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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Roger Who?

It has been a few days since I last updated the blog.  Mainly because I don’t have any decent cell service here at the park so I can’t get on internet.  Normally we go to selected locations in the area that have free Wi-Fi.  We tried that Tuesday at McDonalds in Long Beach but their system was inoperative.  (They weren’t too concerned about it either which puts them on my “Do not go there” list.)

We have been using the local library but it is not open on several days so we make do.  One of the work arounds is to go down to the jetty with our cell phones.  There we get a 3 bar signal but it is only 1x and not 3g so it is very slow.

Yesterday we did get a bike ride in before the rains came.  All together it was only 6 miles but at least we got to use the bikes.

One of the problems I ran into late Wednesday was that I broke two keys (Ctrl & Func) on my keyboard somehow.  If you look in the lower left portion of the keyboard in the picture below, you will see the two key pegs from those keys.  Unfortunately, the keys can’t just be popped back on and instead require a whole new keyboard.  ($116 plus $50 to install).  That will happen next weekend hopefully when the part arrives.

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Carol has a birthday coming up this Monday and I wanted to surprise her.  I had told here that my ex-colleague Roger from where I used to work, who owns property here at the beach, would join us for lunch so we could pick his brain.

Instead it was our son Tim, daughter-in-law Kiersten, and granddaughter Sophie who drove down from Portland to surprise Carol.  And yes, she was totally surprised.

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granddaughter Sophie looking at a video game

They showed up at lunch and then we went to a park so Sophie could crawl around and burn up some energy.  Later we went for ice cream treats and then they headed back to Portland.  Fortunately the weather was dry while they were here.

We stopped off at the library to catch up on some internet for few minutes just before they closed and then came back to the RV.

About 4:30 or so we went for a walk around the park to get some exercise (Maybe we should have played on the ground more with Sophie!).  During the walk it started to drizzle and has morphed into a steady heavy drizzle now.

During the walk, we went to the beach to check out the access.  As you can see below, there is a lot of large driftwood that has come onto the beach.  Each storm brings more and more.

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Carol thought that the piece of driftwood below looks like some kind of animal laying on the sand.

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We also saw this rabbit about 20 feet away from us during the walk.  He didn’t seem to care that we were even there.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wet & Wild

We came down to Cape Disappointment, near Long Beach, WA, on Monday.  It didn’t rain Monday and that made it a fairly easy drive down.  We are in one of our favorite camp sites, #1 at the park.

Unfortunately, the cell service here is poor.  We get no signal on our phones at all.  With my cell booster, we get a weak signal during the day, just enough to get a few emails or simple web sites.  So that means we have to go into town to get a decent Wi-Fi signal.

Tuesday we went looking at some possible real estate options in the area.  This is something we have been thinking of for some time, though it is not a pressing priority.  Ideally, we would like a lot that could have a few RV sites on it with full hookups and fenced in.  A small house would be nice too as long as there was no maintenance.  And of course, we don’t want to pay very much for it either. 

We checked out some sales in the north east side of town and only found one that was remotely worth considering.  Each day we will do a different sector.

We went to the Ilwaco library to use their internet and catch up on email and things.

We also stopped at the Napa Auto Parts store in town to pick up a switch for Carol’s hill topper on her bike.  The one that came with it shorted out and constantly activated the motor which is dangerous.  The new switch is much larger and rugged and should do the job. 

For grins, I took the old one apart and found that it was actually a small circuit board.  No wonder it failed.  When put under pressure of the switch, the board would bend and cause a short.  The new one should never have that problem. 

After seeing how the switch worked, I ordered one for my bike as it is only a matter of time till mine fails too.

Today (Wednesday) it was raining and windy all day.  So no outside walking or biking is possible.  We instead went to the library in Ocean Shores, about 15 miles away.   (The Ilwaco one is closed today).  We are going to cover the west side of the real estate market on our way back.

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Looks like somebody really likes bird houses!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bothell, WA

Sunday we made a day trip down to Poulsbo and Silverdale.  The weather was actually dry and fairly nice so we decided to go out on an adventure.  We had stayed at Poulsbo in 2009 so we were somewhat familiar with the area.

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Poulsbo is a pleasant little village bordering the Hood Canal.  We walked around town which really did not take very long – maybe 10 minutes if you count all the time we gawked in store windows.  While walking along the waterfront, we came across a small wedding party of a sailor and his girl exchanging vows overlooking the bay. 

