Tuesday, January 13, 2015

1/13/15 ATT Sucks. I know, shocker, right?

I might have been the only person in the Western Hemisphere who was mostly ok with my ATT phone.  Happy would be a stretch, but over the past few months I had noticed an increase in my ability to actually complete a call and an increase in data speeds. Well, that mystery is now solved, apparently it was because I wasn't really using ATT's network!  I got this bit of happy news today:

Please note the line, 

We've updated your device so you'll know when you're outside the AT&T network. Just check your home screen and when you're on another carrier's network, now you'll see "Off Network" instead of "AT&T" in the status bar.

They don't tell you you're off network until you've exceeded the limit! And PERMANENTLY disabled your roaming ability!  They gave me a warning when I was in Utah and I bought a Straight Talk Verizon phone. It worked so much better than my ATT phone that I was tempted to switch, but I was too lazy to go through the process of porting my number. Obviously, now I will be doing that. This is one of the Verizon ST phones, and is the one I bought.  Make sure it says CDMA-V.
Although, if you get one on the ATT network I think it would not be subject to this stupid policy as ST has its own set of rules.  But why go with ATT when you can get one on Verizon that might actually work most of the time?

Another line of note under Options is:
• Terminate your service with AT&T, with no early termination fee.
This would seem to be an excellent "Get out jail free card" for anyone who is looking to get out of an ATT contract without an ETF. (Early Termination Fee)  Just head to one of the spots on the ATT coverage map that are striped (3rd party provider) and burn up some data.  

As for me, I guess I'll be watching a LOT of Netflix on my phone until 1/27.  Oh, and updating a few gigs of maps, etc.  Consider it a parting gift.

Friday, January 9, 2015

1/9/15 Is it soup yet?

Well, it's obvious that I'm desperate for blogging topics when I'm posting recipes. :-)  But it's cold here in Florida and soup is good food. Plus we're on a diet so soup is definitely on the menu. I had a hankering for green chile stew and found a few recipes on the net, but being incapable of following a recipe I made my own stew with green chiles in it. Can't call it green chile stew as green chilies are absolutely the only the common element. Well, ok, I guess it doesn't even have "official" green chiles in it, but the poblanos are as close as I could get. And they are very green. It is yummylicious though.

2 poblano chiles, charred over a flame or roasted in the oven, and skin removed, or substitute canned chiles (You can youtube how to do this or check out this page: http://www.focusnewmexico.com/chile/chile2.htm  I might use canned next time, this charring was a pain and used too much propane)

1 small onion, chopped

1 small zucchini, chopped

1/2 T olive oil

1/2 t ground cumin

1/2 T chili powder

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, I used ones flavored with garlic etc so didn't use any added garlic. If you use plain, add a crushed garlic clove

1 14 oz can hominy, drained and well rinsed

1 can of stock, chicken or veg would work well. I used powdered bouillon and a can of water.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and saute the onions and green chiles until tender. And the garlic if you're using a clove. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, hominy, stock, cumin and chili powder. Simmer till done.  Topping with some chopped fresh cilantro would be awesome. I didn't have any.

It really came out well. More heat than I expected but just wonderful on a cold day. Next time I might add some smoked paprika to bump up the smokiness. I also might use the diced fire-roasted tomatoes, think that will be good too. I'm waffling over the idea of adding mushrooms...  Also, for those who don't care for hominy, subbing potatoes or chickpeas might be an idea. I'm sure it would work well in a crockpot too.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

1/7/15 Still parked in Florida.....

Hasn't been much of note to blog about. I did close on my lot, and my stepfather Robert has been doing what clearing that has needed to be done. It looks 1000 times better and I bet I could nearly double my money with just a few hours work. I ordered some new breakers and a 30a RV outlet which should be here in a day or two and then hopefully next week I'll get the power on.  I decided to buy a 12x20 lofted barn. If I get back up to VA I'll pick up my freezer & wine fridges & will keep them there. I was gonna let them sell with the house but if I have space for them....why not.  I moved my stuff in a 5x8 Uhaul so the building is overkill. However, Mom wants to get into ceramics so she can keep supplies there, and I can get some of my art supplies out to use when I'm here. I feel pretty confident I'll be able to sell the lot and building for more than I paid so it's a no-brainer.

