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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

New Finger Joint Completed - Safely Home

Two bionic fingers and one bionic eye
By Lulu

Harry rolled into the surgery center at 7 a.m. today to have a joint replaced on his finger.  Immediately they took him back for his prep which included putting on a pair of sweet white stockings, a hospital gown, and a surgical cap.  The nurse started the IV fluids but the “good drugs” didn’t come until about a half hour later.  Immediately, he began singing “Acid Queen” from Tommy. After enjoying the drugs for twenty minutes they took him back to surgery and told me to head out to the waiting room. I was there about an hour and his doctor came out to say all went well and gave me the x-rays of his finger with the new joint.  After another half hour I was summoned back to the recovery room and he was already dressed and very alert.  Just a few more items of paperwork and he was wheeled out to the car.    The nurses, anesthesiologist, and doctor were great.  Harry’s doctor, Dr. Brad Stephens, looked to be about 19.  They all remembered him from the last time he was there a few months ago to have the right index finger done.  Now to some recovery!

Joint Replacement In My Left Index Finger

One of the problems in old age is arthritis - I can hardly spell it but I have it in my left index finger. I have direct bone to bone contact - and it is a pain. Today at 7:30 am - they will replace the joint with a plastic one - like a little knee.

I have had this joint problem for years. In April - I had the right index finger joint replaced and I am amazed at both the relief and dexterity.

It is a simple operation that takes about one hour. I wish I had them done sooner.

Lulu will be with me. I will be sedated about an hour. Lulu has pictures of me from the last finger operation that I do not recall.

Watch for a good report of the results.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tallahassee - We Were Lucky

We got home Monday at 5 pm. I just hooked the camper generator up to the home refrigerator and all the lights in the house went on. I thought I had a miracle camper generator.

The storm was headed straight at Tallahassee as category 4. We left. Then for some unexplained reason it veered right or east. It missed town by 55 miles. We only got 55 mph winds and 3 inches of rain.

Our house was untouched except for a small branch that blew into our yard - not from our trees.

3 inches of rain is nothing for us. We have had 11 inches in just a normal weekend. The ground was not real soft.

30000 homes - 25% of town - were without power. The city owns the power company and does a great job repairing.

I will be sweeping the yard of cones - needles - pine bark - leaves - for a few hours.

We chose to leave. We drove the new camper to Pensacola. It was a real shakedown cruise. The roundtrip was 400 miles. The camper has a nice king bed - hot shower - handy toilet - full kitchen - and great TV. With our iPhone - we had Directv - hotspot for computers - and full internet access. Lulu was happy to have her coffee in the morning.

My friend George drove his van to the underground city garage. They had a bed and toilet and stayed there. They were safe - 3 floors below ground. I will look to see if our camper would fit there - a great idea.

Our friends in South Florida got it worse. Also - Jacksonville east of us is still flooding. Our friend Sandi next to Disney slugged it out at home. I hope she can use her annual Disney pass today.

It was hard leaving the house behind. We have since looked at our insurance policy and want to buy some better coverage. Hurricane deductible is $6000!

We reflect on life in Florida. We lost nothing - but were glued to the TV for a week. We love the good weather here - beaches - palm trees - FSU job - FSU sports - great shopping - and not having to shovel snow or drive in it.

Florida has no income tax - and no inspection stickers to mar your windshield.

We still are without wifi.

On Tuesday at 8 am - I hear the clean up crews and their saws. There was a curfew last night from 9 to 7. Few cars passed.

I will post pictures when we have wifi.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Spending The Hurricane In Sunny Pensacola

Today we left Tallahassee at 1 PM in our camper and headed west to avoid the storm. The winds were already picking up and the skies were overcast. We went 200 miles - choosing the old two lane Highway 20. We wanted to avoid traffic and we had the highway to ourselves. It took us 4 hours to get here.

We first went to the Gulf Seashore National Park - because when we called them they said we could stay for $13 with full hookups - a real bargain. When we got there - it was too windy to enjoy. So we drove into town and decided to stay at Camp W near the Naval Air Museum.

