April 29, 2014

Random Thoughts About Everything

"Mr Floyd ... please come in and sit or lie on the couch if you choose"

Instead of adding these thoughts to different future blog posts based on subject, I thought I'd just throw these out there for comments and general discussion. Some of them may be outside the title of the blog 'Hounds and RVs'. It's good to branch out occasionally. Probably nothing more than to clear my head and may have very little interest to others.

Google Plus
     I'm not really a fan of it. I'd much rather see my postings written by 'bhounds" instead of my full name. It may be better than Facebook eventually but so far after six months or more using it, I have no urges to do anything with Google Plus that I have done on Facebook. It replaced Google Friend Connect, so basically that is why I went to Google Plus, just so everyone could have all options to follow my blog if they chose to do so. ... I'm still not a fan of the Google Plus. I do like Feedly and I like Twitter to keep up with all of my sports.

     I honestly thought after a couple of weeks I would MIGHT have periods of freaking out, second guessing my decision, bored out of my mind, sleepless nights and possible regret. That has NOT happened for one second since the day I left work. I love having my own schedule even if nothing is on the schedule. Like I read somewhere last week "I have nothing to do and all day to do it". Changes that I have noticed in the short time I have been "unemployed" .... no longer living on Tums anti-acid tablets, eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, no 'Sunday night blues', and relaxed.....plus the hounds get to go outside more, as requested. They still sleep the majority of the day.

The House
     Yes, those thoughts  of selling it and traveling have come back at times very recently. Then I think I'm stupid because it's paid for, not a bad location, I've been here seventeen years, great place for the hounds and low cost of living area. Still, I don't plan to ever be here again between November through April after last winter's performance. I don't like the high humidity for a couple of months during the 90-100 degree temps in the summer. So that leaves only 2-3 months out of the year that I really enjoy the weather living here. I received my property tax bill yesterday that showed my property value has decreased for the 3rd year in a row but this year they decided to raise my property tax by 27% from last year.  I don't care for that trend.

     As with any ownership, house or trailer/rv, there seems to be always something to do. Usually in my case it is nothing major with the house, just little things to pick up after the winter weather. Maybe some minor repairs due to normal wear. During the spring I'm probably mowing the yard twice per week whereas in July I'm asking myself where did all that nice green grass go. Many days I am not enthused about yard work. Some people enjoy it but most of the time I think it's a PIA, time consuming, and wasted time .... I have other things I could be doing. The list of "to do" with a house never ends, as I found just three more things today that I need to do this week. Those are three days I could be traveling somewhere, instead of trimming hedges.

     Very helpful to a 'newbie' like myself. After reading Glenn's story on Yahoo Business page in October 2011 the RV bug hit me big time. I spent every waking hour reading peoples blogs from their first day all the way through their most recent day. Of course every blog had their blog roll, which gave me more blogs to read and add to my blog roll. They were like compound interest, always multiplying. Every blog was different, some full-timers, 40' motorhomes towing toads, Class C's travel trailers, 5th wheels and a few that live in cargo trailers...even vans. A few of them have pets but no blogs that I have found have a bloodhound and that breed is one of a kind ... like kind of in the obnoxious breed category if you define that as being funny. They have a great personality but she can get into so much stuff while I am gone. Bloodhounds go where their nose leads them. What would Sadie do while I was out hiking, mountain biking or at the grocery store?  Would I have a trailer left when I got back?  LOL

     Blogging also did something I had not planned on ... I opened, not a lot, but part of my life to the public, people I didn't know, have never met ... something I've never been a fan of. At the same time some of those people became online friends and could potentially meet in person if I ever get on the road. I am friendly towards others but mostly private at the same time. I can spend time alone at my house for days without starting a car/truck and days where the tv is not even used. Blogging at times makes the writer feel obligated to their followers. The blogger feels that they should write something not every day maybe but on a fairly frequent basis, even if there is nothing exciting happening. When you are not traveling yet, many days are just a normal day, nothing that deals with RVs. Still readers are are following your blog for a reason, so they deserve some sort of regular communication.

Blogging is addicting ... reading or writing ... but blogs are a good source of information.

Junk eMail
     I have all kinds of filters, different gmail accounts for different things and even one account for junk email. It still doesn't work in preventing junk email. My home email account gets hundreds of junk emails per day, automatically filling my Apple mail program junk folder...hundreds. I hate that. I am careful on where I use my main email address. Do companies really make that much money selling their customer's email addresses?

