Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Last day in Concord.
Tomorrow morning, son David will drive me to the Amtrak train in Martinez. So today is my last full day in Concord. I'll be visiting with Aunt Shirley and Uncle Seymour in Santa Barbara. It's about a 10 hour train trip and only costs $41 [for seniors].

On Friday morning the Santa Barbara Airbus takes me to Los Angeles International Airport where I'll take an airplane back to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Little Mavicita, Ms. Viola and I wonder how MsTioga and Little Boid are doing?


No Google Maps today.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Movies on my iPod!
I've got to let you know that I love my iPod Touch! It is sooooooo easy to use. I'm learning new things about my iPod Touch everyday.

It is very easy to move movies from iTunes to my iPod Touch. Just put the video in the iTunes library, hook up the iPod Touch and iTunes does the rest. However, getting movies from a DVD on to Ms. Viola's hard drive was tough. I tried software for ripping DVDs and then converting the movie to iPod Touch format. Nothing worked great.

I've found that good software always is intuitive to use. And good software works. Good software is completely debugged. When I find good software, I know it immediately.

When I stumbled on to "Xilisoft DVD to iPod Converter" [link] it worked perfectly. The DVD movie was moved from the DVD file in great resolution and in iPod Touch format. The software told me where the DVD was stored on my hard drive. Very important because sometimes files get lost, or are hard to locate. I recommend this Xilisoft software to you if you own an iPod Touch.

Good time in the USA!

I love visiting at son David's home in the City of Concord, California. The hills surrounding David's home are covered with green grass in the springtime. It is soooooo beautiful.

David is a very busy guy because of work. Flying around on business trips and working into the night at home in order to be prepared. However, yesterday David did some laid back stuff. Pulled weeds in his garden. I watched him weeding and we talked.
A few feet from David's home.


No Google Maps today.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Find my way back!
One of the things that I want to do with the new Garmin Nuvi GPS, is to take it out into the wilds on a hike and find my way back. Only I was not able to make the Nuvi behave.

Have you found that your children are better at electronic gizmos than you? I mentioned to son David about not being able to use the Nuvi on hikes. "Let me have a look at it.", David told me. In a couple of minutes David had figured it out. He found under Tools>Usage Mode [Automobile, Bicycle, Pedestrian].

I picked "Pedestrian" and took a walk around the block. The Nuvi tracked me! Told me the speed that I walked [about 2.5 miles/hour]. A little blue line showed my path.

Pretty neat, huh?

Fish dinner!
Son David prepared fish dinner. His neighbor gave him a trout. Got a lotta bones. But it is sooooooo good!
Trout for dinner.


No Google Maps today.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Newest member of The Team!
Yes! There is a new member on the TiogaRV Team! An iPod Touch! What is an iPod Touch anyway? I have to confess to you, that although I have been messing with computers since 1980, I've not kept up with most of the new products such as this iPod Touch.

I picked up iPod Touch at the WalMart in Martinez, California. It may seem as though I've been spending $money$ like water lately. $230 for this iPod. But this thing is just amazing. Only a little bigger than 2" x 4". Not only does the iPod Touch use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet, it also plays movies and music.

This morning I "synched" the movie "Cinderella Man" to the iPod. I still don't understand how I did this synching thing, but using iTunes, this movie is now available on my iPod. Can you imagine that? In gorgeous clarity and wonderful sound!
Tiny and powerful iPod Touch.

Thank God for System Restore!

This evening when Ms. Viola, our hard working laptop computer turned on, her wireless adapter failed! The little green wireless light would go off during boot-up. Ms. Viola decided to boot-up in Safe Mode. The wireless adapter worked fine in Safe Mode.

That's when we figured that some new software or automatic update went wrong. So, we did a System Restore to March 27th and now everything is working fine again!


No Google Maps today.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Using Garmin Nuvi 750.
Yesterday afternoon my new Garmin Nuvi 750 GPS arrived! Taking the Nuvi 750 out into son David's backyard, it quickly found its location. Using the Nuvi 750 is pretty intuitive.

The touch-screen offers a "qwerty" keyboard for destination input. I typed in Uncle Seymour and Aunt Shirley's address in Santa Barbara [I'm visiting them next week]. The Nuvi quickly found their home and began to direct me with a lady's voice.

This morning I've installed the Nuvi into son David's car using the convenient suction-cup mount and the power cord adapter. The Nuvi 750 had no problem working even though it is located on the control panel of the car, well below the windows.
Garmin Nuvi 750.

Driving to WalMart with Nuvi running.
The Nuvi easily located the WalMart in Martinez, California. The Nuvi 750 allows voice directions to be transmitted to a car radio. There was only one error made during this trip. Very close to the WalMart, Nuvi instructed a right instead of a left turn.

So far, Nuvi is doing great!

The Bucket List
This evening I watched "The Bucket List", a movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. They play guys with terminal cancer who decide to do all the things that they wished they had done before they "kick the bucket." They prepare what they call the bucket list of those things.

I did somewhat the same thing when I had cancer. That's how I got to be traveling around in MsTioga living off the fat of the land!

Are there still things left on my bucket list? Yes! And I pray to God that I'll get to do them!


