Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Enjoyed 4 Days in Disney World

  This has been a most relaxing mini vacation for us. Kathy had fast pass+ for all the rides and we kept the days to six hours in the park each day. This was a much better schedule for us and we enjoyed it more. I walked about four miles each day and Kathy did more.

  I did notice one fascinating thing as we waited in a line. A man a few years older than me was speaking to a young woman, everything looked normal. I had no idea what was being said as I only know English. A man and woman came up to them and apologized for the mans conversation. " He had a stroke six months ago and has not learned to speak yet, he talks gibberish, but the Doc thinks he will get his voice back someday." The parents of the young woman asked what relation were they and found out they were family. The young woman's mother asked if he had ever spoken Portuguese, because that is what her daughter and the man were conversing in and he speaks it very well as we do. The man and woman were stunned. We thought it was just noise due to his stroke. This was passed on to the man by the woman in Portuguese and he looked at his family and laughed. The family only speaks English. They passed on more info and got answers to some questions, while they had use of a translator. The mind is a strange thing. The man had grown up in Brazil and Portuguese was his first language. 
Kinda fascinating to me. 

  The weather has been clear skies and cool. Low 40's in the morning and mid 60's in the afternoon. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Merritt Island Birding Festival

Laughing Gull

  It is that time of year again. People from everywhere descend on Titusville to count how many birds they get to see and identify. We attend to learn new places to visit and see birds. 

Brown Pelicans, the immature one is on top 

  The boat ride through the locks was the best bird viewing and also education and fun for us.

Snowy Egret

  Our last day in St Augustine was very fun. We slept in and then went to climb the 209 light house stairs. They have a very good light house museum and the only one in the country that owns the lens inside that is in private hands. It is a 1st order lens and stands about ten feet tall, that is a lot of glass prisms. It is still used as a navigation station and still uses the old 1000 watt incandescent light bulb. It has a tiny Halogen backup if the main bulb burns out.

Osprey has a fish under his left talon 

 They have to clean the lens each week now, much better than every two hours back in the pig lard lamp days. Then it was Wahoo steaks and a walk on the beach and a safe drive back to the Cabana for us.

The middle band with the circle is what rotates to make a flash every 30 seconds

  Today was a trip out to see the Scrub Jays on NASA property. It was good weather and many Jays were watching us.

  We have two days to regroup and then back to Disney again. Gotta get back into my long walks. Should be cool weather by then.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Toured Fort in St Augustine After NPS Came Back to Work

  Thanks for the Government shutdown ending and the National Park Service coming back to work. I really wanted to tour the big Spanish Fort on the water front in St Augustine and now I have. The weather was fantastic also. 

Good view of the cross from top of fort

  Getting the two day trolley pass worked out great for learning and getting around down town. It will take you to the light house shuttle also but we were advised to just drive there, so that will be done today before we drive back to the Cabana. I sure have grown to like this city, just something about all the history and how nice everyone has been. It is a great place to visit for four or five days.

Kathy in North East look out tower

  It was quite a lot things we did yesterday and I was asleep by nine PM.

Amazing all the fine art cast into a killing machine dated 1727

 I would have to do a lot of study to get all the history correct, for now I know it was Columbus in 1492 who discovered the ocean currents that landed him on some Caribbean island. After returning he told the Spanish about these super highways and the race was on to spread religion and owner ship of all new lands. Cuba and Florida belonged to Spain along with most of central America. The French did not like this and hired mercenaries and equipped them with the finest fighting ships. We know them as Pirates and they operated in the Caribbean and their mission was to cause all the chaos and damage they could on Spanish lands. I always wondered how those guys got their powerful ships and cannon with supplies. Sorta like CIA now. Hum.... 

Cattle grazed in the area below around the fort back in the day

  The fort served as a defense, storehouse for food, and as a prison for Indians. Now it is a view back into history. There are many story boards in each room and free tours are given by Park workers who know history of the fort and area. It was never taken by force, although it was taken twice.   Once when everyone left to go fight somewhere else and then again when someone threatened to burn the city down if they did not give up the fort. It was attacked several times by pirates but they were driven away.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Got Some Aerobatic Instruction

  Today I learned how to correctly perform a Lomcevak in an Extra 300L. It was a very enjoyable flight and I got some good sight seeing on the way back in over St Augustine. 

