Monday, October 31, 2005

7PM - We are soooo sorry for not being able to post the Blog!
We tried very hard to be online all day long. We can only guess how many of our readers tried to tune in, only to find nothing was posted in our Blog for today. We want you to know that it just was not possible to go online. We tried so many things, and only in the early evening were we able to surf the net again.

Below is what happened today.

10AM - New D3 Datastorm controller delivered.
From the time when the new D3 Datastorm controller was delivered by UPS at 10AM, all the way until 5PM, Mr. Chips, Mr. Datastorm and George worked liked crazy trying to get back online. Nothing worked! Wow!

The new D3 controller didn't work. Even the new 6000 modem worked really weird. We must have made phone calls for support to Motosat at least 50+ times today. Finally, we regretfully decided to go back to our old D1 Datastorm controller and old 4000 modems.

D1 Controller and 4000 modem hookup.
We were very lucky to find that our old 4000 modems were still commissioned.  This meant that these modems would still be able to go online to our present satellite.  This lucky thing was a clue to us, that we were now headed in the right direction. Apparently we were NOT supposed to go with the new D3 controller at this time. Anyway, that is how our thinking went. There had to be a reason why Mr. Datastorm was not able to work correctly for almost a week.

Then we found that our old 4000 transmitting modem went bad! You are probably thinking, "What else could go wrong?" Luckily, we had two backup 4000 transmitting modems aboard MsTioga.  We installed one of these modems, and tried to use it. But then our power supply overheated! Man-O-Man!! This Datastrom thing is really testing our faith.  And, you just gotta have faith!

5PM - Shut everything down and invited Cousin Jacky out to supper.
We decided that is was time to back off from all of this Datastorm stuff for awhile. So, Cousin Jacky was invited to go out for supper at a nearby In-N-Out Burger. Wow! Love those fries and burgers.

7PM - Return to MsTioga and Mr. Datastorm.
Upon coming back, we found that the high temperature of the afternoon had come down with the nite. Our power supply had cooled down, and worked great now. Mr. Datastorm started up, and immediately we were online. Just the way it is supposed to be.

Good lesson for the TiogaRV Team!
We believe that this was a test for us. All of these trials with Mr. Datastorm were a test of our faith, and of our goal to stay cool when things are tough. Do you know the song that goes?

You gotta have heart,
Miles and miles and miles of heart,
When the odds are saying you'll never win,
That's when the grin must start...!




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Sunday, October 30, 2005

9PM - Mr. Datastorm tries to get online!
Several times today, Mr. Datastorm tried to get online with his wounded D3 controller, and could not do it. But now we are online! Would you like to know what happened today? Hmmmm?

6AM - Heading out to Cousin Jacky's home.
Cousin Jacky lives about 20 miles away from last nite's Camp. Mr. Datastorm has some work that needs to be done to his antenna, and we want to do that work before going to Jacky's home.

Over the past several days, we have been hearing sounds from Mr. Datastorm's antenna mount that sounded like one of his bolts was coming loose. Near to Jacky's home, we pulled into a place where it would be OK to go onto MsTioga's roof to tighten this loose bolt.

7AM - Working on Mr. Datastorm's antenna.
Once before, Mr. Datastorm's pivot bolt got loose, and we took the problem to a Datastorm dealer. Now we know how to tighten this pivot bolt ourselves. So, we did.

First we had to remove a sprocket and chain to gain access to the locknut on the pivot bolt. Then the entire head had to be rotated in order to be able to put a wrench on the pivot bolt's head. We found that the bolt was very loose. After tightening the bolt down, we tested the Datastorm and it works perfectly again. It took a couple hours to finish this job. It is a lucky thing that we love to do repair and maintenance projects!

11AM - Visiting with Cousin Jacky.
Jacky and George have always been very close. Even when we do not see each other for a long time, when we get together again that close feeling is strong. Jacky and George grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same grammar school. Each summer while growing up, Jacky and George played together at the family cabin in Tujunga Canyon. Wow! We had good times there and even today talked about building dams across the creek that flowed behind the cabin.

