Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cameras, Break-ins and Chores...

Our camera bit the dust.  Rats.

It was 12 years old.  A great camera.  It definitely did not suffer from overuse.  I never got into the habit of keeping it with us and taking all those incredible pictures.

It was a Nikon Coolpix 995.  Only 3 megapixels but in its day it was one of the main choices of professional photographers.  I never did master it's capabilities.  I mostly did "point and shoot."

Now I am in the market for a new camera.  How do you choose from all the possibilities?  I am looking at a few RV forums and reading blogs.  So far I am hearing good stuff about the Canon S100.  Do any of you have suggestions and/or preferences?

Coach Net Follow-up...
I talked to Coach Net today.  The woman I spoke with was very professional and courteous.  She apologized for the frustrating situation in Hillsboro, TX the other day.  She did not understand why the rep I talked to did not go ahead and use the LOCAL tire shop and installer.  She suggested I send copies of my receipts.  Their Quality Assurance group would review and make a decision.

We'll see.  Stay tuned.

Theft During Storage...
Not anything of ours, thank God.

It is amazing how conversations move from one topic to something completely different.

Yesterday, I encountered a couple riding fold-up mountain bikes.  I struck up a conversation about their bicycles.  They are from Alaska; down in the "Lower 48" for a couple months touring about.

They explained that they store their motorhome in different places when it is time to return home.  We have heard this a number of times from foreign visitors and others from the far North.  It is less costly to store it than to ship it overseas or drive back to Alaska.  Makes sense to me.

Unfortunately, these folks' experience with a local storage outfit was far from good.  Their motorhome was ransacked while in storage.  They lost all their electronics (TV surround sound, computers, printer, TV, etc.) as well as all their tools and maintenance stuff.  Their Honda generator was gone.  They even lost kitchen knives and other accessories.  Sheesh.

The frustrating thing is that from all appearances it was an inside job.  The investigating cops agreed.

The rental place had insisted that they leave keys for their rig.  This was unusual.  The RVers/owners argued but then complied.

There was no evidence of a break in.  According to the RVers, there was proof that someone had been eating and spending a bit of time in the unit.

The car that they tow behind the motorhome had 181 more miles on the odometer than when they left it!!!!!

The storage place has video surveillance, but the tapes are only stored for 21 days.

The police dusted for fingerprints.  They told the victims that results will take MONTHS to get back.  Seems a bit odd to take so long.

The RVers are suing the storage owner in small claims court.  Because they had surrendered keys, the insurance company does not consider it a theft.  What?????

I realize I only got the side from the owners/victims but they also said that there are public records showing that there have been other incidents of similar theft in that facility.  Things sound pretty incriminating.  I hope the truth comes out.

Chores and Home Improvements...
After a week, we can report that we are really happy we got the motorhome back.  We are so much more comfortable.

Just as with any home, there are things that need attention.  I have been working on a list of items.  It feels good to check them off as each one is completed.

One thing I have wanted to do for some time is to install our "Extend-a-Stay".  It is a control system that allows us to hook up an auxiliary propane tank in line with our permanent tank on the RV.  That means we do not need to take the motorhome to a propane place.  Nor must we hire a propane outfit to come fill us up.  We have a removable tank in our camper.  Now we can hook it up to the motorhome.  When it is empty, we switch to the permanent tank while we take the camper tank and get it filled up.

We've had fun showing our rig to people.  We have done so much remodeling and decorating that I am confident there is not another one like it.  We were looking at it the other night and realized that it is more like a small apartment than an RV.  We love it!

Austin is Busy This Month...
The park has been preparing for a busy month.  College Spring Break begins on the 12th.  Colleges in the area stagger their break periods so we will be busy for a couple weeks in a row.

Also, South by Southwest (SXSW) is here.  It is a huge music and movie festival. Somewhat like Cannes in France, or the Sundance Film Festival in Utah that Robert Redford made famous.

People come from all over the country and the world.  Hotels are very expensive.  Some people rent out their houses for thousands of dollars.  The park is convenient and inexpensive.  We will be busy.  I am looking forward to meeting some of the interesting people.

I am going to begin chronicling the interesting folks we meet.  Stay tuned!

Travels Ahead...
We have a little over 7 weeks left at McKinney Falls State Park.  The experience has been great.  We look forward to stints in other parks.  Next is Yellowstone for the summer.

We are going over to Seminole Canyon State Park the weekend of March 17 & 18.  We are anxious to see it.  We have committed to a stint for next Winter.  I'll let you know what we think after our visit.

The day is winding down.  We had a great dinner and are now enjoying a glass of wine and some of our favorite TV shows.  We are comfortable, warm, happy and ready for the next adventure that waits while we are "Chasin' Our Dreams!"

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