March 2008 Archives

Awake: 6:45am Temp 48 sleep 6+28 sunny overnight @ Las Vegas, NV.

Katrina calls to talk with Kathy about a potato recipe she wants to make for an Easter get together. Kathy lists the ingredients & gives her directions on how to put them together including baking time & temp for “garlic red potatoes with rosemary & Parmesan cheese.”

Nick calls on Skype; unfortunately we have little talk time due to our getting ready for 9:00am Easter Sunday Mass downtown Las Vegas. And what a Mass it was: the Guardian Angel Cathedral was over crowded with more than 1000 people in church with standing room only. We were early but had to sit upstairs anyway because the downstairs pews were mostly taken. It turned out to be the best seat in church as we could see and hear everything,
including the trumpets, drums & organ.

Afterward, we drive over to the Circus-Circus Hotel & Casino for a very tasty breakfast. I owed a meal to Kathy since we missed going out for Valentine’s Day. During our time there, we visit the upstairs arcade area & take special interest in the Chicken game; so much so that I took pictures of Kathy playing the game & by golly, she won a “small blue stuffed bear” in the process.
En route back to our motorhome, we make a stop @ Von’s grocery store.

Afternoon Skype time with Nick, Eriko & Jerry; during our Skype activity, Kathy shows Jerry the “small blue stuffed bear.” It was obvious to us that Jerry was trying to reach into their computer screen to grab that cute little blue bear. We finally decided that we’d better quit showing that cute little bear to Jerry or the next time we click on our Squirrel mail, the big father bear might have conveniently eaten up all of our e-mail.

Late afternoon, we call Zack in Seattle & leave a message.

Dinner: leftover Singapore chicken. We’ve almost finished the leftovers from our cooking spree with Dick & Christine.

Katrina calls to report on her potato dish which, although she made more than could be eaten at the Easter feast, turned out very good. She was pleased & had enough to send some home with the other guests.

DVR movie: “This Sporting Life” with Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel, William Hartnell, Colin Blakely, etc. Yorkshire coal miner “betters” himself by becoming professional rugby player. Powerful film about love, success & disillusionment; also serves to illustrate what a grueling game rugby is. 1963. Another not so happy story & with Kathy’s anger building, she’s going to beat me up if this trend continues.

High temp=72 lights out: 12:47am

Awake: 6:31am Temp 50 sleep 5+40 sunny overnight @ Las Vegas, NV.

Skype with Nick & family this morning was mostly audio due to poor signals; eventually we reverted to our cell phone.

An hr later, Skype with Ray was very good with the video shut off.

Jeff calls again; we do some more tax talk; he is nearly finished with our tax return.

Melissa calls from Indiana, PA; they had (1.5) inches of snow overnight. Last night Kevin did load the fireplace with wood & lit it this morning with everyone huddling around it. Kevin brings me up to date on their Burnham gas boiler….now that the roaring fire is warming up family & home, when Kevin turned on the furnace to continue his troubleshooting procedures, it started to work as normal. We think that a fail safe system shut the boiler off to begin with but that’s yet to be determined.

A surprise call from Mark B. of Anchorage; his motorhome is in South Carolina so we discuss a possible rendezvous in April. I mention our current location & immediate plans but after hearing that, we dismiss the possibilities of getting together this spring. The last time we had our motorhomes within (10) miles of each other was March 28, 2004 in Oregon.

We call Nick again on Skype & the signal is better. We question Nick as to why our Squirrel Mail isn’t working; “oops” says he; Nick made some changes & hoped that they would go unnoticed before any of us used our computers. Those changes blocked our mail temporarily.

Throughout the afternoon, Kathy does (3) loads of laundry & some house cleaning.

Dinner: left over Ratatouille. We had a small meal, leaving room for popcorn with our movie!

Aunt Robin calls from Fort Myers, FL. Kathy had called her earlier to wish her a “Happy 80th Birthday.” We take turns talking to Robin; she sounds younger than 80!

DRV movie: “Look Back in Anger” with Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Edith Evans, Mary Ure, etc. John Osborne’s trend-setting angry-young-man play with Burton rebelling against life & wife realistically filmed & acted; dialogue bristles. 1959. Beware; it’s good but tough to watch.
High temp=71 Lights out 12:17am

Awake: 6:33am Temp 50 sleep 7+18 sunny overnight @ Vegas, NV.

1st thing this morning, I make reservations for a campsite in Boulder City, NV. The young lady told me they have only one site available for Monday & Tuesday & it’s ours.

K & I drive downtown to Chicago Joe’s Café & meet Kathy’s brother, Phil, for lunch. It was such a nice visit; casual, warm conversation and really tasty food. Our visits with Phil are always pleasant, though too short and not often enough.

As I was taking pictures of Kathy & Phil outside the Café & they were promising to keep in better touch with each other, Gary & Rosemary call from PA. They tell me a whopper of a story that there has been little snow @ their place since they’ve returned on March 11th. Meanwhile I have been monitoring the local weather in Indiana, PA, Nicktown, PA, & Ebensburg, PA & these towns have been having snow storms, cold weather & wind chills like Alaska, etc; go figure. Anyway, we share talk time with G & R & it was good hearing from them. Among other people, we owe G & R a BIG favor as they kept an eye on our coach over the Christmas holiday plus rode with us to the McCarran Airport & picked us up when we returned & other thoughtful things we won’t forget.

From Chicago Joe’s, we visit Costco & continue stocking up our cupboard & nearly fill Melissa’s small request for items from Costco. Then Trader Joe’s for more of the special groceries we can only find there.

Back @ the motorhome, I call Linda in Anchorage & sign up for another yr of mail forwarding service.

Kevin calls from Indiana, PA; their Burnham series 2A gas boiler quit working today; he is following the trouble shooting manual for the symptoms he is experiencing & questions me about buying a VTVM (Volt Ohm Amp) meter to help in finding the problem. After hanging up, I use Google to find the boiler series Kevin has & maybe get on the same troubleshooting page he is looking at. About (45) min later, I call Kevin & discuss a few other theories I found on the Burnham site that might be causing his boiler to quit.

Jeff calls again from Alaska with more tax return talk.

Dinner: only a good salad; our lunch at Chicago Joe’s filled our stomachs for the day, but we did find room for some popcorn while watching tonight's movie.

We watch a 20/20 presentation on prostitution in America (2) hrs.

DVR movie: “Joy of Living” with Irene Dunne, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Lucille Ball, etc. Delightful screwball musical-comedy about a playboy who will stop @ nothing to win the affection of a bright singing star. 1938. Entertaining & educational; especially for the young & single guys out there who might be looking for pointers on how to catch the lady of your dreams?
Lights out: 12:51pm

Awake: 6:36am Temp 57 sleep 6+14 high thin clouds, then sunny overnight @ Vegas.

