February 13, 2016

My Rambling Starts Extremely Early

It's been a weird 10 hours. Here I am blogging before I have my first photo of the day, before the sun is up .... still after the hounds were fed breakfast and with all my lights off inside the house. The temperature is 9° and they tell me it feels like 2°. I don't really know because I have not been outside but I felt the freezing temps when I opened the door to let all 3 hounds outside. A few months ago I started feeding the hounds twice per day ... so their breakfast is served right after they get back inside ... which doesn't take too long. They are more interested in eating than dumping their tanks after a night of sleep.

A night of sleep it was. I knew something was wrong when I started nodding out at 8:30pm. I am a natural born 'night person'. I am rarely in bed before 1am if not later. So when I am sitting on the couch next to a sleeping bloodhound (Stella) and hearing a snoring bloodhound in the big chair (Sadie), with a basset setting the all-time record for sleeping on the bed (Heidi) ... trying to read a book but falling asleep ... I know my night is about to get weird.

In the life of retirement though, you learn to go with the wave. Follow what you feel and go with the flow. So the lights were turned off, the bloodhounds stayed where they were and I headed off to bed ... It was only 9:10pm. With forecasts predicting a low of 2° I decided to leave my bathroom water running just for my own peace of mind. My water pipes have never frozen here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana in temperature much colder than 2° ... but some recommend running the water, some say to let it drip so I pick somewhere close to just a small steady stream.

I don't think I was awake longer than a few minutes after laying down. Heidi decided I could have my 1/3 of the bed, as close to the edge as possible. It didn't matter though, whatever had knocked me out was working overtime and I was out cold within minutes. Of course when you go to bed early you wake up early ... at 5am I am wide awake. It's dark outside and I can tell from the frozen covered storm windows it is $%*$#* cold outside.

Before that 5am is where things got weird. Some of the strangest dreams took place somewhere between 9pm and 5am. The kind of dreams you can actually remember after you wake up. The weirdness and my detailed memory of them led me to log into my search engine "DuckDuckGo" to check out some of the things I was dreaming about. How crazy is that???

It was nice to see the internet prove they were only dreams and that's where they will stay. My mind is crazy sometimes.

So after a cup of coffee by 6:03am, looking at the calendar on my computer to see the day was Saturday ... I decided what a perfect time to ramble. Well rested. The hounds following their normal routine are sleeping all together after they eat breakfast. Their next scheduled time to go outside will be when the sun comes up. That usually occurs about the time I finish my first cup of coffee with Sadie standing next to my desk giving me the stare down.

That will not happen today though ... the schedule is off due to getting up at 6am. I just poured my 2nd cup of coffee, it's still quite dark outside and the hounds are in the snoring stage of sleep. Not much will take place any different than the weekdays. There will be a lot more college basketball on tv today. I'll not sit and watch games like I do college football but there will be games on the tv in the background. I'll check in at times when things show they are interesting or a good game to watch. I cannot keep that book Area 51 down long ... so I'll continue my reading of that.

Sadie, Stella and I took off for the walk yesterday and we will try to do that again today ... even with the cold temps. If there is no wind it should be okay. Unlike the last two days, I'll be taking the camera this time. The pantry is stocked, FJ is full of gas that was bought at an unbelievable price and the Mini Cooper S needs a wash in the  worse way.

Now on to different subjects that's on my mind.

For those that live in rural areas and would like faster internet service ... I am NOT talking Hughes Net ... but the Exede Satellite Service (Viastat) I had installed in June 2014 I am really happy with. Through all kinds of weather, high winds, torrential spring rains ... I rarely lose my internet connection. My internet speed tests out most of the time around 12Mbps. For example, websites load about a half second slower than instant. They do have their own satellite in space and will be launching a new in this April. They will not confess to me what the new surprise will be but I am pretty sure it is about data limits being increased ... maybe even close to unlimited. As far as customer service, they are knowledgeable and when they tell you something it happens.

Blogging came back up for discussion in my head a few days ago. Nothing different than anytime before. The current template stays ... I actually like it, go figure. It's not a surprise that traffic numbers change based on topic. For example I doubt this post will get a lot of prime time views, but I am here just to ramble this morning. Most of my RV crowd left years ago. The bloodhounds get the most traffic ...even if I do nothing but post a line of photos. Yet, my friends converted bus post the other night is the winner so far this month for the most views.

I found out it is much better to allow anonymous comments with a word verification instead of blocking them just because you are trying to prevent being swamped with spam comments. With word verification I rarely get any spam comments. One or two might fall through the cracks. My 'haters' have seemed to moved on ... there is one that still views the blog daily. She claims she is RVing, on the road blah blah blah ... but her server IP never seems to move from her house location. One I had to block, not really block but blogger blocked her ... I am not sure what she sees if anything when she visits. I guess some people make a living out of ranting after reading other people's blogs. All I can say is "get a life".