Thinking of heading to the Tampa RV show.....I definitely feel the need to get out of the yard LOL

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

12/17/14 Parked in Florida

Well, there hasn't been much to report. I've been parked in Mom's yard in FL for a week or so now.  I just went into contract on a lot just up the street from her. I'm hoping we can close before New Years, and it may be possible since it's a cash sale. I'd like to either put up a storage building or get a cargo trailer and park it on it so I can get my stuff out of storage. While it's vacant land, it does have a well, septic and power pole already in place. And is mostly cleared. That's what sold me on it. When I get the electric hooked back up I'll get a 30 amp outlet installed as well and I'll have somewhere else to park when I'm in FL. While I could park in Mom's yard as long as I want, they deserve their space. I made a killer lowball cash offer, 60% of the asking price, and to my utter shock they accepted! I thought for sure they'd counter. Of course I'm glad they didn't.  I feel pretty sure it's a decent investment at that price.  I'll be really happy to get out of the storage unit.....it was really annoying me to pay for that dumpy place. This might delay my westbound trip for a while, but FL in the winter does not suck either. :-)

Another project I've been fighting with is getting my gps tracks organized and uploaded.  I have October done so far....

I'll work on getting Nov & Dec up soon.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

12/9/14 Heading to Mom's

I had my last pecan pancakes for a while and hit the road. (I don't eat at CB except when I'm staying there, and almost never eat breakfast out when not travelling. Not sure why.)  I was about 2 hrs from Mom's so it was a short driving day.

I did a little detour near Ebro as I had read of a riverfront CG that sounded interesting and I wanted to check it out for future reference.  Well, the dirt road was a little rough, and there were a lot of colorful residents along it. And signs like this never inspire confidence.

12/9/2014 10:47:25 AM

Eh, what?

12/9/2014 10:47:30 AM

This guy had it made.....had obviously been there a long time as there was a covered woodpile taller than me.

12/9/2014 10:48:13 AM

It was a pretty spot.

12/9/2014 10:48:50 AM

12/9/2014 10:49:46 AM

It wasn't much of a cg, there were only a few spots to park rvs.

12/9/2014 10:50:53 AM

Guess I'd check the weather before stopping here. There were a lot of beer bottles & stuff around. I'm sure in warmer weather it's a party spot and probably jammed with boat trailers. Not sure if my comfort level would allow me to camp here. Maybe the guys wandering around only looked sketchy.

12/9/2014 10:51:12 AM

A few miles from the house, I pulled into this little marina to brush my hair, change, and do a little tidying before seeing Mom. The store was out of business and the place was deserted so I parked a little close to the boat ramp. No sooner did I get out of the rig to stretch did a truck pulling a boat trailer pull in, and stop short of where I was parked. I was like, "Are you freaking kidding me???? No one around and the MOMENT I stop, here comes someone who HAS to use this ramp, and not the other one right next to it! Unreal!" I let out a big sigh and started walking over to the RV, then saw there was a car behind the truck. It just gets better. Then I took a second look at the car & my jaw dropped as I realized it was Mom! And the truck was Robert!  What are the odds on that one?? She had told me they might pull the pontoon boat out of the water today but I assumed they'd use the ramp a few blocks from their house. It turns out that one is too shallow.  It was just too funny. We left the truck there & headed to the house for lunch & to get the boat.

12/9/2014 11:46:10 AM

We had lunch and hoped the wind would die down a bit, but finally decided to give it a shot. While windy, it was a gorgeous day.

12/9/2014 2:52:49 PM

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12/9/2014 2:59:44 PM

12/9/2014 3:01:30 PM

12/9/2014 3:09:06 PM

While it's very hard to tell from this pic, this is a bald eagle.

12/9/2014 3:14:33 PM

12/9/2014 3:15:48 PM

This was the biggest nest I've ever seen here. It's like a high rise nest condo!

12/9/2014 3:18:36 PM

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12/9/2014 3:43:45 PM

Rose "assisting"

12/9/2014 3:44:34 PM

12/9/2014 3:45:02 PM

12/9/2014 3:46:36 PM

12/9/2014 3:46:47 PM

I'll be parked here in Mom's yard till sometime in January. Hopefully I'll do a few short trips, we'll see.