My Brother Don calls en route to visit a client near Pittsburgh, PA. We discuss Josie & how emotionally challenging it is for her to clean out things from her mother’s house; & how Don is slowing down after being active for (4) yrs in transferring his accounting business to the new owner; plus talk of 1st Cousin Cyril who has purchased property in Indiana, PA in prep for future home building; & discussion of our own progress on home building in answer to my brother’s questions; etc. It was a very informative call.

After that call, I was encouraged to give Cousin Cyril a ring in Maryland & talk about the property he purchased & timetable for selling his present house, etc. With the present downturn of the housing industry, Cy says he is not rushing into anything. He is however, getting their present home cleaned up & looking good in the event a lucky customer has to have their house on quick notice.

Next, I venture outside & finally run a water hose thru the lower basement area passenger side to the dump station on the driver’s side; now when dumping the black water tank, I can simply backwash the (160) gallon tank by turning on a faucet & flush the tank clean.

Jeff calls from Anchorage; we talk about our tax return.

Katrina calls while driving home from school in Denver; she says her Honda stalled when starting from a green light & now something smells like burning rubber. I asked her to check her engine temperature gauge; she reported it’s midway but when she stops @ a red light, it climbs ¼ higher. I suggest that when she returns to her condo, she should let the Honda cool for awhile & then open the hood to check for anything unusual relating to belt driven accessories; than call us when she can.

Over an hr later, Katrina gives the report; she doesn’t see anything out of order under the hood. “Keep monitoring your gages” I tell her.

Kathy calls for Melissa in PA but she’s sleeping; she talks with Kevin briefly.

Ray & I use Skype mid evening but signals are poor.

Dinner: leftover pork, fresh asparagus, fresh brown rice & a mixed salad.

DVR movie: “Idiot’s Delight” with Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, Edward Arnold, Charles Coburn, etc. Disparate characters….including a tacky vaudevillian & his one-time flame, who has come up in the world…are forced to share each other’s company in a hotel near the Italian border as WWII is about to erupt. 1939. Entertaining, but it wasn’t up to our high standards! In fact, you could miss this one!

High temp=76 Lights out: 11:15pm

Awake: 6:44am Temp 52 sleep 7+25 sunny overnight @ Las Vegas, NV.

I continue some leftover reading from yesterday; then some mid morning Skype time with Ray in WA.

Getting a little more ambitious, I try cleaning some rubber tire marks off the concrete on the entry way for this site, all with a stiff brush; 1st using Windex, then Heet, next, Iron Out, followed by Shout & concluding with Bleach. The Iron Out product worked the best, but after a casual (2) hrs, there was not a noticeable difference from before I started. Why would I even think of doing something like this! Well, Dick hinted that if I had some spare time, I might see what I could do....which was, not much.

To wash off the concrete, I began reeling out Dick’s water hose & quickly found out it needed a rubber washer & then, the hose had a rather hefty leak in the center of its length. I wrapped a patch around that hole & then decided to simply use my own hose to save time. During this time, Kathy does some grocery shopping @ Smith’s & Target….stocking up our cupboard.

On line, I sign up for Verizon’s high speed Internet back in PA @ our property starting in April.

I call Jeff in Anchorage & leave a message.

Melissa calls after 5:00pm Pacific Time; she & Kathy chat for (30-40) min before Nathan wakes for his late evening nursing. Melissa gives Kathy a list if things she’d like from Costco.

Kathy calls Katrina in Denver; they discuss Stephanie’s departure and damages to the townhouse; Katrina’s need to find a 3rd roommate; & the meeting she had with Karina and her new foster family, a positive experience.

Dinner: leftover Italian sausage with pasta.

DVR movie: “A Star is Born” with Fredric March, Janet Gaynor, Adolphe Menjou, May Robson, Andy Devine, etc. Powerful semi-musical with March & Gaynor @ their peaks as doomed Hollywood star couple; she on the way up, he down; captured in early Technicolor. 1937. Good story.
Lights out: 12:22am

Awake: 7:28am Temp 48 sleep 6+08 sunny overnight @ Las Vegas, NV.

We have decided to make this our casual day; covering computer time, reading, x-word puzzle, O’Reilly Factor, news, etc. The most ambitious event we did do was walking around this campground for over an hr & still didn’t see it all. There are (407) campsites & analyzing the different layouts takes time.

Dinner: leftover Ratatouille; leftover Singapore chicken.

DVR movie: “A Bronx Tale” with Robert De Niro, Chass Palminteri, Lillo Brancato,
Francis Capra, Taral Hicks, etc. A well-observed slice of life as a boy grows up with (2) heroes of conflicting nature & beliefs; his loving, hard-working father & the neighborhood capo, who takes him as a personal protégé. 1993. This is a cool movie; you don’t want to miss it!
High temp=69 Lights out: 11:19pm

Awake: 6:27am Temp 46 sleep 7+10 sunny overnight @ Las Vegas, NV.

Gary & Grace call from the Planet Hollywood on the Strip: “When can you join us” they ask. Kathy answers, “in about 1.5 hrs.” Grace reminds us of the free parking behind the Planet.
Traffic on the Strip was slow moving; by the time we found parking @ the Paris Casino Garage in lieu of the Planet, G & G were across Las Vegas Blvd @ the Bellagio. We meet up @ the base of the Eiffel Tower &, from here, we stroll thru the Paris Casino & its typical Paris street which gives the impression of being in Paris itself.

Next, the girls begin searching for a lunch spot before we attend a mid afternoon magic show; thinking corned beef & cabbage would be a good choice on Saint Patrick’s Day. We peek into the Harley Davison Café….not; then continue down the Strip & across the street into New York, N.Y. & the Irish Pub, “Four Fine Irishmen” where they’ll certainly have corned beef & cabbage. We learned to our chagrin they was charging $20.00 per person just to enter their pub…. & so we agreed on the restaurant Fornaio Cucina Italiana for lunch; who needs to eat Irish fare today anyway? Kathy & I share a pizza Capriccios which was very good.

G & G had tickets for us to attend the Nathan Burton Comedy Magic show @ Planet Hollywood. They were not free ticket per se; Sunday, G & G had to attend a (2) hr presentation on a time share resort in order to get these tickets; again, they sacrifice their time & patience to include us. I loved the fast paced & riveting performance of Nathan’s magic stuff; how do they do such mysterious things? I nearly got in trouble when the pretty girls came out dressed in sexy FedEx outfits with a big FedEx box, I couldn’t resist taking a picture even though we were warned about “no picture taking.” Minutes later, a tough guy found his way to our aisle & threatened to take my camera if that happens again. It didn’t!

Minutes before we entered the theater for the magic show, a cell phone call came thru for Kathy; it was from Ann E. of Anchorage; she & her newly wed husband are in Las Vegas @ the Circus-Circus & would like to get together if we are still in town. She returned the call with an exuberant “yes!”

We say our goodbyes to G & G for now; thank them profusely for making the good times even more fun than we deserve & wish them a safe & comfortable return to Florida tomorrow.