It is still light out because we are on central time. Lulu made a nice salad in her kitchen. We are watching the national news on our flat screen TV. We are using the camper antenna - and it gets 29 crystal clear channels.

Right now it looks like Irma will pass just to the east of Tallahassee. They expect Cat 1 winds in Tallahassee tomorrow. We are happy we got out of there. Our friends up north kept insisting and nothing matters without Lulu - so here we are.

I am typing on my laptop. It is getting wifi from my iPhone - using the iPhone as a hotspot. It is like being at home.

The camper performed flawlessly being pushed into this impromptu trip. Honestly - one of the main reasons we came here - was because I did not want the camper exposed to the falling trees of Tallahassee. We have the king bed made set up permanently in the back. Lulu took a short nap on the way over to try it out.

Tonight we will sleep with windows open - with screens in. We will not run the air conditioner or generator.

Thanks to everyone for encouraging us to leave town. Our best wishes to the friends that stayed in town.

We have an alarm system at home and a camera in the living room. I can check the camera on my iPhone - so we will know when the power goes out.

Tallahassee Is A Target Of Irma - We Will Be Gone

The path of Irma - right over Tallahassee

We woke up to this hurricane map at 7AM Sunday. It shows the Hurricane Irma going right over our hometown of Tallahassee. It will be at Tampa at 2 AM on Monday - then take 12 hours to get to Tallahassee at 2 PM. We will not be waiting for it. We will be in our Roadtrek camper heading west to Pensacola. It will be our maiden voyage.

Many folks do not realize that you can drive west from Tallahassee for 200 miles - and still be in Florida. That should be far enough to get out of the rain and winds. We will be poised for a quick return to pick up the pieces.

According to the map - it will only be a Category 1 hurricane that hits us - but why sit it out. Tallahassee is full of trees and they fall on powerlines and roofs.

Our Roadtrek has a king size bed - bathroom - shower - kitchen - water heater - generator - TV - 32 gallons of gasoline - and 7 gallons of propane. We should be quite comfortable in there. I will let you know when we are on the road.

We just bought this Roadtrek - our first trip.
Ironically - we bought it in Pensacola.

Our house is built like a fortress - 2 x 6 studs - 3/4 inch plywood sheeting - solid foam core insulation - engineered trusses - hurricane grade windows - steel straps in the walls - raised above grade two feet on a concrete foundation. My only concern is a few of the neighbor's trees that with the right wind direction could reach our roofs. We sit up on a hill - 10 feet above the street.

Our decider was "one it by land - two it by sea" - if the storm was over water at Tampa - we would migrate west. If the storm was over land at Tampa - we would stay and face it. Maybe we won't wait until it gets to Tampa at 2 AM.

We have a bunch of family up north with their fingerprints buried deeply in our backs. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Update - we plan to leave here after lunch in 2 hours from now.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Installing a Flat Screen TV in Your Roadtrek Camper

2004 Roadtrek Popular 190
Our Roadtrek had the old fashion analog TV and VCR in it. We wanted to update it to a flat screen smart TV.

We bought a 24 inch Samsung Smart TV at Costco for $109. I also found a very nice mount on Amazon for $13.

Not only does the new TV weigh much less than the old one - but it uses only 37 watts - 10% of the old power consumption.

Here is a video of the installation.

Irma and Tallahassee - the Red Spot is Us

The red spot is us in Tallahassee
Very simply - Irma is one bad lady. We are located at the red spot on this map. When she hits Miami on Sunday - she will be rate 4 or 5. If she travels over land like this picture - she will be down to a 2 or so when she gets near us. We would probably stay home if that is the case. If she follows this line she would be 140 miles east of us as she passes. We would get some rain and wind - probably enough to knock down a few trees and power lines.

If she comes up over the Gulf waters - we are leaving - we would probably drive our camper west to maybe Pensacola or New Orleans. There are several major highways that flow that way.

There are a lot of people here with bravado - wanting to stick around to "protect their stuff." Not me - I am a coward - I want to be protect Lulu and me. All our stuff is safely locked in the new house and garage. The only vulnerable thing we own is the camper. 

Have Roadtrek - will travel.