Jacky prepared a lovely supper serving a salmon roast that was sooooo good.

Mr. Datastorm's new D3 Controller arrives tomorrow.
Everybody on The Team is hoping that the new D3 will fix Mr. Datastorm's problems. It is really tough not being able to go online and talk to you when we want to share what is going on.

Lazy Daze RV factory visit.
An email was received from reader Lester, wondering why we did not give more information about the Lazy Daze factory, their product, and what we thought about this RV company. We plan to publish a webpage about Lazy Daze within the next few days. But we will tell you right now, that the Lazy Daze factory is the highest quality RV plant that we have seen.



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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Mr. Datastorm and The Team are sooooo happy to be online again!
Would you like to hear what happened? Hmmmmm? You do? OK, then!

When Mr. Datastorm looks for his Space Station, he must be configured to use a DirecWay modem. However, there is another configuration option available, called Generic Modem. We tried using this Generic Modem in order to tune into our DirecTV satellite and watch TV. To our surprise, this Generic Modem worked. This morning Mr. Datastorm tried using Generic Modem to find our internet Space Station uplink which is called AMC9 83W. Guess what happened?! Mr. Datastorm's antenna went directly to AMC9 83W and we were online. You should have seen everybody on The Team cheering when Mr. Chips tried finding Google, and the Google page came up!!

Wow! We are soooooo happy to be connected to you again and to be able to share with you again!!

Going to visit a friend this morning.
At 10 AM, we have a date to visit David Diamond and his wife Marlyne. They live in the City of Newport Beach. David is George's oldest friend.

4PM - Wonderful visit.
It is a terrific thing to have friends that go back to the beginning of my life. David Diamond is one of those friends. We had a fantastic time sharing. David and I were born less than one week apart, and we will both be 68 toward the end of November. When we were infants, our mothers were best friends and strolled the main street in City Terrace (Los Angeles) pushing our baby carriages.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Mr. Datastorm's new D3 Controller may have blown itself to pieces!
Well, perhaps blown itself to pieces is a bit of a stretch of our imagination. But, the D3 seems to be completely locked up. It is very likely, that this will be our last post until a new D3 controller is received late Monday afternoon.

I've missed very few daily posts since beginning to travel with MsTioga in May, 2003. However, I am planning to write about what happens in the few days between now and next Monday, and will publish those happenings when I am back online again.

Bye for now,
MsTioga and The Team



Follow-up to the above post.
Early Saturday morning, Mr. Datastorm used an untried method to find his Space Station uplink. And guess what?! It worked!! Wow! So, we are publishing below what happened on Friday, October 28.

Trying to get Mr. Datastorm working again.
We have not given up on our Mr. Datastorm, since it is not clear what is wrong. All that we know is, that last nite Mr. Datastorm had a big problem when we tried to upload the newest software version for his new D3 controller. After that upload, nothing would work and Mr. Datastorm's dish had to be lowered by hand. Of course Mr. Datastorm was very upset, and even this morning his little blue lights will not work properly. When Ben the lead technician at Motosat comes to work he will give us a call and we will find out if anything can be done today.

10AM - Motosat recommended going to visit a Datastorm dealer.
We made an appointment to see a Datastorm dealer in the City of Anaheim. However, on the way down there, Mr. Datastorm's system must have gotten a little bit better. When we arrived at the Datastorm dealer, we found that the dish is now able to move again, but cannot find the space station. We decided not to try and work on Mr. Datastorm until Monday.  The replacement D3 Datastorm controller will be received at Cousin Jacky's home on Monday.

Wow! It is hard not to be able to share with you what we are doing, as we do it. At least we can make these pages that we are writing now, and publish them to share with you when we are again online.  Man-O-Man!!