Knowing Ann for over (10) yrs in Alaska, I have never seen her so happy. Sadly, she lost her husband Rod, over a yr ago but last July, Buck, a good friend & college roommate of Rod’s, & a fellow fisherman chanced to call her. Buck also lost his wife about a yr ago. Buck offered to bring her some fish & take her to dinner; the rest, as they say, is history! They were married in Las Vegas on March 5th. Over the evening Buffet @ Circus-Circus, we chat, get to know Buck a little, & catch up on each other’s adventures for over (2) hrs. I couldn’t help but take a liking to Buck; he fits right into Ann’s life like a much needed piece in a puzzle.

DVR movie: “Love Affair” with Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya, Lee Bowman, Astrid Allwyn, etc, Superior comedy-drama about shipboard romance whose continuation on shore is interrupted by unforeseen circumstances. Dunne & Boyer are a marvelous match. 1939. This story is so touching; for all you romantics out there, you don’t want to miss it.
Lights out: 1:20am

Awake: 7:54am Temp 41 sleep 7+16 rain-wind overnight @ Las Vegas, NV.

Early morning, Kathy begins preparing our dinner meal in advance.
Our Skype call with Nick was not so good; signals can be weak in this campground.

Dick & Christine call; they are leaving Tucson, AZ & returning to their home in Goodyear, AZ. Their visit with Christine’s daughter & granddaughters was most enjoyable.

Katrina calls from Denver; she is waiting to pick up her little sister Karina & wanted to touch base with us. She couldn’t talk long & will call later tonight.

Gary & Grace call to notify us that they are @ the campground main gate & will be arriving shortly.

Kathy planned this dinner early because G & G have a show in Vegas to attend late afternoon & besides, this could be one of Gary’s favorite meals.

Dinner: Mixed spinach & lettuce salad, Italian sausage in homemade spaghetti sauce over whole wheat pasta, warm whole grain bread, asparagus with Christine’s French mayonnaise, and Godiva chocolate and grande mints for dessert.

DVR movie: “West Side Story” with Jerome Robbins, Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, George Chakiris, Rita Moreno, etc. Vivid film adaptation of the landmark Broadway musical, updating Romeo & Juliet story to youth gang atmosphere of late 1950’s N.Y.C. Winner of (10) Academy Awards including Best Picture. 1961. What can I say….this movie was terrific 32 yrs ago & just as great today!

High temp=55 Lights out: 11:17pm

Awake: 6:44am Temp 49 sleep 5+58 sunny overnight @ Las Vegas, NV.

Early morning, we Skype with Nick, Eriko & Jerry; Eriko’s mother & younger sister have been visiting then all week from Japan. We cut our Skype time short as they were getting ready to visit with them @ their hotel this morning.

Ray & I have some Skype time; with his new upgraded camera, he shows K & me the cist removal area on his arm.

Kathy calls Grace @ the Circus-Circus hotel; they talk about their plans for the day.
Then we motor downtown & repeat the process of parking & walking as yesterday.

Gary & I continue our sightseeing program, only today the expo officially closes @ 3:00pm. By myself, I probably covered over 3/4’s of the displays & equipment; Gary however, @ best, covered less than 1/3rd. With his yrs of operating & dealing in this environment of heavy industry, he has many contacts, knows oodles of brand names & therefore, made conversation with a lot of the sales personal along the way. Plus he arrived late & had a mere (2) days to see it all.

Tomorrow, being Palm Sunday, K & I agreed to meet @ the Guardian Angel Cathedral just off the Las Vegas Strip for 4:30pm vigil Mass. Easy for me as it was a mere (2) blocks from the Con-Expo. I left Gary talking about Cranes & arrived early @ church. Quickly the pews filled up & no Kathy. Mass began & still, no Kathy…but I did save her a space if & when she might arrive which she finally did.

She reported that she & Grace decided to take the bus to the point on the Strip where they left off yesterday and then continue their Strip search. They watched (1) of the (2) free animatronics fountain shows in the Forum Shops of Caesar’s Palace and continued on to New York-New York where they stopped for an Asian lunch. It was then on to the Excalibur, Luxor, & Mandalay Bay Hotel/Casino. They missed the 3:30 bus across from the Luxor by seconds and wound up waiting 30 min for another bus and then got involved in very slow traffic and long bus stops as many people boarded the bus.

G & G invited us to join them for dinner @ the Stratosphere tonight after Mass. The 4:30 Mass time was perfect as they had reservations for 6:15.

After Mass, we were shifting our feet into high gear upon leaving the church when suddenly; this magic Hyundai rental car stopped, swept us up & delivered us to the Stratosphere building lickity split. Yes, it was G & G. What a team! 840 feet & 108 floors later, we walk out to a sight to behold; Las Vegas, not yet dusk, was before us. A 360 degree view as the restaurant took 1hr 20 min to make the complete circle. Sunset & night viewing were fantastic; actually better than an airplane ride. K & I would not have treated ourselves to this sort of dinner but Gary likes to surprise the good people on occasions.

We started the meal with wine and a delicious selection of breads and Lavosh crackers. Kathy & I share a mixed green salad with candied pecans, a filet mignon steak with potatoes au gratin and ice cream & berries for dessert. After dinner, we went up to the observation deck, reviewed the nighttime Las Vegas scene, & observed the thrill rides above. We can't thank you enough G &G.

DVR movie: “The Pumpkin Eater” with Anne Bancroft, Peter Finch, James Mason, Cedric Hardwicke, etc. Intelligent if overlong drama chronicling the plight of the mother of (8) children, who discovers her 3rd husband has been unfaithful. 1964. A little sad but good entertainment.

Lights out: 12:38am

Awake: 6:32am Temp 59 sleep 7+19 sunny overnight @ Las Vegas, NV.

Dick & Christine are preparing to leave their campsite & motor to Tucson, AZ today to visit with their granddaughters. Dick has suggested that after they leave, we park our motorhome on their site so the site we are in now can be available for renting. K & I walk over to their site and Dick explains the motorhome parking parameters. With the extra outdoor kitchen equipment, Palapa grass umbrellas & storage building, parking can be tight. We say our goodbyes, safe travels, etc & they are off around 10:30am. They are nice people; we enjoyed our time with them & wish they could have stayed longer.

Next, I back up our motorhome into Dick’s site using Kathy’s guidance; plug in the shore power, extend our slides & get dressed for the next adventure.

Then K & I drive downtown, make a quick stop @ Walgreen’s on the strip where I get out, walk about (2) blocks & rendezvous with Gary @ the Con-Expo. Kathy then parks the Suzuki @ Circus-Circus & meets up with Grace.

Gary, who is very knowledgeable about most of the heavy machinery & construction equipment on display, answers all of my questions about: how does this work & why that is the way it is & wouldn’t it be better if they had done it this way….etc. I did retrace a few of my earlier trails with Gary but there remains so much yet unseen.