Oldest House in USA

  After the hour of dual instruction in the Extra 300L, I drove back into town and paid for a Old Town Trolley Tour. It is a great way to see all the good stuff in a town and it has 23 stops where you can get off or on.

They even put up a sign

  Kathy had started on the trolley, then I drove to the airport. Afterwards, I came back and rode it myself.  I got off at the Ice House where they were giving free tours. 

The Fort was still closed today but I heard it will be open tomorrow.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Went for a Night Boat Ride

St Augustine 
  We had great weather on our back roads drive from Gainsville to St Augustine. It was so nice to see farm fields and cows and tractors being used. We spend most of our time on toll roads or interstates and this was a welcome change.

The Moon

  We got here too early to check into our motel, so we found a yummy Mexican place and had lunch. Then we drove to find the boat place and figure out the parking. We explored the island a bit also, too rich for us I know but still fun to see. 

The weather stayed nice for our boat ride 

  We are sad the Spanish Fort is closed for tourists until those politicians quit playing games. We should take their pay and see if they can come to a decision. That fort and the light house were our plans for tomorrow. Fortunately there are a lot of historical places to see.  

A Cross to celebrate the founding of St Augustine 400 years ago in 1565

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Pink Martini Concert

  Tonight Pink Martini performed with singer Storm Large in this building and we enjoyed it a lot!

  So it was a nice drive from the Cabana to Gainsville to see the museums and car show. Good weather also which was great for viewing Corvettes and tractors.

Belt drive pulley to left of PTO shaft between bull gear final drives. Very odd.

  Tomorrow will be a drive to St Augustine to spend three nights. So far the mini vacation has been great.

 If you have fast unlimited internet and like sci-fi, twilight zone-Outer limits type shows, Amazon has made ' Electric Dreams' each show is a complete short story. They are well made and I enjoyed them.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

RVing to Make Friends

  Left Disney late last night and have enjoyed a lazy day at the Cabana. Grabbed some grocery items at Walmart and bread and Boars Head turkey at Publix. Yep a do little day for us.

Update: News man says ' there are a lot of chilly snow birds in Florida right now.' I do agree with that. It should warm up here tomorrow, but we are traveling North for another mini vacation. Sure glad I brought a good jacket, hat, and gloves.

  As I stood in a line for a ride yesterday, I overheard another fascinating for me conversation. A woman who said she was a 'full timer' staying at the Wilderness campground was giving advice to a couple. This is a loose version of her advice. ' My husband retired and he had no friends and I had no friends, so after a year of not even knowing our neighbors I knew from reading blogs that there was a better life out there. So he started reading the RV blogs with me and decided I was right. So we got rid of everything and bought a diesel pusher RV and hit the road. It has been great as we have made friends with two of the bloggers we followed and then started making friends with people we met in parks. It has completely changed our lives!'
  The couple had many questions and she was happy to inform them. ' There is a pecking order in the RV world, Class A diesel pushers are the upper class and hang together. Then there are the class A gassers, may be OK or may not be. Do not even bother with people in 5th wheels, trailers or truck campers as they are people you would not want to know anyway.' The conversation went on, but I tuned out after that pecking order speech. They are leaving Florida and meeting another blogger in Arizona this weekend. 

  Happy trails in your friend finding RV life.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Coats, Gloves, and Hats Needed In Disney World.

  Our second day in Disney was early hours at Animal Kingdom. We wanted to ride the major ride inside Pandora. It was 41 degrees and breezy at 7 am as we waited in the line that had formed. A Fast Pass is great, but one should really do the line at least once for all the cool things you can see. After that we went on the safari bus and at 8:30 am the animals were all very active ( trying to stay warm I suspect.) It was the best ride we ever had as far as seeing all the animals. Then it was three times on Yetti for me and we went back to the hotel to rest. At 3 pm we were back with fast pass times to be used and stayed until 8 pm. I rode Yetti  three more times and still love that coaster.

 Now back in the hotel typing this. This four day mini trip was planned for low crowds and so far has been that way, just had not seen a cold snap coming, yet it is better than hot and muggy. No shorts and sandals on this visit.

