Sunday, November 22, 2015


No, I'm not being cautious in what I say.  (That would be "self-editing")

John and Kathy Huggins are full-time RVers, authors, and do a very popular weekly podcast, "Living the RV Dream."  They have done 3 RV related books: "So, You Want To Be An RVer?" "So, You Want To Be A Full-Time RVer?" and "So, You Want To Be A Workamper?"  All good information for those who want more information about the RV lifestyle.  I had done some editing for them previously, and John asked if I'd be interested in doing the same for their newest revision/edition of "So, You Want To Be An RVer?"

Sure.  He let me know there was more information than previous.  If people want to know about picking the RV that is right for their lifestyle (motorhome, 5th wheel, travel trailer, etc); how to buy, finance, insure, and use it; campgrounds, memberships, RV shows, etc, etc - this is a good source to bring you up to speed.  Includes hundreds of internet links for more information.  It was a good read while I did the editing/proof-reading.  I'll be looking forward to seeing the finished version with this new edition.

It was a cool, crisp day in the Tropical Tip - temps in the 50s this morning.  A bit of fall in the air.  The previous couple of days were gray, but we didn't see much precip with this last frontal passage... plenty of wind, though.  It was a good time to dive into a book.

We were out shortly after 9:00 this morning to meet friends Mike and MJ for breakfast at Manuel's; good food and lively conversation.  After breakfast, we came back to the house, where I went back to work on the editing.

Late afternoon, I sent the finished edited file back to John and Kathy.  I worked the kinks out with a walk in the cool weather.  The wind had died down some, beautiful clear sky, with the temperature in the low 60s.  Cool compared to what we've been having, but still nice to be out...

When I got back, the house was full of the smells of fresh baked cornbread... one of my favorites.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The calm...

Yeah, before the storm.  I went for a walk this morning.  It was 73º in the house when I left.  73º outside.  The humidity in the house was 46%.  The humidity outside was about 1,000%.  Yes, I am exaggerating - it was higher than that.  (In reality, the outside humidity was 100%.  I don't know how it can be 100% humidity and not be foggy or raining?)  Not a lick of breeze.  Couldn't get moving fast enough to create my own "apparent wind."  (sailing reference)

The weather weasels are predicting a change to roll in around noon; thunderstorms, with wind gusting to 40 mph.  No boat, so no hatches to batten down.  We did, however, move loose stuff off our deck; brought in the cushions for the chairs; strapped the chairs to the table.

This morning, Joan made cinnamon rolls.  Chili planned for this afternoon.  Yep, we're ready.  ;-)


This weekend was supposed to be the South Texas Balloon Festival - over 20 hot air balloons.  Not good weather for this first time event in Mercedes (in the Rio Grande Valley).

Friday, November 20, 2015

This trend has gone too far...

I have been accused of having a mullet years ago.  Remember the mullet?  Business in the front, party in the back.  For the record, my hair was long all over... not short in the front.  That (the mullet) was a style choice that didn't stand the test of time.

There is another style choice that we saw a lot of during our summer in the San Juans: the man-bun.  You know, hair pulled to the back and twisted up into a bun.  On a guy.  No, I never had that, either, although I will admit to having a pony tail for a short time.  But, I digress.

The man-bun is not new - it was a style often worn by generals and samurais.  A century or so ago.

Apparently, the ultimate for this style is: the man-bun, with an undercut (hair short or shaved on the sides), and a bushy beard.

As we were crossing the bridge off our island today, Joan got this photo of the man-bun trend officially being a cliche'...


It's Friday, and you know what that means...

Yeah, I'm retired... weekday, weekend, doesn't matter.  Mother Nature turned on the water works again; and more of the same through the weekend, with cooler weather and wind thrown in... just to remind us that it is winter in the rest of the country.

I did get out for a walk this morning, in between the sprinkles.  Now, at noon, it is a steady rain.  I was thinking I might get out on the scoot.  Now, I'm thinking not.

A nice ride yesterday, rode up the the island, beyond the developed part, out as far as the "Adventure Park."  There has been an equistrian concession north of town for years, offering "horseback riding on the beach."  Looks as though they moved north a few miles and added a zip line.

If you haven't been to South Padre Island, it is a long, narrow, flat barrier island.  At its widest, it is about a half mile wide (and 35 miles long).  Only the southern 4 miles or so are developed.  The Adventure Park is well north of that.  I was interested in seeing the zip line.  Yep, up on a raised platform.  Not a lot of distance between where the road ends and the bay begins on that side of the island.  While I am not a zip line riding kinda guy, I would think it would be more of an adventure to go zipping through a forest.  No forests on this island.  Sand dunes.  Oh, well, I'm sure some would consider that an "adventure."