Mid afternoon, I bring up Zack’s Camry question about strut replacement, etc; Gary agreed with mechanic Larry’s proposal to fix it all & be done with it; especially with having the higher mileage.

While Gary & are touring heavy equipment, Grace & Kathy have been walking the Strip, touring hotels & casinos. They started out at The Wynn, proceeding to the Palazzo & Venetian where they shared a turkey wrap for lunch. Crossing the street, they took in the Forum Shops, Caesar’s Palace, & the Bellagio. They agreed the Bellagio is their favorite with its Chihuly blown glass ceiling & the conservatory which was almost finished being decorated with flowers & vegetation in a Spring theme, and of course, the 1,000 outdoor fountains dancing to music. They also agreed they had walked far enough down the Strip for this day and turned to walk back to Circus-Circus.

After the Con-Expo closes for today, Gary & I walk the (3) blocks over to Circus-Circus & meet up with Grace & Kathy; They beat us by some (30) min. Gary is thirsty so it’s a good excuse that we each have a choice of wine, beer or Bloody Mary @ the Sports Bar in the Casino.

Next, we (4) travel in the Suzuki about (1) mile to Landry’s Seafood Restaurant on Sahara & have dinner; K & I share a sword fish steak meal. After some delicious food & exciting conversation, we call it a night & drop G & G off @ their hotel: Circus-Circus.

En route to our campground, we make a side trip to Smith’s grocery store for some needed supplies.

DVR movie: “The Men who made the Movies.” A (1) hr documentary.

Lights out: 12:46am

Awake: 6:24am Temp 56 sleep 7+02 sunny overnight @ Las Vegas, NV.

I drive downtown in the Suzuki, park @ Harrah’s garage & ride the Monorail to the Con-Expo @ the Convention Center. I continue walking around outside & inside the exhibits for a good (7) hrs; taking pictures, talking with the salespeople, etc. So far, everyone I have met & talked with has been very casual, friendly & usually with a sense of humor.
So many machines to see; so much I don’t fully understand!

Around noon time, Zack calls from Seattle. He took his Camry to the Asian repair shop to have mechanic Larry look over the suspension system, front & rear struts, & the sway bar. Larry recommends new replacement struts all around & rebuilding the sway bar with new ball joints. Zack wanted to know if all of this repair work is necessary. For me, it’s a tough question without seeing the evidence so I call & talk with Larry. Of course, these mechanics are in the business 1st, to keep customers safe & comfortable, 2nd, they too have to make a living. Sometime later, I call Zack to let him know that I will get a 2nd opinion & then a final answer.
Kathy calls using Christine’s cell phone; she tips me off that we will be dining with Dick & Christine @ the Café Heidelberg @ 5:30pm & to meet them there.

Shortly after Kathy’s call, Gary J. calls; he & Grace just arrived from Florida & are @ the Con-Expo temporary building of Manitowoc Cranes in the Gold area. It takes awhile to get over to the Gold area from where I am in the South Hall, 2nd level. My time with G & G is short today due to time restraints. It’s good to see that G & G made the show & we plan on a rendezvous tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, I reverse course, get stalled with heavy people traffic getting onto the Monorail & more heavy auto traffic when driving a short (3) miles to meet @ the Café. Being (20) min late was no big deal as they have been drinking good beer, enjoying marble rye bread, soup, & salads & having a fun time. Kathy & I share a most delicious entrée of German sausage, pork schnitzel, sweet red cabbage, sauerkraut, & spaetzle + share another bottle of dark German beer. This is our 2nd visit here & we like this place.

DVR movie: “Nothing Sacred” with Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Walter Connolly, Charles Winninger, etc. Classic comedy about hotshot reporter (March) who exploits Vermont girl’s “imminent” death from radium poisoning for headline value in N.Y.C. 1937. A little far fetched but still, entertaining.

Lights out: 11:13pm

Awake: 6:11am Temp 51 sleep 7+45 high thin clouds overnight @ Vegas, NV.

Mid morning Skype with Ray; he has ordered a superior camera so we can see his smiling face all the better.

I decide to take today off from visiting the Con-Expo. In lieu of that, I volunteer to help Dick clean up his outdoor kitchen area by removing all tiles from the (2) tables & stacking them in their outside storage unit; also stacking the chairs in the storage unit.

Next, a two man job: covering both sections of the outdoor kitchen area with the tight fitting canvas covers.

Then Dick & I make a trip to Fry’s Electronics store, a (15) min drive from the campground, where Dick inquires about some high tech equipment but decides to buy nothing.

Today is Christine & Dick’s Twelfth Wedding Anniversary so Kathy & I insist that we take them out for dinner to the restaurant of their choice: “Mon Am i Gab i” @ the Paris Casino & Hotel. We met this young couple during our 1st rally with Newell in Indio, CA during 2002 & have casually kept in touch ever since. Kathy & I each have our own meal; she, Steak Bordelaise with thin French fries; I, Steak Roquefort with thin French fries…. & of course, some French wine with our meals. Afterward, Christine wanted to visit Nordstrom’s to buy a nice blouse for her upcoming trip to France to visit her mother. Our evening with the “newly wed” couple was very enjoyable. I think they behaved themselves pretty well in our back seat; but I couldn’t really see them.

DVR movie: “One, Two, Three” with James Cagney, Arlene Francis, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin, Lilo Pulver, etc. Hilarious Wilder comedy about Coke executive in contemporary West Berlin freaking out when the boss’s visiting daughter secretly weds a Communist. Cagney is a marvel to watch in this machine-gun paced comedy. 1961. No joke; this movie must have worn Cagney out; he took a (20) yr hiatus until his next film in 1981. Don’t miss it!

High temp=69 Lights out: 11:22pm

Awake: 6:35am Temp 49 sleep 7+09 sunny overnight @ Las Vegas, NV.

My sister Corinne calls from Lilly, PA. She has the week off from her work @ UPJ & she loves it.

Ray calls on Skype; we chat for about (15) min & then I apologize for the fact that I should leave to see the Con-Expo @ the Vegas Convention Center.

Leave @ 9:15am for downtown Vegas leaving Kathy @ the campground; park @ Harrah’s garage 3rd level & ride the Monorail about (2) miles to the Con-Expo @ the Convention Center. This place is HUGE! I spend (5) hrs walking around the Gold Area outside & then the North Hall inside. Fascinating for me, seeing all the different kinds of machinery & construction apparatuses; my coverage of what I’ve seen today is probably only 20% of the total display; the show runs for (4.7) days. I return to the campground in time for wine.

Dinner by Christine & Kathy: Christine’s endive with tomato salad, Cornish game hens roasted by the rotisserie, Kathy’s Ratatouille dish & miniature chocolate éclairs for dessert bought by Dick. We love these home cooked meals.
Lights out: 10:26pm

Awake: 6:50am Temp 48 sleep 6+30 sunny overnight @ Las Vegas, NV.