1PM - Wireless router not working.
You are not going to believe it, but the new Linksys wireless rounter stopped working. We thought that the problem was with Ms. GQ our laptop.  But when we took Ms. GQ into Fry's to get checked out, Ms. GQ tuned into Fry's wireless network. We phoned Linksys for support, and somehow over the phone they got the router to work. There is soooooo much to learn about this new equipment. Everything has its own address, and we do not know what those addresses are or how to use them yet. A real challenge!

4PM - Day Camped in the City of Orange.
We found a small park in Orange, and made a Day Camp. We will likely eat supper here and stay until early evening, then find a Nite Camp close by.

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MsTioga and George without Mr. Datastorm up and on the Space Station!!





10PM - Leaving Olive Park.
Olive Park had 10PM closing signs, so we headed south a short ways and found our Nite Camp across from an industrial plant. It's sort of quiet here.

A Team Member is sick.
Yes, and that Team Member is George. I do not remember ever being sick since I began traveling in MsTioga. It's a tummy problem and I hope it goes away fast. I never feel good when I am sick!



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Thursday, October 27, 2005

5AM - Testing Mr. Datastrorm's new system.
Mr. Datastorm is happy with his new system, but wants it to perform much better than it is. So, we were up very ealrly playing around with finding the space station. Mr. Datastorm knows that new things take time to learn, and we will learn everything in time.
 
7AM - Heading east to the Town of Montclair.
Do you remember that we are going on a tour of the Lazy Daze RV factory today? We are crazy about looking at RV manufacturing plants.

Stopped at the Wal-Mart.
A few miles down the road, we spotted a Wal-Mart. We need to buy motor oil and a roof vent cap for MsTioga, so we stopped. While we are here, we made a Breakfast Camp.   Out the window is the huge Highway #10, also called the San Bernardino Freeway.  Traffic is intense!

Note to all of our readers:
I have been working for several hours to resolve a glitch in the new D3 Datastorm operating system. Just a few moments ago, I was able to get online for the first time since the early afternoon. It is not possible to tell if this fix will be permanent. Compounding these difficulties with the D3, DirecWay the satellite provider, has been having problems as well.

Whatever happens, you should know that I will keep trying to be online. With new electronic equipment, we have to expect some glitches. I have a lot of faith in the Datastorm and DirecWay people.  I have found that if I will just believe, things turn out great!  OK?

The following was posted at nite, after I got back online:
1PM - Touring the Lazy Daze Plant.
I did not have any idea what kind of factory the Lazy Daze RV plant would be. It was a surprise to find an older group of buildings. Not at all impressive. No attempt to be modern. This is an old time company, with old time values.

I first spoke to a fellow named Steve. Later I found out that Steve not only ran the manufacturing operation, but is co-owner of Lazy Daze with his father Ed. I toured the manufacturing area of Lazy Daze with Ed, who is a spry 80 year old man. I is very clear after only a few minutes walking and talking with Ed, how much the quality of his RV manufacturing plant mean to him.

I have been thru the Monaco RV plant in Oregon, and the Fleetwood plant in Southern California. Both of these giant plants are impressive. However, Lazy Daze produces an RV that is far and away a much better engineered and clearly a higher quality vehicle.

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Touring the Lazy Daze RV manufacturing plant in Montclair, California.



4PM - Trying to get the Datastorm to work again.
It took several hours of work to get the Datastorm problem resolved. I found out that there was a download that might correct the problem that the new Datastorm D3 controller had getting online. However, this download required me to be online. Wow! What a Catch-22.



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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

3AM - Plunging into L.A. County.
Los Angeles County may not be a happy place to travel for MsTioga during the daytime. So, we decided to travel in the early morning hours. Los Angeles County is a huge place!  The Team is heading across the widest part of the County in order to tour the Lazy Daze RV plant in the Town of Montclair tomorrow.

5AM - Morning Camped in East Los Angeles.
Our early morning trip took us thru the San Fernando Valley, then thru the downtown of the City of Los Angeles. We passed the famous Capitol Records building and huge Hollywood sign. The traffic was pretty light, and MsTioga had no problems at this very early hour. By the time we reached our destination in East Los Angeles, we had travelled 45 miles and were only about half way across L.A. County. Wow! 

