No Drones were Harmed in the Making of this Video . . .

First up, I thought you might want to check out this video of a drone quadcopter flying around and through a fireworks display. Supposedly it was done off West Palm Beach, FL, but I’m not sure if it was done this 4th of July , or a previous year. But it is amazing.

And if you want to try this yourself, and have about $1300 to spare, this is what was used.

DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter          DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter 2

New DJI Phantom 2 with GoPro Hero 3+

And amazingly enough, the drone survived this experience to fly another day.

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On our last day here in Elkhart, the weather was still nice enough to once again sit outside with our coffee and muffins. Nick and Terry were sleeping in this morning so Mister decided to use Nick’s chair to catch some rays.

Mister in Nick's Chair

We also had a number of these guys running around, poking up out of their holes and looking around.

Elkhart Prairie Dogs 1

Elkhart Prairie Dogs 2

They seem to be some sort of prairie dogs. Both chipmunks and ground squirrels have pointy ears, and chipmunks also have stripes. But these have no stripes and no ears, but they’re smaller than other prairie dogs we’ve seen around the country.

For his part, Mister finally just laid down in the grass and went to sleep, oblivious to all the wildlife around him.

Mister in the Grass 3

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Since we were supposed to have rain later this afternoon, I went ahead and started putting away the chairs and other outside stuff so it would stay dry. I also packed away some stuff inside that I could go ahead and put up.

Later, after a nice nap, we headed out about 5pm with Nick and Terry to have dinner at Culver’s. We really like this place and I’m glad to see they’re coming to Texas.

After dinner, we made a quick stop at the nearby Wal-Mart. I wanted to get a new water filter to start using as soon as we get away from the bad, iron-rich water here in Elkhart. And I also grabbed a bottle of Diesel Kleen to dump in the fuel tank when we fill up tomorrow on our way to the Indian Lakes Thousand Trails down in Batesville, IN

When we got back to the rig, I had planned to go ahead and hitch up the truck, but I quickly realized that when we came back from having our windshield replaced I didn’t pull far enough forward to leave room to hook up without hanging over into the access road behind us.

So tomorrow it is.

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Thought for the Day:

Laws should be written only in simple sentences, no compound sentences allowed, and should be limited in length to one page, legal sized paper. This would solve a lot of problems.

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Counting Down . . .

First off, Jan insists on a correction to yesterday’s blog about how we met. She wants to be sure that everyone understands that the ‘saloon’ where she was working as a dance hall girl, was a ‘soft drink’ saloon. No liquor involved.

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We again sat outside this morning with our coffee, muffins, Mister, and Nick and Terry for an hour or so. Really, really nice.

While we were outside, Dick Schell came by with his dog Murphy and invited us over to look at the remodeling he and Phyllis are doing on their rig.

So, leaving for our drive over to Shipshewana about 2pm we stopped off at Dick and Phyllis Schell’s beautiful Super C.

Dick and Phyllis Schell's Rig

It’s a Haulmark, built on a Freightliner chassis, and is really nice.

Getting into Shipshewana, our first stop was E & S Sales, an Amish bulk food market, that we like to visit every time we’re here in Shipshewana.

Mister's Dog Bait

I thought about  buying Mister one of these big bags of rawhide dog bones. Figured he could use them as bait to attract dogs. Kind of like hunters set out out feeders to attract deer.

After a stop at the Red Barn Shops, a collection of small individual shops, selling arts and crafts, we headed over to Goshen to have dinner at South Side Soda Shop. But they were closed. I had called Thursday to check, and was told that they would be closed on Friday, but open on Saturday and Sunday.

They lied.

So we stopped and had dinner at the Chili’s between Goshen and Elkhart, and everyone really liked their meal. Applebee’s needs to take a lesson from them.

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Brandi, Lowell, and Landon are visiting Lowell’s parents up in Paul’s Valley, OK this week and it looks Landon’s having a ball. Between sparklers and the waterpark, they’re keeping him busy.

Landon on the 4th of July

Landon on the 4th of July 2

Landon at Water Park 1a

Tomorrow, Sunday, is our last full day in Elkhart for this year. We leave here Monday morning for the Indian Lakes Thousand Trails near Batesville IN for a couple of weeks, then moving on to the Wilmington OH TT for a couple of more weeks before started our trip back to Houston for Landon’s birthday on the 23rd of August, and then Gate Guarding after that.