No Google Maps today.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

iPod Touch is just too much!
Why am I going crazy about buying an iPod Touch? If I understand the features of the iPod Touch, it comes with Wi-Fi capability. This means that an iPod Touch is able to connect up with Mr. Datastorm's wireless router! Wow! I can be out on the beach at Matanchen with my tiny iPod Touch, and be cruising the internet. Or reading my email. Listening to music!

As the Apple people say, "The funnest iPod ever!" [link]

I've not bought an iPod Touch yet because they are out-of-stock everywhere I checked. However, Fry's Electronics is getting 10 of them soon!

Shipping hazardous stuff to Mexico.
The reason it is tough shipping Must For Rust [link] and Caig DeOxIT [link] to Mexico is that these items are classified as hazardous materials. However, as I wrote to you yesterday, a company called "Paquetes A Mexico" told me on the phone that they are able to handle these two items. Paquestes is the ONLY company that told me "yes" about shipping this stuff to Mexico.

So, this morning I'll ship four bottles of Must For Rust and two cans of Caig DeOxIT by UPS to "Paquetes A Mexico" in Southern California. I've already made arrangements with the "Mail Boxes etc" store in Puerto Vallarta to receive this stuff. "Mail Boxes etc" has offered to pay the customs due if the charges are not too much. I estimate that Mexican customs will charge about $20US. I'll reimburse "Mail Boxes etc" for the customs they paid when I return to Puerto Vallarta on April 3rd.

MsTioga's rusty underside.
The reason that it is soooooo important to get Must For Rust into Mexico, is that MsTioga's underside has gotten rusty from being on the beach this winter. I could have slowed the rust by applying thick oil, which many people in Mexico suggested. But this oil stuff did not go over well with MsTioga!

Sand blasting MsTioga's underside seemed prohibitive, and also I was not able to find a company in Mexico to do this sandblast. But several people that I met in Mexico swear by this Must For Rust stuff. The guy at Ace Hardware where I bought Must For Rust claimed that he knew of several of his customers who love this product.


No Google Maps today.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stunned on Tuesday!
Yesterday I drove with son David to the Concord BART station at 4am. Wow! David flew to Kansas City on a business trip. An early morning flight. I accompanied David to the BART station in order to have use of his car while he is gone.

I'd made the mistake of turning on the TV the prior nite. Bad for me because I am addicted to TV. I stayed up passed midnite watching the tube. Not good. Gotta stay away from that TV! As you may know, MsTioga does not have a TV connection.

So, yesterday was spent in somewhat a stunned condition. Recovering from staying up too late watching TV Monday nite, and awakening at 4am on Tuesday morning. My brain did not kick in all day long yesterday!

Now it is Wednesday, and the brain is doing fine!

Note: BART is the Bay Area Rapid Transit system for the San Francisco, California vicinity.

5PM - Shopping, shopping, shopping!
All day long I've been shopping. And buying too! The first buy is a very high quality pair of Teva sandals. I used to buy cheap rubber sandals from the WalMart. However, time proved these WalMart sandals to not last long. Son David and friends told me of the Teva brand. Paid $79.95 for them. These Tevas look good.

The next thing on the list is a pair of moccasin style slippers. These slippers have rubber souls that allow walking outside. Paid only $16.99 for the slippers at the Payless Shoe Store in the Sun Valley Mall in Concord, California.

Although I did not buy an "Apple iPod Touch", I sure would like to buy one. The iPod Touch that I looked at did not have a phone or camera included. It has 8 gigabytes of storage and is described as being a 2nd generation model. The price $220 at Fry's Electronics.

Shipping to Mexico.
In last week's blog, I wrote to you about the difficulties in shipping liquids across the border into Mexico. This morning I found a company in Southern California named, "Paquetes a Mexico." This company is owned by Mexican guys who help customers with the problems involved with shipping from the United States to Mexico.

I had almost given up searching. But as you may know, I hate to give up!

If "Paquetes a Mexico" works for me, I'll be able to ship Caig DeoxIT [link] and Must for Rust [link] to Mexico.


No Google Maps today.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ali the burger guy.
While doing errands this morning I went to the post office in the City of Concord. Coming out of the post office was Ali, the guy who bought my hamburger restaurant, Evie's Hamburgers in Walnut Creek.

What a surprise! I was soooooo happy to see him. I'd started Evie's Hamburgers in 1980 and sold it to Ali in 1989. Ali bought a home in Concord, raised his family and put kids thru college on the income from this restaurant.

And what a lucky thing for me to see Ali this morning. It did my heart good to meet Ali and listen to him tell his success story.

Son David in Kansas City.
This morning my son David flew to Kansas City on a business trip. David returns on Saturday. This afternoon I'm house sitting for David. A construction company is coming here between 1pm and 4pm to replace some windows.


No Google Maps today.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Garmin Nuvi 750 GPS
Well, the GPS that I bought is a Garmin Nuvi 750 with a with a 4.3" diagonal touch screen. It is being shipped from Tiger Direct and costs $201.98 including shipping.

I've received a ton of advice from Readers on which GPS to buy. And I thank you soooooo much for that!

11AM - Trip home.

On our way back home, we took a trip around Yosemite Park. Little Mavicita captured some pics for you to see!
Upper Yosemite Falls in snow.

Half Dome in spring time snow.

George and Joe at
Hwy 41 overlook.

World famous Marsh
Creek Road eyeball.
[Contra Costa County, California]


No Google Maps today.