Sunday, July 17, 2011


I figured this morning it might be a good idea for me & my keyboard to put a fair bit of distance between us for awhile. Saddled up my Motorcycle & headed for the hills. Well, for whatever little hills we have around here anyway.

Don't know why it is that I can't seem to remember to check my fuel gauge on the bike before heading out. Maybe it's because I don't have a fuel gauge. I always set the odometer to zero after fueling up & when the mileage gets up to a certain point I know my tank is getting empty. Last two times out I have blissfully been on my way to nowhere in particular when I remembered to check the mileage.  Both times I was nearly out of fuel. This morning, a quick calculation with my between the ears GPS system told me the closest fuel stop was all the way back to Bayfield from whence I had just come.  U-turn!!  Made it back to the gas station OK but it bugged me that my slow leisurely trip to nowhere had quickly led me back to somewhere.....the gas station!! I re-launched my journey & spent a few quiet hours wandering the back roads of our beautiful rural & agricultural countryside. I needed that.

Lots of bikes on the road this morning so that meant lots of waves. You may or may not have noticed that when motorcycles meet on the road a customary 'cool' wave is exchanged. Same thing with Jeep owners. There is quite a hierarchy of motorcycle waves of course & being new to the sport a bunch of years ago I had to learn the embarrassing way on how to 'properly' exchange that 'cool' hand gesture. Of course being as new as I was I always gave the oncoming biker a great big smiley Howdy Doody wave with my arm way up on in the air flappin like it was on the end of a puppet string. Kinda like, "hey there big Buddy biker guy, I got a big bike too, see." Took me awhile to realize the guys coming the other way were not responding with the big Howdy wave. They just seemed to casually slip there hand off the handlebar, drop their arm a bit & spread a couple fingers as they rolled on by. Well, at least some of them did. After seeing my big Howdy wave coming down the road most of them just put their heads down in disbelief & rolled on by.  Especially the Harley guys.  The few that did give me a glance probably figured I looked like Howdy Doody too.  Took me awhile to clue in on that but I think I got er down pat now. I hear the Harley driver's have a special wave but I don't know what it is. I do know what it isn't though. It's not the big Howdy wave that's for sure. And, do you know how I can tell a new biker coming the other way? Yep, I see that big Howdy Doody wave coming down the road about a mile away.......10-4:))

The summer months find most Snow Birds at home waiting patiently for their upcoming Autumn & Winter departure dates to warm sunny southern locales. Many of the Full Time folks hang out in the cooler climates of the Northern States or Canada. The folks over at TRAVELS WITH KEVIN & RUTH have been spending their time on the east coast of Canada & have just slipped down into the state of Maine. Most RV blogs I read center around Americas Southwest & Northwest States as well as the Southeast but not often do we hear from people traveling in the Northeast States or Eastern Canada.
Ever thought about cooling your Phannie? Well, the folks over at PHANNIE & MAY sure did & it took them a third A/C unit to do it too. When you get there, Mike will tell you how & why that happened:))

A bit of nervous excitement going on over at Merikay's place these days as her & hubby are looking at buying an RV. A couple days ago she wrote about the FEELINGS OF BEING BOTH SCARED & EXCITED. Oh how I remember those RV shopping days alright. Nothing like some good old nervous excitement to keep you awake half the night that's for sure. It's a big step, a lot of money & a huge decision with an unknown future.  Welcome to Planet Earth:))

And, it's not too late to climb aboard the MOHO YUKON EXPRESS with the gals heading north up the Alaska highway. Check out Sue's great header photo as she kicks her new Nikon D5100 into high gear:))

Not sure what to think about this new Google+ social network I am seeing popping up here & there. We are getting friend requests to join people's ‘circle of friends’ or something & I'm not sure what that is all about. I did have a look at the new Google site but had difficulty understanding the concept. What is it, what does it do? I need someone to give me the 'simple Seniors version’. Seems it might be along the lines of Facebook & Twitter. I'm no great fan of either one of those so am wondering if I really need another social friends network. I rarely use the two I have & it's a chore trying to be socially friendly when deluged with all those game requests, group joining's or sending flowers to a flock of lost Rhinosaucerus's up in Aklavik. Saw something about 'video chat' & that scared me a bit. I'm just not a 'chatter' whether it be on camera or off. I am going to hold on to the Google friends requests I have received until I somehow better understand just exactly what Google+ is & what it does.

