Archive for February, 2012

RV Shopping

trailer.jpgWe drove to El Mirage today to look at RV trailers for rent. Not mentioning any names, but when we pulled in the lot and started to inspect the trailers, Damsel noticed quite a few things that were below par for her taste in travel accommodations. I won’t go into details, but we packed up and headed back up the road to an RV Dealer we know about. I actually planned for this eventuality, and had the GPS already programmed for the dealers lot.

Image: 26 foot RV we’re considering (courtesy Damsel). Click to enlarge.

Damsel and I walked around the lot looking at the different sizes and flavors of RV trailers. A very nice salesman, “Bob,” answered questions without being pushy. He left us to wander through the models and talk amongst ourselves. Damsel and I both liked the trailer shown in the image. It has a nice floor plan and lots of features we like.

Now for the hard part - getting all the numbers crunched and to come up with a plan to get financing, insurance and whatever else in place. We’re still committed to get to the great annular eclipse of 2012, one way or another.

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A New Camera on the Way

sx40.pngIn 2011, I had to “guess” at the rate for Federal and State withholding. It’s a long story, but in 2010, we had some unusual situations due to building a house and the finances associated therewith. So in the 2011 tax return, we got quite a large refund. We’re happy to have the money, but sad to have loaned the government interest-free cash.

Image: Canon SX40 HS - Click on the image to enlarge.

I have a couple of old Canon PowerShot cameras, both of which have their shortcomings. One is beat up from several drops and the other has a malfunction in the download software. So, having looked at that, I decided to get a middle-of-the-line Canon SX40 HS 12.1MP Digital Camera with 35x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-inch Vari-Angle Wide LCD. Damsel already has the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi SLR camera which, as regular readers know, does an excellent job.

So the new camera is on the way and should be here in a few day’s time. I’m looking forward to some of the advanced features that improve on the older cameras capabilities. With some travel dates in the not-too-distant-future, I think it will work out well.

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Solar Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)

cme-still.jpgI just love these 3D colorized graphics that depict the motion of solar events in space. This one shows a CME directed almost directly toward Earth and Mars. Click on the image at right to view the animated CME path as forecast.

From SpaceWeather.com:

CME TARGETS EARTH, MARS:

A coronal mass ejection (CME) launched from the sun on Feb. 24th appears set to hit both Earth and Mars. According to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the cloud should reach Earth today, Feb. 26th around 1330 UT, followed by Mars two days later. Click to view the CME’s animated forecast track.

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Grand Orange Roses

These lovely roses are in the vase this weekend. We got them yesterday during our regular weekly trip to the supermarket. I love the orange color! Click on the image to enlarge.

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Fuel Prices Up 15% Since Jan. 1st

I can remember Senator Charles Schumer (D -NY) standing in front of the pumps and blaming Bush for the high cost of fuel. Well, now that the same effects of not drilling (courtesy Congress and the Whitehouse) are showing up at the pumps, I doubt that any Democrats are going to decry this administration’s policies. Meanwhile, ANWR, Gulf Oil and domestic drilling lie fallow.

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Cleveland Sage Flower

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We were in the courtyard this afternoon and discovered our first Cleveland Sage Flower. Not only is it very pretty, but the fragrance is very sweet. We planted three bushes in the courtyard last June, and this is the first time a flower has appeared. The landscaper says that when there are many of these open at the same time that the fragrance can fill the whole courtyard. I can’t wait! Click on the image to enlarge.

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A Tale of Two Mountains

Mount Rushmore’s faces took fourteen years to carve in the sandstone of the Black Hills of South Dakota. Mount Obama took less than three years to build (admittedly with a head start from previous administrations). Ramirez notes this in his cartoon today:

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p.s. Happy (actual) Washington’s Birthday!

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