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Thought for the Day:

Women always worry about the things that men forget; men always worry about the things women remember. – Author Unknown

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Happy Anniversary . . .

To My Beautiful Bride!

No, not our wedding anniversary. That’s September 28th.

Today, July 5th is the anniversary of the day we met 47 years ago in Titusville, FL.

Jan was working at the Western Town area of the Florida Wonderland Amusement Park as a saloon girl at Miss Kitty’s Dance Hall.

I was bumming around Florida for the summer and had just started working across the street at their Marine Sea Life Show. We had two porpoises, two manatees, a 15 foot alligator, an elephant seal, and a number of other animals. I took care of the animals and did the shows for the customers.

I’m always happy to remember this anniversary, because Jan usually forgets it.

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About 11am, Nick and Terry, and Jan and I (and Mister) sat outside for a while with our coffee and just enjoyed the nice cool weather, 67 degrees at 11am.

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I’ve almost got the new blog ready to go. I finally got the blog subscription widget to work, so you will be able receive the blog post via email just like on the old blog. But you will have to re-subscribe. There is no way to transfer subscribers to the new blog.

The only thing I’m still trying to do is to add vertical separator bars between the sidebars and the content. I tried several different things so far, including writing some new CCS code. But it either doesn’t work at all or completely screws up the page. But I’ll keep working at it.

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A little after 2, Terry, Jan, and I headed out for some shopping. Our first stop was a craft store right up the road that’s having a Going Out of Business Sale. Jan found a couple of pair of earrings she liked and I found this T-Rex wooden puzzle for Landon.

Big Tyrannosauras

Big Tyrannosaurus

It’s really neat. He loves dragons and dinosaurs, so I hope he likes it too.

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Our next stop was Martin’s for a few things, especially their made-in-the-store pimento cheese, really, really good.

Coming back to the park, we dropped off Terry and our pimento cheese and other stuff, before Jan and I headed down to Wal-Mart for some things that Martin’s doesn’t carry. Wal-Mart was busy, but not as busy as you might think on July 4th.

Getting back about 4:30, we settled in for a while before Jan heated up some of the pizza from our Mancino’s Pizza visit the other night. Just about as good as then.

Tomorrow we may do a drive down to the Shipshewana area one last time. We’ll see.

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Thought for the Day:

CA To TX Translation

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A Beautiful Fall Day . . .

Or, what do you call a day where it’s bright and sunny, and 66 degrees at 1 in the afternoon?

And on the radio, the weather guy suggests a light jacket for tomorrow night’s fireworks.

This is July?

Jan awoke with her 2nd day migraine, but once again a Sumatriptan knocked it out pretty quick. Stand by for day 3.

Around 2pm I went next door to Nick’s to help him work on a problem he was having with Dropbox, trying to stop it from copying a folder of photos.

Then, about 4:30, Nick and Terry, and Jan and I headed over to King Wha for our last meal there for this year. And it was just as good as always. And to spice things up a little more, we took our own bottle of Sriracha with us.

Sriracha

In Texas pretty much any restaurant that offers hot sauces, like Tabasco, Frank’s, and Cholula, also has a bottle of ‘Rooster Sauce’ on hand too. But up here, it’s not stocked in grocery stores, and no one seems to have heard of it.

We sat around talking at King Wha for about an hour before heading back to Nick and Terry’s rig for a while. Then, since we missed out the other day, about 8pm we all headed back out for a DQ run, finally getting back home a little after 9pm.

A very nice day, as we wind down our time here in Elkhart for this year. Coming back to the rig this evening, we all talked about how much we like this area, almost like a second home to us. Hopefully, we’ll be able to spend some time here next year.

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Thought for the Day:

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. — Thomas Jefferson

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Back Home . . .

As great as sleeping in late in our own bed for the first time in 5 days was, Jan still woke up with a migraine. Of course, taking her Sumatriptan damps the migraine down fairly quickly, but she’ll still feel kind of washed out the rest of the day.

And then of course, there may be the 2nd and 3rd day rebound headaches. We’ll see how it goes.

In the latest example of extreme global warming, the high here in Elkhart today was 74 with an expected low tonight of 53, and tomorrow, 71/47. And that goes on for next several days.

Because it was so nice, Mister spent most of the afternoon outside sitting in one our chairs. He’ll stay out for several hours and then come and bang on the screen door. When we let him in, he’ll visit the litter box, grab a snack and some water, and then bang on the screen to be let out again.