I have received some excellent suggestions on how to improve our blog site so have been busy doing some slicing & dicing. I had a lot of stuff on our side bar that wasn't necessary & slowed down the site loading process so some of that is now gone. Next to go may be our Blog Followers list & if I can't figure out a way to condense our Blog Role on the right it may go as well as soon as I can figure out an alternative way to keep up on fellow RV'ers blogs. I don't mind adding people to the list but then I feel bad about having to take some folks off because of the list getting waaaaaaay too long. Google Reader has been suggested but I tried that once & couldn't seem to get a handle on it. I think I better have a look at that again.

Saw another slightly lighter 'Template' on the Travel section of Blogger's dashboard I kind of liked but have to admit I am a bit leery of changing templates. I'm not as fast on my feet around the computer anymore & I'm a bit concerned about loosing what I already have. I changed some of the text colors today (or at least I think I did….but maybe not) in hopes that may make the blog more easily readable. Changed the font style as well. Any feedback would be welcome. I’m publishing this post on the Win 7 laptop tonight so if it doesn’t look any different from before when I publish it then it’s back to the drawing board for Al in the morning.  By the way, just because I am a man doesn't make me too proud to ask for help & take suggestions you know. Well, except I might not ask for directions if I was lost.................:))

GROANER'S CORNER:(( Just a few signs you might be Trailer Trash......
-Your wife's hairdo was once ruined by a ceiling fan.
-You've been married three times and still have the same in-laws.
-You think loading a dishwasher means getting your wife drunk.
-You think Dom Perignon is a Mafia boss.
- If a tornado hits your home and causes $10,000 dollars worth of improvements.
only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right
now...... AL.


  1. I think the white lettering on the black background works o.k. for me. The font is fine, too. I never have a problem with sites loading on my computer, since I'm always using my desktop HP which has a pretty fast processor and good memory capacity.

  2. Russ and I once had a vacation cabin (mobile home, really) in a small isolated community. When we passed another vehicle it was customary to just kinda lift your fingers off the steering didn't want to appear too excited to see another human being! It was fun - no Howdy Doody wave allowed. Enjoyed your story and glad you got a nice ride.

    I think I like the white font but it's hard to tell if it makes that much difference. I just kinda go with the flow and read what's out there without thinking too much about design. Sorry, wish I had more ideas but I'm not much of a designer myself. Good luck with the changes.

    That picture of the family fishing is great and I love that huge flower. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Love the new font - very readable.

    Google reader: that is what I use for blog reading, and I really like it (I don't have a blog roll on my blog). I guess you have to personalize your Google page to use it, but once you subscribe to a blog, you get a link to any new posts on the blog. If you are in a hurry, you can just read them in the reader - without the sidebars or blog-specific formating. Otherwise, there is a link to the actual blog, where you can see the whole enchilada (including comments) and comment if you desire. I read via the reader when I have a slow connection, as it will load more quickly without all the extraneous "stuff" on the actual blog (like a big header photo, for instance). Pretty convenient.

  4. I liked the yellow better, Al. I find the white very hard on my eyes. If you want a change maybe a light purple might be less bright. Just my 2 cents!

  5. howdy doody it in a jeep or on a motorcycle!..sending the 'wave your way'!

  6. I do the Princess Summer Fall Winter Spring wave...that's just how I roll. Your blog is always readable..lovin' it!!!

  7. I too found the new font/colour a little hard on my eyes.

    And there's also a RV wave too...only problem is; not many RVers wave back.


  8. OK, here's my solicited input. I like the pinkish font color better, but when I opened up your post the font was enormous! I had to use control minus. Then when I went to the post a comment, it shrunk that thing so I'm having a hard time, and the option to enlarge is gone. Maybe it's just my computer, I don't know.

    The first year I was on the road I only had a little scooter, and no toad. One day, as I was slowly chugging down the road, two Harleys came from the other direction and gave me the Peace sign wave. I Peaced them back, and then almost fell off the road because I felt so COOL! :)

  9. I like the new font and colour, seems easier on these aged eyes. Having been to Aklavik I can assure you that that flock of lost Rhinosaucerus's up in Aklavik are not interested in your flowers anyway as they are left over from the Beringia times and haven't eaten in many years.

  10. Maybe you changed it a second time, but I for me your new font color is a tanish beige. I like it better than the yellow.


  11. I'm up there with Donna K. I just read the blogs without paying much attention to design. Which definitely shows in my blog. No design there. So if it makes you happy, I'm happy just as long as you're posting.

  12. Yes, there is nothing like the old "motorcycle wave", have been doing it for years... dosn't matter where you go, you will get a wave. Same as anytime I stop while driving my bike, if I need to talk to someone, I will pick a fellow biker, no matter how "tuff" they look, you will always get a good response!

