearly as spectacular as sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, but there's a serenity to watching the surf in the early morning that almost makes up the difference. There have been a couple of cold, cloudless mornings that I've taken the lazy way out and watched the sun pop up from the ocean from the comfort of our fifth-wheel, coffee cup in hand and sleeping cat curled up on my lap. Other mornings as I stand in the stiff breezes I'll be the only one out on the beach for as far as I can see.

Standing there, the never-ending line of breakers create a rhythm that your heart and breathing try to match. As your body relaxes and sways to the pull of the sound of the surf your eyes search the waves for the dark comma of a dolphin jumping out of the water, silhouetted again the slowly brightening sky. A pelican, "whose beak holds more than his belly can", hurtles straight down from the sky with a speed that seems likely to break his neck when he hits the water and comes up with a silvery bite of breakfast. Some type of swallow skims the waves looking for goodness-knows-what type of insect so far from shore and moving faster than I'll ever be able to catch on camera.

I am centered here. This is my Lazy Sunday.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Good Intentions, Bad Idea

I'm still fighting with Hughes to get a new modem. I'm dealing with people whose first language is NOT English and we seem to disagree on the meaning of the words process, order, and shipping. First I was told our modem would be delivered by today (after the order was placed Saturday night by their tech support) and today I was told the order is still not processed but it SHOULD be processed by the end of the business day today. But if not, then I should call tomorrow to be told that the modem order was not processed. Or something like that. What I can't seem to get is a definitive answer of WHEN the modem will arrive and of course our time here is coming to an end, with a holiday tossed in there for good measure.

All of which means I'm not reading blogs, not uploading pictures, not doing a lot of stuff online I'd normally be doing. Sometimes, that's not a bad thing though.

One of our first projects here in Myrtle Beach was to repair the toilet. The flush mechanism was leaking, which is a marine-type toilet means that you disassemble the entire toilet to replace the seals and/or the flush ball. I thought this would be a great "do-it-yourself" instructional post on for beginning rvers to put on my RV Vagabonds website about the fulltimers' lifestyle, complete with pictures. Not. a. good. idea. I don't think the world is ready for pictures like that, despite a number of folks who post pictures of the contents of their child's diapers on their blogs. Not only was it a disgusting job, there was of course the obligatory bloody, scraped knuckles and blue language that accompanies a lot of Denny's repair jobs. I can laugh about it now, but it's never any fun when it's happening. But the job was finally finished (sans pictures), the toilet works properly and we've moved on to our next project; ripping 3/4 inch thick 12x12 inch ceramic tiles off the kitchen floor to replace them with Pergo laminated wood flooring. Out of the frying pan into the fire.

I need chocolate. A lot of chocolate.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Necessity Is A the Mother

Planning a life on the road takes a lot of planning and thinking and lists, but one thing you rarely allow for is the possibility of appliances and "things" breaking down while you are on the road. Often this means rushing to buy a replacement quickly simply because you may not be able to stay in one location long enough to have something shipped to you and often you'll find that your credit card company won't allow an item to be shipped to a location other than your billing address for fraud reasons. Which is great, unless your billing address isn't where you happen to be--ever!

Breakdown-wise, this has been a bad month for us. The modem went kaput on our satellite Internet system and this week my washer's computer board went belly up. The appliance repairman that came out was honest enough to tell us that the part and the accompanying labor charges would be well over what we paid for the washing machine. And of course, the warranty expired precisely two weeks ago. Now we have a problem. All washing machines that are installed in recreational vehicles are either apartment sized 110 volt appliances or ones that are specifically manufactured for use in RVs. Either way, you don't just pick them up at the local store, they have to be ordered. And while we're going to be here another ten days, Thanksgiving weekend falls smack-dab in the middle of that period so now the available time for shipping is cut down even more. This is the kind of thing you don't plan for when you think about hitting the road.

I made a quick call to Camping World, the toy store for RVers, where the parts manager told me that there were five washing machines in the central warehouse but that she didn't think she could get one in before we were due to leave. Shoot. Putting me on hold, that very accommodating lady checked their store and found a machine on the floor and told me we could have that one. Yay! So Denny and I hopped in the truck, drove to the place that gets a large percentage of our income and bought it. One of the employees helped Denny get it into the truck but then we had the problem of how to get it into the trailer. Hmm.