I guess I am a little late but saw it first thing this morning on my blog roll that Al & Kelly have decided to sell their winter home in Congress Arizona. Click here to see some of the details along with photos. They have done a fantastic job with that house and property. They just have 'a feel' for getting things done like that. Everything is planned out perfect and that includes their house in Canada. That had to have been a very hard decision for them. I was sad when I read the news this morning. I wish I had that much cash available to buy the place. It's priced at $85,000 and based on what I have seen over the year on Zillow.com, that is a steal for whoever the new owner will be.

My friend over at Travels of a Rambling Van had me laughing about trying to get a UPS delivery, even mail delivery to a location off the grid. He said the maps show his property a little off from the actual location. I have him beat on that one. Most of the maps I use to check my location show me in the country on the east side of town. AT&T thought I lived on the west side of town years ago ... luckily at that time the AT&T installer was a neighbor and knew exactly where I lived. At the time I needed that landline installed for my DSL service.

The main thing he had me doing was looking for all of those Omaha Steak mailers I get. You know the ones, where you never open them and just toss them into the recycling box? Well since my life is all electronic now, I didn't need to look for those fliers at all because I went to their website. Very tempting to buy beef and chicken the way he does. Something I might consider. I can still buy grass fed beef here locally at the farmers market. I also find that Lucky's Market has great meat and fresh fish. Since it is just a few blocks from where I buy dog food, it makes it pretty convenient, except the times I take Stella with me.

I don't have a stand up freezer like he does but believe it or not this 40 year old house does have the space for it and correct wiring for it. The original owner of the house (great aunt) had a stand up freezer, inside a built in space made just for that. It was built into the wall that separates my kitchen and computer room. When I moved in I filled that space with a book case on one side and installed shelves on the other side of the open space for more books and my music. For a short time it served as my compact computer desk.

No matter what, Travels of a Rambling Van has me looking at Omaha Steaks.

I like following the blog roll on the left sidebar. Everyone posts at different intervals. They are scattered everywhere in all kinds of weather, all kinds of RVs .. a few are like me, retired and home based most of the time. I will say this cold weather has not bothered me. I don' t wish I was somewhere warmer. It's part of winter here and so far this winter it's been more than mild, with it half over. I can't complain about that. I like the decisions I have made the past couple of years of staying put. For new readers, a few summers ago I actually had a For Sale sign in the front yard to sell the house. I had a few calls, probably just local curiosity more than anything.

Sure, there are times I wished I lived out west. I spent close to 30 years in California and Washington along with 10 months in Breckenridge Colorado. I loved it out there. I was more active out there but at the same time I was also 20-30 years younger. Evidently I don't mind living here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana too much ... March is my anniversary date and it will be 19 years next month, that I have lived here.

There are also times I take off day dreaming about traveling, living in a van or driving my FJ and tent camping wherever I decide to stop. The urge to live in an RV or a converted bus disappeared over a year ago. One thing that has never changed is the indecision on what to buy to travel in. I still don't have any idea what I would want ... at the same time I no longer spend a lot of time thinking about it. I was warned by someone that has traveled for years with more than two dogs ... that traveling with dogs is work. At times it's not easy. Having dogs that cannot sleep on the dash of your vehicle due to their size but you swear they can tear your knee ligaments when they hit you running full steam ... makes traveling even harder.

With hound breeds and not working breeds, ONE interesting scent can send them into an oblivion state of unconsciousness and your chances of catching them are slim to none. That is not a good thing in strange land. Yea I know, you all know someone that has traveled for years with 3-4 dogs or is traveling now with 3-4 dogs .... good for them ... I found it to be a hassle. As much as I love my hounds I cannot say I enjoyed traveling with them. Of course that short 8 day trip was in the 90° temps so even leaving them in the car while you ran inside to pay for gas because the pump didn't read your debit card ... made things interesting.

Stops at Rest Area's were always exciting. A lot of strange noises and scents made for excited strong pulling hounds. Their normal eating times were off and based on when the camp was set up or how far away the next Rest Area was located. Based on the two trips that Stella has made to buy dog food, with a main 4 lane street running in front of the store ... she is freaked out by the traffic noise. Scared. Jumpy. She wants to take off running. I'm not sure that would work parked in a Rest Area on I-70. Anyway the inconvenience traveling now with TWO large hounds and a smaller one that is skin and bones is not something I want to put up with.

So ... sure I daydream at times of traveling ... but my image is doing it alone, without hounds ... maybe just one basset hound.

Hmmm ... hounds, satellite interent, traveling, food ... I'm not sure if I covered everything I wanted to 'ramble' about but this went on longer than I had planned. This post will be boring to most and that's okay ... I just needed somewhere to write before the sun came up.

Now that it has ... it's time to wake up the bloodhounds with "you want to go outside?", grab the camera, put on my Mountain Hardwear Parka and get outside just to see how cold it really is.

Since this is all rambling ... I've decided not to include any photos ... they would have been old ones anyway.

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