  13. I always love your pics -- they are incredible pics -- maybe I need a new camera:)

  14. Al, Your blog is always readable to me, but I guess the larger ont is easier to read. If it were me, and I know it is not, I would make the blogs you follow smaller font, they won't run together. I don't mean that in acritical way!
    I really do like your photos,especially the nature shots. I love good photography!
    Hope you and Kelly have a great week!

  15. For what it's vote is your previous font color. I like the size! Actually, I liked your blog the way it was! We have a Miata and just give the whisp of a wave to fellow Miata owners....Sound familiar?

  16. Most real bikers won't wave at a scooter driver. And especially not if they see that Howdy Doody wave that you describe. Any way Harley guys absolutly will not wave at a scooter, but mine is big enough that they don't recognize that it is a scooter until it is too late. Then they kind of jerk their hand back in like the wave was a mistake. That is too funny to see!!!

  17. Al I like the way it was, the font with this format is to large to really stay focused on. I noticed that the Blog roll list has links overlaping each other. I might just be with you changing the font size, not really sure. But I liked the old one better.

  18. I'm seeing a beige font color. Very easy on the eyes as is the size. I prefer it this way. The color complements your photos, too. The pink and orange on the side bar have sent me down Memory Lane. As a teenager in the 60s I painted my bedroom in those colors! Pop art?? I thought I was with it, anyway. Giggle.

    I've found that rvers in a campground will wave as they drive by, but don't wave on the road. I think I'm glad they have both hands on the wheel.

  19. Like the larger font and the color is much easier to read too. I'll continue to read no matter what the color or font, I just enjoy it that much:)

    Just got back from a 90 mile ride on my bike and it sure did clear my head and put a smile on my face. Lots of motorcycle waves exchanged along the way.

    Mark W.

  20. Mike and I found the font really hard to read Al.

    I too am checking our Google+ and like Laurie said may check out Google Reader--it's amazing the things Google comes up with!

  21. I can easily read the new font/color, but I liked the old one too. As long as it is a bit larger than the regular size. Most folks (but not all) appreciate a slightly larger font as they get older - it's just easier to read. I don't understand the comment about difficulty staying focused.

  22. Love the font color this morning, its just perfect for me.

  23. OKAY - here goes. We liked the yellow font better, instead of the white we are seeing. As for stuff on your sidebar, most of that can be eliminated (if YOU want to) using the design center. We joined Google+ on Rick's invitation. We hope to get our family into it for the Hangout feature, where we can all be gathered for a family chat. As for circles and other things, we are finding it easy to learn and use -- so far. And you can do as much or as little as YOU want to, and ignore the rest. Certainly better than Facebook! As for waving, we only wave at other motorhomes on the road, and receive return waves from about half. Have to do more that a finger off the wheel, though, to make it visible.

  24. Good Morning Al
    The Google+ is a social network, just like facebook, etc. I personally don't like them, you will get inundated with requests for every game out there. Just my thoughts.
    Anyway, I read your blog on windows 7 also, it is not different to me. Black background & white letters. The right side is more of an orange color.
    BUT the font is different, and larger, and I love this font.

    phxmtngirl (Joy)

  25. Let me take a shot at explaining what Rick means when he says he has difficulty staying focused.

    Many people are speed readers, and look at an entire sentence all at once when they read. They never look at individual words. But when the font is too large, they can't see the entire sentence or the entire thought all at once.

    Their mind is so programmed that they cannot transition back to a word for word format and remember what is being said. So they loose their focus.

    So what may be helpful to some folks, will make it incomprehensible to others.

  26. 1) I like the new blog look.
    2) Font was huge but I'm used to CTRL+mouse wheel scroll to adjust each page to what works for me.
    3) We wave at's fun to watch the scooter folks do the Howdy Doody wave back.
    4) We don't call it the Howdy Doody wave, it's the Winger Wave (most Goldwing riders do the HI HOWDY wave).
    5) Started playing with Google+ today and really like it. No games and such, just social chatting. Easier to navigate I think than FB (to which I am addicted). Hoping all our family will give it a try, then can drop FB. LOL!
    6) Google reader is wonderful if you follow more than a couple blogs, a MUST if you follow as many as I do....LOL!

  27. Like the yellow letters better.

    I am the scooter person Donna is talking about, but I don't do the howdy doody wave.

    I wave if the biker on the other side waves at me. Just the customary wave.

    Not howdy doody for sure!!!!

    Have seen Harley riders do the howdy doody wave. No shame in that I guess.

    Font big but doable.

    Still like the pictures!!!!