Denny sometimes has a problem communicating his ideas of how to work something, but he's pretty darned ingenious at figuring out how to do a work-around. Here we were, no furniture dolly, no young men around to help lug this several hundred pound piece of equipment up three narrow steps and through a narrow doorway into the trailer. So Denny had me fold in the entry steps and he backed the truck up to the doorway. Then he laid two of our 2x6s from the bed of the truck to the doorway and we wrassled (you wrestle, I wrassle) that bugger onto the boards and pushed/slid it through the doorway. Next, how to get it up two more interior stairs and another small doorway. This time I came up with the idea of using a throw rug on the steps and laying the washing machine on its side to allow it to slide more easily. Denny threw a rope around the bottom of the washing machine and hauled on the rope while I pushed from below. Dang, but we're too old for this stuff!

We got that puppy up there and now it sits waiting to be installed. But we need a little recuperation time before we do that. We figure that will be the easy part, but then again, we've learned never to make assumptions like that because they'll bite you in the rear.

I keep telling myself, at least we're at the beach. It's becoming my mantra, I think.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cryin' Time


Oh it's cryin' time again, you're going to leave me. I can tell by that faraway look in your eyes....

Don and Vicki pulled out today. Their plans are to work their way back to Georgia in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family. We're staying here another two weeks.

Having old friends around a campground is unusual for us. Normally, we just make the acquaintance of people camped near us, chatting on a casual basis and figuring never to see them again once we leave. But in the past two weeks here at the beach there's been a lot of quaffing of liquid beverages and noshing on a variety of finger foods, while we gossiped about mutual acquaintances and caught up on what we all had been doing. A couple of times Vicki and I were out on the beach at sunrise, looking for beach glass and pretty shells while waiting for the sun to make its appearance. Our time together passed quickly and all too soon they were putting away the lawn chairs, loading up their motorcycles and driving down the road away from us.

The good news is we'll meet up again at New Year's at a campground in Florida for a week. We've got more memories to create.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

No Modem, No Pictures on Lazy Sunday

The installer was here last night (literally after dark) working to troubleshoot our system. The end result was a diagnosis of a failed modem. That will have to be shipped from Hughes directly, so we will not have our high speed internet access for at least another week. Boo hiss.

So the post below is the only picture you'll get on this Lazy Sunday. Now it's time to go out for breakfast and find a shrimper for some fresh shrimp. Don and Vicki will be coming down for happy hour and shrimp cocktail today. Life is tough, huh?

Sunrise at Myrtle Beach




It's cold here this morning on the beach. Setting the clock back means the sunrise is now at 6:37 or so, but that's okay because I'm awake at 4:30. Flannel sheets on the bed along with the sudden warmth of the furnace that Denny turns on for me hold me captive for a while, but then Patches sees me stirring and knows that she'll soon be fed.

A quick glance out the windows tells me that there's a chance of a colorful sunrise as there are a few thin clouds near the horizon. It's way too early, so I use the mind-numbingly slow dial up service to check for e-mail while Patches curls up in my lap to warm her feet. The ceramic tile floor is freezing; sitting up so high on wheels the cold air circulates under the trailer and no amount of insulation ever keeps the tiles warm this early in the morning.

Denny is starting to stir, so I don't feel guilty about going into the bedroom to toss on some clothes and a fleece jacket. I grab the camera and head over to the beach where I find I'm the only one out there for as far as the eye can see. I'm the only person foolish enough to brave the chill, I guess. Pelicans graze the waves searching for breakfast while seagulls hover above my head, hoping for treats. A lone great blue heron passes directly overhead, stretched out like a missle with his pointed beak and long, long legs, looking to make a deadly strike upon some unsuspecting fish.

I'm still too early for the sunrise so I stand watching and listening to the surf, hoping to see some dolphins dancing in the distance. But today the only things out there are the olive green curls of surf topped with champagne bubbles. The rhythm of the waves is soothing and hypnotic, crash after crash coming with metronomic regularity. Then suddenly there's a pause as the ocean holds its breath and there's no sound of surf for the briefest nanosecond while time stands still.

And then we both breathe.

Another day has begun.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Still Catching Up

Note: This post was written on Monday, November 5

Well, it's been a week and a day since we've had full access to Internet service and I must admit, Denny and I are suffering from severe withdrawal pangs. That makes it sounds like we're online for hours and hours (well, maybe on a rainy day), but actually what I miss is the ability to jump online to find a local tire dealer when we had the flat, or get the address quickly for the Ace hardward store, or find the phone numbers for our favorite restaurant or bakery. Or to get quick updates on the weather when the wind suddenly picks up and tosses our awning up in the air--things like that.