Mid morning & part of the afternoon, Dick & I work on the rotisserie in his built in gas grille on the outdoor kitchen. It took some time but mostly Dick figured out & jury-rigged a generic system that would work for their planned Rock Cornish hen feast tomorrow evening.

Then K & I dash over to the local Smith’s grocery store for a few items Kathy needs to have for tonight’s dinner. After helping Kathy unload the grocery bags, I continue my dashing & drive downtown to locate the Las Vegas Convention Center; tomorrow starts the Con-Expo on all kinds of machinery & equipment. I’ve been told it is the 2nd largest display in the world. I park the Suzuki @ Harrah’s free parking on level (3), then walk around to find a way to the nearest Monorail loading platform. I feel better having a plan for tomorrow’s opening which starts @ 9:00am. I return to the campground in time for wine with Kathy, Dick & Christine @ their campsite.

Dinner @ Dick & Christine's outdoor kitchen: Kathy's Singapore chicken with vermicelli, fruit salad, crusty whole grain bread, & double chocolate pudding for dessert.

DVR movie: “Lady of Burlesque” with Barbara Stanwyck, Michael O’Shae, J. Edward Bromberg, Iris Adrian, Marion Martin, etc. Stanwyck attempts to uncover (no pun intended) killer of strippers. 1943. Interesting story but moves along too quickly for a couple of tired party animals; note, watch movie carefully for better enjoyment.

High temp=69 Lights out: 11:26pm

Awake: 6:18am Temp 51 sleep 6+19 sunny overnight @ Las Vegas, NV.

We use our Lady Garmin to locate a nearby Catholic church, which includes the phone number; then we call for the Mass schedule. (6) miles later we attend the 10:00am Mass @ St. Thomas Moore Catholic church in Henderson, NV. This church is very modern, very large & today very crowded but also very organized.

Back in our motorhome, while Kathy makes a veggie omelet for breakfast, I spend some time on Skype with Ray in Ocean Park, WA. During our conversation, Katrina calls while shopping with her roommate Sara; they are looking at an outdoor grille to purchase at a Target store. For more grille options, I recommend to Katrina that they find a Home Depot and/or a Lowe’s store as they will have many more units to choose from.

Kathy calls her friend Marge in Grand Junction, CO and they spend almost an hour catching each other up on their activities & health as well as that of their families.

Kathy calls Zack in Seattle & gets lucky; he not only answers the call but also has the time to talk to both of us for over an hr. Our coverage included his getting over the flu bug which he passed on to Katie; his Masters program make up schedule; his work @ Isilon; his Camry car; the animals & his thinking regarding a possible change from the house he rents now.

Dick C. calls to remind us that dinner will be in his motorhome @ 6:00pm today. Both he & Christine are the chefs.

Melissa calls from PA and we both talk with her, me first. Nathan wakes while Kathy is talking with her, so Kathy also gets to talk with Kevin. He, unlike some of my cousins, is enjoying the snow & playing in it with Matthew. Andrew does not like being outside in the cold & snow; probably takes longer to get him dressed for the outdoors than the length of time he stays outside. Matthew has had the staples removed from his head & is doing fine. Melissa was having a difficult time controlling his blood glucose levels, especially preventing him from going too low on the insulin regime the hospital put him on.

So, with their reluctant approval, she changed to giving him a shot of short acting insulin each time he eats plus a shot of long acting insulin for night. This new plan is providing much more glucose/insulin control; only problem, Matthew now has to get six shots a day! When she first started this system, Matthew decided he wasn't hungry for lunch or snack and wanted nothing to eat. It didn't take Melissa too long to figure out why, but it sounds like things are slowly getting better for them.

K & I walk over to Dick & Christine’s camping site for dinner; “you are early” says Christine. “We’re (2) min late” I tell her. Oh, then we realized……somebody forgot to spring forward with their clocks. “So we have more time to chat and drink wine” Dick responds.

Christine & Dick’s dinner: Edamame (a preparation of immature soybeans in the pod boiled in salted water and served whole); halved avocados in the shell served with Christine’s special vinaigrette sauce; beef stroganoff over rice, & Sara Lee cheesecake for dessert. A very well planned & delicious dinner.

DVR movie: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid, Diane Ladd, John Randolph, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, etc. Funny saga of the Griswold family’s disaster-filled holiday season, with Chase as the terminally stupid head of the household. 1989. With all due respect, K & I do not recommend this movie to any sane & intelligent individual.

High temp=66 Lights out: 12:20am

Awake: 6:20am Temp 49 sleep 5+58 sunny overnight @ Las Vegas, NV.

Early morning Skype with Nick, Eriko & Jerry; signals in this campground are not so strong &, thus, Skype’s video & audio falter frequently. We end up using our cell phone to better understand messages.

Dick stops by & asks if we would like to have coffee & breakfast with them @ the Diner; we graciously pass the opportunity due to talking with some of our family.

Later K & I walk over to D & C’s campsite where Kathy & Christine have a good catch-up session while Dick & I reorganize (2) of his basement bays; some things to be left in their on site storage unit & other things to be discarded. A good (2) hrs later, Dick & I take time out for some beer & wine.

Kathy was thoughtful enough to make some tuna salad sandwiches on whole grain bread with Romaine lettuce for the working & talking crews.

After lunch, D & I continue to reload items to keep in his storage bays; a lot more space is available now after this re-organization.

Next, I give Dick a little help with hanging a decorative metal palm tree & (2) metal humming birds on the side of their storage shed; this scene looks quite nice.

Meanwhile, Kathy has elected to make a pork& apple dinner for all of us using their outdoor kitchen so a shopping we will go; about (3) miles south to a Smith’s grocery store. By the time we return, the wind has picked up too much to cook outside so we invite Dick & Christine into our coach for dinner where we all enjoy a spinach salad, pork tenderloin and sautéed apples, mixed rice pilaf & asparagus in Boursin sauce and some of Monte’s 70% dark chocolate candy for dessert.

DVR movie: “The Joker Is Wild” with Frank Sinatra, Mitzi Gaynor, Jeanne Crain, Eddie Albert, Beverly Garland, etc. Sinatra is fine with biography of nightclub performer Joe E. Lewis, with Crain & Gaynor diverting as his two loves. 1957. Based on a true story, sadly the jokes aren’t so funny anymore.
High temp=69 Lights out: 11:59pm

Awake: 6:56am Temp 42 sleep 7:14 sunny overnight @ Pahrump, NV.

We leave the Saddle West Casino & RV campground in Pahrump @ 10:30am with Kathy driving ahead in the Suzuki & me following later with the motorhome. She is going ahead to save me a fuel spot @ the pump @ Smith’s fuel terminal. We’ve been buying many of our groceries @ Smith’s & thus, will receive (5 cents) off per gallon up to (200) gallons. Pumping fuel from the smaller auto hose takes a lot longer than @ a diesel truck stop; Kathy had plenty of time to zip into Smith’s & buy a fresh loaf of bread. (140.1) gallons of Diesel @ $3.629 per gallon; ouch!