While on our walk we ran across one of these old structures.  Some of you younger readers have probably never seen these.  Back in the olden days, they actually had phones in them and you could put money in them to make calls.  The phone was missing from this one however.

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On Monday it was very windy and rainy during the morning.  The wind gusts were over 50mph and they gave the RV a good rocking.  (Yes, the satellite dish did well and stayed on signal the whole time!).

By mid-afternoon the wind and rain had abated.  Carol drove into Port Hadlock for a grocery run while I stayed in the RV working on my football pregame conference notes for this year.  My first semi-pro game is on the 14th and as crew chief, I need to send out the discussion agenda for the pregame conference.  These usually take about 90 minutes and cover the key rules and mechanics for the game.  Since it is the first game, the review will definitely be needed!

We left Fort Flagler this morning shortly after 9am and stopped for gas in Port Hadlock.  Then down highway 3 and across the Tacoma Narrows bridge and on up to Bothell.

We are staying at Lake Pleasant RV Park  While this is a fairly nice park with paved sites, the staff isn’t a great example of customer relations.  They have an 8.5 mph speed limit here and accused us of going too fast.  Since we had been here before, I was actually watching the speedometer coming in and I know we were not speeding.  They also have free Wi-Fi – but only for 1 hour.  Thankfully our Verizon service works well here.

We went for a 48 minute walk up to the new Safeway store across the highway from the park.  It is an uphill walk that leads you right into a shopping center.  Most of the stores are vacant now as they just finished building it.

On the walk, you have the usual buttons to change the signal to cross the street.  The directions are printed on signs and go into great detail on how to do it.  I’ve never seen it detailed to this level.

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I’m wondering if the RV park staff designed the sign?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It is 4/1 and not raining!

OK, this is not an April Fool Joke.  While it was very windy and rained heavily at times during the night, we woke up to mostly sunny skies!  No joke!  Really!  Not kidding!  Not an April Fool joke either.  It really was mostly sunny!

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I drove over to Chimacum (24 miles round trip) and brought back some cinnamon rolls to heat up.  It is sort of a tradition that on Sunday mornings, if there are any rolls nearby, I go get them.  24 miles is just about the limit though.

After breakfast, we took a ride over to Port Townsend.  Only about 2 miles away as the crow flies.  Or maybe I should say only 2 miles away as the dolphin swims.  But about 19 miles by the shortest road.  We parked over at Point Hudson and walked the town.

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I’m not sure what the above bell tower is.  It looks like it could have been some kind of community alarm system, maybe for fires or other disasters.

There are a lot of old buildings in the town.  Carol’s blog entry from today (click here to view her blog entry) has pictures of the buildings.  Be sure to check them out.

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There were several sail boats out on the water including this ketch out on the bay.  This one appeared to be a tour boat as it was fairly loaded with people.

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Our timing was right as we walked out onto a pier.  We caught a small sail boat and the Port Townsend Ferry in the same picture.

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Here is a picture of the old ferry dock.  The new one is about 1/2 mile west of here.  You can see clouds beginning to form up over the mountains and moving our way.

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This is a picture that Carol also had but I could not resist including it here too.  It appears that the driver cut the turn too tightly and his right wheels went off the pavement into the ditch.  This happened sometime Friday night or Saturday morning as it was not there when we arrived Friday afternoon.

When we got back to the RV it did rain for about an hour or so.  We watched about an hour of a movie called “Paths of Glory” about a French colonel in WWI.  Carol lost interest in it so I will watch the rest later.

Then we had partial clearing.  I went outside and managed to catch this freighter leaving port.  My cell phone camera has a pretty poor zoom but it is what I had with me.

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Satellite Update: When the big cumulus storm clouds form and take over the sky, my satellite signal used to go from a strength of about 90 down to about 65 or worse.  That would cause the picture to “pixelate” and could make the shows unwatchable.  The new automatic dish gets signals in the high 90s and even some 100s and during the storm only goes down about 5 percent or so.  The slightly larger dish and the automatic accurate pointing makes a big difference and minimizes the “rain fade” of the signal.  So far it has held steady in 25-30 mph winds and strong rain.  The old one would fail in either of those conditions.  I’m pretty happy with it!