Monday, December 8, 2014

12/8/14 Pass Christian to FL

I think I've fixed the timestamps on these pics so they're correct.  I took another walk on the beach then decided to head further east & explore more of the area.  I was blown away by how pretty the beached were, and how deserted.  There was just no one around.

Watching the shrimp boats head in

12/8/2014 11:38:31 AM

Parked in Pass Christian
12/8/2014 11:47:26 AM

Pass Christian MS
12/8/2014 12:24:19 PM

I stopped and bought some shrimp from a boat here. (Not this one)

12/8/2014 12:24:28 PM

Shaggy's on the water
12/8/2014 12:26:16 PM

Shrimp boats
12/8/2014 12:28:11 PM

I had asked the shrimp seller where to eat, and he said Shaggy's was good but expensive. But the view was killer!

12/8/2014 12:28:33 PM

Crab stacker.  Crab cakes & fried green tomatoes.

12/8/2014 12:49:19 PM

Shrimp PoBoy

12/8/2014 1:04:16 PM

12/8/2014 1:49:04 PM

12/8/2014 1:51:18 PM

12/8/2014 1:52:02 PM

Cute decorated boat in Pass Christian
12/8/2014 1:52:17 PM

12/8/2014 1:53:40 PM

Gorgeous deserted beaches in Mississippi
12/8/2014 2:21:43 PM

I continued driving on 90 through Gulfport and Biloxi. They were a little too overcrowded for my taste.  I got back on I-10 and headed east.  According to the Garmin I could make Panama City by 8pm. I wasn't really up to it though, and by Crestview FL I had had enough.  I stopped at the Cracker Barrel there and got permission to stay the night. I had dinner there, which was fairly lackluster except for the baked sweet potato.  I'm just never that impressed with their dinners....I need to stick with pancakes :-)  The spot in the back of the lot that I had chosen was really unlevel so I moved to one of the RV spots, which had the added benefit of being close enough to Hooters to pull in their wifi with the external antenna. It was a pretty quiet night.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

12/7/14 Heading to Pass Christian

It was a very quiet night at the Hammond Camping World.  I wanted to get out of there before they opened as they're pretty iffy on the overnight parking thing so I didn't want to be seen as abusing it.  When I had asked the night before they said "No" initially.  I think the gal only relented because it was 15 minutes prior to closing, it was dark, and I probably looked exhausted.  So I thought lingering would be a bit rude. Thank god they open at 10 am on Sundays. :-)

Leaving the store I came upon this scene right before the entrance to I-10. Since I didn't feel like sitting waiting for this, and the detour took me by Cracker Barrel, I stopped for pancakes. :-)

12/7/2014 8:16:30 AM

I continued on I-10 to the MS State line.  They have a really nice welcome center, and the Infinity Science Center, an annex of NASAs Stennis Space Center, nearby. Unfortunately that was closed on Sunday so I guess I'll catch it next time. I got onto highway 90 and drove through Waveland and Bay St. Louis before ending up in Pass Christian MS.  I had read of a place you could park for 1 night right next to the beach.  Wow. Just wow.  These beaches are incredible.

12/7/2014 12:13:09 PM

12/7/2014 12:14:20 PM

12/7/2014 12:16:08 PM

12/7/2014 12:16:16 PM

I found this little gal on the beach. She was still alive, but barely, claws waving feebly.

12/7/2014 12:20:44 PM

I flipped her over and then put her back in the water.  Unfortunately she didn't make it.

12/7/2014 12:21:27 PM

Big firepit on the beach. You need a permit to use it.

12/7/2014 12:45:27 PM

12/7/2014 12:58:50 PM

12/7/2014 1:05:45 PM

This pier belonged to a multi million dollar mansion across the street from the beach.  There is apparently some $$ in this town.

12/7/2014 1:14:33 PM

12/7/2014 1:16:19 PM

One of the mansions.

12/7/2014 1:22:58 PM

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12/7/2014 3:27:30 PM

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12/7/2014 3:33:56 PM

The sunset was just incredible.

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Sunset in Pass Christian. Unedited. straight out of the camera. (Olympus)
12/7/2014 3:45:01 PM

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12/7/2014 3:52:18 PM

12/7/2014 3:59:31 PM

Sunset in Pass Christian. Unedited. straight out of the camera. (Olympus)
12/7/2014 4:06:23 PM

12/7/2014 4:12:30 PM