It felt good getting “on the road again.” We arrive @ the Outdoor Motorcoach Resort in Las Vegas, NV @ 12:25pm.

Today’s travel: 53.5 miles 2+00 time 11 gal used 4.9 mpg 26.8 avg speed

Before checking in @ the office, Kathy & I tour an “on display” Prevost Bus conversion parked nearby; after check-in, Kathy follows me in the Suzuki to our assigned campsite.

Dick & Christine C. have invited us to join them for a week as they have (2) sites near to each other. We were only parked about (30) min when Dick rang our doorbell. They arrived yesterday on purpose boasting of having beaten us here. As we are talking with Dick, Ray calls on Skype from Ocean Park, WA; his timing was good as a demo because Dick was able to see & hear Ray & me communicating; Dick is interested in Skype as well.

Mid afternoon, I wander over to Dick’s site where we work together over (2) hrs taking the canvas covers off his outdoor kitchen equipment; then filling the (2) metal skeleton tables with tiles & cleaning them of dust; thoroughly cleaning all the outdoor kitchen equipment, appliances, inside metal drawers, sink, refrigerator, gas stove, electric flush burner stove, etc. We worked well together & when the ladies saw our shining progress, they were impressed. Kathy & Christine plan on doing some good cooking with this equipment tomorrow. Meanwhile, we settle for some good wine with some good late evening conversation.

In darkness, K & I return to our coach for dinner: Crab cakes with a garlic sauce, broccoli, cauliflower & wild rice.

After dinner, Ray & I have another Skype session; I really like this Skype system.

DVR movie: “A Raisin in the Sun” with Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, Ivan Dixon, etc. A drama of a black Chicago family’s attempts to find sense in their constrained existence. 1961. This powerful story is not so pleasant to watch but so true in many instances in our world.

Lights out: 12:22am

Awake: 5:18am Temp 39 sleep 6+23 sunny overnight @ Pahrump, NV.

About 10:30am, I begin cleaning the top of the front cap using the telescoping ladder & after that, finish cleaning (6) more tire rims. During this cleaning time, Kathy drives the Suzuki to several grocery stores, catches the on sale items of the day & stocks our cupboard with more good deals.

Mid afternoon, I am finished….just in time to help Kathy unload the Suzuki; she done good! Shortly after the good sale items are in their place, we notice a number of motorhomes coming into the campground. Curious as we are, we walk over to the campground entrance, chat with a lady with a clipboard & quickly find out that a caravan of (30) motorhomes from Sun City, Arizona will be staying overnight & leaving in the morning for Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California. This was the 1st time we’ve experienced a nearly filled up campground from the beginning of our stay in December. We lost our good view, temporarily.

Dinner: Flounder Florentine, baked potato, asparagus & whole grain toast.

DVR movie: “Vivacious Lady” with James Stewart, Ginger Rogers, James Ellison, Beulah Bondi, Charles Coburn etc, Overlong but entertaining comedy of professor Stewart marrying nightclub singer Rogers, trying to break the news to his conservative family & fiancée back home. Bondi is fun in amusing variation on her usual motherly role. 1938. Yes, the movie is stretched out a bit but still entertaining.

High temp=63 Lights out: 11:42pm

Awake: 5:30am Temp 49 sleep 5+39 sunny…windy overnight @ Pahrump.

We catch up on our reading of the Catholic Registers that we brought back from PA in January. Throughout the day, off & on, we both work some of our crossword puzzles.
Kathy does 3 loads of laundry, incl. the sheets and catches up on some ironing.

It’s too windy today to finish cleaning the motorhome; maybe tomorrow. Besides reading some more of Windows XP for dummies & spending time on our computer, the day was casual.

I call Creslie @ Newell & make an appointment for a visit to the service facility later this month.

We watch the O’Reilly Factor @ 5:00pm.

Dinner: leftover meatloaf; leftover Italian sausage; leftover pasta, fresh broccoli, (4) bean salad & whole grain toast.

Katrina calls while driving home from her journaling class & talks with Kathy; she has finally gotten the rent owed her for the month of Feb, but the problems do not end here. Will Steph take responsibility for damages and cleaning?

DVR movie: “Quality Street” with Katharine Hepburn, Franchot Tone, Fay Bainter, Eric Blore, Cora Witherspoon, etc. Hepburn is radiant in delicate adaptation of James Barrie’s whimsical play: “old maid” masquerades as her own niece in order to win back the love of a man who hasn’t seen her in (10) yrs. 1937. Circa 1800’s; when gentlemen were gentle & ladies were sugar & spice; interesting how crucial & shy dating was then compared to today. We liked this story.

High temp=58 Lights out: 10:55pm

Awake: 5:56am Temp 40 sleep 6+46 sunny, calm wind overnight @ Pahrump.

I continue the outside cleanup on our motorhome; cleaning all (4) slide tops of dust & dirt; and all (8) vertical sides of those slides. Then start cleaning the driver’s side (5) basement doors & inside chrome. Kathy joins in the fun & cleans the lower front & back caps & sides of the motorhome as far as she can reach. The campground doesn’t allow using water hoses for washing so we get our rags wet, use a little Windex & finish the wipe down with a micro fiber cloth.

Katrina calls while driving home from school; she’s feeling good with only a stubborn cough remnant.

Dinner: Pork tenderloin with apple slices, homegrown corn from PA, & spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette.

DVR movie: “Come blow your Horn” with Frank Sinatra, Lee J. Cobb, Molly Picon, Barbara Rush, Jill St. John, Tony Bill, etc. Sinatra is good as a free-swinging bachelor with wall-to-wall girls & a nagging father (Cobb). He also sings the title song & teaches kid brother (Bill) the ropes. 1963. The girls were gorgeous but the plot was like a plain Jane.

High temp= 68 Lights out: 12:51am

Awake: 6:51am Temp 46 sleep 7+10 sunny overnight @ Pahrump, NV.

One hr, eleven min, Kathy the nurse spent talking to Laurie @ AARP this morning. It appears that innocent I filled out the wrong Enrollment Form for our AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan in late December; they wanted me to start all over again & I would be penalized for being late. That’s when I asked Kathy to intercede & that’s how the (1.2) hrs of cell phone time developed.

I filled out the wrong form because it was the only form sent; with Kathy handling the issue, they determined that the error was AARP’s fault and that I shouldn’t be penalized.
Laurie filled out the enrollment form over the phone predating it to Jan 1st, which it should have been. She was going to send it to me for my signature and send a note to the enrollment dept explaining what happened and what she felt was the right & proper thing to do. We’ll see what happens!

About 12:40pm, Kathy invites me to take a walk with her to mail some letters & visit the Ace Home Center but I decline this generous opportunity; I would like to start cleaning up our dusty coach before we drive down the road. So out comes the Windex cleaner & rags; I clean all but (3) windows, clean (5) basement storage doors & inside chrome & (2) tire rims. Meanwhile Kathy returns & vacuums the inside of our home again.