11AM - Computer networking and Changing MsTioga's oil.
Mr. Chips and Ms. GQ spent part of the morning trying to be able to share files over our new network. It seems that we have a lot to learn about networking, because we could not figure out how to do this file sharing.

MsTioga reminded that her oil change is due now. So, we will change it today. Some readers have wondered what is done with our used oil? We collect the used oil in a container made especially for this purpose, and deposit this oil at an auto parts store that collects it.

2PM - Working on MsTioga in City Terrace County Park.
Did you know that George grew up in the East Los Angeles community of City Terrace? Hmmmm? Born there, raised here, and left when he was 25 years old when he got married. We on The Team know this place pretty well.

MsTioga got her oil changed, and we are doing this chore in double quick time now. Draining the oil used to be messy, but since we bought this giant long funnel, it's easy and clean! MsTioga had some of her grill work loose, so that was fixed up too.

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George and MsTioga doing maintenance stuff in City Terrace County Park.



6PM - Supper Camped in Monterey Park.
Making fried salmon with potatoes and brussel sprouts! Love breaded and fried foods.



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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

5AM - Los Angeles, California.
Driving in the Los Angeles area is a true adventure. There are more vehicles on the road here at 5AM then many major areas have at rush hour. Tiny cars careen around MsTioga going 70+ while we are traveling a 55mph. We decided to go off the #101 Freeway and park for aFinawhile. We found a parking lot for office buildings in the City of Thousand Oaks, and will stay here until the lot begins to fill up.

Mr. Datastorm's dilemma.
Nobody knows what is wrong with Mr. Datastorm's new equipment. We know that it doesn't work, but we don't know why. At Motosat, we have been talking to Ben, their lead tech person. Maybe Ben can figure out what is wrong? Of course we still have our older model Datastorm system, which is working fine.

10AM - Mr. Datastorm is soooo happy!
Mr. Datastorm tried and tried and tried. He tried so many things. Finally the new system found the satellite. Wow!!

We are typing this celebration post from Ms. GQ, our new laptop computer. Everybody on The Team is so very proud of Mr. Datastorm because he never gives up!

2PM - Learning about the New D3 Datastorm.
There is a bunch of stuff to learn about the new D3. However, the D3 is very intuitive, and not difficult to learn. MsTioga moved to a new location so that Mr. Datastorm could test himself again. We are online at the new location, and the D3 seems to be working fine.

The LinkSys Wireless router needs to be replaced, and we have received permission from Motosat to return the one that they supplied. When the router is working correctly, Mr. Chips and Ms. GQ will be able to be on the internet from anyplace close to MsTioga without a cable! There is a Best Buy a short distance away from our Day Camp, and we are going shopping there for a new LinkSys Wireless Router.

Don't you just love that name? "Wireless Router." It sounds so Star Trek like!

3PM - New wireless router.
The new wireless router works great on Ms. GQ! All we do to go online now, is turn on our electric power and press "Search" on the D3 controller. Mr. Datastorm goes up, finds his space station uplink, and that is that. Do you want to know something fantastic? Hmmmm? Mr. Chips used 14 amps together with the old D1 system. The new system with Ms. GQ, only uses 5 amps. Wow!

5PM - Supper Camped in Thousand Oaks.
We found a Camp in an office neighborhood, and believe that this street will be safe and quiet for sleeping. Tonite for supper is the leftover chunky fried chicken salad. Love that fried chicken.

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Ms. GQ is wireless now!





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Monday, October 24, 2005

8AM - Breakfast in Oxnard!!
Guess what The Team did this morning? We went out to breakfast with Sharon and Bob, very good friends of ours who live in Oxnard. After breakfast, we drove to Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard to talk.

Bob has helped The Team a great deal. In April, 2004 when we announced our intention to stop our journey in order to get a job to pay the bills, Bob helped us with our new publishing business. Bob's encouragement, has resulted in the Google AdSense income from this publishing business. Without that AdSense income, we would have had to quit traveling.