 It was good to have a long week at the Cabana and we got a lot done. My suitcase had been damaged on the way back from Chile and American Airlines is giving me a new one. Insurance was paid, appointments made and other chores necessary in life were accomplished.

  Sleeping in tomorrow and then doing EPCOT. They have early hours but I will not be there for them.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Twas A Good Season

  Disney is taking down their Christmas decorations now so the season must be over. It was a good one for us. 

  I spent the day ( one hour ) installing the parts that came in our Roomba 650 overhaul kit. Amazon came through for me again and had all the things needed to keep your vacuum like new. It was charged in a few hours and cleaned our bedroom and went back to it's charging station and parked. It is a great floor sweeper and I am glad $ 42 is all they charge for the kit.

  Yesterday was spent inside Disney and the weather was fantastic. Fast Pass for Soarin, twice, and the Toy Story, Star Tours and Tower of Terror. Add the boat rides and it was a enjoyable six hours of entertainment.  

15 minute was really just walk on, no line

  I was once again listening to others conversations on the parking lot to park shuttle. Three young men were discussing their different 401K / pension / IRA options at their jobs. One guy said he was getting the company match on a 401K, but he had an IRA his mom helped him set up and it invested in Bit Coin and was doing fantastic! " Guys, you have to do this and my Mom can help." The tram ride ended and I never heard the rest of the story. So after getting back to the Cabana I went online and discovered there really is such a thing as an IRA that invests and holds Bit Coins. Has the world gone insane!!!

  The rocket above is the most powerful since the Saturn V Apollo rocket. It is the Space X Heavy Lift with 27 liquid fueled engines. It can put 140,000 pounds into orbit. They will do another engine run tonight at 5 pm and plan to launch before the end of the month. It is made of 3 Falcon-9 rockets bolted together and they will return and land like the one did this week. I do not know if they will land as one or break apart and land as three Falcon-9 s. 
UPDATE: the two rockets on the side shut down and return to land at the cape. The center rocket burns a little longer and crashed into the barge floating 300 miles offshore. There is a short video of the impact at over 300 MPH. The Tesla Roadster and test dummy Starman are on their way to Mars now.
  I am up at 5 am and considering paying the neighbor kid to replace the muffler on his truck. His new job requires he leave at 3:30 am and it has awoken me every day. Perhaps I can talk him into parking by the swimming pool.... 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Been a Little Chilly

  Not a lot going on since we left Disney World ten days ago. That has been fine since neither of us caught a cold or worse. Simple days at the Cabana, a few warm ones and then intense rain before we said goodbye to the 60's. The temps have been mid 50's afternoons to low 40's in the mornings for the last several days. Have not used the furnace, but I have enjoyed having a little ceramic heater to keep it cozy inside the Cabana. I am so glad the very cold did not make it to our island. 

  We took a drive and had a nice diner out a few days ago. We were seated in a corner and enjoying the outside view. Then a couple sat next to us and my hearing is too good. It must have been a 1st date type of thing ( last date in my opinion.) The woman sixty something spent the whole time telling him how great her life had been and never let him even ask a question. After her leftovers were boxed and he paid the check, she said " So, what did you do for a living?" He seemed happy and proud to say he had worked in a ***** plant. She responded " So sad you wasted your life that way." She then got up and without a goodbye, walked to the exit. I was looking at the man and he looked up at me and then shrugged his shoulders and chuckled. Yep, he is not her type and happy about that. 

  Kathy started and finished a very hard puzzle and I got educated on Block Chain C++ program and the so dangerous Bit Coin investment craze. My tech friend was so happy to tell me about his $ 1000.00 investment this year was now worth $ 20000.00 and it was not too late to jump on the investment train. I read the white paper and took an online course on the operational concept. Then went to youtube to get all the tech info and pro's and con's about this whole block chain alt currency thing. After getting well versed and the mystery was gone, I am convinced it is not for me. I was stunned to learn it consumes about 5% of ELECTRICITY produced on Earth.  Video game boards are used by the thousands to crack the proof of work code and then make a new transaction log block to add to the chain. Each transaction is broadcast on the web and every available processor starts working on it until they solve it or get a proof code from someone who beat them to it. This is a massive waste of energy and where about 25% of hard cash invested into coin goes.  

  Otherwise not a lot going on. Just a much needed break between travels.