As of now, we're still awaiting a telephone call from the "local" (in North Carolina while we're in mid- South Carolina) installer. I've spent over three hours on the phone with Hughes support staff trying to get it through their heads that we are in a new location. Long story, very aggravating.

I guess if one is stuck without easy Internet access the best place to be is at the beach. We moved to a beachfront site on Sunday and today the trash haulers will be removing the huge dumpsters placed along the roadway for the "horse debris" so we will have a great view of the ocean after that. I will get pictures online eventually, even if I have to break down and pay the outrageous $10 daily fees by the local Wi-Fi connection that the campground contracts. Shudder. I've done that once so far and gritted my teeth the whole time I was online.

Don and Vicki have been a wonderful diversion for us. We're so used to making temporary, casual acquaintances at the campgrounds we visit, so it's been great having familiar faces that have history with us. We've had a happy hour almost every day as we nosh on a variety of snacks and play catch up plus talk about our full-timing lifestyle. The weather has been very cooperative about sending us gloriously warm sunshine-y days, although a cold front is due in late today and we may have to break out warmer clothes for the next few days. Still, we're AT THE BEACH!

Next up, major repair issues. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Horses


Note: Still uploading old posts--this one is from October 31. The pictures will have to wait until I'm back to satellite upload speeds. Dial-up s*cks.

Horses to the left of me, horses to the right...horses as far as the eye can see. Early Wednesday morning the horse trailers started pouring into Lakewood Camping Resort. Big trailers, little trailers, fancy trailers, plain trailers. One horse, two horse, red horse, blue horse. Across from us are four horses in an electrified fence, behind us is the more standard metal tube corral with three horse and more to come. There are paints, piebalds, scewbalds, palominos, buckskins, roans, dappled grays--the colors and sizes and markings are gorgeous. I am in horse heaven here!

All of these horse people are here for the American Heart Association ride. They come from New York, Virginia, North Carolina and wherever for the opportunity to ride their horses on the beach--a once a year opportunity. Greeting are yelled to each other as yet another trailer pulls in and unloads another two or three horses and once folks are settled in some of them saddle up, grab the leash of their dog(s) and off they trot through the campground to visit. I grin with pleasure just watching them.

It will be noisy here until Sunday--there is a lot of whinnying and horsey verbal challenges going on. But I picked up a big bunch of carrots at the grocery store today and boy, am I going to be sucking up to some horse owners this week so I can live my childhood fantasy of being around horses all the time--at least for four days.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Today Is Better

Note: This post was originally written on October 31. I'm too lazy to backdate it.

Today was a much better day than yesterday. No, the Hughes satellite system still isn't working and we have no clue when (if) one of their installers will call to make an appointment to come out to look at the system. Yes, we had to give in and call Hughes knowing we would be "outing" ourselves as folks who travel with a system that's supposed to be permenantly installed on a roof or pole at a residence. So be it.

But this morning I walked down to the indoor pool and did water aerobics with a group of very nice ladies and it felt so good! It was a cold walk back, because it was only in the 40s still, but the exercise was worth it.

Later in the afternoon as I was walking Patches I saw a familiar truck and fifth wheel combo pulling down the road towards us and sure enough, it was Don and Vicki arriving for their two week stay. Yay! Denny and I gave them a little time to unhitch and then became one of those semi-annoying couples who come over to visit while you're in the process of setting up your home and getting settled into your campsite. However, I came bearing a pitcher of Chi-chis, so I figured that made up for it some. We sat in the afternoon sea and salt tang of the air doing a little catching up and then made plans to go out to dinner together later.

Denny and I are starting our tenth year of traveling full time and we've been perfectly content just to meet new folks on the road and wander by ourselves but I must admit, it felt really good to see such beloved faces.

Life is good.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Catching Up

I had written a few posts on the desktop computer when I assumed our satellite dish problems were only temporary. So I've had to transfer them to the laptop to get them online and I'll be adding them shortly. They will be a bit outdated, so bear with me since they were written last week. Here's the first one:


Okay, I told you about the flat tire and getting that fixed. What I didn't mention is that we haven't been able to get online using our satellite internet service since we stopped in Tennessee last week. I think it's a problem with our cables, but our signal meter that we use to locate the proper satellite isn't reading at all and often during our testing procedure the computer shows that we aren't getting any signal at all to attempt to get online.