Speaking of Mother Nature and winter, I am aware that parts of the country are getting snow.  We have drifts to contend with here, too...

When I got towards the end of the road, there were two front end loaders moving sand that had drifted onto the road.  Beats shoveling show.  ;-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Last night, we went to the El Paseo Arts Foundation production of "The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical."  My review: a fun, bawdy evening.

It started out with a buffet of "light hors d'oeuvres" that reminded us of a pot luck at the RV park.  While a local production, it was performed with enthusiasm and humor.

My favorite running joke: they were decorating their trailers, hoping to win a contest from "Better Mobile Homes and Gardens magazine."  ;-)  Close second: the breastrauant/pancake house called Stacks.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bond... James Bond...

We went to another movie today - making up for all those months when we didn't.  We are "taking turns": last Friday, we went to see Burnt (Joan's choice).  Today, we took in the newest James Bond offering, Spectre.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie today.  Joan said, "That was definitely a 'guy movie'."

"Yep, and Burnt was more of a 'chick flick,' with all that angst and stuff."

The Bond movies are a formula: big thrilling opening scene, set up the plot, introduce the "Bond girl," a chase scene, Bond whoops up on the bad guys, the bad guy captures Bond, Bond escapes and blows up everything and in the process saves the world, Bond gets the girl.  It is a formula that works - I like it.

I read the Ian Flemming books when I was a kid.  Other kids wanted to be Batman... I wanted to be... Bond... James Bond.  (Cue the music!)

I told Joan today that James Bond was somewhat responsible for me being a guitar player.  No, Bond wasn't a guitar player.  No, it wasn't about the theme music.  When I was a kid, my Mother got me a James Bond 007 race car set for Christmas...

I put it together and... it didn't work.  I took it back to Sears right after Christmas, and they already had the toy department put away - not like these days when the Christmas shopping season starts in mid-September and runs through Ground Hog Day.  But, I digress... they couldn't just replace it, and they could only offer me store credit, not a refund.  Think back to when you were a kid - not much fun to play with a piece of paper that shows you have store credit.

I walked around the store, looking for something to buy.  I wasn't interested in clothes... or paint... or chain-link fence.  Hey, it was Sears!  Then, I happened upon their musical instrument department.  Well, more like a short aisle with a few guitars.  I had heard about this band called The Beatles (they hadn't come to the US at this point) - I just knew if I had a guitar, they would want to enlist me as a "Junior Beatle."  I was willing to grow my hair... but, I knew I needed a guitar.  Alas, the only guitar in my store credit budget was one of those "old fashioned looking acoustic guitars"... I really wanted an electric guitar.  No way I could check with my Mother to see if she could "kick in some extra $$$"... we weren't exactly rolling in the dough.  I didn't understand it at the time, but the only way should could afford that race car set for me was to put it on Sears Revolving Charge.  Besides, I had asked for a guitar prior to that and was told, "You cannot live in this house if you ever bring a guitar home!  You'll grow up to be like your Father!"

I was pretty sure she wasn't going to toss an 11 year old kid out of the house... I came home with the least expensive guitar in the Sears "music department."  It was - and this is a technical music term - a piece of crap.  The strings were so far off the neck, I could hardly press them down... playing an actual chord was out of the question.

There was the "I thought I told you about bringing home a guitar" speech, followed by the "But, they didn't have anything else in the whole store" sniveling.  I was allowed to continue living in the house.  Pretty sure she thought it was just a stage.  So far, that "stage" has lasted 51 years.

Lucky for me.  Had that race car set worked, I may have become a race car driver... or a secret agent.  James Bond and I do share the same first name... and last initial.  It's probably too late to take up being a secret agent, now, huh?  ;-)

Every once in a while, Joan will say, "Oh, James."  I'm sure she means it like the Bond girls.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


A lovely day in the Tropical Tip: high around 79º, mostly sunny, breezy.  Things have been pretty quiet on the "scooter tag" thread... the last tag was "your scooter by something positive;" it showed a photo of the scoot in front of a sign that read: Positively no beer or alcoholic beverages on these premises.

The tag went for several days with no action.  So...

That is a battery charger with the positive clip showing.  Sometimes you have to think outside the box.  Or sign.

After getting and posting that photo, we rode around town, getting a good archive of new scooter tag photos ready.  Mostly, it was just to be out and about on the scoots in the nice weather.  Being practical, we also took our SUVs (Scooter Utility Vehicles) to the grocery store.

Nice day to be in the Tropical Tip.