Thank you sooooo much, Bob!! Without you we would have missed so much of our wonderful journey!

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Bob, Sharon, George and MsTioga at the harbor.



11AM - Changing Mr. Datastorm's equipment.
Do you remember that Mr. Datastorm showed you all of his new equipment last week? There is a new controller, a new modem and a new wireless network system.

We have made a Day Camp in an industrial section of the City of Oxnard, with a clear view of the southern sky. This new equipment will be installed, and very soon we will find out how well it works! Everybody on The Team is soooooo excited for Mr. Datastorm!

5PM - Poor Mr. Datastorm!
Mr. Datastorm worked sooooo hard all of the afternoon! His new controller, modem and even his wireless router would not work right! Mr. Datastorm told everybody that he knows that he will able to get his new system working, and to just have faith and patience in his new stuff. So, of course we are all being patient and have faith in our Mr. Datastorm.

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George says, "Sometimes you just gotta have faith and keep trying until you succeed."





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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Heading south out of Santa Barbara.
Aunt Shirley prepared a wonderful Sunday going away breakfast, with a bagel, lox (smoked salmon), fresh fruit (from her garden) and coffee. Wow!

As we were going thru MsTioga's starting check-off list, we found that Mr. Dometic was not operating. We decided to take off and check out Mr. Dometic in the Town of Carpinteria, a short distance down the road.

11AM - Day Camped in Carpinteria.
The Team has a favorite Day Camp in Carpinteria, along the Bailard Avenue turnoff from Hwy #101. We were soooo happy to find that during the past year, this once dead-end road has been turned into a lovely park! Man-O-Man!

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George and MsTioga look at the new park at Bailard Avenue in Carpinteria.



Checking out Mr. Dometic.
We found that Mr. Dometic had something wrong with his tiny computer board, so we pulled his power to clear the memory. Mr. Dometic started right up and is cooling fine now. Putting Mr. Dometic on MsTioga's starting check-off list has turned out to be such a good thing. In checking Mr. Dometic often, we have been able to correct problems quickly that before we did not notice until much later.

Fry's Electronics in Oxnard.
The Team is at Fry's, to shop for a new radio for MsTioga's dash. When MsTioga found that her radio was going bad, she said; "Oh no! Not another thing going wrong! Readers will think that I am a big old $money pit$."

What do you think? Hmmmm? Is MsTioga a big old $money pit$?

What happened with the radio was, that a short while ago, there began to be no sound until the volume would be turned way up, and even then it was still not very loud. We are going to shop for an XM ready radio with a CD player, in order to have a direct connection with Tunes (our XM receiver).

6PM - MsTioga's new radio is wonderful.
We bought a Panisonic radio with a CD player, and it connects directly up to Tunes. The sound that Tunes plays now is so clear! Much, much, much better than before. Wow!

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Mauricio installs the new radio at Fry's and the Panisonic installed.



7PM - Nite Camped at Bob and Sharon's place in Oxnard!
Tomorrow, we will tell you all about how Bob helped The Team sooooo much. Tonite MsTioga is making supper for the three of us. A nice fried chicken salad. Yummmm!



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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Last Day in Santa Barbara.
Today we will be having a great time visiting with Uncle Seymour and Aunt Shirley. Tomorrow morning MsTioga will be heading south again, continuing our journey to Mexico. Of course we will not be going directly to Mexico. There is much exploring to do along the way.

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George puts Twee out for his sunbath at Uncle Seymour and Aunt Shirley's home.



Touring the Lazy Daze factory.
When we reach the Los Angeles area, one thing that we want to do is visit the Lazy Daze factory in the City of Montclair, east of Los Angeles. This will be the third RV factory that we've toured. We have been to the Fleetwood plant in Riverside, California and the Monaco factory in Coburg, Oregon.

The Lazy Daze factory is of particular interest, because Lazy Daze sells directly to the RV owner, no dealer is involved. Lazy Daze coaches are only built after the order is received. Quality of Lazy Daze coaches is legendary.



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