Smart Cat.

About 4:30 we all headed out for one last visit to Flipping Cow, our new favorite burger place here in Elkhart.

I debated having the Hunka Hunka Burger Love this time. It has two steak burger patties, peanut butter, jalapeno jelly, smoked bacon, and pepper jack cheese on a toasted pretzel bun, but I  ended up going with the same one I got last time, The Stella Moo.

It has two steak burger patties topped with smoked beef brisket, jalapeno bacon, onion straws, pepper jack cheese, and Alehouse BBQ sauce on a toasted wheat brioche bun. Then I added tomatoes, jalapenos, spicy mayo, and sweet heat pickles, And this time I got the ‘Cow Chips’ instead of Fries.

Flippin' Cow 2

It’s easy to see (and taste) why this burger was voted the best burger in Elkhart County, and is one of two finalist for the best burger in the Michiana area. I know which one got my vote.

We had talked about making a DQ run after dinner, but everyone was too full of burgers, so we put it off for another time.

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Thought for the Day:

The CEO of Target recently asked customers to not bring guns into Target stores.

So you name your store ‘Target’ and you don’t like guns?

How’s that work?

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RV Sweet RV . . .

After the continental breakfast at the motel, I was at the windshield repair place at 8am to hand over the gasket that Jan and I picked up from American Coach yesterday afternoon. Then I headed back to the motel for a few hours, since it was more comfortable there. About 11 we checked out from the motel, and Jan and I loaded up the truck with all our motel stuff and headed over to the repair shop to wait for our rig.

When we got there they had the the driver’s side glass installed and were working on the new glass on the passenger side.

Windshield InBetween

While we were waiting, we read our Kindles in the nice air-conditioned truck, rather than stay inside the hot rig.

Mister, of course, had his own way of dealing with the wait.

Mister on Truck Dashboard

Josh said that, unlike the generic gasket that was too loose, this one was very tight, and they had to really struggle to get the glass in, especially the second one. He said a couple of times they were afraid they were going to break it trying to get the gasket over the edge.

After that, we just had to wait a while for the urethane sealant to set up for a while before we finally headed back to our spot at the Elkhart Campground about 3:30.

So we went from this,

Windshield Before

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to this.

Windshield After

And in only FIVE Days.

After we got mostly set up, we headed out to Mancino’s Pizza with Nick and Terry, for what is probably our last visit this year.

Tomorrow will definitely be a sleep-in morning after all these days of getting up at 7am.

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Thought for the Day:

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.

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Finally . . . Maybe

Well, I was at the repair place at 8am this morning.

And then things went downhill from there.

When the guy from RV Glass, that was supposed to know all about installing this type of gasket on an American Eagle, didn’t show up, Josh, from Coach Supply, gave him a call.

And it turns out that the guy knew nothing about coming to help install my gasket. Nobody had said anything to him about it.

And in fact, he was already booked solid the rest of the week, anyway. And on top of that, he had never installed this gasket on any American Coach whatsoever.

At this point I threw a major snit fit (note the ‘n’).

I first called American Coach parts down in Decatur, IN to confirm, yes they did have the gasket in stock, and it was $266.69.

Then I got on the phone with RV Glass out in CA and jumped all over them, but politely.

The local RV Glass guy here in Elkhart had admitted on Friday afternoon that they were trying to use a cheaper, generic gasket instead of getting the real one from American. This, coupled with the phantom, know-it-all, no-show repair guy, was the last straw.

When I related all this to RV Glass HQ, that seemed to get the ball rolling. It took a little while but I later got a call back saying the gasket was waiting down in Decatur.

I had already mentioned that I was willing to go down and pick it up, so about 1:30 Jan and I hit the road for the two hour drive down there.

Real Gasket

When we got there, the gasket was waiting as promised, and already paid for.  I had told Josh not to worry about trying to install everything tonight, since we were already on the hook for tonight’s motel room, but that we would get a early start tomorrow morning.

We got back to Elkhart about 5:30 just in time to get with Nick and Terry Russell to have dinner at El Maguey, probably our last time this year.

So hopefully, this time tomorrow we’ll be back in our rig.

We hope.

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Thought for the Day:

If you don’t read a newspaper, you’re probably uninformed. If you do read a newspaper, you’re probably misinformed.

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