One of the difficulties of traveling with a satellite system that's not supposed to be moved from location to location is that you can't call tech support at the company to get assistance. You have to rely on the network of other folks traveling around the country doing the same thing you are. That's all well and good if there's a wi-fi service in the area so you can hop on the laptop to connect to the internet to e-mail the group, but if you have no wi-fi then it's more of a problem trying to problem solve when you're sitting in a parking lot somewhere with free wi-fi while your satellite system is three miles away.

So last night after dinner we stopped at a new Home Depot (new major shopping center at the Highway 17 By-pass that wasn't here five years ago) and bought a couple of new cables to attach to the transmitter. Arrived home, attached them, still no signal. Denny gave up at this point because he was working by flashlight. Today, maybe we'll try switching another set of cables, but those are the ones that didn't work at the last campground, so it doesn't bode well.

Sometimes, when it rains, it pours.

But!! Good friends Don and Vick arrive at our campground today and will be here for two weeks with us. Yay! Plus, there is a heated pool here and they have a morning water aerobics program. A mile and a half walk up the beach will take us to the pier at the state park where they have scrumptious ice cream cones (I know, I'm talking exercise and ice cream in the same paragraph--that's how I roll). There will be horses in the campground. And we're at THE BEACH!

Still No Satellite Internet

The installer called yesterday--he will be here Saturday between noon and five. So I'm still using the free Netzero service. Thank goodness Lakewood Campground provides free telephone service to each campsite or I'd be laying on the ground kicking and screaming by now.

So no pictures for a few more days. Assuming all goes well with the service call, that is. Anymore, I'm not taking any bets.

The Myrtle Beach Horseback Ride for the Heart Association

For those who were interested in the Myrtle Beach horseback ride for the American Heart Association here are two links: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3024406

http://www.morganhorse.com/news/news_article.php?id=519

The word at the campground here is that there were actually 1900 horses this year and the riders raised just over $350,000. Pretty neat, huh?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

No Lazy Sunday

Hughes never sent out an installer this week to fix our satellite internet system (I'm using Netzero dial-up and wow! is it slow!) and now we have to change our campsite once all the horse people leave. Eventually, we will be back online and I will get something relevant posted here.

I think.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Good News/Bad News Revisited

Our trip here was uneventful. Since we had paid in advance, our registration at the campground was quick and easy. We will have to move in 6 days to get to our actual beach front site, as those sites had all be reserved by horse people. Yes, horse people. Apparently sometime this week 1,200 horses will be at this campground. I'm not quite sure of the reason, perhaps only because it's much cooler here this time of year and 90% of the tourists have gone for the season.

The main sign that horses will be here are huge dumpsters sitting along the main driveway that are marked "For use for horses only". Gad, that will be a lot of horse poop! But I'm really looking forward to the sight of all those horses gathering here or galloping down the beach. It will be interesting to see how Patches reacts to them.

As Denny was backing our fifth wheel into our campsite while I guided him with hand signals (no, not those kind!), I was chatting with the folks sitting outside their motorhome in the site next to us. It turns out they are from northern Ohio and he was/is a police officer too. But a man standing with them walked to the other side of our trailer as I was preparing to put our stabilizing jacks down in the rear and pointed out a flat tire on the trailer. Gah! It was very hot, but not, thank goodness, shredded, which would have caused damage to the underside and side of our trailer. We know, because we've suffered through that before.

So before we could even take a look at the ocean or have lunch or relax a tiny bit, Denny had to jack up the trailer, pull the tire off and climb back in the truck to see if we could get the tire puncture plugged. Because yes, there was a huge nail imbedded in the tread.

A half-hour and a lot of money later we were out the door with a new tire. The old one had been sliced by the nail since we probably drove on it for quite some time. The manager handed me two carnations--I guess he thought I was upset by the hassle and expense or something. Hey, I was just glad the tire didn't blow out as we were traveling. Small favors.

Back to the campground, lower the trailer, put on another block of wood to try to get the trailer higher off the ground, dig out a bunch of sand because we can't get the rig higher and can't get the tire on the wheel. Thank goodness we're on sand. The tire is installed, the air compressor is put away, the cat is given a treat to make up for the fact that she's not getting a walk at the moment and off we go to find something to eat.

Welcome to Myrtle Beach.

We're Still Here

Have you missed us? Yeah. Our satellite Internet service hasn't worked since last Thursday. We had free wi-fi at the last campground, but no such luck here. This morning I broke drown and paid their exorbitant fees for wi-fi to catch up and pay bills, but in the meantime we're waiting for a service tech to call to come out and take a look at our system.

After today, posting will be erratic again until we get the danged thing fixed. More later.
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