The Perfect Vehicle/RV/Trailer
     There is none. That is probably one of the main reasons I have not made a decision on what to buy. Everything thing had to be perfect when I grew up. Everything analyzed. That process still continues today even if I don't want it to. Everything else I have bought such as my iMac, large HD TV, my hounds, and some of my vehicles ... it was researched, then buy it ... fast. I never went back and forth with "what if's" buying those cars, trucks, electronics or hounds ... I just did it. The RV niche is entirely different. I have read where others have taken just as much time researching, looking at and sitting in their rigs before making the purchase. What is the reason for in depth analysis? What do most people go through more than a few rigs before they find the one that is right for them? Are we all nuts? Maybe the words "living in it", gives it a more permanent feel, thus more analysis.

Travel Plans
     I have a major plan for traveling. Like all other RVer's, I want to stay one step ahead of the weather. I also realize there will be times mother nature surprises and we are stuck until that mess clears enough to travel away from bad weather. Since I have lived out west and also have driven through many of the western states I would be staying in, I have a pretty good idea of my seasonal plans. Boondocking will be my goal most of the time.

     Spring - Moab Utah area.  Summer - Pacific Northwest, Oregon coast, Yellowstone, Black Hills of the Dakotas, Wyoming. Fall - Back down through Utah, Nevada. Winter - Borrego Springs Ca, Arizona, the Q at least once, maybe New Mexico at their vacant SP. I don't think I'll cover more than 8,000 miles per year once I get west. Surprising to many but that is all I drove annually when working.

     I plan on traveling very light. I have spent the past two years downsizing and really cut out clothing, dishes and cooking utensils last summer/fall. The local Goodwill customers loved me I'm sure. I gave away a lot of nice stuff, too lazy to sell it on eBay or Craig's List. I have more to give away or sell since I have stopped working. With the Class C I had, there were  plans of fitting my large screen HD tv for use but over the winter and more recently, TV is just not that important anymore. So currently TV's are up in the air. Lynne over at Winnie Views has some good ideas on how to fit a large monitor/TV into a small space. My computer is a hard decision to make. I have a 21" iMac and a second 27" Apple monitor as my main screen. I know I can buy and download my total hard drive in a MacBook Pro or Mac Air or I could use my iPad just for email and internet reading .... but .... I LOVE that big monitor. Even having the iMac as one system setup would be nice. So I am thinking after I buy the trailer, taking out the dining set and installing a desk like I have now for eating and internet. I rarely use my kitchen table to eat meals. I know that may be hard to understand to some but being single  ... happens all the time.

     I know I have too many hounds. Three is too many, two would be nice, probably only one would be perfect. The last hound I bought in 2011 was not planned. Finding her on the basset hound rescue site, hit me upside the head and I bought her the next day and picked her up on the following Saturday. I couldn't believe the rescue service pulled her out of a dog shelter. Who would voluntarily turned in a basset hound to a shelter? Don't ask why I bought a 3rd hound, I don't know but she has been a great addition to the crew even if she is the "couch queen". The bloodhound and the oldest basset hound were planned. All three dogs are great, no issues and I have no doubt would travel well. Yes, they have been a factor in my decision making process on what rig to buy.

     Ticks are the worst I have ever seen in the seventeen years I have lived here. My backyard borders eight acres of hay, some woods and slight deer traffic. I knew tick season was going to be a bad one this year when my hounds came inside this winter with snow on the ground and they had ticks on their necks. In snow??  After the rage on Facebook with fellow bloodhound/basset hound owner groups, even traveling by RVs with pets group talking about ticks ... I have moved from buying tick prevention at the vet to a mixture of white vinegar/water and mix in some oil for personal use before walking through the field on daily dog walks. I'm lazy so usually that mixture is not applied as it should be.

     I grew up in Indiana, graduated from college in Indiana but loved the 20+ years I lived out west in southern California, Washington and the short 10 months in Colorado. I moved back to Indiana for employment reasons in 1994. I have thought of leaving this area various times since then but it seemed a pay raise always changed those plans. The small beach town was great in southern California but now that area is wall to wall people and bumper to bumper traffic. Washington was great in the summer months with lots to do having beaches and mountains nearby. Where I lived, it didn't rain as much as it did in Seattle. Summers were even on the cool side at times but no humidity. Colorado would be another nice place to visit during the summer and I plan to. Plus the Bay Area of California is one of my most favorite cities in the world, it's always nice to visit there.

     There is just something about the western states that I like. Maybe I have been back here too long and need a change of scenery. Traveling will give me that. I do wonder at times if I can really afford a house and traveling full time at the same time. Do I need to decide one or the other?

Other Thoughts
     Nothing I can think of. I think I have covered about everything that's on my mind. I was told once "you have to be a little crazy to keep from going insane" ... I think I am half way between those...LOL

"This counseling session has concluded, you can get up from the couch now" ... have a good day!

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