Melissa calls @ 5:11pm Pacific time & talks mostly with Kathy for (40) min. They talk about the kids, how Matthew is doing both with his diabetes & since his recent injury. Melissa also relates some a funny anecdote about Andrew. Seems he is always interested in what is in the room when he goes to bed and thus the question & answer session between him & Melissa. “Are there any wolves in here?” “No.” “Are there any owls in here?” “No.” “Are there any eyeballs in here?” “Yes, Mama’s, Matthew’s, Andrew’s, & Nathan’s.” “Are Daddy’s eyeballs here?” “They will be pretty soon.” Are Gramma’s eyeballs in here?” “No they’re in the motorhome.” Are G-daddy’s eyeballs in here?” “No, they’re in the motorhome, too!” Melissa says Andrew’s nightly queries crack her up.

We record the Royal Family while watching Nat’l news on the other TV in the bedroom.

Dinner: Salmon patties with a special sauce, wild rice, frozen peas & whole grain toast.
After dinner, we watch the O’Reilly Factor & (20) min of the (1) hr recorded history on Alaska.

DRV movie: “Kentucky Kernels” with Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Mary Carlisle, Spanky McFarland, etc. Wheeler & Woolsey take little Spanky into the Deep South to collect inheritance, but find themselves in the midst of a family feud. 1934. Caution: do not even think of watching this movie unless you are very poor, destitute & have a hearing & vision problem.
High temp=61 Lights out: 11:10pm

Awake: 6:28am Temp 46 sleep 6+41 sunny, very windy overnight @ Pahrump.

Starting after 7:30am, we enjoy over an hr of Skype time seeing & talking with Eriko, Nick & Jerry. Jerry continues to sing his Grandma & “G” daddy song. Very cute! We also witness his Fire Truck train set & the big, made in Germany, Back Hoe machine. Just to let Jerry know that older people also have toys, I hand flew my FedEx airplane across the camera for him to see.

For our breakfast, Kathy makes her special Sourdough Pancakes with all the trimmings.

We call & leave a “Happy Birthday” message for Josie in Ebensburg, PA.

Kathy calls to talk with Matthew, but he is having reading & snack time. Some time later
Matthew calls; we take turns talking with him. He’s feeling pretty good. Andrew also spoke on the phone; saying only: “Gee daddy” over & over. That was good enough for me!

Kathy calls to wish her grade & high school girlfriend, Sylvia, a “Happy Birthday” & they enjoy (43) min of good catch-up & some reminiscing.

I continue reading more of Windows XP for Dummies before dinner.

Dinner: Italian sausage, pasta & asparagus.

DVR movie with popcorn: “Toast of New York” with Edward Arnold, Cary Grant, Frances Farmer, Jack Oakie, Donald Meek, etc. Arnold is in fine form as rags-to-riches businessman Jim Fisk in the late 19th century. Grant is his partner in hokey but entertaining biographical fiction. 1937. Google supported an element of truth in this story as there was actually a black Friday in the year of 1869. Find out more from Google or simply, watch the movie.
High temp=58 Lights out: 11:41

Awake: 6:42am Temp 48 sleep 6+51 sunny…windy overnight @ Pahrump, NV.

I call Melissa in PA; we talk for 18 min & then, lots of kid noises that she must attend to; she will call us either later tonight or for sure, tomorrow.

Next, I call Bill M. in Olympia, WA. We haven’t talked since we visited them @ their Pole Barn with a lean to apartment on October 28, 2007. Bill & Debbie’s trip in their Country Coach motorhome to Georgia for their niece’s wedding was both adventurous & scary; the driver’s front tire blew out around Midland, Texas going (60) mph on a cool day. Bill indicated some damage ensued to the underbody front end. Otherwise, the wedding, visiting their children & grandchildren in CA were great.

Next I call my 1st cousin Bernie in Nicktown; we chat for about 20 min. Bernie is tired of winter & complained about having to use so much fuel oil to keep their house warm.

Call another cousin in Nicktown, Allen K. Allen is also fed up with winter weather & requested that I do something about it. His arthroscopic surgery on one knee has done well; now he’s thinking of having the other knee operated on.

Kathy gives Katrina a call; though not 100% recovered, she is feeling better and has ventured out with friends in the evening and is considering going snowboarding for ½ day tomorrow. She is still having difficulty collecting rent owed her by Steph. Karina has moved into another foster home so Katrina won’t see her for a couple weeks while she adjusts. They talked over an hour.

K & I attend 5:00pm Mass @ Our Lady of the Valley church & then, we stop @ Wal-Mart to return the Pet vacuum cleaner that obviously would work great for people with pets; Kathy did a great job of cleaning it up & customer service had no problem taking it back. We also make a quick stop @ Smith’s Grocery store to stock up on my favorite Lindt dark chocolate candy; the price was right.

During our absence, Melissa called & left a message about Matthew: seems he came down the stairs wearing his slippers, fell and slid head first into the leg of a heavy piece of furniture. At first Melissa thought it might not be too bad, but upon further observation, it was decided another trip to the ER (their 3rd for 2008) was necessary. Matthew received 3 staples to hold the laceration together and all had a late night to bed.

DVR movie with popcorn: “The Set Up” with Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias, Alan Baxter, etc. Gutsy account of washed-up fighter refusing to give up or go crooked; Ryan has never been better. 1949. This fight was too real; it had us both mesmerized. You don’t have to be there, just watch it on screen.
High temp= 55 Lights out: 11:47pm

Awake: 6:26am Temp 48 sleep 6:28 sunny overnight @ Pahrump, NV.

We go thru our mail from yesterday’s delivery. Then mid morning, I check off our credit card purchases.

After Kathy completes sorting out and perusing her mail, she gets the slightly used Pet Vacuum cleaner out, cleans it thoroughly, including the inner filter, then re-boxes & readies it for returning to Wal-Mart tomorrow.

Then Kathy requests to have the new Eureka Vacuum cleaner assembled. As she puts it thru the rug, furniture, granite floor, etc test, I write a check for the 1963 Riviera Buick Insurance for 2008; my toy.

Now having the latest mail call, I can complete our tax organizer for 2007.

Mid afternoon, K & I take a walk to Smith’s Grocery store; mail the letter & FDX the Tax organizer to Jeff in Alaska for tax scrutiny.

Dinner: Macadamia encrusted swordfish with brown rice pilaf, broccoli & salad.

DRV movie: “Cause for Alarm” with Loretta Young, Barry Sullivan, Bruce Cowling, Margalo Gillmore, etc. Simple, effective thriller with Young registering as the panic-stricken wife of psychotic Sullivan. Tension builds & there’s a neat plot twist. 1951. Two nights in a row, Kathy stays on the alert for a thriller. This was great; don’t miss it!

High temp=74 Lights out: 11:51pm

Awake: 6:33am Temp 46 sleep 6+57 high clouds overnight @ Pahrump, NV.

My e-mail this morning included a return message from the support group @ Garmin; no sympathy what so ever! $69.00 for a DVD to download & upgrade your Garmin GPS.

Driving the Suzuki, we leave @ 9:25am & head to Las Vegas to tour more of the upscale model homes, with a quick stop @ Fry’s Electronics to purchase an upright Eureka vacuum cleaner.

After (2) trials of Kathy using the Pet Vacuum cleaner from Wal-Mart, mainly on her hands & knees, she felt there has to be something made that is not real big, but powerful enough to do the job right with beater bar, side hose & a handle that folds, allowing vacuuming from a standing position, plus more. I think she’s found it but, it too, has to pass the test.

From here, we decide to explore the North Las Vegas area for upscale model homes; the real estate lady we talked with basically gave her location being near Farm Road in the area of Lone Mountain. OK, so Kathy programs this address into Lady Garmin & duh, nothing! Again, our Garmin is out-of-date for many areas of Las Vegas.

We choose the Las Vegas Beltway on 215 heading to Lone Mountain; after some (30) min & lots of traffic, we were only as far as Summerlin Parkway, according to the map, about halfway to our intended destination. This was turning out to be a L-o-n-g T-r-i-p; maybe too long. I decide to nix this idea, take I-95 to downtown Las Vegas, make a Costco stop & a Borders Bookstore stop, then call another realtor who has upscale model homes in the direction that will keep us out of the rush hr traffic.

Another cell phone call & another address that our Garmin GPS does not recognize. Realtor Connie gives us, what we think, are excellent directions; we are making good time away from the heavy mid afternoon traffic & only a few blocks to go when…..the road ended. Connie had us going west when we should have gone east. That’s all the touring for today folks!

Upon our return to Pahrump, Marie, the campground host, delivered our forwarded mail to us personally. She & Jim, her husband, have been hosts in this campground for over (8) yrs now & do a terrific job.

Dinner: Lamb chops, brown rice, asparagus & whole grain toast.

DVR movie: “Murder, My Sweet” with Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger, etc; Powell, as hardboiled detective, Philip Marlowe, gets involved in a homicide & blackmail scheme. 1944. Kathy had no problem staying on the alert for this thriller.

High temp=75 Lights out: 11:58pm

Awake: 6:44am Temp 46 sleep 6+39 sunny overnight @ Pahrump, NV.

A big surprise for me: when inquiring about paying our motorhome insurance for year 2008, I nearly fell off my chair when told that our total premium for the year was reduced by 66%. Amazing!

K & I take a walk to Wal-Mart. Kathy goes on to the Health Foods store as she wanted to inquire more about the sugar substitutes, zylitol & erythritol; suitable for Matthew?
At Wal-Mart I buy more yogurt & read a magazine until Kathy & I find each other; walking to these stores gives us some good exercise & saves us from burning fuel.

Shortly after we return, my buddy Ray calls from Ocean Park, WA @ 3:30pm Pacific. We have a good chat about his Wizard motorbike, their son Nathan & life near the Pacific Ocean. I also mention to Ray that it would be nice if I could see his smiling face when using Skype.

Later Katrina calls @ 6:42 Pacific time from Denver; she updates us on her health condition. Her voice is much better & she feels by Monday, she’ll be close to normal healthiness & be able to return to teaching.

Dinner: Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, broccoli & a mixed salad.

DVR movie: “Cross Country Romance” with Gene Raymond, Wendy Barrie, Hedda Hopper, etc.
Wealthy heiress Wendy Barrie, to escape an arranged marriage, stows away in poor Gene Raymond's trailer/camper. Interestingly, she does this wearing her slip. So, I guess you could say she SLIPS away. Of course, they fall in love and get married… then, he discovers her true identity! Will their wedding survive this dishonesty? You get one guess! 1940. Among other things, I was tuned into the 1940’s campgrounds that were shown; no guarantee that they were real however. Kathy reports: it was ok, but not that moving.
Lights out: 11:36pm

Awake: 7:05am Temp 47 sleep 6+57 sunny overnight @ Pahrump, NV.

Driving the Suzuki, we leave Pahrump @ 9:35am to once again, visit model homes in Las Vegas. The Southern Highland area is a relatively new development featuring a series of upscale homes. We turned our lady Garmin off & found our own way to this exquisite area.

The (14) model homes we toured were from (2) different builders; (2) of the homes had elevators going to the 3rd floor, very nice. Kathy thoroughly checked out the kitchens, finding features she liked, but NO perfect kitchen!

Next, we visit Fry’s Electronics just across I-15 in Vegas; while Kathy casually looks thru several magazines featuring kitchens, I take over an hr & tour this huge building with all its high tech gadgetry. Before leaving, I buy a USB hub to allow more access ports & Kathy gets interested in a different vacuum cleaner that will allow us to stand up while cleaning; but we didn’t buy yet.

Back in Pahrump, we both take our turn gaming with the Megabuck machine at the Nugget; I win $10.50 tonight. Then we blow our wad on groceries & wine @ Smith’s & Albertson’s.

Dinner: chicken meat balls with a salad of cottage cheese over spinach & peaches.

DVR movie: “The Immortal Battalion” with David Niven, Stanley Holloway, James Donald, John Laurie, etc. Exhilarating wartime British film showing how disparate civilians come to work together as a fighting unit; full of spirit & charm, with an outstanding cast & fine script. 1944. Something we could use more of in today’s military.

Lights out: 12:05am

Awake: 7:25am Temp 51 sleep 6+31 sunny overnight @ Pahrump, NV.

Since Las Vegas is such a fast growing city, our (1.5) yr old Lady Garmin is behind the times & thus, we come to realize she can’t be trusted when locating a place in a newer part of town. So this morning, I send an e-mail to the Garmin support guys questioning: what can be done about this!

Later this morning, I call Linda in Alaska to have our mail forwarded here to Pahrump. Then K & I write our Cruising trivia friend Elton, a “Happy 65th Birthday Wish.”

Next, I wrap a “2008 Movie Guide book” for our Japanese friend Chee. Then K & I walk over to Smith’s Grocery Store, mail the card & send the package via FDX. We continue walking to the Albertson’s store & Wal-Mart store for small grocery items.

Dinner: Tuna steak with garlic, brown rice, salad & whole grain toast.

@ 7:10 pm, Nick rings our chine on Skype; we see & talk with them for about (40) min; such a nice deal!

DVR movie: “This Man’s Navy” with Wallace Beery, Tom Drake, James Gleason, Jan Clayton, Selena Royle, etc. Military story nicely rehashed; Beery treats Drake as a son & gets vicarious pleasure out of his Navy career. 1945. Interesting to me because of the dirigible flight school coverage. Kathy, on the other hand, thought it was full of hot air.

High today=61 Lights out: 12:08am


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